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Thread: How best to shoot with heavy lens - hand-held vs tripod

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    Member arphaxad12's Avatar
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    Default How best to shoot with heavy lens - hand-held vs tripod

    Hi,
    Not sure this is right place to pose my question. The question sounded so basic hence I decided to post it here. Planned to rent a 200-400mm lens to take pictures of the fighter planes flypast this National Day. However the weight would be a problem if hand-held, shaky hands. However if mounted on tripod, may have problem even looking for the planes thru view finder. Any advice from those who had tried this kind of situation before? thanks!
    Nikon D90 18-200mm VR 35mm 1.8 Tokina 11-16mm

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    Member Fudgecakes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arphaxad12
    Hi,
    Not sure this is right place to pose my question. The question sounded so basic hence I decided to post it here. Planned to rent a 200-400mm lens to take pictures of the fighter planes flypast this National Day. However the weight would be a problem if hand-held, shaky hands. However if mounted on tripod, may have problem even looking for the planes thru view finder. Any advice from those who had tried this kind of situation before? thanks!
    Monopod. Haha. I would recommend the manfrotto 680b because I am selling one :P but seriously, a monopod is your best bet. Preferably with a ball head to let you adjust the angle of the lens
    There are no bad photographers, only photos that could've been done better
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  3. #3

    Default Re: How best to shoot with heavy lens - hand-held vs tripod

    I have seen some monopod that can stand on its own via 3 additional legs, so it's more stable than a monopod.

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    Member Fudgecakes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WBalance
    I have seen some monopod that can stand on its own via 3 additional legs, so it's more stable than a monopod.
    So it's a..... Mono-tripod? Haha! From benphoto or fotopro right?
    There are no bad photographers, only photos that could've been done better
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  5. #5

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    How does monopod helps you look through viewfinder better than a tripod or even hand held? Usually you have you anticipate where the planes will come from and to pin point their location you have to switch between your eye and viewfinder.

    Also at supertele range any movement of your lens is going to be amplified through the viewfinder that's you need more stability.

    Monopods are harder to use than tripod as you need a little techinques in your posture to achieve stability. Just that a monopod is more portable to move around and take up less space.

    Where are you going to shoot the planes from?
    Last edited by gundamseed84; 4th August 2012 at 08:09 AM.

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    Member arphaxad12's Avatar
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    Default Re: How best to shoot with heavy lens - hand-held vs tripod

    Has 2 tickets to the yellow sector (highest tier) infront of the floating platform. Best would be to bring the tripod along, not sure they allow camera bag and tripod. Hence I thought of the monopod also. For fireworks I will surely require the tripod.
    Nikon D90 18-200mm VR 35mm 1.8 Tokina 11-16mm

  7. #7

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    Hopefully there is space for such a huge lens, not sure if there's ample space around you without hitting anyone... let alone a tripod.

    Actually if you have a camera with good high iso performance... sigma 150-500 is my choice. Smaller can be handheld... just smaller aperture.

  8. #8

    Default Re: How best to shoot with heavy lens - hand-held vs tripod

    I am not sure whether monopod or tripod is easier cos it varies with individuals. But one thing I know for sure is shooting fighter planes in the sky with a 200-400mm lens hand-held is almost impossible.... unless you are very strong.
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  9. #9

    Default Re: How best to shoot with heavy lens - hand-held vs tripod

    every day do 12 sets of 20 repetitions of panning the sky with the lens attached. if not lens, use a 1.5L bottle (full of water, or better still, cement)
    宁愿遇见丢失幼崽的母熊,也不愿碰上做蠢事的愚人

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    Member fmeeran's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundamseed84
    Actually if you have a camera with good high iso performance... sigma 150-500 is my choice. Smaller can be handheld... just smaller aperture.
    I would suggest the same. I have some good photographs of fighters with the 150-500mm somewhere. Plus you don't need the subject isolation for the jets in the sky. :-)
    Dxxxx | 35/1.8 | 50/1.8 | Tokina 28-70 | Panny G1 | 14-45 | 25/1.7
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    Moderator rhino123's Avatar
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    Default Re: How best to shoot with heavy lens - hand-held vs tripod

    Actually... it depends on your shutter speed. If your speed is fast enough (say around 1/400mm) then it might be able to compensate for some shakes. I use a 300mm + 1.4x TC before, and shoot at around 1/300 to 1/400sec and my pics turned out clear and sharp... even at moving objects.
    I am not a photographer, just someone who happened to have a couple of cameras.
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