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Thread: How stable is your tripod/head?

  1. #1

    Default How stable is your tripod/head?

    Noticed this the other day. 500D camera mounted on the SLIK Pro 340BH tripod, using liveview with 10x magnification. Was trying to shoot an insect on a leaf at the center of the screen at 200mm. Everytime I pressed down the shutter button, I would see the the picture move upwards till the top until I let go...
    Luckily there's 2sec delay option.

    Was wondering, how steady are the tripod/head (include models plz) you guys are using? Is absolutely no movements possible even when pressed down hard at 10x magnification? Or just merely a few pixels shift on the liveview display?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Kit's Avatar
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    Default Re: How stable is your tripod/head?

    The tripod and head not only provide you with a stable base when the camera makes an exposure. They also give you a relatively "hands-free" condition to take photos with. There shouldn't be any contacts with the camera to release the shutter. That's why people use remote releases or built-in timer. In some cases, mirror lock up will come in handy so that the mirror slap will not induce any vibration just before the shutter is released.

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    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: How stable is your tripod/head?

    Quote Originally Posted by CamInit View Post
    Noticed this the other day. 500D camera mounted on the SLIK Pro 340BH tripod, using liveview with 10x magnification. Was trying to shoot an insect on a leaf at the center of the screen at 200mm. Everytime I pressed down the shutter button, I would see the the picture move upwards till the top until I let go...
    Luckily there's 2sec delay option.

    Was wondering, how steady are the tripod/head (include models plz) you guys are using? Is absolutely no movements possible even when pressed down hard at 10x magnification? Or just merely a few pixels shift on the liveview display?
    As long as the camera remains perfectly steady for the duration of the shutter's operation, it should be fine. Of course with the better ballheads you get less movement, but the trade-off is price. Your call...

    Anyway, why the need to press down hard on the shutter release? Shouldn't it just be a gentle squeeze?
    Exploring! :)

  4. #4
    Moderator ed9119's Avatar
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    Default Re: How stable is your tripod/head?

    use a wired or remote trigger or otherwise set to timed release
    Last edited by ed9119; 14th December 2009 at 12:45 PM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: How stable is your tripod/head?

    Quote Originally Posted by ZerocoolAstra View Post
    ...
    Anyway, why the need to press down hard on the shutter release? Shouldn't it just be a gentle squeeze?
    The movement is there even when I pressed with normally.


    I was wondering the definition of stability. When and how stable is stable? The main trouble I see arises when under bulb mode, say fireworks or long exposures. Excluding use of a remote, you can't do 2sec delay for fireworks or maintain constant pressure on the shutter button for extended periods of time. The camera will be moving up and down in both cases.

  6. #6
    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: How stable is your tripod/head?

    Quote Originally Posted by CamInit
    The movement is there even when I pressed with normally.


    I was wondering the definition of stability. When and how stable is stable? The main trouble I see arises when under bulb mode, say fireworks or long exposures. Excluding use of a remote, you can't do 2sec delay for fireworks or maintain constant pressure on the shutter button for extended periods of time. The camera will be moving up and down in both cases.
    Your answer is below
    no choice la. 2sec delay can work but then it involves a greater element of luck.

    Quote Originally Posted by ed9119
    use a wired or remote trigger or otherwise set to timed release
    Exploring! :)

  7. #7

    Default Re: How stable is your tripod/head?

    ... so i guess conclusion is end up gotta BBB again.

  8. #8

    Default Re: How stable is your tripod/head?

    Sturdy 3-way heads are usually far more stable than ballheads and are also usually much cheaper but are bulkier and slower to operate, and the more stable ballheads usually cost more than $500.

  9. #9
    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: How stable is your tripod/head?

    Quote Originally Posted by CamInit View Post
    ... so i guess conclusion is end up gotta BBB again.
    infrared remote for 500D very expensive meh? It should be less than $20, right?
    This one doesn't fall under BBB, because you can pretty much buy without 2nd thought!
    Exploring! :)

  10. #10

    Default Re: How stable is your tripod/head?

    Yeah, use a remote trigger or timer if possible. If you have no choice and have to directly trigger the shutter, then try to have the tripod on a firm base. Soft ground will also cause the issue you described.

  11. #11

    Default Re: How stable is your tripod/head?

    Quote Originally Posted by ZerocoolAstra View Post
    infrared remote for 500D very expensive meh? It should be less than $20, right?
    This one doesn't fall under BBB, because you can pretty much buy without 2nd thought!
    These are dangerous thoughts! Man... you should have seen the list of things I've bought after the camera... now I have...

    tripod, camera bags, GND filter, B+W filter & polariser, lens hoods (even for future lens ), battery grip, extra batteries, memory card, lenspen, blower, waiting for next year (when credit card rebate comes in) for the drybox.

    All the costs of the items add up... At least more lens are still too poisonous for me to contemplate!

    Having said that tho, I did practise shooting almost every week, so it's not just all sitting there looking pretty.

    Quote Originally Posted by sk8 View Post
    Yeah, use a remote trigger or timer if possible. If you have no choice and have to directly trigger the shutter, then try to have the tripod on a firm base. Soft ground will also cause the issue you described.
    I was on concrete ground, so I guess it boils down to the tripod or the head.

  12. #12
    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: How stable is your tripod/head?

    Quote Originally Posted by CamInit View Post
    These are dangerous thoughts! Man... you should have seen the list of things I've bought after the camera... now I have...

    tripod, camera bags, GND filter, B+W filter & polariser, lens hoods (even for future lens ), battery grip, extra batteries, memory card, lenspen, blower, waiting for next year (when credit card rebate comes in) for the drybox.

    All the costs of the items add up... At least more lens are still too poisonous for me to contemplate!

    Having said that tho, I did practise shooting almost every week, so it's not just all sitting there looking pretty.



    I was on concrete ground, so I guess it boils down to the tripod or the head.
    Lens hood for future lens??? You are taking it too far man.

    Anyway, a remote shutter release cost less than $20 is one of the first things I bought after owning the camera. The utility of the item far far far outweighs the cost. You can even for go for a china brand IR shutter release, should cost you less than $10. Price of 2 plates of chicken rice. Pack lunch twice and you can afford it.

  13. #13
    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: How stable is your tripod/head?

    Quote Originally Posted by CamInit View Post
    These are dangerous thoughts! Man... you should have seen the list of things I've bought after the camera... now I have...

    tripod, camera bags, GND filter, B+W filter & polariser, lens hoods (even for future lens ), battery grip, extra batteries, memory card, lenspen, blower, waiting for next year (when credit card rebate comes in) for the drybox.

    All the costs of the items add up... At least more lens are still too poisonous for me to contemplate!
    How can you compare wireless remote with B+W filter, etc...?
    In terms of price, no fight...! The remote is MUCH MUCH cheaper!
    My 'buy without 2nd thought' only refers to items < $30, such as AA batteries (for flash, etc), memory card, aftermarket camera strap, blower, etc...

    These items won't bankrupt you la, not in the same way that a 24-70 f/2.8L can !!
    Exploring! :)

  14. #14

    Default Re: How stable is your tripod/head?

    Resurrecting this old thread a bit... I think I know why the view drops downwards. The answer most likely lies here:

    The EF70-200mm f/4L IS USM has the ability to detect when it is mounted on a tripod. If you keep the shutter button half-pressed, or better yet, use a remote switch to simulate a half-press, the stabilizer mechanism will drift the image downwards for the first second or so, then the mechanism will stop moving. (It's for this reason as well as battery power conservation issues that the instruction booklet recommends shutting off the IS system while the lens is mounted on a tripod.) You can see the effect if you look through the viewfinder while half-pressing the shutter button. However, it is important to understand that this form of disabling is different than shutting off the IS function with the mode switch on the lens. In the latter case, the IS mechanism is centered and locked into place, whereas in the former case, the IS mechanism shifts the image downward slightly for a second or so, then stops moving. It's not moving, but it's not centered or locked, either. It's effectively on standby, so that it can resume its corrective capabilities instantly if movement is detected. Again, you can see this for yourself by looking through the viewfinder while pressing the shutter button halfway for at least several seconds, assuming the lens is mounted on a tripod and the IS switch is on. To my way of thinking, this is not the optimum way to use the equipment. In my opinion, if you use the EF70-200mm f/4L IS USM on a tripod, it would be best to turn off the IS mechanism via the switch on the lens, rather than depending on the tripod detection capabilities of the IS mechanism.
    Source

    So presumably what I saw is the IS of the 18-200mm going into standby mode.

  15. #15
    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: How stable is your tripod/head?

    so you know what you should have done in this case...
    turn the darn IS off!
    Exploring! :)

  16. #16
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    Default Re: How stable is your tripod/head?

    Stability comes at a high price. A really good stable set of tripod legs such as the Manfrotto 058B will set you back about 1000 SGD for the legs alone and add to that another 500 for a heavy ballhead such as an Arca Swiss Ballhead, Graf Studioball (the big one) or Linhof etc. You'll be looking at an all up weight not far short of 10kg for the tripod and head. For ultra stability a set of Sachtler "sticks" is going to cost you around 4 to 5,000 Singapore dollars and a bowl adaptor and head another 600 or so. Both are going to be stable with 1200mm lenses and 10x Liveview etc. Great in wind.
    The Ang Moh from Hell
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  17. #17

    Default Re: How stable is your tripod/head?

    Quote Originally Posted by CamInit View Post
    Resurrecting this old thread a bit... I think I know why the view drops downwards. The answer most likely lies here:


    Source

    So presumably what I saw is the IS of the 18-200mm going into standby mode.
    I encountered this problem with my older lenses (28-135, 100-400) when I use them on tripod. Did not see it with the 70-200F4IS as it has a newer IS.

  18. #18
    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: How stable is your tripod/head?

    Quote Originally Posted by KY1977 View Post
    I encountered this problem with my older lenses (28-135, 100-400) when I use them on tripod. Did not see it with the 70-200F4IS as it has a newer IS.
    Aren't you supposed to turn off IS when using a tripod?

    I don't know about Canon but it is even stated in the User's manual of Nikon cameras.

  19. #19

    Default Re: How stable is your tripod/head?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    Stability comes at a high price. A really good stable set of tripod legs such as the Manfrotto 058B will set you back about 1000 SGD for the legs alone and add to that another 500 for a heavy ballhead such as an Arca Swiss Ballhead, Graf Studioball (the big one) or Linhof etc. You'll be looking at an all up weight not far short of 10kg for the tripod and head. For ultra stability a set of Sachtler "sticks" is going to cost you around 4 to 5,000 Singapore dollars and a bowl adaptor and head another 600 or so. Both are going to be stable with 1200mm lenses and 10x Liveview etc. Great in wind.
    Pay a friendly 'visit' to a neighborhood construction site disposal area and bolt the camera down to a building cement block!

    Or wheel a FOBA stand around!

  20. #20

    Default Re: How stable is your tripod/head?

    Quote Originally Posted by KY1977 View Post
    I encountered this problem with my older lenses (28-135, 100-400) when I use them on tripod. Did not see it with the 70-200F4IS as it has a newer IS.
    Hmm... note to self: remember to test this out when next time play with 70-200 F4 IS.


    Quote Originally Posted by daredevil123
    Aren't you supposed to turn off IS when using a tripod?

    I don't know about Canon but it is even stated in the User's manual of Nikon cameras.
    Newer lenses are supposed to come with tripod-detection. Without knowing the inner workings of IS, one would assume this negates the need to on and off IS. Apparently not, now.

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