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Thread: When u use a tripod

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    Question When u use a tripod

    As above. Usu when and for taking what type of shots?

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    ClubSNAP Admin Darren's Avatar
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    Generally speaking, whenever you want to eliminate camera shake and get the best, sharp shot you have to use a tripod.

    As a rule of thumb, shots can be handheld and be reasonably sharp if you follow this rule :-

    Minimum handholdable shutter speed = 1/focal-length

    So, if you are using 200mm lens, the mininum handholdable speed would be 1/200s (or in this case 1/250s being the closest equivalent if your camera can only set shutter speed in full-stop increments). If you are really good, can handhold to 1/125s or 1/60s, but then have to be really steady.

    IS/VR (Image Stabilizer/Vibration Reduction) technology from Canon and Nikon allows a user to handhold up to 2-3 stops BELOW the rule, but here again, if you really want the best sharpness, it is still critical to use a tripod.

    Personally, I use the tripod for all of my shots (apart from portraits and flying birds), even when the shutter speed is above the rule, cos it really eliminates any possibility of shake, however miniscule that may be.

    The next question you may want to ask then is "What tripod and head is suitable?"

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    Default Re: When u use a tripod

    Quite a few actually. You'd need it whenever you require your camera to be stable for the length of the exposure. Unless you require it to pan, then you'll need it whenever you require your camera to move inline with the subject, for the length of the exposure.

    Situations include:
    1) Night shots
    2) Shots of fireworks
    3) Shots of stars & constellations
    4) Dimly lit places (you might skoot by if your hands are steady)
    5) Long range shots using zoom lenses. Any slight movement at the camera's end that might result in a large reciproal swing in your viewfinder. e.g. taking soccer shots with a 500mm zoom lens.
    6) Scenary shots that involve water - to achieve that silky effect..


    There're tons more.. but i'm at work right now and should in all honesty, be working.. Do see Darren's reply for the maths.

    Perhaps the others might wanna contribute more.

    enjoy!
    rOCh


    Originally posted by currahee
    As above. Usu when and for taking what type of shots?

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    ClubSNAP Admin Darren's Avatar
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    Default Re: Re: When u use a tripod

    Originally posted by rochkoh
    There're tons more.. but i'm at work right now and should in all honesty, be working..

    heh heh .... stealth surfin' eh?? never mind, its been conclusively proved that 50% of time at work is spent on unproductive things, so don't buck the trend and go all productive on us now

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    so how high shld u set your tripod?
    what head etc?

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    ClubSNAP Admin Darren's Avatar
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    Originally posted by currahee
    so how high shld u set your tripod?
    what head etc?


    How high to set a tripod? - hmmmm.... that depends on what kind of pic you are trying to take. Low down macro? Standard eye-level shot? Up looking down? Down looking Up? Toughie, eh???

    If you are asking "How tall a tripod should i get?", then the answer is "Tall enough so that you do not have to bend down (even slightly) when the camera is mounted."

    There are also other considerations to be taken into account:-
    1. Maximum height
    2. Maximum height with centre column extended (if have centre column)
    3. Minimum height
    4. Length when closed

    And there are even more choices when it comes to tripod heads. The two basic types:-
    1. Pan & Tilt (there are 2-way and 3-way movements)
    2. Ballheads

    Generally, pan & tilts are more affordable but altho they offer 3-way movement, its very cumbersome to keep unlocking 2 or 3 knobs to make simple adjustments. Ballheads normally have a single locking knob and provides for very flexible movements in all directions. Ballheads are generally more expensive, but to be fair, you can get cheap ballheads as well as expensive 3-way pan & tilts.

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    great info. thanx

    by the way, how should the tripod legs be set? one infront of the camera, two behind? two infront, one behind?

    do most of u all bring tripods while travelling?

    more examples of when to use one?

  8. #8

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    Originally posted by Darren


    Generally, pan & tilts are more affordable but altho they offer 3-way movement, its very cumbersome to keep unlocking 2 or 3 knobs to make simple adjustments. Ballheads normally have a single locking knob and provides for very flexible movements in all directions. Ballheads are generally more expensive, but to be fair, you can get cheap ballheads as well as expensive 3-way pan & tilts.
    generally the choice of tripod heads boils down to what kind of shooting style you have. if your kind of photography allows you to have all the time in the world to compose your shot, go for a 3-way as it generally provides more precise positioning. a ballhead will be more suited for quick shooting.

  9. #9

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    Originally posted by currahee
    great info. thanx

    by the way, how should the tripod legs be set? one infront of the camera, two behind? two infront, one behind?

    do most of u all bring tripods while travelling?

    more examples of when to use one?
    recommended will be one in front of the camera. reasons being :

    1. more stable, especially if your lens is long and heavy
    2. you won't be as likely to trip over the tripod and waste $$$ purchasing new equipment.

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    wouldn't two legs in front of te camera be better then?

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    Originally posted by currahee
    wouldn't two legs in front of te camera be better then?
    not really... when u're shooting with 2 legs in front, it means that one leg is rite between your legs... increases chances of tripping and toppling the whole setup. using the one leg in front means that there's more resistance if you accidentally push the whole gig forward, which is quite prone if you're mounting a long lens on the tripod instead of the SLR body.

  12. #12

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    having one leg in front also means that that single leg protrudes further in front compared to having two legs in front, hence it's more stable.

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    yup..din think of the single leg sticking at the back

  14. #14

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    how do i set up my tripod? extend front leg to the desired height.... put it on the ground then extend other 2 legs? seems a bit hard to gauge the exact height... just guess? would seem slow to set up the tripod.

  15. #15

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    Originally posted by blizzy
    how do i set up my tripod? extend front leg to the desired height.... put it on the ground then extend other 2 legs? seems a bit hard to gauge the exact height... just guess? would seem slow to set up the tripod.
    there are no hard and fast rules regarding this topic.

    speed comes with practice. the first few times using a tripod you'll find it slow, difficult to adjust the head, don't know how high to set it, etc etc. but after playing with it for a while, you'll get to know your tripod and begin to use it like second nature, just as you learned to use your SLR...

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