View Poll Results: handheld or use tripod for macro shots?

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  • Handheld

    41 36.28%
  • Tripod

    72 63.72%
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Thread: Tripod or handheld for macro?

  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by EiRiK
    u mean focus?
    Focussing will be affected because of the very shallow depth of field. But the perspective will be very different if your camera shift just half centimeter when you are that close!

    Perhaps we all have different things in mind when we talk "macro". To me, "macro" is not about a bouquet of roses, or even a rose. I take it to mean for example the "heart" of a rose 1:1 if not 2:1. Maybe other people have the ability to hand hold a camera that close ( I use anything from a 50mm macro to a 180 mm macro) I once tried to use a canon 60 mm (I think! maybe it was 65 mm) macro to focus on some words on the box hopusing the lens when I visited Cathay. I just could not hold the focus! Maybe others can.

    And I do not agree with HWChoy that it is " not helpful for the uninitiated to read words like "mandatory". On the contrary, I think it is not helpful for the UNINITIATED to have too much choices when he/she knows very little. To the "experts", do anything you want as long as it work for you. But to students of photography like me, I choose the method that will give me the best chances of getting the shots. That may mean forgoing a running ant. But so be it!

    There are obviously differences in opinion, and I can only suggest that the novice try to find which method works.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by student
    There are obviously differences in opinion, and I can only suggest that the novice try to find which method works.
    precisely right, if you insist the newbies use a tripod would they even try handheld?

    besides your cam shouldn't move by as much as half a cm. you need to also use proper holding, just like shooting rifle. use various things to support your elbow and what not.

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by hwchoy
    you can handheld too, the key is the amount of light, not whether you have tripod or not.
    i echo that
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  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by EiRiK
    care to share some of your macro shots?
    good suggestion. see my avatar then. the width of the subject is about 4mm.

  5. #25

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    too cumbersome using tripod with insect, longer setup.. I perfer monopod or handheld... I flash sync at 1/200 on a monopod
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  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by hwchoy
    precisely right, if you insist the newbies use a tripod would they even try handheld?

    besides your cam shouldn't move by as much as half a cm. you need to also use proper holding, just like shooting rifle. use various things to support your elbow and what not.
    1 A novice pianist will have to get the proper techniques first before he can try to improvise. I hope you know the drills the learner pianist need to go through first.

    2 You elbows more stable than the tripod? The various things to support elbow - are they not improvised tripods? Don't you think you are contradicting yourself? If you have to improvise, why not use the proper tripod in the first instance?

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by hwchoy
    good suggestion. see my avatar then. the width of the subject is about 4mm.
    Avatars! What are these? Are they fishes? I have absolutely no interest in fishes except sahimis! 4 mm! Wow! Are they photographed life size? Not a 4:1 magnification? You are able to photograph a 4 mm object life size? I am impressed! Not sure what regular "macro" lens can do such marvel! I just checked my 100mm apo-macro-elmarit, and the smallest object that I can focus measured 650 mm (a 1:2 magnification). Next I checked my 180 mm macro and the smallest object I can get to focus is 340 mm (a 1:1 magnification). But the shakes ( I was trying to do without my trusty tripod) are so bad that I thought I might be suffering from Parkinson's Disease! So I am really impressed that you can take a picture of a moving 4 mm fish presumably life size! Maybe the avatars are not really 4 mm but longer? yes, I think I misunderstood you! The avatars are 4 mm "width" and maybe 300 mm long? But still impressive! Or are the pictures cropped so that the only the avatars are seen?

    Frankly, I am not the least bit impressed by pictures posted on internet. Not meant as disrespect, but resolution of posted pictures are so low that you really cannot make any conclusions at all.

    You want to see my pictures? Sorry. Kindly see my previous reply. I shoot only films and am not the least interested in digital photography. All my pictures are final prints done in the darkroom, and I am not sure if there is a flatbed scanner that can scan a 11x14 print ( actually not gone round to look for one! - really not interested!) Maybe I'll come to that one day. But I have no need to prove myself. Maybe I am a fraud! Ha! But someone from this forum just visited me today. I shared with him ideas of portrait making. I am thankful that he was polite enough not to insult me

    I came to this forum to share whatever LITTLE I know. I know VERY LITTLE, but what I share are what I believe. I hope we can agree to disagree. I believe "uncle choy" can shoot avatars without tripods. But I am really curious how he can shoot such a small object lifesize! I won't be surprised that if a person "specialises" in shooting say only "guppies" in tanks where they cannot run away, they can get very good at that, and even do it without a tripod! But hey, that person is not the norm or the average! So a person who spent a lot of time photographying dragonflies will be so good that he may even be able to take a picture of dragonflies with his eyes close! But I wonder how many people can do that?

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by b18
    Dun forget also .. Mirror Lock Up + Cable release / Timer .. is a MUST

    unless you want to put 2000W studio lighting to photo a worm passing by ...
    b18, I'm interested to know what kind of subject requires cable release. do you mean when used without flash?

    I find most of the time I end up using flash unless under full sunlight. Outdoors I always get a breeze the moment I start composing The only time I had to use remote lease (at it wasn't even macro) was when shooting fireworks. Only found out when I uploaded the pics, so all gone to waste.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by simonsng
    too cumbersome using tripod with insect, longer setup.. I perfer monopod or handheld... I flash sync at 1/200 on a monopod
    Simon which monopod is good? Thinking of getting one for use in the darn forest. Want to use available light instead of flash.

    If you use flash do you still need monopod?

  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by hwchoy
    b18, I'm interested to know what kind of subject requires cable release. do you mean when used without flash?
    I am kay-poh! But let answer that.

    Talking in general terms, and for the benefit of novices ( experts, pardon me) For ULTIMATE sharpness, cable release and mirror locked up are MANDATORY (that horrible word again!).

    This is because the SLR camera have a flapping mirror that must move up and down for the image to be captured on film or chip. The vibration cause by the mirror flapping can cause "unsharpness". This effect is not so prominent in 35 mm SLR, but still my Leica R6 has a noticeably more pronounced "flap" than my Canon EOS 1V. The effect is very obvious if you use the Pentax 67, which is like a 35 mm SLR on steroids, especially when you use long lenses. Mirror lock-up is MANDATORY! If you want to know more, check up www.luminous-landscape.com.

    The late Barry Thornton did a study on the effect of HANDHOLDING versus LIGHT TRIPOD versus HEAVY TRIPOD versus HEAVY TRIPOD WITH MIRROR LOCK-UP on image sharpness. If you are able to get his book (Edge of Darkness) you will find the answers. It will really make you very insecure, unless of course, 1. you don't care for ultimate sharpness, 2. your prints are so small that you need a magnifying glass to see 3. you only want to show your images on the screen, and 4. blurred images is considered art.

    The idea of the cable is similar. When one depresses the shutter button, there is a "potential" to shake the camera. I know of a photographer who simply cannot not move the camera when he trips the shutter. Of course when the camera moves, the image gets blurred. So here comes the cable release to the rescue!

    So therefore, ULTIMATE SHARPNESS = tripod+mirror lock-up+cable. The late Galen Rowell made incredible landscape images that can only be done by people like him - mountaineers. To reach his locations he had to carry his back pack with his tents, clothes, food etc. So weight is important. Even so, the humble tripod is a MANDATORY ITEM. See his book "mountain light".

    So To answer hwchoy's question, ANY photo situation that does not move quickly (Reportage, sports and shooting birds, and the type of fashion photography that shows the photographer moving round and clicking all the time are not suited for mirror lock-up) can make use of mirror lock-up and cable release. This include some form of fashion where the model does not move round too much like those done by Avedon, landscapes, "macro" where you desire ultimate sharpness, products, still life, architecture, portraits.

  11. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by hwchoy
    If you use flash do you still need monopod?
    Why not? sometimes you still require to use even tripod. Flash does not mean you can get very fast shutter.

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by E-Lim
    Why not? sometimes you still require to use even tripod. Flash does not mean you can get very fast shutter.
    OK, the question was in the original context of his flash sync at 1/200. Is there a practical difference between supported and handheld at 1/200?

  13. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by hwchoy
    OK, the question was in the original context of his flash sync at 1/200. Is there a practical difference between supported and handheld at 1/200?
    huh? if you can shoot 4mm subject handheld, then why do you still want to use tripod? with 1/200s somemore..

  14. #34

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    Handheld, and I prefer better background anytime...

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by E-Lim
    huh? if you can shoot 4mm subject handheld, then why do you still want to use tripod? with 1/200s somemore..
    I hope that's not sarcasm

    I ask because I want to know, and certainly there must be things other people know that I don't. AFAIK there is no practical difference at that kind of shutter speed but maybe you guys have some practical tips to share?

    Actually I didn't say my avatar shot with handheld leh. but well actually it is. not because I don't believe in tripod but the circumstance (follow the little thing around) simply does not allow the use of even a monopod. Anyway it is also done with flash, which for some darn reason I could not get it to stay at hi-speed sync so I always get 1/60.

  16. #36

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    Im just wondering, may be you mean 4cm and not 4mm?

    Anyway, just to answer your question... it all depends on individual ability of handholding. If you can handhold 1/60s, why bother to use monopod on 1/200s. But, like Student said, try printing your photo on A3 size and see if you are still happywith the shaprness.

  17. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by hwchoy
    Simon which monopod is good? Thinking of getting one for use in the darn forest. Want to use available light instead of flash.

    If you use flash do you still need monopod?
    if you don't mind heavy but sturdy then try manfrotto 680 or 681.. or else, you can look at the CF series
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  18. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by hwchoy
    Actually I didn't say my avatar shot with handheld leh. but well actually it is. not because I don't believe in tripod but the circumstance (follow the little thing around) simply does not allow the use of even a monopod. Anyway it is also done with flash, which for some darn reason I could not get it to stay at hi-speed sync so I always get 1/60.
    Let us continue this in a spirit of learning although we do like to "poke" fun and "insult" each other once in a while. I still do not know what in the world is an avatar. Presume it is some kind of sea creature. Let us assume as you had mentioned that it is 4 mm. And assuming the length is 10 times width=40 mm. My 180 mm macro on a 1:1 can only focus to a size of 340mm. So your equipment must be capable of taking 8:1 or 9:1 magnification! (340/40 = 8-9)I do not know of any macro lenses that can do this. Even with the addition of a bellows the maximun for most camera systems, 35 mm or MF can go to 2 or 3:1. But using a bellows is certainly not "handholdable"!

    I hate to talk about equipment. But what great equipment you have to enable you to take a 8:1 magnificant and yet hand-holdable?! In the sort of magnification (taking a 4mm object!) you are not playing with "macro". You are in the realm of "microscopic" photography!

  19. #39
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    1)still life = triport (but sometime use to shoot insect also)
    2)else = hand held

    for (1) still life (like toys, models, flower etc) can slowly use micro slider to set focus point. for butterfly, study which flower it stop most frequently, set the gear and wait lor. like setting booby trap lah.
    for (2) true, it is difficult to get the right focusing point using hand held, but by the time set up triport (unless you have bambo or unilock triport), insect fly away liao.
    photography makes one sees things from all angles.

  20. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by EiRiK
    i echo that
    An "echo" is not its own voice. It is a "mindless" reflection of another sound!

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