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To Tripod Or Not To Tripod.  
User currently offlineCvervais From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 610 posts, RR: 2
Posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 4336 times:

A question for you folks, when shooting a aircraft on approach or departure are you going hand held or do you have the camera on a tripod?

I'm working on getting sharper images and I'm wondering if at SJC my shots are soft because I'm holding the camera to track the aircraft rather than doing it on a tripod.

The lenses I use are a 70-200 f/2.8 with a image stabilizer and a 100-400 f/4.5-5.6 with a image stabilizer.

11 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineTimdeGroot From Netherlands, joined Apr 2002, 3674 posts, RR: 64
Reply 1, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 4339 times:
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When shooting in daylight you wont need a tripod. What shutterspeeds are you using? With your equipment you should be able to get sharp results handheld very easily

Tim



Alderman Exit
User currently offlineSilver1SWA From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 4815 posts, RR: 25
Reply 2, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 4324 times:
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I only use a tripod when doing long exposures at night. During the daytime, I hand-hold everything. Now that I got the 100-400, I might start looking into a monopod to help a little when shooting a lot at the long end. Check your other thread for something I posted regarding your softness issue.

Man, I need to do some photography at SJC again. Since I have become serious about this stuff, I have yet to return to my former "home airport" and subject of my first batch of photos here about 10 years ago...damn! And I'm even in town right now but did not bring my gear! Doh!  banghead 



ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
User currently offlineCvervais From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 610 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 4302 times:

Well, I'll likely be at the San Jose state aviation parking lot tomorrow in the afternoon practicing. Drop by if you like. I'll gladly accept pointers.  Smile

User currently offlineSoon7x7 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 4277 times:

I believe your to disable the VR option when on a tripod...either way, no tripod during healthy lighting, panning at dusk yes, night ...absolutely!

User currently offlineCpd From Australia, joined Jun 2008, 4879 posts, RR: 38
Reply 5, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 4229 times:



Quoting TimdeGroot (Reply 1):
When shooting in daylight you wont need a tripod. What shutterspeeds are you using? With your equipment you should be able to get sharp results handheld very easily

With a 100-400mm IS lens, as Tim says, you won't need a tripod even in dwindling light.

I was out with a photographer who was using that lens with IS turned on attached to a Canon 5D Mk.2, and the results he achieved were great considering the rapidly dwindling light. Both of us had no trouble hand-holding the cameras for departure shots. I didn't have any IS/VR, but I had no trouble either.

I think if you want to spend money on anything, the monopod is a slightly better option because they are less cumbersome. But I even find a monopod irritating to work with, they restrict your freedom of movement. They are best for static photos.


User currently offlineKukkudrill From Malta, joined Dec 2004, 1123 posts, RR: 4
Reply 6, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 4127 times:

With the 100-400L you can get soft photos when shooting wide open at maximum zoom. I keep mine on f8 and go to ISO200 if necessary to keep the shutter speed up.

Heat distortion is another possibility. It can affect photos even if the weather is not particularly hot, especially when you are shooting at long range. Mild heat distortion won't produce the trademark wobbly lines but it can still kill detail and make photos look soft, leaving you scratching your head as to why your lens is not performing up to expectations.

Can you post a sample or two?



Make the most of the available light ... a lesson of photography that applies to life
User currently offlineMichlis From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 737 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 4108 times:

Quoting Cvervais (Thread starter):
The lenses I use are a 70-200 f/2.8 with a image stabilizer and a 100-400 f/4.5-5.6 with a image stabilizer.

Believe it or not, using the image stablizer in daylight conditions at 1/100 plus shutter speeds can actually be counter-productive. Suggest you switch it off unless you are in low-light conditions. The added benefit is that you'll save on your battery.

[Edited 2009-03-30 10:24:19]


If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the outcome of a hundred battles.
User currently offlineSulman From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 2035 posts, RR: 32
Reply 8, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 3979 times:



Quoting Michlis (Reply 7):
Believe it or not, using the image stablizer in daylight conditions at 1/100 plus shutter speeds can actually be counter-productive. Suggest you switch
it off unless you are in low-light conditions. The added benefit is that you'll save on your battery.

Not sure I agree. You shouldn't use full stab (manufacturers seem to recommend vertical only, or 'mode 2' in sigma-speak) but I've not really noticed much difference.



It takes a big man to admit they are wrong, and I am not a big man.
User currently offlineJavibi From Spain, joined Oct 2004, 1371 posts, RR: 41
Reply 9, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 3974 times:



Quoting Michlis (Reply 7):
Believe it or not, using the image stablizer in daylight conditions at 1/100 plus shutter speeds can actually be counter-productive.

Where do you get that info from?

j



"Be prepared to engage in constructive debate". Are YOU prepared?
User currently offlineMichlis From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 737 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 3967 times:

Quoting Sulman (Reply 8):
Not sure I agree.



Quoting Javibi (Reply 9):
Where do you get that info from?

I'm a professional sports photographer and a collegue who has been in the business longer than I (she currently works for an affiliate of CBS Sports) noted that in regular light conditons IS tends to try and over-compensate and can in fact work against you not to mention eat up your battery. You don't have to agree with me, but I found her advice to be sound. I'm sure the thought is that sports and aviation photography are different and that is true, but they are quite alike in a lot of ways too.

My rule of thumb: if I have lots of ambient light with a high shutter speed and low ISO (no more than 400) and I haven't drank a pot of coffee before I shoot, the IS is turned off. Low ambient light higher ISO with lower shutter speed (and no flash) I'll use the IS.

Getting back to the tripod issue, I hardly ever use either. The only time I would use one would be for a long exposure static shot or if I were spotting with a large prime (although I'm sure this would make airport security really paranoid considering the less than enthusiatic reception my 50D/70-200 2.8 combo gets when I'm at the perimeter.   

[Edited 2009-03-31 04:22:09]

[Edited 2009-03-31 04:41:13]


If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the outcome of a hundred battles.
User currently offlineCvervais From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 610 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 3892 times:

Good advice, I'll be putting some of it to work this weekend.

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