telephoto question

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by jimi, May 18, 2004.

  1. jimi

    jimi TPF Noob!

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    i'm thinking about getting a new lense, something like a 200 or 300mm. i will seldom have a chance to use a tripod with it and my question is will i be able to hold it still enough? i've never used anything with that much zoom but i assume all camera shake would be amplified significantly? i think i'm pretty shakey because i seem to have a hard time holding it still enough at anything slower than around 1/250 or so with my current lense...

    thanks!
     
  2. voodoocat

    voodoocat ))<>(( Supporting Member

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    You would either need a tripod or a image stabilization lens to handhold shots with shutter speeds lower than the focal length of the lens. So for 300mm you would need a shutterspeed of 1/300th.
     
  3. jimi

    jimi TPF Noob!

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    ah... i see, i wasn't aware of that ratio. thanks
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    A rule of thumb is that you want to keep your shutter speed (denominator) higher that your focal length for hand held shots. So for a 300mm lens you will want to use a shutter speed faster than 300.

    There are techniques to keeping the camera steady while holding it in your hands. I've read a bunch of them somewhere, try a search.

    Basically you want to keep your feet wide & steady. Hold the body in your right hand and support the lens with your left. Keep your elbow in tight to your body (try to use your elbows & arms as a chest pod).

    If you can lean up against something that will help. If you can brace the camera against something solid that will help as well.

    Also, camera shake is more noticeable the bigger you enlarge the print. If you are only getting 4x6 prints...you will be able to get away with more camera shake.
     
  5. Rainman

    Rainman TPF Noob!

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    I have had some luck handheld with a well supported position (handrail, car hood, tree) as slow as 1/60 using up to 210 mm + 2X converter. HOWEVER, I had the luxury of taking 5, 10 or more frames, and only 1 might come out just OK. The focal length=shutter speed is your best bet.

    If you know in advance that you are going may be in an iffy situation, load one body with some really fast film, like 1600 or so, and if necessary, shoot it at 3200 and have it push processed. If you are going to push it you have to commit at the beginning of the roll. You can't change your mind mid-roll.
    FWIW,
    Raymond
     

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