tripod - heavy lens - trouble

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by stanislaw32, Nov 4, 2008.

  1. stanislaw32

    stanislaw32 TPF Noob!

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    I am a big fan of night photography.
    See e.g. here:
    http://www.trekearth.com/members/mkamionka/photos/
    I think I learned to produce pretty good pictures having simple camera (EOS300, EOS350d).
    my trouble began when I decided to upgrade.
    I bought EOS450d and then 17-85mm lens.
    The tripod which I used was always the lightest cheapest smallest tripod which worked out perfectly and was great for travel.
    I think the new lens is pretty heavy and destabilizing the whole camera.
    I performed some tests with same camera using this new lens and some old simple lenses.
    The shots with old simple lens (EF 80-200mm II)
    are ALL very sharp.
    The shots with the new heavy lens (EF-S 17-85mm IS USM) are in most cases not sharp. I took about ten consecutive shots and out of ten 1 or 2 are satisfactory but never as good as with the simple lens.

    Now the paradox is that upgrading the lens I get much better pictures in the daylight but much worse at night (which are my favorites).

    I am very curious if anybody had a similar case.
    Is everybody using heavy tripods?
    What are your favorites?
    Are there some heavy tripods which are not necessary
    very expensive?

    Alternatively I think about taking for the night photos the lighter simpler lenses but for the travel I would need to take two versions of each lens.

    I would appreciate your advice.
     
  2. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    yep if your using heavier kit at night when you need longer shutter speeds a light tripod might end up causing you problems. The thing is to get more stability you need a lower centre of gravity - with a light tripod and heavy camera and lens all the weight is at the top - making it unstable - that means you need more weight lower down which can be done 2 ways:

    1) Get a better tripod - cheapy tripods are good and light and setup really quick, but they are no good for trusting to freestand I find. A good solid tripod (look at the manfrotto range - the 190 range is a good cheaper solid tripod - though you will need a head - manfrotto 3way head should be good for landscape sorts of work)

    2) Hang weights on the tripod - most tripods have a hook where you can hang additional weights off (like your camera bag ;)) however with the lighter models even this might not be that stable since leg angles are usually fixed and quite close to the middle - meaning that weight is not as spread out and stable.
     
  3. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    You didn't mention it but three words of advice as an adjunct to Overread's .....

    Remote Shutter Release
     
  4. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    oh and you reminded me of another - Mirror lockup mode!
    check your manual for details on how to set and use this option!
     
  5. stanislaw32

    stanislaw32 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the advice.
    I really appreciate it.

    I do use remote control.
    In the past cable, now really remote.

    I thought about this mirror lockup, and also the other option which is supposed to record the picture for the second time with shutter closed to remove the noise.
    However I never did those things before and the pictures were great (in my opinion :wink:).
    Also when I tested the light (here means not heavy) lenses the sharpness was really stunning so I figured these settings do not change much.

    I think I will try to hang something on my tripod next time just out of curiosity. However I don't know how to do it because there is no hanger provided, but I will think of something.
    But if it does not help I will buy something heavier.
    The company which you suggested, Manfrotto, has really a big choice and there is a guide how to choose a suitable tripod and head.
    Thanks a lot!
     

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