Zoo shooting.

Discussion in 'Nature & Wildlife' started by Markw, Jan 16, 2009.

  1. Markw

    Markw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well, I got the Nikkor 70-300mm f/4-5.6G today in the mail, and I have to say, it is a very nice lens. As stated in another thread, I underestimated the long focal distance with camera shake. So, I was thinking about going to the zoo this upcoming spring. I was wondering whether people just make sure they go on a very bright day, are pretty good at holding the camera still, or you carry around a tripod/monopod.

    Maybe this should have its own thread, but I also have another related question. Tripod or monopod first? I dont do alot of stage photography, where people pose and give me time to set up a tripod, most of the time I am on the move with my D90. So, I was wondering if anyone thinks that it would be beneficial to get a good monopod first, then worry about the tripod later because of this. Ive never had experience with a monopod, so I didnt know if they had swivel heads like most tripods, if they had bubble levelers, or if they make tripods where the three legs fold up and you extend the middle to make like a make-shift monopod? I think I have seen these somewhere, but I can not recall where.

    Thanks so much in advance.
     
  2. sabbath999

    sabbath999 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I am writing an article (actually it is mostly done already) that talks about this stuff.

    There is a thread here: Question thread - Sabbath999 - Zoo photography (clicky)

    Tripods have no place at a zoo, IMHO, they absolutely get in the way of everybody, and since the animals move they are very unweildy. If you simply MUST us support, I suggest getting a Gorillapod and clamping it to the handrail... much easier to carry around, and you don't have every six year old in sight tripping over your tripod and either knocking your camera to the ground or giving you a black eye if your are looking through the lens. That lens is light, you should have no trouble holding it steady enough to shoot outdoor shots with proper technique.

    Take a look at my website http://www.zoopictures.net, not a single picture there was taken with a tripod. I have taken 30,000+ zoo pictures over the last few years, about 10,000 of which are on that website... feel free to look at my stuff and see if you think I may know what I am talking about.

    I know that a lot of people here are gonzo over tripods, but with all due respect they are extremely inappropriate at a zoo. Monopods? I don't think they are needed, but if they make you feel happy then at least they don't trip up everybody in sight.

    You have to remember that, at a zoo, children are excited and they RUN from exhibit to exhibit... they knock into everything in site. Read the article when it is posted, I give a $5K lesson on why tripods shouldn't be used at the zoo...
     
  3. MikeBcos

    MikeBcos TPF Noob!

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    You should be able to hand hold in most situations, this shot was taken at f5.6 and 1/1600 second, lens at 280mm, definitely no tripod or monopod needed.

    OK, a little more depth of field would have been nice but I didn't have time to mess with settings.



    [​IMG]
     
  4. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    must say I agree with Sabbath when one is using good kit in the zoo since the lens should be decently handholdable. I have tried using a tripod in the zoo and I find that I just don't end up using it - even a monopod gets limited use. The only time I can think such would be of use were if you were camping out in a single spot for hours (on a weekday without kids ;)).

    However when I used my sigma 70-300mm I did find a cheapy tripod (the light £10/$10 sort) was a great help in getting sharper shots with this lens - especailly if the lighting was not brilliant sunshine - those sorts of tripod just give a little bit of extra stability and in all honesty a good monopod would probably have done the same job.

    Definatly add any questions to the question thread and be around for the article and talk that will (hopefully) follow.
     
  5. Markw

    Markw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I know tripods shouldnt be used in zoos. I didnt know how effective monopods were, so I figured Id ask. My pictures indoors have been turning out good at ISO1600 1/80-1/60s indoors in poor lighting. They have een turning out fine, so I dont think Ill have a problem in a bright sunnny day at a zoo. Just wanted to see everyone elses opinion first.

    Mark
     
  6. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Even with a monopod, you're never sure what your subject will be up to. But the chances are improved.

    [​IMG]


    The bubble cracks me up. :lol:
     
  7. sabbath999

    sabbath999 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hey Mike, I KNOW that giraffe! I was there when it was born!

    Here's a shot when it was still too young to even stand up (about 10 minutes after it was born).

    [​IMG]

    (I was shooting film, and this is a bad scan of the negative... I was messing around with some new techniques which didn't work out... sorry about the bad quality of the picture)...
     
  8. MikeBcos

    MikeBcos TPF Noob!

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    Now that is just too cool! He's grown a little since then!
     
  9. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I carry a monopod almost all the time.
    When it is not attached to my camera it is neatly strapped to my camera bag.

    My monopod has a mini ball head.
    Some monopods have a swivel head just to tilt the camera vertically.
    I like the full motion of a ball head.

    The additional stability is very noticable (since I like shooting with long focal length lenses).

    When I know that my subject or myself will not be on the move, I will take a tripod.

    I will take either when I go hiking (hmm, I think there was a thread about hiking with tripods) ... though I prefer the monopod.
     
  10. sabbath999

    sabbath999 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yes he has... I will be seeing him again tomorrow when we stop by at the zoo... (of course, he will be inside, but still I will see him and the rest of the hayburners).
     
  11. Markw

    Markw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    So, here are my choices. Circular Polarizer, or monopod. Which will be of better use for good picture most of the time at the zoo do you think?

    PS. great pictures.

    Mark
     
  12. MikeBcos

    MikeBcos TPF Noob!

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    You get to go behind the scenes? Nice!
     

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