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Doug McLean

Tripod Stability Test

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2 hours ago, Leonard Whistler said:

 

That is a good idea ..... using the laser.

The longer the distance you can use the better the test, but I haven't been able to find a cheap small laser that makes a reasonable dot. Cheap laser heads and pointers spread way too much.

 

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Thats great. Good Job. I used to do this thing>>> with students who thought they had good hand Holding Technique,Shutterspeed. and always complained about using a tripod.

 in a total Dark room. at Night. Like Black... Tape a flashlight to a Tripod, Turn it on and shoot directly into the Light and use every  Fstop and shutter speed. make sure you write down exactly the setting on Each shot. and you will probably realize doing this that your pretty bad at hand Holding and your lenses can be a Lot sharper than you think. Give it a try you guys who Hate tripods.

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I'm a convert. Used to think tripods were overrated,unnecessary largely.... until this one night.

 Blackest night I've ever tried to shoot in,I mean dark,like walking blind without headlights from my truck providing light through the blowing snow and fog.

  wanted to try shooting these cool waterfalls that spill into the lake,thought in my silly mind that a long exposure in total black and blowing snow would be cool....

  If not for a tripod and the sliver of light from my headlights.... I cannot really explain how dark it was

  I don't use one a lot but damn,some images are not feasible without,and even if feasible are likely much better end result with. 

   My 3 cents ;)

long.JPG

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I never noticed vibration caused by my shutter release, maybe because I always use live-view when shooting on tripods.

On the other hand, my biggest challenge is getting sharp long exposure images, at lens sweet-spot and low ISO, when using very long focal lengths (300mm - 600mm)

Given the lens size, even on a sturdy tripod, a gently breeze is enough to blur the image.

It helps to zoom at 10x and patiently wait for the moment when the wind stops before triggering the shutter. Extending the tripod legs as little as possible helps a lot. Resting the whole system against a wall, a tree trunk, a rock, etc can also add additional blur protection, on windy days.

 

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10 hours ago, Leonard Whistler said:

 

 

My guess is that wooden tripods absorb vibrations the best.

 

I know and that's why I still use mine a lot (25 years old Ash wooden Zone VI). I was wondering how much better.

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3 hours ago, Leonard Whistler said:

 

 

My guess is that wooden tripods absorb vibrations the best.

 

Good Guess. A guess really??  I still Have Mine , I take 2 On the road.

https://www.engineersupply.com/Leica-Professional-5000-Series-GST20-Tripod-296632.aspx?VariantId=ES2148&utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cse&utm_term=ES2148&utm_campaign=CPCS_Bing Shopping&utm_content=All Products

https://www.engineersupply.com/Seco-Heavy-Duty-Birch-Wood-Tripod-5420-12.aspx?VariantId=f98f2f55-0c84-4dc9-8d13-a3783fafbcd5&utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cse&utm_term=ES5334-5420-12-BLK&utm_campaign=CPCS_Bing Shopping&utm_content=All Products

 

And NO, Im not advising anyone go Buy these. Theirs easier choices. I buy something I want it to work for everything and for a very Long time. This has turned into a Hobby site for the majority  so....Not really Recommended. My tripod and head for My Canham 11 x 14 Camera was over $900 for both, Tripod and head.ADRAIN.jpg.0e3206cfdd09e0b9d0dbff6380d5718b.jpg.Shot with my assistant after set up. Just get something decent and Not some cheap Filmsy carbon Fibre thing.. That can hold and is rated for 3+ LBS more than your gonna use. this one is rated for 30 LBs.He doesn't Look happy Because It's 126 Degrees In the middle of Death Valley 10 Years ago. He was with me a Long time. He quit after this trip and went to work at the Smithsonian cataloging there collection.

My Advice has always been "Buy it right and buy it once"

 

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13 hours ago, Rudy Umans said:

I know and that's why I still use mine a lot (25 years old Ash wooden Zone VI). I was wondering how much better.

For $15 worth of parts from ebay, you could find out.

You could even glue a laser pointer to a hotshoe cover, but laser pointers don't allow you to focus the dot, so it spreads more. A laser pointer and hotshoe cover should only cost you $2-$3 on ebay, shipping included.

A laser head that focuses and cheap flashlight costs more, but you can test over longer distances. Worth the $15 in my mind.

 

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Yes I could do all that, but since I can't really improve the stability of my wooden tripod (it is as good as it gets), there is no incentive for me to go through all the trouble.

 

With an aluminium or carbon tripod you could exchange the rubber feet for spikes if possible. Good chance there will be an improvement.

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I had screw legs on my Gitzo. Worked fine until I moved to a warm and humid climate. They locked up all the time and after 30 years i had to retire the darn thing.

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On 1/8/2018 at 6:25 AM, Doug McLean said:

I made a simple rig to test the vibration in a tripod induced by the mirror and shutter in a DSLR camera.

Results are here (view full screen in 720p): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6o4H8TfeXo&feature=youtu.be

 

Interesting video and tests. I can't tell though, is the shake after the shutter/mirror or during? What would be interesting is the movement of the mirror going up, without any shutter release. Don't know if that can be done with a remote?

The idea is, we know for certain that the mirror moves up and then the shutters exposes the sensor. If the main motion is the shutter releasing or hitting the brakes, that's two different issues. Braking, the photo was already captured. Opening, it's going to potentially cause a problem.

The mirror, is before the exposure but I'd guess the duration is enough to wiggle any images that's immediately after that.

No matter what, cable release or remote release proven better. Another way (did you write that already?) use the camera timer in situation where someone might have a tripod but no remote release. Also bracing against the body will make less motion than hold up to the eye.

Anyone care to continue the test with a mirrorless camera? That would be very interesting. No mirror!

Looks like I need to buy a laser.

dr-evil.jpg

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5 hours ago, HodagMedia said:

Interesting video and tests. I can't tell though, is the shake after the shutter/mirror or during? What would be interesting is the movement of the mirror going up, without any shutter release. Don't know if that can be done with a remote?

The idea is, we know for certain that the mirror moves up and then the shutters exposes the sensor. If the main motion is the shutter releasing or hitting the brakes, that's two different issues. Braking, the photo was already captured. Opening, it's going to potentially cause a problem.

The mirror, is before the exposure but I'd guess the duration is enough to wiggle any images that's immediately after that.

No matter what, cable release or remote release proven better. Another way (did you write that already?) use the camera timer in situation where someone might have a tripod but no remote release. Also bracing against the body will make less motion than hold up to the eye.

Anyone care to continue the test with a mirrorless camera? That would be very interesting. No mirror!

Looks like I need to buy a laser.

dr-evil.jpg

Muck of the shake was due to the mirror, so that will affect the shot. Don't know exactly when the shutter shake occurs, but I would guess part when it fires, and part when it stops.

It might be possible to test this with a very good laser (small dot) and a longer exposure?

 

 

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10 hours ago, Laurin Rinder said:

Dont think you guys will be bench testing any cameras soon....LOL

Yup I don't do that, but I know what a shutter brake does and how it works. And what shutter slap is... :) Since I didn't do the laser test I can't know where the shake was, exactly in the sequence. I doubt that you can tell either, without sound? And I still say, there should be a way to fire the camera and have the shutter not move. An easy example of how to test if it's the shutter opening or closing would be a 10 second time exposure.

Now he could see the mirror go up, the shutter open and ten seconds later the effect of the shutter closing. Second test, mirror locked up, just the shutter, 10 second, you will see a distinctive motion for each and see how much that is, with no mirror movement.

I was staying away from some other helpful solutions, like tie a rock/brick to the cross supports of the tripod or a weight where the bottom camera thread is on many better tripods. And of course my all time favorite, a bean bag. Just like Hitchhikers Guide "don't forget your towel". Photographers should always remember their bean bag.

Bean bag is a stable camera holder. Bean bag is way to level, for putting a camera on a surface. Bean bag will prevent the camera from scratching a delicate surface. Bean bag on top of the camera will reduce vibration and shakes from the shutter and mirror. Just call me the photo bean bag in every kit advocate. :lol:

I retired my oldest on, it was leaking beans and sand (or is that bean dust?). I'm in the process of cutting the heads of Beanie Babies and using the PE or PVC plastic pellets, not beans.They are a good weight, don't get mold or attract anything nasty. By the way, Beanies are NOT filled with spider eggs. Urban myths sure come up with some good ones don't they?

Factoids are a problem with the Internet because, it must be true, so many people say the same thing and believe it. A friend of a friend - FOAF heard from a very good source that "place your factoid here" Also known as an Interfact is some places.

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8 hours ago, Laurin Rinder said:

Interfact........WOW Now thats a great, New Word. and perfect for this forum.

Soooo....... that "because I said so" doesn't work anymore?

 

That would be a bummer B)

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