Monday, September 24, 2007

Tripod Use

After my walkabout yesterday, as I checked out the images I made, several had hand shake issues. I had noticed on the walk that my hands aren't as steady as they used to be so it was hardly a surprise. None of the images couldn't have used a tripod and presumably there would have been sig. fewer flawed images - rejected for hand shake despite image stabilization.

I'd thought that not taking the tripod would let me concentrate more on seeing, but in hind sight, I don't think that's true. Had I put my lightweight tripod on the camera and carried both over my shoulder, I could just as easily have wandered around. Setup might take a few seconds more but I don't think it would have interfered with the experience.

On the other hand, I have been thinking of photographing in an old part of town, with shoppers around. Setting up a tripod could well be problematic in that situation and grabbing shots between pedestrians might well depend on not using a tripod. Were I to include the shoppers, then even more the tripod would likely be in the way.

I guess what it comes down to is:

Always use a tripod unless you have a GOOD reason not to.

I'll try another casual walk later this week, with lightweight tripod and let you know the outcome.


Andy Ilachinski said...

I suppose that's the main reason people like Mike Johnston extol the virtues of in-camera stabilization. If one can find that in small P&S cameras (not sure, haven;t looked at that market lately), that would be perfect for "walkabout safaris" ;-) BTW: I was looking over the shots in your previous post (self-described as "not portfolio worthy") as a friend was looking over my shoulder. My friend, a casual photographer (not serious amateur, but one who does take pictures!) was almost in awe, saying "Wow, what incredible shots!" A reminder that we are always our own harshest critics, and that *most* viewers (even more than a few photographers!) would find true gems in the piles we quickly discard.

George Barr said...

Myself, I liked the shot of the leaf filled, dew lined clear garbage bag, a little different. The camera did have IS. I'd be tempted to repeat the experiment with my 1Ds2 - though heavy, the mass tends to stabilize, and perhaps with a 24-105 lens I might be ok. Of course depth of field is less with this full frame sensored camera vs. the 2/3 inch sensor in the FZ50, but on the other hand I can use ei. 400. A 40D would be better, with it's low noise and modest size.

Anonymous said...

I agree that a tripod, at least for landscape work, is essential but not always practical. For times when a tripod is a hindrance, I use an old Gitzo monopod. While not as steady as a tripod it will, when used carefully, allow me to use shutter speeds 3-5 stops slower than hand held.

George Barr said...

Yes, a monopod for urban photography, if not actually people photography would make good sense.

Anonymous said...

I have had very good luck with a digital point and shoot (or fancier camera) on the Manfrotto monopod that has the trigger that automatically expands the leg of the monopod. It can easily be carried with a strap with the camera mounted and hung over your shoulder such that the camera is under your arm pit and the leg hangs down by your side and leg.

People never see the thing as you are walking around and I have been able to get into many areas where tripods are never allowed and quickly expand the leg, take the shot, collapse it again and go on my way. It makes stabalizing the shot very easy. I am getting shakier too!

The model # is Bogen / Manfrotto 3245 Automatic Monopod (Black) - Supports 17.60 lb (7.98 kg) and costs 89.95 at B&H. It was cheaper at my local store and I got a very simple small swivel head for it. Great tool.