EXCERPT page containing first few paragraphs. 2021-12-04 02:28:34
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In the field I made some observations which will no doubt be familiar to long-lens shooters, but they are nonetheless worth stating.
Observations with Live View at 10X magnification, particularly obvious with long focal lengths:
- The slightest breath of air movement causes the image to jiggle.
- It’s not possible to touch the camera without causing a jiggle.
- Vibration from the shutter itself is an issue, hence mirror lockup is not a solution. Only an electronic first curtain is a true solution to eliminating shutter vibration (but it is not the only source of movement out in the field!).
- A remote release can be used without disturbing things, but it should not be taught or pulling in any way, or the image will jiggle.
- With IS enabled, the image generally never settles down to as still as with IS disabled. This implies that the IS function is itself introducing movement.
- Through the viewfinder one can easily be fooled into thinking the image is perfectly stable, or nearly so. Live View 10X quickly dispels that notion.
- It seems clear that even at 22 megapixels, the challenges are severe for getting a sharp and stable image. It is hard to imagine doing so successfully without special precautions for higher resolution cameras.
- A big tripod helps somewhat over a smaller one, but the length of the lens itself and the nature of the tripod foot inherently help propagate oscillations along the length of the lens (tape a laser to the end of the hood at night, then tap the lens!): a conventional tripod foot is essentially the fulcrum of a see-saw affair. The design of lens tripod feet in general is pretty awful in that the lens stands well away from the foot, which itself acts as another pivoting extension (the Nikon 50-300mm f/4.5 ED is an example of an older lens with a superb tripod foot which is all but integral to the lens barrel, alas such approaches have been abandoned).
- It was my feeling that what I really needed was a large bean-bag or double tripod or specialty gear to support the length of the lens fully and to prevent oscillations or waves from traveling through it. While generally infeasible a large pillow could make an ideal support by fully eliminating any lens oscillations.
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