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The Beast

Using the Beast on a Tripod

After I first wrote this page, I went back and reassessed my findings with various heads, and with a second look, I found some more useful information. I also found that the regular ballheads could be used with some care and patience. However, the conclusion to use a gimbal-type head remains a solid recommendation.

A regular tripod head can be used for this lens, but it’s not ideal, though you can get by with some extra support equipment. The 800mm is large, and awkard to manipulate on a regular tripod head, even if the tripod head and tripod are up to the task in terms of weight. It’s also a fatigue factor over time.

For mounting the lens to most tripods, you’ll of course need an Arca Swiss compatible lens plate, I recommend the ones from Really Right Stuff. Even better is a replacement lens foot with integral Arca Swiss dovetail, which is more compact, and thus more stable. It’s idiotic that Canon doesn’t just build in a proper foot with the dovetail, which could still have the existing mounting screws as an alternative. Ditto for Nikon. Both companies are clueless about this, and have been forever.

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Diglloyd DAP is DSLR-oriented, but also contains workflow and other topics. Much of the focus is on Canon and Nikon but also Pentax and Pentax medium format.

Special emphasis is placed on lens evaluation, focusing on Canon and Nikon and Sigma lenses, but with a few others like Rokinon/Samyang.

  • Make better images by learning how to get the best results right away.
  • Save money by choosing the right lens for your needs the first time, particularly some of the new Sigma Art lenses vs Nikon and Canon.
  • Workflow discusses image organization, raw conversion and post processing. Many examples show processing parameters for direct insight into how the image was converted.
  • Jaw-dropping image quality found nowhere else utilizing Retina-grade images up to full camera resolution, plus large crops [past 2 years or so].
  • Real world examples with insights found nowhere else. Make sharper images just by understanding lens behavior you won’t read about elsewhere.
  • Aperture series from wide open through stopped down, showing the full range of lens performance and bokeh.
  • Optical quality analysis of field curvature, focus shift, sharpness, flare, distortion, and performance in the field.

Want a preview? Click on any page below to see an excerpt as well as extensive blog coverage, for example on Nikon or on Canon or on Pentax.

Wimberly WH-200 gimbal-type tripod head

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