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Tripod Performance for Burst Shooting

The Gitzo G1228, G1325 and G1548 tripods were compared by framing the same shot on each tripod (as closely as possible) using two lenses: the 50-300/f4.5 ED and the Nikon 200-400/f4 VR.

The 50-300 was chosen because of its particularly robust tripod collar and overall robust construction. The 200-400 was chosen because it differs substantially in size and construction from the 50-300. Both lenses were shot at 300mm, 1/8 sec @ f8.

Results at 300mm

The following table contains all exposures taken with each lens @ 300mm on each tripod (1 Mirror Lockup frame + 17 frames taken at 8fps using the D2X high-speed-crop mode). 

The top exposure in each column was taken with mirror lockup. The remaining 17 exposures in each column are the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc frames of the 17-frame burst. Observe the crops below, then continue reading below.

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  • Eases into photographic challenges with an introductory section.
  • Covers aspects of digital sensor technology that relate to getting the best image quality.
  • Technique section discusses every aspect of making a sharp image handheld or on a tripod.
  • Depth of field and how to bypass depth of field limitations via focus stacking.
  • Optical aberrations: what they are, what they look like, and what to do about them.
  • MTF, field curvature, focus shift: insight into the limitations of lab tests and why imaging performance is far more complex than it appears.
  • Optical aberrations: what they are, what they look like, and what to do about them.
  • How to test a lens for a “bad sample”.

Intrigued? See Focusing Zeiss DSLR Lenses For Peak Performance, PART ONE: The Challenges, or (one topic of many) field curvature.

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