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Do I Need A Tri-Pod?


michgirl

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Now that I am settling in with my camera and learning lots and doing much test shooting with all three lens, I find it difficult to use my 55-250mm lens. I can't keep it steady enough to get a sharp picture. It's not that heavy of a lens, but I do have RA and have lost much strength in my hands. So no matter how hard I try, I can't seem to master it. So now I am considering a tripod or monopod; neither of which seem to be something you could use on a moments notice.

 

So who uses either of these and what's your process for using one? Do you use hand shots with your telephoto lens? What are some tips for successful shots?

 

Thanks!

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since we all high jacked you other post I will eave this to other people OK I have a tripod I used it the 1st time since i bought it in SLC UT so please don't listen to me LOL

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A tripod or monopod are very helpful for camera shake. But, like you said, they aren't the most convenient. One thing to check on your photos is to make sure your shutter speed is high enough. I try to not ever shoot at a shutter speed under 1/100 s, especially with moving targets, like children.

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I have shaky hands too! A tripod is the best and you can get small ones that are easy to haul around - one is called something like the gorilla and is meant to wrap around whatever is nearby. My dh gave me a small table top one that is not much bigger than three pens. I am not sure how big your camera is - that might limit your choices (my camera is also small.)

 

However, I have gotten good at finding something nearby I can rest my camera on - a fence, a mail box, a banister,a counter - one photographer I read said he often uses his hat!

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I have a fairly lightweight monopod that folds up fairly easily and the mount stays on the camera, so I can attach easily and it has a quick release too. I don't use it as much as I probably should. That lens is a little front heavy. Not bad but a little. Also, if you're free holding, make sure to tuck your elbows in as close to your body as you can to help stabilize. Also, when you shoot, exhale and squeeze the shutter release at the end of the exhale, just before you start to inhale. That gives you just a tad bit more control.

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One thing to remember is if you have a heavy lens make sure you attach the pod to your lens. I used to do a lot of photography (sports, my favorite) for a school where I taught and that was one trick I learned. The attachment point can get ruined if the lens is too heavy. I will give my vote to a tripod. Although for inside people photos I didn't use one.

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Not sure which brand of camera you have, but if it is Canon, and the lens has image stabilization, be sure it is turned on (might be a switch on the lens itself.)

 

Lots of good suggestions above. I use the tuck elbows trick and typically find a corner wall to brace against for stabilization.

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Lots of good advice & tips - THANK YOU SO MUCH! I will try the exhaling and bracing myself when possible. Also a good idea to look for something nearby to set my camera (Canon T1i) on. I think a monopod might not be too bad to tote, but will check some out. I have seen the table-top tripods, too. So much to learn and get familiar with!

 

I do have IS and have it turned on, but just can't seem to hold the longer lens steady - will try some of these tips and see what works for me.

 

Thanks again to all!!

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Robin, use a tripod if you can. That 55 - 250 lens is heavy and I agree it's very difficult to hold still. I have the best success if I am sitting down, elbows tucked in, and using the breathe/shutter release-routine Sandi suggested. Also, use your left hand on the underside of the lense to support it. Lean against something if sitting down is not an option.

 

I have a fairly light weight tripod that I carry with me. And it's easy to extend and adjust the legs. Try to find a light weight, but sturdy tripod. The easier it is to take along, the more you will use it.

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Thanks, Sarah! I am looking at both the tripods and/or monopods. But I like the idea of using a fence, or rock or something also! Sitting down is a great idea and I am going to try Sandi's breathing technique. Just want to get a little more successful with that lens before I take it out. So am really enjoying reading what everybody else does, it helps me to understand it all a little better!

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I have a light weight tripod. To this point, I have used it only to take pictures of myself with my dogs. (the sleeping ones)! I will use it for taking photos of sunrise and sunset. I will probably try it this year for macro photography since it is important to have a very still camera!

 

By the way gals did you see the start of the new PhotoFocus club?

:party-smiley-048::2468who-do-we-appreciate::dancingelephant::dancingchicken2::dancingstickman:

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I have a light weight tripod. To this point, I have used it only to take pictures of myself with my dogs. (the sleeping ones)! I will use it for taking photos of sunrise and sunset. I will probably try it this year for macro photography since it is important to have a very still camera!

 

By the way gals did you see the start of the new PhotoFocus club?

:party-smiley-048::2468who-do-we-appreciate::dancingelephant::dancingchicken2::dancingstickman:

 

I am "shopping" this morning at Amazon for something to help steady the bigger lens and will practice some techniques offered up here!

 

Where is the club????

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Just returned from my Amazon.com shopping trip where I purchased an inexpensive monopod, a 16 gb class 6 SD card for taking video with my camera and a diffuser for my Speedlight 270, as with my new camera, I find that the Speedlight is a little too much, even when I bounce the flash.

 

So hoping that will be enough buying for now! WHEW! It is addicting....

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Robin, I see you've caught on to how one thing leads to another "must have". LOL. You've got the bug, girl, and there's no stopping you now.

 

its really cold here this morning, but I noticed how pretty the morning sky was. I bundled up, went out on the icy deck and took a few shots. then went to the front door and stepped out onto the porch and took a few more shots. I had put my 70-300 lens on and there, in the bare branches of the the tree sat a big old fat red bird (I'm presuming its a cardinal, but I don't know birds at all. lol.). And in the sky just behind him was the fading morning moon. It looked great on the screen, now I've got to download and see what i really got. Since that lens is heavy, I practiced the techniques I told you about and on the deck, I propped my elbows on the railing. On the front porch, I leaned up against the door jamb to steady myself.

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Just returned from my Amazon.com shopping trip where I purchased an inexpensive monopod, a 16 gb class 6 SD card for taking video with my camera and a diffuser for my Speedlight 270, as with my new camera, I find that the Speedlight is a little too much, even when I bounce the flash.

 

So hoping that will be enough buying for now! WHEW! It is addicting....

 

Robin - don't forget a macro lens/filter! They are great for extreme close-ups of flowers etc! You might as well come down my path to addiction! lol :disappearing-smilie:

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Robin - don't forget a macro lens/filter! They are great for extreme close-ups of flowers etc! You might as well come down my path to addiction! lol :disappearing-smilie:

 

Oh, Margot... don't even go "there".... LOL :hit-head-with-hammer:

 

I keep telling myself "OK, that is 'it' - you should have everything you need now...."

 

I am trying not to think about macro lens just yet - and telling myself I don't need those filters....

 

Maybe I should just tell my boss I need a raise :disappearing-smilie:

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Yep, tell the boss you need a raise. The accessories and new lenses and filters and books and so on and so on.....its endless. LOL. but you can take it one step at a time. I set up a separate savings account (seriously, I really did), for money for my my "toys" , computer and camera stuff mostly. I always put away a bit in it every month and if anything costs more than $200, it has to come out of that account. Its just about the only way I can control myself.

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Yep, tell the boss you need a raise. The accessories and new lenses and filters and books and so on and so on.....its endless. LOL. but you can take it one step at a time. I set up a separate savings account (seriously, I really did), for money for my my "toys" , computer and camera stuff mostly. I always put away a bit in it every month and if anything costs more than $200, it has to come out of that account. Its just about the only way I can control myself.

 

 

LOL Sandi that is a good one!! I save also for my stuff...I think Robin might need a suit case for her supplies soon though! Just playing!!

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I hope I don't need that suitcase! Although the camera bag that came with my camera is getting plenty full!

 

Sandi, you are right - I am going to do the same with my camera funds... Just had to get started first, now seriously I will slow down! I don't want a ton of stuff, but if I spent all this money for the camera and starter lens, I want to at least be able to use it correctly! (Thus justify the initial spending :party-smiley-048: ) I do that with my Scrap Supplies, only allow myself so much a month for purchases!

 

That is a good idea about looking for ways to brace yourself - I got a $20 monopod, only because where I envision taking many shots with my telephoto lens is at our lake property and there aren't a lot of good resting places for my camera there.

 

But I do think I will be good to go for quite some time now, I have everything I need to get started and lots and lots to learn. I am figuring a year without having to buy anything else - truly!

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OK - I did it! Put myself on a budget! Last year, about this time, I did do that with my scrap purchases, allowing myself so much a month and it really helped!

 

So I made a spreadsheet for 2010 with a monthly spending allowance of $100, for everything! Camera supplies, scrapping supplies and even my photo paper and inks!! (good thing my new lens and inks and books I just purchased were technically still December... ) But my Amazon purchases this AM for $56 will come off my January spending...)

 

And I have an allowance for "big purchases" with only so much to spend a year, so I will be more selective... There, my New Year resolution!

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Very wise Robin. It can all get away from you really quickly. I have a kindle and at amazon, its really easy to hit hit that "buy with 1 click" button. I've been known to drop $100 without even thinking buyin books for my kindle, Then there's iTunes and the iPhone app store. Lots of small purchases add up quickly. LOL. Budget, budget, budget. LOL.

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I'm going to have to come out of retirement and get a job to support my wants! LOL Actually, I got a small part time job through church maintaining our web site and will use that from now on! Then I won't feel too guilty about what I spend. Maybe I'll even get to convention this year - one can hope!

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Hi Robin!

 

All of the above is sound advice and you can employ any method you choose. I used to carry a small bean-bag in my kit to rest the long lenses on. Place the bag on a fence or rail, or even the car door sill or window edge and click away.

 

Welcome to the spending monster that is "Photography" lol

 

Hope you enjoy it

 

PS - You can, when funds permit, look at a carbon fibre tripod or monopod. Extremely light and very tough, but not cheap!

 

HTH

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