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06-05-2009, 10:52 AM   #1
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LBA created more questions

Hi,
I've got da55-300 last night, didn't have time to realy test it - just a few snaps. But I realized that didn't realize how shaking is pronounced at the long end.
This got me thinking how to reduce it: first thought is reducing exposure time. Say, the cam meter gives 1/100s wide open (f/5.8); if I dial -1.0EV I should get 1/200s. The shot will be underexposed but I can bring it back in PP. Am I correct? Are there any other tricks (I'm not talking tripod, SR, et al)?
Thank you very much,

06-05-2009, 11:06 AM   #2
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It will be easier in PP if you "boost" the ISO instead of underexposing. Up to ISO 800 shouldn't be a problem.
06-05-2009, 03:59 PM   #3
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And now you understand why many pay more for lenses with larger maximum apertures (eg, f/2.8). But I agree that upping the ISO from wherever you were is the most sensible starting place. Unless you're shooting in very low light indoors (at 300mm? not all that common), you should be able to do way better than 1/100" in most real world situations.
06-05-2009, 04:56 PM   #4
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How is this LBA related? Was it the realization that the lens you bought isn't fast enough?

06-05-2009, 05:19 PM   #5
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Original Poster
Hi,
Thanks for the replies.
Flyer, you're right about ISO.
Marc, I wish I could afford and justify the 300/2.8 or at least 200/2.8
Stardust, I mentioned LBA because I bought a lens that wasn't an absolute necessity. The realization wasn't about that the lens is too slow: I never dealt with a lens that long.
Thanks again and lets see if I can shoot some wildlife in Florida with it.
06-05-2009, 07:10 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by sinus007 Quote
Thanks again and lets see if I can shoot some wildlife in Florida with it.
300mm is too short to reach Florida from Cleveland.
06-05-2009, 07:47 PM   #7
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Who said "mm"?
Plus I just got a new pentax KZ-19x that... shhhh don't tell anyone - it's still a secret
06-06-2009, 08:34 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by sinus007 Quote
The realization wasn't about that the lens is too slow: I never dealt with a lens that long.
These facts are related, though - the long lens means you need faster shutter speeds, and a faster lens is one way to get that.

Not sure if you're aware of the old rule of thumb from the film days that recommends shooting no slower than 1 / focal_length in order to have a good chance at a sharp picture. So for a 300mm lens, that means you would want 1/300". Due to the "crop factor" that changes the field of view from film to digital, and since the rule of thumb is *based* on the relationship between focal length and field of view, this means that for our DSLR's, we really want 1/450" to have a decent shot at a sharp picture when shooting at 300mm. And since this rule of thumb was based on typical small print sizes, but we typically "pixel peep" our digital images much more so than most people ever did with film, ideally, you'd probably want an even faster a shutter speed most of the time.

Of course, SR helps, but it doesn't work work miracles, and SR based on moving the sensor (as is the case with Pentax) can be less effective at longer focal lengths than shorter ones.

Since this is just a "rule of thumb" and not any sort of ironclad guarantee, and because there are so many variables involved (including how steady *your* hands are versus the "average"), it's hard to say what shutter speed you really would need. But the point is, there is a time-honored way of guessing, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that 1/100" isn't really fast enough. You can get *some* sharp pictures that way, but your odds increase with faster shutter speeds.

06-06-2009, 08:46 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by sinus007 Quote
Hi,
I've got da55-300 last night, didn't have time to realy test it - just a few snaps. But I realized that didn't realize how shaking is pronounced at the long end.
This got me thinking how to reduce it: first thought is reducing exposure time. Say, the cam meter gives 1/100s wide open (f/5.8); if I dial -1.0EV I should get 1/200s. The shot will be underexposed but I can bring it back in PP. Am I correct? Are there any other tricks (I'm not talking tripod, SR, et al)?
Thank you very much,
How you hold your camera can have a large effect on how much it shakes. Here's my set of ideas. Those of you who have done any shooting with rifles and shotguns will recognize most of this. The principles are the same.
  • The camera sits in your left palm, fingers on the zoom ring (or focus ring if using an older manual prime lens) The camera should be balanced so that it is stable in your left palm without your right hand touching it.
  • Your elbows should be tight to your body. The chicken dance has no place in photography.
  • Take a wider stance with your feet. For me, it seems to be about 45 degrees to the line to the subject, left foot forward.
  • Your body position should be such that you are not straining any muscles to hold position. Close your eyes for a few seconds and get comfortable. Open them, and you will see your body's natural position for aiming the camera.
  • Squeeeeeeezzzzzeee the shutter release. When the camera shutter fires, it should be a surprise. With the newer Pentax DSLR models such as my K10, I find I am almost stroking the release rather than pressing it.
  • Practice, practice, practice and practice some more. You'll get it.
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