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07-20-2007, 07:02 PM   #1
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A Zoom Lens and the New Guy

I bought a Tamron 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di lens last week and its really hard to get rid of the shaking when I am zooming in all of the way. I am new and thought I'd ask for some advice from the seasoned pros here.

Thanks in advance.

Todd

07-20-2007, 07:19 PM   #2
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Hey Todd, what camera do you use? Posture? How do you hold your lens during shooting position?

-If you like to move around alot (i.e. tripod too big and clumsy), then you should tuck your elbows in to reduce sway. Relax and try to control your breathing. That should help too.

-If you crouch, try to rest at least one knee on the ground for support.

-Hold the lens.. right hand on the shutter grip and the left on the underside of the lens. That allows you to support the weight of the lens and control focus/zoom in one go.

-Boost ISO and/or use flash.

-If possible, use a tripod.
07-21-2007, 06:38 AM   #3
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Make sure you keep the shutter speeds up, the old "rule-of-thumb" was to use at least 1/focal length. With the reduced FOV of our digital cameras (compared to 35mm), I usually bump this up to 1/2*focal length. So @ 300mm, you'd want to try for at least 1/600s. Now if your camera has Shake-reduction, you can use this to get away with slower shutter speeds. I just bought the K10D, I and have gotten sharp 300mm pictures at 1/13s! (of course with stationary subjects as SR can't stop subject movement). So if you have SR and are shooting "normal" moving subjects (ie not a Fighter jet or a race car), you should be ok using ~1/200s (or slower depending on the movement in the subject).

Or use a tripod
07-21-2007, 06:49 AM   #4
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i was having the same problem, and hate lugging a tripod everywhere. I have started to use a monopod and it has made a world of difference to me.
Judy

07-21-2007, 09:05 AM   #5
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Thanks for the help everyone. I am using an *ist DL and will do some experimenting later today.
07-21-2007, 09:05 PM   #6
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I often try and hold my breath completely when squeezing off a shot (just like rifle shooting), remember to squezze the button slowly, if you have time, don't press it hard and fast as that moves the camera.
07-22-2007, 05:38 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Music Quote
I bought a Tamron 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di lens last week and its really hard to get rid of the shaking when I am zooming in all of the way. I am new and thought I'd ask for some advice from the seasoned pros here.

Thanks in advance.

Todd
Like Arpe has said, it's a lot like rifle shooting. Here are some of the tips I use:
Keep your elbows in as much a possible.
If I'm snooting in portrait mode I try to brace my left elbow (the lens holding arm) against my chest.
Feet at shoulder width, I've found that if I place my right foot slightly behind my left I get better results than if they are even with each other.
Hold your breath and push the shutter down gently with as smooth a motion as you can manage. Don't stab it down with your finger. That will shake your camera almost as much as all other factors combined.
If you can take advantage of anything nearby, do. Bracing the camera against a tree trunk, lightpost, telephone pole, fence rail, car fender, or any other stationary object can go a long way to helping you get off a clear shake free shot. BTW don't rest the the camera directly against the object, for instance, with a tree trunk I rest my left hand against the trunk and the camera against my hand. I keep a small bean bag in my camer bag to use in resting my DS against fence rails etc.

NaCl(technique goes a long way, PRACTICE! )H2O
07-22-2007, 11:12 AM   #8
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You'll often find me kneeling, with i knee on the ground, and 1 of my elbows braced on my leg that's up.

It can be a little uncomfortable at times, but works.

I don't know if the *ist DL has Shake Reduction or not, but if it does you might want to turn it off when your braced solid, It can cause internal camera shake causing the picture quality to diminish

07-22-2007, 11:32 AM   #9
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Great suggestions already. I thought I'd add something that helped me.

(present company, please pardon the camera shown )
http://www.trapagon.com/temp/PortraitHold.jpg
http://www.trapagon.com/temp/LandscapeHold.jpg
(it may not be 'correct' by this recommendation, but I like to wrap my left hand around my right forearm in the other direction on the LandscapeHold. The right wrist then has something to push against and I'm able to push the left elbow further to the right.)

This courtesy of a post #20 on a Dgrin thread of a Photography instructor answering general questions in trying to make his teaching more accessible.

Entire thread is here:
Digital Grin Photography Forum

Last edited by m8o; 07-22-2007 at 05:51 PM.
07-22-2007, 04:53 PM   #10
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I've seen others use that method before m8o, and it appears to work really quite well.
07-23-2007, 05:56 PM   #11
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You just have to learn to zoom with your elbow!
07-24-2007, 09:17 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by NaClH2O Quote
Like Arpe has said, it's a lot like rifle shooting. Here are some of the tips I use:
...Hold your breath and push the shutter down gently with as smooth a motion as you can manage. Don't stab it down with your finger. That will shake your camera almost as much as all other factors combined....
NaCl(technique goes a long way, PRACTICE! )H2O
I used to be involved in competitive shooting (rifles and handguns) and just wanted to add one thing...
Not breathing during the shutter press or trigger pull is important, but try this slight refinement : just before you start holding your breath, exhale. If you try to hold a full breath, it causes small muscle tremors around your diaphragm and for long shots (in photography as well as target shooting) this is one more reflex you want to eliminate... At first it'll feel a bit unnatural, but you'll notice a difference...

I had a match rifle (more money than talent) that allowed you to set trigger pull distance and weight, allowing you to specify exactly when it'd fire, and a pro shooter would clearly benefit from this, but the pros at our range used to tell the newer shooters to use a slow squeeze, not a stabbing release, and that the exact moment the gun "went off" should be a surprise, and to count on stance and grip to control any potential flinch. That way you didn't "pre-compensate" for the moment the gun fired by tensing up - another undesirable reflex... Granted, a camera doesn't have much of a "flinch-causing" mechanism, but the underlying principle is sound.

Jamie
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