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11-03-2013, 08:54 AM   #1
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Long telephoto without a tripod?

Is it possible? I went out for my morning walk and forgot to take one with me. My K-30 had a 100-300 zoom on it. I braced myself and/or my camera on park benches, trees, sticks as monopods, etc. My results were less than stellar. The SR could not compensate all the time.

11-03-2013, 09:00 AM   #2
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Make sure your shutter speed is higher than your focal length.
11-03-2013, 09:08 AM   #3
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Take a look at the 300mm plus thread, lots of people shoot 300 or more hand held. But it takes good technique and good light. As noted above your shutter speed should be the reciprocal of the focal length or faster. That's just to start, you still need good breathing and holding technique.
11-03-2013, 09:29 AM   #4
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Sure it's possible, but shutter speed is key.
Both shots with manual focus @ 1/1600 s with a Sigma 5.6/400 Apo (x-posted)

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11-03-2013, 10:25 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by 6BQ5 Quote
Is it possible? I went out for my morning walk and forgot to take one with me. My K-30 had a 100-300 zoom on it. I braced myself and/or my camera on park benches, trees, sticks as monopods, etc. My results were less than stellar. The SR could not compensate all the time.
Of course, I've been shooting sports for years hand-holding a Canon 7D + 100-400mm L lens. I disable the IS. The key for my needs is to have a shutter speed above 1/750 and a top-notch predictive AF subsystem. Once my K-3 arrives I hope to replicate or improve on the results using a Sigma 100-300mm and the optional use of a couple of TCs.

M
11-03-2013, 10:48 AM   #6
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I handhold almost all of the time and brace if I can, it's not really that hard with SR and a shutter speed "at the focal length or slightly slower". Heavier lenses will help though as minor shaking often get damped.
11-03-2013, 10:56 AM   #7
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The famous bean bag technique is one I've been meaning to try. Apparently ziplocks full of birdseed make excellent bean bags, cheap, and you have something to feed the birds.
11-03-2013, 12:00 PM   #8
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This might help.
Making the Most of Long Exposure Handhelds - Introduction - PentaxForums.com
It gives some good technique ideas!

11-03-2013, 01:31 PM   #9
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I shoot hand held with a sigma 500 f4.5 all the time. get plenty of fantastic photos but the tripod is even better. My best results with SR on is when the animal is sitting still. I suspect panning, the SR makes no difference or stuffs things up. Depending on the lens, the quality of the light can play a big part.

I have found practice makes perfect and that a high quality telephoto makes the world of difference. Before I had the sigma 500 prime, I would use flash where ever possible. The flash was able to take the photos the next step or two up.
11-03-2013, 04:29 PM   #10
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U should be fine with good monopod and SR doing 300mm even 1/20 sec. If possible try also to sit or lean u body to wall tree etc when possible. Wait at least 1 sec after half press the shutter before pressing shutter to end carefully. Ur body and hands should be as tight package. Its like shooting gun, maybe u been in army
11-03-2013, 04:34 PM   #11
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1/40s @ 300mm handheld.



It helps when your subject is motionless
11-03-2013, 06:19 PM - 1 Like   #12
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I agree wholeheartedly with those that have said that technique is paramount and that practice makes perfect. I most often shoot an FA* 300/4.5 + F1,7x AFA (510mm f7.7), so 300mm @ f5.6 is easy shooting for me. . .

I've found that while I need to be very conscious of my hold with the above mentioned combo, I can usually get some good results down to about 1/125, or 2 stops down from the 1/FL "rule of thumb". At this shutter speed, with this lens combo, I feel I can reasonably expect 15-25% of shots to be acceptably blur free, so your expectations should be reasonable also. . .using a tripod increases the acceptable rate dramatically at these shutter speeds.

Though technique is important, the effectiveness of SR varies as people are all different. I have found that for me, holding my camera/lens a bit more casually can sometimes improve SR effectiveness for me. If chimping seems to reveal worse than average camera shake, I consciously tell myself to relax a bit . . . YMMV. Leaning against a car, tree, or wall also helps significantly, especially body sway, which becomes more pronounced as I get older.

Since I do the bulk of my shooting at 300mm+ and handheld, I spend a lot of time, especially during the winter, taking junk shots indoors with long tele lenses for practice. I use subjects with fine detail and lenses that I know are sharp -- I have a mannequin head with a nice human hair wig, and feathers that I bought at a hobby.craft store that I use for practice subjects, and probably average from 20-50 shots a day, just practicing.

This constant practice has also paid off with better handheld results at shorter FLs, so learning good technique will help anyone. I personally think that importance of technique and the interaction between the individual and the camera might be increasingly ignored nowadays, and the gear alone is largely over emphasized.

Scott
11-03-2013, 07:20 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by snostorm Quote
I agree wholeheartedly with those that have said that technique is paramount and that practice makes perfect. I most often shoot an FA* 300/4.5 + F1,7x AFA (510mm f7.7), so 300mm @ f5.6 is easy shooting for me. . .

I've found that while I need to be very conscious of my hold with the above mentioned combo, I can usually get some good results down to about 1/125, or 2 stops down from the 1/FL "rule of thumb". At this shutter speed, with this lens combo, I feel I can reasonably expect 15-25% of shots to be acceptably blur free, so your expectations should be reasonable also. . .using a tripod increases the acceptable rate dramatically at these shutter speeds.

Though technique is important, the effectiveness of SR varies as people are all different. I have found that for me, holding my camera/lens a bit more casually can sometimes improve SR effectiveness for me. If chimping seems to reveal worse than average camera shake, I consciously tell myself to relax a bit . . . YMMV. Leaning against a car, tree, or wall also helps significantly, especially body sway, which becomes more pronounced as I get older.

Since I do the bulk of my shooting at 300mm+ and handheld, I spend a lot of time, especially during the winter, taking junk shots indoors with long tele lenses for practice. I use subjects with fine detail and lenses that I know are sharp -- I have a mannequin head with a nice human hair wig, and feathers that I bought at a hobby.craft store that I use for practice subjects, and probably average from 20-50 shots a day, just practicing.

This constant practice has also paid off with better handheld results at shorter FLs, so learning good technique will help anyone. I personally think that importance of technique and the interaction between the individual and the camera might be increasingly ignored nowadays, and the gear alone is largely over emphasized.

Scott
"taking junk shots for practice" - made me realise I'm still thinking in film mode where every shot costs, and reminds me that pixels are cheap! So I'll be practicing a lot from now on.
11-04-2013, 11:36 PM   #14
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Check out these images posted before


shot is from the K7 using the 1.7x AFA and the K300/4 at ISO 1600,

and 100% crop of the head


It is all about technique

Shooting hand held and free standing is a challenge, the above shot is about 4-1/2 stops below the "golden rule" of 1/(1.5 x FL) The secret is to be well braced, breath slowly, press shutter on the exhale, have your feet apart, and staggered front to back, arms tight against your side, and support the lens with one hand and the camera with the other, tight against your face.

Of course, you need a subject that does not move, so technique only gets you so far. If the subject is moving, turn off shake reduction and shoot at about 1/1000. Shake reduction can lead to blurr when panning to track a moving subject
11-05-2013, 12:28 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by snostorm Quote
technique is paramount and that practice makes perfect.
I couldn't agree more - Though with my work using other camera systems,those with optical IS you lost touch with exactly how much you are moving because the lens optically compensates for it - with in body SR like that used in Pentax DSLRS you have a visual cue that lets you know if you are going to be able to create a successful image.

Using flash can help, but it can be difficult to balance daylight with the 1/180th synch speed while hand holding a 450mm 35mm equivalent lens

A majority of my work with the Sigma 100-300mm f/4 APO EX DG is hand-held with IS on:









It can be done - but developing the technique takes time, diligence...and having well developed upper body muscles certainly doesn't hurt.
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