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03-01-2016, 11:48 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by abrehm Quote
My system and technique consists of a 3 series Gitzo carbon fiber tripod, acre tech GV ball head, long lens support.
Going back to your original clues, I notice that you have a lightweight rig. I also have a carbon fiber tripod but it's actually quite light and thus shakes easily. I find that I can make it very solid by hanging my backpack off of it, or adding a 2.5 - 5.0 sandbag to the tripod significantly smooths it out. Have you tried adding weight?

03-02-2016, 03:25 AM - 1 Like   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by abrehm Quote
The 1st crop was ISO 400, f/8 1/125 and the second crop was ISO 100 f/8 1/20. It seems that anything between 1/200 and 1.3 seconds causes me issues. Luckily the breeze died down enough on the 1/125 shot to get something useable.
Tripod or not, it's fairly risky using a shutter speed slower than the focal length of the lens, and shooting hand-held you need at least 2x FL for sharp images. It's just the nature of using cameras with high-density sensors, whether it's the Z or a D810 or anything else that has more than 30mp in full-frame equivalent. There's a reason why image stabilization has become such a high priority feature in modern cameras.
03-02-2016, 08:03 AM   #18
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Plus the improved ISO performance of the Z allows you several more stops of shutter speed (vs the D). I find it quite acceptable to hurdle past the typical "risky" shutter speeds by using a higher ISO. Good luck
03-02-2016, 10:51 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by skytomorrownow Quote
Going back to your original clues, I notice that you have a lightweight rig. I also have a carbon fiber tripod but it's actually quite light and thus shakes easily. I find that I can make it very solid by hanging my backpack off of it, or adding a 2.5 - 5.0 sandbag to the tripod significantly smooths it out. Have you tried adding weight?
I have thought about adding weight by hanging my bag from the tripod to weigh it down. The one thought that comes to mind though is if there is a breeze/wind that moves my bag will the swaying motion of the weight have a counter effect to the vibrations? Its something I guess I could try easily enough but I am curious if anyone has experience with this.

Fortunately as many have mentioned the high ISO performance of the Z does allow me to boost a bit when needed, but I am still not a fan of high ISO even on the Z. This combined with the fact that since I am generally shooting in pretty low light around sunrise or sunset is probably leading to my issue further. I guess I will just have to be very careful with this lens and really only pull it out of my bag when I really need it.

03-02-2016, 11:47 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by abrehm Quote
I have thought about adding weight by hanging my bag from the tripod to weigh it down. The one thought that comes to mind though is if there is a breeze/wind that moves my bag will the swaying motion of the weight have a counter effect to the vibrations? Its something I guess I could try easily enough but I am curious if anyone has experience with this.

Fortunately as many have mentioned the high ISO performance of the Z does allow me to boost a bit when needed, but I am still not a fan of high ISO even on the Z. This combined with the fact that since I am generally shooting in pretty low light around sunrise or sunset is probably leading to my issue further. I guess I will just have to be very careful with this lens and really only pull it out of my bag when I really need it.
If you are worried about the wind, you can use my second solution: a 2.5lb sandbag suspended on a paracord loop so that the sandbag is just a few inches off the ground. I have found that that extra stabilization is sometimes necessary with the carbon fiber supports because they transmit more than the older aluminum guys. It doesn't have to be a sandbag. I also have a small nylon bag and I can fill it with rocks or gear.

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Last edited by skytomorrownow; 03-03-2016 at 12:03 AM.
03-03-2016, 12:11 AM   #21
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Could this be related to the connection between camera and the quick release plate (or the tripod head directly, if not using quick release plates)?

I remember simlar problems from the times I was using the 67 II and a Hasselblad scanner. I had several Gitzo and Manfrotto ball heads, non of them really fixing the issue. The plates are to small.
I started to get besser results by using one of these old Gitzo off center ball heads, without quick releease plate. They have a quite huge area to fix the camera on. I think it was series 2. Unfortunately, moving the head was not as smooth as with modern ball heads, and I wanted to get quick release, too.

I now use Sirui TY-70X plates, that's arca style, about 3 by 2 inches. Compared to those old, small quick release paltes Gitzo was offering this is much better. And when attaching the plate to the camera, you do it typically much tigther than when mounting the camera on a tripod head not having a quick release plate.

My test to find out the plate was the problem was quite easy. I knew how mouch force it needs to hold the camera on the body only with the largest lens attached (off course, don't do that with a huge lens inteded for tripod only, like a 600mm, but a lens of 3 to 4 pounds and at least 8 inches long is a good example here to tell how much froce to use)
I just put the camera on the tripod and then was using this amount of force trying to totter the camera on the tripod. I was shocked how much the camera was tottering, and it was even easily visible it was amlost all between camera and quick release plate.
03-03-2016, 03:27 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by abrehm Quote
I have thought about adding weight by hanging my bag from the tripod to weigh it down. The one thought that comes to mind though is if there is a breeze/wind that moves my bag will the swaying motion of the weight have a counter effect to the vibrations? Its something I guess I could try easily enough but I am curious if anyone has experience with this.
No, no! That's not the correct technique. To use weight on a tripod from under the center column, the weight must be in some contact with the ground to prevent this pendulum effect. So, put the weight on the ground under the tripod, then hook your bungee/strap/whatever to the tripod, then tension such that almost all---but not quite all-- the weight is tensioning the tripod, and there is no swing to the weight, which is still making firm contact with the ground. You want a lot of weight below the tripod, many pounds, because it has to be enough to weight the tripod yet have ample left over for the weight to make firm contact with the ground.

If you are traveling light, such that with the camera bag once the camera is mounted doesn't weigh much, then use a stuff sack or something, fill it with rocks, put it in the bag to replace the lost weight of the camera and lens. Then of course there are the specialty items like the sand bag shown above, or water bags. But a rock filled stuff sack or other easily packed and light bag (like those carry along shopping bags) do just fine, are cheaper and usually lighter when not filled with rocks.

Check out Vcollerp's nature shots just posted in the post you medium format images thread, shot with a Z and a 400. Look sharp enough to me. Maybe PM him/her about their rig and technique---which undoubtedly involves higher shutter speeds.

Last edited by texandrews; 03-03-2016 at 03:32 AM.
03-03-2016, 05:55 AM - 2 Likes   #23
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Sharp telephoto shots can be a challenge. Zoomed live view should allow you to determine if focus or wind induced movement is a cause. The shutter opening is a real problem at slower speeds, note Ross' comment about using the 400mm mounted on a tripod at the body rather than the lens. That has been my experience as well. I built a pretty elaborate long lens support, which is effective, but a pain to use(if interested it's in my review of the 600mm A*). The cropped shot below was taken without that support with the 600mm + 1.4x at 1/200s. It's acceptably sharp and I used a technique I learned while using the Pentax 67: I compose, tighten the head and lean my body weight on the camera using your hands and mass to dampen the shutter vibrations. This works most times for the really troubling speeds of about1/30-1/500s)



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