Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
06-22-2008, 02:21 PM   #1
Inactive Account




Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 464
How important are tripods to picture fidelity on fast exposures?

I've been reading around different articles, etc, and while people mention tripods are good, it's usually in the context of using very slow shutter speeds, panning, or portrait setups, etc.

--------

Recently, though, I read (somewhere) a quote from Leica saying someting to the effect of "98% of DSLR photographers are people that use AF lenses and don't use tripods" or something around that general area.

This got me thinking about the "pro" landscape photographers, etc. It seems all of them use a tripod to set up the shot.


Now, on slow shutter speeds, of course I can see this situation. But, I have this nagging feeling to get the best shot, they always use a tripod and mirror-up when shooting.


Am I just imagining things? Am I reading into something that isn't really there?

I've always thought that, let's say I have a 25mm lens and I have a 1/300 shutter that it would be fine, and why use a tripod?

But I have a suspicion that even then, the pro would end up using the tripod and mirror-lock to enable the best photo possible.

Is this true, anyone? Or are tripods (in regards to shutter speed) only used for the longer shutter times?

Does a slightly perceptible amount of camera shake actually enter photos at "adequate" shutter speeds?

06-22-2008, 02:38 PM   #2
Veteran Member
morfic's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: San Antonio, TX
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 428
They may take more time to align the horizon, and use the tripod to be able to pan around for stitched panoramic shots.

Plus they may not shoot as wide as we assume they are, and at ISO100, plenty stopped down.
06-22-2008, 02:41 PM   #3
Veteran Member




Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Nowhere, Sweden
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 654
QuoteOriginally posted by cputeq Quote
I've been reading around different articles, etc, and while people mention tripods are good, it's usually in the context of using very slow shutter speeds, panning, or portrait setups, etc.

--------

Recently, though, I read (somewhere) a quote from Leica saying someting to the effect of "98% of DSLR photographers are people that use AF lenses and don't use tripods" or something around that general area.

This got me thinking about the "pro" landscape photographers, etc. It seems all of them use a tripod to set up the shot.


Now, on slow shutter speeds, of course I can see this situation. But, I have this nagging feeling to get the best shot, they always use a tripod and mirror-up when shooting.


Am I just imagining things? Am I reading into something that isn't really there?

I've always thought that, let's say I have a 25mm lens and I have a 1/300 shutter that it would be fine, and why use a tripod?

But I have a suspicion that even then, the pro would end up using the tripod and mirror-lock to enable the best photo possible.

Is this true, anyone? Or are tripods (in regards to shutter speed) only used for the longer shutter times?

Does a slightly perceptible amount of camera shake actually enter photos at "adequate" shutter speeds?
Pro landscape photographers most likely use multiple exposures and long exposures, with greyfilters, polarizing filters etc. They most likely want to stand a bit behind the camera and use a remote too, to have an overview of the landscape they are shooting, which is alot easier then thru the viewfinder. Also they often use panoramas, which obviously also need a good tripod for perfection. Even if it is doable without it.

But yes, still, the blood in your veins that are pulsating are vibrations enough to shake the camera or gun, whichever you prefer. If it happens at the wrong time, it might affect the image, on the other hand at speeds of 1/300, you need to be unlucky, but its safer to use a tripod.
06-22-2008, 02:44 PM   #4
Inactive Account




Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 464
Original Poster
Hrm, thanks for the answers everyone. I guess I'll start saving for a tripod

06-22-2008, 03:16 PM   #5
Veteran Member




Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Ste-Anne des Plaines, Qc., Canada
Posts: 2,014
Another point to consider. A tripod will force you to work more slowly, so you take more time to think about composition, and you will also take time to check for all the objects that might appear in the picture and cause distraction. You are also more likely to check the edges of the frame to make sure nothing is intruding in "your" picture, so you don't need to crop, thus retaining all the pixel count of the file.
06-22-2008, 03:49 PM   #6
Veteran Member




Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Nowhere, Sweden
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 654
QuoteOriginally posted by cputeq Quote
Hrm, thanks for the answers everyone. I guess I'll start saving for a tripod
YES! By far my best buys (Except for the camera) has been the tripod and the M42 adapter. (third is the R-Strap)

It makes ALL the difference. If your strong enough to carry it around.
06-22-2008, 04:26 PM   #7
Veteran Member




Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Seattle, Washington, USA
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 813
I usually use a tripod (no SR, natch), or at least a monopod with SR switched on. The comments above cover most of the reasons. Here's one more: I live in Starbucksville, and usually have a couple cups o' joe a day. That's enough buzz to further destabilize my middle-aged hands, and I compensate by substituting the sticks whenever possible, regardless of shutter speed and SR. If it's worth shooting, it's worth shooting as well as I can manage!
06-22-2008, 04:41 PM   #8
Veteran Member
rburgoss's Avatar

Join Date: May 2008
Location: San Jose, Costa Rica
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 972
Using tripod for landscape has a lot of sense. Just think that even though a wide lens will be used, every subject will also be "at infinity" focusing point. Such condition may not mean much, but think that DETAILS would be very small and as little camera shake will do harm to such detail. Also, lanscape photography is all about not only detail, but also about light. The photographer would not be able to "judge" de general light conditions through the viewfinder, as it would be from behind the camera. Think about a not so clean sky, where the sun is momentarily blocked by passing clouds. In this situation, the photographer may prepare framing, focus, etc and just wait for the right moment of "light". One last thing (iI guess it has been mentioned before), going back to "detail", it also means low ISO and closed down lenses.... meaning, long exposures (maybe a 1/30 sec does not sound long enough, but any vibration during a 1/30 sec exporue, will surely add a slight blurr to very fine details (tree leaves on windy days for example).

There would be many more reasons to justify tripod use for landscape photography, but at least this and some other reasons mentioned above are more than enough reason to get a good tripod.

RB

06-22-2008, 04:45 PM   #9
Veteran Member
Venturi's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Tulsa, OK
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,639
QuoteOriginally posted by flyer Quote
Another point to consider. A tripod will force you to work more slowly, so you take more time to think about composition, and you will also take time to check for all the objects that might appear in the picture and cause distraction. You are also more likely to check the edges of the frame to make sure nothing is intruding in "your" picture, so you don't need to crop, thus retaining all the pixel count of the file.
That's where I was heading. Using the tripod - just using it - makes me pause and think about the shot more than if the camera is merely cradled in my hands. You said "force" I would merely counter that it allows you to work a more slowly, or patiently. With camera mounted on the tripod you can step back a second and examine the shot again and fine tune the composition mentally without starting over when you take your eye away from the view port.
06-22-2008, 05:00 PM   #10
Veteran Member




Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Ste-Anne des Plaines, Qc., Canada
Posts: 2,014
QuoteOriginally posted by Venturi Quote
You said "force" I would merely counter that it allows you to work a more slowly, or patiently.
I apologize for the fine semantic user in the forum, but being a French Canadian brings it's limitations. Sometimes, the words I use are not 100% what I mean. I just hope nobody will hold that against me in a trial.
06-22-2008, 05:17 PM   #11
Pentaxian
Wheatfield's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: The wheatfields of Canada
Posts: 10,157
QuoteOriginally posted by cputeq Quote


Now, on slow shutter speeds, of course I can see this situation. But, I have this nagging feeling to get the best shot, they always use a tripod and mirror-up when shooting.


Am I just imagining things? Am I reading into something that isn't really there?

I've always thought that, let's say I have a 25mm lens and I have a 1/300 shutter that it would be fine, and why use a tripod?

But I have a suspicion that even then, the pro would end up using the tripod and mirror-lock to enable the best photo possible.

Is this true, anyone? Or are tripods (in regards to shutter speed) only used for the longer shutter times?

Does a slightly perceptible amount of camera shake actually enter photos at "adequate" shutter speeds?
I always notice an improvement in sharpness when I use a tripod and mirror lock, irregardless of lens in use, or shutter speed chosen.

Also, if you can mount the camera body to the tripod rather than using a lens mount attachment, you will get sharper pictures.

Something to remember, your highest shutter speed is your X-Sync speed. No matter what the speed is set to above X, the exposure takes the X-speed time to complete.
06-22-2008, 05:56 PM   #12
Veteran Member
falconeye's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Munich, Alps, Germany
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 6,863
QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
the exposure takes the X-speed time to complete.
I guess that this is a no issue in "pro" landscape photography.

However, the rule of thumb (shutter speed = focal length or faster) comes from the age where depth of field was computed for a circle of confusion of 0.03mm. While this still holds true for print outs, it won't satisfy a 100% pixel peeper anymore.

The K20D, for instance, has a pixel size of 0.005mm and is 6 times smaller, corresponding to 2.5 stops.

While this is quite well covered by shake reduction giving an extra 2-4 stops, I don't actually know how precisely it works. Maybe not precise enough to nail every pixel down.

So, the save bet would be to have shutter speed = 5-10 x focal length or faster. If you can't achieve this, a tripod may actually lead to extra sharpness.
06-22-2008, 06:26 PM   #13
Senior Member




Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: New York
Posts: 168
QuoteOriginally posted by rburgoss Quote
.... meaning, long exposures (maybe a 1/30 sec does not sound long enough, but any vibration during a 1/30 sec exporue, will surely add a slight blurr to very fine details (tree leaves on windy days for example)....
Perhaps I misread your intent here but I'm sure you know that a tripod won't help freeze any motion in the subject. Slow shutter speeds are often a problem with landscape photography when windy days causes blur in foliage. Unless, of course, that's an effect you are going for.

On the other hand, camera shake (sans tripod) and/or mirror slap can cause blur in everything in the image, regardless of the weather.

Richard
06-22-2008, 06:30 PM   #14
Senior Member




Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: New York
Posts: 168
QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Something to remember, your highest shutter speed is your X-Sync speed. No matter what the speed is set to above X, the exposure takes the X-speed time to complete.
I must be getting old because I don't understand this statement at all. Could you explain?

Richard
06-22-2008, 06:46 PM   #15
Veteran Member
OniFactor's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Binghamton, NY, USA
Posts: 646
QuoteOriginally posted by Old Timer 56 Quote
I must be getting old because I don't understand this statement at all. Could you explain?

Richard
above 1/180th, the frame is exposed by a 'traveling slit' instead of having the entire film exposed at once
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
camera, dslr, people, photographers, photography, shot, shutter, speeds, tripod, tripods
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
What's a FAST (used to be fast) film lens neverbnnba Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 11 07-03-2010 05:42 PM
Important evening Ira General Talk 2 04-22-2010 03:36 AM
not important ghillindy1 General Talk 10 04-20-2010 01:20 PM
A Fast Fifty Is Really A Fast 75mm drewdlephone Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 182 12-08-2008 10:38 AM
Are people required to be in a picture to make it a good picture? BPT Photographic Technique 46 07-07-2008 05:44 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:03 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top