Is it difficult to shoot a 300mm lens hand held?

Started May 11, 2012 | Discussions
Deng Yao
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Is it difficult to shoot a 300mm lens hand held?
May 11, 2012

Hi, everyone

I want to buy a cheap tele for my 5N. I'm considering the Tamron 70-300 tele zoom. But it doesn't have IS. I'm not sure whether I can get sharp pics with this lens. I don't want carry a tripod or monopod around

5N is my first camera and I don't have much experience in photography. Any suggestions are appreciated.

Thanks
Yao

darkref
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Re: Is it difficult to shoot a 300mm lens hand held?
In reply to Deng Yao, May 11, 2012

yes, it is very difficult.

you need a LOT of light to be able to, and steady hands, or something to lean on

take a look at the dragonfly picture in my gallery, that was taken without a tripod on a 300mm @ 300mm manual lens. I think I used my knee to stabilize it. Even so, out of 14 pics of it, only a couple were sharp enough (it was a crop too)

this was taken with the same lens, completely handheld this time http://www.flickr.com/photos/58960900@N06/6152778805/in/photostream/lightbox/

I can't remember if I used anti-motion blur, it's helpful sometimes.

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couchpotato
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Re: Is it difficult to shoot a 300mm lens hand held?
In reply to Deng Yao, May 11, 2012

In a sunny day when you can obtain high shutter speed(minimum 1/450 s), then it is possible.

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kev777zero
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Re: Is it difficult to shoot a 300mm lens hand held?
In reply to Deng Yao, May 11, 2012

as long as you maintain the right shutter speed (1/equiv FL) you'll be fine
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maccam
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Re: Is it difficult to shoot a 300mm lens hand held?
In reply to Deng Yao, May 11, 2012

Yes it is difficult. A 300mm lens will be like trying to hand hold a 450mm lens on the 5n because of the magnification factor of APS-C. Sorry, you need a tripod or some sort of beanbag, or a door jam, or a tree, or a rock, or a car door. Lets see, would you rather carry around a car door or a tripod?
JAW

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Smiert Spionam
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Re: Is it difficult to shoot a 300mm lens hand held?
In reply to couchpotato, May 11, 2012

Yes, it's difficult. The Tamron 70-300 VC zoom is quite good, but without VC (and to some degree, AF), it's a lot less useful on the NEX. A legacy 300mm prime with a tripod collar is more useful if you're willing to carry legs, or a monopod.

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edwardaneal
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Re: Is it difficult to shoot a 300mm lens hand held?
In reply to Deng Yao, May 11, 2012

shooting hand held with a 300mm lens on an APS sensor camera will require shutter speeds of at least 1/500th personally I am not that steady and if I wanted a good keeper rate I would want a shutter speed of at least 1/600th

your keeper rate will never be perfect, but remember that for most of the time that photography has existed pros have managed to shoot hand held with fairly long lenses long before IS or OSS ever existed

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Deng Yao
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Re: Is it difficult to shoot a 300mm lens hand held?
In reply to Smiert Spionam, May 11, 2012

Smiert Spionam wrote:

Yes, it's difficult. The Tamron 70-300 VC zoom is quite good, but without VC (and to some degree, AF), it's a lot less useful on the NEX. A legacy 300mm prime with a tripod collar is more useful if you're willing to carry legs, or a monopod.

Unfortunately Tamron 70-300 VC doesn't have a sony mount

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Smiert Spionam
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Re: Is it difficult to shoot a 300mm lens hand held?
In reply to Deng Yao, May 11, 2012

Yup.

;- (

I have one in Nikon mount, and would love to have a fully functional AF/VC version for the NEX. Would be fantastic for travel.

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Deng Yao
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Re: Is it difficult to shoot a 300mm lens hand held?
In reply to edwardaneal, May 11, 2012

edwardaneal wrote:

shooting hand held with a 300mm lens on an APS sensor camera will require shutter speeds of at least 1/500th personally I am not that steady and if I wanted a good keeper rate I would want a shutter speed of at least 1/600th

your keeper rate will never be perfect, but remember that for most of the time that photography has existed pros have managed to shoot hand held with fairly long lenses long before IS or OSS ever existed

In the old days the pros probably shot with tripods, monopods or car doors

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edwardaneal
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Re: Is it difficult to shoot a 300mm lens hand held?
In reply to Deng Yao, May 11, 2012

I am 58 years old, and yes we did use support whenever we could, but we also shot long lenses hand held when we had to - - now days people are spoiled they have the advantage of much faster shutter speeds because the cameras offer much higher ISO's and they have IS and OSS or whatever. - - - heck back in the day we even shot sports with MF lenses, there was no AF

Deng Yao wrote:

In the old days the pros probably shot with tripods, monopods or car doors

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And a spare black 18-55

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Deng Yao
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Re: Is it difficult to shoot a 300mm lens hand held?
In reply to edwardaneal, May 11, 2012

IMO, when advanced technologies are available and cheap, we should just go for it and forget the good old days. Do you still use a pen and a piece of paper to multiply numbers? probably not unless calculators are unavailable. In photography, it's similar.

edwardaneal wrote:

I am 58 years old, and yes we did use support whenever we could, but we also shot long lenses hand held when we had to - - now days people are spoiled they have the advantage of much faster shutter speeds because the cameras offer much higher ISO's and they have IS and OSS or whatever. - - - heck back in the day we even shot sports with MF lenses, there was no AF

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El Matadurr
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Re: Is it difficult to shoot a 300mm lens hand held?
In reply to Deng Yao, May 11, 2012

Without IS, it is extremely, crazily difficult, just to get proper focus, let alone get a non-blurry picture due to a too slow shutter speed.

I always have my Nikon 300mm f/2.8 planted on a monopod or tripod. No way I'd attempt to shoot that handheld for any extended period of time.

http://matthewdurrphotography.wordpress.com

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dave vichich
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Re: Is it difficult to shoot a 300mm lens hand held?
In reply to Deng Yao, May 11, 2012

Do you have the evf for the camera?

If you can bring the camera in tight to your body, and have 3 points of contact, there will be no problem getting good shots.

I should be receiving a Canon FD 100-300 tomorrow to use on my Nex 7.

I'll post some pics after I get it.

My quick tip of the day.

While using a longer focal length lens, hand held, take two shots in a row.

The first may be blurry cause of the push of the shutter button, but the second one should be a bit steadier.

I'm kind of a freak shooting handheld, I hardly ever use a tripod or monopod.

I've been shooting for years with a Canon camera, with a 300 f2.8 with I.S. and a 2x teleconverter on it.
Figuring in a crop factor, that's at 960mm.

A friend bought an older 400mm f2.8 without I.S., and I hooked that up to my T3i with the 2X tc to try it handheld. It was tough holding about 13 pounds and shooting, but the pics came out pretty well.
That would be like 1280mm.

This is the last shot I took of a young eagle sitting in a tree.

For the full shot, click the link.

http://davev.smugmug.com/Other/400-at-800/i-WxK2brR/0/O/IMG5553.jpg/link

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Deng Yao
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Re: Is it difficult to shoot a 300mm lens hand held?
In reply to dave vichich, May 11, 2012

No, I don't have the EVF. The pic is very nice. You can shoot hand held with 1000+ equivalent, that's really amazing. I'm a little more optimistic now. Maybe with some practice I could handle it. Without the EVF I can use my knee, a rock or something as the 3rd point of contact, not as convenient as an EVF though.

dave vichich wrote:

Do you have the evf for the camera?

If you can bring the camera in tight to your body, and have 3 points of contact, there will be no problem getting good shots.

I should be receiving a Canon FD 100-300 tomorrow to use on my Nex 7.

I'll post some pics after I get it.

My quick tip of the day.

While using a longer focal length lens, hand held, take two shots in a row.

The first may be blurry cause of the push of the shutter button, but the second one should be a bit steadier.

I'm kind of a freak shooting handheld, I hardly ever use a tripod or monopod.

I've been shooting for years with a Canon camera, with a 300 f2.8 with I.S. and a 2x teleconverter on it.
Figuring in a crop factor, that's at 960mm.

A friend bought an older 400mm f2.8 without I.S., and I hooked that up to my T3i with the 2X tc to try it handheld. It was tough holding about 13 pounds and shooting, but the pics came out pretty well.
That would be like 1280mm.

This is the last shot I took of a young eagle sitting in a tree.

For the full shot, click the link.

http://davev.smugmug.com/Other/400-at-800/i-WxK2brR/0/O/IMG5553.jpg/link

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D Cox
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Re: Is it difficult to shoot a 300mm lens hand held?
In reply to edwardaneal, May 11, 2012

edwardaneal wrote:

shooting hand held with a 300mm lens on an APS sensor camera will require shutter speeds of at least 1/500th personally I am not that steady and if I wanted a good keeper rate I would want a shutter speed of at least 1/600th

I would say at least 1/1000.

The best bet is to go for a high ISO setting - 1600 or more. A sharp picture with some noise is better than a blurry picture with less noise. You can usually reduce the noise in a program such as Neat Image, whereas there is no way to make a blurry image sharp.

your keeper rate will never be perfect, but remember that for most of the time that photography has existed pros have managed to shoot hand held with fairly long lenses long before IS or OSS ever existed

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Lng0004
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Re: Is it difficult to shoot a 300mm lens hand held?
In reply to Deng Yao, May 11, 2012

It's not just the matter of shutter speed. With that kind of FL, any minute movement will be exaggerated on the LCD/EVF. You will need very steady hands and good technique to even compose the shot properly.

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eths
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Re: Is it difficult to shoot a 300mm lens hand held?
In reply to Deng Yao, May 11, 2012

Yes, but it is not impossible and requires short exposures times and practice.

If you want to go longer than 200mm, some form of support - tripod, monopod, bean bag - is a good idea.

I have shot 600mm hand held, but I would not recommend it. Everything becomes kind of hit or miss.

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nzmacro
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In reply to Lng0004, May 11, 2012

Lng0004 wrote:

It's not just the matter of shutter speed. With that kind of FL, any minute movement will be exaggerated on the LCD/EVF. You will need very steady hands and good technique to even compose the shot properly.

Well said and exactly correct........

You will need very steady hands and good technique to even compose the shot properly.

Thats it in a nutshell. Shutter speed and technique, you won't even get a shot if both of those are not covered.

All the best Lng, bang on.

Danny.

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Worry about the image that comes out of the box, rather than the box itself.

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wll
wll
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Re: Is it difficult to shoot a 300mm lens hand held?
In reply to Deng Yao, May 11, 2012

it is very difficult for me. I have to lean against something and try to shoot at least 1/500 usually more. even on a good lit day I have to set ISO high so as to be able to get high shutter speed sometimes.

wll

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