Getting to the 500mm range without spending $10K+

Started Jun 29, 2013 | Discussions
NancyP
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Re: Getting to the 500mm range without spending $10K+
In reply to plautoq, Jul 5, 2013

My solution: APS-C Canon with Canon 400mm f/5.6L (no IS) if I want autofocus (really fast!), add 1.4x TC II for situations where manual focus is fine (eg, shooting an eagle's nest with camera on tripod, pre-focusing using live view magnification). Cost: ~$1,500.00 if new. You might be able to save by buying refurbished or used.

If this is a one shot deal, it might be worthwhile just to buy one of the catadioptric mirror lenses for $100.00 to $200.00. eg the Samyang 500mm f/6.3 or 800mm f/8.  You might be able to get vintage lenses for even less. Sharpness is not as good as with a good refractor lens like the 400mm above, but if you are just shooting for 8" x 10", it can be great. Almost all catadioptric lenses are manual focus. Cat. lenses have donut bokeh - some people hate,some like the novelty.

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NancyP
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Re: Sigma 500mm f4.5
In reply to oldfartwitha5d, Jul 5, 2013

I do ok with the non-IS 400mm f/5.6L, but then again, the price is less than the Sigma 500mm. I believe that my keeper rate will increase a lot with an IS lens. Meanwhile I hone my technique on old-time lenses. It took me a while before I had any decent BIF photos.

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In-camera image stabilization not likely to be effective for 500mm
In reply to BigBen08, Jul 5, 2013

particularly for BIF photos - tripod shots might be ok.

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Lesser gear is not a waste
In reply to RJPeter, Jul 5, 2013

I have picked up some good technique and fieldcraft with the Canon 400mm f/5.6L, which provides high IQ at a relatively low price. Eventually I may get one of the Big Whites.

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joger
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Re: Lesser gear is not a waste
In reply to NancyP, Jul 6, 2013

NancyP wrote:

I have picked up some good technique and fieldcraft with the Canon 400mm f/5.6L, which provides high IQ at a relatively low price. Eventually I may get one of the Big Whites.

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NancyP

there are numerous people in most forums that can't get decent photos with the latest and greatest and utmost gear - at the end of the day it is always a question of mastering your gear the the shortcomings of it and of learning from others.

Even the best and latest technology and AF won't help you if you don't anticipate what's happening or if you just rely on the fancy technology.

Last weekend I've met a photographer shooting bursts of five shots for ever single (Landscape) shot with the explanation that photomatix calculates one image out of the five and that is the best technique to shoot - I was literally shocked by that point of view - but who knows - maybe I am wrong - I prefer one good image instead of maybe one good out of five

IS and AF are IMHO highly overrated when it comes to cameras. IS is more helpful then the AF - a slightly poorer AF can be overcome by good craftsmanship but a missing IS can't be compensated that much and even with 1/(focal length) exposure time a very high number of images get unsharp. I've tested that with my hands and on my 5D II I need (with my hands without IS) roughly 1/[2x(focal length)] to be 100 % sure to have on pixel level no unsharpness caused by camera shake (hand held)

With IS the same perceived keeper rate is possible at 1/[0,5x(focal length)] - so in other words for me it's an advantage of >4 stops - of course as long as the subject is not moving too fast.

AF is not an issue for me with the possibility of live view and spot AF with one cross type AF in the middle of the frame plus reframing.

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garyknrd
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Re: Getting to the 500mm range without spending $10K+
In reply to joger, Jul 6, 2013

joger wrote:

garyknrd wrote:

I am amazed at the people who do not recommend Sigma 500mm F4.5 lens. I own it in Pentax mount and the lens is deadly sharp and very easy to handle. In Canon mount you get HSM, focus limiter. It will be tripod mount but still light and easy to handle. Used wow. A steal for sure. I owne the Canon 300 and will pick the Sigma over it and T.C.'s any day. I even find myself using it instead of the Canon 500. It is that good and that easy to handle.

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Baecause this Combo on Canon has no IS - and that's the killing fact

if you have laboratory conditions the IS is not very Importanz but in Real world it is IMHO a Must have for most sujets if you want to keep the ISO moderatly low

of course you can use a higher ISO number but then you waiste a lot of possible Image qualty also on the latest and gratest cameras

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I thought the thread was how to get 500mm without spending a lot? My best shots with my Canon 500 are on a tripod or bean bag with IS turned off? BIF off. You are going to work harder to get the shots without IS but I just saw one on ebay for 3100 dollars. I started with the Sigma 500. It is not as good as the Canon gear for sure. But cheap, and a very good 500 for serious work without breaking the bank. IMO. Personally if I were to buy another one. I would buy it in Sony mount for the IS in the Sony camera. It is said to be very good. I bought it in Pentax mount for the IS but the Pnetax cameras are very poor compared to Canon and Sony IMO. Hence Sony.

Sony and Pentax are screw AF? But it is faster than my Canon 500? Never understood that. People who say screw AF is not as fast as HSM are wrong in many cases. This is one of them.

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schmegg
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Re: Lesser gear is not a waste
In reply to joger, Jul 6, 2013

joger wrote:

NancyP wrote:

I have picked up some good technique and fieldcraft with the Canon 400mm f/5.6L, which provides high IQ at a relatively low price. Eventually I may get one of the Big Whites.

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NancyP

there are numerous people in most forums that can't get decent photos with the latest and greatest and utmost gear - at the end of the day it is always a question of mastering your gear the the shortcomings of it and of learning from others.

Even the best and latest technology and AF won't help you if you don't anticipate what's happening or if you just rely on the fancy technology.

Last weekend I've met a photographer shooting bursts of five shots for ever single (Landscape) shot with the explanation that photomatix calculates one image out of the five and that is the best technique to shoot - I was literally shocked by that point of view - but who knows - maybe I am wrong - I prefer one good image instead of maybe one good out of five

IS and AF are IMHO highly overrated when it comes to cameras. IS is more helpful then the AF - a slightly poorer AF can be overcome by good craftsmanship but a missing IS can't be compensated that much and even with 1/(focal length) exposure time a very high number of images get unsharp. I've tested that with my hands and on my 5D II I need (with my hands without IS) roughly 1/[2x(focal length)] to be 100 % sure to have on pixel level no unsharpness caused by camera shake (hand held)

With IS the same perceived keeper rate is possible at 1/[0,5x(focal length)] - so in other words for me it's an advantage of >4 stops - of course as long as the subject is not moving too fast.

AF is not an issue for me with the possibility of live view and spot AF with one cross type AF in the middle of the frame plus reframing.

A very narrow-minded diatribe.

There are very valid reasons why 5 exposures blended may be superior to one. Likewise, AF performance is very important in certain situation.

I think you might just be attempting to apply your particular use case to everyone else - a big mistake.

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Gearóid Ó Laoi, Garry Lee
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Re: Sigma 500mm f4.5
In reply to NancyP, Jul 6, 2013

NancyP wrote:

I do ok with the non-IS 400mm f/5.6L, but then again, the price is less than the Sigma 500mm. I believe that my keeper rate will increase a lot with an IS lens. Meanwhile I hone my technique on old-time lenses. It took me a while before I had any decent BIF photos.

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NancyP

That is a really hard branch of photography. I dabble in it occasionally. The need is to actually hold the critters in the viewfinder. The birds around here don't fly like that except mallards and they cooperate by flying at 70mph flat out!

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joger
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Re: Lesser gear is not a waste
In reply to schmegg, Jul 6, 2013

schmegg wrote:

joger wrote:

NancyP wrote:

I have picked up some good technique and fieldcraft with the Canon 400mm f/5.6L, which provides high IQ at a relatively low price. Eventually I may get one of the Big Whites.

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NancyP

there are numerous people in most forums that can't get decent photos with the latest and greatest and utmost gear - at the end of the day it is always a question of mastering your gear the the shortcomings of it and of learning from others.

Even the best and latest technology and AF won't help you if you don't anticipate what's happening or if you just rely on the fancy technology.

Last weekend I've met a photographer shooting bursts of five shots for ever single (Landscape) shot with the explanation that photomatix calculates one image out of the five and that is the best technique to shoot - I was literally shocked by that point of view - but who knows - maybe I am wrong - I prefer one good image instead of maybe one good out of five

IS and AF are IMHO highly overrated when it comes to cameras. IS is more helpful then the AF - a slightly poorer AF can be overcome by good craftsmanship but a missing IS can't be compensated that much and even with 1/(focal length) exposure time a very high number of images get unsharp. I've tested that with my hands and on my 5D II I need (with my hands without IS) roughly 1/[2x(focal length)] to be 100 % sure to have on pixel level no unsharpness caused by camera shake (hand held)

With IS the same perceived keeper rate is possible at 1/[0,5x(focal length)] - so in other words for me it's an advantage of >4 stops - of course as long as the subject is not moving too fast.

AF is not an issue for me with the possibility of live view and spot AF with one cross type AF in the middle of the frame plus reframing.

A very narrow-minded diatribe.

There are very valid reasons why 5 exposures blended may be superior to one. Likewise, AF performance is very important in certain situation.

I think you might just be attempting to apply your particular use case to everyone else - a big mistake.

camera shake by the mirror slap is a relatively huge issue with my 5D II - only the mirror up and down causes (in my hands) unsharp images - I have limited experience with a 7D in burst mode and the probably smaller mirror, but I would imagine a 7D in 8 fps mode with a burst of 5 images leads to serious camera vibration. Tow or three frames (one slow after the other) of the same scene are surely better - but I do not work in that style.

I think you can cluster use cases and for landscape photography I see tripod + MLU + IR emote release as the perfect way to get he utmost sharpness in an image.

For sports and action the situation is surely different. When you can't use a tripod and the scene is fast and with lots of movements a short shutter time plus a good IS is key to get a decent sharp image. Below 1/[0,5x(focal length)] IS might not play that important role any more but it does not harm too

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Gearóid Ó Laoi, Garry Lee
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Re: Lesser gear is not a waste
In reply to schmegg, Jul 6, 2013

schmegg wrote:

A very narrow-minded diatribe.

There are very valid reasons why 5 exposures blended may be superior to one. Likewise, AF performance is very important in certain situation.

I think you might just be attempting to apply your particular use case to everyone else - a big mistake.

Indeed.

How would he propose with his liveview and single central AF point, to take this?

Done with the humble 1Div and even more humble Sigma 300 using upper central Af point..

..or in this case, get the focus on the face??

I suppose he could crop, but then that would torture his perfectionist soul maybe...

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schmegg
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Re: Lesser gear is not a waste
In reply to joger, Jul 6, 2013

joger wrote:

schmegg wrote:

joger wrote:

NancyP wrote:

I have picked up some good technique and fieldcraft with the Canon 400mm f/5.6L, which provides high IQ at a relatively low price. Eventually I may get one of the Big Whites.

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NancyP

there are numerous people in most forums that can't get decent photos with the latest and greatest and utmost gear - at the end of the day it is always a question of mastering your gear the the shortcomings of it and of learning from others.

Even the best and latest technology and AF won't help you if you don't anticipate what's happening or if you just rely on the fancy technology.

Last weekend I've met a photographer shooting bursts of five shots for ever single (Landscape) shot with the explanation that photomatix calculates one image out of the five and that is the best technique to shoot - I was literally shocked by that point of view - but who knows - maybe I am wrong - I prefer one good image instead of maybe one good out of five

IS and AF are IMHO highly overrated when it comes to cameras. IS is more helpful then the AF - a slightly poorer AF can be overcome by good craftsmanship but a missing IS can't be compensated that much and even with 1/(focal length) exposure time a very high number of images get unsharp. I've tested that with my hands and on my 5D II I need (with my hands without IS) roughly 1/[2x(focal length)] to be 100 % sure to have on pixel level no unsharpness caused by camera shake (hand held)

With IS the same perceived keeper rate is possible at 1/[0,5x(focal length)] - so in other words for me it's an advantage of >4 stops - of course as long as the subject is not moving too fast.

AF is not an issue for me with the possibility of live view and spot AF with one cross type AF in the middle of the frame plus reframing.

A very narrow-minded diatribe.

There are very valid reasons why 5 exposures blended may be superior to one. Likewise, AF performance is very important in certain situation.

I think you might just be attempting to apply your particular use case to everyone else - a big mistake.

camera shake by the mirror slap is a relatively huge issue with my 5D II - only the mirror up and down causes (in my hands) unsharp images - I have limited experience with a 7D in burst mode and the probably smaller mirror, but I would imagine a 7D in 8 fps mode with a burst of 5 images leads to serious camera vibration. Tow or three frames (one slow after the other) of the same scene are surely better - but I do not work in that style.

I think you can cluster use cases and for landscape photography I see tripod + MLU + IR emote release as the perfect way to get he utmost sharpness in an image.

Sharpness is only one factor in making a compelling image though.

It strikes me as ironic that you consider stitching multiple exposures to make up an image to be perfectly OK but could be "shocked" that someone might wish to combine multiple images in a different way.

As I said, there are valid reasons why someone might wish to do this - just as valid as the reasoning behind your adoption of stitching images.

For sports and action the situation is surely different. When you can't use a tripod and the scene is fast and with lots of movements a short shutter time plus a good IS is key to get a decent sharp image. Below 1/[0,5x(focal length)] IS might not play that important role any more but it does not harm too

Yep. Different situations mean different capabilities might/will have different importances. You should know this - but your diatribe seemed to dismiss it.

And your point that more IS "does not harm" can equally be applied to AF performance!

You seem to think that if a feature or compromise is not valid for you personally, then it is simple not valid at all. You are wrong about this my friend.

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joger
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Re: Lesser gear is not a waste
In reply to schmegg, Jul 6, 2013

schmegg wrote:

Sharpness is only one factor in making a compelling image though.

It strikes me as ironic that you consider stitching multiple exposures to make up an image to be perfectly OK but could be "shocked" that someone might wish to combine multiple images in a different way.

...

And your point that more IS "does not harm" can equally be applied to AF performance!

You seem to think that if a feature or compromise is not valid for you personally, then it is simple not valid at all. You are wrong about this my friend.

you interpret far too much in my postings - far too much.

stitching four or five individual carefully focussed images from tripod with MLU and IR remote release introduces no mirror slap => thus the least possible amount of unsharp pixels caused by camera movement.

I am absolutely consistent in my thinking here.

I have no problem with whatsoever technique if it brings advantages. A burst of several images at maximum fps rate with the mirror going up and down must introduce some vibration - simply due the the mass the mirror has - even with IS you might get still some unsharpness on pixel level if the shutter speed slows down. Using a higher ISO can overcome this but reduces image quality too.

All that said a good composition is the key and even a technically mediocre image can be an outstanding piece of art.

We are talking here about technical aspects and not art - at least that's always been my understanding in a gear forum.

IS can hardly be compensated by any technique since your individual "hand vibration" is something that normally can not be reduced - though I've heard that some pottery painters drink one or two schnaps to get a more steady hands

Better AF speed and accuracy does not harm as well but you can work without it and get a similar level of image sharpness - but a lower keeper rate - which is in today's world not an issue any more - just delete these images and concentrate on the good ones - camera shaking is present in almost every image and thus the keeper rate can be near zero (if your quality tolerance is low)

I am personally planning to buy a 7D II if it has an all new AF system that exceeds today's standards dramatically - I'd want live on sensor AF - which the 70D offers in live view - imagine that AF system in a high res 7D successor with > 10 fps

You can quote me once the 7D successor or something similar I've described is released

As long as the AF is not done on the sensor it will always have flaws especially the calibration is something that never seems to work proper enough - now combine the idea of an on sensor AF with image recognition and the possibility to tel the camera on which part of the image you would like to focus.

Now that would be stunning - wouldn't it? And you would have millions of AF points.

So let's assume you photograph a jumping horse and you would be able to tell the camera please focus on the eyes of the horse and you just pan the camera and press the shutter and you see in the EVF an indicator that prompts the eyes and follows them and you just photograph and decide upon your instincts how to frame the image - wouldn't that be great?

Until then I work with whatever is available and I am happy with all incarnations because all of them are not what i'd like to have - this is not about me - this is about the ease of usage. surely new AF systems get better and better - but all of them have their shortcomings by they ways they work.

Would I buy an optically similar lens because of an improved IS - probably not - would I buy a camera with a physically different live view AF system - surely yes - especially if I could get rid of the mirror slap and still have high speed AF.

Coming back to tele lenses - I see IS and optical image quality technically spoken very important - AF is something that needs different cameras then today's standard to make a bigger leap forward - with the 70D sensor technology I see a very big potential leap for that to happen rather soon.

And then every image has the focus spot on - if the lens focus motor is capable enough to follow the camera instructions precisely.

All technically and not artistically spoken - the camera division leader from Canon said that the 7D successor would be something revolutionary rather then something evolutionary.

Let's cross fingers

my image from the Pfingstturnier in Wiesbaden wit AF in panning mode - luck that the AF is spot on

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schmegg
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Re: Lesser gear is not a waste
In reply to joger, Jul 6, 2013

joger wrote:

schmegg wrote:

Sharpness is only one factor in making a compelling image though.

It strikes me as ironic that you consider stitching multiple exposures to make up an image to be perfectly OK but could be "shocked" that someone might wish to combine multiple images in a different way.

...

And your point that more IS "does not harm" can equally be applied to AF performance!

You seem to think that if a feature or compromise is not valid for you personally, then it is simple not valid at all. You are wrong about this my friend.

you interpret far too much in my postings - far too much.

Perhaps - or perhaps I simply read what you wrote.

stitching four or five individual carefully focussed images from tripod with MLU and IR remote release introduces no mirror slap => thus the least possible amount of unsharp pixels caused by camera movement.

But "stitching four or five individual carefully focussed images from tripod with MLU and IR remote release" will not help if the scene DR exceeds the capabilities of your camera.

I am absolutely consistent in my thinking here.

Sure - but you are ignoring other situations.

Why you should be "shocked" that someone should use a different technique to you is beyond me TBH. But the technique certainly has its uses, regardless of if you think it's "sensible" or not.

Likewise, saying IS performance is more important than AF performance is quite blinkered (to put it nicely). The assertion is, quite frankly, absurd.

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joger
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Re: Lesser gear is not a waste
In reply to schmegg, Jul 6, 2013

schmegg wrote:

joger wrote:

schmegg wrote:

Sharpness is only one factor in making a compelling image though.

It strikes me as ironic that you consider stitching multiple exposures to make up an image to be perfectly OK but could be "shocked" that someone might wish to combine multiple images in a different way.

...

And your point that more IS "does not harm" can equally be applied to AF performance!

You seem to think that if a feature or compromise is not valid for you personally, then it is simple not valid at all. You are wrong about this my friend.

you interpret far too much in my postings - far too much.

Perhaps - or perhaps I simply read what you wrote.

stitching four or five individual carefully focussed images from tripod with MLU and IR remote release introduces no mirror slap => thus the least possible amount of unsharp pixels caused by camera movement.

But "stitching four or five individual carefully focussed images from tripod with MLU and IR remote release" will not help if the scene DR exceeds the capabilities of your camera.

I am absolutely consistent in my thinking here.

Sure - but you are ignoring other situations.

Why you should be "shocked" that someone should use a different technique to you is beyond me TBH. But the technique certainly has its uses, regardless of if you think it's "sensible" or not.

she did not do bracketing - just 5 frames with the same exposure to have one sharp image at full speed

I was shocked that someone would do that instead of holding the camera steady and have a look at the final result and then to judge whether it is sharp.

anyway - if you want to read further context between the lines I am fine with that - it looks like my way is working pretty well whereas I see others doing stuff they can't really fully explain and where i see no use for considering the basic principles of physics (technology wise) - arguing against that is strange

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schmegg
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Re: Lesser gear is not a waste
In reply to joger, Jul 6, 2013

joger wrote:

schmegg wrote:

joger wrote:

schmegg wrote:

Sharpness is only one factor in making a compelling image though.

It strikes me as ironic that you consider stitching multiple exposures to make up an image to be perfectly OK but could be "shocked" that someone might wish to combine multiple images in a different way.

...

And your point that more IS "does not harm" can equally be applied to AF performance!

You seem to think that if a feature or compromise is not valid for you personally, then it is simple not valid at all. You are wrong about this my friend.

you interpret far too much in my postings - far too much.

Perhaps - or perhaps I simply read what you wrote.

stitching four or five individual carefully focussed images from tripod with MLU and IR remote release introduces no mirror slap => thus the least possible amount of unsharp pixels caused by camera movement.

But "stitching four or five individual carefully focussed images from tripod with MLU and IR remote release" will not help if the scene DR exceeds the capabilities of your camera.

I am absolutely consistent in my thinking here.

Sure - but you are ignoring other situations.

Why you should be "shocked" that someone should use a different technique to you is beyond me TBH. But the technique certainly has its uses, regardless of if you think it's "sensible" or not.

she did not do bracketing - just 5 frames with the same exposure to have one sharp image at full speed

Really?

Why would she be using photomatix then?

Not sure I buy it - but you were there, I was not.

I was shocked that someone would do that instead of holding the camera steady and have a look at the final result and then to judge whether it is sharp.

Sharpness is not everything. In fact, it's not what makes a compelling image at all, though it can help (particularly if the other important factors have been neglected).

anyway - if you want to read further context between the lines I am fine with that - it looks like my way is working pretty well whereas I see others doing stuff they can't really fully explain and where i see no use for considering the basic principles of physics (technology wise) - arguing against that is strange

No one has to explain anything to you. If they get images that suit them, then they are doing fine.

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In reply to joger, Jul 6, 2013

Agree with Schmegg here.

joger wrote:

I have no problem with whatsoever technique if it brings advantages.

Then keep on reading...

A burst of several images at maximum fps rate with the mirror going up and down must introduce some vibration - simply due the the mass the mirror has

If you are snapping stills from a tripod then I would avoid shooting bursts, sure.

even with IS you might get still some unsharpness on pixel level if the shutter speed slows down.

However one of the really big advantages to shooting bursts (for sharpness' sake) is when the light is getting low and your shutter speeds are indeed slowing down (and you're handheld). I'll almost always shoot off a burst and then cherry pick the sharpest one (there's invariably one that's sharpest!).

I gain appx 2 stops when using this "Poor Man's Image Stabilization" versus shooting a single frame.  And if I have an IS lens, I still gain that extra 2 stops.

Now that is a technique with dramatic results, no?

R2

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TB Rich
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Re: "Poor Man's Image Stabilization"
In reply to R2D2, Jul 6, 2013

R2D2 wrote:

I'll almost always shoot off a burst and then cherry pick the sharpest one (there's invariably one that's sharpest!).

Do you use AI servo, or just one shot AF & literally spray and pray(!) assuming that 1 of the barrage of shots is at a moment when the camera is at its stillest?

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schmegg
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Re: "Poor Man's Image Stabilization"
In reply to TB Rich, Jul 6, 2013

TB Rich wrote:

R2D2 wrote:

I'll almost always shoot off a burst and then cherry pick the sharpest one (there's invariably one that's sharpest!).

Do you use AI servo, or just one shot AF & literally spray and pray(!) assuming that 1 of the barrage of shots is at a moment when the camera is at its stillest?

AI servo is for subject that are moving. Normally, landscapes are fairly static.

"Spray and Pray" sounds so derogatory. I'm sure it's not how you meant it. There are times when that technique may yield a keeper when just one shot wouldn't.

Is employing that technique a bad thing? Surely if you get the shot you were after, when just one attempt might have missed it, is only a sensible approach.

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TB Rich
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Re: "Poor Man's Image Stabilization"
In reply to schmegg, Jul 6, 2013

schmegg wrote:

TB Rich wrote:

R2D2 wrote:

I'll almost always shoot off a burst and then cherry pick the sharpest one (there's invariably one that's sharpest!).

Do you use AI servo, or just one shot AF & literally spray and pray(!) assuming that 1 of the barrage of shots is at a moment when the camera is at its stillest?

AI servo is for subject that are moving. Normally, landscapes are fairly static.

I realised that after I posted, thought it could even be MF if going hyper-focal.

"Spray and Pray" sounds so derogatory. I'm sure it's not how you meant it. There are times when that technique may yield a keeper when just one shot wouldn't.

Is employing that technique a bad thing? Surely if you get the shot you were after, when just one attempt might have missed it, is only a sensible approach.

Oh no not at all, I'm a rank amateur asking to learn! Often I do fire a couple off but using differing shutter button presses so AF changes each time. Using a burst on a single press would keep the AF point locked. So I was just wondering really if this technique may be a better method. Only one way to tell is to try of course, though I don't shoot landscape really but was thinking about doing some tomorrow for a change.

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schmegg
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Re: "Poor Man's Image Stabilization"
In reply to TB Rich, Jul 6, 2013

TB Rich wrote:

schmegg wrote:

TB Rich wrote:

R2D2 wrote:

I'll almost always shoot off a burst and then cherry pick the sharpest one (there's invariably one that's sharpest!).

Do you use AI servo, or just one shot AF & literally spray and pray(!) assuming that 1 of the barrage of shots is at a moment when the camera is at its stillest?

AI servo is for subject that are moving. Normally, landscapes are fairly static.

I realised that after I posted, thought it could even be MF if going hyper-focal.

MF is the way to go if you're on a tripod shooting landscapes. Either that or liveview with an 'experienced' idea of where in the scene you need to focus.

"Spray and Pray" sounds so derogatory. I'm sure it's not how you meant it. There are times when that technique may yield a keeper when just one shot wouldn't.

Is employing that technique a bad thing? Surely if you get the shot you were after, when just one attempt might have missed it, is only a sensible approach.

Oh no not at all, I'm a rank amateur asking to learn! Often I do fire a couple off but using differing shutter button presses so AF changes each time. Using a burst on a single press would keep the AF point locked. So I was just wondering really if this technique may be a better method. Only one way to tell is to try of course, though I don't shoot landscape really but was thinking about doing some tomorrow for a change.

Either way you'd want to keep the focus consistent - so you'd establish focus and then make sure it doesn't change from shot to shot. There is, as usual, more than one way to achieve this. Back-button AF for instance.

The beauty of digital photography is that mistakes cost you nothing but a very small amount of time.

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