DA 55-300 vs DA* 300 f4

Started Sep 16, 2013 | Discussions thread
KentG Veteran Member • Posts: 4,518
Re: DA 55-300 vs DA* 300 f4

Here is the issue whether most know it or not, and the reason most camera companies say not to use full motion SR on a tripod. The SR system has both a response time and an action time. When handheld the amplitude and movement is relatively slow compared to the speed of the SR system, so the SR is able to compensate because the amount of movement is still happening when the shot is fired. On a tripod it is different DEPENDING on the mass and weight of the tripod. On a heavy, sturdy tripod the vibration damps out very quickly, likely quicker than the SR system can respond and compensate, so when the shot fires the SR system has compensated for a movement that has already damped out. So you get blur. On a lightweight tripod the vibration harmonic takes more time to dampen out so depending on the shutter speed SR would likely function faster than the vibration could disappear.

My own use of longer lenses bears this out. And just to add another point aluminum tripods have a longer vibration harmonic than wood or some other materials. My setup used a Wimberly Sidekick, Graf Studioball, and the heaviest Bogen tripod I could get at the time. Plus I have tested monopods which I used to use a lot also. Just like when doing astrophotography I test the amount of vibration in the system by tapping the part of the rig farthest from the tripod head and see how long it takes to dampen out. One way to reduce the dampen time is to hang a weight from the center of the tripod. Some tripods actually have a hook there to aid in that. If you see that the vibration dampens out in less than 1 second then using SR is a waste most of the time, unless you are panning a lot. Be nice if SR could be shut off in the vertical mode like some Canon big lenses that are likely to be used on monopods. So I turn SR when using any of my supports except handheld (K20D).

Still no one result can cover all bases so depending on your rig and the generation of SR in your camera it might give different results. I plan to redo all my tests whenever I decide to pickup a K-3.

Kent Gittings

 KentG's gear list:KentG's gear list
Pentax K-5 IIs Pentax K-S1 Pentax K-1 Pentax smc D-FA 50mm F2.8 Macro Pentax FA 150-450mm F4.5-5.6 +3 more
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