Tripod exanding and contracting with 3°C temp swings when shooting timelapses at 5x?

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plantguy123 New Member • Posts: 4
Tripod exanding and contracting with 3°C temp swings when shooting timelapses at 5x?

Hi. I am trying to do timelapses at 5x with a D800 and a Laowa 25 mm lens shooting at 5x. I am also using a Cognisys Stackshot rig for focus stacking, but for the purposes of this question I don't think it's important as the problem is showing up with the D800 on the rail and also it just on a tripod head.

The problem is that something in the set-up is moving up and down by tiny amounts cyclically. I set up a Raspberry Pi thermometer and the camera movements seemed to directly correspond with the house temperature, which goes from around 19 C - 22 C in three hour cycles as the radiator system turns on and off. To verify this I turned off the furnace and the "bouncing" stopped.

At first I was using an aluminum Manfrotto tripod with the Manfrotto 410 geared head. Assuming that something in the set-up was expanding and contracting with the tempearture swings, I put the camera on the concrete basement floor and did a timelapse. The problem pretty much went away.

Back on the tripod, I did some experiments to see if the problem was coming from the tripod or from the subject on a makeshift table. My experiments seemed to suggest the former.

I tried switching heads, but the problem persisted. I read about how aluminum undergoes more thermal expansion and contraction for a given temperature change than carbon fibre does, so I got a carbon fibre tripod. This seems to have changed the nature of the bouncing, but it's still happening.

Does anyone have any suggestions for how to fix the problem of temperature swings affecting equipment when doing microscopic (at 5x) timelapses? Any ideas would be appreciated, thanks.

Here's a video of a timelapse done at 5x with the aluminum Manfrotto tripod and a Manfrotto MH804-3W 804 3-Way head of the chimney in the basement showing the problem:

Nikon D800
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klondiker
klondiker Regular Member • Posts: 354
Re: Tripod exanding and contracting with 3°C temp swings when shooting timelapses at 5x?

Coefficient of thermal expansion/contraction of aluminium is about 2.5x that of carbon fibre.

For more precise work I'd suggest using something more stable than tripod.

In this case a solid piece of wood is mounted to a solid wooden platform, all suspended on rubber cushions to reduce vibration duration.

I also use Manfrotto 410 head and find it very handy for macro photography.

Disclaimer:  I'm not very scientific with my camera - it is just my hobby.  For very serious macro I'd start with solid concrete base (let say concrete floor in the basement) and expand it from there.

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gregn

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BBbuilder467 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,035
Re: Tripod exanding and contracting with 3°C temp swings when shooting timelapses at 5x?

I do machining and don't think I could measure the difference in metal at only 3 degrees variation at room temperature. Even aluminum wouldn't do that.

klondiker
klondiker Regular Member • Posts: 354
Re: Tripod exanding and contracting with 3°C temp swings when shooting timelapses at 5x?

Linear, as well as angular deformation may be involved. Both could be a function of the tripod height, with angular having greater influence on the final result.

By angular deformation I mean angle of twist times the distance from camera to object.
 By mounting camera on a solid base, both factors would be eliminated.

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gregn

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BBbuilder467 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,035
Re: Tripod exanding and contracting with 3°C temp swings when shooting timelapses at 5x?

klondiker wrote:

Linear, as well as angular deformation may be involved. Both could be a function of the tripod height, with angular having greater influence on the final result.

By angular deformation I mean angle of twist times the distance from camera to object.
By mounting camera on a solid base, both factors would be eliminated.

What I'm thinking is assuming the metal is at room temperature to start, 3 degrees change in room temperature shouldn't have any effect. That's +/- 1 1/2 degrees.

OP plantguy123 New Member • Posts: 4
Re: Tripod exanding and contracting with 3°C temp swings when shooting timelapses at 5x?

Thanks everyone for the advice. I bulit a rock-based platform on the ground similar to what klondiker suggested, and it definitely reduced the fluctuations. Next step is to insulate the set-up more to eliminate it, or just wait for spring haha.

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