When do use tripods?

Started 5 months ago | Discussions
mfinley
mfinley Senior Member • Posts: 5,520
Re: When do use tripods?

Wow, I wish this many people would interact this much in other threads, who knew?

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inohio New Member • Posts: 4
Re: When do use tripods?

I felt your overall point was that the tripod allowed you to produce photos of maximum quality—by allowing you to lengthen the shutter and freeze the composition. That is what I meant.

calson Forum Pro • Posts: 10,585
Re: When do use tripods?

I highly recommend reading the books by Brenda Tharp and Glenn Randall that show what can be accomplished with long exposures and stitched panos which require a good tripod. Brenda Tharp's book Creative Nature & Outdoor Photography was a revelation for me and changed my own approach to landcape and nature photography.

With a tripod an exposure of 1 second or longer can be made and an aperture of f/13 or smaller used to maximize depth of field and sharpness. With water scenes long exposures help to flatten the water or better show its flow.

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Blind Bill
Blind Bill Senior Member • Posts: 1,257
Re: When do use tripods?
2

There are probably a lot of good reasons to use a tripod and yet no one has mentioned Manual Focus lenses.  Four of my lenses are Zeiss MF only and a tripod is essential to nailing focus with these lenses.  The difference between perfectly sharp and real close is very apparent when I don't use a tripod.

Using a tripod has changed my attitude from 'run and gun' to being very deliberate in my compositions and settings.

I use my tripod about 99% of the time, including when I have my two Auto Focus lenses on the camera body.  I feel somewhat at a loss when I don't have it with me.

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skysurfer5
skysurfer5 Contributing Member • Posts: 866
Re: Pixel shift and low light

Fotoni wrote:

Pixel shift needs 100% support...

Actually, this depends on the camera.  My Olympus E-M1 Mk II can only make a successful high res (pixel shift) image when the camera is mounted on a tripod.  However, my Olympus E-M1 Mk III and Oly's E-M1X has a hand-held high res mode.  It produces a smaller image than the tripod high res mode, but still quite a bit larger than the native 20 MP.  They may be other cameras that can also do hand-held high res.

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skysurfer5
skysurfer5 Contributing Member • Posts: 866
Re: When do use tripods?

This is very close to my own experience, except that I don't hike in the winter, only stroll.

The last time I carried a full-size tripod on a long hike was in 2009, when I did the 11-mile round-trip between Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite National Park and the cascade immediately below the Glen Aulin High Sierra Camp.  I ended up using the tripod only a couple times and concluded that I gained nothing from carrying the extra 5 lbs.

If the hike is short, I might carry a tripod, but now it's more likely to be my short and tiny Slik Pro 500DXS than my full-size Manfrotto.  When we do car trips, I bring both tripods just in case.  When we fly, I may or may not bring one or the other.

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georgehudetz Veteran Member • Posts: 5,319
Re: When do use tripods?
2

noisebeam wrote:

Bing Chow wrote:

The responses are as varied as personalities, and that is expected.

Responses indicate three reasons:

1. Longer shutter speeds (small aperture, low light, ND, polarizers) that will or could have IQ impact if hand held.

2. Multiple captures requiring matched framing.

3. Composition mindfulness and/or precision.

With #3 more of a personal consideration.

Two other reasons:

- Sometimes, you set up a shot and then have to wait for peak light (at sunset, for example).  With a tripod, you can just leave your camera on the tripod with your (hopefully) final composition and relax a bit, watching the light change.

- Often, wildlife shooting involves heavy lenses and, again, waiting for that perfect moment.  A tripod with a good head is invaluable here.

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Gary from Seattle Veteran Member • Posts: 6,003
Re: When do use tripods?
2

georgehudetz wrote:

noisebeam wrote:

Bing Chow wrote:

The responses are as varied as personalities, and that is expected.

Responses indicate three reasons:

1. Longer shutter speeds (small aperture, low light, ND, polarizers) that will or could have IQ impact if hand held.

2. Multiple captures requiring matched framing.

3. Composition mindfulness and/or precision.

With #3 more of a personal consideration.

Two other reasons:

- Sometimes, you set up a shot and then have to wait for peak light (at sunset, for example). With a tripod, you can just leave your camera on the tripod with your (hopefully) final composition and relax a bit, watching the light change.

I would do the same, just watching and analyzing a composition; and then shoot when I like the situation, say from a high mountain camp. No tripod is necessary for this.

- Often, wildlife shooting involves heavy lenses and, again, waiting for that perfect moment. A tripod with a good head is invaluable here.

That depends on the system. Many new adopters of the Oly 300 F4 (600) and brand new 150-400 (300 to 900) cite the beauty of a system that is designed not to be used with a tripod. Mobility and flexibility of being able to quickly shoot in a different direction or to be able to quickly follow a flying bird is extremely valuable in wildlife shooting, particularly birds.

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georgehudetz Veteran Member • Posts: 5,319
Re: When do use tripods?
1

Gary from Seattle wrote:

georgehudetz wrote:

noisebeam wrote:

Bing Chow wrote:

The responses are as varied as personalities, and that is expected.

Responses indicate three reasons:

1. Longer shutter speeds (small aperture, low light, ND, polarizers) that will or could have IQ impact if hand held.

2. Multiple captures requiring matched framing.

3. Composition mindfulness and/or precision.

With #3 more of a personal consideration.

Two other reasons:

- Sometimes, you set up a shot and then have to wait for peak light (at sunset, for example). With a tripod, you can just leave your camera on the tripod with your (hopefully) final composition and relax a bit, watching the light change.

I would do the same, just watching and analyzing a composition; and then shoot when I like the situation, say from a high mountain camp. No tripod is necessary for this.

Necessary? Who said anything. about necessary? The question was - when do people use tripods, even with shorter exposure times?  This is a very valid scenario. I've seen it play out many times out in the wild.

- Often, wildlife shooting involves heavy lenses and, again, waiting for that perfect moment. A tripod with a good head is invaluable here.

That depends on the system. Many new adopters of the Oly 300 F4 (600) and brand new 150-400 (300 to 900) cite the beauty of a system that is designed not to be used with a tripod.

Hmmm. The 150-400 comes with a tripod foot. So I'm not sure why you say it is designed NOT to be used with a tripod - clearly it is.

Mobility and flexibility of being able to quickly shoot in a different direction or to be able to quickly follow a flying bird is extremely valuable in wildlife shooting, particularly birds.

Sure, fine. Again, this thread is about when a tripod is useful, not about when it is not.

When I am up in Rocky Mountain National Park photographing Elk during the rut - along with dozens of others, LOL - the majority of us use tripods. And yes, the 150-400 would be AMAZING in this scenario, but at 1.8 kg, I'm sure I'd be using a tripod with it.

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AZheaven Senior Member • Posts: 2,203
Re: When do use tripods?
1

I've had 8 surgeries in the past 2 years. Knee replacement, thumb joint surgeries, etc. I've lost quite a bit of upper body strength. It's hard to keep my A7III and Sony 100-400 steady. And I'm working on that. But it keeps going through my mind to get a monopod for that to help until I do regain some of that muscle back.

As for a tripod, which I own, I find it essential for long exposures and landscapes. Will be going to Southern UT and Northern AZ on a 5 day camping trip. I will need a tripod for astro shots and sunrise/sunset shots.

jonby Regular Member • Posts: 304
Re: When do use tripods?
2

Most of the reasons for using a tripod have been covered very well here - and I agree with all of them. Absolutely no doubt that once you have found your subject, having the camera on a tripod offers many benefits - sometimes fairly minor, sometimes huge.

I used to be a 'must use a tripod' person, but more recently, I have discovered some of the benefits of not using one, from my perspective:-

  1. Not taking one reduces the 'threshold' for going out and doing photography - both due to the reduced physical constraints/effort and also because I feel less self-conscious. So I do more, resulting in more good images, in a wider range of situations.
  2. The reduced physical constraints mean that I can walk further, try out more locations, get over more obstacles, more quickly.
  3. Once a subject is found, I am more likely to try out an alternative camera position/angle if it doesn't mean re-positioning a tripod, because I can do it quicker and with less effort, sometimes resulting in a better image.
  4. I sometimes find that between 'visualizing' a composition, and getting a tripod into position, I lose some of the key elements that attracted me to shoot it. The position ends up not being exactly the same as my initial visualization, and not as good, though I don't notice it at the time.
  5. Despite the accepted perception of landscape being 'static', allowing a slow and deliberate approach, I would say that time is mostly very short, and indeed critical to many shots - things change quickly. So the additional time spent setting up a tripod can be enough to lose some elements which were critical for the initial composition decision.
  6. A tripod can't always get my camera into the right spot, due to a steep slope, a fence, limited space for the legs etc. , or it takes so long to get it into the right spot that something changes in the subject and I lose the moment, or end up compromising on the camera position.

So I find that I do gain a number of freedoms through going out without a tripod, and these can be very beneficial to my images. Sometimes images are compromised by having to use sub-optimal settings, focus/exposure not being absolutely optimal, or through inaccuracies in composition, but sometimes the benefits outweigh the negatives. It's a compromise.

Certainly some of the features of newer cameras do help to allow hand-held shooting more viable - high ISO performance, IS, fast shooting of brackets etc. The one which has made the biggest difference for me is auto focus bracketing, which is something I find makes a big difference in image quality consistency. Shooting a focus bracket hand-held is very difficult if you have to do it manually. So having focus bracketing automated has removed one of the technical barriers to working without a tripod, for me. Sadly it's still a fairly rare feature.

Anyway, I just wanted to highlight some possible benefits to hand-held shooting in landscape work, which I have become more aware of in recent times. These don't in any way negate the benefits of using a tripod, which are real and substantial. If my aim was to produce gallery prints, I would definitely use one. For small prints, I would consider working without one.

georgehudetz Veteran Member • Posts: 5,319
Re: When do use tripods?
1

jonby wrote:

Most of the reasons for using a tripod have been covered very well here - and I agree with all of them. Absolutely no doubt that once you have found your subject, having the camera on a tripod offers many benefits - sometimes fairly minor, sometimes huge.

I used to be a 'must use a tripod' person, but more recently, I have discovered some of the benefits of not using one, from my perspective:-

  1. Not taking one reduces the 'threshold' for going out and doing photography - both due to the reduced physical constraints/effort and also because I feel less self-conscious. So I do more, resulting in more good images, in a wider range of situations.
  2. The reduced physical constraints mean that I can walk further, try out more locations, get over more obstacles, more quickly.
  3. Once a subject is found, I am more likely to try out an alternative camera position/angle if it doesn't mean re-positioning a tripod, because I can do it quicker and with less effort, sometimes resulting in a better image.
  4. I sometimes find that between 'visualizing' a composition, and getting a tripod into position, I lose some of the key elements that attracted me to shoot it. The position ends up not being exactly the same as my initial visualization, and not as good, though I don't notice it at the time.
  5. Despite the accepted perception of landscape being 'static', allowing a slow and deliberate approach, I would say that time is mostly very short, and indeed critical to many shots - things change quickly. So the additional time spent setting up a tripod can be enough to lose some elements which were critical for the initial composition decision.
  6. A tripod can't always get my camera into the right spot, due to a steep slope, a fence, limited space for the legs etc. , or it takes so long to get it into the right spot that something changes in the subject and I lose the moment, or end up compromising on the camera position.

So I find that I do gain a number of freedoms through going out without a tripod, and these can be very beneficial to my images. Sometimes images are compromised by having to use sub-optimal settings, focus/exposure not being absolutely optimal, or through inaccuracies in composition, but sometimes the benefits outweigh the negatives. It's a compromise.

Certainly some of the features of newer cameras do help to allow hand-held shooting more viable - high ISO performance, IS, fast shooting of brackets etc. The one which has made the biggest difference for me is auto focus bracketing, which is something I find makes a big difference in image quality consistency. Shooting a focus bracket hand-held is very difficult if you have to do it manually. So having focus bracketing automated has removed one of the technical barriers to working without a tripod, for me. Sadly it's still a fairly rare feature.

Anyway, I just wanted to highlight some possible benefits to hand-held shooting in landscape work, which I have become more aware of in recent times. These don't in any way negate the benefits of using a tripod, which are real and substantial. If my aim was to produce gallery prints, I would definitely use one. For small prints, I would consider working without one.

All good points.

I will simply add that even when using as tripod, one should find the desired composition while hand-holding the camera.  Much more creative freedom, and if you lock into a tripod too quickly, you may never see that better composition.

And,  of course, if your desired comp does not allow a tripod, then you just rely on other skills & tech.

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jonby Regular Member • Posts: 304
Re: When do use tripods?

georgehudetz wrote:

All good points.

Thank you.

I will simply add that even when using as tripod, one should find the desired composition while hand-holding the camera. Much more creative freedom, and if you lock into a tripod too quickly, you may never see that better composition.

Yes absolutely - find the composition first hand-held, work out where the camera needs to be, then try to replicate the position and angle on the tripod. Sometimes this can be difficult though, which my point #4 was about - it's easy to end up with slight changes in position and angle which you either don't notice at the time or think don't matter, but later you realize that they actually do! That's my experience anyway.

So yes - one of the skills of tripod use is to find ways of accurately replicating the initially chosen position and angle.

And, of course, if your desired comp does not allow a tripod, then you just rely on other skills & tech.

Yes.

Gary from Seattle Veteran Member • Posts: 6,003
Re: When do use tripods?

georgehudetz wrote:

Gary from Seattle wrote:

georgehudetz wrote:

noisebeam wrote:

Bing Chow wrote:

The responses are as varied as personalities, and that is expected.

Responses indicate three reasons:

1. Longer shutter speeds (small aperture, low light, ND, polarizers) that will or could have IQ impact if hand held.

2. Multiple captures requiring matched framing.

3. Composition mindfulness and/or precision.

With #3 more of a personal consideration.

Two other reasons:

- Sometimes, you set up a shot and then have to wait for peak light (at sunset, for example). With a tripod, you can just leave your camera on the tripod with your (hopefully) final composition and relax a bit, watching the light change.

I would do the same, just watching and analyzing a composition; and then shoot when I like the situation, say from a high mountain camp. No tripod is necessary for this.

Necessary? Who said anything. about necessary? The question was - when do people use tripods, even with shorter exposure times? This is a very valid scenario. I've seen it play out many times out in the wild.

Well, my car has an ashtray and I don't need that either. A very valid scenario for me is the experience of shooting out of doors for the past seven years with this system. That should suffice and no speculation is required either.

- Often, wildlife shooting involves heavy lenses and, again, waiting for that perfect moment. A tripod with a good head is invaluable here.

That depends on the system. Many new adopters of the Oly 300 F4 (600) and brand new 150-400 (300 to 900) cite the beauty of a system that is designed not to be used with a tripod.

Hmmm. The 150-400 comes with a tripod foot. So I'm not sure why you say it is designed NOT to be used with a tripod - clearly it is.

Mobility and flexibility of being able to quickly shoot in a different direction or to be able to quickly follow a flying bird is extremely valuable in wildlife shooting, particularly birds.

Sure, fine. Again, this thread is about when a tripod is useful, not about when it is not.

When I am up in Rocky Mountain National Park photographing Elk during the rut - along with dozens of others, LOL - the majority of us use tripods. And yes, the 150-400 would be AMAZING in this scenario, but at 1.8 kg, I'm sure I'd be using a tripod with it.

I have the 300 F4 and have used it for two years with no thought of needing a tripod. The 150-400 is so well balanced and light that those that use it are not using it with a tripod. Folks like David Tipling, Petr Bambousek https://www.sulasula.com/en/olympus-150-400mm-4-5-tc-in-costa-rica/, and Andy Rouse. There are also all sorts of threads on m4/3 from more typical folks using the new lens....no mention of tripods at all.

With the 300 (or 150-400) the only times I think I might use a tripod are for video or from a hide. I don't really do the latter.

Tripods with this system and for birding/wildlife are essentailly something one could carry for exercise, but would likely not use.

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Gary from Seattle Veteran Member • Posts: 6,003
Re: When do use tripods?

georgehudetz wrote:

jonby wrote:

Most of the reasons for using a tripod have been covered very well here - and I agree with all of them. Absolutely no doubt that once you have found your subject, having the camera on a tripod offers many benefits - sometimes fairly minor, sometimes huge.

I used to be a 'must use a tripod' person, but more recently, I have discovered some of the benefits of not using one, from my perspective:-

  1. Not taking one reduces the 'threshold' for going out and doing photography - both due to the reduced physical constraints/effort and also because I feel less self-conscious. So I do more, resulting in more good images, in a wider range of situations.
  2. The reduced physical constraints mean that I can walk further, try out more locations, get over more obstacles, more quickly.
  3. Once a subject is found, I am more likely to try out an alternative camera position/angle if it doesn't mean re-positioning a tripod, because I can do it quicker and with less effort, sometimes resulting in a better image.
  4. I sometimes find that between 'visualizing' a composition, and getting a tripod into position, I lose some of the key elements that attracted me to shoot it. The position ends up not being exactly the same as my initial visualization, and not as good, though I don't notice it at the time.
  5. Despite the accepted perception of landscape being 'static', allowing a slow and deliberate approach, I would say that time is mostly very short, and indeed critical to many shots - things change quickly. So the additional time spent setting up a tripod can be enough to lose some elements which were critical for the initial composition decision.
  6. A tripod can't always get my camera into the right spot, due to a steep slope, a fence, limited space for the legs etc. , or it takes so long to get it into the right spot that something changes in the subject and I lose the moment, or end up compromising on the camera position.

So I find that I do gain a number of freedoms through going out without a tripod, and these can be very beneficial to my images. Sometimes images are compromised by having to use sub-optimal settings, focus/exposure not being absolutely optimal, or through inaccuracies in composition, but sometimes the benefits outweigh the negatives. It's a compromise.

Certainly some of the features of newer cameras do help to allow hand-held shooting more viable - high ISO performance, IS, fast shooting of brackets etc. The one which has made the biggest difference for me is auto focus bracketing, which is something I find makes a big difference in image quality consistency. Shooting a focus bracket hand-held is very difficult if you have to do it manually. So having focus bracketing automated has removed one of the technical barriers to working without a tripod, for me. Sadly it's still a fairly rare feature.

Anyway, I just wanted to highlight some possible benefits to hand-held shooting in landscape work, which I have become more aware of in recent times. These don't in any way negate the benefits of using a tripod, which are real and substantial. If my aim was to produce gallery prints, I would definitely use one. For small prints, I would consider working without one.

All good points.

I will simply add that even when using as tripod, one should find the desired composition while hand-holding the camera. Much more creative freedom, and if you lock into a tripod too quickly, you may never see that better composition.

Now that I agree with. My experience and feeling is that one is really not likely to get the "best" composition in a particular scenario - just a good one. Recognizing and shooting multiple compositions usually leads to "very good" compositions - sometimes these are not the compositions that one initially recognized.

And, of course, if your desired comp does not allow a tripod, then you just rely on other skills & tech.

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georgehudetz Veteran Member • Posts: 5,319
Re: When do use tripods?

Gary from Seattle wrote:

georgehudetz wrote:

Gary from Seattle wrote:

georgehudetz wrote:

noisebeam wrote:

Bing Chow wrote:

The responses are as varied as personalities, and that is expected.

Responses indicate three reasons:

1. Longer shutter speeds (small aperture, low light, ND, polarizers) that will or could have IQ impact if hand held.

2. Multiple captures requiring matched framing.

3. Composition mindfulness and/or precision.

With #3 more of a personal consideration.

Two other reasons:

- Sometimes, you set up a shot and then have to wait for peak light (at sunset, for example). With a tripod, you can just leave your camera on the tripod with your (hopefully) final composition and relax a bit, watching the light change.

I would do the same, just watching and analyzing a composition; and then shoot when I like the situation, say from a high mountain camp. No tripod is necessary for this.

Necessary? Who said anything. about necessary? The question was - when do people use tripods, even with shorter exposure times? This is a very valid scenario. I've seen it play out many times out in the wild.

Well, my car has an ashtray and I don't need that either. A very valid scenario for me is the experience of shooting out of doors for the past seven years with this system. That should suffice and no speculation is required either.

I never said that your experiences & approach are invalid. In fact, I do respect the minimalist approach, and practice it myself when I think the situation suits it. But you, on the other hand, do seem to be saying that my experiences and approach (and that of many others) are invalid. Not sure why you feel the need to do this, but OK.

- Often, wildlife shooting involves heavy lenses and, again, waiting for that perfect moment. A tripod with a good head is invaluable here.

That depends on the system. Many new adopters of the Oly 300 F4 (600) and brand new 150-400 (300 to 900) cite the beauty of a system that is designed not to be used with a tripod.

Hmmm. The 150-400 comes with a tripod foot. So I'm not sure why you say it is designed NOT to be used with a tripod - clearly it is.

Mobility and flexibility of being able to quickly shoot in a different direction or to be able to quickly follow a flying bird is extremely valuable in wildlife shooting, particularly birds.

Sure, fine. Again, this thread is about when a tripod is useful, not about when it is not.

When I am up in Rocky Mountain National Park photographing Elk during the rut - along with dozens of others, LOL - the majority of us use tripods. And yes, the 150-400 would be AMAZING in this scenario, but at 1.8 kg, I'm sure I'd be using a tripod with it.

I have the 300 F4 and have used it for two years with no thought of needing a tripod. The 150-400 is so well balanced and light that those that use it are not using it with a tripod. Folks like David Tipling, Petr Bambousek https://www.sulasula.com/en/olympus-150-400mm-4-5-tc-in-costa-rica/, and Andy Rouse. There are also all sorts of threads on m4/3 from more typical folks using the new lens....no mention of tripods at all.

With the 300 (or 150-400) the only times I think I might use a tripod are for video or from a hide. I don't really do the latter.

Tripods with this system and for birding/wildlife are essentailly something one could carry for exercise, but would likely not use.

Well, I use a tripod with a Sigma 100-400, which is lighter than the Oly 300 F4. So, I'm confident I would use it with a m43 system as well. Sure, the 300 is better balanced, but sooner or later, as the day continues on, weight it weight.

Again, why is it so hard for you to acknowledge that different people have different needs and/or preferences?

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georgehudetz Veteran Member • Posts: 5,319
Re: When do use tripods?

Gary from Seattle wrote:

georgehudetz wrote:

jonby wrote:

Most of the reasons for using a tripod have been covered very well here - and I agree with all of them. Absolutely no doubt that once you have found your subject, having the camera on a tripod offers many benefits - sometimes fairly minor, sometimes huge.

I used to be a 'must use a tripod' person, but more recently, I have discovered some of the benefits of not using one, from my perspective:-

  1. Not taking one reduces the 'threshold' for going out and doing photography - both due to the reduced physical constraints/effort and also because I feel less self-conscious. So I do more, resulting in more good images, in a wider range of situations.
  2. The reduced physical constraints mean that I can walk further, try out more locations, get over more obstacles, more quickly.
  3. Once a subject is found, I am more likely to try out an alternative camera position/angle if it doesn't mean re-positioning a tripod, because I can do it quicker and with less effort, sometimes resulting in a better image.
  4. I sometimes find that between 'visualizing' a composition, and getting a tripod into position, I lose some of the key elements that attracted me to shoot it. The position ends up not being exactly the same as my initial visualization, and not as good, though I don't notice it at the time.
  5. Despite the accepted perception of landscape being 'static', allowing a slow and deliberate approach, I would say that time is mostly very short, and indeed critical to many shots - things change quickly. So the additional time spent setting up a tripod can be enough to lose some elements which were critical for the initial composition decision.
  6. A tripod can't always get my camera into the right spot, due to a steep slope, a fence, limited space for the legs etc. , or it takes so long to get it into the right spot that something changes in the subject and I lose the moment, or end up compromising on the camera position.

So I find that I do gain a number of freedoms through going out without a tripod, and these can be very beneficial to my images. Sometimes images are compromised by having to use sub-optimal settings, focus/exposure not being absolutely optimal, or through inaccuracies in composition, but sometimes the benefits outweigh the negatives. It's a compromise.

Certainly some of the features of newer cameras do help to allow hand-held shooting more viable - high ISO performance, IS, fast shooting of brackets etc. The one which has made the biggest difference for me is auto focus bracketing, which is something I find makes a big difference in image quality consistency. Shooting a focus bracket hand-held is very difficult if you have to do it manually. So having focus bracketing automated has removed one of the technical barriers to working without a tripod, for me. Sadly it's still a fairly rare feature.

Anyway, I just wanted to highlight some possible benefits to hand-held shooting in landscape work, which I have become more aware of in recent times. These don't in any way negate the benefits of using a tripod, which are real and substantial. If my aim was to produce gallery prints, I would definitely use one. For small prints, I would consider working without one.

All good points.

I will simply add that even when using as tripod, one should find the desired composition while hand-holding the camera. Much more creative freedom, and if you lock into a tripod too quickly, you may never see that better composition.

Now that I agree with. My experience and feeling is that one is really not likely to get the "best" composition in a particular scenario - just a good one. Recognizing and shooting multiple compositions usually leads to "very good" compositions - sometimes these are not the compositions that one initially recognized.

Yes exactly.

And, of course, if your desired comp does not allow a tripod, then you just rely on other skills & tech.

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Gary from Seattle Veteran Member • Posts: 6,003
Re: When do use tripods?

georgehudetz wrote:

Gary from Seattle wrote:

georgehudetz wrote:

Gary from Seattle wrote:

georgehudetz wrote:

noisebeam wrote:

Bing Chow wrote:

The responses are as varied as personalities, and that is expected.

Responses indicate three reasons:

1. Longer shutter speeds (small aperture, low light, ND, polarizers) that will or could have IQ impact if hand held.

2. Multiple captures requiring matched framing.

3. Composition mindfulness and/or precision.

With #3 more of a personal consideration.

Two other reasons:

- Sometimes, you set up a shot and then have to wait for peak light (at sunset, for example). With a tripod, you can just leave your camera on the tripod with your (hopefully) final composition and relax a bit, watching the light change.

I would do the same, just watching and analyzing a composition; and then shoot when I like the situation, say from a high mountain camp. No tripod is necessary for this.

Necessary? Who said anything. about necessary? The question was - when do people use tripods, even with shorter exposure times? This is a very valid scenario. I've seen it play out many times out in the wild.

Well, my car has an ashtray and I don't need that either. A very valid scenario for me is the experience of shooting out of doors for the past seven years with this system. That should suffice and no speculation is required either.

I never said that your experiences & approach are invalid. In fact, I do respect the minimalist approach, and practice it myself when I think the situation suits it. But you, on the other hand, do seem to be saying that my experiences and approach (and that of many others) are invalid. Not sure why you feel the need to do this, but OK.

Your use of "minimalist approach" here is condescending. I never said anything denigrating your approach, just that my experience is different. If you look at my first post in this thread you will immediately see that I recognize a difference between shooting "close to the car" and well away from it. The advantage of having mobility in landscape shooting is that there are literally millions or billions of different compositions that one would encounter over time if one is always watching and appreciating nature. Having the "best light" is a different thing and sometimes requires multiple trips and sometimes is not possible logistically at all.

- Often, wildlife shooting involves heavy lenses and, again, waiting for that perfect moment. A tripod with a good head is invaluable here.

That depends on the system. Many new adopters of the Oly 300 F4 (600) and brand new 150-400 (300 to 900) cite the beauty of a system that is designed not to be used with a tripod.

Hmmm. The 150-400 comes with a tripod foot. So I'm not sure why you say it is designed NOT to be used with a tripod - clearly it is.

Mobility and flexibility of being able to quickly shoot in a different direction or to be able to quickly follow a flying bird is extremely valuable in wildlife shooting, particularly birds.

Sure, fine. Again, this thread is about when a tripod is useful, not about when it is not.

When I am up in Rocky Mountain National Park photographing Elk during the rut - along with dozens of others, LOL - the majority of us use tripods. And yes, the 150-400 would be AMAZING in this scenario, but at 1.8 kg, I'm sure I'd be using a tripod with it.

I have the 300 F4 and have used it for two years with no thought of needing a tripod. The 150-400 is so well balanced and light that those that use it are not using it with a tripod. Folks like David Tipling, Petr Bambousek https://www.sulasula.com/en/olympus-150-400mm-4-5-tc-in-costa-rica/, and Andy Rouse. There are also all sorts of threads on m4/3 from more typical folks using the new lens....no mention of tripods at all.

With the 300 (or 150-400) the only times I think I might use a tripod are for video or from a hide. I don't really do the latter.

Tripods with this system and for birding/wildlife are essentailly something one could carry for exercise, but would likely not use.

Well, I use a tripod with a Sigma 100-400, which is lighter than the Oly 300 F4. So, I'm confident I would use it with a m43 system as well. Sure, the 300 is better balanced, but sooner or later, as the day continues on, weight it weight.

Well, if you feel confident in saying that; your use of this system would fall in the lower 10th percentile of users of the above mentioned lenses. When I shoot wildlife I am likely to walk through an area with a lot of birds and a shot might suddenly appear in any direction at any time, and is likely to be short-lived. It is sort of like "the early bird catches the worm". A tripod for these shots would merely be an encumbrance. At a hide or a feeder, or perhaps even for birds on water it might be different.

The other "wildlife" I have started to shoot more often (seven times this month) is wild bees. Although I can put myself in the best locations for shooting, the action can happen in multiple directions and is very, very quick - so quick in fact that even acquiring nearly instant autofocus and then pressing the shutter is too slow. At the suggestion of another I am now going to start using MF, roughly presetting focus and then watching for the "action" to appear in focus (moving my body). This appears to be a touch quicker. Birding for me is similar but not quite at that level of necessity in quick shooting.

Again, why is it so hard for you to acknowledge that different people have different needs and/or preferences?

Why is it so hard for you to acknowledge that your experience is for your system and may be entirely out of whack with a different system, which benefits from mobility.

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photonut2008
photonut2008 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,433
Re: When do use tripods?
1
  • Longer exposures.
  • Panoramas.
  • Any scene where I want to wait to get the shot after carefully choosing the AOV, focus plane, exposure value, etcetera.
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Shinyschnapper
Shinyschnapper Regular Member • Posts: 200
Re: When do use tripods?

I do use a tripod often and I am happy carrying it around.  Most of my shooting is either in quite dark woodland, night time or long exposure shots.  I tend not to hike up mountains and I am never too far from the car/hotel room that I can't dash back to get the tripod.  If I am just walking round the park or a city I have a tabletop tripod in my bag for emergencies.

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