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Author Topic: Importance of Tripod  (Read 9055 times)

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« on: April 15, 2009, 06:04 »
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I hear again and again how important it is to use a tripod and cablerelease.  Ofcourse when youre using slower shutters.  But  lets say I shoot a landscape with a wideangle in full daylight ( it happens :) ) and use S 800/f6.4 for example.  The dof is biiig.  and how much can I shake during that short amount of time?

Teach me please?


« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2009, 06:19 »
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I bet no one could make a difference between a photo made with and without a tripod with this setup.

I hate dogmas  ;D

« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2009, 06:30 »
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I read a book about photography and this may help you :

" There's not just one trick that will give you the sharp photos the pros getit's a combination of things that all come together to give you "tack sharp" shots. (Tack sharp is the term pro photographers use to describe the ultimate level of sharpness. Sadly, we aren't the best at coming up with highly imaginative names for things.) So, while there are a number of things you'll need to do to get tack-sharp photos, the most important is shooting on a tripod. In fact, if there's one single thing that really separates the pros from the amateurs, it's that the pros always shoot on a tripod (even in daylight). Yes, it's more work, but it's the key ingredient that amateurs miss. Pros will do the little things that most amateurs aren't willing to do; that's part of the reason their photos look like they do. Keeping the camera still and steady is a tripod's only job, but when it comes to tripods, some do a lot better job than others. That's why you don't want to skimp on quality. You'll hear pros talking about this again and again, because cheap tripods simply don't do a great job of keeping your camera that steady. That's why they're cheap. "

If you liked this book:
The Digital Photography Book: The Step-By-Step Secrets for How to Make Your Photos Look Like the Pros'!
By Scott Kelby
...............................................
Publisher: Peachpit Press
Pub Date: August 23, 2006
Print ISBN-10: 0-321-47404-X
Print ISBN-13: 978-0-321-47404-9
Pages: 240



« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2009, 06:56 »
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the most important is shooting on a tripod

With a cheap lens, you will get a soft photo whatever the tripod you use. During hazy days, you will get a soft photo whatever the material you use. A tripod will not help freezing a moving subject. You will get a fuzzy picture if you use a low quality JPEG. And as you say, a cheap tripod will not help that much.

There is no "one rule fits every situation" IMHO and I don't see the point on focusing on the tripod when you have many other parameters in the equation: a good photographer should know the effect of all parameters and know how to set them up depending on the situation.

This kind of book is somehow misleading as it tries to make simple something which is complex by nature.

And the best photos are most of the time not the sharpest I would say: one should not forget that photography is also an art.

CCK

« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2009, 07:05 »
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I hear again and again how important it is to use a tripod and cablerelease.  Ofcourse when youre using slower shutters.  But  lets say I shoot a landscape with a wideangle in full daylight ( it happens :) ) and use S 800/f6.4 for example.  The dof is biiig.  and how much can I shake during that short amount of time?

Teach me please?

I'll use a tripod never the less. Perhaps you wouldn't see the difference nine out of ten times, but then what about the one out of ten? The other day I was on my way to a function to take photos, using a 50mm f1.8, so I would certainly not be using slow shutter speeds. I stopped halfway and found that I forgot my tripod - so I went to the nearest shop and bought one.

I can't speak on his behalf, but I wonder if someone like Hougaard Malan, who I regard as a master of landscapes, will ever take a landscape without a tripod. Is Hougaard perhaps a member here?

« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2009, 07:12 »
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Quote
This kind of book is somehow misleading as it tries to make simple something which is complex by nature.

You are talking about Scott Kelby : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_Kelby (I am not advertising him)

« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2009, 08:23 »
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Sometimes a tripod is essential but I don't use one 90% of the time.  I have tried using one more often but I end up taking less photos and I can't see much difference when taking photos in good light with an image stabilized lens.

WarrenPrice

« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2009, 09:01 »
+1
Sometimes a tripod is essential but I don't use one 90% of the time.  I have tried using one more often but I end up taking less photos and I can't see much difference when taking photos in good light with an image stabilized lens.

I've been trying to take less photos, especially of the same subject. 

I recently gave in to my disdain for tripods.  I swear, my pictures are looking much sharper.  Then again, I'm old.  I shake.   ::)

« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2009, 10:04 »
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Its good to hear all your theories.

A little rant about equipment:

No matter how sturdy tripod you get - is it sturdy enough?

Cheep lens vs expensive lens  / are u sure its going to be better - the focus could be off even on the best lens - and maybe you sensor is faulty without you knowing about it.  ???  And they say dslrs produces soft images. ( ok I just bough a charp lens :P, Now what...)

If I got all the cash in the world that would be no problem. Then I could buy and try til I got it right

I need to sit down :-[




vonkara

« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2009, 10:19 »
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I use the tripod in the studio and for night scene obviously. Never outside because the sun give steady shots by itself. I never shoot during cloudy or rainy days because of lightning.

Having a good lens and not a kit one (Nikon, Canon), give almost the same sharpness than going from jpg to RAW. Also quite important is looking at the release date of that lens. Lenses from 2000 and less can give great results but not as much as the latest ones ( approximatively 2002- 2005 and up)

stacey_newman

« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2009, 10:30 »
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I use a tripod for any shot with shutter speed that is slower than a 200th of a second (depending on the focal length). when I should with my 35mm lens, I suppose I could hand hold but I don't most of the time. or I use a tripod always with a telephoto lens. during the day, I like very crisp and sharp so instead of using a tripod on a brightly lit day, I shoot with very fast shutter speed and this usually brings about really sharp focus.

I think there is a great deal of value in shooting with a tripod, but I often find that photographers that won't bend the technical rules become prisoners of their rules, often at the expense of a more spontaneous and beautiful image.

given the option to hand hold and get THE shot or set up on a tripod and come close---I'll always hand hold.


« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2009, 10:32 »
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I use the tripod in the studio and for night scene obviously. Never outside because the sun give steady shots by itself. I never shoot during cloudy or rainy days because of lightning.

Having a good lens and not a kit one (Nikon, Canon), give almost the same sharpness than going from jpg to RAW. Also quite important is looking at the release date of that lens. Lenses from 2000 and less can give great results but not as much as the latest ones ( approximatively 2002- 2005 and up)

Is shooting Raw sharper? could that be because the automatic setting includes a bit of sharpness??  I alway turn that off.

tan510jomast

« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2009, 10:40 »
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this is a tricky one. i "prefer" handheld as it gives me the spontaneity to move about to capture the image. in fashion that makes a big diff as a slight turn of viewpoint can give some of the most inspiring results.
then again, in hindsight, my personal favourites are "tripod" shots winning hands down (no pun intended) . everything from the sharpness to the colour rendering and shadows to highlights details due to using a slower shutter speed to allow the light to paint, etc.. may all have played a part in my preference for those tripod taken shots. maybe. but if you look at the great works done using a view camera, and if you have been brought up from the top down, ie. i started with a view than move down to a SLR, i suppose the  bias has been deeply installed ,lol.
 
i would say, if i had a choice, i would shoot tripod, and have my assistant carry one everywhere i go. but for older and weaker (read to interprete as "lazier"), without the luxury of an assistant, i shoot handheld. lol. 

btw, any takers on being assistant and "tripod porter", if living in the halifax area, pls send PM   ;D ;D ;D 
« Last Edit: April 15, 2009, 10:43 by tan510jomast »

« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2009, 23:52 »
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The problem with tripods.  The adequate ones are too heavy to lug around all the time and the light weight ones are not much steadier than hand held.

I compromised and got a monopod that converts to a rather poor tripod and is also a walking stick.  Shooting indoors - churches, castles, etc. - hand held without a flash (often prohibited) required high ISOs.  The monopod lets me shoot at ISO 200-400 which will usually work for me.  Also, in Italy - and probably elsewhere - tripods are often not allowed in churches but monopods are ok.

fred

« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2009, 08:30 »
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I bet no one could make a difference between a photo made with and without a tripod with this setup.

I hate dogmas  ;D

With all else being equal .... The shot with the LEVEL HORIZON was shot with the use of a tripod.
There is a reason for my user ID! I'm never without one.

Lcjtripod

aka: -Larry

« Reply #15 on: April 16, 2009, 15:16 »
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In fact, if there's one single thing that really separates the pros from the amateurs, it's that the pros always shoot on a tripod (even in daylight). Yes, it's more work, but it's the key ingredient that amateurs miss. Pros will do the little things that most amateurs aren't willing to do; that's part of the reason their photos look like they do.


[/b]

Exactly. The only guarantee you have of getting "tack sharp" photos is using a good tripod with some sort of cable release or wireless. Even under the best shooting conditions you might shake the camera slightly when taking the photo.

If you are willing to settle for the occasional soft image then dont bother with a tripod, but if you want make every shot count you better haul that sucker everywhere  ;)


« Reply #16 on: April 16, 2009, 15:58 »
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Then again there are shots that you just won't get with a tripod because you will never be fast enough to capture the moment. Use a good quality lens with accurate and fast af + IS and the right technique and I think you'd be hard pressed to tell the difference. For street photography a monopod can be a good substitute, especially with a long lens or a scene were you're waiting for things to come into place.

Obviously in low light its a different story.

« Reply #17 on: April 17, 2009, 19:16 »
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As it seems, were all "cheaters"  by skipping the tripod 90% of the times.   So much for "most important thing" ;)


vonkara

« Reply #18 on: April 17, 2009, 22:08 »
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I use the tripod in the studio and for night scene obviously. Never outside because the sun give steady shots by itself. I never shoot during cloudy or rainy days because of lightning.

Having a good lens and not a kit one (Nikon, Canon), give almost the same sharpness than going from jpg to RAW. Also quite important is looking at the release date of that lens. Lenses from 2000 and less can give great results but not as much as the latest ones ( approximatively 2002- 2005 and up)

Is shooting Raw sharper? could that be because the automatic setting includes a bit of sharpness??  I alway turn that off.
RAW give sharper images with more dynamic range also. You can put in camera sharpening. I put 3/10 most of times. But I would say that RAW didn't need sharpening, this is more for jpg.

vonkara

« Reply #19 on: April 17, 2009, 22:23 »
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Always fun to see examples. Hope you will see the difference. The RAW file have been converted with Nikon Capture NX

RAW converted to jpg                                                                                                jpg
   

« Reply #20 on: April 17, 2009, 22:23 »
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I use the tripod in the studio and for night scene obviously. Never outside because the sun give steady shots by itself. I never shoot during cloudy or rainy days because of lightning.


If I never shot outside when the weather was crappy I would never get to shoot outside. lol

« Reply #21 on: April 18, 2009, 04:39 »
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Tripod is not only for removing camera shake. It's also very useful when composing an image. For example best still lifes are created by using a camera on tripod, that allows photographer to make small adjustments: moving/changing objects and moving the camera or lights just a tiny bit. With hand held camera great still lifes are somewhat depending on luck.

Photographer should always use tripod when there isn't any reason not to use it (no, laziness isn't a valid reason here :))
« Last Edit: April 18, 2009, 04:41 by Perry »

« Reply #22 on: April 18, 2009, 04:42 »
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What's a "tripod'?  :o  ;)

batman

« Reply #23 on: April 18, 2009, 08:01 »
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I bet no one could make a difference between a photo made with and without a tripod with this setup.

I hate dogmas  ;D

With all else being equal .... The shot with the LEVEL HORIZON was shot with the use of a tripod.
There is a reason for my user ID! I'm never without one.

Lcjtripod

aka: -Larry

like most impatient ppl, i try to stay away from lugging with me a tripod, but i totally
agree with you here Larry, the one most common mistake of most handheld shots is level horizon.
also, photographers who use tripod tend to take the time to create photographs. this selective
process make them more likely to get a much better image, due to better lighting, better composition, use of the sweet spot and in turn, the slower shutter speed that tends to produce much better colour
and effects.
i enjoy the spontaneity of my handheld shots, but my personal favourites of other photographers
tend to be those using slower shutter speed. so it must be something good to lug around a tripod.
just haven't got myself to do it  ;)

« Reply #24 on: April 18, 2009, 09:39 »
0

lisafx

« Reply #25 on: April 18, 2009, 10:04 »
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I have seen the comparisons and will acknowledge that for some situations a tripod will make a noticeable difference in sharpness. 

I lugged tripods all over for a few years, but I found it hampered my shooting style.  As Tan pointed out I like the freedom to change angles or positions on the fly, particularly since I am shooting people, not landscapes or static objects.

For the half of my work that is shot outside, I find it easier to plan shoots for good light, use fast lenses, and supplement the natural light with reflectors and/or flash to get the sharpness I want. 

In studio I used to have hot lights and I had to use a tripod because I could not get the shutter speeds I needed.  My back would get so sore from hunching over that tripod for hours!!  Since I got my fast strobes a couple of years back my tripod has been gathering dust.  :D

« Reply #26 on: April 18, 2009, 13:12 »
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I have seen the comparisons and will acknowledge that for some situations a tripod will make a noticeable difference in sharpness. 

I lugged tripods all over for a few years, but I found it hampered my shooting style.  As Tan pointed out I like the freedom to change angles or positions on the fly, particularly since I am shooting people, not landscapes or static objects.

For the half of my work that is shot outside, I find it easier to plan shoots for good light, use fast lenses, and supplement the natural light with reflectors and/or flash to get the sharpness I want. 

In studio I used to have hot lights and I had to use a tripod because I could not get the shutter speeds I needed.  My back would get so sore from hunching over that tripod for hours!!  Since I got my fast strobes a couple of years back my tripod has been gathering dust.  :D

If I was  "People Shooter" like most of your port nicely illustrates, I would give up the tripod also. With people in action outdoors or inside you need to move with the subjects to get the "just right" shot.

However I am not a people shooter i prefer shooting subjects that do not talk to me!  ;D Like farms, scenics. sports, wildlife, etc. After a million weddings and studio portraits for 55 years, I've grown tired of directing people.
But with my age (71) I cannot hold a camera steady as I used to so on many occasions I use a monopod and image stabilized lenses and that combo works very well.

To each their own.

-Larry

« Reply #27 on: July 27, 2009, 16:02 »
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I'm not a Pro but I do know one who makes a living out of landscape and architecture photography. His advice to me was buy a tripod and a remote release if I ever hope to make a professional landscape image. Believe me you'll see the difference at 100%

I've never heard of a street photographer using a tripod. All it takes is some clown to trip over a leg and you'll be needing to hire a lawyer. I've seen guys in London using monopods, beanbags, going down on one knee, using walls, fences, railings to support the camera or their body. Even with a fast lens you want to be sharp.

« Reply #28 on: July 27, 2009, 16:10 »
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I never almost ever use a tripod when shooting dynamic subjects. Then again, I think there is a place for tripod usage even there.
We tend to shoot on the fly and we are so used to using shutter speed and high ISO to "cheat" for us. Assuming that it will bring us that sharp image.
I look back to the days I was shooting 4 by 5 and 8 by 10, where the tripod is essential. I shoot less, and my useful images were far higher in count.
Maybe there is something there to consider. The tripod "slows us down" where we contemplate more and thus, create that one shot that matters, rather than blast away on our motor drive / continuous xxx fps.
Brings us back to the day of watching the war movies. The privates shoot away with their machine gun hitting everything but missing the enemy , and the sargeant takes one shot with his rifle and drops the enemy.  Marksmanship vs speed. Like football (soccer to you), the dribbler never ever gets the goal; the crackshot does.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2009, 16:16 by Perseus »

« Reply #29 on: July 27, 2009, 16:15 »
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What's a "tripod'?  :o  ;)
A three legged dog?  ::)

« Reply #30 on: July 27, 2009, 16:26 »
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I will use a tripod, even in daylight if I know I want to create a HDR image.  Otherwise, I'll only lug it around at night.

ShadySue

« Reply #31 on: July 27, 2009, 16:44 »
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I only use a tripod if I'm wanting great depth of field, e.g. in a landscape or if it's a set up 'studio' type shot of an immobile object. As I don't do that often, and the latter I can't see me doing much in future (yawnsville), I have little use for a tripod. Subject movement is more of a problem for me than camera shake, even before I had IS lenses, now it's all that much easier. Yup, the light level is often low where I live, but pics taken then will get 'poor light' rejections even with a tripod.
Horses for courses. If I were doing 'still lives' all the time, I'd use a tripod all the time.

« Reply #32 on: July 28, 2009, 16:58 »
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  But with my age (71) I cannot hold a camera steady as I used to so on many occasions I use a monopod and image stabilized lenses and that combo works very well.


the photography i like to do doesnt usually give me the luxury of schlepping a heavy tripod, so i've also gone with a monopod - worked well in the Andes at over 16,000'

another unintended sideeffect of monpods for older photographers, besides getting you into places that don't allow tripods, is i've had many people make room FOR me when they see i'm using a 'cane'

s


« Reply #34 on: July 28, 2009, 18:39 »
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I have a giottos tripod that does the octopus macro thing, but rarely use it for that (just bought good macro flash to hopefully reduce how much I need it for that) so I mostly use it for landscapes, especially morning and night but not much else.  About to replace it with gitzo traveller or benro ripoff and rrs head which is less about half the weight so should see more use.

« Reply #35 on: July 28, 2009, 19:24 »
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Just shot a bunch of art work and had to use my massive Manfrotto tripod.  Boy I hate using that thing.  It's steady enough to balance a truck on, but it's so heavy it's a royal PITA to use. 



 

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