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Thread: HELP - Shaky Syndrome persists!

  1. #1
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    Default HELP - Shaky Syndrome persists!

    Following on from other threads regarding shooting technique to get tack sharp images without IS/VR/OS, I went for another shoot last night to try out variations of shooting techniques. I have a manfrotto 055xprob and 488RC4 Ball Head. I also have a 300mm prime F4 non VR lens.

    What I found is that there is still movement, even taping on the lens shakes it. I pinned it down to being the legs flexing, so placing weight on the lens (left hand on top of lens) seemed to help, but I still get blurred images!

    Did I tell you I HATE non-sharp images!?! So how do you guys manage tak sharp images without VR/IS/OS on 500mm+ lenses?

    Its a pitty because last night I was able to take shots of 3 young (just out of nest by days) Welcome Swallows, whos parents (shot below) I have been taking photos of the last few weeks. VERY annoying and frustrating as I have the shot, the comp, even the chicks asking for a feed.. but all lost

    Suggestions/recommendations... heck criticism even appreciated to resolve my shaky issues.

    Carlos
    CC's, Reposts and Comments welcomed

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    Carlos
    Nikon D300s
    Land Rover Discovery
    http://www.plottier.net

  2. #2
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    Default Re: HELP - Shaky Syndrome persists!

    Give up drinking Carlos... .

    On a more serious note, I look forward to the replies, as I tend to have the same problems from time to time.
    The voices in my head may not be real, but they come up with some great ideas..

    Cheers Rev.

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    Default Re: HELP - Shaky Syndrome persists!

    LOL Ray... although in this case its probably going to send me to drink!
    CC's, Reposts and Comments welcomed

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    Carlos
    Nikon D300s
    Land Rover Discovery
    http://www.plottier.net

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    Default Re: HELP - Shaky Syndrome persists!

    Just brainstorming here... is it possible the issue is with the focusing, that the focus is landing at the back of front of the sensor, rather than in the right spot?
    In most Canon cameras, this can be fixed with Microadjust, does Nikon have a similar gadget? Or you could send the lens in for calibration with the body, this is of course, if that's the problem.

    Ashwin
    Familiarity breeds contempt; don't neglect the common birds
    --\\
    ---\\_(j*)>.........Aus Life List: 534 (Northern Royal Albatross - 6/9/14)
    ----\___)................NSW List: 428 (Northern Royal Albatross - 6/9/14)
    ------\ \..............o..2014 List: 348 (Southern Giant Petrel - 6/9/14)

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    Default Re: HELP - Shaky Syndrome persists!

    Ashwin - my D300s has the ability to set the focus for individual lenses. However this isnt the problem as I do (rarely) get sharp images so I know its my technique, not the lens. So in my case, I cant blame the tools!
    CC's, Reposts and Comments welcomed

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    Carlos
    Nikon D300s
    Land Rover Discovery
    http://www.plottier.net

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    Default Re: HELP - Shaky Syndrome persists!

    the welcome swallow looks good to me carlos try wrapping your left hand around the lens foot and plate when using a tripod. when using a beanbag try and keep the left hand on top of the lens or hood

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    Default Re: HELP - Shaky Syndrome persists!

    I think we all suffer from this, the bigger the lens the more it magnifies the 'shakes' and small vibrations.

    The most stable support for me is a beanbag, I push my cheek up against the back of the camera and rest my hand on top of the lens (not to hard). The more bag you have under the camera and lens the better. I find resting any part of the lens or the camera on a hard surface will transfer the vibration (however small) back into the camera and the results you get will suffer.

    When composing your image and locking focus, I try to be very aware of how much I am moving by watching the focus point, you will see how much movement is there quite easily. Is this bad? depends on shutter speed, the more movement the higher shutter speed required. The same for a moving target, you can get the camera perfectly still, but if the bird is moving, even a little, be aware of your shutter speed.

    Tripods (in my opinion) are less stable, you really need to practice getting your technique right. Again you will see the movement as you compose and lock focus. I have spent countless hours trying to get my technique right on set ups, EG a tennis ball, get out there and take a couple of hundred images and be aware of each shot on just how much you are moving before you press the shutter. What I aim for is zero movement. When you see that new bird, the adrenalin kicks in and all this normally goes out the window.

    Breathing, practice this, it has a big impact, I find holding my breath and slowly releasing when pressing the shutter at the same time helps you maintain focus on just how much you are moving, you will see it in the viewfinder.

    Pressing the shutter, again a major factor, roll you finger on the release, jabbing it will create movement and you are back to square one and hitting the delete button.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: HELP - Shaky Syndrome persists!

    Ian , I find your comments very interesting. When wondering through the bush ( with out a tripod ), how do you use a bean bag?. I have tried to master shooting from a tripod in the bush, but find them very awkward, and slow to " fix" on a bird that is hopping around.
    The voices in my head may not be real, but they come up with some great ideas..

    Cheers Rev.

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    Default Re: HELP - Shaky Syndrome persists!

    Thanks all for your replies. Ian, I have also been using the focus point to try and minimise the shake, which was good to read that you (and I presume others) do same. I also have been working on my breathing, but one thing I havent worked on is the roll finger over shutter technique, so ill give that a go.

    I too, like Ray, would like to know how the bean bag set up would work without a mounting point. So are you saying that you either use a bean bag (with IS off) or hand held with IS on?

    Mikey - I have tried using this technique when I remember! I guess all these small techniques add up to the correct technique, so I will practice these in the backyard more often so it becomes second nature.
    CC's, Reposts and Comments welcomed

    _________________________________
    Carlos
    Nikon D300s
    Land Rover Discovery
    http://www.plottier.net

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    Default Re: HELP - Shaky Syndrome persists!

    Carlos,

    Can you provide the Shutter speed, aperture & ISO that you used for the example image of the swallow.
    Also what post processing did you do? any sharpening? If so, what and when. Is your lens brand new or 2nd hand?

    Here's a repost. Download it and compare it with your version.
    Cheers,
    Geoff


    reposts welcome

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    Default Re: HELP - Shaky Syndrome persists!

    Quote Originally Posted by carlos
    Ashwin - my D300s has the ability to set the focus for individual lenses. However this isnt the problem as I do (rarely) get sharp images so I know its my technique, not the lens. So in my case, I cant blame the tools!
    Carlos, that would be true is AF aquisition were a perfectly repeatable phenomena, it isn't particularly so when dealing with shallow DOF. I'd suggest downloading an AF test chart and following the instructions and do some repeated tests, just to rule that out. A suitable chart is here: http://focustestchart.com/focus21.pdf

    Regarding your tripod, the 055 is a reasonable set of tripod legs but I think the 488RC4 is a bit light on for support of a 300mm f4.

    In general if you are 1/500 or faster in shutter speed you should be able to get sharp images. However, you need to use good technique as well, here is an article on long lens technique, have a read and practice, practice, practice: http://www.naturephotographers.net/ejp0801-1.html
    Chris Ross
    Helensburgh NSW
    www.aus-natural.com
    Instagram: @ausnaturalimages

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    Default Re: HELP - Shaky Syndrome persists!

    Geoff - thats a remarkable improvement on my original image (I replaced that with the one on my site). I must confess that my PP skills are lacking. I dont have any real PP tools aside from CaptureNX and lightroom. I dont, for example, have good control over area selection for sharpening. Can you tell me what you did to improve it?

    However, im basing my issues on an image taken and viewed at 100%. At 100%, I can see movement (and slight ghosting as a result) and to me this is not acceptable. I have seen images posted at 100% and sharpness is still there (yes, wont be as sharp as PP), so thats what I am aiming at.

    Chris - thanks, ill have a look at your links, could also be contributing to the inconsistent images as well...
    CC's, Reposts and Comments welcomed

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    Carlos
    Nikon D300s
    Land Rover Discovery
    http://www.plottier.net

  13. #13
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    Default Re: HELP - Shaky Syndrome persists!

    Quote Originally Posted by carlos

    I too, like Ray, would like to know how the bean bag set up would work without a mounting point. So are you saying that you either use a bean bag (with IS off) or hand held with IS on?
    I would luv to hear the answer to this one, as I can't picture it in my head..
    The voices in my head may not be real, but they come up with some great ideas..

    Cheers Rev.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: HELP - Shaky Syndrome persists!

    All I can suggest is to really push your face against the camera and viewfinder when shooting. The vibrations are mostly going to be happening inside your camera and not the lens so you really have to soften them by gripping tight and bracing with your cheek as well. As I said in the other thread, bringing your elbows in so they are against your stomach is another thing I do.
    As Geoff said, your settings for the image are going to be valuable for us to ascertain whats going wrong. Geoffs rework brings out a whole lot of detail.
    Beanbags not going to help much in the bush but using any other support will for sure.

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    Default Re: HELP - Shaky Syndrome persists!

    Carlos,

    don't worry too much about appearance at 100%, look at the finished article after you have done PP and sharpening and viewed at the size you would view it at. 100% is really only useful for web image prep after downsizing and pixel peeping, the end result is generally a smaller image , on the average 22-24" monitor you need to be down at 33-50% to view the whole image. Even when printing large 100% really doesn't show you what you get. The only advantage of 100% is that no interpolation is done to display the image.

    When you PP there's two things, tonal adjustment and sharpening. RAW images often come out of camera little flat and increasing mid tone contrast will improve the apparent sharpness. Then you want to sharpen as the last stage, normally you save an unsharpened master file then sharpen for each end use, so a web image and a printed image will have different sharpening.
    Chris Ross
    Helensburgh NSW
    www.aus-natural.com
    Instagram: @ausnaturalimages

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