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Author Topic: Further on  (Read 1433 times)
Justan
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« on: January 25, 2010, 09:38:45 PM »
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Re-visited the site on a clear-er evening and recorded the following...



Did a series using a longer lens (not the one above) and it showed a need for a much sturdererer tripod. The one above does too. What do you use?

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John R
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« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2010, 08:04:27 AM »
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I like this shot quite a bit. The reflections seal this for me and and create an overall balance that makes the image striking. I might get rid of the light on the extreme right, however. The one on the extreme left is more problematic because it abuts the ship which I don't think should be cropped. But these are small complaints, a very good image IMO.

As to problems with night photography, I have long had my own. First, whenever shooting into light sources I get ghosting. People tell me this is attributable to using a filter. So remove filter if you use one. Secondly, like you, I found many images slightly soft. So I started using the self timer. And then a cable release. Finally I observed that the lenses when auto-focusing are not really that stable, on the two zooms I use. It is my understanding vibration proneness is the main reason Leica and other German lens and camera manufacturers were not persuaded that electronic focusing met their standards. This may have changed somewhat today, but I don't know. I do know that I visually observe a shaking-vibrating lens and this is not good. So you may want to try manual focus and a cable release or self-timer, or mirror lock-up, if you have one.

JMR
« Last Edit: January 26, 2010, 12:15:10 PM by John R » Logged
RSL
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« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2010, 10:22:11 AM »
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Justan, I agree with John. I like the picture very much, but I think the light on the right is a problem because it hangs out there all by itself, out of context. A clone or a very small crop would solve the problem. John's right about manual focus, a cable release, and mirror lockup. What I do when I'm shooting something static off a tripod is use autofocus first and then turn it off. You shot this one at f/10. You probably could go down to f/8 or even f/5.6 since there's nothing in close that needs to be included. That probably would put your lens at its sharpest point and give you almost two stops of additional shutter speed.

All in all it's a fine piece of work.
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Justan
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« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2010, 12:51:43 PM »
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Quote from: John R

> I like this shot quite a bit. The reflections seal this for me and and create an overall balance that makes the image striking. I might get rid of the light on the extreme right, however. The one on the extreme left is more problematic because it abuts the ship which I don't think should be cropped. But these are small complaints, a very good image IMO.

Thanks!

The reflections are candy to the eye. Were those lost due to wind, it would not be nearly as interesting a scene.  The comment about the light on the right is very informative. I agree it would help the image to remove it. The bigger, but Zen like point, is about the use of space on the lead-ins. Setting the tempo, to borrow a phrase. Tim W made a similar comment but in a very different setting, and Russ said the same. Fascinating. Iíll remove the light on the far right and ponder the larger concept.

> As to problems with night photography, I have long had my own. Ö

Thanks for sharing that. The camera (Nikon) was using one of their VR lenses and at slow (and sometimes even not so slow) shutter speeds, it refuses to permit a shot while auto focus is enabled. So just as you described, I use auto focus to dial it in, then switch it to manual before it will record the image.

The camera also has an IR based cable release and/or a timer. I remove the strap so it doesn't swing in the wind. The motion problem is far less when the tripod is not fully extended or not using a longer lens. Here I had to get over the top of a fence and there was a breeze.  Well that and I like to be able to stand normally while composing. Plus the geniuses at Nikon require you to hold the IR cable release in front of and to the side of the camera. An IR sensor in the back would be a billion times more useful.

My tripod only weighs about 2.2 lbs. Iíd have to use a different pack but could tolerate carrying another couple of lbs if it brought more stability, especially when using longer focal lengths.

A question about mirror lockup: I havenít used it in recent decades. Isnít that most effective at exposures of less than a second?

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Justan
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« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2010, 12:54:22 PM »
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Quote from: RSL

> You shot this one at f/10. You probably could go down to f/8 or even f/5.6 since there's nothing in close that needs to be included. That probably would put your lens at its sharpest point and give you almost two stops of additional shutter speed.

I thought about that. For the frame at this end of the barge I could re-focus between the white upper deck and first crane behind it, so stopped it down to try to get both. For the next frame I picked the ĺ point of the barge. Iíll try it at a lower f next time.

Setting the white, gray and black points were done very early in the work up. The black point in particular really opened up the many darker tones in this one.

> All in all it's a fine piece of work.

Thank you very much!
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John R
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« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2010, 01:45:22 PM »
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I should have added, remember to turn off "antishake" or "shake reduction" or whatever it is called, as it may produce soft images when mounted on a tripod. Lord knows I forget most of the time. My infra red release works the same way, and if I had known, I never would have bought it. I use the 2-sec self timer most of the time and occasionally the electronic cable release. But I gave up on the cable, too much trouble to take it on and off when shooting on the quick with moving light. Got it caught once too often. I would not blame the tripod too much, my older Manfrotto is much heavier, and it still vibrates as does the lens from my observation. I had way less trouble with the older film Nikon heavy body and no electronic lens!

Re, mirror lock-up, my understanding is very few cameras have it, even the high end Nikons and Canons lack it. But lately I am not sure. What I use is the 2-sec self-timer (Pentax K10), which is almost as good. But it does consume power. So carry a spare battery. Many pros and serious amateurs that shoot other than people or portraiture use mirror lock up as a routine no matter what the settings, especially for landscape work. This was true in the film days as well, and every manufacturer had high end models with mirror lock-up, especially for the 645 medium format cameras. Lots of mirror vibration on those cameras.

Another thing some cameras are prone too, perhaps all, is extraneous light entering the viewfinder and altering your settings when in any auto mode. I place my hand over the viewfinder without touching the camera! It is not a problem for manual mode, however.


JMR
« Last Edit: January 26, 2010, 01:49:01 PM by John R » Logged
RSL
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« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2010, 02:48:31 PM »
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Quote from: John R
I should have added, remember to turn off "antishake" or "shake reduction" or whatever it is called, as it may produce soft images when mounted on a tripod. Lord knows I forget most of the time.

Exactly why I use a checklist when I'm shooting off a tripod. I forget most of the time too, but my checklist doesn't. That checklist also reminds me to switch to shooting bank B, where the ISO is locked at 200, switch to manual focus, re-check the aperture, set the camera to mirror up, and close the viewfinder shutter before I trip the cable release.

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I would not blame the tripod too much, my older Manfrotto is much heavier, and it still vibrates as does the lens from my observation.

Try hanging about a five pound weight from the center of the tripod. It's not a panacea, but it helps.

Quote
Re, mirror lock-up, my understanding is very few cameras have it, even the high end Nikons and Canons lack it. But lately I am not sure. What I use is the 2-sec self-timer (Pentax K10), which is almost as good. But it does consume power. So carry a spare battery. Many pros and serious amateurs that shoot other than people or portraiture use mirror lock up as a routine no matter what the settings, especially for landscape work. This was true in the film days as well, and every manufacturer had high end models with mirror lock-up, especially for the 645 medium format cameras. Lots of mirror vibration on those cameras.

Nikon's pro cameras such as the D2 and D3 series all have mirror lockup. Justan's D80 has it too. Use it. Lock up the mirror and then count to five or so before you release the shutter.

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Another thing some cameras are prone too, perhaps all, is extraneous light entering the viewfinder and altering your settings when in any auto mode. I place my hand over the viewfinder without touching the camera! It is not a problem for manual mode, however.

Nikon's pro cameras all have a viewfinder shutter you can close when you're shooting off a tripod. The D80 doesn't have a shutter but it probably has a small plastic slide you can slip in to cover the eyepiece. If not, a small piece of gaffer's tape can do the job. The problem with covering the viewfinder with your hand is that you're liable to bump the thing just as the shutter goes off.
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Justan
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« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2010, 10:07:38 AM »
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Thanks to both of you for the feedback! I hope to be able to buy both of you a drink (at least) for your generous feedback. Iíll definitely put together a check list for the next series. Russ gets the clever idea of the day award for his suggestion to hang some weight off the pod. My pack is perfect for that task and even comes with a strap.

But I'm still gonna look at another tripod. I used this one for several night time shots recently and when using longer lenses it nearly always comes out blurry. That could be due to the VR so Iíll test for that next time.

I gave up on my cable release long ago after I inadvertently tore the shutter button off of my Pentax (2x) because I forgot to unscrew the cable releaseÖ. The nikon has a self timer. I often use this in addition to the IR release

I have a question for those who have produced panos. These things are big enough that the only mounting media I've found is gator board. What do others use for mounting works of this size? What else is used for mounting media?

And then there is the issue of packaging it for transport. How does one safely package something thatís 2 + feet tall by about 7 feet long? I already decided that acrylic rather than glass will be used.

Once I get my first portfolio ready, I'm gonna do the 2nd one on city-scapes.
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Justan
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« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2010, 10:46:36 AM »
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This one was done with the VR off the soom cranked up, and a more solid surface



Comments?

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RSL
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« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2010, 10:52:56 AM »
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Justan, Technically it's really a winner, but I like the harbor lights even better. The harbor shot has a dynamism that this one hasn't.
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