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by SantaFeJoe on Thu Apr 07, 2022 4:01 pm
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I’m curious as to whether many of you wildlife photographers still use a tripod. I know for landscapes it is very useful, especially for compositional purposes, but I don’t see many people using tripods for wildlife, except when using a heavy 600 or 800mm lens. VR/IS has made a huge difference for me in shooting handheld and I seldom use a tripod anymore. What are your thoughts. TIA.

Joe
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by Richard B. on Thu Apr 07, 2022 5:31 pm
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Like a lawyer would say - it depends!

Yes if using my 500/f4 and / or if I am going to be relatively stationary, working out of or near my car. If schlepping through field, woods, crowded boardwalk, or swamp, I grab a lighter lens and no tripod, But having recently acquired the z9, that formulation may change as I think the vr and frame rate and new lenses may help with hand holding.

I'm old, I don't want to carry all that stuff anymore!
 

by DChan on Thu Apr 07, 2022 6:04 pm
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This guy shot this photo handheld, shutter speed 1/40 sec at 800mm 35-mm equivalent:

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/66065471?image=0

OM system OM1 150-400 f4.5 ISO 12800.


This's what I usually do, too:

Quote:
Yes if using my 500/f4 and / or if I am going to be relatively stationary,

I usually shot BIF hand-holding the 500f4, but a tripod does come in handy when I need to rest. Or I'll bring a monopod.
 

by Scott B on Thu Apr 07, 2022 7:46 pm
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I shoot hand held with my 500mm out of my kayak all of the time as in a few times a week this time of year. In a kayak my body is more or less the tripod, elbows tucked into PFD and heels, outer foot, knees and rear end firmly anchored to the kayak. On land I will still use my tripod in many occasions such as shooting relatively low or slow movement subjects, hiking a few miles or less, early morning and late evening shooting. I shoot with the original Canon 500 f4 IS. The new lenses have much better stabilization. If I went with an all new Canon system with less weight, better IS, and better low light high ISO performance they tripod would get much less use.
 

by Craig Lipski on Fri Apr 08, 2022 8:06 am
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Pretty much just w/ my 500 4.0 or the rare Landscape outing; IS is great on my lenses, I can’t imagine how amazing IBIS + IS lenses working together will be when I make the jump to mirrorless.
Good light,
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by Ed Cordes on Fri Apr 08, 2022 8:44 am
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I haven't used my 500 F4 in about a year! I switched to the Canon R5 and 100-500 and fell in love with the versatility and maneuverability of the rig. Light weight and easy to follow subjects. I have learned that using Topaz DeNoise with ISO as high as 6400 works really well. So, I just don't use the tripod anymore except for landscapes.
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by ricardo00 on Fri Apr 08, 2022 4:06 pm
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DChan wrote:
This guy shot this photo handheld, shutter speed 1/40 sec at 800mm 35-mm equivalent:

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/66065471?image=0

OM system OM1 150-400 f4.5 ISO 12800.



The Olympus system is supposed to have terrific optical stabilization.  However, not to start a fight, but if they shot this photo from a jeep, didn't they rest the lens on something (ie. beanbag)?
 

by Scott Fairbairn on Sat Apr 09, 2022 9:24 am
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ricardo00 wrote:
DChan wrote:
This guy shot this photo handheld, shutter speed 1/40 sec at 800mm 35-mm equivalent:

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/66065471?image=0

OM system OM1 150-400 f4.5 ISO 12800.



The Olympus system is supposed to have terrific optical stabilization.  However, not to start a fight, but if they shot this photo from a jeep, didn't they rest the lens on something (ie. beanbag)?




I no longer shoot with Olympus, but I've shot handheld at 1/40sec with the 300mmf4 which gives a FOV of a 600mm lens and get sharp images. IMO, having shot with Olympus, Sony, Canon and Nikon...with newer bodies and lenses except for Canon, I felt that Olympus had the best stabilization. I'm shooting Nikon, and their mirrorless is a huge step up from their DSLR days, but I still think it lags behind the others.
 

by ricardo00 on Sat Apr 09, 2022 2:41 pm
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Scott Fairbairn wrote:
ricardo00 wrote:
DChan wrote:
This guy shot this photo handheld, shutter speed 1/40 sec at 800mm 35-mm equivalent:

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/66065471?image=0

OM system OM1 150-400 f4.5 ISO 12800.



The Olympus system is supposed to have terrific optical stabilization.  However, not to start a fight, but if they shot this photo from a jeep, didn't they rest the lens on something (ie. beanbag)?




I no longer shoot with Olympus, but I've shot handheld at 1/40sec with the 300mmf4 which gives a FOV of a 600mm lens and get sharp images. IMO, having shot with Olympus, Sony, Canon and Nikon...with newer bodies and lenses except for Canon, I felt that Olympus had the best stabilization. I'm shooting Nikon, and their mirrorless is a huge step up from their DSLR days, but I still think it lags behind the others.

  So out of curiosity (as someone who contemplates a move to the OM system from Nikon), why did you switch from Olympus to Nikon?  And how many stops of compensation does the 300mm f/4 have versus a Nikon combo?  (not sure if one can compare these stops across ecosystems?)
 

by jwild on Sun Apr 10, 2022 3:59 am
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Whenever on foot, I prefer using tripod with 500 mm and 100-500 mm as well. But when in vehicle, always prefer beanbag.
 

by jnadler on Sun Apr 10, 2022 5:50 am
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For the first time ever, I shot long exposure waterfalls yesterday with my R5 and 100-500 handheld. Amazing results with IS.  My use of the tripod has diminished even with my 500 F4
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by ChrisRoss on Sun Apr 10, 2022 5:29 pm
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Scott Fairbairn wrote:
ricardo00 wrote:
DChan wrote:
This guy shot this photo handheld, shutter speed 1/40 sec at 800mm 35-mm equivalent:

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/66065471?image=0

OM system OM1 150-400 f4.5 ISO 12800.



The Olympus system is supposed to have terrific optical stabilization.  However, not to start a fight, but if they shot this photo from a jeep, didn't they rest the lens on something (ie. beanbag)?




I no longer shoot with Olympus, but I've shot handheld at 1/40sec with the 300mmf4 which gives a FOV of a 600mm lens and get sharp images. IMO, having shot with Olympus, Sony, Canon and Nikon...with newer bodies and lenses except for Canon, I felt that Olympus had the best stabilization. I'm shooting Nikon, and their mirrorless is a huge step up from their DSLR days, but I still think it lags behind the others.

This Eastern Yellow Robin was shot at 1/13 with the EM-1 MkII and 300mm f4 (1/13 @ f4 ISO800), you won't get every shot at that sort of shutter speed, but pretty pleased with the result:

Eastern Yellow Robin

Do a lot of hand holding with lens now, particularly for butterflies and dragonflies, but also for orchids.
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by DChan on Sun Apr 10, 2022 6:21 pm
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ChrisRoss wrote:
Scott Fairbairn wrote:
ricardo00 wrote:
DChan wrote:
This guy shot this photo handheld, shutter speed 1/40 sec at 800mm 35-mm equivalent:

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/66065471?image=0

OM system OM1 150-400 f4.5 ISO 12800.



The Olympus system is supposed to have terrific optical stabilization.  However, not to start a fight, but if they shot this photo from a jeep, didn't they rest the lens on something (ie. beanbag)?




I no longer shoot with Olympus, but I've shot handheld at 1/40sec with the 300mmf4 which gives a FOV of a 600mm lens and get sharp images. IMO, having shot with Olympus, Sony, Canon and Nikon...with newer bodies and lenses except for Canon, I felt that Olympus had the best stabilization. I'm shooting Nikon, and their mirrorless is a huge step up from their DSLR days, but I still think it lags behind the others.

This Eastern Yellow Robin was shot at 1/13 with the EM-1 MkII and 300mm f4 (1/13 @ f4 ISO800), you won't get every shot at that sort of shutter speed, but pretty pleased with the result:

Eastern Yellow Robin

Do a lot of hand holding with lens now, particularly for butterflies and dragonflies, but also for orchids.


The slowest I've done with the 300f4 was 1/10 sec also with EM1 Mk II. I agree that you don't get sharp shot every time with shutter speed that slow. 1/30sec and faster I'm pretty sure you can get sharp shot again and again. A few years ago people did 10, 20 sec exposure shots handheld leaning against the wall or something like that. Now those are real long exposure shots. Granted they were wide angle shots. Now we can shoot high-res shots handheld. I guess at the bottom-line is, stabilization system is so good today, and with lighter gears that we can do more shots that were only possible with tripod a few years ago. And you can shoot video while walking without using a gimbal.
 

by SantaFeJoe on Sun Apr 10, 2022 8:41 pm
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DChan wrote:
The slowest I've done with the 300f4 was 1/10 sec also with EM1 Mk II. I agree that you don't get sharp shot every time with shutter speed that slow. 1/30sec and faster I'm pretty sure you can get sharp shot again and again. A few years ago people did 10, 20 sec exposure shots handheld leaning against the wall or something like that. Now those are real long exposure shots. Granted they were wide angle shots. Now we can shoot high-res shots handheld. I guess at the bottom-line is, stabilization system is so good today, and with lighter gears that we can do more shots that were only possible with tripod a few years ago. And you can shoot video while walking without using a gimbal.



Smartphones have technology that isn’t available in a MIL or DSLR and have for years. I posted a link to this in 2018 to show what was capable in a four second image:

https://www.theverge.com/2018/3/30/17179642/huawei-p20-pro-vs-pixel-2-xl-camera-comparison-low-light

Granted, the phones are not up to the quality of image a MIL or DSLR can produce mostly due to the tiny sensor size, but they are impressive and I’ve never seen a full size camera produce comparable images at four seconds handheld. I wish the technology would transfer to full sized cameras. IS/VR and in-body stabilization has come a long way and I don’t see many tripods in the field anymore. I’m seeing more and more quality tripods and heads for sale at bargain prices as a result.

Joe
Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.  -Pablo Picasso
 

by rajandesai on Mon Apr 11, 2022 12:17 pm
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Tripods were always a nuisance - a necessary evil.
I haven't carried my tripod even since I switched to Sony. I pay more attention to handholding techniques and trust the technology and high shooting frame rate.
Macro, Landscapes, and nighttime photography still has a place for tripods, IMHO.
 

by Scott Fairbairn on Mon Apr 11, 2022 4:32 pm
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ricardo00 wrote:
Scott Fairbairn wrote:
ricardo00 wrote:
DChan wrote:
This guy shot this photo handheld, shutter speed 1/40 sec at 800mm 35-mm equivalent:

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/66065471?image=0

OM system OM1 150-400 f4.5 ISO 12800.



The Olympus system is supposed to have terrific optical stabilization.  However, not to start a fight, but if they shot this photo from a jeep, didn't they rest the lens on something (ie. beanbag)?




I no longer shoot with Olympus, but I've shot handheld at 1/40sec with the 300mmf4 which gives a FOV of a 600mm lens and get sharp images. IMO, having shot with Olympus, Sony, Canon and Nikon...with newer bodies and lenses except for Canon, I felt that Olympus had the best stabilization. I'm shooting Nikon, and their mirrorless is a huge step up from their DSLR days, but I still think it lags behind the others.

  So out of curiosity (as someone who contemplates a move to the OM system from Nikon), why did you switch from Olympus to Nikon?  And how many stops of compensation does the 300mm f/4 have versus a Nikon combo?  (not sure if one can compare these stops across ecosystems?)


I sold off most of my Olympus gear when they came out with the m1X and rumors were circulating of the company selling their camera business. I still have the Mark2 with the 60mm macro. It’s incredibly light and is fantastic for a macro setup.
 

by OntPhoto on Tue Apr 12, 2022 5:00 am
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I have a Canon 500 f4 II and Gitzo tripod and rarely use either these days.  Both slow me down when out exploring trails and wooded areas. Go light whenever I can and this goes for binoculars as well.  It's a drag hanging a full-sized 8x42 around the neck.  Getting a very compact, light-weight 8x25 binocular from Swarovski.  I have lost 2 pair of bins in the last 2 years because I leave it on the ground while taking photos, following a subject and then forget to pick it up afterwards.  A super compact I can have on me all the time and not be a burden or nuisance.  Yeah, I'm getting old too.  :)

I go handheld even in very low light using the Canon 6D and a fast lens like the Canon 70-200 2.8L IS III.  I did that while photographing screech owls last year pushing the ISO to 25,000.  Also wanted to be discreet and not draw any attention to what I was photographing. The image stabilization will be even better when I switch to say, the R5 or R6.  

Having said all that, I will use a tripod when the best image quality is desired (low ISO and sharpness).  I am going to use both the 500 and tripod soon for evening photography where light is very low.  Even add a remote release.  The subject is worth the effort.  But most of the time, I go light.
 

by Mark Boranyak on Tue Apr 12, 2022 3:34 pm
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OntPhoto wrote:
I have a Canon 500 f4 II and Gitzo tripod and rarely use either these days.  Both slow me down when out exploring trails and wooded areas. Go light whenever I can and this goes for binoculars as well.  It's a drag hanging a full-sized 8x42 around the neck.  Getting a very compact, light-weight 8x25 binocular from Swarovski.  I have lost 2 pair of bins in the last 2 years because I leave it on the ground while taking photos, following a subject and then forget to pick it up afterwards.  A super compact I can have on me all the time and not be a burden or nuisance.  Yeah, I'm getting old too.  :)

I go handheld even in very low light using the Canon 6D and a fast lens like the Canon 70-200 2.8L IS III.  I did that while photographing screech owls last year pushing the ISO to 25,000.  Also wanted to be discreet and not draw any attention to what I was photographing. The image stabilization will be even better when I switch to say, the R5 or R6.  

Having said all that, I will use a tripod when the best image quality is desired (low ISO and sharpness).  I am going to use both the 500 and tripod soon for evening photography where light is very low.  Even add a remote release.  The subject is worth the effort.  But most of the time, I go light.


Hope the bins you left behind weren't also Swarovski's. That would be a a costly loss for you. 
 

by Karl Egressy on Sat Apr 23, 2022 5:45 pm
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I still have four tripods and five heads.
I rarely used them in the past.
I still shoot hand held but my arms are not strong enough and steady enough anymore for the Sony 200-600 front heavy lens.
For the rest I do hand held all the time.
Tripod is out of fashion for wildlife photography. Sometimes you see monopod in my area. (Hamilton, Burlington, Toronto, Oakville Guelph Point Pelee),
Fill flash on arms is out of fashion as well.
 

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