Sunday, July 26, 2015

There's a steep learning curve for your tripod?

The title is a question one of my Facebook friends posted when I mentioned I was going to test out my new tripod. If you saw my last post, you may have noticed how huge my Nikon D70 with a fully manual 500 MM lens looked on the old tripod. That would be the one on the right in the photo on the left. 

Even in the slightest wind and the tripod extended only half way, it still shook. Not very useful for this lens. 

The same camera setup looks puny on the Ravelli tripod with a Movo tripod gimbal head. 

Is it easy to use? It could not be more simple. The camera practically floats. Here's the thing though. This set up is twelve and a half pounds. Add a couple of waters and a snack in the backpack and it is a lot to hike around with.

This camera and the old faithful tripod I've used for 10 years does not even register on the bathroom scale. I'm guessing under 2 pounds together. My new camera and lens is coming in at 8 pounds by itself. Put that together with this tripod and an all day hike could be a challenge. I'm not quite ready to haul all that out to the field just yet. 

On my excursion to Savannas Preserve State Park, I did not venture far from the car. I stand at 6' 4" and had this set up at eye level. It was not even fully extended but I wanted see how steady it was in the wind. 

Like a rock. No shake at all when locked down either on sand or concrete. Even when the shutter release caused a little wobble it was just for a second or two. I used the remote for most of my shots. That's not to say I just hung out and pushed the button. I had to touch the camera nearly every shot to control the focus, aperture, or shutter speed. The camera was instantly steady as soon as I took my hands away. I did fire off a few shots with the cameras shutter release. Although they looked great in the view finder, they were mostly blurred. I did manage to track a bird perfectly and smoothly with the gimbal. It was actually almost too easy. Easier than hand holding it at this distance. But since there is no autofocus I got a lot of nice blurry white blobs.  

My next posting will be about my continuing experience with this fully manual lens. In one word - Frustrating as hell. Ok that was 3 words. I'll have more I'm sure but for now I will just post up what I could salvage to my Flickr account. 


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