How to add some extra stability to your long lens shots on tripods

May 16, 2016

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

How to add some extra stability to your long lens shots on tripods

May 16, 2016

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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long_lenses_on_tripods

Working with real big lenses is fun, but often troublesome.  Handholding with image stabilisation can help, but only until your arms get tired, which is where the trusty tripod steps in to give you a solid foundation on which to rest your lens.

But even when working with tripods, the view can sometimes be a little unsteady.  In this video, wildlife and nature photographer Steve Perry offers us a few tips to help improve stability when using big long lenses on tripods.

YouTube video

Offering techniques for both Wimberley style heads, and ball heads, Steve talks about some of the problems faced when shooting on tripods, and the techniques he uses to overcome them.

long_lenses_wimberley

When shooting wildlife from a tripod, some of the suggestions Steve offers might seem a little counterintuitive, and while he freely admits that there’s no right or wrong way to do anything, these techniques work for him, and you can’t argue with his results.

long_lenses_ballhead

So, have a watch, and the next time you’re going out to shoot with long lenses on a tripod, give it a go and see what happens.

Did anybody else think it quite amusing when he described a 300mm prime as a “small” lens?

What tips and techniques do you use for stabilising your lenses on the tripod when mirror-lockup or remote triggers aren’t an option?  Let us know in the comments.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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One response to “How to add some extra stability to your long lens shots on tripods”

  1. Angela Dorothea Merkel Avatar
    Angela Dorothea Merkel

    I’m dreaming that tripod and gimbal head