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07/22/2006 07:35:00 PM · #1
I am having great frustrations getting used to camera shake and my DSLR. I have a D200 and when using any of my lenses - but especially my heavier 70-200 2.8 lens, the camera bobs up and down in my hands like a boat on the water.

I am standing straight, with my arms to my sides tightly, but the little focus bracket just bobs up and down making it hard to focus on the subject.

I know many will say "use a tripod" - well I do for many things but a tripod is not always feasible.

Any suggestions?

RP
07/22/2006 07:47:14 PM · #2
Monopod.
07/22/2006 07:47:15 PM · #3
How do you hold the camera?
07/22/2006 07:59:17 PM · #4
Originally posted by jpeters:

Monopod.

Another trick is to get an eyebolt which screws into the tripod mount (I think it's a standard 1/4" size) and attach a piece of strong string to it. As you compose, stand on the other end of the string and pull upwards -- the tension on the string can help steady the camera.

In some cases, using a beanbag and the camera timer may also be an option.
07/22/2006 08:17:07 PM · #5
Originally posted by xion:

How do you hold the camera?


I hold the camera by cupping my hand around the bottom of the lens
07/22/2006 08:18:43 PM · #6
Originally posted by jpeters:

Monopod.


How do you use a monopod at a walk around party type of event? Just curious since I have never used one.

I guess my real question is - is this type of shake normal or am I just a "shaky" person? Does everyone see this when trying to take shots
07/22/2006 08:26:33 PM · #7
cut down the coffee.
07/22/2006 08:42:27 PM · #8
Originally posted by robpom:

Originally posted by xion:

How do you hold the camera?


I hold the camera by cupping my hand around the bottom of the lens


That's good. I don't know why you are experiencing this with a 70-200 lens that has VR on it.

When I find that it's shaking too much around 200mm (usually when I am really tired and hungry), I support my left elbow on my stomach and try to keep myself stable and try to find something I can support my body against.

07/22/2006 08:51:06 PM · #9
For a right-handed person:

Center of balance of lens+camera combo cradled in left hand.

Left foot forward, right foot back.

Left elbow tucked into body.

Right elbow "flying" out from body a bit.

Breather in, shoot on slow exhale.

R.


07/22/2006 08:55:50 PM · #10
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

For a right-handed person:

Center of balance of lens+camera combo cradled in left hand.

Left foot forward, right foot back.

Left elbow tucked into body.

Right elbow "flying" out from body a bit.

Breather in, shoot on slow exhale.

R.


And if this still doesn't work well, image stabilization is a wonderful thing. Now if I just remember to TURN IT BACK ON when I've turned it off to use a tripod....
07/22/2006 10:49:49 PM · #11
You need to turn IS off while using a tripod ?
07/22/2006 10:54:53 PM · #12
Robpom - Camera shake is pretty common for me atleast and I'm using a Canon 75-300 and drink about 8 cups of coffee :). Tips - use a fast shutter speed > 1/focal length, IS if you have one. Put it on someone's shoulder.
Lean against something - that's the one I use most often.

I've made a conscious effort to reduce camera shake - using suggestions like Bear's above and its improved quiet a bit. 3 months ago I was getting shaky snaps while using a 50 mm.

Message edited by author 2006-07-22 22:57:46.
07/22/2006 10:58:42 PM · #13
Originally posted by TheMegalomaniac:

You need to turn IS off while using a tripod ?


I read somewhere that you should, and I believe everything I read. But I don't think I'll turn it off in the future. I don't think it harms anything to leave it on - might only save on battery use if you turn it off.

But I haven't stayed in a Holiday Inn Express for a long time, so I probably really shouldn't be trusted to know what I'm talking about. :-)
07/22/2006 11:03:34 PM · #14
I take it that you don't want to bump up the ISO a little to help out some?
07/22/2006 11:04:16 PM · #15
Do you have a battery grip on it? It can help, IMO.
07/22/2006 11:14:08 PM · #16
Some newere IS variants are able to tell when they are on a tripod. The A100 has this feature which will work with all of its lenses, although as someone pointed out elsewhere, this will not help when looking through the lens and composing your pic. The Canon 17-55 f/2.8 IS USM has this feature.

I'm not sure what else does though...

However I didn't see the bit in the OP that says that his lens has VR.

I thought he just said that he had the 70-200 f/2.8.

I was mucking about with my 30D, my 80-200 and a 2x TC the other day trying to pick off dragonflies, swallows and bats putting on an aerobatics show in front of my apartment playing above the trees (missed every single shot too... How the heck do they know how to fly around what I'm focusing on?), and I didn't find it all that difficult to keep it steady when I was focusing on something stationary. It was a pretty big mess when trying to track them though. That might help too. When composing, try to find something that isn't moving in your frame of view and use that to help you compose. Look for patterns in motion so you can set something up and shoot as they come into frame.

One thing that I often try to do as well (although my experience is MUCH less) is to try to brace at least down to the waist. Rob's suggestions of stance probably help a lot with that, but I tend to slowly wander around with my torso, even if my feet are steady. I will usually try to place my hips against a wall, table, sit down or get down and put one knee on the floor and one elbow on the other knee.

Anything to get a connection to something solid.
07/22/2006 11:46:27 PM · #17
I always keep my Anti-Shake (Minoltas version of IS) on. Granted, I only have been shooting in JPEG. They say it drains the battery quicker, but I have still been able to get over 500 shots before running out of room on my CF.

P.S. I have since bought a backup CF and battery.

Edited for spelling


Message edited by author 2006-07-22 23:46:51.
07/23/2006 12:20:48 AM · #18
I tried Bear_Music's suggestions and it helps some. It has VR on the lens and I do have a battery grip. It still moves some.

I mean, are you supposed to be able to hold it perfectly still? It is just that the focus point bobs up and down just a little when I am trying to focus on something.
07/23/2006 01:54:33 AM · #19
Just remember the longer the shutter speed or the longer the focal length.....the more important to keep it steady. If your shooting (as you said abaove) at a party, you could go with a faster shutter if you have a fast enough lens or enough light.
07/23/2006 02:12:56 AM · #20
Sometimes it's hard to stay still long enough to focus on something if it's nearby, especially on the long end. If that's the case though, you'll probably move and make it come out of focus before you take the picture too. In those cases it's probably better to use a tripod, but if the subject is pretty far away and won't move out of focus then just try and nab it on the way past next time you bob in that direction.

It really helps IMO to use the custom function that sets the autofocus to the AE Lock button on the back of the camera. It lets you use the AF in servo or one shot mode without changing any settings (leave it on servo, hold the button down to use it as such or press it once to just set focus), and it lets you operate the shutter as if you were using manual focus.
07/23/2006 10:43:03 AM · #21
Originally posted by robpom:

I tried Bear_Music's suggestions and it helps some. It has VR on the lens and I do have a battery grip. It still moves some.

I mean, are you supposed to be able to hold it perfectly still? It is just that the focus point bobs up and down just a little when I am trying to focus on something.


That's normal - you're just an average photog with regular camera shake.

Message edited by author 2006-07-23 10:43:57.
07/23/2006 10:53:42 AM · #22
Originally posted by robpom:

Originally posted by jpeters:

Monopod.


How do you use a monopod at a walk around party type of event? Just curious since I have never used one.

I guess my real question is - is this type of shake normal or am I just a "shaky" person? Does everyone see this when trying to take shots


Monopods are significantly less bulky and lighter than tripods, and I have seen it done at party-type events I have covered for newspapers, but I personally haven't used one at these events. I think I may have slightly steadier hands than normal, at least I hope so for my future patients sake (I'm in dental school), and it sounds to me like you may be a little shakier than usual. Other than avoiding long focal lengths, I have a few other suggestions that may or may not help:

First, eat before you shoot an event or situation where a tripod or monopod aren't an option. A lot of people get a little shaky when they haven't eaten in a while. Secondly, hold your hand out while holding nothing. Does it look steady? If it does, then maybe you aren't shakier than the next person but you need to just strengthen your hands. Get some sort of grip strengthener (which will work your hand and forearm and even your upper arm a bit) and see what happens. And for a more conventional idea, when holding your camera with two hands and up to your eye, make sure you are making sufficient contact with your face/forehead with the camera and hold your breath or breathe very slowly while composing and shooting.

Good luck!
07/23/2006 10:55:34 AM · #23
Originally posted by robpom:

I tried Bear_Music's suggestions and it helps some. It has VR on the lens and I do have a battery grip. It still moves some.

I mean, are you supposed to be able to hold it perfectly still? It is just that the focus point bobs up and down just a little when I am trying to focus on something.


I think at 200mm it should be reasonably still, but the longer you get, the more it will accentuate the bobbing.
07/23/2006 11:57:33 PM · #24
On the monopod thing, I did see around here a thread about how to use a monopod (a forum search might turn something up).

One of the methods was placing it in a belt holster for that purpose and push down on it. It would then brace up against your waist which is presumably a fair bit steadier than your hands... The benefit being that the monopod would be a lot shorter and would be a lot more versatile and less intrusive/conspicuous.
07/24/2006 12:26:49 AM · #25
Originally posted by robpom:

I tried Bear_Music's suggestions and it helps some. It has VR on the lens and I do have a battery grip. It still moves some.

Do you get blur output photos? If yes, then it's handshake.
Try bumping up your ISO. I know the D50 could do pretty well with higher ISO, as in all other dSLRs.
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