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Author Topic: Reducing wind vibration  (Read 4780 times)

spotmeter

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Reducing wind vibration
« on: December 23, 2009, 11:15:40 pm »

I went out last evening to shoot the Xmas lights on the downtown buildings in San Francisco.

I set up my camera on Treasure Island as Alcatraz was closed.

To get the shot I wanted, I had to use my Canon 400mm with the Canon 5D2.

I attached the lens mount to my RRS BH55 mounted on a Gitzo 1325.

I wanted to use long exposures to smooth out the water.  With an ND filter and f6.3, my exposures were 2 seconds at ISO 100.  I took several shots as I was planning on stitching them for a panorama.

When I got home and looked at them in Lightroom, they were all fuzzy, and completely useless.

The wind was blowing pretty well and must have vibrated the lens.

What do you do in this kind of  situation to reduce wind vibration?

I'm thinking of laying a couple of 2.5 lb ankle weights on top of the lens where it mounts, but wondered if there were other solutions.

I don't want to go to a higher ISO because these will be stitched and then enlarged to 40 x 120 and I don't want any noise in the sky.
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David Sutton

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Reducing wind vibration
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2009, 03:16:47 am »

For exposures under 50th second or so I find it really hard to completely eliminate all movement with that focal length, wind or no wind. So I put a heavy beanbag on top of the camera and lens. If anyone has a better solution I'd like to know as well.
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francois

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Reducing wind vibration
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2009, 03:49:44 am »

For long lenses (even a 70-200), I sometimes use a second tripod and put some weight on the lend barrel. If the wind doesn't shift direction, you can also protect your setup with your body. But I must say that shooting with heavy wind is always a challenge.
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Francois

Alexis Alvarez

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Reducing wind vibration
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2009, 04:45:59 am »

For long exposures, it helps to turn the image stabilization off.  It apparently causes "image shift."  I'd read about this on the Internet, but can't find the original citation.

francois

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Reducing wind vibration
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2009, 05:27:43 am »

Quote from: Alexis Alvarez
For long exposures, it helps to turn the image stabilization off.  It apparently causes "image shift."  I'd read about this on the Internet, but can't find the original citation.
If you leave IS on, sometimes you can see the image drifting in the viewfinder and then snapping back. I always turn IS off when I'm shooting on a tripod. On some lenses, IS is supposed to turn itself off when it detects that a tripod is used but I've seen that the "smart" detection is not always working as it should.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2009, 11:49:53 am by francois »
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feppe

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Reducing wind vibration
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2009, 11:46:38 am »

I've never shot with such long focal lengths, so I usually just slug my camera back over the splayed tripod legs.

Jonathan Wienke

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Reducing wind vibration
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2009, 12:36:09 pm »

Quote from: francois
If you leave IS on, sometimes you can see the image drifting in the viewfinder and then snapping back. I always turn IS off when I'm shooting on a tripod. On some lenses, IS is supposed to turn itself off when it detects that a tripod is used but I've seen that the "smart" detection is not always working as it should.

It depends on the version of IS in the lens. Some lenses work beautifully on a tripod (like the Canon 70-200/2.8L), others do not. Canon has a list posted of which IS lenses are tripod-compatible and which are not. In tripod mode, the IS does not shut off, instead, it retunes itself to target the frequency range of common tripod vibrations (higher frequency) instead of handheld vibrations (lower frequency).
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David Saffir

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Reducing wind vibration
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2009, 08:35:50 pm »

man, you've got a challenge here.

A 400 is like a giant tuning fork in the wind. I've photographed birds w/ a600+teledapter, and it's difficult.

Some tips:
go to Really Right Stuff and see if they have a shorter leg/mount for the tripod ring. The shorter that is, the better. Same for the ball head.
Use a carbon fiber tripod with only three sections. Keep the tripod as low as you can and still get the shot.
Some people put a small sandbag on top of the lens. Keep in mind that this WILL make the whole setup even more top-heavy than it already is.
Use a remote release or shutter delay and mirror-up. These are essential.
If I'm in a hurry I will put my hand on top of the lens, at the point of the tripod mount.
Weight the tripod underneath with a hook, or improvise.
Some people set up a second tripod to support the lens.

Last, remember that the whole rig could go over in the wind.  Seen it happen in Utah. Stay close.

Hope this helps,

David Saffir
http://davidsaffir.wordpress.com
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spotmeter

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Reducing wind vibration
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2009, 09:12:02 pm »

Quote from: David Saffir
man, you've got a challenge here.

A 400 is like a giant tuning fork in the wind. I've photographed birds w/ a600+teledapter, and it's difficult.

Some tips:
go to Really Right Stuff and see if they have a shorter leg/mount for the tripod ring. The shorter that is, the better. Same for the ball head.
Use a carbon fiber tripod with only three sections. Keep the tripod as low as you can and still get the shot.
Some people put a small sandbag on top of the lens. Keep in mind that this WILL make the whole setup even more top-heavy than it already is.
Use a remote release or shutter delay and mirror-up. These are essential.
If I'm in a hurry I will put my hand on top of the lens, at the point of the tripod mount.
Weight the tripod underneath with a hook, or improvise.
Some people set up a second tripod to support the lens.

Last, remember that the whole rig could go over in the wind.  Seen it happen in Utah. Stay close.

Hope this helps,

David Saffir
http://davidsaffir.wordpress.com

Thanks, David. Great set of tips.
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diuser

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Reducing wind vibration
« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2009, 01:45:46 am »

Search the Luminous Landscape for "Manfrotto #359 Long Lens Camera Support"
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Rob C

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Reducing wind vibration
« Reply #10 on: December 28, 2009, 04:48:19 pm »

One could always give up eating beans.

Rob C

Luis Argerich

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Reducing wind vibration
« Reply #11 on: December 28, 2009, 05:10:36 pm »

400mm is really difficult from a tripod, I think the best solution is to use a beanbag.
If you have to use a tripod then add as much weight as you can to it (most tripods have a hook for weight). Humans are good wind screens stay in the middle of the wind and the tripod. Let the setup stabilize and use a remote shutter.
On a side note 2seconds is probably not long enough to smooth rough waters, you will get a "muddy" water result, try longer exposures with a stronger ND filter unless the water is really still.

Mary K

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Reducing wind vibration
« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2009, 11:05:55 am »

I remove the lens hood and lower the tripod as much as possible in windy conditions.
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Mary Konchar

Rob C

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Reducing wind vibration
« Reply #13 on: December 29, 2009, 02:20:12 pm »

I can almost see it coming: wind tunnel testing results next!

Rob C

Mike Boden

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Reducing wind vibration
« Reply #14 on: December 29, 2009, 02:37:52 pm »

As good as all the suggestions have been, don't forget to go at a time with low to no wind. Just as one might return to a particular location to get better light, you might have to do the same with regards to wind level. I'm just saying...
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daleeman

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Reducing wind vibration
« Reply #15 on: December 30, 2009, 12:28:30 pm »

Hay All,
The use of the sand bag on the lens above the tripod helps a lot, along with the hanging fruit from below the tripod to pull the rig to the ground.

I shoot with my 4x5 and run into wind issue with that. A golf umbrella is a huge asset. Perched on the upwind side of the view camera open this massive wind break and hang on. It creates a dead zone right behind it that will let you fire a sheet off one at a time.

Lee
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Tony Beach

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Reducing wind vibration
« Reply #16 on: December 30, 2009, 01:15:26 pm »

Quote from: Mike Boden
As good as all the suggestions have been, don't forget to go at a time with low to no wind. Just as one might return to a particular location to get better light, you might have to do the same with regards to wind level. I'm just saying...
Right, but it's always windy at that location at that time.  Also, Christmas lights are only on for a brief time of the year.  Finally, crystal clear nights around here are themselves the product of windy conditions.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2009, 01:15:48 pm by Tony Beach »
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