#26. "RE: sharpness: my perpetural struggle" In response to In response to 25 Wed 30-Jan-13 04:59 AM by nrothschild
>> 3. Use long lens technique: hand on lens, Mup (for test, but not practical in field)
Just for clarity, you want to use Mup only with a remote, hands off the tripod.
Use Long Lens Technique (obviously) when shooting hands on, and then in S mode although if you do better than I do with Exposure Delay mode, feel free .
>> 4. I am confused about what you meant about the Long Lens Support. You stated, "I predict the results with and without the long lens support will be difficult to distinguish . . ." So, is the Long Lens support of not much improvement in stablity? Later you said you use it; does it help?
I am saying it is a marginal benefit. I don't think it is a game changer. At best it might have bumped my consistency up a bit, maybe from 50% to 60-65% or something like that.
It is obviously not a solution to your problem because you are using it now and we are here talking about your sharpness problems
I use it mainly because it gives me a stable platform with a loose collar that lets me quickly switch to portrait orientation and back.
There are situations where it causes problems (with my Think Tank Hydrophobia for example) and then I don't use it and don't think I am losing a lot of performance.
Edit: let me put it another way... given a choice of a Series 3 + LLS or a Series 5 without, it's a slam dunk no-brainer. Series 5 wins by a mile.
>> This little adventure to Yellowstone will cost me a significant amount of money; hotel, guide, transportation, meals, cold-weather clothes. If I have to buy a new tripod, I will. I don't want to spend the money and come home with images that are not sharp; if a new tripod will resolve this issue then that's what I'll do.
Forgetting your trip expenses for the moment...
If you can't afford the tip you can't afford the meal.
The cost of a Series 5 is just about a standard tip relative to the cost of that lens. And a man with a lens like that should be eating in better restaurants anyway, where, as I understand it, the standard tip is considered chincy
The only issue with a Series 5 for a 600 is not the cost, it is the extra few pounds of weight, plus the larger mount is more difficult to shoulder unless you have very broad shoulders.
Get to know the tap test, and try to understand what it is telling you, and then get a Series 5, preferably from some place with a decent return privilege. If I'm wrong and you do not see a very significant difference, return it.