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jfitzg14

US
141 posts

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jfitzg14 Silver Member Nikonian since 28th Oct 2012
Thu 22-Nov-12 11:52 AM

I hear people talking about proper technique for handholding my D800. How do I know if my technique is adequate. Obviously, a blurry picture is the biggest clue. Is there somewhere I can learn more about this. Any tips would be appreciated. D800 and 300mmf2.8. This is not overly heavy, but it is hard to keep steady. I have a monopod that I use a lot. Tripod is still in the box. Not sure if I should take a tripod in the field. I mostly shoot birds. Not always a lot of time to set up a tripod. Any advice?

Antero52

Vantaa, FI
2675 posts

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#1. "RE: Technique" | In response to Reply # 0

Antero52 Silver Member Awarded for his expertise in post-processing, being  consistently helpful and professional. Nikonian since 07th Jul 2009
Thu 22-Nov-12 11:38 AM | edited Thu 22-Nov-12 11:43 AM by Antero52

Hi Joe,

When digital photography was a new topic to me, I bought at least a hundred issues of various magazines. Then in about three years' time I realized that most magazines offer diminshing returns as the (pseudo-)technical articles repeated old stuff and told me very little I didn’t know already.

Enter c’t Digital Photography (www.ct-digiphoto.com).

This magazine’s roots are in the German ComputerTechnik magazine but is available in (US) English too. There are only four issues per year but the annual output of useful and interesting information beats any other photography magazine I am aware of. The current issue #10 (Nov. 2012) includes a lengthy article of handholding techniques and gizmos for stabilizing hand-held cameras, plus lots of other useful stuff, including a comparison of D800E and a 40-megapixel Hasselbad. (The Blad won a majority of the tests by a hair, mostly because of its better lenses. But when it lost, as in available-light photography or focusing, it not only lost, it was totally crushed.)

Regards, Antero

P.S. I think your tripod will serve you better if you take it out of the box. The trick is to mount your camera on the tripod and let the birds approach you while you are lurking behind cover.

jfitzg14

US
141 posts

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#2. "RE: Technique" | In response to Reply # 1

jfitzg14 Silver Member Nikonian since 28th Oct 2012
Thu 22-Nov-12 12:18 PM

Thanks. I will take your advice.

InsaneO

Encino, US
395 posts

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#3. "RE: Technique" | In response to Reply # 0

InsaneO Registered since 09th May 2012
Thu 22-Nov-12 05:41 PM

There are many factors that affect steady handholding.
Time of the day for example, how tired you are.
How many cups of coffee you drank.
How strong you are. How tall you are.
Your technique. Though if you have been shooting for awhile you should have developed that already.
Weight of the camera. Camera grip adds steadiness.
Shutter button. How much force does it take to push it.
Mirror slap.
Idiosyncrasies of the lens you are using. I have seen many articles where certain FLs and shutter speeds produce less desirable results.
Weight and balance of the lens. The hood of the lens and wind conditions.
Etc..Etc...

jamesvoortman

Durban, ZA
1468 posts

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#4. "RE: Technique" | In response to Reply # 0

jamesvoortman Silver Member Nikonian since 06th Sep 2004
Thu 22-Nov-12 06:32 PM | edited Thu 22-Nov-12 06:36 PM by jamesvoortman

For your monopod/tripod shooting with a long lens I reckon a gimbal head could be a major improvement. In this type of head, the camera/lens hangs below the pivot point and tends to self stabilise whereas on a conventional head, it is perched on top of the pivot point and inherently unstable - it always tries to fall over as soon you loosen the head to allow movement.

In the D800, Nikon has given us one of the best Auto-ISO functions available. You can select limits beyond which the camera will vary ISO to maintain the selected shutter speed or aperture. You can select a variable minimum shutter speed that responds to changes in focal length when using a zoom or changing lenses and you can even adjust the sensitivity of that response to focal length changes. generally speaking this camera seems to require stricter adherence to the inverse rule (SS = 1/FL) than bodies with lesser resolution, in spite of VR. Some say we should use even higher shutter speeds - I have seen SS = 1/2FL proposed in a few places


For handholding I tend to brace my body or the camera in several ways depending on the situation and posture:
- brace the tip of my right thumb against my forehead or eyebrow by extending it (I shoot left eye to viewfinder, if you use right eye then try extending thumb to temple - but not as effective),
- left hand under the lens, not holding the camera body,
- lean against a pole or wall, or even brace the camera against it
- pull elbows in against my ribs to provide stiffer support to the camera
- sit on the ground and brace elbows on knees,
- one elbow on one knee and one elbow against the ribs when kneeling

So far I am seeing that the D800 does respond to this extra care.

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GaryPk

Bailey, US
537 posts

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#5. "RE: Technique" | In response to Reply # 4

GaryPk Silver Member Nikonian since 30th Apr 2012
Sat 24-Nov-12 09:11 PM | edited Sat 24-Nov-12 09:17 PM by GaryPk

For hand held shooting: I have the Hoodman Eye Cup. It is made for people with glasses but I use it to firmly press the eyepiece against my eye while using proper hand holding technique. Like having a three point stance .. http://www.hoodmanusa.com/products.asp?dept=1061

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ljordan316

Inverness, US
830 posts

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#6. "RE: Technique" | In response to Reply # 0

ljordan316 Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2010
Sat 24-Nov-12 09:42 PM

I was convinced I had to have a solid tripod to get great shots with my D800e until I went shooting birds with David Hemmings. After making some settings changes (all related to AF), I was able to get great shots while hand holding with a 200-400mm zoom. I also started using a BushHawk with the lens to get even better shots. I will still use a tripod when shooting landscapes and animals/birds who are not moving much, but I now feel free to shoot without one.

I keep the ISO as low as I can for good details and low noise...usually under 1000 for birds and 100 for landscapes, but I also focus on the shutter speed. I generally use 1/3FL for hand held shooting even with the BushHawk.

Larry Jordan

D800E, D500, 14-24, 16-35, 24-70, 70-180 Micro, 80-400mm AF-S, 500mm AF-S II

Website:
http://larryjordan.smugmug.com/

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avisys

Placitas, US
482 posts

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#7. "RE: Technique" | In response to Reply # 0

avisys Basic Member
Sat 24-Nov-12 11:00 PM

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>When digital photography was a new topic to me, I bought at least a hundred issues of various magazines. Then in about three years' time I realized that most magazines offer diminshing returns as the (pseudo-)technical articles repeated old stuff and told me very little I didn’t know already. <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

I've been reading photography magazines (when I could afford them) since 1952. It's amazing the stuff I see in magazines today that is virtually identical the the stuff in the 50s and 60s, with the exception of occasional forays into digital jargon.

And the product reviews are the same puff pieces, updated with digital jargon.

Well, after all, its the same thing: Do those things that enhance quality, don't do the bad things --- and the good and bad things all seem to be the same then as now, with Tri-X or D800, except that our operating parameters are (now) much wider than with Kodachrome and Tri-X.


AviSys

jfitzg14

US
141 posts

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#8. "RE: Technique" | In response to Reply # 6

jfitzg14 Silver Member Nikonian since 28th Oct 2012
Sat 24-Nov-12 11:01 PM

Thanks for the help. I have been trying some of your suggestions.

GaryPk

Bailey, US
537 posts

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#9. "RE: Technique" | In response to Reply # 7

GaryPk Silver Member Nikonian since 30th Apr 2012
Wed 28-Nov-12 08:08 PM | edited Wed 28-Nov-12 09:41 PM by GaryPk

Hello. I highly recommend Digital Camera magazine published in the UK. Never fails to give me something useful and includes a skills building DVD.

I originally subscribed to several magazines a few years back and found that this one is not 80% advertising and full of self(advertiser) serving articles.

A little expensive but by far the best and I never hesitate to renew.

Gary in Colorado

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gkaiseril

Chicago, US
6739 posts

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#10. "RE: Technique" | In response to Reply # 0

gkaiseril Gold Member Nikonian since 28th Oct 2005
Wed 28-Nov-12 08:52 PM

See DEVELOPING A PROPER HANDHOLDING TECHNIQUE by J. Ramón Palacios. Pretty much the same as with film, except you do not need to advance the film.

George
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Zareeba

Stockton-on-Tees, UK
174 posts

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#11. "RE: Technique" | In response to Reply # 6

Zareeba Gold Member Nikonian since 08th Apr 2008
Thu 27-Dec-12 06:45 PM

>I was convinced I had to have a solid tripod to get great
>shots with my D800e until I went shooting birds with David
>Hemmings. After making some settings changes (all related to
>AF), I was able to get great shots while hand holding with a
>200-400mm zoom.

Larry, I'd be interested to know what AF changes you made.

This thread has brought back memories of standing in Red Square in Moscow (this was 1986) with my Olympus OM-2, jammed up against the wall of GUM to hold my camera steady while shooting pics of the Kremlin at night. But then the Olympus was a real lightweight and easy to handhold.

I'm interested in anything that helps with handholding the D800 as
I'm likely to encounter a number of situations where a tripod can't be used (the dreaded Health and Safety, don't you know).

D4, D800, D600

It ain't so much the things we don't know that get us in trouble. It's the things we know that just ain't so.

Why is this thus? What is the reason of this thusness?

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