Sat 01-Sep-12 11:15 AM | edited Sat 01-Sep-12 11:16 AM by mdallie
I grew up believing I only needed a tripod when I used a slow shutter speed. That if my shutter speed was fast enough (e.g., 1/focal length), and I held steady enough, then I didn't need to bother. Besides, the tripod slows you down and they do get heavy if you have a good one.
In general I am happy with my pictures but every once in a while, when certain subjects are photographed, I am asking myself why my pictures aren't "razor" sharp. I usually blame it on my lenses (I use very good lenses, but they are zooms, not primes). Don't get me wrong -- the pictures are clear and respectable and not blurry at all, but just not of the sharpness that causes people to say WOW.
Recently I saw an article which zoomed in on pictures taken with and without a tripod. In the extreme cropping and zooming, there was a very visible difference between the pictures shot with a tripod and those without.
So my question to the tripod fans is this: If I am out shooting with a 200mm VR lens, and I am shooting at 1/500, and I have good technique (I have a good stance, hold my elbows in, hold my breath, squeeze carefully, etc.), would you say that even though my picture is not blurry at all, that I would end up with a sharper picture if I were to use a tripod?
As a follow-up, when using a tripod, and a higher shutter speed, how important is it to use a remote shutter release instead of just putting my finger on the shutter (again, assuming my technique for releasing the shutter is respectable)?
I've been pondering this a lot lately and I appreciate your thoughts.