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D70s body flex - Is there any?

kocho

Metro DC, US
1756 posts

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kocho Basic Member
Wed 16-Jan-08 01:23 PM

After getting a relatively sturdy ballhead (Benro KS-1) and a so-so tripod (Manfrotto 190 MF4) I found out that there is a substantial flex in the camera body.

I noticed this when I took some close-ups with the tripod fully contracted and the center column fully down. In this configuration the tripod/head is fairly sturdy. However, around the critical 1/50s or so I still had shutter-induced vibrations visible in the photos taken with the 180mm lens and no flash attached (as lightweight a combo as it would ever get). The blur would disappear if I press with a heavy hand at the camera while taking the photo. I would get a sharp photo, but then the body flexes quite a bit and the framing can change significantly relative to the initial framing prior to me applying pressure on top of the camera/lens (things like merging two consecutive shots in post processing becomes tricky with this framing change).

First off, do you yourself see this flex when using your D70 / D70s? Would an L-bracket eliminate it? I am currently using a fairly large (6cm wide) plate that secures to the camera bottom well - the flex is in the camera body itself. What would an L bracket improve for the D70s (ease of horisontal/vertical positioning aside)?

Second thought/question (keeping in mind that I'm not a frequent tripod user and portability and low cost is more important than ultimate sturdiness). I was quite disappointed with the sturdiness (or lack thereof) in the 190 MF4 tripod fully extended (even with the center post down). I did not expect much of a small 4-section tripod, but this thing is even more flexible than I hoped for it to be Before I take the route of an upgrade of the legs though, I hope to find out if it would help me at all, if I am to have this flex in the D70s body anyway. Would I benefit from a more stable tripod than what I already have, provided the body will remain the weakest link? I would still need to apply pressure on the camera to eliminate shutter/mirror shake at critical speeds and no reasonable tripod/head can counteract me pushing with 20lb or so down on the camera and allow for no framing change... On the other hand, if the shutter speed is fast enough to not require me to hold down the camera, then again, why would I need a sturdier tripod at all? This one seems good enough to hold my gear in place, especially with a weight hanging from below the tripod that could secure the camera well enough for my needs.

Thoughts, comments?

Thanks!

+@+@+@+@+@+@+@+@+@+@+@+@+@

Update
Thanks to my doubters here (or the D70s sturdiness believers if you prefer) , I did capture the movement on camera.

See the results here:

http://www.pbase.com/kocho/test_misc

The contact b/w the camera bottom and the plate is not good. Also there is some flex in the tripod, even though everything is as tight as it can be (spikes used on concrete floor). The head does not seem to move. The most movement is b/w the camera and the plate, even though I thought they are tightly coupled. I guess I need to try to tighten them-up even further...

This animation was created from a series of three shots, the midlle one is where I push down on the lens a little, simulating what happens when I push down on the camera for vibration reduction...

Update #2:

Further clearing the picture, I took shots from the back (LCD side) and repeated the experiment. There is movement not only due to compression of the plate strips, but also due to separation b/w the camera bottom and the upper part. See here how the seam b/w the two opens-up (when pressure is applied as shown in the previous shot from the side) and closes when I let go off the camera. So, yes there is some body flex there .

The other part I noticed is that the back plate strip loses contact with the camera bottom due to the movement and the front strip seems to compress a little further than it already has been by mounting the plate. Still not sure if this is due to the fact that the strips compress or that there is also some extension of the mounting bolt area on the cacmera bottom that allows for additional play on the back...

So, my conclusion is that there is a combination of several factors comtributing to this movement:
- compression of the plate strips (very visible in the side pictures in the links, as I used a non-shaved version of the plate)
- body flex (on the "back" shot given here I used the "shaved strips" plate to minimize the effect of the strip compression). Also possible extension/flex of the mounting bolt area on the camera bottom but it is hard to observe (may or may not be there)
- tripod flex

If there is any head movement I can't tell from these observations as it is either not there or too smal relative to the other movements.


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