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DPChallenge Forums >> Photography Discussion >> How I get clearer images with a telephoto lens?
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09/15/2016 11:10:09 AM · #1
I have a Sigma 150-500 and just bought a good Manfrotto tripod. I've been reading up and watching videos on how to better obtain a clear image and everyone says to rest your hand on the lens itself where the lens attaches to the tripod and to roll your finger onto the shutter and do not press hard. The way I've done it was with the self timer and and not touch the camera at all. Can you not get a clear shot with a timed shutter release and long lens?

Message edited by author 2016-09-15 11:11:02.
09/15/2016 11:53:50 AM · #2
Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_833422.jpg

It all depends on what you want.
09/15/2016 11:56:22 AM · #3
Does your lens have image stabilization? If so, make sure it is OFF when you are using it on a tripod.
09/15/2016 12:05:51 PM · #4
Single point AF? If not, then your camera may be choosing a place to focus other than what you intended.

DOF plane adequate? Maybe stop down a bit to increase the depth. Or, think about placing the DOF plane over the intended subject.

Mirror slap vibration? Even with a timer, your DSLR may have vibrations from the mechanics of the shutter at certain shutter speeds. (especially slow speeds)

Fast enough shutter speed, or too low ISO speed? Increase ISO to allow faster shutter speed to overcome camera shake or motion blur?

Finally, is the wind moving your subject, or causing vibrations of the camera on the tripod.

Maybe try a locked up mirror shot, since you're already using the timer.
09/15/2016 12:30:40 PM · #5
All of what Richard said. In particular, mirror slap can really bugger you when you are trying to get the best possible result. You are shooting APS-C which helps in that regard (less mirror mass) but it is still an issue. My M.O. is to use a remote release, and mirror lock-up to ensure that I don't induce vibrations from triggering the shutter, and minimize vibration from mirror slap.
09/15/2016 01:09:51 PM · #6
also, continuous or bracketed exposures hoping to get lucky. (my timer thing does not allow this, alas).
09/15/2016 03:12:26 PM · #7
https://www.dxomark.com/Lenses/Sigma/Sigma-150-500mm-F5-63-APO-DG-OS-HSM-Nikon-mounted-on-Nikon-D7100__865

Best at 150mm.

All zoon lenses fall off in sharpness at both ends of their zoom range.
09/15/2016 03:43:06 PM · #8
I used handhald and tried and it worked for. Following is the image:

Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1186859.jpg

Here, it was 6D+70-200mm+2x iii extension. so all togather it was 400mm and morning shot. I believe you should be able to capture a good sharp photograph and I would suggest to use remote and not click/10seconds timer etcs. Also as it was said earlier, turn off image stabilization.

One of my friend does take some NYC shots using the same lens and they all are amazing. just do google for "Jennifer khordi" and you will find her photographs.

Message edited by author 2016-09-15 15:45:37.
09/15/2016 06:54:59 PM · #9
Thanks for all the solid advice. I would have never thought to turn off the image stabilization. I'll have to give all these suggestions a try soon.
09/15/2016 07:58:46 PM · #10
Also, if you don't want to use a timed shutter release, a remotely-controlled shutter (either wired or wireless) works well for me.

09/15/2016 09:17:34 PM · #11
Originally posted by Lydia:

Also, if you don't want to use a timed shutter release, a remotely-controlled shutter (either wired or wireless) works well for me.


Agreed
09/16/2016 12:37:49 PM · #12
From my Nikkor AF-S VR Micro 105mm f2.8 User Manual:

"When the lens in mounted on a tripod, set the vibration reduction ON/OFF switch to OFF."

Pretty sure that is a standard good procedure across the board with IS/VR lenses.
09/16/2016 01:23:39 PM · #13
Originally posted by SEG:

Thanks for all the solid advice. I would have never thought to turn off the image stabilization. I'll have to give all these suggestions a try soon.


this single thing has ruined more pictures that I'd ever care to admit to...

I recently went to a local camera shop on my 150-600mm lens. The gentleman there changed a few settings on my camera...he changed my focusing to center weight, AF-C priority and AF-S priority are set on my camera. He also told me that I had to get my shutter speed up and use a higher f-stop (f9 and up) (this is for sharper images) which then effects the ISO. Since he made the few little tweaks and I'm shooting faster my images have greatly improved...I was getting so frustrated that I was seriously considering returning the lens...but all is good again.
09/16/2016 02:03:40 PM · #14
A good rule of thumb is to shoot at a shutter speed of 1/the focal length. So minimum 1/150 if shooting at 150mm. This is for handheld images, but I can't help thinking it's not a bad starting point even for images on a tripod

Message edited by author 2016-09-16 14:05:06.
09/17/2016 09:17:15 AM · #15
I always thought Nikon lenses were fine to leave in VR mode on a tripod...they detect it.

However, here's a good article challenging even Nikon's recommendations, and it makes perfect sense.

http://www.bythom.com/nikon-vr.htm

The risk of course, is forgetting you turned it off!
09/17/2016 10:03:45 AM · #16
Originally posted by Neil:

I always thought Nikon lenses were fine to leave in VR mode on a tripod...they detect it.

However, here's a good article challenging even Nikon's recommendations, and it makes perfect sense.

http://www.bythom.com/nikon-vr.htm

The risk of course, is forgetting you turned it off!


And then there's that!!!
09/18/2016 08:22:51 PM · #17
I do not believe any of that turning IS off if on a tripod. I have never turned the IS off on my camera and have yet to see any sign that it effects the image. Maybe years ago when IS was new it happen and theoretically it can happen, I have yet to see it.

As to the OP. Your lens may need a micro focus adjustment (or what ever your brand calls it). Some sample shots to look at with full exif would help figuring out what is going on.
09/18/2016 08:50:34 PM · #18
Originally posted by Kobba:

I do not believe any of that turning IS off if on a tripod. I have never turned the IS off on my camera and have yet to see any sign that it effects the image.

Another consideration might be that the IS is needed if one has a less-than totally stable tripod.
09/18/2016 08:53:06 PM · #19
Originally posted by GeneralE:

Originally posted by Kobba:

I do not believe any of that turning IS off if on a tripod. I have never turned the IS off on my camera and have yet to see any sign that it effects the image.

Another consideration might be that the IS is needed if one has a less-than totally stable tripod.


That is also true and I bet most people do not, especially to hold 600mm + at a slow shutter speed.
09/18/2016 10:44:39 PM · #20
Originally posted by Kobba:



That is also true and I bet most people do not, especially to hold 600mm + at a slow shutter speed.


This is also true and I am trying to figure that piece out with this thread.

The shot with the Manfrotto tripod came out much better than my last attempt.

Message edited by author 2016-09-18 22:59:56.
09/18/2016 10:51:32 PM · #21
I just used this method. I am a total newb when it comes to all the buttons on my D7100 but none of the settings in the that post were on my camera. Will the setting described there help me?
09/19/2016 10:43:25 PM · #22
Originally posted by SEG:

I just used this method. I am a total newb when it comes to all the buttons on my D7100 but none of the settings in the that post were on my camera. Will the setting described there help me?


It depends on what's causing your blur. If your subject is static try live view and focusing on a tripod. It should be slower, but more accurate.

Also, you can try manually focusing, in liveview mode, with the + key to magnify the subject at your focus point.

Should tell you if your lens has a problem, or if your lens needs adjustment.

If you suspect back focus or front focus for the lens, it should be easy to test. Just set up a ruler at an angle far enough away for your focal length, and focus on 6" exactly. Use a wide aperture. Check focus after shooting. Repeat using Liveview, which uses a different focus mechanism, and will likely be more accurate.

The technique he describes for adjustment/testing sounds good too.
09/19/2016 11:39:51 PM · #23
Originally posted by hahn23:

https://www.dxomark.com/Lenses/Sigma/Sigma-150-500mm-F5-63-APO-DG-OS-HSM-Nikon-mounted-on-Nikon-D7100__865

Best at 150mm.

All zoon lenses fall off in sharpness at both ends of their zoom range.


Get a better quality lens. This Sigma lens is not good, especially if you want sharp images at telephoto lens focal length. You get what you pay for. You have received many good suggestions in this thread, but none can overcome poor quality glass.

Message edited by author 2016-09-19 23:40:28.
09/30/2016 12:32:17 PM · #24
I have this exact combination of D7100 & 150-500 and it is certainly possible to get sharp pictures with it with the right technique. I agree with all the suggestions regarding tripods, mirror-lockup & remote release and I would add one more from my own experience. I find the sharpest focal length/aperture to be 450mm/f8. OK, you lose a slight amount on the long end but the difference in sharpness is noticeable.

And you can always set the D7100 into crop mode, giving you an 'effective' increase of around 2x compared to full-frame. Again, you will lose pixels by doing this, but a 10mp sharp, close image is certainly printable to a reasonable size and more than enough for displaying online.
09/30/2016 04:37:53 PM · #25
Originally posted by SEG:

Thanks for all the solid advice. I would have never thought to turn off the image stabilization. I'll have to give all these suggestions a try soon.


I agree with others comments, with the clarification that if there is a lot of wind and the tri-pod is not able to keep the camera/lens perfectly still, then I use the image stabilization on my Nikon 300-500mm F5.6 lens - with very good results (I actually tested with the VR on and off in windy conditions). If the camera/lens can be perfectly still then I turn off the VR. I also try to keep the shutter speed above 1/1200 sec. If there is not enough light then I crank up the ISO a bit.
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