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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Best Lens For Macro

Lenses That Get You Close • Stabilizing On Monopods And Tripods • Remote Camera Control • The Wildflower Photographer’s Toolbox

Labels: How-ToColumnTech Tips
Stabilizing On Monopods And Tripods

Q I have a question about using image stabilization with a monopod. I'm aware that IS must be shut off when using a tripod, in that the lens will be hunting about if there's no camera movement, resulting in image blurring. I would assume there's always some movement/shake with a monopod-mounted camera and lens, but is it not enough so that one still gets image blurring when using IS, as is the case with a tripod? Should I always turn IS off when using a monopod just to be safe?
D. Pitts
Via email

A Image stabilization (known as IS, VR, OS, VC, etc., by various lens manufacturers) is very helpful in countering camera movement to render sharp images in handheld setups. The stabilization system continues to work just fine, and is beneficial, at faster shutter speeds of 1⁄4 second or less on a monopod or even a tripod. For longer exposures from a tripod, the stabilization system needs to be turned off on many consumer-level lenses because if it's functioning, the compensating rear element in the lens becomes active, and the element itself causes what looks like camera movement. Presumably, you wouldn't be taking a long exposure from a monopod, so leaving the stabilization system on constantly isn't a problem.

Some high-end telephotos have a stabilization system that senses that the camera and lens are on a stable platform and the lens modifies its stabilization algorithms accordingly; for these lenses, the stabilization system can be kept on all the time. Check the specifications for your lens to determine if it has a modified stabilization system for tripods.

Remote Camera Control

Q I would like to place a camera on a long pole to get a different perspective. How do I monitor what the camera sees so that I can be sure that the image is what I want?
B. Logan
Via email

A We used to just imagine the possibility of getting a camera into places a photographer couldn't go, but now there are lots of ways to do this. Your example of elevation on a pole is one example; other scenarios include placing a remote camera into a nest or den to observe without disturbing the occupants; controlling the camera in an awkward position, such as close to the ground in macro; placing the camera in a dangerous location where you don't want to be, such as outside at night in an African reserve; or using a monitor and computer software to manage an extensive stack in high-magnification photography. These few examples should make it clear: You really, really need to do this!

Many camera manufacturers have created systems to accomplish this. Connected systems work via a cable linked between the camera and a laptop computer that has a camera utility, which controls and operates the camera. Obviously, with these systems the distance between photographer and subject is limited to the length of the cable. If you want to operate wirelessly, you'll need a camera with built-in WiFi or an accessory transmitter, along with an Internet connection. In some cases, you can make your own Internet local connection via an ad hoc signal. These accessories can be expensive.


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