October 24, 2014, 07:19:09 PM

Author Topic: Gimbal head or not for Tamron 150-600  (Read 4747 times)

TexPhoto

  • 1D Mark IV
  • ******
  • Posts: 951
    • View Profile
Re: Gimbal head or not for Tamron 150-600
« Reply #30 on: June 17, 2014, 11:31:54 PM »
I find that people who do not have IS lenses will tell you at length that they don't need it / don't want it.  People who have it generally like it and treat it as a one of many tools in the tool box. I am in camp 2.  As I recall Auto Focus was very similar.

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Gimbal head or not for Tamron 150-600
« Reply #30 on: June 17, 2014, 11:31:54 PM »

AlanF

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1093
    • View Profile
Re: Gimbal head or not for Tamron 150-600
« Reply #31 on: June 18, 2014, 02:59:30 AM »

If you say you do not need IS, then I believe you and salute your rock solid arms and their strength. However, not everyone has your natural stability. Here is what Bryan from TDP, writes, and he claims to work out regularly with weights.

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-EF-600mm-f-4-L-IS-II-USM-Lens-Review.aspx

“I relied on IS a lot when using the version I 600 L IS lens - especially when shooting wildlife. I didn't handhold that lens a lot due to its shoulder/back injury-inducing weight, but the tripod-sensing IS system was quite helpful in reducing vibration (including from mirror slap) when shooting from a tripod. Handholding the 600 L IS II is much easier and I am now relying on IS much more frequently to help me get the shot. I find IS to be an extremely valuable feature for this lens.”

For what it's worth I have arms like pipe cleaners and can barely do a push up!
Though a lot of it is down to technique, not strength, most people can support large lenses surprisingly well for short periods. Locally there is quite a petite lady who rarely uses a tripod with her Nikon 500 F4 + D4 - so it can be done!
My problem with IS is that it slows things down, when you have a small bird flitting here and there I have enough trouble keeping up with it - let alone the IS slowing things up! Try it for yourself. Also I believe that IS is not effective at shutter speeds of less than 1/500 sec so it is of limited use for many subjects.
I should state that I use a 1DX and it's ISO capabilities are a significant part of the equation, were I using a different camera this may alter my opinion.
However, regardless of the camera used, I prefer to shoot with IS off and only use it when necessary (in desperation in my case!). It is a very handy feature, to have in reserve.

For rapidly moving birds etc, use Mode 3 on your IS - the IS kicks in only when you actuate the shutter, and Mode 3 was introduced precisely for tracking fast, erratic motion.

I don't understand why you write that IS is not effective below 1/500s. there are oodles of published measurements and examples of IS working brilliantly down to 1/10s or so - just look at the lens tests on TDP. The following link explains Mode 3 and states image stabilization at 1/5s for the 600mm f/4 II:

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-EF-600mm-f-4-L-IS-II-USM-Lens-Review.aspx
5D III, 70D, Powershot SX50, 300/2.8 II, 1.4xTC III, 2xTC III, 70-200/4 IS, 24-105, 15-85, Sigma 10-20, Tamron 150-600.

johnf3f

  • Canon 70D
  • ****
  • Posts: 310
  • Canon 1Dx
    • View Profile
Re: Gimbal head or not for Tamron 150-600
« Reply #32 on: June 18, 2014, 05:23:11 PM »

If you say you do not need IS, then I believe you and salute your rock solid arms and their strength. However, not everyone has your natural stability. Here is what Bryan from TDP, writes, and he claims to work out regularly with weights.

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-EF-600mm-f-4-L-IS-II-USM-Lens-Review.aspx

“I relied on IS a lot when using the version I 600 L IS lens - especially when shooting wildlife. I didn't handhold that lens a lot due to its shoulder/back injury-inducing weight, but the tripod-sensing IS system was quite helpful in reducing vibration (including from mirror slap) when shooting from a tripod. Handholding the 600 L IS II is much easier and I am now relying on IS much more frequently to help me get the shot. I find IS to be an extremely valuable feature for this lens.”

For what it's worth I have arms like pipe cleaners and can barely do a push up!
Though a lot of it is down to technique, not strength, most people can support large lenses surprisingly well for short periods. Locally there is quite a petite lady who rarely uses a tripod with her Nikon 500 F4 + D4 - so it can be done!
My problem with IS is that it slows things down, when you have a small bird flitting here and there I have enough trouble keeping up with it - let alone the IS slowing things up! Try it for yourself. Also I believe that IS is not effective at shutter speeds of less than 1/500 sec so it is of limited use for many subjects.
I should state that I use a 1DX and it's ISO capabilities are a significant part of the equation, were I using a different camera this may alter my opinion.
However, regardless of the camera used, I prefer to shoot with IS off and only use it when necessary (in desperation in my case!). It is a very handy feature, to have in reserve.

For rapidly moving birds etc, use Mode 3 on your IS - the IS kicks in only when you actuate the shutter, and Mode 3 was introduced precisely for tracking fast, erratic motion.

I don't understand why you write that IS is not effective below 1/500s. there are oodles of published measurements and examples of IS working brilliantly down to 1/10s or so - just look at the lens tests on TDP. The following link explains Mode 3 and states image stabilization at 1/5s for the 600mm f/4 II:

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-EF-600mm-f-4-L-IS-II-USM-Lens-Review.aspx

By shutter speeds below 1/500 sec I mean shorter/faster shutter speeds. At longer/slower shutter speeds IS can become very useful, especially with longer lenses. However with the ISO capabilities of some modern cameras it is becoming less valuable.
I cannot comment on Mode 3 IS as my lenses do not have it. However IS uses a moving element so focus will necessarily be affected, even if only briefly - so I still say IS is a good feature to have in reserve, to be turned on when required.

JPAZ

  • Canon 7D MK II
  • *****
  • Posts: 566
  • If only I knew what I was doing.....
    • View Profile
Re: Gimbal head or not for Tamron 150-600
« Reply #33 on: June 18, 2014, 06:25:43 PM »
While I can hand hold a 300 f/2.8 ii + 2x TC with IS, I will tell you that using a tripod is better at that focal length.  The Tamron is about 1.5 pounds lighter than that combo but I can tell you that there still are times when a tripod is a great tool.  Having only recently gone to a Gimbal head, I'd really recommend it over a Ballhead unless travel weight is a limiting factor.  I am biased but I like the Lensmaster RH-2 for it's size, simplicity and price.
5d Mkiii; Eos-M; too many lenses; 430 EXii and a whole lot of stuff

AlanF

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1093
    • View Profile
Re: Gimbal head or not for Tamron 150-600
« Reply #34 on: June 19, 2014, 03:02:49 AM »
While I can hand hold a 300 f/2.8 ii + 2x TC with IS, I will tell you that using a tripod is better at that focal length.  The Tamron is about 1.5 pounds lighter than that combo but I can tell you that there still are times when a tripod is a great tool.  Having only recently gone to a Gimbal head, I'd really recommend it over a Ballhead unless travel weight is a limiting factor.  I am biased but I like the Lensmaster RH-2 for it's size, simplicity and price.

Art Morris, the doyen of bird photographers, sums up the situation for the 300/2.8 in:

http://www.birdsasart-blog.com/2012/03/07/gear-evaluation-the-canon-300mm-f2-8l-is-ii/

Sometimes you need to hand hold, like for birds in flight, other times a tripod is better. I like resting the lens on a ledge in a bird hide or on wall, tree or pole when walking, and always have a small plate on the tripod foot to stop it being stripped of paint.
5D III, 70D, Powershot SX50, 300/2.8 II, 1.4xTC III, 2xTC III, 70-200/4 IS, 24-105, 15-85, Sigma 10-20, Tamron 150-600.

mackguyver

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2999
  • Who Dares Wins
    • View Profile
    • My Personal Work
Re: Gimbal head or not for Tamron 150-600
« Reply #35 on: June 19, 2014, 09:18:26 AM »
After reading more of the replies, I think it really comes down to two things - what you shoot and how you shoot.  If you typically shoot from a stationary location (hide, dock, road, etc.) and shoot subjects that are more approachable, then a gimbal makes a lot more sense than handholding or a ballhead.  If you move around a lot, shoot in areas with very little cover and/or shoot subjects that you have to stalk or ones that move erratically, a monopod or handheld works best.  I find myself in the second camp with the majority of my shooting and rarely have the chance to set up a tripod, so handheld IS makes sense.  If I had a 600+mm lens and could set up somewhere, I'd definitely get a gimbal.

Eldar

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1650
    • View Profile
    • Flickr
Re: Gimbal head or not for Tamron 150-600
« Reply #36 on: June 19, 2014, 02:54:44 PM »
To add to the IS/no-IS discussion. This was shot at f5.6, with a 1DX and 200-400 f4L IS 1.4x @560m. Shutter speed is 1/100s.

I do believe the majority of us would have had issues getting that sharp, without IS. This is shot with my flag bandoleer cradle, where I use a monopod as the flagpole, with a RRS tilt head on top. A setup I highly recommend.
5DIII, 1DX, 8-15/4L, 16-35 f4L IS, 24-70/2.8L II, 70-200/2.8L IS II, 70-300/4-5.6L IS, 200-400/4L IS 1.4x, Zeiss 15/2.8, 17/4L TS-E, Zeiss 21/2.8, 24/3.5L TS-E II, Zeiss 35/1.4, Zeiss Otus 55/1.4, Zeiss Otus 85/1.4, 100/2.8L IS Macro, Zeiss 135/2, 600/4L IS II

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Gimbal head or not for Tamron 150-600
« Reply #36 on: June 19, 2014, 02:54:44 PM »

mackguyver

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2999
  • Who Dares Wins
    • View Profile
    • My Personal Work
Re: Gimbal head or not for Tamron 150-600
« Reply #37 on: June 19, 2014, 03:12:10 PM »
To add to the IS/no-IS discussion. This was shot at f5.6, with a 1DX and 200-400 f4L IS 1.4x @560m. Shutter speed is 1/100s.

I do believe the majority of us would have had issues getting that sharp, without IS. This is shot with my flag bandoleer cradle, where I use a monopod as the flagpole, with a RRS tilt head on top. A setup I highly recommend.
Eldar, that's another great shot from the Ark - well done!  I'll add to demonstration - here's a re-post of my barred owl photo - shot at 600mm (300 f/2.8 IS II + 2x III) at 1/30s, handheld with no support pointing up at the bird at a 60-75 degree angle.  I think this shot would be almost impossible without IS as it's using all 4 stops and a bit more of it.  Also, by the time I had set up a tripod, with or without gimbal, it would have been gone:

AlanF

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1093
    • View Profile
Re: Gimbal head or not for Tamron 150-600
« Reply #38 on: June 19, 2014, 04:23:28 PM »
If we are showing the usefulness of IS, here are two of mine with the 5DIII at iso 2500, taken on the same dull day. The first is a blackbird, 300mm f/2.8 II x2xTC at 600mm, f/5.6 hand held at 1/60. The second is plain ridiculous, a robin in my garage, virtually in the dark: 300mm f/2.8 at 1/13 s, hand held. Without IS it would have been a blur. The blackbird would have been one mess of camera shake.
5D III, 70D, Powershot SX50, 300/2.8 II, 1.4xTC III, 2xTC III, 70-200/4 IS, 24-105, 15-85, Sigma 10-20, Tamron 150-600.

mackguyver

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2999
  • Who Dares Wins
    • View Profile
    • My Personal Work
Re: Gimbal head or not for Tamron 150-600
« Reply #39 on: June 19, 2014, 04:31:10 PM »
Great shots Alan and that's pretty crazy about the robin. 

Maybe we need to start a "Show off your best IS Shots" thread ;D

EDIT: Maybe I'll get one started later - and all shots must be 3 stops or slower than 1/focal length!
« Last Edit: June 19, 2014, 04:35:03 PM by mackguyver »

JPAZ

  • Canon 7D MK II
  • *****
  • Posts: 566
  • If only I knew what I was doing.....
    • View Profile
Re: Gimbal head or not for Tamron 150-600
« Reply #40 on: June 19, 2014, 05:04:32 PM »
Nice shots.  My point is not that we can't hand-hold, but that if given the choice, I'd rather use something to steady myself.  It can be a beanbag or a nearby fencepost, but given my preference, I'd go with a Gimbal over a ballhead for larger lenses.  Here's an out-of-camera jpeg with a 300 f/2.8 ii + 2xTC hand held.  Only post is cropping.
5d Mkiii; Eos-M; too many lenses; 430 EXii and a whole lot of stuff

AlanF

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1093
    • View Profile
Re: Gimbal head or not for Tamron 150-600
« Reply #41 on: June 19, 2014, 06:02:47 PM »
Mack - we could have 300/2.8 II + 2xTC thread, there is now quite a group of us!
5D III, 70D, Powershot SX50, 300/2.8 II, 1.4xTC III, 2xTC III, 70-200/4 IS, 24-105, 15-85, Sigma 10-20, Tamron 150-600.

johnf3f

  • Canon 70D
  • ****
  • Posts: 310
  • Canon 1Dx
    • View Profile
Re: Gimbal head or not for Tamron 150-600
« Reply #42 on: June 21, 2014, 05:01:46 PM »
Mack - we could have 300/2.8 II + 2xTC thread, there is now quite a group of us!

Yes it would and there would be some nice images too!
It's a very good combination.

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Gimbal head or not for Tamron 150-600
« Reply #42 on: June 21, 2014, 05:01:46 PM »

mackguyver

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2999
  • Who Dares Wins
    • View Profile
    • My Personal Work
Re: Gimbal head or not for Tamron 150-600
« Reply #43 on: June 23, 2014, 01:25:15 PM »
Mack - we could have 300/2.8 II + 2xTC thread, there is now quite a group of us!

Yes it would and there would be some nice images too!
It's a very good combination.
Done - here's the post :)

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Gimbal head or not for Tamron 150-600
« Reply #43 on: June 23, 2014, 01:25:15 PM »