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Author Topic: Tripod for moving subjects  (Read 2517 times)

brianleighty

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Tripod for moving subjects
« on: June 26, 2012, 01:46:16 PM »
So I have a ball head tripod. It's not super great but not bad either. It definitely works very well for still subjects where I can set it up, do the mirror lock up and timer start. But if I'm trying to shoot say a wedding where I have let's say a 70 200 f4 lens non stabilized on a crop body, then the tripod really doesn't work since the subject is a lot of times at least slightly moving so I'm having to follow with them as I take pictures. For this reason I end up using a monopod instead which while good for taking the weight off, doesn't stabilize the picture a ton. Does anybody have any recommendations for tripods you use for moving subjects? I've thought of just using a video tripod instead of a ball head but wasn't sure if that was the route to go or not. Thanks.
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Tripod for moving subjects
« on: June 26, 2012, 01:46:16 PM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: Tripod for moving subjects
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2012, 01:55:25 PM »
They're usually used for longer lenses, but a gimball head is the right design to freely track a moving subject.
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brianleighty

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Re: Tripod for moving subjects
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2012, 02:54:10 PM »
They're usually used for longer lenses, but a gimball head is the right design to freely track a moving subject.
I'm assuming it would work as affectively as image stabilization does or better?
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wickidwombat

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Re: Tripod for moving subjects
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2012, 02:08:35 AM »
I use this head for most stuff

http://www.novoflex.com/en/products/camera-support-systems/ball-heads/magicball/

its kind of a mixture much smoother than a normal ball head, I have a pano plate between the tripod and magic ball and a Qmount arca style adapter on top

If i'm shooting with the 600 then i change it out for a gimbal
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brianleighty

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Re: Tripod for moving subjects
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2012, 08:42:34 AM »
Roger had that mount in a recent blog post. I was wondering if that one might work well. So you basically give a little of resistance to help hold it but have it loose enough to move with you?
I use this head for most stuff

http://www.novoflex.com/en/products/camera-support-systems/ball-heads/magicball/

its kind of a mixture much smoother than a normal ball head, I have a pano plate between the tripod and magic ball and a Qmount arca style adapter on top

If i'm shooting with the 600 then i change it out for a gimbal
Canon 5D Mark II, 50D, XSi, 24-105L IS, Sigma 35 1.4, Canon 40 2.8, Canon 35 2.0, Sigma 10-20, Tamron 17-50, Canon 50 1.8, 580 EXII, 430 EXII

paul13walnut5

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Re: Tripod for moving subjects
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2012, 08:49:12 AM »
Video tripod is not a bad shout. 

But.

Only if you get the tripod ring for your lens.  So you can use the body in portrait (video heads don't have a portrait position)

I can recommend the 501HDV as a relatively inexpensive reasonably smooth head, the mvh502 is probably better, and a sachtler ACE is best of all.

The key is counterbalance.  You need to have counterbalance to make camera movements very smooth, otherwise you are fighting against gravity and imbalance.

A video monopod could be an option, interested to hear what settings you are using that a monopod isn't stable enough for, must be pretty low shutter speeds?

brianleighty

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Re: Tripod for moving subjects
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2012, 11:24:55 AM »
Video tripod is not a bad shout. 

But.

Only if you get the tripod ring for your lens.  So you can use the body in portrait (video heads don't have a portrait position)

I can recommend the 501HDV as a relatively inexpensive reasonably smooth head, the mvh502 is probably better, and a sachtler ACE is best of all.

The key is counterbalance.  You need to have counterbalance to make camera movements very smooth, otherwise you are fighting against gravity and imbalance.

A video monopod could be an option, interested to hear what settings you are using that a monopod isn't stable enough for, must be pretty low shutter speeds?

I tend to shoot at 1/125 most of the time. I'll go lower down to around 1/80 if I'm on a shorter lens but for the 70 200 I'm mostly shooting 1/125. Regarding the tripod ring mount, I use a flash bracket that lets me turn the camera vertical so no need for that other than some extra balance which would be nice. It also helps with redeye. I've honestly never actually shot with anything other than an image stabilized telephoto lens. Either the 70 200 f/4 IS or 2.8 IS.  I just rent these though and have been thinking of buying the 70 200 f/4 non IS. So I don't know for sure if maybe I would be fine with a monopod at that speed. I've done some informal testing during the rehearsals to see what it looks like without IS turned on and it seems like they tend to be a bit more blurry but I haven't tested out too much. My other reason for looking into a tripod is I'd like to get where I can have one camera setup on the tripod with another at my side so I can switch back and forth. With the monopod, I'm always having to hold the camera which would prevent this as well.  I eventually plan to get the 70 200 2.8 IS but that's too much money to put in right now and I don't want to buy the 70 200 f/4 IS knowing that I'm going to want to upgrade to the 2.8 IS in the future. Thus the non IS seems like a good investment and will be nice to have even after I have the 2.8 IS since it's less than half the weight for those times where I don't need the highest IQ or IS or 2.8 aperture.
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Re: Tripod for moving subjects
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2012, 11:24:55 AM »

paul13walnut5

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Re: Tripod for moving subjects
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2012, 12:14:07 PM »
I got the non-IS f2.8, having faced a similar dilemma.  The f2.8 makes a huge difference to my video work, which is a big part of what I do.

I'm not a huge fan of IS, mainly because I tend to have the camera supported anyway, and because I feel that when you get to the slower shutters where IS would help, the combination of subject motion blur and focal length are going to be bigger problems that IS simply cannot solve.

I have a regular manfrotto monopod (the 680d I think, the short one) and a manfrotto video monopod (I got the version with the ball foot, but without the video head) and this works very well.

I would be exceptionally surprised if you cannot get sharp images at 200mm (even x1.6) on a monopod with 1/125th.  That would suggest a technique problem or the wrong focus mode / pattern.

brianleighty

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Re: Tripod for moving subjects
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2012, 02:41:31 PM »
You might be right about it being technique or it might just be that people are often moving faster during the rehearsal than they do at the actual wedding. Like I said, I've never actually used the lens with IS off at a wedding since it's not like I can just redo it. I guess what I probably need to do is some more testing without IS on the next time I rent one of the 70 200s. Thanks for your input on using a video tripod Paul. I have easy access to several video tripods so maybe I'll try doing that first before I start looking into the gimbal mounts.
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Re: Tripod for moving subjects
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2012, 03:07:50 PM »
I would just handhold and up the shutter speed and ISO accordingly. a 5d mk II can easly handle ISO 1600 or 3200, so I use a fast prime and increase shutter speed. 
I find a tripod or even monopod too confining to get a fleeting shot.  Its fine when you have time, or with a distant subject and heavy lens, you have little choice.
Its a option to consider.

wickidwombat

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Re: Tripod for moving subjects
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2012, 07:31:06 PM »
Roger had that mount in a recent blog post. I was wondering if that one might work well. So you basically give a little of resistance to help hold it but have it loose enough to move with you?
I use this head for most stuff

http://www.novoflex.com/en/products/camera-support-systems/ball-heads/magicball/

its kind of a mixture much smoother than a normal ball head, I have a pano plate between the tripod and magic ball and a Qmount arca style adapter on top

If i'm shooting with the 600 then i change it out for a gimbal



yeah the ball has nylon grip plates so you can finely tweak the tension to provide as much or little resistance as you want, then there is an on off lever for quickly locking unlocking so you can keep your fine tension the same
the pano plate on the bottom is sweet for being able to pan etc too

the magic ball mini does not have the quick release component though and cant hold as much weight
still is quite fine with a 70-200 and 5Dmk2 on it but for bigger stuff the full size one is best

not the cheapest setup but super super solid it can hold the 600 lens and 1D easily however its just not balanced so i use a gimbal which is more stable
« Last Edit: June 27, 2012, 07:32:49 PM by wickidwombat »
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Re: Tripod for moving subjects
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2012, 07:31:06 PM »