TRIPOD IS THE END OF BLURRY IMAGES (24.06.2015)
Let's once again talk about the photographing situations where using a tripod is necessary and what to keep in mind when purchasing one.
1. Low light conditions
Quite often, we have to photograph in places where there isn't enough light. In that kind of situation, you have to consider the shutter speed. One opportunity is to raise the light sensitivity of the sensor but this could mean that the photo quality decreases due to the raise of digital noise. When the shutter speed is long, the moving of the camera during the shoot causes blurriness. Night photography is definitely about shooting with a tripod. What is the longest shutter speed that allows hand held shooting? This question is answered in the next paragraph.
2. Longer focal length
Lenses with long focal length require using a tripod. Usually, 300mm is the longest focal length for hand held shooting. But it should be considered that if you are using a half frame sensor camera; the focal length noted on the lens should be multiplied with 1.5 when it is a Nikon and with 1.6 when it is a Canon. Thus, if your half frame camera has a lens in front of it with a focal length of 300mm then the real frame angle corresponds to the focal length of 450mm!
Photographers use this main rule:
Shutter speed should be the same as the focal length or faster while hand held shooting. Here is an example. By using a lens with a focal length of 200mm in front of a half frame sensor camera and multiplying it with 1.5, we get 300mm. The shortest reasonable shutter speed for hand held shooting is 1/320 or at least 1/250
3. Taking close-ups
When taking close-ups, you definitely need to put the camera on a tripod. Since the depth of field is of critical importance when taking close-ups and the scope is measured in millimetres then every little movement of the camera shifts the focal point right away. When photographing the nature (for example flowers), the problem usually is that the wind moves the subject being photographed. Here, using a tripod is not very helpful.
4. Panoramic photo
While taking panoramic photos, it is necessary to get a bigger depth of field which means longer shutter speed. It is also necessary for the horizon to be straight and at the same place in each frame.
5. Long shutter speed photos
Long shutter speeds and blurring the subjects are sometimes one opportunity to get interesting photos. The flowing water that has become milky because it is moving is a usual interesting situation on the photo. But it is still important that the subjects that do not move would remain static on the photo. This is ensured by putting the camera on a tripod.
As we can see, a tripod is useful in different situations – we brought out the mostly used ones. How to choose a tripod? Since the purpose of the tripod is to immobilize the camera, the tripod needs to be rigid enough. It is only an advantage if the tripod is heavy. The heavier the camera and lens you use, the stronger the tripod should be. The deadweight of the tripod is one of the products’ features. But at the same time, heavy lenses are uncomfortable to carry along.
Choosing the right tripod head is also important. Basically we have two types of tripod heads – 3-way and ball head. If you want to shoot a panoramic photo, then a 3-way tripod head is a better choice. With a 3-way tripod head, each moving direction is separately fixable by the handle. That is how it is possible to regulate the camera horizon and move the camera only in the horizontal direction.
I will hereby recommend two different tripods. The prices are different and so are their features.
Manfrotto Beefree Carbon is a real quality tripod meant for a real backpacker. The kit includes a ball head and a bag as well. The tripod is made of carbon and that is why the tripod is light weight but rigid at the same time. When put together, its height is 30 cm, it weighs 1.1 kg and its deadweight 4 kg. Its price is 289 euros.
Manfrotto Compact Advanced is made of aluminium. It is also compact (44.5cm) and it’s light weight (1.42 kg) and its deadweight is 5kg. For taking macro photos, it is possible to turn the mid-level spreader backwards. Its price is 90 euros.