How should I be holding it?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by TheAnswer, May 25, 2006.

  1. TheAnswer macrumors 68030

    TheAnswer

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2002
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    #1
    Just got my new Canon 100m Macro for my Rebel XT this afternoon and just playing with it a little, it seems very unforgiving (i.e. extremely tight DoF) while wide open...so I'm just wondering if there are any tip/tricks the pros here have for holding a camera extremely steady (other that using a mono/tripod)?

    Do I need to start working out my arms?
    Take a meditation class?
    Do chill out and stop trying to take pictures of baby spiders on my first shoot?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. law guy macrumors 6502a

    law guy

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2003
    Location:
    Western Massachusetts
    #2
    TheAnswer,

    A few thoughts - first, why not stop up your appeture if your DOF seems to shallow? Here's a handy app on DOF, by the way: http://www.photozone.de/3Technology/demos/depth.htm

    Second, it sounds like a slow shutter speed is the problem from your initial description. At a higher shutter speed - really north of 1/125 (edited to reflect JK's point) - should make the steadiness of your arms a non-issue.

    Finally, if you do need shot at a lower shutter speed in low light (perhaps why you want to keep the f-stop at its maximum?), I think you're stuck with a tripod, which really isn't that bad an option.

    Good luck -

    LG
     
  3. jared_kipe macrumors 68030

    jared_kipe

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    Dec 8, 2003
    Location:
    Seattle
    #3
    ha ha 1/25. For hand holding a 100mm lens close up he should probably be looking at shutter speeds of like 1/100 to more like 1/160 1/200 .

    Anyway, its gonna really be hard to keep things in focus for macro work being hand held. The only way its really possible is if you can somehow brace against something. Like hand under lens elbow on something, maybe your knee.

    And if you're truly interested in macro you'll pretty much have to get a big flash. Nothing captures the moment quite like f/16 1/250s ;)
     
  4. cgratti macrumors 6502a

    cgratti

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2004
    Location:
    Central Pennsylvania, USA
    #4
    First off, shoot in Manual Focus, not auto focus for macro, set your ratio I.E. 1:1 on the lens and move the camera in and out to focus.

    You will probably need a flash with diffuser on a flash bracket to get the perfect lighting to shoot at the aperture and shutter speed you need.

    I shoot almost everything in RAW and use mainly these settings:

    MANUAL MODE ON CAMERA AND FOCUS
    Aperture = 13 or 16
    Shutter Speed = 200 to 250

    The stopped down aperture alows for a better Depth of Field. The flash helps to freeze the subject and helps with camera shake.
     

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  5. law guy macrumors 6502a

    law guy

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  6. FritzTheWonderM macrumors member

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    Dec 12, 2003
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    Planet 10
    #6
    For hand held shooting, shutter speed faster than: 1/focal length. Example: 100mm lens you need a shutter speed faster than 1/100 so: 1/125 or faster. 300mm lens, shutter speed 1/500 or faster.

    Can you shoot with a slower shutter speed? Of course. To answer your original question, put your left hand under the camera, tuck your left elbow against the front of your ribs, exhale, squeeze the shutter button.
     
  7. rjphoto macrumors 6502a

    rjphoto

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2005
    #7
    Very good discription of the correct way to "always" hold your camera.

    I hate watching TV shows with "The Press Photographers" holding their cameras by the sides of the body snapping away faster than a winder can crank the film.

    Another option than a tripod or monopod is a sandbag or bean bag like The Pod Camera Platform (http://www.thepod.ca/) It comes in different sizes for different cameras and has a built in camera mount screw. However, something like this is tough to use on a long lens.
     
  8. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #8
    Get the tripod. No way to do that kind of close up (nearly 1:1) hand held. Even on a tripod you'd be making very fine adjustments, moving the camera 1/4 inch at a time and carfully focusing. It's not easy and takes lot of time. The whole frame can never be sharp at once so yu have to deside where to place that very limited depth of focus. One thing to remember about photography is "the last thing you do is trip the shutter" Expect to take a long time setting up a macro shot.
     
  9. Marky_Mark macrumors 6502a

    Marky_Mark

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    Location:
    UK
    #9
    This is a good example of a very limited depth of field at very close quarters. It took me a long time to get it to drop off in front and behind the subject, and not part way into the subject area. I took this hand-held, but with the body of the camera pressed up against the wall to steady it:
     

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  10. jared_kipe macrumors 68030

    jared_kipe

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Seattle
    #10
    Um? I can get hand held macro shots without a tripod. Sometimes its even easier than with a tripod because you can move towards your subject and away, unlike the tripod.
     
  11. cgratti macrumors 6502a

    cgratti

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    Location:
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    #11
    Handheld @ 1:1 with 68mm of tubes.
    f/16
    1/200 sec.
    ISO 100

    Probably would never have gotten this with a tripod, by the time I set it up he would have been long gone.
     

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  12. rjphoto macrumors 6502a

    rjphoto

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    Mar 7, 2005
    #12
    I've never seen this expression before.

    "With 68mm of tubes." Does that mean you were useing a 68mm lens? or does it mean you had a 68mm tube between your camera and lens?

    Anyway, what was your lens focal length?

    The point of using a tripod was because the focal length of the lens was geting too big to hand hold and still get sharp images. Not just the focus but from camera movement. (See above post regarding focal length and shutter speed rule of thumb.)
     
  13. Silentwave macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 26, 2006
    Location:
    Gainesville, FL
    #13

    Cool shot, but it either shows a lens flaw or a flaw of handheld macro shots- lack of critical sharpness. I shoot handheld all the time for macros, but only when I have good light unless absolutely necessary.

    One of my next purchases will be a macro focusing rail to make my tripod work easier.
     

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