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  1. #1
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    Default Bean bag sharpness vs handheld?!

    I have a new Nikon D700 and a Nikkor 200-400 Zoom lens.
    My question:

    I seem to get some better shots with this huge lens helding in my hand, resting on my elbow through the opposite window of my car (Ok not always), than other times when I try to keep it very still on a bean bag (through the window on my side!)

    I can not figure it out - whether it is a setting on the lens/camera I must keep in mind, or whether I must just keep on practicing?

    Any comments and suggestion from people with experience would be much appreciated

    Johan

  2. #2
    Gallery Moderator Texasbelle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bean bag sharpness vs handheld?!

    Bean bag makes a huge improvement on shake
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Bean bag sharpness vs handheld?!

    that is a great lens. Proper lens techique is key with big glass .... especially if you use a shutter speed less than 1/400 sec with that lens. I thinkg this article gives good tips: http://moosepeterson.com/blog/?p=7257

    In particular, having a hand rest on the lens with the lens on the bean bag helps me.

  4. #4
    Frequent Member Peter Veitch's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bean bag sharpness vs handheld?!

    It sounds as if you get better shots resting an elbow rather than bean bag because the bean bag is too low. Try raising the window to a comfrtable position and rest (as in relaxed) your free hand over the top of the lens to damp any movement.
    The more you practice, the luckier you get! (Gary Player) .. and do I need lots of that now

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Bean bag sharpness vs handheld?!

    Might be obvious, but also make sure your car is switched off. Engine vibration will influence stability.

  6. #6
    Frequent Member jab2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bean bag sharpness vs handheld?!

    If you only rest the middle of the lens on the bag and the bag is of smallish size, you form a pivot point. The left/right movement is stopped, but you will still get up/down movement as the camera/lens rocks over the bag due to you body movement. If the camera/lens cannot stay in position on the beanbag without you help, the bag is too small.

    Put the camera/lens over the bag that the body help with the rocking or get a bigger bad.

    I also agree with Peter that if the bag, and thus viewfinder is too low, you will strain to see through the viewfinder. This straining will most likely lead to some small movement due to muscle twitching.
    Cobus
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Bean bag sharpness vs handheld?!

    Thanks for your responses - will definitely give it a try. The hand on the lens is something I must learn. My bean bag is smallish.

    It seems then that the problem has nothing to to with switching off VR etc?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Bean bag sharpness vs handheld?!

    Quote Originally Posted by CJM2009 View Post
    My bean bag is smallish.
    My bean bag takes 10Kg of samp. My wife says it's overkill but I know that it is stable. IMHO, a small beanbag that just provides a narrow platform for the lens to wobble on is a waste of time.
    Jean-Marc Strydom

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