Old 11-23-2005, 06:13 AM   #1
firegator
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Default Tripod stabilization

Hoping to get some ideas on what you folks use to stabilize your tripods to eliminate shake-- My pod is not a top dollar unit, but it does well when the wind is not blowing-- Here in Northern Oklahoma, it seems to always blow--I've tried the bag of sand trick (hanging from the bottom of the base) but the wind moves the bag making the problem worse-- I considered a high dollar , heavy duty pod, but after my wife commented on my photography budget, that is out of the question for now-- Any ideas would be appreciated-- Thanx-- Regards, da Gator
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Old 11-23-2005, 12:06 PM   #2
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The more you extend the tripod, the more unstable it will become.

Unless you have a very long lens, you should be able to hand-hold a train image taken at 1/250-1/500 second.

Tripods are most useful when shooting slides, where there will be no cropping of the image, and it is necessary to carefully compose the entire image and not be distracted by the movement of the train.
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Old 11-23-2005, 12:51 PM   #3
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Believe it or not, I rigged my old tripod with railroad spikes. After it blew over once, I secured railroad spikes to the bottom of each leg with wire. It worked perfectly and I never had another blow over.
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Old 11-23-2005, 01:53 PM   #4
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Gator;

Are you talking about night time shots and long exposures? If the wind is that strong, look for a building to stand next to if possible. I have a Jeep Cherokee that I use if I need to to protect from the wind? (The back of the Jeep also works if it's raining if the rain is blowing away from you.)

But the first thing to do is to actually buy a tripod. And as others have said, you don't need to get anything fancy or expensive. Mine cost next to nothing seven years ago and it'sstill going strong.


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Old 11-23-2005, 02:39 PM   #5
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I've got the best kind of tripod. The free kind!
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Old 11-24-2005, 05:00 AM   #6
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Default Tripod stabilization

Thanks so very much for your replies-- As was mentioned above, the longer the lens, the more prone to shake-- It got really noticable with the 300 mm, and I know the 500 will be worse-- I also use the back of my Explorer when it's raining, but the last time I did, someone called the cops and reported guy with a gun in the back of the car-- It got interesting for a while, then we all had a laugh-- As ddavies pointed out, extending the legs reduces sturdiness, but when the tripod is opened with no extension and placed on the hood of the car, and the wind is rocking the car, what to do?? Is it ever too windy to photograph trains?? Thanks again for the input-- da Gator
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Old 11-25-2005, 12:04 AM   #7
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If the car is rocking, hit the dirt. Prone position like you are shooting and ... oh, wait, that got you in trouble before.
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Old 11-25-2005, 04:40 AM   #8
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Oh yes!! And the same woman has called the cops on me 3 times now-- She said she thought I might be one of those "me-youslim terror guys"-- The cops laugh because I'm 6 ft., 260 lbs, what little hair I have is silver, and I'm of Nordic descent, as in very fair skinned-- Never worn a towel around my head, but I do spend "an awful lot of time in that rail yard with a camera"-- How do you get mad at someone like that?? What is more amazing is that I spend a lot of time visiting with the railroad police officer with our cars parked side by side-- So I guess we can chalk that up to citizen vigilance and homeland defense-- Best regards, da Gator
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Old 11-26-2005, 04:03 AM   #9
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We got someone like that. Everytime my neighbors have a bonfire, they call the fire department and report a brushfire, thus wasting the fire departments time. Its kind of ridiculous.
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