Saturday, December 8, 2018

Heavy vs Light weight Tripod/Monopod

When it comes to traveling, it is always advised by millions of photographers that carry light weight gears. This is where mirrorless cameras a becoming handy and i agree with that. As i am getting older and having severe knee pain, carrying heavy DSLR is not my preferred choice. I prefer to take shot using my Fujifilm X-T20 and use old legacy Nikon lenses on it using a dumb adapter with Aperture control so even i can use my Nikon G-Type lenses on them. D-Type lenses already have aperture control on the lens.  

Now coming back of being light weight travel photographer, i often see people referring carry Carbon fiber Tripod/Monopod. This is a point where i have some concerns which i wanna share via this blog. 

Travel photographer are mostly travel to capture landscape shots among which heavy amount of images are long exposure shots. This is a point where i prefer to have heavy tripod, not light weight carbon fiber stuff. Let me explain why. 

As now Mega Pixel war is sky rocketing, the term "Micro Blur" is something that everyone who got more than 30~36MP camera must know about. Micro blur is basically a motion blur introduced into your image due to very tiny shake happens when you press shutter release by the time your exposure ends. Majority of the time it is introduced/triggered by pressing the shutter release itself. Images which are shot around 1/250 shutter speed or less are heavily subjected to have Micro Blur in it if proper pre-caution are not taken care before taking the image with these massive mega pixels cameras. Even slightest of the wind blow can shake your tripod if you are shooting with tripod legs fully extended and if its light weight. Even a strong current of sea wave can make your tripod shake while you are taking some long exposures shot with some foreground element in the frame. With camera like Nikon D850 or Sony A7R3 or Canon 5DS/5DSR will make these micro blur prominent like any thing when you view them at 100%.

It is a simple physics that any heavy object is hard to move around. This is why i prefer to have old heavy DSLR with heavy lenses and heavy tripod so i don't have to worry about any kind of shake at all. Now choosing mirrorless over DSLR is totally user dependent and based on the latest "fashion" (thats what i called). But choosing heavy tripod is something that you must consider it regardless you are heavy DSLR shooter or light weight mirrorless. By choosing a heavy tripod you are basically creating extra layer of protection for yourself if you are shooting long exposure and you are having higher megapixels cameras. 

Now here is another thing i like to share which is interesting. I have explained above in detail that your tripod must be heavy. But when it comes to monopod, i suggest otherwise. When it comes to Monopod, your preferred choice must be a light weight carbon fiber monopod. Now again why light weight carbon fiber monopod? Before i answer this question i have another question for my blog readers. Why we use Monopod? The basic and most common answer is TO EASE our hands and shoulders from the heavy gears that we are carrying around. Monopod is basically use for longer focal length lenses like 400/500/600mm focal length primes or Zooms like 200-500/5.6, 120-300/2.8 or 150-600mm lenses. Maneuverability is something which make us use Monopod over Tripod. So the lighter the monopod is going to be, the better maneuverability is going to be for us when we shoot sports/action/wildlife. 

So based on my brief experience, i suggest you all that heavier tripod and lighter monopod will help you in getting better and sharper images regardless what ever gear you are using. 

Happy Clicking Guys !

Babar Swaleheen
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Wednesday, December 5, 2018

My first image using medium format  Fujifilm GFX 50R