should i bother getting a tripod

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by carl, Jul 30, 2003.

  1. carl

    carl Guest

    Ok, I know, it depends, but I'm interested in opinions anyway.

    I have a Canon S30, which is a nice consumer camera. I take lots of
    pictures, but one problem I have is blurring, of course. I almost
    never use the flash, so low-light shots are problematic. I've trained
    myself to be fairly good with technique. I brace myself when
    possible, breathe carefully, etc. I also pump up the ISO where it
    seems useful, although this has its own drawbacks (ISO 200 is ok, ISO
    400 is funky, and ISO 800 is impressionistic, although sometimes
    interesting). Now a tripod would obviously help me, but I'm not sure
    if it's really worth it. Blurring is only partially caused by me,
    there's also the annoying fact that my subjects insist on moving also.
    Would it really improve people shots that much to have a tripod given
    that reality? And the inconvenience seems a trifle much.

    Convince me, one way or the other. Thanks.

    carl
     
    carl, Jul 30, 2003
    #1
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  2. carl

    Seymore Guest

    Buy one and find out for yourself. Only ~$30 for a cheapie. I own 3, and they make for some great night shots!

    "carl" <> wrote in message news:...
    > Ok, I know, it depends, but I'm interested in opinions anyway.
    >
    > I have a Canon S30, which is a nice consumer camera. I take lots of
    > pictures, but one problem I have is blurring, of course. I almost
    > never use the flash, so low-light shots are problematic. I've trained
    > myself to be fairly good with technique. I brace myself when
    > possible, breathe carefully, etc. I also pump up the ISO where it
    > seems useful, although this has its own drawbacks (ISO 200 is ok, ISO
    > 400 is funky, and ISO 800 is impressionistic, although sometimes
    > interesting). Now a tripod would obviously help me, but I'm not sure
    > if it's really worth it. Blurring is only partially caused by me,
    > there's also the annoying fact that my subjects insist on moving also.
    > Would it really improve people shots that much to have a tripod given
    > that reality? And the inconvenience seems a trifle much.
    >
    > Convince me, one way or the other. Thanks.
    >
    > carl
     
    Seymore, Jul 30, 2003
    #2
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  3. carl

    Jim Townsend Guest

    carl wrote:

    > Ok, I know, it depends, but I'm interested in opinions anyway.
    >
    > I have a Canon S30, which is a nice consumer camera. I take lots of
    > pictures, but one problem I have is blurring, of course. I almost
    > never use the flash, so low-light shots are problematic. I've trained
    > myself to be fairly good with technique. I brace myself when
    > possible, breathe carefully, etc. I also pump up the ISO where it
    > seems useful, although this has its own drawbacks (ISO 200 is ok, ISO
    > 400 is funky, and ISO 800 is impressionistic, although sometimes
    > interesting). Now a tripod would obviously help me, but I'm not sure
    > if it's really worth it. Blurring is only partially caused by me,
    > there's also the annoying fact that my subjects insist on moving also.
    > Would it really improve people shots that much to have a tripod given
    > that reality? And the inconvenience seems a trifle much.
    >
    > Convince me, one way or the other. Thanks.


    Yes, get one.. Even a cheapie will make a difference. I have two.. One very
    inexpensive one, and a quality one.. The inexpensive one is light and
    compact. It normally stays in my car and goes with me on holidays.

    It's something you probably won't need a lot, but when you need one, you NEED
    one :)
     
    Jim Townsend, Jul 30, 2003
    #3
  4. Hi Carl,

    Why not use the flash? I know it is dependant on the subject, but if people
    in close quarters then I'd use it if available lighting is low, as it
    freezes the subject as well.

    I expect you have changed the white balance settings on the camera for the
    required lighting, otherwise its a case of putting up with blurred objects
    as they are too fast for the shutter speed needed for the lighting
    conditions.

    You could try over-riding the exposure meter in shutter priority on the
    camera and see if anything can be recovered in Photoshop/Paint Shop, but no
    doubt detail will be lost. Experiment is the key I suppose, as with
    everything in life.

    Cheers,
    Stephen
    Edinburgh
    "carl" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Ok, I know, it depends, but I'm interested in opinions anyway.
    >
    > I have a Canon S30, which is a nice consumer camera. I take lots of
    > pictures, but one problem I have is blurring, of course. I almost
    > never use the flash, so low-light shots are problematic. I've trained
    > myself to be fairly good with technique. I brace myself when
    > possible, breathe carefully, etc. I also pump up the ISO where it
    > seems useful, although this has its own drawbacks (ISO 200 is ok, ISO
    > 400 is funky, and ISO 800 is impressionistic, although sometimes
    > interesting). Now a tripod would obviously help me, but I'm not sure
    > if it's really worth it. Blurring is only partially caused by me,
    > there's also the annoying fact that my subjects insist on moving also.
    > Would it really improve people shots that much to have a tripod given
    > that reality? And the inconvenience seems a trifle much.
    >
    > Convince me, one way or the other. Thanks.
    >
    > carl
     
    Stephen Leslie, Jul 30, 2003
    #4
  5. carl

    Luke Guest

    > there's also the annoying fact that my subjects insist on moving also.
    > Would it really improve people shots that much to have a tripod given
    > that reality? And the inconvenience seems a trifle much.
    >


    remember that if you use fill-in flash a tripod can still be usefull for
    shots of people so long as they are not moving to much.

    perhaps get a mini pocket tripod to start with. There are very cheap, but
    obviously you can't always use them. It'll give you a chance to assess the
    benefits of using a tripod.

    Luke
     
    Luke, Jul 30, 2003
    #5
  6. It depends on what YOU want. I can answer that I would want one if I
    did not have one, but frankly, most people would not bother to use one if
    they had one, so it would do them no good at all.

    --
    Joseph E. Meehan

    26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math


    "carl" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Ok, I know, it depends, but I'm interested in opinions anyway.
    >
    > I have a Canon S30, which is a nice consumer camera. I take lots of
    > pictures, but one problem I have is blurring, of course. I almost
    > never use the flash, so low-light shots are problematic. I've trained
    > myself to be fairly good with technique. I brace myself when
    > possible, breathe carefully, etc. I also pump up the ISO where it
    > seems useful, although this has its own drawbacks (ISO 200 is ok, ISO
    > 400 is funky, and ISO 800 is impressionistic, although sometimes
    > interesting). Now a tripod would obviously help me, but I'm not sure
    > if it's really worth it. Blurring is only partially caused by me,
    > there's also the annoying fact that my subjects insist on moving also.
    > Would it really improve people shots that much to have a tripod given
    > that reality? And the inconvenience seems a trifle much.
    >
    > Convince me, one way or the other. Thanks.
    >
    > carl
     
    Joseph Meehan, Jul 30, 2003
    #6
  7. carl

    Lionel Guest

    On 29 Jul 2003 21:31:05 -0700, in
    <>,
    (carl) said:

    >Ok, I know, it depends, but I'm interested in opinions anyway.
    >
    >I have a Canon S30, which is a nice consumer camera. I take lots of
    >pictures, but one problem I have is blurring, of course. I almost
    >never use the flash, so low-light shots are problematic. I've trained
    >myself to be fairly good with technique. I brace myself when
    >possible, breathe carefully, etc. I also pump up the ISO where it
    >seems useful, although this has its own drawbacks (ISO 200 is ok, ISO
    >400 is funky, and ISO 800 is impressionistic, although sometimes
    >interesting). Now a tripod would obviously help me, but I'm not sure
    >if it's really worth it.


    I have an S30, & it's such a light camera that you would only need a
    really cheap tripod, which might make a difference to your calculations.

    > Blurring is only partially caused by me,
    >there's also the annoying fact that my subjects insist on moving also.


    <grin> Gaffer tape & cable ties are your friend. ;)

    > Would it really improve people shots that much to have a tripod given
    >that reality?


    It will help somewhat, but as you say, you'll still get motion blur from
    subject movement. Me, I brace my hand on a table, wall, bar or whatever.

    > And the inconvenience seems a trifle much.
    >
    >Convince me, one way or the other. Thanks.


    What are we, your mother? - You'll have to make up your own mind. ;)
    Go buy/borrow a cheapo tripod & give it a try. Even if you don't want it
    for people shots, it'll come in handy for ISO 50 landscapes at night,
    etc.

    --
    W
    . | ,. w , "Some people are alive only because
    \|/ \|/ it is illegal to kill them." Perna condita delenda est
    ---^----^---------------------------------------------------------------
     
    Lionel, Jul 30, 2003
    #7
  8. carl

    HRosita Guest

    Hi,

    You could try to compromise with a monopod.
    They are less obtrusive, help in stabilizing the camera, and you can take them
    in places that do not allow tripods.
    Matter of fact some manufacturers of canes make them and when not used as
    monopods they help when walking on uneven paths.

    http://www.stoneypoint.com/monopod_index.html
    Rosita
     
    HRosita, Jul 30, 2003
    #8
  9. carl

    Ron Hunter Guest

    Joseph Meehan wrote:

    > It depends on what YOU want. I can answer that I would want one if I
    > did not have one, but frankly, most people would not bother to use one if
    > they had one, so it would do them no good at all.
    >

    I don't have one because I like to enjoy myself while I am doing things
    that I might be taking pictures of. Having to manage a camera is enough
    of a task, detracting from the main pursuit, without carrying and
    keeping track of miscellaneous additional parts. But if the main
    empahais of your life it taking pictures, you will surely want one.
     
    Ron Hunter, Jul 30, 2003
    #9
  10. (carl) writes:

    > Ok, I know, it depends, but I'm interested in opinions anyway.
    >
    > I have a Canon S30, which is a nice consumer camera. I take lots of
    > pictures, but one problem I have is blurring, of course. I almost
    > never use the flash, so low-light shots are problematic. I've trained
    > myself to be fairly good with technique. I brace myself when
    > possible, breathe carefully, etc. I also pump up the ISO where it
    > seems useful, although this has its own drawbacks (ISO 200 is ok, ISO
    > 400 is funky, and ISO 800 is impressionistic, although sometimes
    > interesting). Now a tripod would obviously help me, but I'm not sure
    > if it's really worth it. Blurring is only partially caused by me,
    > there's also the annoying fact that my subjects insist on moving also.
    > Would it really improve people shots that much to have a tripod given
    > that reality? And the inconvenience seems a trifle much.
    >
    > Convince me, one way or the other. Thanks.


    You can make a lot of progress by just resting the camera on something
    -- either bare, or with a beanbag (or "pillow-pod") in between. I've
    taken multiple-second exposures (wide-angle lense) with the camera
    pressed against the side of a stone pillar using a beanbag, even. A
    beanbag doesn't solve the 30-second exposure problem too well, but it
    gives you several additional f-stops of shutter speed before you get
    blurring compared to handheld, and is *much* lighter and quicker to
    set up than a tripod.
    --
    David Dyer-Bennet, <>, <www.dd-b.net/dd-b/>
    RKBA: <noguns-nomoney.com> <www.dd-b.net/carry/>
    Photos: <dd-b.lighthunters.net> Snapshots: <www.dd-b.net/dd-b/SnapshotAlbum/>
    Dragaera mailing lists: <dragaera.info/>
     
    David Dyer-Bennet, Jul 30, 2003
    #10
  11. I've lately taken to shooting with a Konica KD500Z camera quite a bit,
    which while nice and compact has a fixed ISO 100 sensitivity and a
    normal 1/8 sec exposure time. Obviously, the designers were certain
    that most people would be using the flash most of the time, and to be
    fair it does a superb job of pictures with flash, better than most of
    the other compact in-camera flashes I've seen. However, I turn off the
    flash most of the time and turn on the option to use up to 1 second
    exposure. Now I'm fighting with my tendency to blur the camera through
    jiggling it ... Seems about half my pictures are taken down in the 1
    sec to 1/20 sec range.

    A table top tripod helps enormously! I can either use it to support the
    camera by pressing it against a table, a wall, even my chest with two
    legs and squeezing the shutter smoothly, or hold it and let the self
    timer make the exposure.

    It can't stop your subject from moving, unfortunately. That's a
    different set of problems to manage.

    I haven't used my regular tripod with this camera yet... I suspect that
    if I go through the trouble of carrying the full size tripod, i'm going
    to carry the Sony F717 anyway and get a lot better picture quality in
    low light. A table top is fast, light weight, and doesn't get in the
    way too much. They're also fairly cheap, so it's worth a try.

    Godfrey

    In article <>, carl
    <> wrote:

    > Ok, I know, it depends, but I'm interested in opinions anyway.
    >
    > I have a Canon S30, which is a nice consumer camera. I take lots of
    > pictures, but one problem I have is blurring, of course. I almost
    > never use the flash, so low-light shots are problematic. I've trained
    > myself to be fairly good with technique. I brace myself when
    > possible, breathe carefully, etc. I also pump up the ISO where it
    > seems useful, although this has its own drawbacks (ISO 200 is ok, ISO
    > 400 is funky, and ISO 800 is impressionistic, although sometimes
    > interesting). Now a tripod would obviously help me, but I'm not sure
    > if it's really worth it. Blurring is only partially caused by me,
    > there's also the annoying fact that my subjects insist on moving also.
    > Would it really improve people shots that much to have a tripod given
    > that reality? And the inconvenience seems a trifle much.
    >
    > Convince me, one way or the other. Thanks.
    >
    > carl
     
    Godfrey DiGiorgi, Jul 30, 2003
    #11
  12. carl

    Ron Hunter Guest

    David Dyer-Bennet wrote:

    > (carl) writes:
    >
    >
    >>Ok, I know, it depends, but I'm interested in opinions anyway.
    >>
    >>I have a Canon S30, which is a nice consumer camera. I take lots of
    >>pictures, but one problem I have is blurring, of course. I almost
    >>never use the flash, so low-light shots are problematic. I've trained
    >>myself to be fairly good with technique. I brace myself when
    >>possible, breathe carefully, etc. I also pump up the ISO where it
    >>seems useful, although this has its own drawbacks (ISO 200 is ok, ISO
    >>400 is funky, and ISO 800 is impressionistic, although sometimes
    >>interesting). Now a tripod would obviously help me, but I'm not sure
    >>if it's really worth it. Blurring is only partially caused by me,
    >>there's also the annoying fact that my subjects insist on moving also.
    >> Would it really improve people shots that much to have a tripod given
    >>that reality? And the inconvenience seems a trifle much.
    >>
    >>Convince me, one way or the other. Thanks.

    >
    >
    > You can make a lot of progress by just resting the camera on something
    > -- either bare, or with a beanbag (or "pillow-pod") in between. I've
    > taken multiple-second exposures (wide-angle lense) with the camera
    > pressed against the side of a stone pillar using a beanbag, even. A
    > beanbag doesn't solve the 30-second exposure problem too well, but it
    > gives you several additional f-stops of shutter speed before you get
    > blurring compared to handheld, and is *much* lighter and quicker to
    > set up than a tripod.


    I often make a 'bipod' using my elbows and a handy wall, railing, or
    other feature of the environment.
    Not as good as a tripod, but steady enough for significantly longer
    exposures.
     
    Ron Hunter, Jul 30, 2003
    #12
  13. I agree. Most of the time I don't use a tripod. For some subjects I
    use it because it is easier, other times I use it because the subject
    dictates it (like low light levels or moving water) and yet other times I am
    looking for the best possible quality.

    --
    Joseph E. Meehan

    26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math


    "Ron Hunter" <> wrote in message
    news:gsQVa.40400$2.webusenet.com...
    > Joseph Meehan wrote:
    >
    > > It depends on what YOU want. I can answer that I would want one if

    I
    > > did not have one, but frankly, most people would not bother to use one

    if
    > > they had one, so it would do them no good at all.
    > >

    > I don't have one because I like to enjoy myself while I am doing things
    > that I might be taking pictures of. Having to manage a camera is enough
    > of a task, detracting from the main pursuit, without carrying and
    > keeping track of miscellaneous additional parts. But if the main
    > empahais of your life it taking pictures, you will surely want one.
    >
    >
     
    Joseph Meehan, Jul 30, 2003
    #13
  14. carl

    John Flax Guest

    "carl" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Ok, I know, it depends, but I'm interested in opinions anyway.
    >
    > I have a Canon S30, which is a nice consumer camera. I take lots of
    > pictures, but one problem I have is blurring, of course. I almost
    > never use the flash, so low-light shots are problematic. I've trained
    > myself to be fairly good with technique. I brace myself when
    > possible, breathe carefully, etc. I also pump up the ISO where it
    > seems useful, although this has its own drawbacks (ISO 200 is ok, ISO
    > 400 is funky, and ISO 800 is impressionistic, although sometimes
    > interesting). Now a tripod would obviously help me, but I'm not sure
    > if it's really worth it. Blurring is only partially caused by me,
    > there's also the annoying fact that my subjects insist on moving also.
    > Would it really improve people shots that much to have a tripod given
    > that reality? And the inconvenience seems a trifle much.
    >
    > Convince me, one way or the other. Thanks.
    >
    > carl


    A steady camera can only be an improvement over a shaky one.

    No-one has mentioned:

    leaning your back or elbows on a convenient tree, wall etc
    Monopods
    Bean bags (or an od sock filled with dried beans)
    The stand supplied with many cameras for use as a web-cam.
     
    John Flax, Jul 31, 2003
    #14
  15. carl

    John Russell Guest

    On 29 Jul 2003 21:31:05 -0700, (carl) wrote:

    >Ok, I know, it depends, but I'm interested in opinions anyway.
    >
    >Convince me, one way or the other. Thanks.


    Get a little "Ultrapod", a tabletop-sized model that you can
    velcro-strap onto things in various positions. It's plastic and light
    and will fit in a big pants pocket. You can hang it off things at eye
    level to give a better perspective than a tripod standing on the
    ground. You can fold up the legs and carry it with the camera
    attached, like a pistol grip.

    I took my S30 to a restaurant last night, but the shots taken by the
    waitress were way blurry, even with flash. Plunking down the camera
    on the roof of an SUV outside, with 10-second timer, gave the perfect
    shot. If not for the SUV, I'd have been lamenting not bringing a
    little tripod.

    John
    --
    Photo gallery: http://www.pbase.com/john_russell/
     
    John Russell, Jul 31, 2003
    #15
  16. carl

    Roger Guest

    On 29 Jul 2003 21:31:05 -0700, (carl) wrote:

    >Ok, I know, it depends, but I'm interested in opinions anyway.
    >
    >I have a Canon S30, which is a nice consumer camera. I take lots of
    >pictures, but one problem I have is blurring, of course. I almost
    >never use the flash, so low-light shots are problematic. I've trained
    >myself to be fairly good with technique. I brace myself when
    >possible, breathe carefully, etc. I also pump up the ISO where it
    >seems useful, although this has its own drawbacks (ISO 200 is ok, ISO
    >400 is funky, and ISO 800 is impressionistic, although sometimes
    >interesting). Now a tripod would obviously help me, but I'm not sure
    >if it's really worth it. Blurring is only partially caused by me,
    >there's also the annoying fact that my subjects insist on moving also.
    > Would it really improve people shots that much to have a tripod given
    >that reality? And the inconvenience seems a trifle much.
    >
    >Convince me, one way or the other. Thanks.
    >
    >carl


    The table top tripod has been mentioned. I like the Bogen/Manfrotto
    and I use it with a Contax T3, heavier film SLRs and my wife uses it
    with a CP950. We used it everywhere in Hong Kong last year for night
    walks. Very hand pressed up against a wall or window, a bit
    inconvenient for railings but even then it's a help. A tripod with the
    self timer used to trip the shutter helps a lot.

    BTW: in Hong Kong the harbor front was lined with small P&S camera on
    top of every kind of tripod imaginable.

    Regards,
    Roger
     
    Roger, Jul 31, 2003
    #16
  17. carl

    JK Guest

    For indoor photos of people without using a flash, a fast lens is what
    is needed. A tripod would help if you are taking posed photos, but
    isn't much help if people are moving. Perhaps you should consider
    getting an Olympus C5050? It has a lens that is f1.8-2.6. About
    the only thing that would be much better would be a digital slr with
    a fast lens. Some digital slrs have low noise 800 ISO modes.

    carl wrote:

    > Ok, I know, it depends, but I'm interested in opinions anyway.
    >
    > I have a Canon S30, which is a nice consumer camera. I take lots of
    > pictures, but one problem I have is blurring, of course. I almost
    > never use the flash, so low-light shots are problematic. I've trained
    > myself to be fairly good with technique. I brace myself when
    > possible, breathe carefully, etc. I also pump up the ISO where it
    > seems useful, although this has its own drawbacks (ISO 200 is ok, ISO
    > 400 is funky, and ISO 800 is impressionistic, although sometimes
    > interesting). Now a tripod would obviously help me, but I'm not sure
    > if it's really worth it. Blurring is only partially caused by me,
    > there's also the annoying fact that my subjects insist on moving also.
    > Would it really improve people shots that much to have a tripod given
    > that reality? And the inconvenience seems a trifle much.
    >
    > Convince me, one way or the other. Thanks.
    >
    > carl
     
    JK, Aug 2, 2003
    #17
  18. carl

    Dr. Gizmo Guest

    I would say absolutely, you should have a tripod. I believe the tripod
    should be part of any serious photographer's gear. But for the use you
    describe, you might just get along well with a good monopod. It won't cure
    the blur if your subjects continue to move about but it should at least
    improve things.
     
    Dr. Gizmo, Aug 3, 2003
    #18
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