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THE WOE'S OF LONG EXPOSURE
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:39 pm    Post subject: THE WOE'S OF LONG EXPOSURE Reply with quote

I was at Lake Michigan for the Golden Hour and wanted to shoot some long exposures (15sec - 30sec). I usually do this with a 50mm lens unfortunately I didn't pack it in my bag. I had my 105 mounted to the camera and a Sears 135mm in my bag to take some test shots with. So, I decided to test the 135 with long exposure (not a good idea for many reasons). There are so many variables to getting a crisp long exposure shot that it can become frustrating at times, although very fun also. The image below was shot at 15 seconds and nothing is sharp. rushing through the set-up I left my camera strap dangling (which is a bad idea at long exposure), I also had to raise my center column to frame the shot, also a bad idea, and the lens length itself was a bit too long and prone to vibration. I was close to the crashing waves, just outside of reach of getting wet. I am surprised I was able to get a clear shot at all. My screen on my camera is so small that it was hard to tell exactly how crisp the images were and I didn't have my iPad to check the images closely. I always tell myself to slow down, but, being me I always seem to skip that advice. The best shot out of 8 is posted below. Sad

Sears 135mm Multi coated 2.8 / Bower ND 1.8 ( 6 stops) 15 seconds

There's always next time.



Last edited by spiralcity on Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:22 am; edited 1 time in total


PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 12:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting effect. I think with a little more practice it might be quite compelling.


PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 2:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jamaeolus wrote:
Interesting effect. I think with a little more practice it might be quite compelling.


Yes, it takes patience and a lot of shooting. My ND filter was also just a cheap Bower Variable I landed for 20.00 USD. So with a little extra cash I could go the Lee Filter route and put some of the best filter glass in front of my lens. I may just use the Cokin P set-up. In any case I will keep at it until I get a good feel for the technique.


PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 4:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, a sturdy tripod is a necessity, unless you want intentional camera movement as a part of the image - which can look quite beautiful
Tom


PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 5:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What helps the most is mounting the camera on the tripod in a way that the center of gravity of the whole setup is as close as possible to the vertical axis of the tripod, that is directly over the tripod head. With a 135mm lens this usually means you need to use an adapter with a tripod foot or get a collar with a tripod foot for your lens, depending on the geometry of your camera/adapter/lens setup.

And the usual advice as you already know, don't extend the center column, weigh down the tripod with a heavy bag, take the strap off your camera, etc.


PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

miran wrote:
What helps the most is mounting the camera on the tripod in a way that the center of gravity of the whole setup is as close as possible to the vertical axis of the tripod, that is directly over the tripod head. With a 135mm lens this usually means you need to use an adapter with a tripod foot or get a collar with a tripod foot for your lens, depending on the geometry of your camera/adapter/lens setup.

And the usual advice as you already know, don't extend the center column, weigh down the tripod with a heavy bag, take the strap off your camera, etc.


I have a 50mm lens that is almost perfect for this type of shooting. It's very short and light, it's my copy of the the SMC Pentax-M, I had some success with it in the past. It was my intention to use it that morning but I forgot I had the 105 mounted to my camera and not the 50mm, once again rushing ahead instead of slowing down can be a problem. I was also talking to a guy who is quite good at this type of shooting, his name is Brendan and he has a YouTube Travel Photography channel. He suggested I also shut off my camera vibration reduction option. The camera will try to correct during long exposure and cause your images to be soft, I hadn't considered that option, but I will next try.


PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

spiralcity wrote:

I have a 50mm lens that is almost perfect for this type of shooting. It's very short and light, it's my copy of the the SMC Pentax-M, I had some success with it in the past. It was my intention to use it that morning but I forgot I had the 105 mounted to my camera and not the 50mm, once again rushing ahead instead of slowing down can be a problem. I was also talking to a guy who is quite good at this type of shooting, his name is Brendan and he has a YouTube Travel Photography channel. He suggested I also shut off my camera vibration reduction option. The camera will try to correct during long exposure and cause your images to be soft, I hadn't considered that option, but I will next try.


Despite packing half a dozen lenses in the bags for each of my camera systems I often find a lens I have at home would be better for a subject I spot than anything I have with me. I suspect the only way to avoid this is to find a way of carrying all my lenses. I've considered a large trolly custom made for them all (too awkward round town let alone in the country) & a team of sherpas (far too expensive). The best compromise I've come up with is to do the best with what I have with me then try to come back with the ideal lens at a later date.


PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DConvert wrote:
spiralcity wrote:

I have a 50mm lens that is almost perfect for this type of shooting. It's very short and light, it's my copy of the the SMC Pentax-M, I had some success with it in the past. It was my intention to use it that morning but I forgot I had the 105 mounted to my camera and not the 50mm, once again rushing ahead instead of slowing down can be a problem. I was also talking to a guy who is quite good at this type of shooting, his name is Brendan and he has a YouTube Travel Photography channel. He suggested I also shut off my camera vibration reduction option. The camera will try to correct during long exposure and cause your images to be soft, I hadn't considered that option, but I will next try.


Despite packing half a dozen lenses in the bags for each of my camera systems I often find a lens I have at home would be better for a subject I spot than anything I have with me. I suspect the only way to avoid this is to find a way of carrying all my lenses. I've considered a large trolly custom made for them all (too awkward round town let alone in the country) & a team of sherpas (far too expensive). The best compromise I've come up with is to do the best with what I have with me then try to come back with the ideal lens at a later date.
If I did that I would need an RV to store all the totes full of lenses....LOL. I find it a challenge just finding a lens in my office, though I must confess I am somewhat disorganized. I have separate totes for different mount types, 2 totes with Exakta stuff (one is almost all) Topcon, M42 (2 totes one is all Asahi pentax super takumar) Minolta, Konica, Olympus, Canon FD, a tote with miscellaneous mounts like C/Y, Icarex bayonet, DKL, a tote with extension tubes and bellows and rails, a tote with Pentax 67 stuff, a miscelleneous tote with medium format stuff and so on. Just deciding what to take can be a mental challenge.!


PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 2:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have three medium-sized but very stout tripods that I find usually work fine for this sort of work -- especially at the shorter focal lengths, such as 50mm and 135mm. My NEX 7 has a strap, but it doesn't detach easily, so I just make sure it hangs straight down. If there is a breeze, I will monitor the amount of shake that is occurring via Live View and I'll try to time my exposures accordingly. I've found that breezy gusts usually occur in sets with pauses between them. There is no order or organization to the sets, though, so the challenge is finding that pause between the sets. But it is doable -- mostly via trial and error -- but the perseverance and results are worth it.

I also have one seriously stout extra heavy duty extra large tripod -- the sort used by the movie industry to mount 35mm movie cameras to. It's a Majestic, made in Chicago. Mine's an older one, probably made back in the 60s or 70s. It shows a fair amount of wear, but still works perfectly. Its platform -- the area you mount the camera to -- is probably around 6" x 7" (I'd have to go down and measure it to be sure exactly -- but anyway, it's a BIG platform). It tilts side to side as well as front to back.

Here's a shot of my Pentax 67 mounted to the Majestic's platform:


This Majestic's legs do not telescope, so the center column is the only way to raise or lower the camera. Here it is with the center column in the down position:


And here it is with the center column extended all the way. Even though it might not look very stable, it actually is mostly because of the sheer mass of the tripod:


Here's a shot of the forward/rearward tilt capability. The crank in the front of the assembly is used for this.


If you do an internet search on Majestic tripods, what you'll find is prices are all over the place for the various models. But it's possible to pick them up for relatively cheap -- like the $100-150 range. I lucked out a bit. I found mine at a local swap meet, paid $25 for it. Woot! Mr. Green


PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jamaeolus wrote:

If I did that I would need an RV to store all the totes full of lenses....LOL. I find it a challenge just finding a lens in my office, though I must confess I am somewhat disorganized. I have separate totes for different mount types, 2 totes with Exakta stuff (one is almost all) Topcon, M42 (2 totes one is all Asahi pentax super takumar) Minolta, Konica, Olympus, Canon FD, a tote with miscellaneous mounts like C/Y, Icarex bayonet, DKL, a tote with extension tubes and bellows and rails, a tote with Pentax 67 stuff, a miscelleneous tote with medium format stuff and so on. Just deciding what to take can be a mental challenge.!


Like Dog
I knew they'd be plenty here who can beat my measly collection of ~150 lenses. Finding lenses has become easier since I added a location column to my lens database, but I'm sure my storage system could be significantly improved even so.
deciding on the right MF lens to bring along can certainly be a challenge, I'm afraid I often skip it & just grab what's in the bag. Perhaps a concerted effort to use all my lenses is called for...
Friends


PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DConvert wrote:
jamaeolus wrote:

If I did that I would need an RV to store all the totes full of lenses....LOL. I find it a challenge just finding a lens in my office, though I must confess I am somewhat disorganized. I have separate totes for different mount types, 2 totes with Exakta stuff (one is almost all) Topcon, M42 (2 totes one is all Asahi pentax super takumar) Minolta, Konica, Olympus, Canon FD, a tote with miscellaneous mounts like C/Y, Icarex bayonet, DKL, a tote with extension tubes and bellows and rails, a tote with Pentax 67 stuff, a miscelleneous tote with medium format stuff and so on. Just deciding what to take can be a mental challenge.!


Like Dog
I knew they'd be plenty here who can beat my measly collection of ~150 lenses. Finding lenses has become easier since I added a location column to my lens database, but I'm sure my storage system could be significantly improved even so.
deciding on the right MF lens to bring along can certainly be a challenge, I'm afraid I often skip it & just grab what's in the bag. Perhaps a concerted effort to use all my lenses is called for...
Friends


That would be it Smile
Tom


PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oldhand wrote:
DConvert wrote:

Perhaps a concerted effort to use all my lenses is called for...


That would be it Smile
Tom


Right that could get to be a tough job. Some of my lenses have mounts that are not easily adapted, such as a couple of CZJ Werra mounts, and a Minolta Vario mount, but I'll try & make a start on the others Smile

I've added an extra DB field added entitled 'last used' to prompt me. But so far it's just got a 'y' if I remember using the lens in the last 5 years or 'film' if I used it before going digital.


PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DConvert wrote:
Oldhand wrote:
DConvert wrote:

Perhaps a concerted effort to use all my lenses is called for...


That would be it Smile
Tom


Right that could get to be a tough job. Some of my lenses have mounts that are not easily adapted, such as a couple of CZJ Werra mounts, and a Minolta Vario mount, but I'll try & make a start on the others Smile

I've added an extra DB field added entitled 'last used' to prompt me. But so far it's just got a 'y' if I remember using the lens in the last 5 years or 'film' if I used it before going digital.


Smile I have been through this.
Sold the lenses that I could not use, and arrived at a maxim that if I could not use it I would not have it.
Better for someone else to use it, I thought.
Even now I find that I use some lenses much more often than others, and I will likely let those others go too.
The images are more important to me than the lenses.
After all - will you be remembered for your lenses or your images when you are gone?
Smile
Tom


PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cooltouch wrote:
I have three medium-sized but very stout tripods that I find usually work fine for this sort of work -- especially at the shorter focal lengths, such as 50mm and 135mm. My NEX 7 has a strap, but it doesn't detach easily, so I just make sure it hangs straight down. If there is a breeze, I will monitor the amount of shake that is occurring via Live View and I'll try to time my exposures accordingly. I've found that breezy gusts usually occur in sets with pauses between them. There is no order or organization to the sets, though, so the challenge is finding that pause between the sets. But it is doable -- mostly via trial and error -- but the perseverance and results are worth it.

I also have one seriously stout extra heavy duty extra large tripod -- the sort used by the movie industry to mount 35mm movie cameras to. It's a Majestic, made in Chicago. Mine's an older one, probably made back in the 60s or 70s. It shows a fair amount of wear, but still works perfectly. Its platform -- the area you mount the camera to -- is probably around 6" x 7" (I'd have to go down and measure it to be sure exactly -- but anyway, it's a BIG platform). It tilts side to side as well as front to back.

Here's a shot of my Pentax 67 mounted to the Majestic's platform:


This Majestic's legs do not telescope, so the center column is the only way to raise or lower the camera. Here it is with the center column in the down position:


And here it is with the center column extended all the way. Even though it might not look very stable, it actually is mostly because of the sheer mass of the tripod:


Here's a shot of the forward/rearward tilt capability. The crank in the front of the assembly is used for this.


If you do an internet search on Majestic tripods, what you'll find is prices are all over the place for the various models. But it's possible to pick them up for relatively cheap -- like the $100-150 range. I lucked out a bit. I found mine at a local swap meet, paid $25 for it. Woot! Mr. Green


That tripod is a monster, I love the large plate, it looks extremely useful for long exposure shooting. My tripod is also quite sturdy, so that's not an issue for me. The Lake Michigan breeze is a bitch, they don't call Chicago The Windy City for nothing Smile I was thinking of heading out this weekend, but from my understanding we may be getting some remnants of Hurricane Irma blowing in. I will have to wait and see. I also landed a Cokin P set-up, I just need to get the ND's I want. Pricing on some of those ND's is over 100.00 a pop, the more stops the heavier the price. Not cheap stuff. I truly needed to upgrade from the Bower variable.