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Thread: Reducing wind vibrations

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    Reducing wind vibrations

    I went out last evening to shoot the Xmas lights on the downtown buildings in San Francisco.

    I set up my camera on Treasure Island as Alcatraz was closed.

    To get the shot I wanted, I had to use my Canon 400mm with the Canon 5D2.

    I attached the lens mount to my RRS BH55 mounted on a Gitzo 1325.

    I wanted to use long exposures to smooth out the water. With an ND filter and f6.3, my exposures were 2 seconds at ISO 100. I took several shots as I was planning on stitching them for a panorama.

    When I got home and looked at them in Lightroom, they were all fuzzy, and completely useless.

    The wind was blowing pretty well and must have vibrated the lens.

    What do you do in this kind of situation to reduce wind vibration?

    I'm thinking of laying a couple of 2.5 lb ankle weights on top of the lens where it mounts, but wondered if there were other solutions.

    I don't want to go to a higher ISO because these will be stitched and then enlarged to 40 x 120 and I don't want any noise in the sky.

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    Re: Reducing wind vibrations

    A few of tips that might help.

    1) Remove the hood if you had one mounted. It acts like a sail. This was one of those aha moments that dawned on me while shooting some cityscape panos, it made a big difference.

    2) Get some weight under the tripod pulling downward. Some tripods have a hook under the center column and you can hang a heavy bag off of it.

    3) Get your entire setup as low as you can to the ground if the composition still works. Collapse the smaller leg posts first.

    4) Your idea of weight on top of the lens should also help stabilize things - sandbags work well for this. In a pinch just try placing your hand on top of the lens and pressing down if you can hold steady for a couple of seconds - worth a try if you don't have other weights with you.

    5) Turn IS off if your lens has it.

    6) Use a remote release, my guess is you already are.

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    Re: Reducing wind vibrations

    Great ideas, Greg.

    The lens hood. Of course! And for this lens, its really long. Certainly don't need it when shooting at dusk!

    My backpack full of prime lenses can hang on the tripod. I'll look into getting a hook as I can only drape the backpack now over the legs, which is a little awkward.

    I do use a release and LiveView which means no mirror vibration. There is no IS on th lens.

    Thanks for the great ideas.

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    Re: Reducing wind vibrations

    In addition to what Greg said, the only other "trick" is to position your body like a wind wall to shield your camera during the exposure. Obviously this isn't always possible, but can help a lot if you can. I would add that weight on TOP of the lens is NOT a good idea as it makes the tripod less stable at teh head-leg junction, though weight UNDER the pod is good for increasing stability.
    Jack
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    Re: Reducing wind vibrations

    I agree with almost everything offered except the idea of placing anything on the lens, even ones hand as you will introduce vibration from your body on to the lens even if you don't feel it yourself. Jack's idea is very good, weight down the tripod and then place yourself between the camera and wind (if possible) to act as a buffer.

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    Re: Reducing wind vibrations

    Generally I agree, but in the absence of anything else, in high winds placing your hand on the top of the lens (with long lenses) can definitely help. You're not going to get a tack sharp shot but it will be better than the alternative of letting the wind push the whole rig around. Same approach as used with monopod shooting.

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    Re: Reducing wind vibrations

    Use two tripods. It's the only way to completely kill oscillations when using long lenses or large cameras. Second tripod can be light and flimsy - it will dampen anyway. The key is to have two independent supports.
    Monochrome: http://mochro.com

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    Re: Reducing wind vibrations

    Umbrella's are the answer.

    I've just shot an evening light and sound display using this technique. The wind was whistling around and the water spray from the nearby river was a concern.

    Luckily the GF had her brolly handy. Diverted the wind and the spray.

    OK, she was a little wet but the kit was safe and the shots secured

    She's fine now

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