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Photography Question 
Debbie Groff
 

A new lens


I already purchased a lens form e-bay and wondering if I did the right thing and are there any tricks I need to know before shooting with this lens, as it is a Canon 70-210 EF AF Macro lens 4.0. I thought this might be an awfully big lens for macro but was told I got a great buy. So won the bid and I'm really looking forward to using it. Got any tips other than a tripod, oh and what is a good short tripod a person could get for I've heard you mush have your camera on plane with your subjects. Thanks, Debbie


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9/2/2001 10:08:14 PM

 
John A. Lind
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/27/2001
  Debbie,
You are right about watching the angle at which you photograph your subjects. I'm rather tall and have to be careful I'm not looking down at people.

The better tripods come as separate legs and heads. I'm recommending this because your 70-210/4 and camera body will be heavier (a little nose heavy too) and you will need very good stability, especially when zoomed to 210mm or making macros. One of the best buys in basic tripod legs is the Bogen 3221 (there are several variants; the least expensive are the "silver" ones). A good pan head for it is either the Bogen 3047 or 3410. Both have quick-release plates. These are toward the lower price end of pro grade tripods (basic set) but should still last you a lifetime. They are decidedly a cut above the most expensive deluxe "department store" tripods which lack height and rigidity, and the cost isn't that much more (if you shop around for it thoroughly).

Height specifications on them are with fully extended legs. Depending on the tripod make/model, the legs are in two or three segments and collapse for storage. The 3221 has three segments plus a long center column. If full height isn't needed, use two segments, leaving the end ones collapsed, and adjust height using the center column. Some legs also allow splaying them at different angles (the Bogen 3221 has 3 leg angle positions). Normally the first and narrowest is fine. Aside from using the others for very non-level terrain, the second or third position also lowers the head height (don't trip over the legs when doing this).

My first tripod was the "department store" variety bought over 20 years ago. They haven't changed much since then except to use more plastic in them (replacing some of the pot metal parts with it). A decent tripod has made a huge difference with ease of use, flexibility in applicaton, and most important providing a very stable platform for the camera, even with long and heavy lenses on it.

-- John


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9/4/2001 12:41:42 AM

 
John A. Lind
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/27/2001
  Debbie,
Tips on your lens would include those for any long lens, especially when you have it zoomed out to 210mm. This is about the limit for hand held and you will discover it's not that easy fully zoomed. The biggest problem will be camera shake working hand held, either zoomed out or with higher magnification macros.

If you cannot find a source (library) on good, steady stances for holding a camera, look at a book for target shooting in standing, kneeling, squatting, etc. Other than your arms and hands being in a different position, everything else applies with foot, knee and leg positioning, how to brace an elbow on the leg properly, and breathing control. When working with longer lenses hand held (135mm - 200mm), look for things against which to brace while maintaing a good composition: fence posts, power poles, stanchions, sturdy chair backs, railings, etc. Anything solid that you can brace camera, lens or even your body with.

Watch your focal length and the shutter speed that will be used so that they do not get too slow when working hand held.

-- John


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9/4/2001 1:59:26 AM

 
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