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Old Jan 16, 2010, 9:20 PM   #11
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And it looks like my tripod is just a little undersized.....
I'd say seriously undersized!
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Old Jan 16, 2010, 11:19 PM   #12
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I'd say seriously undersized!
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Looks are deceiving, I think. The tripod is rated for 13 lbs. The lens alone is 11.6 lbs. Add the K20D w/grip along with the gimbal head and I'm probably over 15 lbs. Still, I think I'll get a set of legs that goes to 22 lbs. to be safe.
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Old Jan 17, 2010, 6:03 PM   #13
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Looks are deceiving, I think. The tripod is rated for 13 lbs. The lens alone is 11.6 lbs. Add the K20D w/grip along with the gimbal head and I'm probably over 15 lbs. Still, I think I'll get a set of legs that goes to 22 lbs. to be safe.
I have an old, but mint Leitz Tiltall...which is quite heavy duty. I bought it 25 years ago to support a Pentax 6 X 7 (rental) and my own Mamiya TLR 220 Pro F. Both these medium formats needed the big bruiser for support.
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Old Jan 18, 2010, 6:50 AM   #14
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rfortson - That's quite a lens! (Makes my 135-600 look petite!) Will look forward to seeing more of your photos with it.
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Old Jan 21, 2010, 11:37 PM   #15
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Well, I've been out shooting with it a few times, and it's really touchy. Shot some daytime shots, though it was a little windy. Had trouble getting sharp focus, even using 2s mirror lockup. Here are a few of the best:

A stump about 100 yards away:


Shot this tree three times and never could get a sharp one:


Here's one way to make sure something's in focus:


Here's a passing hawk, probably a few hundred yards away:


But tonight was the best yet. Calm and clear conditions, shot with the wireless remote using 3s mirror lockup. ISO 200, f/11, 1/10s. I shot several and all were good, some using SR (though it only allows a manual input up to 800mm) and some not (since it was on a tripod). I think since this thing is so sensitive, the SR may even help when on a tripod. Anyway, here's the moon, cropped (and resized for here). You can see the fullsized shot on my Flickr stream. Processed in LR to adjust exposure and contrast, and remove a touch of yellow fringing.

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Old Jan 21, 2010, 11:45 PM   #16
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Very nice moonshot! Have you gotten a sturdier tripod yet? I can imagine just how tough a lens like that would be to use - 300 mm is hard enough!
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Old Jan 22, 2010, 2:25 PM   #17
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Very nice moonshot! Have you gotten a sturdier tripod yet? I can imagine just how tough a lens like that would be to use - 300 mm is hard enough!
Not yet, I just keep the tripod center column retracted and that helps a bit. I've been looking at a second brace for the camera itself that then forms a triangle between the camera mount, the lens mount and the tripod.

I'd have gotten better results with a faster shutter speed, so I'm going to up the ISO and open the aperture to see how well that freezes the action. Hopefully tonight.
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