Do Tripods Make a Difference? You Betcha! - Trust Me Shops

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Do Tripods Make a Difference? You Betcha!

Do Tripods Make a Difference? You Betcha!

B&H explora - All posts
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I went out for a walk with my camera one recent morning. It was bright and sunny—a perfect day for taking pictures. The camera ISO was set at 400, the aperture on my 105mm lens was three-and-a-half stops down from maximum aperture (the “sweet spot”), and my shutter speed was set to 1/500-second. According to the rules—never handhold a camera at a shutter speed slower than the numeric value of the lens in millimeters you are using—there was no reason I should have expected anything other than sharp pictures. Imagine my surprise when I opened the files, took the images up to 100%, and saw blurry details. And I hadn’t even had my second cup of coffee that morning. This was an eye-opener.

I know the lens I was using very well, and it has never disappointed me. On a hunch, I went back to eyeball photographs taken under similar lighting conditions with the same camera and lens a few days earlier. The exposure times were similar but, when taken up to 100%, the photographs were sharp.

After a bit of thought, it dawned on me the sharper images were captured with a tripod-mounted camera, while the pictures that earlier ruined my day were handheld, and made without enabling image-stabilization. I have a relatively stable hand and have successfully handheld lenses far more powerful than 100mm with excellent results, but at the end of the day, the best bet for the sharpest results is a tripod. And this is particularly true if you are using a camera packing a 24MP or higher camera sensor, because the higher the resolving power, the more you see camera shake.

Higher-Resolution Camera Sensors Take Sharper Pictures and Magnify Camera Movement

When you upgrade to a camera with a higher-resolution sensor, you are incrementally increasing the magnification of not only the detail in whatever you are photographing, but you are also magnifying the effects of ambient vibrations, particularly camera shake.

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