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Categorized | Articles, Ethan Meleg

Bird Photography Tips – Gear for Supporting a Big Lens (preview)

©Ethan Meleg Piping plover chick photographed from a long distance with high magnification to prevent disturbing this endangered species. A skimmer ground pod, gimbal head and careful technique kept the rig steady.

©Ethan Meleg
Piping plover chick photographed from a long distance with high magnification to prevent disturbing this endangered species. A skimmer ground pod, gimbal head and careful technique kept the rig steady. Gear/Settings: Canon 1D Mark IV, EF 500mm f/4 IS II lens and 2X converter, ƒ8@1/400 sec., ISO 400

Tripods, Heads and More!

Story and photography by Ethan Meleg

Big lenses in the 500mm to 800mm range are standard fare in bird photography and it’s common practice to add teleconverters and use crop-sensor bodies to increase magnification. I routinely shoot at focal lengths that are equivalent to well over 1000mm. With such high magnification, any little bit of camera shake is amplified, which can result in blurry photos. Good support for your lenses is essential to combat this issue and achieve sharp photos. Most serious bird photographers use a sturdy tripod and gimbal head routinely, as well as secondary gear such as bean bags and ground pods. Good technique helps considerably too!

To read more of Ethan Meleg’s column on gear for supporting big lenses pick up the Fall/Winter 2015 issue of OPC. To never miss an issue please subscribe today!

 

 

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