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Thread: Eliminating Camera Movement Between Exposures

  1. #1

    Eliminating Camera Movement Between Exposures

    How does one get multiple exposures to be perfectly aligned for HDR?

    I purchased a solid Manfrotto tripod and still often get a slight movement in between exposures, especially when I have to change aperture/shutter settings in between shots. Just the slightest movement eliminates any sharpness. Ugh! How does one do it?

    I'm shooting with a Canon Rebel (soon to be 450D). E.g., with a 70-200 2.8L IS lens, my existing tripods are not steady enough to try multiple exposure techniques.
    Last edited by anonymous; 13th April 2008 at 04:34 AM.

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    Try using the Canon TC-80N3 timer remote control to pre-program a sequence of exposures. Avoid changing aperture (as this also influences DoF) and only vary the shutter speed when trying to capture a greater dynamic range. Other than that, make sure you have the tripod on a firm surface and that the pan/tilt or ballhead is VERY firmly locked in place.

    On your 70-200 mm lens, make sure that you have it mounted on the tripod using the mounting collar; this places less torque on the pan/tilt head and lessens the impact of any vibrations.

    Also, use mirror lock-up if available. This causes the camera's SLR mirror to flip up prior to the start of your exposure. You can then begin the exposure once you are sure that any vibrations have dissipated that were caused by the mirror flipping up.

    For really long exposures, mirror lockup is negligible since mirror slap vibrations (if any) account for only a fraction of the exposure time. The danger zone is generally anywhere from 1/8sec to 0.5 seconds exposure time.

    Finally, longer lenses are more susceptible to vibrations (and any vibrations last longer before dissipating), so this is also something to be aware of.

    Hope some of this helps.
    Last edited by McQ; 13th April 2008 at 04:54 AM.

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    Re: Eliminating Camera Movement Between Exposures

    You can use camera bracketing so you even don't need a sophisticated remote control. I built mine myself and cost was less than 10 EUR.

    In the 450D you will be lucky to enjoy up to -3,0,+3 bracketing (former cameras only have -2,0,+2) so if you set your camera in M mode and make -3 be a shot with its histogram to the right but always preserving the highlights, the +3 shot will actually be 6 f-stops higher and that will give you an astonishing DR expansion.

    A 40D user in other forum reported he uses LiveView + Mirror lockup working together. In this situation the mirror seems to remain constantly locked up so it will not shock the camera in any way during the exposures. Vibrations are then reduced to a minimum (just the unavoidable shutter and wind) so alignment will be simply impossible to improve unless you change to a better tripod.
    Last edited by _GUI_; 4th May 2008 at 12:03 PM.

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    Re: Eliminating Camera Movement Between Exposures

    Remote capture is yet another route when convenience is not a deciding factor. DSLR Remote Pro for Canon cameras is quite a handy tool with a trial version available. The range of remote operations vary by camera, with some now even focusable by mouse wheel (450D among them : ). I use a 10' USB cable. Firewire is also an option. Cable length will become an issue, but I can't say at what point personally.
    I would also recommend turning off autofocus on the lens barrel to rule that change out as well.
    Last edited by DanielJ; 4th May 2008 at 10:26 PM.

  5. #5

    Re: Eliminating Camera Movement Between Exposures

    I only registered to post this Tip :-)

    If you are using a lens with Image Stabilization built in, AND you have the camera on a tripod.
    Make sure you have the IS turned off. The way IS on lenses work is that it is always looking for some sort of shake/vibration to compensate for, and if it does'nt find any it baffles it and can introduce artificial correction where not needed!

    Secondly select AEB on the camera and use the timer function to take the shots. that should sort you out!

    Cheers!


    ** woops! didnt read that last line by Daniel above . Thats a good tip too!
    Last edited by realvision; 11th May 2008 at 07:17 AM.

  6. #6

    Re: Eliminating Camera Movement Between Exposures

    Ok I think this warrant a longer post...

    Here's what I'd do - I have a canon 400 D

    1) Set the camera on the Tripod

    2) Switch off the IS on the lens barrel if you have a lens with IS

    3) Set the camera to Av mode - It is important to use Av mode versus Tv mode

    4) Frame your shot

    5) from Menu 2 go to AEB and bracket it for +/-2

    6) Set the camera to Timer mode

    7) Take your shot

    The Camera will fire 3 shots automatically -

    There No more shake


    Optional - Lock the mirror and do manual focus if you wish


    Regards!

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    Re: Eliminating Camera Movement Between Exposures

    Nikon D50

    1) Tripod.
    2) Aperture priority mode.
    3) Bracketing option on -2,0,+2.
    4) Infrared Remote. $15

    I never touch the camera. Now if only I could figure out some way to do this for more stops.

    Eliminating Camera Movement Between Exposures
    Last edited by hobbes; 15th July 2008 at 11:12 PM.

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    Re: Eliminating Camera Movement Between Exposures

    Quote Originally Posted by hobbes View Post
    Now if only I could figure out some way to do this for more stops.
    If used in a clever way, the -2,0,2 bracketing can give you a better DR expansion. What I do is adjust aperture/shutter so that the least exposed RAW in the set, i.e. the initially called -2, is as exposed as possible, i.e. exposed to the right, just before starting to blow the highlights. That will give you the maximum achievable DR expansion with 3 shots bracketed -2,0,+2, you will expand your camera's DR by 4 f-stops. You can read about this here: http://www.guillermoluijk.com/articl...e/index_en.htm. I blend the 3 files produces with: http://www.guillermoluijk.com/tutori...oise/index.htm

    Let's say your D50 manages to capture noise-free 7 or 8 f-stops, you will go to 11 or 12 f-stops now.

    BR

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    Re: Eliminating Camera Movement Between Exposures

    Whether IS needs to be turned off depends on the lens; some recent Canon lenses, for example, recognise that the camera is on a tripod so that IS doesn't have to be turned off, though it is probably a good idea to do it anyway.

    Manual everything: focus, exposure - change only the speed - and white balance.

    Same workflow as for panos - apart from changing the exposure, which must be constant.

    Bertie

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    Re: Eliminating Camera Movement Between Exposures

    Depending on where you are , The tripod can send vibrations into camera .
    The closer the item you are shooting the worse it is .
    put rubber feet on tripod set those feet on coasters [ the card board things you set your drink / coffee on .
    Use the self timer on camera .
    Don't walk around while waiting for shutter to open and close .
    Try setting a bottle of water on tripod - if there are ripples in water - you are getting vibrations to camera .
    Hope this helps .

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    Re: Eliminating Camera Movement Between Exposures

    "Whether IS needs to be turned off depends on the lens; some recent Canon lenses, for example, recognise that the camera is on a tripod so that IS doesn't have to be turned off, though it is probably a good idea to do it anyway."

    This thread is probably dead and buried by now - but I thought I'd just add a little for prosperity ...

    Generation 3 and beyond IS units generally have the ability to detect that they're tripod mounted, but how they respond to this is different than if the IS is switched off on the lens.

    When the IS unit is switched off then the IS mechanism is centered and locked - however when it detects that it's on a tripod, typical behaviour is to tilt the image down for a second or so, and then stop moving; in this circumstance it won't move, but it's not centred and locked either - more like being on standby.

    As to what effect this has on IQ (if any), who knows.

    Cheers

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    Re: Eliminating Camera Movement Between Exposures

    I don't know if changing the aperture is a good idea. The different F-Stops will have different depths of field and different sized circles of confusion.

    I do 2 things that have improved sharpness when shooting multiple exposures;

    I use the wired remote to trigger the shutter.

    I focus the image and then turn off autofocus at the lens. It appears to me that the autofocus sometimes lands on slightly different places. With it off, the focus is the same for all the images in the series.

    As mentioned throughout the thread, IS is redundant with a tripod and may actually degrade sharpness.

    Also buy the heaviest tripod you can afford. Who needs a gym membership? I have a 15lb tripod I carry around for miles each day I shoot.

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    Re: Eliminating Camera Movement Between Exposures

    Quote Originally Posted by OldCrow View Post
    I don't know if changing the aperture is a good idea. The different F-Stops will have different depths of field and different sized circles of confusion.
    Changing aperture when bracketing for HDR is generally a "no no", for the reasons you mention.

    I focus the image and then turn off autofocus at the lens. It appears to me that the autofocus sometimes lands on slightly different places. With it off, the focus is the same for all the images in the series.
    The other "gotcha" here is that often the "zoom factor" will change slightly with changes in focus, so manual focus (after initial focus) is a great idea.

    As mentioned throughout the thread, IS is redundant with a tripod and may actually degrade sharpness.
    ... although on windy days or where there's vibration from traffic etc it can also help

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    Re: Eliminating Camera Movement Between Exposures

    most of the tripods have a hook on the center shaft . Google yours [ tripod ] and put about 75% of the weight on hook .
    If you are close to a water source , plastic bags with water in them placed at the bottom of each of the tripod legs helps to dampen ground vibrations .
    Just put grass , sand - anything to isolate the feet from hard ground , floor , whatever can cause vibrations .
    I carry the foam cups that keep cans of coke cool and put on the feet of tripod . Some times they let the tripod slip around but they do dampen vibrations .
    As a center weight , one of those bags that clip on belt for water help add weight to tripod - just don't drink water till done shooting and bring the m t back with you .
    post what you find that helps .
    Thanks

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    Re: Eliminating Camera Movement Between Exposures

    Quote Originally Posted by tonyjr View Post
    most of the tripods have a hook on the center shaft . Google yours [ tripod ] and put about 75% of the weight on hook .
    I suspect that the weight ratings are possibly calculated for a worst-case scenario; if it's in a "less vulnerable" position I suspect that most could withstand many times the stated load, eg ...

    Eliminating Camera Movement Between Exposures

    The other "trick" I use is to just throw the shoulder strap of one or more of my camera bags over the tripod; it slides down the legs a bit, but reaches a point where it can't slide any further - so it adds weight to the tripod, and keeps the camera bag off the ground / out of the wet sand / out of the salt water. Doesn't look great, but does the job!

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    Re: Eliminating Camera Movement Between Exposures

    I went with the 75% because I have pulled a hook or 2 out and superglued back in.

    I use a fanny pack when wandering around with tripod, just too much weight even with that.

    I have hung it from the hook, but after the hooks pulled out, I stopped that. I had not thought about putting the fanny pack as you suggested - good Idea.

    Thanks
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 12th June 2009 at 06:08 AM.

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    Re: Eliminating Camera Movement Between Exposures

    Quote Originally Posted by tonyjr View Post
    I went with the 75% because I have pulled a hook or 2 out and superglued back in.
    Hi Tony,

    It sounds a bit disappointing that you've had hooks come out - I would have thought that they'd be screwed in to the base?

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    Re: Eliminating Camera Movement Between Exposures

    One pulled out of a bogen and one on a Benro
    My bogen 3246 is ok , never had a problem with it - except the weight .
    The bogen MODO 785 B has a screw in plastic hook that screws in [ camera store said they think it's discontiuned ] rated at about 2 lbs . It's a nice small lite weight pod . May have been my fault , it sat in back of truck 85 + while I was waiting for sunlight / clouds / rain - never got shot I wanted but got a couple of panoramas . Went home , I took it in the house set up for lightning and a kid bumped it - hook and water bottle hit floor .
    The Benro [486 carbon fiber ] have the hooky thing pressed in , also plastic and no one carries the hooky thing or even the center column . I don't know what it is rated at - I put a 5 pack of cokes on it , Took a few shots , finished the coke and on way back yo pod hook pulled out .

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