Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Shooting with the Induro CT214 Tripod and Nikon 300mm f/4

Nikon D600, 300mm f/4 @ 1/250 sec.
I've been shooting more and more with the Nikon 300 f/4, both handheld and with the Induro CT214 tripod combined with the Induro BHD2 ballhead.  (Let me say up front, this is NOT a review of these items.  That said, I like them all very much.)  Now, conventional wisdom says to keep your shutter speed at 1/lens length at a minimum for stable handheld shots.  So, when using the 300mm on a full-frame camera the shutter speed should be a minimum of 1/300 for sharp photos.  Shooting handheld with the 300 f/4 has seen a lot of images sent to the trash for not being sharp due to motion (mine, the wind, the subject, etc).  (For a comparison, the images shot on this Post were shot handheld at a minimum of 1/800 with most at 1/1000 seconds.  While they look okay on the Web, they are not quite as sharp overall as those shown here at much slower shutter speeds.)  Yesterday was very overcast and windy and knowing I wanted to go in the field and shoot the 300mm I packed the tripod with camera gear in the trunk of the Harley and took off.  While hoping for somewhat larger wildlife to shoot, I took what I could get, like the green darner dragonfly above.  There is no way I could have pulled that shot off without the tripod (the shutter speed was too slow and it was windy).

The Induro ships with a nice case that includes a shoulder strap so I started out with the camera slung over one shoulder and the tripod in its case over the other.  The carrying of the gear was fine but I discovered if I were going to shoot and be effective I needed the camera mounted to the tripod.  So, off came the camera strap (it just gets in the way when the camera is on the tripod) and out came the tripod.  Once the camera was mounted they were carried with the camera over my shoulder and behind me and the tripod legs extended in front of me with one arm over them - just as if carrying a long 4x4 over one shoulder. 

Once I got to a place with some bird and butterfly activity the tripod went on the ground and I was ready for action.  The dials on the ballhead were adjusted so it was loose enough for maneuverability yet stiff enough for stability.  Truly, it was a piece of cake that took all of two seconds.  This butterfly was all over the place but I didn't have any trouble tracking its movements and ended up with a lot of nice shots of it.   

This grasshopper, on the other hand, didn't move.  It remained clinging to the thistle just as you see it.  However, it was constantly blown to and fro by the wind but the 300mm focuses very fast so nailing the shot from a stable platform wasn't a problem.  Likewise, the bee.

And one last shot.  This one is for my wife because she finds these cute.  This very small toad was huddled down among the blades of grass.  The shot was accomplished with a shutter speed of 1/80 seconds.  Now, 1/80 on a 300mm lens without any kind of VR and no tripod - not gonna happen.  But, with a good tripod and head ... keep the shutter open as long as you want and enjoy the results.



  1. I LOVE toads! Thanks for that last shot! Love you too!

  2. Thanks for the comment Dave, indeed the OMD is that good, I can't wait for the newer high end OMD, the rumors are almost confirmed, and Olympus will release a higher end OMD, and leave the current EM-5 on sale.

    You can follow 43rumors.com for more details, new updates are expected soon, that and the new GX7 by Panasonic makes for a good competition.

    I visited your blog and I enjoyed reading the 300 f4 post.

    1. Thanks for visiting my blog, Mohammad. Maybe you noticed it's something I just started to do earlier this year and it's a bit new to me so I'm still trying to flesh it out. I just noticed, for instance, that some images are now missing in certain blog posts which I think is due to images I deleted from G+ the other night because they appeared to be duplicates. I had no idea deleting images from there would affect my blog postings. Anyway, thanks again for the visit and hopefully you'll come back for more.