Thursday, March 29, 2007

Handholding an H3D & Tripods

I have had a few questions posed about handholding the Hasselblad H3D. The mirror slap of this camera is very noticeable when the shutter is released without first using the mirror lock up feature. It is very difficult to hand hold the camera when using mirror lock up, so I do not engage that feature when taking hand held shots, because you lose sight and framing of your subject. I usually bump up the ISO to about 200 to get a faster shutter speed. I try to get as fast a shutter speed as possible while keeping the aperture at f8 or higher to get the best depth of field. I try to use at least 1/100 of a second shutter speed with anything up to a 100 mm lens. Higher than that I go for at least 1/focal length of the lens (i.e. 1/200 for a 200 mm lens). I have been pleased with the results of my last attempt at handholding. I took the clearing storm image in the H3D image portfolio hand-held, and found that the sharpness was acceptable for this image when printed as a large 30" print. I think that it would have been better to use a monopod at least, so in the future I will try to carry a monopod in situations where a tripod is too bulky - usually skiing or mountain biking to a location.  I think  a tripod  is always preferable if conditions permit, I use a gitzo Carbon Fiber 1348 with a Really Right Stuff BH-55 LR Ballhead - It has a lever clamp that makes it easy to use with the Really Right Stuff L Bracket , which is designed for the H1 but I  find that it works fine on my H3D. The great thing about this L plate is that it allows the camera to be mounted to the tripod in both vertical and horizontal positions. I had this ballhead fail in the field last autumn - the quick release lever system came apart but I was able to fix it with a paper clip temporarily until I could send it in for repairs. The RRS company repaired it with no hassles, but I was not happy about potentially losing the use of my tripod on a remote photo shoot. I do not carry an extra ballhead but will in the future on automobile supported trips where weight is not an issue. I do like the ease of use and fairly light weight of this ballhead. The repaired lever seems to be sturdier than the one it originally came with. Tomorrow I will post some thoughts on the use of Split ND filters vs. combining exposures in Photoshop.