Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Long Lens + Stability = Great Performance

 Canon 1D Mk IV, EF 800mm f/5.6L 1/320, f/5.6, ISO 400

Both of the shots above were captured with a Canon 1D Mk IV and a Canon EF 800mm f/5.6L.  The image of the mountain goats used a shutter speed of 1/500 and the bear was even slower at 1/320. I could have easily increased the shutter speeds by increasing my ISO but I was trying for the cleanest image I could possibly get.

Canon 1D Mk IV, EF 800mm f/5.6L 1/500, f/5.6, ISO 400

Such shutter speeds are definitely possible but when on a moving boat and compared with an effective focal length of 1040mm, the results are impressive.  I used the image stabilizer in Mode 1 which helped significantly but the real reason I could shoot with certainty at lower shutter speeds is my support setup.

I used a Really Right Stuff camera support setup including TVC-33 tripod, PG-02 gimbal head, and a long lens support package as depicted in the images below.

TVC-33, PG-02, and Long Lens Support Package

If you are a long lens shooter give yourself the advantage of perfect support.  I often say there is not a gear/technology solution to every problem but in this case I could not have made the same shot without it.  When combined with a good foundation in exposure and camera/lens functionality, the support system makes a nice trifecta!

TVC-33, PG-02, and Long Lens Support Package

Fiat Lux!


  1. I wish I could afford such a set up...but I am at the other end of the spectrum so maybe someday....looks great!

  2. So even f the "Y" support is on the side, as opposed to being underneath the lens as in the RRS catalogue, this still gives sufficient support?