Long lens stability….

The problem with a large lens and heavy camera body is stability.. or the lack of…

When taking shots of the moon making fine adjustments on focus at full zoom (800mm with the 2x Extender) is problematic at best as the live view image shakes all over the place making it tricky to see if you have actually got the sweet spot and the image continues to shake briefly after you let go of the focus ring making matters worse.

This meant I was forever chasing focus to get the images sharp and by the time I had it where I wanted it the moon was about to exit the frame so I would have to reposition the camera and start all over again…

I also find myself taking quite a few shots before getting a keeper…

So did a little research which led me to large lens brackets some of which were veeeeery expensive… so I started looking at putting one together from the cheaper eBay based Arca Swiss accessories…

This is what I settled on…

Screen Shot 2016-03-17 at 21.35.54

Arca Swiss rail and support

Both came from eBay and cost less than £40… considering some of the brackets I had seen were knocking on the door of £200 it seemed a bargain

I used a cheap quick release plate for the lens foot mount (£4.50) as I had this on a spare tripod doing nothing

Using the Arca Swiss rail allows me to shift the centre of balance to make the rig easier to handle and track the moon

Obviously the proof is in the pudding so they say so seeing as the moon was up and the skies were clear it was rude not to try…

Twilight pic of todays moon…

The bracket has made a world of difference… not only is it infinitely less shaky whilst fine tuning the focus manually but the amount of shots I need to take to dial in a keeper is now substantially less… I took just 5 shots and didn’t even have to re-adjust camera position to grab this shot…

Pleased with the results I then waited until it was dark and had another go…

7 shots this time to get exposure right but all were pretty cock on focus wise…

Well happy with those results… and as a small celebration here is another ‘moon’ related pic… Luna my cat 😀

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