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Thread: Large lens hand holding handling issues

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    Ausphotography Regular swifty's Avatar
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    Large lens hand holding handling issues

    I guess this is question for the sports and birders.
    I had the chance to try the Nikon 'fatboy' aka 200mm f2 VR tonight and I have to say I just don't know how to handle the lens properly.
    Previously the largest lens I've handled was a 70-200 f2.8 and that was no problems but with the 200/2, I needed to support the weight of the lens with my left hand the whole time and found changing some camera settings difficult.
    Do I need to hold the lens the whole time or is the mount strong enough to allow the lens to hang downwards whilst just holding the camera. If not, then how do u access the ctrls that require button press on camera left and scrolling the command dial on the right?
    What's the heaviest weight the mount can handle or does that depend on the cemera/lens?
    Nikon FX

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    one of the quickest ways to damage your lens mount on the camera body would be not supporting a heavy lens. Do not just let the camera support the lens, a slight bump will damage the camera lens mount due to the weight of the lens and you will wonder why your images are only sharp on one side....... I quite often shoot with long lens hand held, and also very aware of the damage that could be done....... I have now started to use a tripod again

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Pix View Post
    one of the quickest ways to damage your lens mount on the camera body would be not supporting a heavy lens. Do not just let the camera support the lens, a slight bump will damage the camera lens mount due to the weight of the lens and you will wonder why your images are only sharp on one side....... I quite often shoot with long lens hand held, and also very aware of the damage that could be done....... I have now started to use a tripod again
    Hi Big Pix,
    I would never hold the lens horizontally by the camera only without supporting the lens.
    My question would be is it ok to do so with the lens pointing down, to change a setting such as ISO which on my camera, the button is upper left and you need to press that and scroll the command dial on the right. My hand isn't big enough to hold under the lens on the left and still reach the ISO button.
    So how do you get around this when hand holding?
    Do you need to set it down, like kneel down on one knee and rest the hood tip on your lap whilst using both hands to change settings?
    I just found handling it very awkward because I'm not used to big lenses.
    Or is a tripod/monopod a must?
    Cheers

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    not even pointing down...... carry the lens and body by the lens tripod bracket, but only after you have checked the screw

    .....Do you need to set it down, like kneel down on one knee and rest the hood tip on your lap whilst using both hands to change settings?
    I just found handling it very awkward because I'm not used to big lenses...... you have it in one

    Or is a tripod/monopod a must?...... the lens is very un-balanced and is better with a body with a grip or D3...... I have gone back to a tripod with a 300 2.8 Sigma

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    Try a monopod and a tripod collar for the lens so the mount is under the lens, not the camera (I am assuming one is available for this lens). I use one for my 100-400 when photographing sports like surfing and motor sport where am out for long sessions and it gets physically tiring to support the weight all day. I have found the monopod very useful.
    Odille

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    http://steveaxford.smugmug.com/ Steve Axford's Avatar
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    I must be lazy. I always rely on the camera not to break, so I will adjust the settings without supporting the lens but with the lens pointing downward. If a truck comes out of nowhere and hits me, then the camera will be stuffed. But that may be the least of my problems.

    I can't imagine pro sports photographers being so careful with their equipment.

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    Steve, you will find that they change their camera bodies on a regular basis.... it is easy to twist a camera body lens frange when not supporting long lens.... hence tripod collars on long and heavy lens.....

    you will also find that long lens shooters tend to use monopods or lean on a support.....

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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Bernie sums it up perfectly. Only ever carry, pick up or use heavy lenses when fully supporting the lens.

    In the case of the 200 F/2, it weighs around 2 1/2 times as much as a D3 body and then combined with the leverage exerted by the length of the lens at anything other than a totally vertical position it poses an unacceptable risk to the camera lens mount.

    One handy thing that is available within later Nikon body menus is the ability to set any of the function buttons to press on / press off so that you don't have to use 2 hands to change settings. One hand to press the button, have it lock on then the same hand to alter the dial setting and then the same hand again to press the button and unlock that function.
    Andrew
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    http://steveaxford.smugmug.com/ Steve Axford's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Pix View Post
    Steve, you will find that they change their camera bodies on a regular basis.... it is easy to twist a camera body lens frange when not supporting long lens.... hence tripod collars on long and heavy lens.....

    you will also find that long lens shooters tend to use monopods or lean on a support.....
    If I carry the lens/camera with the lens down, then there is little stress on the mount. A little common sense can go a long way as I frequently will wander around with my 300 f2.8 IS plus 2x extender on the ID body. It is almost always hand held, though I will use a steadier if it is available. Perhaps the Canon body is tougher than the Nikon??

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    I sometimes carry my 7D with a 2x TC and 120-300 f/2.8 (total about 4.5 kg) by the camera grip, BUT I would hate to jerk it or have a serious knock.
    Most of the time I carry it by the tripod collar, or with my hand around the TC part of the combination - it is probably much safer.

    I generally use a tripod with a Wimberley Sidekick, and have learned to make most changes in settings while looking throught the viewfinder. Of course the Canon controls are setup so that is easy to remember which button to press or wheel to turn!
    Graham

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    Thanks everyone. As I was considering the 200/2 VR for portraits, the hand holding versatility was important to me. Monopod might be my best bet to take the strain off the mount but will probably put it off for now until I've had more experience with the larger lenses.
    Cheers

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