Creating a Sturdy Base for Handholding

Creating a Sturdy Base for Handholding.
A long time friend of mine asked me to do a post that would help photographers create a sturdy base when handholding a lens. Vibration Compensation can give the photographer several, even up to 4, stops of light, but using a good technique will increase the effectiveness of the lens that much more. When I am handholding a lens for a slower exposure I will use my body to support my upper arm and elbow, then in the area between my thumb and index finger I will rest the bulk of the lens. I will have my fingers closer to my body so the thumb and index finger are in the front, this causes the palm of my hand to “cup” the lens. The palm of my hands are about 3-4 inches wide, placing my palm under the lens, with my upper arm and elbow supporting the weight of the lens against my body make for a very sturdy base. Breathing is an important element in this equation as well. You don’t want to release the shutter while holding your breathe, you want to exhale and in that pause before inhaling release the shutter. Follow these tips and I promise you will be able to start handholding your lens for images down to the 1/4 seconds or slower even. My personal best for a sharp handheld image is 1/2 second with a 24mm lens.
Tamron SP 70-200mm f2.8 Di VC USD G2 lens on a Nikon D-500, Manual Exposure mode, at 70mm, f4, ISO 200, shutter speed of 1/40th of a second, handheld utilizing the Vibration Compensation feature of the lens, Mode 1, MindShift Gear TrailScape 18L, processed in Lightroom CC. #WithMyTamron, #TamronImageMasters, #MindShiftGear

5 Responses to “Creating a Sturdy Base for Handholding”

  1. Thanks for the tip! I often try to mimic the old rifle range techniques they taught us haha. Unfortunately I was never the best on the range.

    • lilybug1960 Says:

      The technique is exactly the same. I had decided not to use that analogy in case someone had never fired a rifle. For those of us that have though, it all makes perfect sense.

  2. john VanS Says:

    THANKS. One of the most often occurring and correctable issues I see in images I am reviewing is camera movement. Today, with image stabilization, almost nobody teaches good hand held technique. This should improve a lot of folks images. Particularly those who have a mixed bag of stabilized and non-stabilized lenses.

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