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FORUMS General Gear Talk Tripods, Monopods & Other Camera Support 
Thread started 06 Sep 2015 (Sunday) 19:36
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RRS Long Lens Support Tested

 
ShadowHillsPhoto
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Post edited over 2 years ago by ShadowHillsPhoto.
     
Sep 06, 2015 19:36 |  #1

I've been interested in trying out the lens support package from RRS for a while now so when I found one over on FM for a great price I decided to grab it and do some testing. Link to RRS site if you aren't familiar with the product: http://www.reallyright​stuff.com …ng-Lens-Support-Packages/ (external link) Hopefully this will be informative for anyone else that may be looking at the support kit themselves.

Results so far have been interesting, although I wouldn't say my sample size is large enough yet to be definitive. In single shot silent mode the effect of the support doesn't start to become apparent until very slow shutter speeds, slow enough to not be worthwhile if you are shooting anything that moves. A more obvious benefit comes when shooting in burst mode, and is apparent at shutter speeds that are relevant for wildlife photography and similar. Bottom line, the support does work; but whether or not you would realize it's benefits depends largely on what you are shooting and under what circumstances.

For this test I was shooting a deck of playing cards near minimum focus distance. All shots with a 1DsIII with EF 500mm f/4 IS, at both 500mm and 1000mm (with 2xIII). Support was a Gitzo CF tripod and Wimberley WH-200 and of course the RRS Long Lens Support (LSS from here on) either engaged or not.

My test subject, this is the full image at 500mm, 1/25, resized, and is shot 6 from a 6 shot series with the LLS engaged.

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500mm, 1/25, resized, shot 6 in 6 shot series, no LLS.

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So, not much difference can be seen in these when resizing for the web (although if you look at the text on the pull out flap you can notice a small difference). Let's look at some 100% crops.

100% crop, 500mm, 1/25, shot 1 of 6 shot series, with LLS

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100% crop, 500mm, 1/25, shot 1 of 6 shot series, no LLS

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Right out of the gate the LLS has had a noticeable effect on the first shot in the sequence.

100% crop, 500mm, 1/25, shot 6 of 6 shot series, with LLS

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100% crop, 500mm, 1/25, shot 6 of 6 shot series, no LLS

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By shot 6 the difference is significant as seen in the above two photos.

Here's the full series with support (shot 1 upper left, shot 6 lower right).

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And without (shot 1 upper left, shot 6 lower right).

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I repeated each of these series several times and got similar results. It's clear to me that the LLS helps to minimize vibration, and is particularly good at stopping vibration from ramping up during rapid shooting. I want to repeat the test at 500mm and 1/125 and 1/60, but ran out of time today. I did shoot a series at 1000mm and 1/125 which I will share a sample of below.



  
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ShadowHillsPhoto
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Post edited over 2 years ago by ShadowHillsPhoto. (2 edits in all)
     
Sep 06, 2015 19:36 |  #2

100% crop, 1000mm, 1/125, shot 6 of 6 shot series, with LLS.

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100% crop, 1000mm, 1/125, shot 6 of 6 shot series, no LLS.

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And just because... 100% crop, 1000mm, 1/2 second (lol), with LLS. (The Wimberley was not locked down tight for this, I had it set with a minimal amount of resistance, still very much moveable, and shot using standard long lens technique with one hand on top of lens.)

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Jon
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Sep 07, 2015 09:38 |  #3

Thanks for running the tests. Could you clarify - so when you did the test without the LLS, were you mounting the lens to the Wimberley directly? Similarly, with the LLS in use did you mount the LLS clamp to the camera body or to the lens foot (with the Y support at the front of the lens, of course)?


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ShadowHillsPhoto
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Sep 07, 2015 11:03 |  #4

Jon wrote in post #17698032 (external link)
Thanks for running the tests. Could you clarify - so when you did the test without the LLS, were you mounting the lens to the Wimberley directly? Similarly, with the LLS in use did you mount the LLS clamp to the camera body or to the lens foot (with the Y support at the front of the lens, of course)?

For shooting without the LLS I was simply lowering the Y support so it was no longer making contact. I have a Kirk foot on my 500 so I had the RRS rail clamped to the Wimberley, and the foot clamped to the top of the rail. I could do a series with the lens direct mounted to the Wimberley but I don't think it would make a difference considering how solid the clamps lock. The rail isn't long enough to mount to the body, the support would land in the middle of the focus ring and the geometry is wrong anyway, you would have to completely remove the lens foot to even try (or side mount it, but either way you lose the ability to easily rotate the lens).

It's worth noting that my focus was more on trying to establish whether the LLS could have a noticeable impact during real world shooting scenarios, not necessarily taking every conceivable step to maximize it's potential. Although I did lock the Wimberley down for the above series that was more to make life easier when cropping the photos to share side by side. I ran the same tests with the Wimberley loosened (how I would normally shoot wildlife with it) and got the same results; by the end of a burst of shots the LLS was noticeably reducing vibration, and the gains were not canceled out by the loose Wimberley.




  
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Jon
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Sep 07, 2015 11:39 |  #5

Thanks for the clarification . . .


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Post edited over 2 years ago by Echo63.
     
Sep 12, 2015 10:50 |  #6

given the wheels on the front of the unit, wouldn't it be more useful for supporting the front of a "big white" and stopping the drag that occurs on the rotation mechanism ?

when i shoot sport with a long lens i hold the camera body with my right hand, and put my left hand on the hood - to easily rotate the lens, i need to either lift my hand off the hood (on newer lenses) or actually lift the front of the lens slightly (on older lenses that have seen heavier use) to be able to quickly switch from portrait to landscape. (in fact i often just move the monopod and don't rotate the lens, then crop the frame later, as its faster and easier)


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RRS Long Lens Support Tested
FORUMS General Gear Talk Tripods, Monopods & Other Camera Support 
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