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Re: [OM] Hey, wait! I got a new complaint!

Subject: Re: [OM] Hey, wait! I got a new complaint!
From: Moose <olymoose@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 14 Oct 2021 13:13:47 -0700
On 10/13/2021 6:17 PM, Willie Wonka via olympus wrote:

New complaint to you, perhaps. 😉

I am here to burst the bubble of a myth that has been propagating on this list 
since at least the late nineties. It has to do with the familiar technique of 
grabbing the camera with both hands and pressing it against the tripod in order 
to minimize vibrations. The gist: It does not work. You can stop now, or read 
on if you wish.
I bought my Olympus OM1 after an extensive research. My main goal was to do 
celestial photography.

Clearly a mistake, based on inadequate information. You were far from the only one not to know about the aperture "crash" source of vibration. The mirror lock-up lever on the OM-1 made me feel better, but didn't solve the vibration problem.

I left Nikon and Ftn for an OM-1, used OMs happily until digital, but mirror/aperture vibration was a constant problem for things like celestial. Mirror/aperture pre-fire on later models fixed the vibration problem, but was a pain in use.

That was back in 1997, I joined this list the same year. Unfortunately, life 
did not present me with the opportunity to use it as intended, because I never 
got to buy a decent telescope. (I don't post much anymore and felt obligated to 
reintroduce myself...:) )

Nice to hear from you, especially with such a fun rant!

Recently, my neighbor let me borrow his Sigma APO 110-500 and I have been 
pointing it at the moon with my Sony A65 attached to the back of it. It is a 
zoom lens and it gets to be 16 inches when fully extended. I have an excellent 
tripod, but the load with the lens is so unbalanced, that any time I touch the 
camera, it trembles like it just looked death in the eyes.

1. Did you have the tripod mount for the lens? That should distribute weight, 
but no?

2. "I have an excellent dog. It shits on the couch regularly." That is not an 
excellent dog.

A tripod that trembles under load is not an excellent tripod, at least for that 

I have done moon shooting with various camera lens combos on my old, 15#, Bogen/Manfrotto 3236 and 401 head. I assure you it would not have that problem with the camera/lens you used.

3. Other than the monster tripod/head combo above, aluminum tripods tend to resonate and make camera induced vibration worse, while CF tripods tend to damp it down.

I have the habit of using my remote control to activate the shutter anytime the camera is 
mounted on the tripod, but was unable to do so, because its battery just died. Today, I 
"discovered" that I could activate the built in two second delay function also 
from the camera and that is the technique

4. You have chosen to use an SLR. That means mirror flying up to take the exposure. You can let the camera settle, and use a remote (as I do), but the mirror, no matter how well damped ,just starts the vibration dance over again. Mirrorless with Electronic First Curtain is far, far better for this purpose.

The OM long teles were notorious for vibration problems; some folks gave up on ever getting a sharp shot. Put my 600/6.5 on a Sony A series, mid weight CF tripod, EFC, let settle for a couple of seconds, press remote release — no motion/vibration blur. The lens turns out to be sharp.

5. Does the 2 second timer pre-fire the mirror? If not, it's doing little good.

I used tonight to take yet another picture of the moon. The pictures turned 
significantly sharper than those from the previous day during which I attempted 
the following vibration mitigation techniques:
1. "pinching" the camera i.e. I would place my index finger on the bottom plate 
and slowly press the shutter button with the thumb.
2. Just gently and steadily press the shutter button with my index finger.
3. The "mythical" technique of wrapping the camera with both hands and pressing 
it gently against the tripod. I have used it in the past thinking that would eliminate 
the vibrations induced by the mirror flip.

6. It's really not that effective, esp. on a big, heavy, unbalanced set of gear. Believing in lore like that without testing it is just asking for disappointment. As I recall, Oly itself may have started this idea, hoping that the "wetware" of the human body would damp vibration. But they're not a good source on this one, as they had problems with an aperture system they chose not to fix, and hoped to mitigate complaints.

Saint Maitani did many wonderful things. But his choice of aperture mechanism design was a mistake. Why he didn't do what Nikon did, we'll never know. Nikon's aperture design was inherently less likely to cause vibration than the OM, but then they also did a further fix. The Ftn had manual mirror lock-up. The F2 added manual aperture stop down. Perfect for elimination of vibration.

I listed all the methods in order from best to worst. Based on my findings, I 
would advice against using any of them if using a tripod, just the remote 
control and possibly employ the image stabilization system.

First priority — get rid of camera mechanism induced vibration. Second, remote 

Aunty Rant Moose

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