Meet my Exercise Partner – Rocky
Yeap, basically everyday when I’m home and not shooting, Rocky here is my exercise partner (a Douglas Tree Squirrel). I’m still amazed how many folks really wonder and ask me, “Do you really handhold those big lenses?” Not only do I really do that, but here’s an example of doing it and getting a sharp image at 1/30 f8. It doesn’t come by accident, VR technology isn’t getting the sharp image (because I’m not moving, it ain’t active) but good old fashion proper handholding technique and lots of practice.
No I’m not out to make gallery images when I exercise, just simply get proper handholding a second nature response. In this case, I got so close to Rocky that I had to manually focus because I was inside the realm of the 200-400VR2’s AF MFD. At the same time, Rocky like usual is eating. When small mammals and birds eat seed, their lower jaw/mandible which is controlled by a muscle connected up by the ear can cause the eye to not be sharp. So when shooting at 1/30 (1/125 or higher is required to freeze this action) I work on not only my handholding but also peak of action to freeze the eye. It sounds really silly, but it’s what I do because bottomline, image quality is everything and it starts with a sharp image. (And no, not every image will be tack sharp even with practice)
Photo captured by D3x, 200-400VR2 on Lexar UDMA digital film