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Gimbal for stills
  
 
xoda
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Gimbal for stills


I'm planning a helicopter tour soon to get unique cityscapes. While on those, it's generally recommended to have shutter speeds faster than 1/300 sec to minimize blur from the vibrations.

I'm planning to use my 5DsR with the 16-35mm f/2.8 lens. I wont be doing any video at all, only stills.

Would using a gimbal help me get slower shutter speeds or sharper images? If so, which one is the best for this?



Apr 19, 2017 at 05:43 AM
EA6B
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Gimbal for stills


You could rent
a kenyon gyro stabilizer, though I don't think you'll need it.



Apr 19, 2017 at 07:51 AM
krementz
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Gimbal for stills


I don't think a gimbal would help at all.

A gyro stabilizer would help.



Apr 19, 2017 at 08:15 AM
Mikehit
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Gimbal for stills


I presume you are thinking about tripod/monopod,in which case a gimbal will not help because (if my experience on boats is anything to go by) you will be fixing your camera (via the monpod/tripod) to a shaking platform - if you hand hold, your limbs will help cushion the vibrations. Similarly avoid leaning on the bodywork for support.

I haven't used gyros so will defer to others on that one



Apr 19, 2017 at 09:35 AM
mogud
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Gimbal for stills


I've done some helo photography and the gimbal will just get in the way. I was up in a Jet Ranger 5 and the vibration was not as much as you'd think. With one rear door off at 1500 ft, the 16-35 might he too wide. We were shooting residential home developments in SoCal.

Have a blast....I sure did.



Apr 19, 2017 at 11:30 AM
Jefferson
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Gimbal for stills


Re: Gimbal for stills

.. Not sure how many still photos you can get flying over "cityscapes". Most stills will be found away from populated areas .. most often in rural wooded settings with hilly or mountainous terrain.

the 16-35 .. as noted .. may be somewhat wide for the altitude needed to avoid "ground fire" from the "Shiners" below. To "zoom in" on an active still you might want to consider a 500 f/4 at a minimum ..

You might want to think about bringing along a helmet (to sit on) rather than a Gimbal .. Stills shoot back ..








Jefferson ..



Apr 19, 2017 at 04:40 PM
JohnBrose
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Gimbal for stills


I wouldn't recommend a gimbal, just keep your shutter speed up and use decent technique. I would suggest closer to 1/1000. You don't want a lot of extra stuff that can get in the way etc. Keep it simple. I think you'll find a 24-70 might be a better lens in a chopper, but whatever works for your subject etc.


Apr 19, 2017 at 05:31 PM
xoda
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Gimbal for stills


JohnBrose wrote:
I wouldn't recommend a gimbal, just keep your shutter speed up and use decent technique. I would suggest closer to 1/1000. You don't want a lot of extra stuff that can get in the way etc. Keep it simple. I think you'll find a 24-70 might be a better lens in a chopper, but whatever works for your subject etc.


At 1/1000 of a second, I'd need very high ISO during blue hour and twilight. Have you tried a slower shutter speed?

With the 16-35 suggestion, I wasn't sure of that myself. I am planning to shoot cityscape - NYC specifically. What focal length would you recommend then?



Apr 20, 2017 at 12:46 AM
JohnBrose
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Gimbal for stills


I can look back at some shots that i did from a chopper and see what worked, i was shooting in more daylight probably than it sounds like you might be. When you are holding the camera, you are providing good damping against vibrations etc. it's more the movement of the chopper versus the ground/subject that you'll have to overcome. You could ask over on the mustang air to air thread and get some advice from the togs that shoot in that situation for a living. why would you be shooting at twilight are you trying to get more cityscapes at night? You didn't mention that originally.


Apr 20, 2017 at 01:08 AM
xoda
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Gimbal for stills


JohnBrose wrote:
I can look back at some shots that i did from a chopper and see what worked, i was shooting in more daylight probably than it sounds like you might be. When you are holding the camera, you are providing good damping against vibrations etc. it's more the movement of the chopper versus the ground/subject that you'll have to overcome. You could ask over on the mustang air to air thread and get some advice from the togs that shoot in that situation for a living. why would you be shooting at twilight are you trying to get more cityscapes
...Show more

I wanted to get the cityscapes with its lights on, but still with some light in the sky. Blue hour would be best for this.

I wonder if the built in stabilization (either in lens or in body) would help? Or perhaps the vibrations are too extreme for that?



Apr 20, 2017 at 06:06 AM
 

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xoda
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Gimbal for stills


mogud wrote:
I've done some helo photography and the gimbal will just get in the way. I was up in a Jet Ranger 5 and the vibration was not as much as you'd think. With one rear door off at 1500 ft, the 16-35 might he too wide. We were shooting residential home developments in SoCal.

Have a blast....I sure did.


What focal lengths did you use?



Apr 21, 2017 at 07:45 AM
Yajbuilder
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Gimbal for stills


Hi xoda- I worked in a photographer's studio for a while who had built his career shooting solo from airplanes and nowadays contracts with helicopters. Gyros were great in the film days- these days, JohnBrose is more or less correct. I'd stay well above 1/300, with 1/800 and up a good place to be. Crank the iso "to 11", that's what you do.
That said, the hour you are shooting at will be tough- but remember, a not blurry aerial shot with gobs of sensor noise is fathoms better than a whole shoot that is blurry. I have edited some photos for my friend shot at this hour, the workflow is really different- instead of the usual "tweaks" you do in LR/PS, expect to spend a long time polishing the keepers due to noise.

Also, there is a bit of myth (that could still be true!) optical IS will do nothing in a plane or heli. The idea is the IS has no reference point and gets confused with the fast oscillations and vibrations of a aircraft. IMO, take this as another reason to keep your shutter speed up. Good luck!



Apr 21, 2017 at 11:04 AM
Yajbuilder
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Gimbal for stills


Also, your focal length choice is totally not a problem. 14mm to 400mm+ is all considered normal in commercial building aerial photography...


Apr 21, 2017 at 11:07 AM
mogud
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Gimbal for stills


xoda wrote:
What focal lengths did you use?


We used Hasselblad and the standard 80mm lens or 50mm in dslr. I think the 24-70 fl range would work.



Apr 21, 2017 at 11:09 AM
ross attix
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Gimbal for stills


You are getting great advice here. Forget the gimbal. Longer focal length. Some sort of image stabilizer would be the way to go. Maybe rent a 24-70 f/4 IS? I haven't used that lens but it's in the ballpark fl wise.

An excellent photographer named Harvey Lloyd did tons of this aerial stuff. I went to his seminar in NY and I remember him saying one of the biggest mistakes people make is using too short a lens. You are already backed way off by being in the air. He was shooting 35mm cameras and using something in the normal to portrait range if I recall. Also make sure whatever you carry is firmly attached, and don't change lenses in flight!

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvey_Lloyd





Apr 21, 2017 at 11:10 AM
xoda
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Gimbal for stills


mogud wrote:
We used Hasselblad and the standard 80mm lens or 50mm in dslr. I think the 24-70 fl range would work.


Im thinking of getting a 50mm 1.4. Sounds like that should work well



Apr 22, 2017 at 06:55 AM
krementz
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Gimbal for stills


Save weight and money: get the new 50/1.8.

xoda wrote:
Im thinking of getting a 50mm 1.4. Sounds like that should work well





Apr 22, 2017 at 12:11 PM
Zenon Char
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Gimbal for stills


Jefferson wrote:
Re: Gimbal for stills

.. Not sure how many still photos you can get flying over "cityscapes". Most stills will be found away from populated areas .. most often in rural wooded settings with hilly or mountainous terrain.

the 16-35 .. as noted .. may be somewhat wide for the altitude needed to avoid "ground fire" from the "Shiners" below. To "zoom in" on an active still you might want to consider a 500 f/4 at a minimum ..

You might want to think about bringing along a helmet (to sit on) rather than a Gimbal .. Stills shoot back ..

https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-hzDmG79/0/L/i-hzDmG79-L.jpg

Jefferson ..
...Show more

I love the smell of Napalm in the morning.



Apr 22, 2017 at 03:55 PM
Zenon Char
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Gimbal for stills


Just keep the shutter speeds up. Naval base in Victoria BC. I was just happy they did not shoot us down as we circled it quite a bit.

~original[/IMG]



Apr 22, 2017 at 03:58 PM
EB-1
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Gimbal for stills


krementz wrote:
I don't think a gimbal would help at all.

A gyro stabilizer would help.


I tried a Ken-lab gyro about 25 years ago on a boat once. It sure was a pain to handle and haul around the whole kit, rev up the gyro, etc. The camera is difficult to move from subject to subject for action.
Nowadays I would increase the ISO and use the active VR or Mode 3 IS.

EBH



Apr 22, 2017 at 04:03 PM
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