I have a Nikon DIGITAL DSLR 650 1300mm zoom lens. In honour of this, I bought a Zomei tripod which is of good quality but even so, the slightest breath of wind makes the lens shake, and at such high magnification, there is an obvious effect to the image. Am I supposed to live with this? Or is there a way around this? I have seen a weight, actually a sandbag, that can be suspended on a hook provided on the bottom of the tripod's vertical mounting tube, but my nearby, long established camera shop in Stafford had no idea what I was talking about and are currently on lockdown anyway.

Assistance would be great with this.

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    You really just need a much bigger, and much heavier tripod. I wouldn’t bother spending any more money though. The image quality of that lens would not be worth the cost of an expensive tripod. A “work around” would be to rest the camera and lens on something solid like a table or chair. – Mike Sowsun Nov 25 '20 at 6:08
  • Set the shutter speed to 1/1000 or faster. This is one of the ways to deal with such long focal length (w/o stabilization) – Romeo Ninov Nov 25 '20 at 6:10
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    @RomeoNinov That's easier said than done when the lensis f/8 at 650mm, f/16 at 1300mm. It only gets narrower from there when using "adapters". – Michael C Nov 25 '20 at 7:49
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    Also, if you aren't already doing it, use a remote release. Wired cable releases cost as little as about $5. If your camera has the ability, also use mirror lockup and wait 10-20 seconds between locking up the mirror and releasing the shutter. 2 second self-timer is not long enough, and 10 sec probably isn't. But in the end Mike Sowsun is right, those 650-1300mm lenses are pretty bad. Even with no motion blur you're still going to be dealing with poor optical quality and diffraction. – Michael C Nov 25 '20 at 7:52
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    @MichaelC, right, easy said. But in photography (and not only) you can choose only two from: time, quality, money... – Romeo Ninov Nov 25 '20 at 8:15

You can have a shake on the tripod. Yes, a sandbag or some other weight can help you to stabilize the tripod. You do not need a sandbag, you can even use a pair of socks with some river stones, or make your own sandbags.

You can also reduce the extension on the tripod's legs.

You can also have a shake on the camera, even by you pressing the button or the mirror going up. So, try using a remote shutter or a delayed one, probably using some live view function.

But you probably have some shake on the lens due to the wind, as you mention.

The only way to go there is to protect the lens from the wind. Try to stand next to the camera, not behind it, hide behind a wall or something like that.

When shooting try to underexpose your photo by lowering the shutter speed, or change the ISO speed to a higher number. It is easier to remove the resulting noise on both cases than a blur.

  • Great answers there Rafael. I will implement as many as I can when lockdown is over. – Hobittual Feb 5 at 7:48
  • Well, you can practice on your own or yard. :o) – Rafael Feb 5 at 10:07

I had a problem like this while shooting in India with a small folding tripod on a Nikon F3 with a borrowed long lens. What I did (remember this was field fix but it worked great) was use the camera's delayed timer. I focused and framed the shot, and started the timer, by the time the shutter released the camera was steady. Like I said, not pretty but it got the shot. The pictures were razor sharp. Don't hesitate to do whatever it takes. You're a photographer, you're creative. Make it happen. Best of luck.


I use white rice and after you can eat it. I set the camera on bag of rice and I either set the camera to (selfie) you know a 2 sec delay OR I use a wireless remote. ALL of this sometimes works I haven't put sandbag (or rice) on tripods hook but I'm going to try that!

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