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200=400mm VR Usage Poll

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by Gunnerisac, Apr 15, 2007.

  1. Handheld

  2. On a monopod

  3. On tripod with ballhead

  4. With either sidekick or full gimbol

  1. How many primarily use the lens:

    Hand held?
    On a monopod?
    Tripod with ball head?
    Tripod with Sidekick?
    Tripod with gimbol?

    Will be getting my 200-400VR next week and am quite curious.


  2. Commodorefirst

    Commodorefirst Admin/Moderator Administrator

    May 1, 2005
    My ratio isn't up there,

    probably 50/50

    If it is static, tripod gimbal, if it is flying, handheld.


  3. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    Paul :

    Most of the time, handheld. At sunrise/sunset in decreased light, it could be a tripod or monopod, either with the Wimberley "Big Head".

    One thing's for sure, shooting with the 200-400mm AFS/VR is a great arm exercise tool !

    John P.
  4. gadgetguy11


    Nov 16, 2005
    Monopod every time, unless there is a compelling reason to reconsider. It is so much easier than setting up tripod legs walking for 6-7hrs. Yet takes weight off your back and shoulders when you shoot. I snap 2) camera straps end to end as a "backup" so they do not pull on my neck, but if something happened, the lens would only fall about a foot before the strap caught it.

    Check back in a couple weeks. I ordered the "big Wimberley" today, along with the new Gitzo with anti-rotation legs. This might increase my use with a tripod, not having to fool with a ball head, sidekick, and tripod legs that always seem to kick my *#@.
  5. DoorMan

    DoorMan Guest

    I shoot with the tripod and Wimberley most of the time. Handheld out the truck window with a bean bag works well also. I have used a monopod a few times.
  6. general


    Apr 30, 2005
    No hand held for me

    I cannot get a good picture hand held. Too old and weak, I guess. I have only used it on Kirk King Cobra and tripod. I do have a Wimberley 2 now and it will work. I suspect it would be fine on a monopod but I have not tried it.
  7. CAJames


    Sep 6, 2006
    Lompoc, CA
    For me its mostly on a monopod, although I'm getting better at hand held.
  8. I kow there are others out there! Please participate in the pole.

  9. GeeJay


    Jan 26, 2005
    I have had the 200-400vr for almost three years. It was one of my first lenses. Living in south Florida I've needed a good lens for the great birds we have down here.

    I am pretty old and female and still can get some good shots with it handheld. At least I know I can get them so can run out when I see a good bird in the backyard.

    When I go to Ding Darling or the Venice Rookery I set it up on my tripod with the Wimberley. That works very well. I don't use it much on the monopod but have done that. In that case I'd also use the Wimberley.

    My preferences would be the tripod/Wimberley first and handheld second.
    Many times when I use it handheld I'll sit down and use my knees as the tripod or I'll stand and lean up against a wall or tree.

    I would never let this great lens go. It is so versatile that it's become a good friend and I can count on it any way I use it. I would not use it on a ballhead because the Wimberley works very well and it is so secure.

  10. Your poll really doesn't work well for me, as both I and my wife use the lens at times. When we shoot together, she is the primary user of the lens, mostly on a tripod with a Jobu Jr. Compact Gimbal. Just a couple of weeks ago she learned to use it with a beanbag out the car window, he really cool close-up burrowing owl was shot this way. She never hand-holds the lens.

    I, on the other hand, use it as my "hand-hold" rig when I am out by myself. I just posted an Osprey thread today with several hand-held shots from the 200-400 when the 400+TC-17E was too "long". During youth sports I shoot it off a monopod almost exclusively, it is just too heavy to carry running up and down a field.
  11. Poll doesn't work for me either, there just isn't a primary since it depends on the conditions.

    If I know I'm going to be static like backyard boids it is on a Wimberley, if I'm mobil like the zoo or auto race it is a monopod.

  12. Don,

    Have you had good results handheld?


  13. Thanks GeeJay -- I'm leaning towards handheld and monopod intially.


  14. Thanks for the input, John. Now that you've got the big Wimberly, you'll have to get a 600mm AFS to really put it to use!

    Let me know how it goes.


  15. You sound like me ... I'm going handheld and monopod intially.


  16. yifeng


    Jan 23, 2007
    Paul, great thread here! Just like you, I'm waiting for my 200-400 arrival this week. I've just bought a sidekick here and a Arca Swiss Z1 for my 1325 tripod, and bought a RRS monopod head for my monopod. I'm also intended to try handheld to see if I could handle the weight. In some cases, I shoot through car window , can someone suggest what beanbag to use? Thanks for your help.
  17. gadgetguy11


    Nov 16, 2005

    I only consider VR telephoto lenses. The only VR telephoto I do not have (yet) that is on my "short list" is the 300/2.8. I won't consider the 400/2.8 , 500, or 600 until they are equipped with VR. I know my limitations (and they are severe)!
  18. GeeJay


    Jan 26, 2005
    You're really going to have to find out when you use it what works best for you. After reading through this thread I see that the lens works no matter how used. We each have our favorite way to use it. I also have used it through the car window on a beanbag. I forgot about that. The only way I havent' used it is on a ballhead. It just seems too big to do that and it feels very secure on the Wimberley. I have used it on the Sidekick and the Big Head..works fine on each of those.
  19. I have borrowed...so I wont vote but I can carry this lens with very nice results as long as there is decent light. With the 1.7 I went to the tripod...
  20. Bracer


    Feb 20, 2006
    Markham, Ontario
    I would say I use it in all 4 ways depending on the condition and really don't have a primary support. I used it quite a bit hand-held last summer getting shots of my son while he was waterskiing etc at the lake. For sports (hockey, lacrosse) I ususally use it on a monopod. Just the other day I put it on a ball head (because it was quickest) to get some photos of some wildlife that happened to wander into our backyard. If I am taking it out specifically to get wildlife shots I will use a Jobu BWG.
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