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Those shots were presumably taken from a motorway bridge (?).
If that's the case, are you sure that it's not the bridge that's vibrating?
There was a thread on here a while ago, in which someone was looking for pitfalls before attempting some shots like these and the possibility of the traffic causing movement in the bridge was considered a valid point.
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The IS on my 28-135 would probably give a circular movement, as I recall you can actually see it moving, (haven't used it for years) but it should definitely be switched off.
This looks to me like the tripod might have taken a knock. I have a similar looking one trying to photograph satellites from the Cascade mountains in Oregon - nice and dark, but you keep tripping over the tripod legs
(some clarification on my post above - if the IS were constantly hunting, everything in the shot would show the same movement. Since the bits that are not illuminated are mostly in focus, it implies that for most of the duration of the shot, the camera was still. The lights are bright enough to record movement over a short duration).
I agree with Bri that the camera has moved during exposure, but it must have been at the beginning or end of the time exposure as otherwise the dimly lit sign would have generated a double image.
Nope, it could have been any time, as long as the tripod came back to it's original location....
True, but is it likely?
And the OP has said that it's a cheapo tripod, so the odds are agin it.
Perhaps I should have said 'probably at the beginning........'
Regarding the hanging sandbag option, I've never seen any reference to the risk of blur due of low frequency oscillation of the sandbag OK, I'm nit picking but ........
Looks like your tripod's not up to the task as there's a lot of movement in the first shot.
I used to have a 28-135mm and I always turned the IS off on the tripod.
Set the ISO to 6400 and a very slow shutter in Liveview. This will give you enough light on the screen to zoom in and focus.
Then set your ISO back to 100 together with the appropriate shutter speed.
Don't extend the tripod legs and column to the maximum as this will make a cheaper tripod unstable in crosswinds. I sometimes use my body as a shield.
Place the tripod on a higher point so you can keep the legs shorter and more rigid.
Best of all, invest in a good tripod as it will make life so much easier in the long run.
Looks like the camera moved to me, too. I had (well, still have but don't use it any more) a cheap Cobra tripod - looks great, black aluminium etc. but the central colum is wobbly. If it's tightened hard and kept low, not much of a problem, but is easily disturbed.
The arc is rather interesting (there is evident blurring of the red circle on the left of the road-sign that follows the same pattern as the lights), looks like it moved down and to the right, but...perhaps the head was not tightly in position and so on.
anyway, I rather like the effect, but perhaps it can be avoided by merely ensuring that everything is well-tightened before each shot?
*edited to add - for night shots (which I haven't taken for ages) I tended to find something solid to rest the camera on, like a wall or whatever, rather than use a tripod.
Strangely enough my last night shots were over the A406 from a pedestrian bridge. I used a fairly light weight tripod for one session, my heavy manfrotto for another and the bridge rail for another (I'd forgotten to change the tripod head fixing from giotto to manfrotto... doh ). The latter suffered from bridge vibration and gave a lovely fuzziness to the images!!. The others were fine..... well, sharp anyway. I sometimes forget to switch the IS off on my Canon lenses (7D body) and have not noticed any appreciable difference in the image quality. I've not tried mirror lock, nor time delay so cannot comment on that. The remote release is a must for me.
The first image definitely shows signs of movement. Was it taken from a pedestrian bridge or traffic as well. A passing van or lorry would create a vibration and/or draft of air sufficient to knock the camera.
This shot was taken from a bridge,I had discounted some earlier"fails" due to vans,buses going past. So to sum up;
1) ensure tripod is secure and if possible as low as possible.
2) Weigh tripod down from centre hook,ensuring weight does not swing.
3 be aware that if taking shots from a bridge then vibration may be detected .
4) turn off IS.
5) use time delay though it may not have any great effect.
6) ensure that autofocus is turned off and manual focussing is sharp.
7) invest in bean bag (or similar) or sturdier tripod
8) If all else fails and image still appears fuzzy the call it "a creative image"
A million thanks guys.
From the example looks like the tripod head isn't sturdy enough. I had similar problem 2 or 3 years back.
I agree with Mike re: the 1st shot. I don't see any evidence of camera movement on image 2 - where are you looking?
I'd use a cable release rather than the timer delay....
As it says buy the pictures:
Quote: one came OK,the other has the problem
use a remote release or a longer delay,2 secs not enough after pressing shutter,this happened to me.
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