Monday, January 10, 2011

Real world test of the Targus P60T with the Opteka TS-1

I had a great weekend.  Mom and the kids were visiting grandpa and grandma, leaving me time to work on some photo projects.  One of the projects was to take some real world shots with the Opteka TS-1 Ball Head and Targus P60T Tripod combination.

I decided to visit a picturesque spot along the Pacific Highway that I hadn't been to in almost a decade.  I barely got there in time for the sunset.  Gear in tow, I looked for a spot where I could set up.  I found a pretty good spot but got drenched waist-deep by a large wave.  Fortunately my cameras didn't get wet.  (My cell phone did but it survived.) 

I found a drier spot on a nearby boulder.  Thanks to the P60T's and TS-1's versatility, I was able to frame the shot the way I wanted while keeping the camera stable.

As the sun dipped below the horizon and sunset gave way to dusk, I decided to try a long exposure (30 secs).
(BTW, the ambient light was much dimmer than is shown in this photo - it was actually dark enough that it was getting hard to see, although the last rays of sunset were still visible in the horizon.)

The shot looked ok on the preview screen but when I checked it on my 'puter it was blurred.  Here's a crop of a small section of the photo.

I was kinda disappointed.  I didn't expect to see any such blurring at 17mm (24mm equivalent) in landscape orientation.  However, I had taken another 30-second exposure (with the tripod resting on sand).

 (Note: This one was taken when it was already night time, with just the barest hint of sunset visible.)

Close examination of a crop shows no perceptible blurring from movement.  BTW, the image itself is not sharp because I had to do significant editing (pushing exposure 2.7 stops for example).

I plan to conduct a more scientific test of sag and creep, and the TS-1 / P60T combination's stability.

BTW, if you looked closely at the tripod shot, you may have noticed the camera looks a little different from the D300 or D70.  That's because it's my $35 full-frame camera :) which I will blog about next.