Tips for Using Long Lenses with Tripod and a Gimbal

On this video wildlife and nature photographer Steve Perry (from backcountrygallery) demonstrates how he works with long telephoto lenses on a tripod and gives some important tips based on his long experience.

Perry has been working for years a a pro wildlife photographer and has a great deal of experience. We can tell you, based on our own experience with using many long telephoto lenses (see for example our recent review of the Nikon 200-500mm lens) that the longer the focal range the more careful you need to be when it comes to stabilization. On the other hand if you don’t have the flexibility to move – especially for wildlife and bird photography – you will loose images.

Perry’s method is pretty simple – he uses a heavy duty tripod with a gimbal head (he uses Wimberlly – you can check out our review of the very lightweight Zenelli CARBONZX – carbon fiber gimbal). The main tip of this video has to do with the way you hold the system – one the one side you need to put your hand on the lens body (not holding it just applying a little bit of pressure) and on the camera side you need to apply a little bit of pressure to the eyepiece.

In order to reduce vibration you should shoot in short bursts (use the continuous high mode on your camera) and make sure you squeeze the shutter release gently and don’t move your finger from it after shooting too quickly.

All these things might sound minor but the combination of all of them will give you a better success rate and more keepers – and this is just the name of the game in wildlife photography.

If you liked this video there are two other video by Perry which you might want to watch – “How To Use AF-On And Back Button Autofocus” and “Super Tip: Manual Mode With Auto ISO“. We can vague for both videos and we have been using the techniques Perry suggest for quite some time with great success so give them a try and see if they work for you.

You can check out many more helpful photography tips on our Photography tips section here on LensVid. We have a special page dedicated to all of Perry ‘s videos which you can find here.
Iddo Genuth
Iddo Genuth is the founder and chief editor of He has been a technology reporter working for international publications since the late 1990's and covering photography since 2009. Iddo is also a co-founder of a production company specializing in commercial food and product visual content.

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