It’s been a bit of a wait to get decent wind and light and I have spent the down time balancing the rig and trying to fathom the mysteries of AF-S (Nikons autofocus method for the D5100) . I have got the rig weight down to 1.25Kg now and when I can get hold of an LiFe Rx battery it will come down a bit more. So off I set into a choppy Easterly and go through the drill:
Tx on, Rig on, Plug in AV-out cable, Camera on, VRx on, set shutter release to ‘instantaneous’ remote ( and hope I can get shooting in less than 15mins or it will re-set automatically) ISO 500, Shutter priority- 1/250th, Focus mode – single point, algin polarising filter to horizon…launch kite….….check tilt servo for overrun….In the panic over the weight of this camera I have made some decisions which go against my practice with smaller cameras so far:
1. Use of Picavet suspension. I find the stability of pan movements much more stable with a pendulum, there is no backlash when the pan stops- it’s all very wobbly with the Picavet…and my rig is dependant on a knotted loop of line for security too- I’m happier with a well placed steel pin as the weakest link!
2. Use of IR shutter release. This is much lighter (and simpler) than a shutter servo but it means single shot mode only- no ‘burst’ mode ( this is a great shame becasue the D5100 will shoot at 4fps in burst)…and it will cut off if no shots are taken for 15mins.
So I’m begining to ask myself: ‘is it worth it?’ the shot to shot time in live view is awful as I’m forced to wait 3 s in review mode (or not have the review at all) and handling the weight takes quite a bit of the fun out of flying the kite. But when I check over the contents of the SD card I can see the point:
Of a strip of 177 shots I have the usual batch of 10 or so motion blur failures, a lot of very poorly framed shots (the wind was all over the place), some mysterious autofocus fails …. and and handfull of pure gold!