Long lenses magnify. Thats their main job. A 500mm lens offers 10x magnification when compared to a 50mm lens. Any mistakes you would make with a 50mm lens are magnified 10 times with a 500mm lens. Most problems associated with getting sharp images with long lenses are associated with vibration. Vibration can come from many sources. Wind is a major culprit. A tripod thats not sturdy enough for the lens mounted to it is a major cause of vibration. An inadequate tripod head is also a common source of vibration. So, when using a long lens, one of your primary concerns is to reduce or eliminate vibration.
Probably the simplest method is to add your own weight to the lens by placing a hand on the top of the lens and leaning into it. Press your eye to the viewfinder, (a large, rubber eyecup like the ones Hoodman sells work well here) further adding your mass to the camera. When tripping the shutter, don’t stab at it, squeeze gently. Roll your finger across the shutter button for best results……
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