The Nikon AI-S Nikkor 600mm F/4 ED-IF manual focus telephoto prime lens was manufactured between 1982 and 1986. The lens is 1.64 feet long and weighs 13 lbs with a Nikon TC-300 teleconverter attached. No vibration reduction is available on older Nikon lenses. The increased image magnification of a 2x teleconverter coupled with the long 600mm lens amplifies the slightest camera movement and causes image blurring.
I employed a tripod with gimbal head to hold the lens steady enough to eliminate camera shake. My WH-200 Wimberley gimbal head which has a 100 lbs load capacity weighs 3.15 lbs. My Nikon D850 camera weighs 2.2 lbs. Therefore the total tripod load is around 18 lbs. A handy rule of thump is, tripod load should minimally equal two times the actual load. In this case the actual load is 18 lbs, therefore 18 lbs x 2 = 36 lbs. My tripod’s load capacity of 88 lbs exceeds the rule of thumb by 52 lbs. The tripod in conjunction with the Wimberley gimbal head holds the 13 lbs lens steady.
In addition, to eliminate the need to touch the camera, and risk camera shake a Nikon MC-30a remote trigger release was employed to render this photograph.