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Shutter speed question

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    ChrisV
    ChrisV  7782 forum posts United Kingdom26 Constructive Critique Points
    4 Feb 2013 - 3:01 PM

    Here's a question for the technically minded:

    In the days before image stablisation, we were always taught as a rule of thumb to match shutter speed in fractions of a second to zoom length. For example using a 'standard' 50mm lens it would be advisable to keep shutter speed to 1/50th or less [in practice 1/60th as the nearest increment].

    So the question is, does this hold true for any format, or where zoom range is expressed in 35mm equivalent should the shutter speed be adjusted to reflect the effective AoV?

    I would imagine as magnification is effectively increased, so would be the effect of camera shake. So for example on m4/3 a [completely] unstablised optic at 30mm [with therefore an effective AoV of 60mm] should ideally be kept to a minimum shutter speed of 1/60th?

    Or am I missing something?

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    mikehit
    mikehit  56435 forum posts United Kingdom9 Constructive Critique Points
    4 Feb 2013 - 3:10 PM

    As someone ponited out, 50mm lens on medium format film is a wide angl, so what formula do you apply?

    The 1/focal rule (guidance) was quoted for 35mm and no MF photographer would use it. What relevance it has to APS-C or MFT is open ot much discussion because people are so hooked up on the 'crop factor'. If people thought of APS-C as a completely different format all argument would disappear.

    My view FWIW is that if you out the same lens on APS-C and on 35mm, you have to magnify the APS-C more to create an A4 image and that magnification makes camera shake more obvious. Some respond that to make that 'same image' you would not use the same lens but would use a wider angle lens on APS-C which counteracts the magnification effect - however, there are times when you will the same lens whatever the sensor size. And it good to know the facts behind the rule so that you can make the nbest judgement to suit the circumstances.

    Last Modified By mikehit at 4 Feb 2013 - 3:10 PM
    paulcookphotography

    That 'rule' (or guideline) came about when most 35mm cameras and their lenses fitted approximately the same physical dimensions (as in, a 50mm on a canon body would be roughly the same size and weight as a 50mm on a nikon, minolta, olympus, etc) and gave a basic estimate of what speeds would give a sharp image of a fixed distance stationary object from a hand held camera.

    Obviously we all have differing abilities when it comes to hand held shots, aas well as different strengths and hand sizes, but it did give a starting point.

    These days, with so many different sizes and weights of cameras (even with in the dSLR banding), some with battery grips and some with less pronounced grips than others and completely different shooting styles (using the viewfinder or live view), the 'rule' doesnt quite work out the same

    samueldilworth


    Quote: I would imagine as magnification is effectively increased, so would be the effect of camera shake. So for example on m4/3 a [completely] unstablised optic at 30mm [with therefore an effective AoV of 60mm] should ideally be kept to a minimum shutter speed of 1/60th?

    Or am I missing something?

    You missed nothing. Thatís exactly it. Convert to 135-format equivalent focal length, and then apply the rule of thumb as usual.

    Of course even if you do that, the rule is only as useful today as it was in the past. If youíre hanging out of a helicopter shooting with one hand, shaking from caffeine overdose, and planning to make 1-metre exhibition-quality prints if you survive the flight, you might have to apply a small compensation factor.

    JackAllTog
    JackAllTog e2 Member 53615 forum postsJackAllTog vcard United Kingdom58 Constructive Critique Points
    4 Feb 2013 - 3:51 PM

    I think you are right Chris, The only rider I'd add is that's this is for static subjects - moving subjects still might blur if fast enough.

    ChrisV
    ChrisV  7782 forum posts United Kingdom26 Constructive Critique Points
    4 Feb 2013 - 4:04 PM

    Thanks guys - what I thought pretty much. It was only ever a rule of thumb and as they say YMMV and the point is well taken about the now much wider range of weights and sizes. Although of course there's probably an optimum size/weight and that will be whatever you feel most comfortable with.

    Very cold weather is also a bugger for hampering a steady hand.

    As for the last point Jack, I still find myself caught out every now and then by shooting with IS on on my 24-105L when photographing people. I find in normal situations unless you're going for completely posed shots 1/60th is still advisable even if they aren't rushing about...

    For that reason I'm not really all that fussed about having in-built IS on lenses of less than 70mm eq AoV.

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