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02-09-2015, 01:09 PM   #1
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Shutter vibration test

I've run into some issues with vibration from the shutter, and have been looking for time to test things out. I was out this morning, there wasn't any wildlife around, so I set up on a sign 30 meters away and shot through the shutter speeds to see what it looked like. Of course this is also a test of the hardware platform.

K-3, Tv mode from 1/20 to 1/4000. Iso and aperture floating. It was dull and grey, no wind, and some of the difference will be aperture or iso noise. But it definitely shows some bad vibrations.

Sigma 500 f4.5 lens.

Jobu Design BWG-2 gimbal with the HD-2 swing arm. Feisol 3372 tripod. The folder has a photo of the setup.

I set the shutter speed, let it sit for a few seconds, then triggered with IR from an app in my phone.

Here is the folder. I won't post the photos here. Click on photo details and you will see the exif data containing shutter speed. The photo is a substantial crop of the original with no sharpening, just base curve and crop.

https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/101688500536284805756/albums/6113931208636860305

1/20 to 1/80 has a shake, 1/25 particularly bad. It smooths out a 1/100 seems to get a bit sharper at 1/640. 1/800-1/1250 are a bit softer, then it sharpens up at 1/1600 and gets marginally better from there to 1/4000.

This is what I found in practice. Sometimes I needed to slow the shutter down in low light, and 1/250 was pretty good. But slow below 1/100 was always unsatisfactory. I usually shoot around 1/800 or 1/1000 and have to dampen the thing with my arm, and have noticed at 1/1600 it gets nice.

I suspect the vibration ranges would be different with other lenses. I had some real difficulty at 1/180 with a different setup, now I'm thinking it was shutter vibration.

02-09-2015, 01:37 PM   #2
dms
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You may want to look up an article in a magazine that was called photo techniques--I believe. Maybe a decade or two ago. It had a rather extensive article on test results for shutter vibration. It may have useful ideas for you. If I find it I will give the specifics. The author tested three different cameras w/ three different FL lenses, as I recall, under different tripod setups.

In those tests and/or other commentary from the 1970's I recall on the order of 1/4 to 1/100 sec. was worse, and the value peaked at different speeds depending on the camera model. But it also depends on the mass of the system, and whether it is rigid or energy absorbing as with the fleshy parts of the hand.

However, the return to unsharpness at much higher speeds is not something I had heard about. If you have access to another K-3 you may want to do a test with a platform and both under near to identical conditions, to rule out malfunctioning of your K-3/missing a mirror bumper, etc.. If you haven't looked at it--Falconeye also did testing of the K-7 and as I recall the K-20d and/or the K-5, and put up a white paper on it on the internet.

Last edited by dms; 02-09-2015 at 02:24 PM. Reason: Fixed Model from K-x to K-7/mirror not shutter bumper
02-09-2015, 01:49 PM   #3
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Good test Derek, your pics show very well the deleterious effect of vibrations.

Have you seen this:
Mirror Lock Up - photo.net

I also came across an old academic article, the researcher had set about eliminating vibrations by rejigging the tripod mount so that the camera + lens was mounted so that the mirror was located directly at the centre of gravity on the tripod. The point being to eliminate any moments of inertia. The rig was pretty simple - a long extension plate and a counterweight. I thought I had a copy of this but can't find it.

In any case the faster the shutter speeds the better...
02-09-2015, 01:56 PM   #4
dms
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BTW the swing arm may act similar to an extended center column on a tripod, which is much worse for vibrations, and if you didn't try it, you may want to repeat the tests with a standard head.

Also maybe platform and a sand bag under and on top of the lens which may be more ideal.

These will not help you for your normal setup but will provide food for thought and what other more optimum tripod/head/lens combinations may yield.

02-09-2015, 02:24 PM   #5
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It confirmed pretty closely what I had experienced in shooting. At certain shutter speeds I could feel the vibration.

---------- Post added 02-09-15 at 01:33 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by dms Quote
BTW the swing arm may act similar to an extended center column on a tripod, which is much worse for vibrations, and if you didn't try it, you may want to repeat the tests with a standard head.

Also maybe platform and a sand bag under and on top of the lens which may be more ideal.

These will not help you for your normal setup but will provide food for thought and what other more optimum tripod/head/lens combinations may yield.
Indeed, but those are real world shooting situations. I upgraded my gimbal and tripod to get something stiffer. Common practice is to use your arm on top of the lens to dampen vibrations, which has worked for me. Some circumstances such as very far away shots, handheld, or awkward shooting scenarios like from a vehicle, it is handy to know the ranges where best results can be had.

I want to further the test at lower speeds in conditions where the diaphragm actuation is not added. As well as test other focal lengths. I do have a second body, interesting to see if there is a difference.
02-09-2015, 03:05 PM   #6
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So I understand that you are not using a 3s delay with the remote? I.e not MUP? Or did you use LV?
02-09-2015, 03:42 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tjompen1968 Quote
So I understand that you are not using a 3s delay with the remote?
My question as well. SR, if enabled, will degrade performance when the camera is tripod mounted. I would also suggest that the gimbal head may amplify whatever vibrations may be present. As marcusBMG suggests, the setup is important.


Steve
02-09-2015, 04:13 PM   #8
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No sr. No mirror up.

There are lots of ways around this, but if I'm tracking a bird across the sky mirror up, live view and bags of sand mean that I don't get any shots. At all. This is a reflection of conditions I face in the field.

02-09-2015, 04:18 PM   #9
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Remote trigger puts the SR off anyways. Question is if it is delayed remote trigger or immediate remote trigger.
02-09-2015, 08:41 PM   #10
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When I was shooting with the K5 I would get low shutter speed, 1/30, 1/60 second exposure handheld and they would be sharp. Since shooting with the K3 those shots would be soft, unpleasant as motion blur is. Now I see what is happening.

I'm not complaining, it is a matter of adjusting. The platform I have is pretty solid, a different lens would have a different harmonic.

I think I will try with the 300mm as well as some shorter lenses.

---------- Post added 02-09-15 at 07:46 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by JinDesu Quote
Remote trigger puts the SR off anyways. Question is if it is delayed remote trigger or immediate remote trigger.
Immediate. SR is off. I was testing vibrations of the normal shutter actuation. Mirror up and live view are less prone to vibration, but not useful in many shooting situations.

In retrospect I have been fighting with this since I acquired the K3.

Last edited by derekkite; 02-10-2015 at 07:40 AM.
02-09-2015, 08:56 PM   #11
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I think shutter vibration might be a misnomer if you are using the immediate remote trigger, because then mirror impact would affect it. Not saying that it's not an issue, just saying that it's more than just the shutter.
02-10-2015, 10:57 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by JinDesu Quote
I think shutter vibration might be a misnomer if you are using the immediate remote trigger, because then mirror impact would affect it. Not saying that it's not an issue, just saying that it's more than just the shutter.
Not much question about it, this surely is mostly related to mirror shake. I have no idea if the K-3 is a poorer than average performer in this regard. Naturally 24mp brings it to our attention more readily than 16mp or less. For some time, I shot with the K30 and the K-01 pretty much interchangeably and had the nagging feeling that at typical shutter speeds (about 1/50th to 1/200th most of the time), the K-01 was a bit sharper performer. Again, I suspect mirror as the main factor. Personally, I've seen some signs of vibration at about 1/80-1/100 on the K-3 images. These are usually handheld shots with lenses below 60mm, so not likely to be user incurred.

If the K-5 (series) is better than the K-3 in this regard, we have some considerable compromises in both cameras. K-5 wins on stability (lack of vibration) and dynamic range while the K-3 provides better AF and resolution. As a TAv user, I'm also a bit disappointed that the K-3 has a tendency to blow highlights in high contrast situations; I'm often dialing in 2/3rds of a stop underexposure.
02-10-2015, 12:31 PM   #13
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Oddly the k3 is better in live view than the k5, but the shutter on the k5 is better.
02-10-2015, 12:36 PM   #14
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I skipped the K-5 series because I needed useable LV and focus peaking for various MF lenses - especially for extreme low light concert work. With a good LCD loupe on the K-01, that probably remains my best option given the accuracy of focus with very fast lenses, and low shadow noise. In all other regards, the K-5 series is really fine - but not best for me.
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