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07-11-2015, 11:12 AM   #1
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K3ii shutter vibration.

Can anyone with a K3ii test whether shutter vibration is different than the K3?

I put my K3 on a solid tripod, long lens, then using an IR remote took shots from 1/50 to 1/2500 shutter speed. The harmonic will be different with each lens, but there was a noticeable softness below 1/1000 and quite soft below 1/250. Live view on the K3 has negligable vibration.

I'm curious if there has been any changes.

07-11-2015, 01:55 PM   #2
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07-11-2015, 02:40 PM   #3
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Thanks.
07-11-2015, 09:55 PM   #4
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I was going to ask you whether you had shake resistance (SR) on at the time? That doesn't do well when a camera is tripod mounted. But I just checked on my K-3 and it appears that selecting remote control disables SR by default. So there went my cunning Theory A as to explain what you are observing. Theory B was that you were outside and some breeze was creating a little bit of flutter with the long lens. But you indicate that live view was showing a stable image, so Theory B isn't looking too good either! I ask though if you were using magnified live view to determine the absence of camera movement, as the full 10x magnification can be very revealing as to the amount of low amplitude flutter occurring.

Additional Question: you can use remote control with and without mirror lock up. Which of the two were you using? The answer may be informative as to whether mirror movement is the culprit.


Last edited by southlander; 07-12-2015 at 05:25 AM.
07-12-2015, 06:05 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by derekkite Quote
Can anyone with a K3ii test whether shutter vibration is different than the K3?

I put my K3 on a solid tripod, long lens, then using an IR remote took shots from 1/50 to 1/2500 shutter speed. The harmonic will be different with each lens, but there was a noticeable softness below 1/1000 and quite soft below 1/250. Live view on the K3 has negligable vibration.

I'm curious if there has been any changes.
I haven't seen any indication that the K3II uses a different shutter/mirror mechanism, so it seems unlikely that there will be any difference, as Adam suggests. However, one thing which would make a difference is the electronic shutter available on the II. I haven't been able to determine whether ES can be engaged for normal shooting though, or whether it is only available in pixel shift mode. If it's the former, then this should completely eliminate any vibration problems, if used with mirror lock. Your only problem would be rolling shutter effect in moving subjects. If it's the latter, it could still be used but you would have to extract a single frame from the (very large) raw file.

However, given your description of the difference between live view and viewfinder shooting, it sounds like the vibrations you are getting are coming from the mirror not the shutter, assuming you weren't using mirror lock. If so you should try using mirror lock when shooting through the viewfinder.

Another thing you could try is to engage SR, which may actually help in the higher shutter speeds, despite this being contrary to popular wisdom that you should not use SR on a tripod.

Finally, changing the resonance characteristics of your tripod support could help. A very heavy and solid setup transmits the first vibration back to the camera quicker than a sloppy setup, meaning that the camera can actually move more within very short exposures. It's worth doing some further tests at the higher speeds either with a lighter tripod or with the column extended. I have also found that it's better at the higher speeds to use the normal shutter release and actually apply some downwards pressure to the camera. You will get more movement overall, but potentially less within the short exposure period.
07-12-2015, 06:48 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by southlander Quote
I was going to ask you whether you had shake resistance (SR) on at the time? That doesn't do well when a camera is tripod mounted. But I just checked on my K-3 and it appears that selecting remote control disables SR by default. So there went my cunning Theory A as to explain what you are observing. Theory B was that you were outside and some breeze was creating a little bit of flutter with the long lens. But you indicate that live view was showing a stable image, so Theory B isn't looking too good either! I ask though if you were using magnified live view to determine the absence of camera movement, as the full 10x magnification can be very revealing as to the amount of low amplitude flutter occurring.

Additional Question: you can use remote control with and without mirror lock up. Which of the two were you using? The answer may be informative as to whether mirror movement is the culprit.
No SR, no mirror up. I can feel the clunk when I trigger the shutter. I was trying to figure out why some shots were soft, and if I increase the shutter speed or use live view when I'm in those ranges, the images are sharp. Live view is similar to mirror up.

Last edited by derekkite; 07-12-2015 at 07:22 AM.
07-12-2015, 06:52 AM   #7
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Here's a diagram to show what I mean here. It's not scientific but hopefully illustrates the principles at play. I have done quite a lot of testing for vibration (and trying to get around it), so this is based on some practical knowledge.
Attached Images
 
07-12-2015, 07:15 AM   #8
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Interesting stuff, jonby. My experience (not with the K3ii specifically) is in-line with what you are saying. With long lenses or equivalents (using TCs) -- say 500mm+ -- I find that unless I'm on something absolutely rock-solid (like an actual rock) that I get the best results with shorter shutter speeds triggering by hand as opposed to hands-free using a remote. So even on the big heavy tripod I get more blur-free shots with my hand on the shutter (and sometimes my other hand sort extended and resting on top of the lens). And using SR with a setting from 66%-75% of the true value (which you can only do with a manual focus set-up unfortunately) often helps as well. (When using one of Q-series with a long lens, I find an SR setting greater than 100% works for me.)

I read something on this forum once (don't remember the poster) that said they had good results using a bag of liquid (probably a sealed melted icepack?) draped over the front barrel (or attached with a rubber band or something) of their long lenses giving it a water stabilization -- been meaning to try that. It hadn't occurred to me to try a *less* stable tripod. I do not have a carbon fiber tripod (although it is on my list). Carbon fiber is somewhat of a natural vibration absorber compared to other materials, so I would think that a CF tripod would be an improvement all else being equal.

07-12-2015, 07:16 AM   #9
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Sorry, this is all new info to me???..... No SR when using a tripod? Does this affect the overall results of an image if SR is on when you are using a tripod? I have always had SR engaged in my K5 and k10 and have never ever noticed a problem.!
07-12-2015, 07:25 AM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mattox Quote
Sorry, this is all new info to me???..... No SR when using a tripod? Does this affect the overall results of an image if SR is on when you are using a tripod? I have always had SR engaged in my K5 and k10 and have never ever noticed a problem.!
If you use drive modes like remote control or self-timer, SR automatically turns off -- so in some cases on the tripod it may have turned off without you knowing it. If it is in normal single-shot or continuous mode where you are hand-activating the shutter, in most circumstances you should turn it off when on tripod (however really long lenses can be a different beast as we are discussing). The SR detects and compensates for *rotational* movements (i.e. tiny rotations that can have big effects on the image), whereas on a tripod you don't have these movements and the tiny vibrations you do have it isn't designed to correct for. Also, when it is locked down on the tripod, the SR tends to "find" vibrations and attempt to correct for them (probably some sort of feedback loop with itself) and so the SR itself can add blur to the image...
07-12-2015, 07:35 AM   #11
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Thanks, very helpful info. I will take not as I am practically a full time tripod user. Sorry to have mildly changed the subject forum. I am sorry I have no experience with the k3's so I cannot contribute
07-12-2015, 07:58 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by jonby Quote
Here's a diagram to show what I mean here. It's not scientific but hopefully illustrates the principles at play. I have done quite a lot of testing for vibration (and trying to get around it), so this is based on some practical knowledge.
Yes, it is informative. Essentially any structure will have a frequency, and the shutter/mirror shock will set it up. For a sharp photo you want the transmitted vibration to be at a longer frequency than the shutter speed. Or lower amplitude. Leaning my arm over the lens changes the frequency and amplitude, as will weight hanging from the bottom. Handheld also changes the wave form.

This came up for me when I was shooting the 1.4tc and DA*300mm. I was having trouble getting decent results. I had a Vanguard tripod at the time, and set things up to test for focus accuracy. The first shot told me what was happening; it was soft from movement blur. The longer lens with two mounts on a light gimbal and light tripod created an awful vibration. The 300 alone was fine. A new tripod and lens (Sigma 500mm f4.5) as well as a heavier gimbal setup created a different vibration frequency situation.

The K5 has a different character as well; the mirror is less, but live view is more. The K3 is opposite, the mirror is the clunky, but the shutter is very light with little vibration. I noticed early on that I couldn't get the sharp low light low shutter speed shots with the K3 and DA*300 handheld with SR that I could with the K5. 1/100 to 1/250 seemed to be the worse range. Not good for flash photography. If I keep the shutter speed above 1/1250 there is little vibration, and it can be handled at lower speed with dampening techniques.

My question was whether anything had changed with the K3II. It seems not. I'm not certain if SR would counteract this movement.
07-12-2015, 08:19 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by vonBaloney Quote
And using SR with a setting from 66%-75% of the true value (which you can only do with a manual focus set-up unfortunately) often helps as well.
Yes I was thinking that it would be better to set SR to a lower than normal value, since it is designed for hand-holding, where the amplitude of movement is going to much greater than using the hand-triggered-on-a-tripod method. I haven't tested this though.

QuoteOriginally posted by vonBaloney Quote
I read something on this forum once (don't remember the poster) that said they had good results using a bag of liquid (probably a sealed melted icepack?) draped over the front barrel (or attached with a rubber band or something) of their long lenses giving it a water stabilization -- been meaning to try that.
That sounds like it could help. Something with some internal resonance which actually absorbs and counters the vibration is what's needed generally, and this could help with that. Heavy solid objects above the shoulder of the tripod slow and lengthen the vibration rather than actually counteracting it. This should in theory work for higher shutter speeds, but could potentially make things worse for lower speeds. All in all, vibration and its affect on images is very complex and every camera/lens/support system combination will behave differently so it's pretty hard to develop a strategy which works all the time. Thankfully shutter vibration is pretty low in recent Pentax DSLRs, so if you are shooting static subjects and can use mirror lockup it's much less of a problem than it used to be.

---------- Post added 07-12-15 at 08:27 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by derekkite Quote
My question was whether anything had changed with the K3II. It seems not.
Would the electronic shutter with mirror lock option be of any use? I'm guessing not because you will be shooting moving subjects.
07-12-2015, 09:47 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by jonby Quote
Yes I was thinking that it would be better to set SR to a lower than normal value, since it is designed for hand-holding, where the amplitude of movement is going to much greater than using the hand-triggered-on-a-tripod method. I haven't tested this though.



That sounds like it could help. Something with some internal resonance which actually absorbs and counters the vibration is what's needed generally, and this could help with that. Heavy solid objects above the shoulder of the tripod slow and lengthen the vibration rather than actually counteracting it. This should in theory work for higher shutter speeds, but could potentially make things worse for lower speeds. All in all, vibration and its affect on images is very complex and every camera/lens/support system combination will behave differently so it's pretty hard to develop a strategy which works all the time. Thankfully shutter vibration is pretty low in recent Pentax DSLRs, so if you are shooting static subjects and can use mirror lockup it's much less of a problem than it used to be.

---------- Post added 07-12-15 at 08:27 AM ----------



Would the electronic shutter with mirror lock option be of any use? I'm guessing not because you will be shooting moving subjects.
Live view, which on the k3 is mirror lock - close shutter - expose - open shutter is very smooth, almost as good as mirror up. But it is only useful for static or near static subjects while tripod mounted. I got a shot this morning, 1/320 Iso 400 f5.6, all sweet spots for exposure. Continuous shooting, a few had movement when the osprey turned its head.

It is when using the gimbal function to follow action, where preventing movement means missing a shot where knowing the vibration characteristics is important. I typically have a minimum of 1/1250 up to 1/2500 depending on the light, usually 1600 Iso maximum.

I talked to a fellow who shoots the DA560 and he has a lens support kit to improve stability. Instead of the single point mount using the lens tripod mount, there is a long bar with the support points; on the body, the lens mount and a cradle arrangement as far forward on the lens as possible. All this on a heavy Wimberley gimbal and Gitzo tripod. Comes with Sherpa.

I suspect, worth some investigation, that the lens mount is a weak spot, and there may be something lighter that could stabilize it. Marginal gains make a big difference, shifting the resonance out of your normal exposure range.
07-12-2015, 10:39 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by derekkite Quote
Live view, which on the k3 is mirror lock - close shutter - expose - open shutter is very smooth, almost as good as mirror up. But it is only useful for static or near static subjects while tripod mounted. I got a shot this morning, 1/320 Iso 400 f5.6, all sweet spots for exposure. Continuous shooting, a few had movement when the osprey turned its head.

It is when using the gimbal function to follow action, where preventing movement means missing a shot where knowing the vibration characteristics is important. I typically have a minimum of 1/1250 up to 1/2500 depending on the light, usually 1600 Iso maximum.

I talked to a fellow who shoots the DA560 and he has a lens support kit to improve stability. Instead of the single point mount using the lens tripod mount, there is a long bar with the support points; on the body, the lens mount and a cradle arrangement as far forward on the lens as possible. All this on a heavy Wimberley gimbal and Gitzo tripod. Comes with Sherpa.

I suspect, worth some investigation, that the lens mount is a weak spot, and there may be something lighter that could stabilize it. Marginal gains make a big difference, shifting the resonance out of your normal exposure range.
Thanks for this info. Sounds like you are doing all that can be done to address the problem.
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