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05-25-2013, 08:37 PM   #1
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Disable Shake Reduction when using tripod?

I have heard on this website and read in the K-5 operating manual that you should turn shake reduction off when using a tripod? Why? The camera can still move if wind is blowing, or when you manually press the shutter button, or even the motion of the mirror. Thanks for any help in understanding this.

05-25-2013, 09:18 PM   #2
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Test it yourself -- you'll find in most cases it works better off when on tripod. In high wind, maybe. The shake reduction only helps with "rotational" movements, not side-to-side and up-and-down vibrations, so it just depends. (This is counter-intuitive at first, since of course the SR itself is countering with side-to-side and up-and-down.) If you are really locked down (and using timer or remote) there is no question that it can introduce blur when it is on. If on tripod and you are getting wind vibrations, etc, your best defense is a fast shutter speed.
05-25-2013, 09:26 PM   #3
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The only testing I have done is using a remote control shutter release, which I believe automatically disables shake reduction. and then manually pressing the shutter button while using the tripod and shake reduction ON. The later test (manual shutter) came out sharper in all shots. Still don't understand what's going on here.
05-25-2013, 09:33 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by *Rich Quote
The only testing I have done is using a remote control shutter release, which I believe automatically disables shake reduction. and then manually pressing the shutter button while using the tripod and shake reduction ON. The later test (manual shutter) came out sharper in all shots. Still don't understand what's going on here.
Using the remote will disable the SR since it is assume you aren't holding the camera in these conditions. It is also disabled when using the self-timers as well. I can't claim I've looked at this issue in detail, but I've come to accept that the SR is trying to counter the types of vibrations that come from holding a camera whilst trying to activate the shutter release. That won't be the same type of motion as a bit of wind with a tripod (where the solution is really just to anchor the tripod so it doesn't move at all)

05-25-2013, 09:41 PM   #5
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What I meant to say was that I have conducted TWO tripod tests. One with a remote control shutter release, and the other test by manually depressing the shutter w. shake reduction ON. The second test yielded sharper photos than the first test. Go figure?
05-25-2013, 09:46 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by *Rich Quote
What I meant to say was that I have conducted TWO tripod tests. One with a remote control shutter release, and the other test by manually depressing the shutter w. shake reduction ON. The second test yielded sharper photos than the first test. Go figure?
Without seeing the photos, or at least knowing what the exposure settings were, we can't even speculate as to what might have happened.
05-25-2013, 09:50 PM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by *Rich Quote
What I meant to say was that I have conducted TWO tripod tests. One with a remote control shutter release, and the other test by manually depressing the shutter w. shake reduction ON. The second test yielded sharper photos than the first test. Go figure?
Lightweight tripod and slow shutter most likely, so you are getting too many vibrations (you may need to wait longer to fire the remote -- it can take 5 seconds or so for it to be still if you've been touching the camera and there is no other source of vibrations). If your camera has live view, turn it on and use the magnifying function and you'll be able to see the vibrations clearly from a few feet away. There is no law against using SR on the tripod, but if you really do have it locked down solid, the SR will introduce its own blur. If you don't, then it may be your hand actually steadying the camera more than the SR. You should try it with SR off (on tripod) but with manual (finger on shutter) release and see how that compares also...

05-25-2013, 10:23 PM   #8
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I always turn off SR when mounted to a tripod. If I forget to do it some images are ruined from excessive blurring. My understanding is that the tiniest shake in the tripod will cause SR to move the sensor, and the sensor movement causes another shake in the tripod, amplifying into an ugly feedback loop. In some cases this can even make the camera buzz.
05-25-2013, 11:59 PM   #9
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My guess is that the photographer's hands would dampen secondary movement caused by the sensor shifting, but the tripod would not. Also, SR might not help with the higher frequency vibrations encountered with tripod mounted photography. There should be no large amplitude movements when tripod mounted unless something is loose enough to allow twisting.
05-26-2013, 02:54 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by *Rich Quote
The only testing I have done is using a remote control shutter release, which I believe automatically disables shake reduction. and then manually pressing the shutter button while using the tripod and shake reduction ON. The later test (manual shutter) came out sharper in all shots. Still don't understand what's going on here.
Please tell which exposure times you were using.

If they were short, it shouldn't really matter whether SR was on or off as long as the camera was mounted on a tripod - could you show us some 100% crops from the two situations?

For long exposure times, which is what you would normally have when using a tripod, there is good reason to disable SR when the camera is mounted on a (sturdy) platform because small glitches in the accelerometer signal (and there will always be some noise in any electrical signal) may cause the SR servo mechanism's actuators to counteract on an assumed, small acceleration that wasn't really there.
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