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01-21-2011, 07:27 PM   #1
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What's the slowest Shutter Speed you use for handheld shots?

What's the longest shutter speed you feel comfortable shooting handheld?

01-21-2011, 07:32 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by mojoe_24 Quote
What's the longest shutter speed you feel comfortable shooting handheld?
rule of thumb is 1/FL... I can actually hold it 1 stop slower than that and still get pretty sharp pictures.. but i really have to concentrate on it, if it's too long i'll just pop it on a tripod, plus if you're shooting people that moves you can't use slow shutter so that kinda defeat the purpose.
01-21-2011, 07:41 PM   #3
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I used to be a target shooter - my hands are pretty steady. With anything 50 or under (and SR...) I'm comfortable shooting as low as 1/8 or so. I will take a bunch of shots at those speeds, though, to make sure I get a sharp one. And I'll do some unorthodox body stacking to brace my arms. With Tele's it's too variable to call. And the motion of the subject usually does more determining anyway.
01-21-2011, 07:52 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by sgtkashim Quote
I used to be a target shooter - my hands are pretty steady. With anything 50 or under (and SR...) I'm comfortable shooting as low as 1/8 or so. I will take a bunch of shots at those speeds, though, to make sure I get a sharp one. And I'll do some unorthodox body stacking to brace my arms. With Tele's it's too variable to call. And the motion of the subject usually does more determining anyway.
i just don't breath while taking a shot, make myself perfectly still (well not perfect but you get the point).

01-21-2011, 07:55 PM   #5
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The venerable rule of 1/FL (FL is 35mm-format FOV) still applies.

Pentax in-body SR gives you extra 1 - 2 stops.
01-21-2011, 08:27 PM   #6
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With the 15mm, I'll brace my arms on my chest, breathe out and squeeze....down to 1/3 or 1/2. Don't need to anymore though with the k5.
01-21-2011, 08:48 PM   #7
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With my Sigma 18-200, at the 200 end I prefer to shoot at faster than 1/90 sec (which is the easy zone), but as it gets dark around I can push that down to 1/20, or, to my displeasure, 1/8 second. This is hard and uncomfortable, however, and I only do it because it is a slow lens (f6.3 at 200, f5.6 at 60 or above).

Just use whatever speed you personally can cope with (it's an individual thing). Hope that helps.
01-21-2011, 09:24 PM   #8
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Unlike the camera, though, you can upgrade your own SR with practice. I finally found a use for all the tai chi classes my wife forced me to attend.

01-21-2011, 10:27 PM   #9
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Hand holding at low shutter speeds

I can easily get down to 1/8th of a second using a few techniques.

1. Pistol grip- I made this one myself from scrap mahogany (has a nice feel to it), scrap aluminum stock and a purchased ball head. They are also available commercially. I can shoot Portrait or Landscape easily and get down to 1/8th of a second with a normal or short telephoto without a problem. With longer lenses (up to a 500mm mirror) I can shoot down to about 1/125 or 1/60. But I also need to do more.


Pistol Grip - BigDave's Album: Equipment - PentaxForums.com

2. Proper body control- if you have ever shot a pistol for accurate target shooting, it helps and you know what I mean.

Breathing- slow, steady and don't breath during the shot (inhale, exhale half, steady, shoot). The steady, shoot part is easier to do when shooting guns as you do not need the subject to get into a good pose before pulling the trigger!

Bracing for the shot- Using additional support to steady the hand- a tree, wall, etc. Use it to steady the body too- lean against the tree or building. For longer lenses, brace under the lens to support the weight more evenly.

Trigger Finger- move it softly and smoothly- do not jerk it down to take the shot. Also, the only part of you that should move when you take the shot is the tip of your finger. Many people do not realize how much of the hand they are moving when they are just trying to push a button! This takes a bit of practice to get it right. I have seen some move their whole upper body and they wonder why the shot was blurry!

Body position- Use your body to brace itself. If you are bracing the lens with your hand, pull your elbow into your body to brace your hand as well as the lens. Get low and into a sitting position if you can.

3. Use a trigger- With digital cameras, most have wireless remotes as well as wired remotes that can be used to trip the shutter. Attach one to the pistol grip (I do it with rubber bands) and trip the shutter from the grip.

Except for the remote switches (cable release??) and possibly the pistol grip, most everything else does not cost a penny to implement but may take some practice.

Regards,

Have fun!

Last edited by BigDave; 01-21-2011 at 10:29 PM. Reason: typos
01-21-2011, 10:54 PM   #10
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I can go as slow as about 1/10 and get a decent shot. Doesn't matter what lens (though heavier lenses present a bit more of a challenge). The technique is simply to relax. The more 'steady' you Try to hold the camera, the more likely you are to shake it (beyond the capability of SR).

01-21-2011, 11:08 PM   #11
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You already got some good advice. One more...

I shoot a lot of dynamic photographs and the very large majority of my photos are shot at 1/100 s to 1/8,000 s. When I have to shoot with small/low shutter speed, two key advices are:
- relax (and take a deep breath),
- use the in-camera SR and wait for the SR come to come on.

When I am calm, I can shoot down to 1/10 s. When I am rush, I really cannot get good shots below 1/20s.

Food for thoughts...
01-22-2011, 04:42 AM   #12
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It depends on how sharp you want your captured image. In THE CAMERA, Ansel Adams shows that the 1/FL rule doesn't really work with a handheld 35mm camera. Using a 50mm lens at 1/50 didn't achieve sharpness -- 1/250 did. That's a 2+ f-stop difference, or 1/5FL. If you assume that SR gives a ~2 stop advantage, THEN the 1/FL rule works on a Pentax dSLR.

Or you can heed Cartier-Bresson: Sharpness is a bourgeois conceit.

Yes, I learned the slow-shutter tricks, helped by being on a pistol team during my Army days. Ah, the Zen of .45 ACP's... If you're serious about maintaining visual acuity and muscular steadiness and control, you need to stop drinking caffeine, alcohol, milk (lactic acid messes with vision), no smoking anything, etc. Even if you don't go that far, learn to breathe and relax and hold yourself steady; become a human tripod; keep elbows pressed to your sides, etc.

The real trick for slow shooting is: brace yourself against objects. Lean against a tree or wall or the ground or whatever. Freestanding, you shake, and there's no way around that. I've had photos published that were shot at 1/5 second, but I was leaning against a light pole (which light illuminated my subject, a biker bust). A fence post is your friend. A parked car is your friend, unless it has a hair-trigger alarm. (Damn you, Daryl Issa!!) A monopod might be your friend, if it's braced. External support is better than none.
01-22-2011, 05:13 AM   #13
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The question is really how sharp do I want the photo? The 1/focal length rule was made in days when people would seldom pixel peep. Now, with a cropped sensor with 16 megapixels in it, if you look at the pixel level, it is really hard to get a photo with no blur in it. At the same time, if you aren't printing to a large size, you will find that pixel level blur is not truly meaningful.

SR does tend to give about 3 stops over the 1/focal length * 1.5 for me. The answer that I have found personally is about 1/8th of a second (depending on the focal length).
01-22-2011, 10:33 AM   #14
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low speed drive mode

QuoteOriginally posted by sgtkashim Quote
I'm comfortable shooting as low as 1/8 or so. I will take a bunch of shots at those speeds, though, to make sure I get a sharp one.
Agreed. I also use the low speed drive setting and keep the shutter button down for a burst of shots. That eliminates the shake from pressing the shutter.
If you do manual focus bracketing, there is time to tweak the focus ring between exposures on low speed drive.

Regards,
--Anders.
01-22-2011, 01:24 PM   #15
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When image sharpness *really* matters, 1/FL is the absolute limit even *with* SR on and engaged, with the steadiest of hands. When the *moment* really matters, drive mode and SR on then 1/(FLx1.5) is as far as I'd tolerate even though I do know of instances I've had sharp images with 1/(FLx2). I guess I'm not as confident with SR that I don't like to push the limits in that regard.
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