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06-02-2016, 08:33 AM   #1
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Shake Reduction Question

While confident in my ability to capture some pretty good images on 35mm slides, I am new to the world of digital photography. So, here is the first of many questions to come. I'm sure many of those questions will be considered basic knowledge to many here, so please bear with me.

My Camera, K200D and other Pentax DSLR's, have the ability to turn the Shake Reduction on or off. What is the disadvantage of using Shake Reduction all the time. What, if anything, is sacrificed by using Shake Reduction?

06-02-2016, 08:56 AM   #2
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Firstly SR is for handhold shooting only ... On tripods or other stable support it should be switched off.

I don't think there's any disadvantage to using SR in most handheld situations. It will reduce the effects of camera shake at all focal lengths and a good range of shutter speeds. It may be that its effectiveness is greater between the range around 1/4sec through to around 1/125thsec, I think I've read that ....
06-02-2016, 08:57 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by sibyrnes Quote
What is the disadvantage of using Shake Reduction all the time. What, if anything, is sacrificed by using Shake Reduction?
In general, nothing.

However, a couple of things to keep in mind:
1) On older Pentax cameras there is a slight pause while the SR system spools up and locks. Make sure you have that green hand icon steady before you shoot. This does not seem to be an issue on newer cameras, not sure if it is on yours or not as I never used that camera.

2) SR should not be used when on a tripod as it can try to fix motion that does not exist and actually create motion. I made this error and have about 300 very soft shots of Big Horn sheep that should have been amazing and are just OK because of the SR system.

3) Note that many shooting modes (at least on cameras I have used) will disable the SR. For example the timer or the remote modes.

If you are an experienced shooter I would suggest using the SR system when needed and relying on your abilities when you can. Too often I think SR has become a crutch used instead of proper camera holding skills and settings. It is a great tool and I'm glad to have but it is not magic.
06-02-2016, 09:11 AM   #4
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Yup, unless you're on a stable tripod, it's safe to leave SR on at all times. The main advantage is that you can take hand-held photos at shutter speeds that you wouldn't ever imagine using on film. With a wide-angle lens, you can get away with 1/6, 1/8s, 1/10s, etc. if your hands are fairly steady to begin with.

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06-02-2016, 10:01 AM   #5
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I love the Pentax SR, it is a great feature on their cameras and Pentax seems to keep improving it. It is interesting about the SR sensing motion when on tripod and that must be kept in mind. I often have a Leitz table top tripod with their large ball head attached when shooting in low light and longer shutter speeds. I often rest it on my chest or against a wall, pole, rock etc. which is just as effective as putting the camera on a conventional tripod, but much faster and more flexible in certain situations such as street photography. As a result, I will switch off the SR. I have been able to successfully take long exposures on B setting with my Leica M-6 and Tri-X (no SR in that). So, you don't necessarily want it on in some situations that might be thought of as hand-held. SR is not always useful with action subject. Develop your panning skills.
06-02-2016, 10:45 AM   #6
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I thought I read that SR should NOT be used when using very fast shutter speeds like for action/sports...

Is this true, for instance when shooting a soccer game with 1/1000 or 1/1600 speed should one take the SR off?


06-02-2016, 01:40 PM   #7
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In rare situations, I believe it is possible for stabilization to goof up.

I have had a shot or two blurred when it shouldn't have been. My only explanation was that the stabilizer zigged instead of zagged, during the exposure. This isn't just something I've seen with Pentax's built-in SR, but also with stabilized lenses from Nikon or Canon. It's noticeable when you take a second shot that doesn't have the blur.

I usually leave the SR on all the time, unless I'm on the tripod - but as I gleefully discovered using the K-01, the SR is automatically disabled when using the self time or remote - so I don't really have to worry about it.

Still, outdoors in bright light, when I know I'm using fast enough shutter speeds, I'll sometimes remember to switch it off, in case it goofs up.

But again, a pretty rare occurrence.

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