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Thread: What shutter speed to use at 200mm zoom to get sharp picture?

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    Default What shutter speed to use at 200mm zoom to get sharp picture?



    I took this picture at the zoo (cropped at 100%) using a Nikon 70-200mm zoom and a Fuji S1 Pro. As you can see, the picture is a bit soft and not as sharp as I would like. Shot was handheld, 1/300 sec, f/5.3, ISO320, focal length 188mm, EV -1.

    Is it because I had to set a faster shutter speed? In general, what shutter speed should I use in zoom situations when I don't have a tripod?

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    Default Re: What shutter speed to use at 200mm zoom to get sharp picture?

    Quote Originally Posted by red_ryder
    I took this picture at the zoo (cropped at 100%) using a Nikon 70-200mm zoom and a Fuji S1 Pro. As you can see, the picture is a bit soft and not as sharp as I would like. Shot was handheld, 1/300 sec, f/5.3, ISO320, focal length 188mm, EV -1.

    Is it because I had to set a faster shutter speed? In general, what shutter speed should I use in zoom situations when I don't have a tripod?
    General guideline is 1/focal length, with VR activated, you get 3 stops advantage. In your case at 1/300, may be it is due to handshake. Even with VR switched on, if your techinique is incorrect, you will still get blur picture.

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    Default Re: What shutter speed to use at 200mm zoom to get sharp picture?

    So since my technique is not that good yet, should I just go for a high a shutter speed as possible to minimize handshake? e.g. 1/4000 or something?

    In my defence, the fuji S1 Pro + the zoom lens was bloody heavy, probably about 1.2kg.

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    Default Re: What shutter speed to use at 200mm zoom to get sharp picture?

    Guideline is 1/200 for 200mm focal length. But it may varies from people to people..
    Also depends on the subject, if it is moving, your picture can still be blurred at 1/200 even if u have a steady hand. Also is every part of your picture soft or blur or just the tiger, could it be due to focusing issue where u focused on the background or somewhere else instead of the white tiger ?
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    Default Re: What shutter speed to use at 200mm zoom to get sharp picture?

    must also take into consideration the weight of the lens and how tired you are.
    breathing technique ... blah blah blah

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    Default Re: What shutter speed to use at 200mm zoom to get sharp picture?

    Nope, I'm pretty sure I focused on the tiger. I'll post up the full pic at a reduced size for comparison.

    Last edited by red_ryder; 31st August 2005 at 10:13 AM.

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    Default Re: What shutter speed to use at 200mm zoom to get sharp picture?

    Quote Originally Posted by majere2sg
    Guideline is 1/200 for 200mm focal length. But it may varies from people to people..
    Also depends on the subject, if it is moving, your picture can still be blurred at 1/200 even if u have a steady hand. Also is every part of your picture soft or blur or just the tiger, could it be due to focusing issue where u focused on the background or somewhere else instead of the white tiger ?
    Then how about using SIR to capture same picture using same lens and what is the shutter speed?

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    Default Re: What shutter speed to use at 200mm zoom to get sharp picture?

    Quote Originally Posted by ortega
    must also take into consideration the weight of the lens and how tired you are.
    breathing technique ... blah blah blah
    Is it advisable to go for very high shutter speeds (e.g. 1/2000) to minimize the effects of poor technique?

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    Default Re: What shutter speed to use at 200mm zoom to get sharp picture?

    Quote Originally Posted by red_ryder
    So since my technique is not that good yet, should I just go for a high a shutter speed as possible to minimize handshake? e.g. 1/4000 or something?

    In my defence, the fuji S1 Pro + the zoom lens was bloody heavy, probably about 1.2kg.
    Higher shutter speed may reduce the possibility of handshake, but still the main cause could probably be due to your technique (i.e. which part your focus was locked on, if it is not on the head of the tiger, it could thus result in the blur shot). Use the focus lock method - aim your focusing pt. on the head of the tiger, half-press, then recompose and gently depress the shutter, keeping the image as steady as possible. Another culprit could be your hand holding technique. Tuck in and lock your elbows as close to your body as possible. Maintain a steady breathing technique,take a deep breath, hold it and then release the shutter.

    Another trick (if you are using digital and the subject is static) is to use multiple burst mode, take two or three shots of the same scene, usually you will end up with at least one sharp shot.

    Finally just go out there and practice!

    Hope this helps!
    Last edited by Garion; 31st August 2005 at 10:17 AM.

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    Default Re: What shutter speed to use at 200mm zoom to get sharp picture?

    Wah ! great man, hand held at 200mm with heavy long lens and relying on VR to get sharp image.

    I suggest you invest in a strong & steady tripod.

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    Default Re: What shutter speed to use at 200mm zoom to get sharp picture?

    Quote Originally Posted by red_ryder
    I took this picture at the zoo (cropped at 100%) using a Nikon 70-200mm zoom and a Fuji S1 Pro. As you can see, the picture is a bit soft and not as sharp as I would like. Shot was handheld, 1/300 sec, f/5.3, ISO320, focal length 188mm, EV -1.

    Is it because I had to set a faster shutter speed? In general, what shutter speed should I use in zoom situations when I don't have a tripod?
    F/5.3 check the rest of the tiger, maybe due to shallow dof

    at least use a monopod

  12. #12

    Default Re: What shutter speed to use at 200mm zoom to get sharp picture?

    Come on. Go experiment with different shutter speed, and find out exactly what your limitation is re holding the lens steady. We can't really tell you, and there is no exact science.
    At 1/300, it should be more than enough. I think it's the focusing. If not, even though at 1/300, if there are outside factor influencing you, such as wind, any vibration that was transmitted thru your body, then 1/300 may not be enough.

    Bring a tripod next time.

    Some experiences shooting the white tiger at the zoo. When I was there last time, I use hand holding a 70-200 2.8 with IS, the lion, the orangatan, everything else were sharp exact the tiger shots. Come figure. One thing I notice is that, I was shooting mostly at f5.6 to f11 all day, to get DOF, and that the white tiger exhibit was actually darker than the others. I should have dialed up the ISO more, I left it at 400 all day, inorder to maintain the shutter speed at 1/250 or higher. Then I may have sharper tigers

    What about your other pictures? Are they sharp or not?
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  13. #13

    Default Re: What shutter speed to use at 200mm zoom to get sharp picture?

    I didn't bring a tripod because I was bringing a hyperactive 2-yr old along. Got enough things to carry already.

    Some of the shots were sharp, some weren't. My guess is probably fatigue, as the tigers exhibit was the last one that I went to after spending about 3 hrs at the zoo. Thanks for all the advice guys!

  14. #14

    Default Re: What shutter speed to use at 200mm zoom to get sharp picture?

    Quote Originally Posted by red_ryder
    I didn't bring a tripod because I was bringing a hyperactive 2-yr old along. Got enough things to carry already.

    Some of the shots were sharp, some weren't. My guess is probably fatigue, as the tigers exhibit was the last one that I went to after spending about 3 hrs at the zoo. Thanks for all the advice guys!
    Based on the shooting information you left the setting to P mode and -1 EV maybe to keep the speed high. I would suggest Shutter Priority keeping the shutter speed at 1/250 for no fuss shooting.

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