Appropriate shutter speed for handheld?


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expositer

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Mar 16, 2005
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#1
Hi Guys,

Newbie question:

What is the minimum (slowest) appropriate shutter speed for hand-holding a digital SLR with sharp (at least to the common man's eye) image? I'm using a Canon 350D

Assuming:
- no IS / Optical stabaliser
- no USM / HSM
- ISO 100-200
- decently weighted lens (weight of a 70-300mm Sigma)

Does minimum shutter speed also depend on: Focal Length (i.e. Zoom)? Aperture size? or any other parameters?

Cos I find some of my images at 1/60s shutter speed becomes blurred. Anyway that I can improve my technique of shooting?

Thanks! :)
 

rhair78

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Dec 19, 2004
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#2
expositer said:
Hi Guys,

Newbie question:

What is the minimum (slowest) appropriate shutter speed for hand-holding a digital SLR with sharp (at least to the common man's eye) image? I'm using a Canon 350D

Assuming:
- no IS / Optical stabaliser
- no USM / HSM
- ISO 100-200
- decently weighted lens (weight of a 70-300mm Sigma)

Does minimum shutter speed also depend on: Focal Length (i.e. Zoom)? Aperture size? or any other parameters?

Cos I find some of my images at 1/60s shutter speed becomes blurred. Anyway that I can improve my technique of shooting?

Thanks! :)

A basic rule of thumb is 1/focal length... although its just a guideline.
Basically if you have opened your aperture to the widest, and yet shutter speed is still 1/30.. etc.. then push your ISO up, or use a flash. since you get blur pics at 1/60, i suggest at least using 1/125 for short lenses and a much higher shutter speed of maybe 1/500 when you using full zoom on your 70-300mm.
 

wainism

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Apr 15, 2004
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#3
use something like a wall or table for support.

have u been to the army and fired a M16? its basically the same theory i think. esp the breathing.

take a deep breath when u r abt to depress the shutter...then hold it as u press the shutter. hold ur breath till ur done with the "follow thru"

u can use a table, bag or any form of support to stablise ur hands. keep those elbows close to ur body too! :)
 

expositer

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Mar 16, 2005
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#4
thanks all..

wainism, thanks for the insight.. brings me back to my good ol' army days... sigh.. going back to reservist some more....

rhair, thanks for the tip on the 1/focal lenght. will try it out.

cheers, :)
 

de_stan

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Apr 21, 2004
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#5
There was this technique taught to me by a pro.
He said to get really clear and sharp pictures, you should adjust your shutter speed beyond the maximum zoom distance of your lens.
E.g, if your using a 18-55mm lens, set your shutter speed above at 1/60 and above. If your lens goes up to 300mm, then set your shutter speed to 1/500.

I have used this method to shoot some photos and the result turned out pretty good duirng day shoots of course.
 

wind30

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Mar 14, 2004
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#6
mmm... does using dslr makes any difference to the rule? ie 300mm if 450 effective on a D70. So we use the 300 or 450 value?
 

nightwolf75

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Dec 18, 2003
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#7
wind30 said:
mmm... does using dslr makes any difference to the rule? ie 300mm if 450 effective on a D70. So we use the 300 or 450 value?
do not get confuse over the focal length of the lens and the FOV (field of vision) of ur lens caused by the crop factor of ur DSLR.

a 300mm lens will remain a 300mm lens. wat changes is the way the lens see the world thru a DSLR. in ur D70's case (x1.5 crop factor), due to the smaller sensor, it 'crops' ur view thru the 300mm lens as if u see thru a 450mm lens. however, ur lens is still a 300mm lens - ie, if u follow the guideline 1/focal length, the minimum shutter speed u shld use is 1/300 sec.

see http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/understanding-series/dslr-mag.shtml
 

#8
nightwolf75 said:
do not get confuse over the focal length of the lens and the FOV (field of vision) of ur lens caused by the crop factor of ur DSLR.

a 300mm lens will remain a 300mm lens. wat changes is the way the lens see the world thru a DSLR. in ur D70's case (x1.5 crop factor), due to the smaller sensor, it 'crops' ur view thru the 300mm lens as if u see thru a 450mm lens. however, ur lens is still a 300mm lens - ie, if u follow the guideline 1/focal length, the minimum shutter speed u shld use is 1/300 sec.

see http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/understanding-series/dslr-mag.shtml
Damn man..that is one of the best explanation I have seen in a long while addressing the crop factor to lens length. :)
 

theITguy

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Sep 19, 2003
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#9
wind30 said:
mmm... does using dslr makes any difference to the rule? ie 300mm if 450 effective on a D70. So we use the 300 or 450 value?
What rule? Stop following rules. Rules are there just to limit yourself. Learn to shoot with 1/125 or even 1/60, you will be surprised.
 

user111

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Jul 27, 2004
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#10
if u want to play safe, use 1/450 rather than 1/300

frankly speaking i have handheld 300mm on my 1D (300 x 1.3 = 390 = 400mm approx) indoors at 1/90 at ISO 500 and the picture turns out ok, maybe a bit under exposed. your mileage may vary. :cool:
 

wind30

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#11
nightwolf75 said:
do not get confuse over the focal length of the lens and the FOV (field of vision) of ur lens caused by the crop factor of ur DSLR.

a 300mm lens will remain a 300mm lens. wat changes is the way the lens see the world thru a DSLR. in ur D70's case (x1.5 crop factor), due to the smaller sensor, it 'crops' ur view thru the 300mm lens as if u see thru a 450mm lens. however, ur lens is still a 300mm lens - ie, if u follow the guideline 1/focal length, the minimum shutter speed u shld use is 1/300 sec.

see http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/understanding-series/dslr-mag.shtml
actually after reading the article, I am convinced that the crop factor should be included in the equation, ie it is harder to handheld DSLRs with high crop factors.

simple, just think that if your DSLR has a crop factor of 10. There is no way you can handheld it as any small vibration will blur your image. provided the minute sensor is capable of similar sized prints as the standard 35mm. The crop factor will magnify the image, including any motion blur. Motion blur that was previously acceptable will look horrible when blown up 10 time.

Of course, it is not a hard and fast rule but it is educational to know if the crop factor is will affect motion blur.
 

ortega

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Nov 2, 2004
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#12
Train yourself to use slow shutter speeds and you will be able to use whatever shutter speed you are able to.

Since you are using a DSLR try it out yourself and know what Shutter speed you can Hand hold your camera, rules are just a guide.

I have hand held shots with my old and heavy Tokina 80-200m (Red Ring) at speeds of around 1/15 or even 1/8 of a sec and still have sharp pictures. It all depends on what you are able to do. Cheers
 

photobum

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#13
The slowest I ever went is 1/8 with my Nikon 80-200ED f2.8 (with tripod collar). Image a little soft but not blur. It is an image of a young lady anyway, so that will be my "soft fiilter."
 

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#14
wind30 said:
actually after reading the article, I am convinced that the crop factor should be included in the equation, ie it is harder to handheld DSLRs with high crop factors.

simple, just think that if your DSLR has a crop factor of 10. There is no way you can handheld it as any small vibration will blur your image. provided the minute sensor is capable of similar sized prints as the standard 35mm. The crop factor will magnify the image, including any motion blur. Motion blur that was previously acceptable will look horrible when blown up 10 time.

Of course, it is not a hard and fast rule but it is educational to know if the crop factor is will affect motion blur.
BUT is there a DSLR with a crop factor of 10? its just a guideline, go and try out what works for you instead of reading everything here.
 

theITguy

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#15
But I do know compacts having crop factors of 6++ and certainly I still need 1/30s at wide angle (7.2mm) instead of 1/8s to keep it stable without help from OIS.
 

Zeckson Chow

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Mar 1, 2005
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#16
Hello. Just to answer your question and in my own opinion and experience, I find that using F10 and a shutter speed of minimum 1/60 will give you a pretty sharp image. But you have to play with your exposure a little as you are going to use a small sperture. This applies in the day only. You may need to introduce a weak flash to make your subject look natural. :)
 

Firefox

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Feb 15, 2004
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#17
theITguy said:
But I do know compacts having crop factors of 6++ and certainly I still need 1/30s at wide angle (7.2mm) instead of 1/8s to keep it stable without help from OIS.
Actually, I believe you have to factor in the fov multiplier. In your case, you're about there. 1/30 is close to the 36mm (35mm equivalent) of your FZ.
 

expositer

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Mar 16, 2005
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#18
wow, thanks for all the insight guys.

i've tried it out and even 1/125 turns out quite ok for 300mm lens. i guess it's really down to shooting technique.

must train, train, train..... ;p
 

~Arcanic~

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Feb 27, 2005
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#19
expositer said:
wow, thanks for all the insight guys.

i've tried it out and even 1/125 turns out quite ok for 300mm lens. i guess it's really down to shooting technique.

must train, train, train..... ;p
yeah man, just keep up e practise, think like u are gonna snipe something and every little movement will make u miss... :wink:

i once went down to 1/8, but thats a one time lucky only... :bsmilie:
 

yanyewkay

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Sep 22, 2004
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#20
i have a trick to share i've been using for quite some time to get those tricky low light shots. at slow shutter speed.

Use the burst mode (some call it 'fps' mode whatever you call it doesn't matter). the time when your hand moves the most is when you activate your muscles to depress the button. Your hand will move along with it. So.. while holding the button down.. keep it down and release a few bursts of captures. There will be ONE frame that will have the least movement and therefore the sharpest. Very wasteful of storage space but good enough for me to use. This is the same technique used in nikon's BSS (best shot selector) mode.

I find this trick better than having to review the pic after each take and find it shakey.. but you may have already missed the scene during your reviewing. The trade off is to waste storage space like I mentioned earlier but you can clear it later :D.
 

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