Do you feel 1/500 sec max shutter speed is a problem?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by stradibarrius, Dec 20, 2010.

  1. stradibarrius

    stradibarrius Member

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    How many feel that have a max shutter speed of 1/500 is a problem?
    How often do you find 1/500 in not fast enough because of light.
    No sports photography so that is no problem.
     
  2. stevco

    stevco Member

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    Usualy - no.
    But, sometimes, mostly on trips under strong daylight when I've wanted to shoot portraits, from family and friends, I couldn't use open apperture like 1.4 - 2.8, even on slow film like Portra 160, was a problem, even with 1/1000th.
     
  3. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

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    Heh, I only wish I had a shutter that fast on a couple of my cameras! As one who does mostly landscapes and old grungy industrial stuff, I don't find it limiting. I am somewhat awed that in these days of super high performance electronic shutters speeds like 1/500 or 1/1000 might be thought of as "slow." For allowing a large aperture for reduced DOF, an ND filter or a polarizer could rein in the light a bit if needed.
     
  4. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Wow 1/500! I only get 1/125 shooting 8x10 :D.
     
  5. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    It certainly limits my ability to shoot wide open in mid day sun and forces me to have the right speed film but it hasn't bothered me to a point that I'd say it's a short coming. Realistically speaking, it hasn't bothered me at all in most shooting conditions.
     
  6. degruyl

    degruyl Member

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    I have had issues at elevation (colorado, no clouds) with tri-x (TXP). The correct answer is to use slower film (of course). The next best answer is ND filters. If your top speed is 1/125 (copal 3 shutter, for example) you definitely want to think about it carefully. 1/500 is just some handwaving.
     
  7. bblhed

    bblhed Member

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    Ok, as someone that shoots a Brownie with a 1/50 shutter top speed I now have to envy you as someone that has a really fast shutter.

    Honestly, I do own more modern cameras that have shutters that go up to 1/500 and beyond, and I hardly ever use those speeds even with 400 speed film. If bokeh is important to you just use slower film, while faster films are a lot better today than in the 70's, slower films still make the best photos.
     
  8. R gould

    R gould Member

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    Several of my folders only have 1/300, and to be honest I love using the cameras so much that I don't have a problem, if I want to get the aperture open I can use ND filters, so I am happy, indeed, one of my cameras, a 1938 Bessa 66, only goes to 1/175, Richard
     
  9. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    Absolutely NOT. I remember that one of the camera magazines ran an article on the top speed of cameras with mechanical FP shutters. In all their tests a marked top speed of 1/1000 was usually something like 1/65o. Just because it's on the dial doesn't mean that it is true. Why the difference, chalk it up to inertia.

    In order to get better results requires the use of lighter parts. But this makes the shutter more prone to damage.
     
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  10. stradibarrius

    stradibarrius Member

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    Did people like AA that shot landscapes with big 8x10's use ND filters?
     
  11. hpulley

    hpulley Member

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    For landscapes you usually use a small aperture so 1/500th of a second is not a problem unless you're trying to shoot 3200 film in sunny f/16 weather. My Mamiya RB67 only goes to 1/400th with its mechanical leaf shutters but for what I shoot with it, that's fine, 400 ISO film is 1/400th @f/16 in bright sun, go figure. If I need to shoot sports or birds in flight, running children I'll more commonly use my EOS 1N RS with up to 1/8000th electronic vertical shutter speed, 5-10 frames per second motor drive and servo autofocus available.

    This morning however, a chance sighting of a Bald Eagle had me with a 300mm lens for my manual focus, manual exposure Canon FTbN (max shutter speed 1/1000) or 70mm on my autofocus auto-exposure EOS 650 so obviously I choose the FTbN. I only had 400 ISO film loaded so I shot at 1/500th, hopefully they turn out! Usually I have my EF 100-400mm zoom with me but my EF setup was just for a Christmas party where I don't usually need 400mm...
     
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  12. 23mjm

    23mjm Member

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    I am on the side of NO---well as long as I'm not shooting sports. For general landscape/architectural photography I rarely use above 1/60 and mostly 1/2 to 1/15. When you stop the lens down and stick a orange or red filter you start to bump against reciprocity issues.
     
  13. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Most of Ansel's shutters for his big cameras probably had 1/50th or even 1/30th as an upper speed limit, so no, he never used a speed that fast for his landscapes. Most of his landscape shots were probably done somewhere in the region of 1/4 to 1 second, and some were probably much slower than that, like Moonrise, Hernandez. Some of his later lenses might have been as fast as 1/125th, but most were not likely to be any faster than that. Remember that Ansel was one of the founding figures of the f64 school, known for shooting at the minimum aperture on the lens to record all detail as sharply as possible.
     
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  15. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    On rare occasion I might hit 1/250, other than that much less than that.

    Jeff
     
  16. burchyk

    burchyk Member

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    Not shooting sports/birds/kids, the fastest shutter speed I've used during last year was probably 1/250, and my OM-4 goes to 1/2000
     
  17. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    No.

    I'm sure that AA would have used ND filters when they may have been called for.
    But especially with a camera like an 8x10, a "normal" lens at 300 mm or so might not be much faster than f/16, and would rarely be used wide open anyway.
    A 1/500 shutter would be fine, and not too likely to be used that fast.
     
  18. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    Not having a shutter speed of faster than 1/500has never been a problem on my Mamiya cameras, if I did I'd use a neutral density filter.
     
  19. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    You are referring to maximizing depth of field, right?
     
  20. eddym

    eddym Member

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    Since this question is being asked in the MF forum, I'll answer in regards to my MF cameras. I have rarely shot a MF camera at 1/500, much less had the need to shoot faster. The camera is often on a tripod, and a slow speed is needed for more depth of field (allowing a smaller aperture). When I do shoot something that needs less dof, 1/500 is almost always enough for the apertures I have.
     
  21. Galah

    Galah Member

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    IMO, 1/500th sec shutter speed (in conjunction with a minimum f/22 aperture) is the minimum specification required to ensure convenient use of ISO400 film.

    (Of course, if needs must, you can always use a neutral density filter to reduce the effective speed of your film. But, that is messier.) :smile:

    If you mostly use ISO100 or ISO200 film, a minimum shutter speed of 1/500th sec (combined with a minimum aperture of f/22 or f/16) should be more than adequate.

    Many older cameras have relatively low minimum shutter speeds as the films of the day were very slow by today's standards (like ISO 6 to ISO25). ISOs of 100 to 200 would have been considered supersonic and of 400 unimaginable. That is why I find Kodak Retinas (shutter 1/500th and aperture F22) amazingly farsighted in their specifications: quite adequate for ISO400, a film speed unimaginable in the day they were designed.

    (I'm interested in -and use- a number of older cameras and I generally prefer them to have a shutter speed of at least as low as 1/500th and to go to f/22) :smile:
     
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  22. Galah

    Galah Member

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    In that case, your 1/500th is probably only 1/300th. That could be a problem.:laugh:
     
  23. Galah

    Galah Member

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    This may no longer be necessarily true: it appears that modern faster films (say, ISO400) can actually cope much better with a wider subject brightness (contrast) range than slower (modern) films (say, ISO100). It has something to do with the mix of halide grain sizes in the emulsion.

    (Due to equipment malfunction, I recently underexposed a Fuji Pro 400H film by about two and a half to three stops -developed normally, but I still got surprisingly useable (though quite dark and "moody") prints.)
     
  24. wclark5179

    wclark5179 Member

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    "Do you feel 1/500 sec max shutter speed is a problem?"

    Not really.

    Sometimes flash sync can be a challenge with cameras the have fp shutters.
     
  25. hpulley

    hpulley Member

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    That's the thing, focal plane shutters can be faster overall but are generally slower for sync. Leafs can only go so fast but can sync faster. High end SLRs can sync up to 1/250 or even 1/300 though so there is less advantage to the leaf now than when focal plane shutters were limited to 1/60th or 1/90th at most in X-sync.

    Some late SLRs and Speedlites can do high speed sync as well.
     
  26. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    That's as fast as I go too.


    Steve.