How slow can you go handholding a TLR?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by arigram, Jul 11, 2008.

  1. arigram

    arigram Member

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    I have a Rolleiflex 2.8FX, a flash for it and a monopod.
    How slow of a shutter speed can I set and keep things sharp?

    - Rolleiflex on my hands?
    - Rolleiflex being pressed down with the cord tight around my neck?
    - Rolleiflex with flash (to use the flash as little as possible)?
    - Rolleiflex with monopod?
    - Rolleiflex with flash and monopod?
     
  2. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    A lot depends on how steady you are. I'd think at least 1/30, probably 1/15 or so.
    For me, with anything below that I find a wall or post to brace the camera against.
     
  3. panastasia

    panastasia Member

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    Same here. I think 1/15 is possible (between heartbeats) w/heavy camera.
     
  4. bobwysiwyg

    bobwysiwyg Subscriber

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    You folks mustn't be coffee drinkers.:smile:
     
  5. Pinholemaster

    Pinholemaster Member

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    Why not simply shoot a test roll and see.

    At least a 1/30, but with a leaf shutter with no slapping mirror, you'll probably go even slower.
     
  6. Mark_S

    Mark_S Member

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    I also find that with a TLR I can get away with slower shutter speeds because the camera is typically hanging from a strap around my neck, if I have my legs spread somewhat a part, and I lean my back against a wall, lamppost etc, then I can provide a lot of stability to the camera for the exposure. At the other end of the spectrum, when in a crowd and I hold the TLR upside down above my head, I am going to need a faster shutter speed.
     
  7. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    It also depends on how large you make prints. Plus shooting slow takes practice. Personally, I am a sharpness idiot and if things aren't nasty sharp I am disappointed. So I usually use a tripod but can get nearly tack sharp with a 60th handheld. I will go down to a 15th but I don't expect absolute sharpness at that speed.
    Dennis
     
  8. tac

    tac Member

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    I always found that not drinking my usual coffee until afterwards would net me an extra stop or two when hand-holding my SLRs- I expect the same would apply to a TLR.
     
  9. Larry.Manuel

    Larry.Manuel Member

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    Rolleicord and low light.

    With my Rolleicord, I've had some success at 1/8th and 1/4 second, hand-held. A quarter second is not dependable, although I've made some portraits at that speed that were sharp. One eighth is more reliable; still not 100%. Below 1/15th second I consider a calculated risk - sometimes worth it. One-thirtieth is usually sharp. If not, it's my focus that's at fault as often as camera shake.

    My eyesight does not allow me to use the screen directly; I must use the magnifier to focus. Lately, I've been learning to wrap the strap around my right hand to keep the strap taut - I learned that from the Rollei manual.

    When I was considering a Hasselblad, the mirror vibration was one reason that I rejected that option. The Rolleiflex / Rolleicord leaf shutter suits me perfectly.

    More recently, I've been pushing my films about one stop - i.e. exposing Delta 100, FP4+, Acros to exposure index 200. Using DD-X, I'm delighted with the fine grain. So, I'm not as often exposing at speeds slower than 1/15th second. Previously, I had been obsessed with slow film speeds. Now, I find my work better with slightly faster film.

    Delta 3200, exposed at 1200 to 1600, developed in DD-X is great for low light; and the grain is fine for me.

    When my supply of ISO 100 film is gone, I plan to change over [and standardize my inventory] to TMAX 400, and expose that at 200 to 1600, depending on the season. It's very overcast and dark here for 6 months in fall and winter. So far, I've found TMAX 400 at E.I. 400 and 800 to be excellent - and that's the old version. Kodak suggests not changing developing time for E.I. 800, which is really convenient - like having a two-speed film in the camera.

    Good luck to all.
     
  10. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    If you can brace one hand against something rigid (a wall or pole or such) I think you will find that up to ~1 sec is doable. With elbow to hip, yeah, 1/15 is about it. A fair amount of the blur comes from finger impulse though- I found that by triggering a bulb with my foot or just using a timer, I could get down to 1/15 pretty reliably, with a rangefinder. Beyond that depends on your state of meditation!
     
  11. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    string tripod is my friend in this situation

    String (actually sash cord works best) with a 1/4-20 eye bolt to thread into the tripod socket.

    Step on the string with one foot, and with legs spread a bit apart, you can tighten your whole body up when the camera strap is over your shoulders.

    It takes a lot of the bob and weave out of your body, and lets the shutter be tripped reliably at 1/15 , and less reliably at 1/8, providing you gently depress the shutter release, as opposed to a quick jab.
     
  12. pgomena

    pgomena Member

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    I was going to suggest the same solution as Mike Wilde. I personally never have been able to get a sharp picture with a slow-ish shutter speed with my Rollei. I weave too much as I stand (even sober!). I also find the action of pressing the shutter button back toward the camera tends to make things move too much. The shutter button has such a long "throw" that I usually screw things up. I own a Rollei pistol grip, which helps some, and it is handy in the studio when using flash. 99 percent of the time, I use a tripod.

    Peter Gomena
     
  13. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    Mirror slap with a Hasselblad? I admit they're noisy, but man the 500 series are smooth. See this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CkKcbyh2CrA. Now, it's a video and can be faked. But I have a 503 and I can believe it because my experience agrees with the video. The darned thing is often good (close ups excluded) to 1/15 handheld and without additional support for me. I get about the same from a pair of Mamiya C220F TLR's.
     
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  15. arigram

    arigram Member

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    Thank you all.
    I do have a cable release in my camera bag.
    Today and tomorrow I am planning to do some low light shooting, probably with the aid of a monopod and flash and see what happens.
     
  16. phenix

    phenix Member

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    If I set my TLR on a table, and use a cable release, I can shoot in B! – Interesting, isn’t it? I just have to take care not to touch the table’s foot with my own or somebody else’s foot, and, of course, to avoid hurricane and earthquake seasons.

    Handheld, 1:15 works for me, but I would easily risk a 1:8.
     
  17. Rolleiflexible

    Rolleiflexible Member

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    Ari, I've shot down to 1 second heldheld.
    See, for example, this photo shot at 1/2
    second @ f/3.5:

    http://www.apug.org/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=34434

    A shutter cable is essential. I've never tried
    Mike Wilde's string tripod but it sounds like a
    great idea.

    Sanders
     
  18. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

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    I got lucky with a P+S and got a wonderful shot handheld at 1/10th sec with the background tack sharp and the subject motion blurred.
    I figure it would be much easier with a massive TLR and a neck strap.
     
  19. eddym

    eddym Member

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    With a TLR and a tight neck strap, good breath control and a smooth finger on the shutter release, I can get good sharpness at 1/30, not bad at 1/15. A monopod gives me at least another stop, and whenever practical, I use it even for faster speeds.
     
  20. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    Sounds more like a TRIPOD situation to me!
     
  21. arigram

    arigram Member

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    If I could use a tripod, I wouldn't have bought a TLR, a small flash and a monopod.
     
  22. Sino

    Sino Member

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    Now that's a funny picture -- walking in a crowd, holding a TLR upside down and pondering over which shutter speed to use. Last night people thought I was crazy because I was just kneeling to take a picture of a very symmetrical fence.

    AW, when I use my Yashica-A, I go as low as 1/25 -- and that's as low as the camera goes anyway :tongue:

    -Sino.
     
  23. edtbjon

    edtbjon Member

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    The answers to your original question is: "It varies" :smile:, but some people are better than others. A long time ago I read an article on this in a swedish photomagazine. They had a platoon of young militaries shoot a roll of film on a fixed target with a 200mm lens on it. Then they compared the results with their shooting range results. These results matched each other very well. The best shots had the best (sharpest) pictures.
    Also, while not in any sense being a marksman, applying similar tactics will get you a long way. I.e. keep to the ground, find support like walls, trees etc. A monopod will reduce camera-motion blur a lot. (It will probably be in only one direction instead of erratic.)
    At last, quite a few shots have been expelled from competitions for having a beer or a glass of wine before shooting sessions. Noone have ever seen these guys in the same situation drinking a lot of coffee, as already noted. So, let's all go the pub for a beer and a game of darts. :smile:

    //Björn
     
  24. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    You can go quite slower than you might think. '30 definitely with an 80mm. '15 probably most of the time. Slower if you are really careful and don't mind taking a shot on a gamble.

    One great thing about square format is how convenient a monopod is. Of course, it hits you in the nuts sometimes, but much easier to use than with a rectangle.
     
  25. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    Perhaps target shooting with a camera can become an Olympic sport ;-)
     
  26. Toffle

    Toffle Member

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    I've been holding off on this thread, but I guess I can add my two cents worth... I find the TLR format so much more stable than holding an SLR up to my eyes. In most cases, I won't think twice over a shutter speed of 1/15. I'm a whole lot more selective at 1/8, and begin to question my sanity at 1/4... One odd side effect of this is that occasionally I will find myself dialing in a really slow speed on my Nikon before I realize what I'm up to.