Is 1/30th sec too slow for GA645?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by RattyMouse, Jan 4, 2013.

  1. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Subscriber

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    I'm wondering what would be a good minimum shutter speed for the GA645 Fuji camera. I recently got back some film and found many super soft images, with nothing much in good focus. I think I might be too liberal with what shutter speeds I can get away with, with this camera. It's got a 65 mm lens and I go well under 1/60 sec in shutter speeds. At what speed should I try to maintain to make certain that camera shake is not really probable?

    Thanks!
     
  2. thegman

    thegman Member

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    Depends on your technique mostly. I find 1/30th just fine on a 35mm range finder, but on my 6x6 range finder, I get shaky images. Obviously try to keep speeds as high as you can, 1/60 or faster. Also, try steadying techniques like pushing camera against your face a bit for steadiness, squeeze the shutter button, rather than push/jab. Also try even regulating your breathing.
     
  3. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    As the previous post says, it depends a lot on your technique, but using a 35mm camera hand held with a 50mm lens, I try and use 1/125 as much as possible.
     
  4. powasky

    powasky Member

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    Ratty, you might consider using a monopod to help stabilise your shots. Alternatively, BRASS: Breathe, Relax, Aim, Slowly Squeeze
     
  5. Too old to care

    Too old to care Subscriber

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    When I was younger and shooting weddings for a living, 1/30 of a second was a snap. Not so today, I now use a mono-pod or tripod for my shots.
     
  6. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Getting slow shutter speeds hand held, and sharp, is about technique too, but there is also a difference in how steady people's hands are.

    Many people say that as long as you stay with 1/focal length of lens, (1/50th s for 50mm lens, etc), you will get reasonably sharp images. I use breathing techniques where I inhale and exhale about half of the way, I brace my arms against my body as much as possible, I relax, and try to do everything that I can, but I can't for the life of me get sharp pictures that way. I even bought a fancy shutter release button that threads into the cable release socket to aid my very large hands in not jerking the camera too much when I release the shutter. It doesn't work.
    I may get lucky and get some pictures sharp that way, but I have to be at 1/125th s when shooting with a 50mm lens, or I just will not reliably get a sharp negative.

    I think it's about finding your own personal limit, and using proper technique while practicing a lot. What you find might entail that you need to use a monopod, or some other aid to help you with longer shutter times.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 4, 2013
  7. summicron1

    summicron1 Subscriber

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    depends on the camera, too -- for example, i was handholding 1/30 with a speed graphic a bit ago (127mm lens) and the images came out fine -- the shutter is small, and has blades, so the force of the shutter surrounds the center of the lens and pretty much damps itself. The blades are small and light, so very little mass pushing the camera this way or that. Plus the mass of the camera prevents vibration.

    a 645 -- does that have a mirror? If so, that's a lot of mass slamming around. Get thee a monopod and be happy.
     
  8. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Apart from the suggestions given, try a faster film if your current one regularly requires 1/30 or even 1/60th and the negs are fuzzy. Even with D3200 grain won't be a problem unless the prints are very large. Better a little grain than fuzziness.

    pentaxuser
     
  9. limsoonchung

    limsoonchung Member

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    I have a Fuji GA645 and use it a lot. It's a lightweight camera and has little mass to counteract the shooter's tremors. You have to be pretty careful when shooting slower than 1/60. The shutter firing is very smooth and doesn't move the camera much, if at all. It's all down to holding it steady and firing with a smooth and light action.

    sc
     
  10. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Subscriber

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    Yes, I intend to do that. I mostly shoot Acros and Reala, ISO100 film. Now I have some Delta 3200, which is a HUGE step up there, so I should get a better idea what the camera can do at better shutter speeds.

    Thanks!
     
  11. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Subscriber

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    No mirror in the GA645, it's a rangefinder. A monopod would suck the life out of a GA645. It's built to be a p & s.
     
  12. thegman

    thegman Member

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    If you want to shoot colour, try Portra 400, ISO 400 (or greater) speed, but grain more like a ISO 100 film.
     
  13. 20DB

    20DB Member

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    The leaf shutter in the GA645 makes 1/30 fairly easy to pull off as long as your technique is solid - one of the reasons I love that camera :smile:
     
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  15. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    Is your problem one of focus, or camera motion? The type of unsharpness is quite different. Motion will give double or smeared edges, almost always in one direction. Poor focus will give a general diffuse image, but something, either in the backgroud or foreground will usually be sharp.

    A thirtieth is on the slow side; it's certainly doable with practice and good technique but I'd use a tripod at that speed if I wanted to be sure of good negatives. I try to stay in the 1/125 and up range, and that's with any camera handheld.
     
  16. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    I can sometimes shoot "acceptable" images at 1/30th with extreme care (leaning on a post or something) but do expect them to be perfectly sharp. But for critical sharpness or when I expect to be doing some enlarging I try not to ever got below 1/125th regardless the focal length and follow the old 1/focal length for lens longer than 100mm.

    About 10 years ago at a multi-day photo workshop there were a number of participants boasting about hand holding down to 1/30 or even 1/15. Their chromes on the light table later in the week proved otherwise.
     
  17. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    (*snicker*) Yes, I've had similar experiences.:laugh:
    I have uncommonly steady hands, I work on tiny things, I shoot target rifles offhand, I know how to hold the camera steady with breathing and etc... I use a tripod or monopod when I want the sharpest images.
     
  18. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    Recently I've been using a tripod for all my shots.

    Jeff
     
  19. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Subscriber

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    I don't know, that is why I am asking about shutter speed. I think of the GA645 as a 35mm lens camera, so tend to shoot with slow shutter speeds. However, the lens is in reality a 65mm one so I might be over doing it with my slowness. Here are a few examples. The monochrome image has light leak as the roll did not wind properly for some reason. But you can see that nothing is in focus. I dont have the shutter speeds used for these in front of me right now.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Try setting your camera to shutter speed priority and work with various shutter speeds to see at which settings you get reliably sharp pictures.
     
  21. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Subscriber

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    This one worries me. SHot in very bright sunlight, yet nothing is sharp. Bad s**n?

    [​IMG]
     
  22. Brian C. Miller

    Brian C. Miller Member

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    Ratty, the color images seem to be in focus, based on the size posted. In the first post, I can see individual hairs on the children, particularly the girl. If I remember correctly, the model you have is an autofocus camera, correct? So the first question I have about your B&W image is, where would you expect the camera to focus?

    The Fuji system uses IR beams, like a point & shoot. The beams need to target something. The scene you have shows a street scene, from near to far, with lots of stuff there. The area that is dead ahead of the camera is dark, with a wall with lots of stuff on it at an angle to the camera. Perhaps the autofocus beams told the camera that it was focusing on infinity?

    My Fuji GA645zi has a full manual mode, but it also displays all of the settings it will use when I press the button halfway down. Like shutter speed, f/stop, and focus zone. (And I have my back set to print the information on the film, too.) If your camera displays the focus area it will use, then I suggest that you check that to make sure it's targeting the correct area.
     
  23. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Subscriber

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    I cant recall what I used to focus the camera in the monochrome image. Since I was not quite close to anything, I would have expected that the depth of field would be large enough to allow for something to be in focus, even if it choose infinity. I cannot see focus area in my viewfinder except for the center cross hairs. I dont believe the GA645 focuses anywhere but dead center in the viewfinder. I try to check the distance information reported to see if it makes sense but I cannot judge close calls like 1.5 meters (vs 1.4 or 1.8 meters if those were the real distances).
     
  24. Brian C. Miller

    Brian C. Miller Member

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    Well, here's the thing: I don't see the jiggle in your B&W photo that I would associate with a slow shutter speed. The furtherest thing in the photograph looks like it's a lot closer than "infinity," so I'm guessing that the aperture was wide open, like f/4.0. What I can tell is that the things that are the most out-of-focus are closest to you, while the things that are the least out-of-focus are furtherest away from you. Plus you have that light leak on the right hand side, so that can also mess up evaluation of the negative. According to the manual, if the lens is wide open, then what will be "in focus" will be 20m to infinity. That seems to be outside of the range of what's in the photograph.

    Another thing is that you are having the lab scan the film for you. Have you looked at your film using a loupe? Very often a hastily performed scan, like a sloppy enlargement, will make it appear that your camera is messing up when it's actually OK.

    Do you know any film afficianados in your area? It might be worth your while to seek out someone with some experience, and ask them some questions. Ask them to look at the processed film.

    Also, have you done a brick wall test? Really, just about any wall outdoors will do. Place yourself perpendicular to the wall, and make a series of exposures at the autofocus distance. The wall should always be in focus. According to the manual, just don't use a wall which only has vertical stripes, because that messes up the autofocus.
     
  25. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Subscriber

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    Brian, Thank you for ALL your suggestions. I will follow them and do the brick wall test. I also need to buy a loupe! All great points. Thank you for your time.
     
  26. Mark Fisher

    Mark Fisher Subscriber

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    I just take the shot with the lens wide open when I need to. With my GA645zi (great camera), I can hand hold 1/15 pretty regularly. Here is one example that I know was at about 1/15 (maybe 1/8) by looking at the page turning. Technique coupled with a soft release can allow you to get pretty low with this camera. Now, if I could quiet it down, it would be perfect!