Mirror slap, 6X/ amd 6X6

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by rfshootist, Mar 6, 2006.

  1. rfshootist

    rfshootist Member

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    Mirror slap, 6X7 and 6X6

    Ladies and gentlemen,

    as a TLR and 35mm shooter i have absolutely now experience and no imagination, how serious the prob of the above mentioned mirror slap really is.

    A friend owns a Pentax 6X7, the SLR type, not the RB mag back type. He tells me that he cannnot shoot this beast free hand with more than 1/250 sec, if at all. MLU and tripod almost obligatory.

    I think about a ARAX 60 or Pentacon 6, maybe a Pentax 6X7 too, depending on how the budget situation will develeop ;-) Simply would like to have wider lens for MF than my TLR has.

    I should add that I am very sensitive at this point, I am an anti-vibe nuts, the vibration prob is IMO extremely underestimated mainly by those who have shot 35mm solely all their life , the LF fans know best what damnage one can to do a lens performance by vibes. I use even a RF plus a wide lens never without a monopod if I must go slower than 1/30. A bit nuts, I said it but I simply hate it to spoil the ( expensive) top performance of a lens with such a beginners fault.

    The question:
    What shutter time limits do the experienced long term MF SLR users among you have for the handheld and non-MLU use of such a camera I mentioned above? Would anybody confirm what my friend told me ? If so, the camera would have a more limited use than I expected it to have, I should re-think the idea then.

    Thanks for all advice !

    Bertram
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 6, 2006
  2. Troy Ammons

    Troy Ammons Member

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    I have used the RZ67 at 1/30th handheld with good results.
     
  3. ricksplace

    ricksplace Member

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    I only hand hold my Pentacon 6tl at 1/125 or faster (usually faster). It's not that the results are poor, it's just that I can see the difference in those sharp zeiss lenses if I don't use a tripod. I got spoiled several years ago. I rarely used a tripod at all until one day, I decided to try the test of handholding vs tripod at various shutter speeds with my Pentax ME super with a 1.4/50 smctak. I could see a difference at 1/125! Now, If I have a tripod with me, I use it.

    Then again, I usually don't hand hold my Rolleiflex (tlr) below 1/125 either...
     
  4. Charles Webb

    Charles Webb Member

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    I have used my Pentax 6x7 for many years, hand held, tripod or braced against a fence post and I have not been bothered by mirror slap. I believe that the mirror slap theory is a good one, but it has not caused me to lose a single negative. I believe the whole idea is pretty much over exaggerated, as it has not been a problem with my own cameras.


    Charlie...........................
     
  5. Paul Sorensen

    Paul Sorensen Member

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    The RB 67 seems to have very good mirror dampening. I have not heard the same about the Pentax. One thing to note, however, is not tobe put off by the sound of the mirror on the RB, it is pretty loud and sounds almost like it is underwater, but the vibration is very well dampened.
     
  6. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    I tend to adhere to the same rule that you hear when learning about 35mm cameras - 1/focal length for shutter speed or faster when handholding when in doubt. That said, I've got very steady hands, so I can get away with handholding my Hasselblad at some pretty slow shutter speeds. I've pulled off 1/15th with my 80mm lens before, and once, bracing myself against a column, exhaling and all the other rigmarole, took an acceptably sharp pic with my 50mm @ 1/4 sec. Was it critically sharp? no. Was it good enough? heck yeah! I was lucky to be able to take the shot in the first place, and I got a great pic I otherwise wouldn't have been able to take (no tripods allowed).
     
  7. paul ewins

    paul ewins Member

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    Bertram,
    I don't think mirror slap is going to be an issue if you are hand holding. Yes, you would want to use higher speeds (1/125 or more) but only because of shaky hands. Some people can hand hold at quite slow speeds, others can't.

    Where it becomes an issue is when the camera is mounted on a tripod and you are using slower speeds. If the tripod is too light or too rigid the vibrations are not absorbed properly and shake the camera. Michael Reichman talks about that here:
    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/cameras/pentax67ii.shtml
    and also about shake from the shutter itself between 1/4 and 1/60.

    On the other hand, one of the 67 shooters on the Pentax mailing list showed a video where he balanced a nickel on edge on the focussing screen and fired the shutter without it falling over. This was on a heavier tripod and head combination.

    Importantly, these are landscape photographers and they encounter the problem with the bigger lenses - 300mm+. Telephoto lenses will accentuate any shake as they have a much narrower field of view.

    So, for hand holding learn to brace yourself to minimize shaky hands. For tripod mounting get a solid tripod, preferably with wooden legs as they absorb vibrations better than metal legs. But that would be true for any MF or LF camera.

    Personally, I shoot portraits under tungsten lights using the 105 and 165 and haven't had a problem hand holding. Remember too that you will be enlarging a lot less than with 35mm and even 6x6 so any vibration issues will be much less apparent.
     
  8. herb

    herb Member

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    Mirror slap

    Look in Barry Thornton's Edge of Darkness-he did a series of tests on sharpness that you will find interesting. bottom line: if you are a sharpness
    nut, use a tripod below 125th.
     
  9. Charles Webb

    Charles Webb Member

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    I must throw in a disclaimer. Paul E pointed out something I failed to consider, that was hand holding longer lenses. The longest lens I will try to hand hold is a 200mm. Anything over that I use the biggest and strongest tripod I own to support them.(many times two tripods)

    I do get along pretty well with 165mm and shorter.

    Charlie......................


    I think the 125 of a second Herb mentions is a good speed to work with if possible.
     
  10. Bruce Appel

    Bruce Appel Member

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    I have a contrarion view I suppose. I have used an sl-66 and kiev k60, and can handhold both down to about 1/60 with decent, not stellar results. I think it has more to do with my ability than mirror shake. I don't think that mirror shake is much of an issue until you get to speeds you probably wouldn't want to hand hold with anyway. I could very well be fos, but when really looking closely at my kiev,for instance, it seems the shutter is already just about closed before the mirror thumps anything at any speed above about1/60th. If that is so, the mirror can shake all it wants, it is not going to affect the images at those speeds.
    With an 80mm lens, for me to get really sharp results I need to be at about 1/100th of a second or greater, matters not the format, nor shutter type.
    At speeds below 1/60th with an 80mm a tripod is in order, and mirror lock up is a good idea.
     
  11. rfshootist

    rfshootist Member

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    With MLU I suppose ?

    Bertram
     
  12. rfshootist

    rfshootist Member

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    True. A weak tripod can be worse than a handheld shot !
    Bertram
     
  13. rfshootist

    rfshootist Member

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    That is what another friend told me too, at this point the RB seems highly professional. Worth a thought, it's so huge tho..................

    Bertram
     
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  15. Troy Ammons

    Troy Ammons Member

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    No mlu. Just squated down, braced and shot.

    Here are links to two shots. I think the first was 1/60th and the second was 1/30th or visa versa.

    I am sure it would have been better on a tripod, but I was just playing around and trying slow speeds that day.

    The RZ is really smooth. I also think the 6# camera weight helps dampen things a bit.

    The white streak was from a ding on the lens element/

    http://www.pbase.com/tammons/image/56925121

    http://www.pbase.com/tammons/image/56925355


     
  16. rfshootist

    rfshootist Member

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    Bruce,
    in my understanding steady hands ( just another prob) don't help when it comes to mirror vibes ? What helps only is a perfect dampening of the mirror and maybe a bit it helps to connect the camera to a dampening mass , the own beerbelly for example. I suppose not much effect tho , if at all any.

    That means of course even on a tripod the use of MLU is in principle unavoidable . At this point my question could have been more precisely, I should have asked what the experiences with the mirror dampening of these cameras is, tripod and MLU for me are a necessary combo.

    The Mamyia RB/RZ seem to have a superior design, I remember my local photog shooting his portrait work in the studio always without MLU !!
    And his photos had been sharp enuff even for a vibe-paranoid person like me
    The noise has nothing to say it seems, as Paul Sorensen said.

    bertram
     
  17. rfshootist

    rfshootist Member

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  18. Troy Ammons

    Troy Ammons Member

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    Worth a rental for sure. Its just a heavy system.
     
  19. Bruce Appel

    Bruce Appel Member

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    I wonder how you really assess mirror slap? I supsect, and again this is just speculation, that something simply sounding and "feeling " dampened may not be. I guess my thought is that perceived mirror slap and shake may be very different from actual mirror slap and shake.
    A few years back I taped a laser pointer to a hot shoe adapter. I put it on a camera on a tripod, pointed the pointer towards a wall and fired. You could see how much it bounced around. The problem with this technique is that again, a lot of the action in a bouncing slr is happening after the shutter has closed, and you couldn't tell that by the laser.
     
  20. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    Did that some weeks ago. Pointer-mirror-wall~20meters. Tested on longer shuttersspeeds I do believe the vidration occurs under exposure. I had the dot mowe approx 15-20mm caused by the mirror and approx 5mm caused by the shutter(first curtain). Never seen any blur caused by shutter induced vibration on film though. I think a firm grip wil kill vibration better than a mediocre tripod/-head. Offcource it looks like a lot more on faster shutterspeeds where you really get some action from the mirror going both up and down in an instant.
    cheers Søren
     
  21. timeUnit

    timeUnit Member

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    If mirror slap is that much of an issue, I think you should look at Mamiya 6 and 7. I have the 7 and I have handheld at 1/15 with good results, and at 1/2 sec bracing against a rail with OK results. The shutter in the 7 is the most silent and vibration-free I've used. It's good there's a "shutter fired"-indicator in the viewfinder or I'd often miss that the shutter did.

    I don't know what you want the camera for, but I'd say the Mamiya 6 and 7 are the lightest, smallest and sharpest MF cameras out there that work good in low light without tripod. The only major drawbacks is inherent in the RF design itself, not the camera, ie parallax error, limited close focusing, not the best for long lenses etc. And of course, it's expensive!

    *h
     
  22. Max Power

    Max Power Member

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    FWIW, my opinion on the matter is that mirror slap is probably only a minor player, depending upon the situation.

    I shoot an M645; all in all, it is an awkward camera to hold and control in the best of conditions. It is very heavy and not ergonomic at all. Without my L-grip, handholding at below 1/60 is simply not on. I figure that the grip, or lack thereof, has more to do with shake at low speeds than anything else.

    If it's that bad for an M645 at low speeds, I cannot imagine a P67!!!

    Kent
     
  23. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    I don't know. Could be the P67 ergonomics are better than the M645. I feel that my old Pentax 6X7 rests nicely in my hands. Then again I tried some shots on Delta3200 @ 1/30 or 1/60 and they came out blurred. Offcource reason could be the uncomfortable shootingposition leaning over his baby carriage where he was sleeping.
    Søren
     
  24. meltronic

    meltronic Member

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    Hi, I'll chime in. I shoot with a 6x6 Kowa and have had lots of sharp exposures at 1/30 and a few at 1/15. I think having the waist-level viewer helps to steady the camera. It's much easier to hold steady in that position than with the camera raised to eye-level. I'd say if you need to hand hold at slow speeds, ditch the pentaprism.
     
  25. Max Power

    Max Power Member

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    I bet that you're right on this one. I have a C220 and it too weighs a ton. I found that it's really steady at low handheld speeds because I can just use the camera strap to take the weight.

    I hadn't thought of it but I'd bet that a WLF on an SLR would do the same thing.

    Kent
     
  26. rfshootist

    rfshootist Member

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    All true, the good and the bad side, no question. But i don't want another RF system, I do want that SLR "tunnel view" others hate so much, you know. :smile:) Composing properly with the framelines of a RF finder is real hard work for me, it needs a certain effort of imagination which I perceive as distracting. I accept it nolens volens for certain tasks as the best technical solution but I don't love it.

    Bertram