Reducing camera shake - strength training?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Equipment' started by aldevo, Jun 28, 2009.

  1. aldevo

    aldevo Member

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    I'm curious as to which muscle groups are of the greatest import in determining one's ability to hand-hold a camera.

    Has anybody on APUG undertaken strength training in the interest or reducing camera shake when hand-holding larger MP cameras, such as the RB67/RZ67 or Pentax 67?

    I'm moving towards building a medium format system beyond my current Yashicatmat. I'm not overfond of the 6x6 format for certain applicatioins and would prefer a 6x7 system, but all of these are rather more heavy than (e.g.) a Bronica SQ-series camera & lens.
     
  2. Ian David

    Ian David Subscriber

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    My guess would be hands, forearms and upper arms. Legs too if the camera is extra heavy!
     
  3. Pinholemaster

    Pinholemaster Member

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    It is not about strength, but more about breath control and a smooth release of the shutter, not a jab.
     
  4. Ian David

    Ian David Subscriber

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  5. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    exactly!
     
  6. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    It does of course involve postural / "slow twitch" strength, as opposed to "fast twitch" strength. Slow, smooth, toning exercises will be beneficial. All over toning and endurance-related exercise (sculling was very beneficial to me, overall) will help with the breathing and concentration. Isometrics may help as well.

    Exercises focused on burst strength are less likely to beneficial.

    For the very best results, a timer or remote release is advisable; finger impulse to the shutter button is never beneficial... unless of course you want blur...
     
  7. Samuel Hotton

    Samuel Hotton Member

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    Precision rifle and handgun shooters have similar requirements for steadiness from shake as photographers. Handguns can weigh as much as 3 pounds and rifles 10 pounds. Shooters tend to practice in positions that use "Bone on bone support" more than muscle support as it is more steady and does not fatigue. They practice "Breath control, sight picture, trigger squeeze and follow through". Photographers can use breath control, shutter squeeze and follow through equally to their advantage. Strength, flexability, posture and proper breathing are to be desired. Pro shooters also claim that caffene and tobacco affects vision and contributes to unsteadiness. The most obvious muscle groups would be lower back, traps and front deltoids.
    All the best,
    Sam H.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 29, 2009
  8. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    I use a tripod! I'm a lazy SOB!

    Jeff
     
  9. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    Up to a point, a heavier camera will shake less than a light one due to inertia. Once you aproach the point at which your muscles start complaining though, the shake will increase.

    I do not do any training for hand holding my RB67 other than taking it out and using it.


    Steve.
     
  10. aldevo

    aldevo Member

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    Steve,

    What is the slowest shutter speed you've been able to use to hand-hold your RB67?

    Thanks
     
  11. thisismyname09

    thisismyname09 Member

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    I'm not steve but I can answer that question just as well. I've managed to get good shots at 1/30, so long as the subject(s) are still. Sometimes 1/15, but the blur gets noticable at bigger enlargements.
     
  12. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    I am Steve but to be honest, I have not experimented with slow shutter speeds. 1/125 is the speed I use for about 90% of my shots.

    I occasionally go down to 1/60 or even 1/30 with my Rolleicord but nothing too slow.


    Steve.
     
  13. archphoto

    archphoto Member

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    One thing you should not do is over-tightning your mussels, it makes them vibrate.
    The more relaxed, both in body, mind and breathing the better.

    Weight training: if you are the move all day with a RB or Linhof Master Techika that training is included.

    Otherwise a monopod will help to stabilize the camera together with spread legs.

    Peter
     
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  15. Lightproof

    Lightproof Member

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    No extra strength is needed as long as you can carry your camera. Its all about finding the proper posture.

    You can lower the effect of muscle vibration by bringing your posture to a point where you can feel your ligaments bending.
    The rest is about breath control. Do not hold your breath, just slow it down.
     
  16. bobwysiwyg

    bobwysiwyg Subscriber

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    I've done some competitive shooting (rifle) and you do hold your breath, but just momentarily to squeeze off the shot. Inhaling and exhaling expands/contracts lungs and transfers movement to weapon via your arms or shoulders. I would think the same thing can happen with a camera. I've always held mine for an instant when tripping the shutter if the camera is hand held.
     
  17. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    I've had the best luck with not holding the camera tightly at all...rather cradling it as gently as possible such that the inertia of the camera itself is the dominant factor. This works especially well with big cameras. This depends on the camera but most of them will fire shake-free if you dangle them from a string and use the timer. Also my wife with her very petite hands has no trouble shooting my heavier cameras at low speeds. From this I conclude that it's the human factor, mostly the shutter release, that's causing the shake. But then again, I have injured wrists, and gripping tightly will induce a shake in my hands. It plays hell with my shooting; I have to use a rather weak grip and skateboard tape on the grip because gripping firmly will cause shakes to start.
     
  18. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    I undertook a strenuous year long session of drinking beer each day, now I can rest the camera on my belly.
     
  19. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    What they said. :smile:

    Steve
     
  20. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    What he said rather than what they said. Sounds a lot more fun

    pentaxuser
     
  21. Akki14

    Akki14 Member

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    I was quite pleased with my recent indoor colour shots I took with my Yashica-A as they were about 1-2 seconds long without a tripod with no hint of jiggle :smile: I've not even been weight lifting lately!
     
  22. doomtroll

    doomtroll Member

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    As silly as it sounds, Yoga.
     
  23. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I assume you are using a waist-level finder :smile:

    Matt
     
  24. cmo

    cmo Member

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    Try a Bronica GS-1. For a 6x7 it is extremely light and compact. If you can live without TTL metering and aperture priority you don't need the prism finder and save even more weight.
     
  25. Mark Antony

    Mark Antony Member

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    This is about the lightest 6x7 I've used
    http://photo-utopia.blogspot.com/2008_02_03_archive.html

    It also has a shutter button on the front that you can squeeze and have less tendency to jab they also come in 6x9.
    I can shoot the above at 1/15 easily without blur.
    But to echo what others have said technique rather than strength, don't jab.
    I think my Rollei is best though possibly due to me holding it a waist height but obviously its 6x6.
    Mark
     
  26. oldnick

    oldnick Member

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    I think and always been that religion that you don't need big muscles to not shaking. Just need to relax muscles not indolent.