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  1. #1
    ColdEye's Avatar
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    Shutter Speed for Handheld Shooting

    Is it doable for somebody with shaky hands (me) to shoot macro handheld? I know I should get a tripod, but I don't have one yet. I was trying to shoot some stuff using a 55mm and when it goes to 1:1, the shaking is noticeable in the viewfinder. I used a shutter speed of 1/500, will that do? What might be the lowest shutter speed to use without necessary blur?

  2. #2
    2F/2F's Avatar
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    It depends on how close you are and how much you are shaking. Sometimes you can get away with it. Other times not. But a tripod whenever possible is the way to go. I would say that at '500 with a 55mm lens you will likely have sharp shots...but only in focus if your focusing screen is perfectly calibrated.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

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  3. #3

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    With macro, especially extreme macros like 1:1 has challenges. Not only it is difficult to get enough light in to properly illuminate the subject and keep the shutter speed high (otherwise motion blur will ocurr), but also keeping the distance from the subject steady is hard. Please note, at this kind of distance and with reasonable aperture that will enable you to hand-hold, your DOF may be tenth of an inch or narrower. If you move forward and back even JUST a little, you can easily move outside of DOF resulting in soft image.

    I have 105mm f/2.8 macro. Handholding is a challenge.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  4. #4
    MattKing's Avatar
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    At 1:1, the shaking is magnified just as much as the subject!

    Don't forget that tripods aren't the only way to steady a camera.

    You can place the camera on a solid surface like a table and use a cable release or the self-timer.

    A "bean bag" can be a great camera support.

    Even bracing the camera against a door jamb can really help.

    A tripod is the most flexible option though.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattKing View Post

    A tripod is the most flexible option though.
    Flexible tripods suck.
    I do use a digital device in my photographic pursuits when necessary.
    When someone rags on me for using film, I use a middle digit, upraised.

  6. #6
    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lxdude View Post
    Flexible tripods suck.
    Except when your camera bag is rigid...



    Ken
    "Hate is an adolescent term used to stop discussion with people you disagree with. You can do better than that."
    —'blanksy', December 13, 2013

  7. #7
    Ottrdaemmerung's Avatar
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    A good rule of thumb for regular photography is that the slowest handholding speed is around the reciprocal of the focal length. For macro it may be even faster because of the extremely shallow DOF issue tkamiya mentioned.
    website | Flickr
    "Embrace the negative with absolution, your final positive reward." --IQ, "The Province," Frequency

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ottrdaemmerung View Post
    A good rule of thumb for regular photography is that the slowest handholding speed is around the reciprocal of the focal length. For macro it may be even faster because of the extremely shallow DOF issue tkamiya mentioned.
    Don't forget the compensation either. 2 stops for 1:1 with a 55
    Heavily sedated for your protection.

  9. #9
    ColdEye's Avatar
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    Thanks to all. Maybe I'll fashion myself a support for my camera since almost all of the shots I have planned is in like a bird's eye view. About the compensation, the lens has a guide on what the aperture is when it is in 1:2 up to 1:1, I think it is f7.1 at 1:1. Do I need to compensate on top of that?

  10. #10

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    Why dick around with supports that don't stabilize the subject too? Learn to use flash. And while you're at it, learn the basics of shooting closeup. Buy a copy of Lester Lefkowitz' book The Manual of Closeup Photography and study it.

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