The 'length' of the first camera shake on the left is about 2.5x the standard CoC for the 35mm negative format (2.5 x 0.022 mm). In other words, your resolution is dropping to about 18 lp/mm. That's pretty poor.
Originally Posted by hoffy
No mirror lock-up was used in order to compare to the worst tripod performance possible. Even with mirror slap, the tripod performance is about the same as the CoC. This proves Q.C.'s statement that mirror slap is minor compared to hand-held camera shake.
After thinking about it a bit more, I'm not so sure that it really is a 35mm rule. I remember my Dad teaching me this rule at a time when we used nothing but medium-format cameras. Could it be that the rule is an older medium-format rule of thumb and was carelessly carried over to 35mm?
The smaller the format, the more critical camera shake is.
The attached sample shows the 1/60s exposure with a 50mm lens again. This time it also shows the standard CoCs for 35mm, 6x6 and 4x5. Judging from this shot, I'd say that 35mm needs a tripod or a faster shutter speed, but MF would get away with the rule of thumb. LF has no issue at all, but a 50mm lens is unrealistic for LF.
I think this is a marginal as a rule-of-thumb and only applicable where there is nothing else driving the shutter speed choice and when the value of the shot is low.
Originally Posted by hoffy
As with most rules-of-thumb, it is like a set of training wheels and absolutely conditional on the shooters skill and intent of the photographer.
For a high value shot, shutter speed needs to be driven by an answer to this question "what do you, as the artist or technician, expect from this photo?"
Given that the "intent" may change from shot to shot the rule-of-thumb is in my estimation bunk for serious work.
I've been shooting a fair amount lately at 1/10th to 1/15th hand-held and panning. The rule of thumb is just way to fast for the effect I want.
For general snap shooting I'd rather deal with a little underexposure when I'm enlarging, than with unintended blur so the rule-of-thumb, based on my preferences, is too slow for me there.
If I really need a truly sharp shot I'm going to use something besides a rule-of-thumb and I'll be lugging the right tools along.
Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR
"We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin
Don't make too big a deal out of it. This rule of thumb is no more than a way to find a safe handheld shutterspeed.
As such (and for what's it's worth) it stands, no matter what other considerations there are that drive shutterspeed choice.
Maybe I haven't had enough time to wake up on a Sunday morning yet, but instead of saying "If you were to set the minimum shutter speed to be the same as the focal length, you shouldn't be affected by camera shake" wouldn't phrasing it to read "If you don't set the shutter speed to be at least the same as the focal length, you will be affected by camera shake" make more sense?
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No it doesn't make any more sense, have a coffee wake up
It's entirely possible to get sharp images at slower speeds, just less likely, and there's to many variables. It depends how you're standing, holding the camera, type of cameras etc.
When shooting with my Leica + 50mm lens I know that using 125th of a second I always get good sharp shots, there's no mirror to bounce.
It's just a very loose rule of thumb, no more than that.
Another factor to consider is the degree of enlargement expected.
For example, consider a 4x5 press camera such as a Speed Graphic. To get a print that is 8x10 you only enlarge 2X.
From 6x7, the same size print is 4X enlargement and a 35mm would need a 8x enlargement. Camera shake from the 35mm would be more exaggerated.
The film is just an intermediate stage though and is irrelevant. What does matter is the final print size and the larger the print (or magnification) the greater the chance of camera shake being visible in the print.
Originally Posted by mopar_guy
Obviously we can then start arguing about viewing distances!.....
"People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.
Since the final print size is typically unknown, or could change in the future, it is common to make sure that camera shake is below the CoC. That's why I used it as a criterion in my posts.
Originally Posted by RalphLambrecht
The really interesting point is that your father taught you this for MF. Historically, the rule of thumb was developed [pun intended] for MF and then in the 1960's and 1970's at the photo stores I worked at*, we started telling the customers to use the rule for 35mm cameras.
* one was Baker's Photo on Wisconsin Avenue Washington DC NW
Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!
Nothing beats a great piece of glass!
I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.