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  1. #1
    manjo's Avatar
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    Camera shake? or faulty camera ?

    I shoot a bronica sqa, I use a tripod, and shoot 220 velvia 100F. When I do long exposures 2s + I notice that the image is a little fuzzy. It looks ok on the slide, but when I scan it at very high resolution and zoom in a little I see fuzzy images. this happens only to images that have long exposures. Which makes me suspect that I have some camera shake, but I use a solid tripod (gitzo) and solid ball head (manfotto) I just cant figure out what I might have done to produce fuzzy images. May be I should use mirror lock ? Any clue anyone ?
    [COLOR=Red]Cartman[/COLOR]: How long till I get the pictures back?
    [COLOR=Blue]Photographe[/COLOR]r: It will be four days
    [COLOR=Red]Cartman[/COLOR]: Four days! oh my god I cant wait that long
    -- South park

  2. #2
    glbeas's Avatar
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    First, do the obvious and try some shots with the mirror lockup. While you are at it be sure the ballhead is not creeping on you after you lock it in place. Check the legs of the tripod for the same thing. Last but not least be sure the tripod is standing on solid ground and is not sinking ever so slightly during the exposure.
    Placing a bubble level on the setup, centering it and leaving it for an extended time may show if the rig is settling anywhere.
    Gary Beasley

  3. #3

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    You should always use mirror lockup to reduce camera vibration when shooting on a tripod irrespective of shutter speed. I even go so far as to use mirror lockup when shooting handheld when I can, that's how important it is.

    Concerning tripods there are a couple of things that you can do. Gitzo's are great tripods with solid legs but removing the center colum and having your ball head attached directly to the tripod increases stability further. Kirk makes a great base plate to completely replace your gitzo center colum, see

    http://www.kirkphoto.com/tripodaccess.html#FP100200

    Also in terms of how your camera mounts to the ball head, by far the best and most solid system is the Acra Swiss type mounting platforms and specific plates made for your camera. See if you can replace the mounting platform on your head with one of these. These are ten times better and more stable than the Manforotto proporietary plates or those made out of plastic. See Kirk and Really Right Stuff websites:

    http://www.kirkphoto.com/
    http://www.reallyrightstuff.com/

    And finally, if your head is not heavy duty enough to carry the load, you may want to consider a new ball head, both Kirk and Really Right Stuff make great heads

  4. #4
    Dave Parker's Avatar
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    How close are you shooting to an area that cars and trucks are going through? it is amazing how little ground movement can affect and make the picture "fuzzy", I would reserve judgment until I actually seen one of the images, but again, would be very interested to see the enviorment your shootin in.

    Dave

  5. #5
    manjo's Avatar
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    Satinsnow! that was a great question! now I think about it I was on a pull out near the highway, I did not realize that cars and trucks passing by can cause such a vibration. Its true that the original slide does not show shake even under the loop, but if I scan it and zoom in on details I see fuzzy images. But I think its a great lesson to learn, I will use mirror lockup from now on. Now it makes perfect sence. Thanks for your help everyone.
    [COLOR=Red]Cartman[/COLOR]: How long till I get the pictures back?
    [COLOR=Blue]Photographe[/COLOR]r: It will be four days
    [COLOR=Red]Cartman[/COLOR]: Four days! oh my god I cant wait that long
    -- South park

  6. #6
    glbeas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by manjo
    Satinsnow! that was a great question! now I think about it I was on a pull out near the highway, I did not realize that cars and trucks passing by can cause such a vibration. Its true that the original slide does not show shake even under the loop, but if I scan it and zoom in on details I see fuzzy images. But I think its a great lesson to learn, I will use mirror lockup from now on. Now it makes perfect sence. Thanks for your help everyone.
    You know the problem most likely is not your camera but your scanner. Most that do these really high rez scans are not really doing it optically, just multiplying pixels mathematically off a lower resolution. Especially the 'cheaper' flatbeds.
    Gary Beasley

  7. #7

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    I agree with above. You can not judge sharpness with an Epson scan. well you can get an idea at 800 dpi, but it will still be up in the air.

    At 800 dpi on a 4870 on a decent LF/MF photo i usually get a 2 pixel edge. With something super sharp and tmax I have gotten a 1 pixel edge at times.

    A 2 pixel edge on an Epson at 800 dpi will be roughly a 2 pixel edge on a 2000 dpi drum scan depending.

    You really have to drum scan or scan with a nikon type film scanner to judge sharpness.

  8. #8
    Lee L's Avatar
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    You could visually evaluate relative camera shake with your setup with and without mirror lock up. Strap a laser pointer securely to the camera body or lens, then bounce it off a distant mirror back to the shooting position onto a white card or grid paper. Shoot with and without mirror lock up. You'll see any difference in the bouncing laser beam, especially if you work with longer laser travel. Fast, directly observable, quantifiable at least in relative terms, and no film wasted.

    Scanning also depends on the software you're using, some of which tries to tweak the results automatically for some anticipated advantage in ways that may subvert your purposes. Software such as Vuescan can sometimes drive the scanner with those features more under your control.

    I'd judge the film, not the scan.

    Lee

  9. #9
    agGNOME's Avatar
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    At 2 sec. + exposures you're probably using a cable release, but if not it may be something to consider in addition to all of the above advice and insight.



 

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