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.
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 !
Last edited by rfshootist; 03-06-2006 at 11:18 AM. Click to view previous post history.
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I have used the RZ67 at 1/30th handheld with good results.
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...
"I'm still developing"
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.
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.
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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).
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:
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.
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.
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.
I think the 125 of a second Herb mentions is a good speed to work with if possible.
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.