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# Thread: How slow can you go handholding a TLR?

1. Originally Posted by Rolleiflexible
Will do. Melanie's the
real talent in the family.
Ah, so that explains it... you're just the trophy husband!

2. I've heard in a lecture from a reliable teacher on the subject of slow shutter speeds that 1/15 is the worst shutter speed to work with because the second the mirror opens and flaps up the vibration starts at exactly 1/15 of a second (on a 35mm camera anyway). He recommended either go one down on the aperature and shoot at 1/30 or increase the aperature a stop and shoot at 1/8 as the photo will suffer less proportional vibration. The logic is that, even though the immediate vibration may be the same, it's taking in less light in the initial vibration from the mirror slap and bringing in more light when the vibrations stop.
Is this correct? I've never actually tried it before (I just muscle out the tripod), but I remember taking really good concert photos at 1/8 of a second with no flash as long as I could sturdy the camera. I'm a little skeptical of the logic, but it does make sense in a sense.

3. Originally Posted by jordanstarr
I've heard in a lecture from a reliable teacher on the subject of slow shutter speeds that 1/15 is the worst shutter speed to work with because the second the mirror opens and flaps up the vibration starts at exactly 1/15 of a second (on a 35mm camera anyway). He recommended either go one down on the aperature and shoot at 1/30 or increase the aperature a stop and shoot at 1/8 as the photo will suffer less proportional vibration. The logic is that, even though the immediate vibration may be the same, it's taking in less light in the initial vibration from the mirror slap and bringing in more light when the vibrations stop.
Is this correct? I've never actually tried it before (I just muscle out the tripod), but I remember taking really good concert photos at 1/8 of a second with no flash as long as I could sturdy the camera. I'm a little skeptical of the logic, but it does make sense in a sense.
I'm not sure, it sounds a lot like saying it's ok to put the cat in the microwave so long as it's fur isn't wet.

4. NEVER SKIP PAGES. I went from page one about how to use slow speeds on a TLR to mirror slap (on a TLR??) and cat's in microwave ovens on page five. I am scared to read the rest. I'm going to clean the soda off of my computer now.

5. Originally Posted by jordanstarr
I've heard in a lecture from a reliable teacher on the subject of slow shutter speeds that 1/15 is the worst shutter speed to work with because the second the mirror opens and flaps up the vibration starts at exactly 1/15 of a second (on a 35mm camera anyway). He recommended either go one down on the aperature and shoot at 1/30 or increase the aperature a stop and shoot at 1/8 as the photo will suffer less proportional vibration. The logic is that, even though the immediate vibration may be the same, it's taking in less light in the initial vibration from the mirror slap and bringing in more light when the vibrations stop.
Is this correct? I've never actually tried it before (I just muscle out the tripod), but I remember taking really good concert photos at 1/8 of a second with no flash as long as I could sturdy the camera. I'm a little skeptical of the logic, but it does make sense in a sense.
The logic is correct. Sort of.

Assuming the vibrations start at 1/15 sec. after the mirror went up, you would also need to know how long the vibrations last and when the exposure starts to know how much the mirror induced shake will affect the picture.
But supposing the exposure starts exactly then too, and that the shake takes 1/15 to die down, the longer the exposure, the smaller the proportion of it that is affected.
Shorter exposure will reduce shake only if they start (and possibly/ideally finish) before the shake starts. But given that the mirror is hitting the frame (the thing that is supposed to cause the shake) before the exposure can begin, how big is the chance of that happening?
It would depend on the speed with which the movement propagates through the camera, i.e. the camera not being quite ready to shake yet, but quite willing and able to complete the rest of the release cycle.

What would be not correct is that you can name one single speed as generally the worst one. That would be different for different cameras.

And what would also not be correct is any assumption that mirror induced shake is something we need to worry about when we are holding the camera in our hands...
If present, it is orders of magnitude smaller than hand induced shake.

So unless you have your camera on a tripod, do not worry about the mirror!

6. Q.G....
My thoughts exactly. We should probably just put a cat in the microwave for good measure anyway.

7. I'll chirp in here. I've been playing around with a lot of low light stuff recently and I like others here feel I can safely use 1/8 with a TLR. My method is to use a strap or kneel on the ground (like a rifle-shooter) camera perched on my knee.
Range finders or TLRs are best for low shutter speed although I don't think they are a panacea as has been pointed out one mans sharp is another mans soft and final print size is important too.
Here is a gallery of very low light images shot on a Rolleiflex 1/8-1/15 wide open at F3.5 12,800 EI
http://www.pbase.com/mark_antony/robert_short_70th
most seem sharp to me
YMMV
Mark

8. Originally Posted by jordanstarr
We should probably just put a cat in the microwave for good measure anyway.
To be scientific, two.
One wet, one dry.

9. to be scientific ... at least two more, to additionally check out wether it is a singular case or a pattern

10. Originally Posted by Q.G.

What level of sharpness you can achive also depends on the situation.
On the open top deck of a ship on open sea, in a blustering gail, you can even forget about using 1/2000.
Same situation, but with the photographer still panting, heart racing, because he ran up many flights of stairs just to get to that top deck in time, you can also forget about 1/8000.
I was able to get tack sharp photos from a speedboat, rocking on the rough waves in Boston Harbor - the boat was in constant motion - using my RB hand held at 1/400 with a 90mm (standard) lens, wide open. When I looked at the quality of the photos I could guess that they could have been shot at 1/250 and would still be acceptably sharp. No exaggeration.

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