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  1. #1
    Edimilson's Avatar
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    Camera shake: self timer or cable release?

    Hello!

    I swear I have tried to find a definitive answer to this question before deciding to begin a new thread. My search was not succesful, so here I am with what may be another newbie question for you guys...

    I just bought a tripod in order to try to get sharper pictures and use smaller apertures for greater depth of filed. I also intend to try low light photography. My OM 2000 has a self timer that lifts up the mirror a few seconds before the shutter is released. My question is: if I use a cable release instead of the self timer, would I get more camera shake? Or perhaps the difference is not significant? I won't be using lenses longer than 200 mm at first.

    I ask that because using the self timer would imply longer intervals between shots. A cable release would make things faster.

    Thanks!

  2. #2

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    Do you have mirror up on the camera? If you do you could raise the mirror and use the release.

  3. #3

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    Be patient.

    The camera-lens assembly will vibrate for a short time after the mirror has gone up. Using the self timer to bring the mirror several seconds before the shutter fires reduces the chances that this vibration will have an effect on image quality. Using a cable release doesn't do this, relies instead on whatever is holding the camera to damp those vibrations.

  4. #4
    Edimilson's Avatar
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    Nick,

    No, the mirror lock up feature is tied to the self timer. There's no lever or button I can press to raise the mirror. I think only other Olympus OM models have a separate lever.

    Dan,

    Your answer confirms my initial guess. Thanks! I only wonder now if the difference in vibration would be significant considering I'll be using mostly short lenses.

  5. #5
    PhotoJim's Avatar
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    Test it. It depends on how good the mirror damping is on your body.
    Jim MacKenzie - Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

    A bunch of Nikons; Feds, Zorkis and a Kiev; Pentax 67-II (inherited from my deceased father-in-law); Bronica SQ-A; and a nice Shen Hao 4x5 field camera with 3 decent lenses that needs to be taken outside more. Oh, and as of mid-2012, one of those bodies we don't talk about here.

    Favourite film: do I need to pick only one?

  6. #6
    Snapshot's Avatar
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    I found the damping on the Nikon F100 was "good enough" but my Nikon FA was a vibration machine. I used the timer on the FA to flip the up mirror before the shutter went off up for those low light tripod shots. I found the pictures very good and I would hazard a guess a cable release will not improve things much for your tripod shots. I didn't see any difference.
    "The secret to life is to keep your mind full and your bowels empty. Unfortunately, the converse is true for most people."

  7. #7
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    Use a heavy tripod and tightten everything down properly. tim

  8. #8
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    “if I use a cable release instead of the self timer, would I get more camera shake?”

    It depends on the cable release. A long flexible cable release is much better than a short stiff one when it comes to minimizing camera shake.

    There are times when a self-timer can substitute for a cable release and there are times when it cannot. For example, if you are doing a motion study of a dancer and are using a slow shutter speed in an attempt to demonstrate motion by creating a blurred effect, it is easier to capture the segment of the dance you need with a cable release rather than a self-timer.

  9. #9

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    The only answer is to test and see how much it matters to you. It all depends on your equipment, your technique, and your finickiness. Plenty of good SLRs don't have any sort of mirror lock. When I need it, I use a self timer when I can (because I'm lazy) and a cable when I must (for timing.) But my finickiness level is pretty low. This last winter half my shots were hand held at a 1/4 second, and I rarely enlarge past 5x7, so.

  10. #10
    Edimilson's Avatar
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    Thank you all. I think I get the idea. I'll do some tests and see what I find out.

    The fact that I shoot 35 mm must be considered too, I guess. The difference between using a cable release and the self timer would probably be more pronounced on medium or large format negatives, I believe (??).

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