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# Thread: Minimum hand held shutter speed calculation

1. With a larger format a simple variation is greater the further from the axis.

Originally Posted by AgX
I don't get your point with the part underlined by me.
Think of photographing a moving propeller on a plane, the centre will look sharper than the edges.

Originally Posted by AgX
Any base tilt or central swing of camera body will have practically* the same effect with any format, as long as the angle of view is the same.

* With larger bodies tilt at edge of body will induce more absolute dislocation in height and focus, but that shall be overdone in optical effect by the angular movement of field of view anyway.
The problem is that the rule of thumb is very unsound logic.

The way Ralph interprets it you should be able to hand hold a 55mm lens on a MF camera and get much sharper results than with a 55mm lens on a 35mm camera at the same speed but apart from the format factor that just isn't the case. Taking that logic further using a 17mm lens on a 35mm camera it should be very much easier to use hand held at slow speeds but in fact the opposite is true.

Too many other factors other than focal length are also important to image sharpness, wider angle lenses often mean detail is very much finer which is quickly lost with any camera shake. Then there's distance from the lens/camera, we've all taken or seen images made from cars. trains etc where objects nearer to the camera are quite blurred through movement while distant objects appear sharper. In more normal use that means that the closer the subject is to the camera the greater effect of any camera shake, which of course is at it's most critical with macro work.

So there's a point where "the rule of thumb" breaks down and other factors become more important. However with a standard focal length lens and longer as the angle of view narrows the "rule of thumb" becomes a rough and ready reminder that camera shake becomes more critical requiring higher shutter speeds with telephoto lenses

Ian

2. Originally Posted by Ian Grant
... The way Ralph interprets it you should be able to hand hold a 55mm lens on a MF camera and get much sharper results than with a 55mm lens on a 35mm camera at the same speed but apart from the format factor that just isn't the case. ...
That is exactly what happens. You cannot arbitrarily ignore the format factor. You need to consider the entire image making process, including CoC.

Originally Posted by Ian Grant
... Taking that logic further using a 17mm lens on a 35mm camera it should be very much easier to use hand held at slow speeds but in fact the opposite is true. ...
No, no, that's true too. That's what the 1/focal length rule is all about.

Originally Posted by Ian Grant
... So there's a point where "the rule of thumb" breaks down and other factors become more important. However with a standard focal length lens and longer as the angle of view narrows the "rule of thumb" becomes a rough and ready reminder that camera shake becomes more critical requiring higher shutter speeds with telephoto lenses.
That may be; the rule-of-thumb is just that, a rule-of-thumb. But the point was, camera format matters. The rule as stated works best for MF. For 35mm it's too liberal and for LF it is a bit conservative. Every 4x5 shooter will tell you that shutter speeds slower than 1/125 s are quite possible.

3. Bigger camera = bigger mass = more latitude.

It is easier, up to a point, holding a heavy camera still than a flimsy plastic thingie.

I have no big problem holding my 120 TLR's still at 1/(focuslengthx2), most of the time.

The annoying bit is that every time it fails, it is *important* pictures!

4. Originally Posted by Erik Prestmo
... The annoying bit is that every time it fails, it is *important* pictures!
That's what they all say: The ones I missed were the best ones!

5. And a lot depends on the person holding the camera. Some people have very shaky hands. Some people don't.

6. If it's important, then burn a couple of rolls (while taking careful notes) to find out what works for your camera and your hand-holding technique. You might want to know three different shutter speeds: "almost always sharp", "50-50 chance", and "only if I'm very, very lucky." With this information you'll have a good idea of if it's worth it to press the shutter in various situations.

7. Originally Posted by Sirius Glass
The last time this topic was in a thread I contributed to it a lot.

This time ...
You're sharing some of this?

8. Originally Posted by RalphLambrecht
That's what they all say: The ones I missed were the best ones!
But it's true. The ones I missed ARE the best ones.

9. Originally Posted by michaelbsc
But it's true. The ones I missed ARE the best ones.
Same here!

10. a little camera shake is good for the soul.
( as long as you don't have hayfever or the hiccups )

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