Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Safe shutter speed for handheld photography

A good tip I read from another photography related blog.

Safe shutter speed for handheld photography..

To ensure that the picture is not affected by handshake, the photographer should set the shutter speed to 1/(2xN) where N is the focal length of the lens.

eg. Using a 55-250mm focal length zoom lens at its maximum 250mm, the maximum recommended shutter speed should be 1/(2x250) = 1/500 s.

This rule applies regardless of aperture of lens. Of course, there'd be cases where the metering will say that this picture will be underexposed if the environment is of low-lighting. That'd probably mean you'd not be able to use the camera in the handheld manner and it'd be time to bring out the tripod.

Image stabilization built into the lens mechanism may help a little. ( 1-2 stops above the tolerance shutter limit as advised above ) But please do not attempt to shoot anything with a shutter speed of more than 2 seconds using handheld DSLR. IS(Canon) or VR(Nikon) or OS(Sigma) or VC(Tamron) doesn't mean it's super duper no shake.

For subjects that are inanimate, tripod with long exposure may get the desired picture. But for subjects that can and will move, it'd be preferable to use a flash instead. However, using a flash have its limitation of distance.

Thus under low light conditions, if subject is not of near distance and constantly in motion, it might be better to return another time where there are more daylight to shoot the subject again.

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