Camera shake

danmandanman Registered Users Posts: 41 Big grins
edited November 18, 2004 in Cameras
Conventional wisdom dictates that minimum shutter speed for hand-held shots should be at least 1/x sec where x is the focal length of your lens in use. I have two questions about this:

1. Presumably this holds for non-full-frame sensors of digital cameras - i.e. we get a hidden bonus of 1.6x focal length in 35mm terms.

2. How much benefit does a monopod provide - an extra half-stop, full-stop?

I'm thinking about a monopod and wondering just how much benefit it will be.

Cheers,

Danny
Oxford, UK

Comments

  • pathfinderpathfinder Super Moderators Posts: 14,693 moderator
    edited November 5, 2004
    danman wrote:
    Conventional wisdom dictates that minimum shutter speed for hand-held shots should be at least 1/x sec where x is the focal length of your lens in use. I have two questions about this:

    1. Presumably this holds for non-full-frame sensors of digital cameras - i.e. we get a hidden bonus of 1.6x focal length in 35mm terms.

    2. How much benefit does a monopod provide - an extra half-stop, full-stop?

    I'm thinking about a monopod and wondering just how much benefit it will be.

    Cheers,

    Danny
    Oxford, UK

    I think the 1.6 mag factor for DSLRs with APS sized sensors probably should be taken into effect when choosing shutter speeds, but what I actually do is try to use a tripod if I am shooting below 1/60 anyway. But there are times you just cannot.
    I do also own a monopod, but it is my feeling that monopods are most useful to sports and racing and bird photographers who are panning with long lenses. For that purpose monopods can be quite useful. For landscape type photography I just don't find them helpful enough with shorter focal lengths.

    And if you are carrying, a good monopod is not really that much lighter than a nice carbon fibre tripod anyway.

    You will hear different opinions about this as I think there is more variety of opinion about monopods - some folks love 'em, some hate 'em, and I think they are good for long glass sometimes, but not for short glass.
    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • photocatphotocat Registered Users Posts: 1,334 Major grins
    edited November 5, 2004
    You will hear different opinions about this as I think there is more variety of opinion about monopods - some folks love 'em, some hate 'em, and I think they are good for long glass sometimes, but not for short glass.[/QUOTE]
    ----

    I do have a monopod, and for me it is useless. If I have to carry something, I would just as easy take a tripod. The tripod stands much more sturdy then the monopod. You have to have a firm grip to hold the monopod too in my experience.
    I think a beany bag would in a lot of situations for me be better then a monopod.
  • mercphotomercphoto Registered Users Posts: 4,550 Major grins
    edited November 5, 2004
    Monopods
    danman wrote:
    1. Presumably this holds for non-full-frame sensors of digital cameras - i.e. we get a hidden bonus of 1.6x focal length in 35mm terms.

    The crop factor does not come into play. It is literally an in-camera crop, not a true measure of the magnification factor of the lens's focal length. Therefore it does not come into play.
    2. How much benefit does a monopod provide - an extra half-stop, full-stop?

    Monopods are useful with big lenses in situations where tripods are not allowed or would limit mobility. Think sidelines of sporting events, caves, etc. You cannot photograph football with a tri-pod, nor can you hand-hold that 400mm/2.8 lens unless you are superman. Overall I think their utility is minor.
    Bill Jurasz - Mercury Photography - Cedar Park, TX
    A former sports shooter
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  • danmandanman Registered Users Posts: 41 Big grins
    edited November 8, 2004
    Thanks
    Thanks for the comments, though I do remain slightly confused on the focal length issue! I think I need to just use the kit more & get an idea of what I can handheld and what I can't.

    Danny
  • GREAPERGREAPER Registered Users Posts: 3,113 Major grins
    edited November 8, 2004
    I have never felt that a monopod would be worth the purchase but I dont know from experience. The 1/focal length rule is a good place to start, but it is not absolute. I find I have very steady hands as long as I am not tired, I also try to use my environment as a brace whenever possible. I use my camera bag as a bean bag often.. I brace my arm on a tree or wall or rock (whatever) and rest the camera on my arm.

    Practice practice practice....


    Learn what works for you.
  • StanStan Registered Users Posts: 1,077 Major grins
    edited November 16, 2004
    Danman

    I've spent ages trying to find a link to a thread which shows the correlation between the Focal Length, Lens Aperture and Focus Distance to give the Hyperfocal Distance, Near Limit of DOF, Far Limit of DOF and Total Depth of Field of the lens. In Excel you type in focal length, Aperture and focus distance and it gives the range of focus. I can't find it as a link, pm me your email and I'll send it. The author is Paul Hayward.
  • DARCgullDARCgull Registered Users Posts: 3 Beginner grinner
    edited November 17, 2004
    What you can do, is become a little innovative.
    I use a "Gabel" retractable hiking stick. It's made of aluminium tubing, retracts to half its length, which at expanded length is just longer than elbow height. I took the rubber grip off, put a short bolt through that fitted the camera thread, and cover the exposed thread when not in use with a dome nut. I find it works well, but then I do use a camera with a tilt screen. Makes it very handy if you want to use the camera from above head height too.
  • GuzzlerGuzzler Registered Users Posts: 73 Big grins
    edited November 18, 2004
    Does anyone else besides me use a tripod as monopod? Just don't open up the legs, bam!!! Instant monopod.
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