This weeks exercise is purely technical and is something you need to know. You need to know it for all of your lenses, so if you only know it for one then work it out for your others. If you don’t know, then this is the opportunity to sort it out.
Simply, you want to know what shutter speed you can hand hold your camera at reliably, and consistently.
What this means is that if you take ten shots in a row at the same shutter speed, nine of them will be usable. If only half are usable then you couldn’t say that that is reliable.
So some facts:
What is hand hold-able is different for each of us
It is dependent on which camera you use
It is dependent on how you stand and how you brace yourself
It is dependent on how you breathe (or don’t breathe) and how you press the shutter
I have written a few articles on this already. You can read them here.
You will find many other resources on the web.
Pointing and pressing the shutter isn’t good technique. Learn how to hold your camera properly. If you do not already know then spend some time learning and practicing.
Firstly, put on your favorite lens.
Put it on your favorite focal length.
Take photographs at various shutter speeds and download them to your computer.
Examine them all and decide where the tipping point is. You now know what I mean by that. Where they stop being sharp.
Now go back and set the camera to that shutter speed and take ten shots. Download again. If 9 out of the ten are sharp you can try a slower shutter speed. If only six of them are sharp, you need to increase your shutter speed as you have gone past the tipping point.
Write it down once you figure out your safe working shutter speed for that camera and that focal length.
Now repeat for each focal length in your zoom range.
It is worth doing a zoom and your wide angle lenses. Note the differences. They should be huge.
See if you can push the boundaries. See if you can do better by leaning against a wall, working on how you press the shutter and hold the camera, and what you do with your breath.
Personally, I find taking photographs exhausting as every photograph requires me to hold the camera flawlessly, hold my breath and tense my body. It is exhausting.
The two photographs on this page were both taken at 1/2 second, something I can reliably do with my Olympus and my Voitlander 25mm f 0.95mm lens. I didn’t need a tripod. When I use my medium format camera I get a different answer. You should get a different answer too. Both taken on the same walk in Scotland.
Post your photograph using this new shutter speed and include the technical details in the comments, camera, lens, focal length and shutter speed.