Saturday, October 11, 2008

Hand-holding and digital cameras

Something I've been playing around with in my head is the standard rule of how slow you can hand-hold a camera before you get too blurry. The standard rule is 1 over the length of the lens, though Doug Criner suggests twice that. With an image stabilizing lens, the idea is you can get two stops of help, so 1 over 1/4 the length of the lens. For a 100-400 mm zoom, at 400mm, you can hand-hold at 1/100th of a second.

However, that only applies for 35mm film. And for many years I shot with film with this lens on a Canon Elan IIe. I purchased a Canon Digital Rebel XT when they came out, and started playing around with it, and had bad luck. I realized that with the APS-C sized sensor, I could no longer use the old method, I had to adapt it for the new "film" size.

The actual formula should be 1 over 1.6*lens length. Since the original rule comes out of 35mm land, the new formula has to be put back into 35mm land, thus the 1.6 times. That appears to be the consensus at a couple of different sites. Doing a Google search shows some good information.

Of course see my earlier post on monopods to help out.

And because I think conservatories need as much help as possible, visit Bolsa Chica when you're in Southern California...

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