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TakeTwo Silver Member Nikonian since 26th Jul 2009Wed 23-Mar-11 03:43 AM
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"knowing your circle of control for the d7k"


South Lake Tahoe, US
          

Hello Group. People keep asking why the d7k is harder to get good sharp shots with versus other models. The best answer I found for myself was to bench testing my equipment. I needed to know how short a shutter speed I could shot at and get a sharp image..I shoot mostly landscape so I'm on a tripod or mono pod 99 percent of the time. If I shoot handheld it has to be at close range, inside 200 ft. How might I know my own limits? How steady am I? I tried this simple test and you can too. If you have a little laser pen light your good to go. Never look directly into the light as it will damage your eye and might cause you blindness. Rubber Band it to a lens connected to your camera and fake like your taking a picture and point it to a wall that is 50 feet away from you and observe the laser lights movement on the wall. If you don't have a laser light you can use the artificial horizon feature on the camera and while looking Thur the view finder you can use one of the cross marks to use as a sight . I look over the camera and not Thur the lens with the laser pen light. I also tape a paper plate to the wall and aim at that. I'm able to control the laser lights movement to within a 5 inch diameter circle or so for 30 seconds handheld, yet most of the concentration of light is about 3 inches with some spikes going out to 5 inches from center. I'm going to call this my Circle of control. So in math terms my ability to control my camera is within .48 of one degree (5 inches in diameter) movement at a distant of 50 feet. At 200 feet out my circle of control would be a 20 inch diameter circle of control. I know I'm good and steady to shoot handheld at a static objects at 50 feet with a shutter speed 1/60 second (no vr). So for me to get good results at 200 ft. I have to up my shutter speed by a factor of 4 which is 1/1000 sec. and then go one more to 1/1250. And while testing with the laser it is also important to judge how fast the laser light is moving on the target. If your light is bouncing around very fast you may need more shutter to counter. If its bouncing slower then you can get by with less. Do your laser test and night or indoors so you can see the laser light on the target. You might be amazed at how much you shake you have, as I know I was for me. I was like how can anything I shoot come out sharp. If your shooting great images hand held out to 200 feet rest assured your circle or control is good. I practice over and over with the laser light and have tried different stances to find the best position for me. How I hold my lens hand and where I put my elbow. I found if I put my left elbow tight against my body I get heartbeat bump and the laser moves around more. My circle of control is greatly affected by my heartbeat. A word of caution: Don't go outside and point the laser at anyone as it might hurt them or they might think your pointing a weapon at them. Find out what works best for you and your images will thank you for it. One more thing, static objects are not really static if your lens is bouncing around. I have also used the method of picking a target at 12.5 feet away and hand holding the camera and shoot the image with as slow as a shutter as possible and still achieve a sharp image and then you can double your length and double your shutter speed and so on and so forth. This is what works for me out to 200 feet, shooting at 200 mm with my Nikon 70-200 vr2. Knowing my limits has helped me greatly. I hope you find this useful. Don

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Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: knowing your circle of control for the d7k
Matt Payne
23rd Mar 2011
1
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briantilley Moderator
23rd Mar 2011
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igordb Silver Member
23rd Mar 2011
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TakeTwo Silver Member
23rd Mar 2011
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igordb Silver Member
23rd Mar 2011
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TakeTwo Silver Member
23rd Mar 2011
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igordb Silver Member
24th Mar 2011
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dm1dave Administrator
23rd Mar 2011
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richardd300 Silver Member
24th Mar 2011
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TakeTwo Silver Member
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richardd300 Silver Member
24th Mar 2011
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briantilley Moderator
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briantilley Moderator
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JohnE Nikon Silver Member
24th Mar 2011
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richardd300 Silver Member
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TakeTwo Silver Member
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Matt Payne Registered since 01st Mar 2011Wed 23-Mar-11 11:56 AM
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#1. "RE: knowing your circle of control for the d7k"
In response to Reply # 0


US
          

Nice read - thank you for posting it.

-----------------------------------------------------
Kind regards,
Matt Payne

My current gear: Nikon D7000, 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S DX VR ED Nikkor Lens

Webmaster http://www.100summits.com

  

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briantilley Moderator Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003Wed 23-Mar-11 01:04 PM
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#2. "RE: knowing your circle of control for the d7k"
In response to Reply # 0


Paignton, GB
          

Some good ideas there - thanks, Donald

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

  

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igordb Silver Member Nikonian since 22nd Dec 2010Wed 23-Mar-11 02:27 PM
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#3. "RE: knowing your circle of control for the d7k"
In response to Reply # 0


CA
          

Don,
Can you come up with the formula for min shutter speed and size of "the circle" to ensure sharp images for D7k if you take a picture from the certain distance, for example 50 feet? 100f, etc...
Thanks,
Igor

  

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TakeTwo Silver Member Nikonian since 26th Jul 2009Wed 23-Mar-11 04:33 PM
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#4. "RE: knowing your circle of control for the d7k"
In response to Reply # 3


South Lake Tahoe, US
          

Igor, If you know what your limits are you will be able to do the math yourself. My "circle of control" might be different than yours and probably is. This is what works for me. I was trying to explain a way of looking at it in a mathematical way for others to understand. We are an element of photography that the camera and its functions do not possess. All great images shot at distance come from a stable platform. I treat it like the double and half rule with shutter and aperture. I used 12'6" as my standard because its east for me to double. 12'6", 25ft, 50ft, 100ft, 200ft. I stopped at 200ft. because that is as far as I have tested for myself. Its takes just a few minutes to measure 12'6" to the wall and take some pics of a test chart and view the image on your camera screen. Once you have established what shutter speed is right for you to consistently take sharp images you can then double your distance and double your shutter speed. Keep checking your results until your satisfied. There is a reason we get blurred images and until you rule out that its not coming from you it will be hard for you to find out the reasons. I studied golf years ago to much the same way. The pros know their golf swing inside and out and with help from a coach they are able to master their game. So if you have a stray shot either with photography or golf you should be able to look into yourself to find the answer. My hats off to theses guys and gals that can shoot consistently at distance and get great images. Lets not talk about moving objects just yet. I just can't blame the camera. Don

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igordb Silver Member Nikonian since 22nd Dec 2010Wed 23-Mar-11 05:03 PM
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#5. "RE: knowing your circle of control for the d7k"
In response to Reply # 4


CA
          

Don,
Thank you for the info. I appreciate it. I found that for me it is really hard to take sharp picture with 200mm lens, and distance approximately 30 feet and shutter speed around 1/500. What I do, I use AF-C and shooting in bursts. In my experience, one of four/five shots is sharp. Even for not moving objects.
Igor

  

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TakeTwo Silver Member Nikonian since 26th Jul 2009Wed 23-Mar-11 11:44 PM
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#7. "RE: knowing your circle of control for the d7k"
In response to Reply # 5


South Lake Tahoe, US
          

Igor, af-c works for moving subjects and the "Focus tracking with lock on" feature fond in menu a-3 needs to be addressed. If your wanting to keep your auto focus instant then turn the a-3 feature off. If while your highlighted on a3 sub menu and put the ? on the camera it will explain in short what that feature does. Select what works best for you. But try it off. And thank you all for you comments. Don

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igordb Silver Member Nikonian since 22nd Dec 2010Thu 24-Mar-11 01:18 AM
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#8. "RE: knowing your circle of control for the d7k"
In response to Reply # 7


CA
          

That exactly what I do.
Igor

  

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dm1dave Administrator Awarded for high level knowledge and skills in various areas, most notably in Wildlife and Landscape Writer Ribbon awarded for his excellent article contributions to the Nikonians community Nikonian since 12th Sep 2006Wed 23-Mar-11 05:03 PM
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#6. "RE: knowing your circle of control for the d7k"
In response to Reply # 0


Lowden, US
          

Great post Donald!

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richardd300 Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2009Thu 24-Mar-11 09:53 AM
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#9. "RE: knowing your circle of control for the d7k"
In response to Reply # 6


Dyserth, GB
          

Extremely useful Don. After all my problems early on with the D7K I concur with your logic and I now use much higher shutter speeds than I do with my D700 and did with my D90. I have also become an advocate of "non VR" unless the light is extremely poor. VR spends most of the time "OFF" now.

Richard.

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TakeTwo Silver Member Nikonian since 26th Jul 2009Thu 24-Mar-11 01:02 PM
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#10. "RE: knowing your circle of control for the d7k"
In response to Reply # 9


South Lake Tahoe, US
          

@ Richard, As you suggested I looked at the focus lock in a-3 and did find that the default is set to 3. Nikon engineers must have a reason for setting this function up this way in the first place. Maybe there are some more savvy members that can help us less informed members get a better hold on this feature?? Don

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richardd300 Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2009Thu 24-Mar-11 03:58 PM
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#12. "RE: knowing your circle of control for the d7k"
In response to Reply # 10


Dyserth, GB
          

Don.

The reason, I think, is the same for the D700/300 etc. For example, let's say you were shooting something and you've focused on a target, but as you waited to take the shot another person walked in front of the camera. Instead of the camera attempting immediately to lock focus on the person walking in front it waits 1,2,3 etc seconds, or what ever you've set a3 for, in hope that the person is there temporarily. See page 209. If it's set to "off" the camera will immediately try and focus on the new target. With say birds in flight it's unlikely that another bird is going to become the new focus by flying in front.

Just out of interest the settings I use are: For BIF I have set "U1" "a1" to "AF-C", a2 to "focus", "a3" to "OFF". I use AF-Area mode set to 21 point with 3D tracking. For static subjects I have set "U2" "a1" to "AF-S", a2 to "focus", "a3" to "OFF". One cannot use 3D tracking in AF-S only AF-C and Auto AF. I find the U1 and U2 option far more practical then the custom bank setting options in the D300/700 etc.

Anyway don, the first part I think is the important part and hope that helps.

Richard.

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briantilley Moderator Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003Thu 24-Mar-11 04:24 PM
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#13. "RE: knowing your circle of control for the d7k"
In response to Reply # 12


Paignton, GB
          

>With say birds in flight it's unlikely that another bird is
>going to become the new focus by flying in front.

That's true, but the background can be an issue instead.

If the bird is moving erratically it can be difficult to keep your chosen AF sensor(s) over it. If the sensor slips off the bird and a3 is "OFF", the camera may immediately try to re-focus on the background. If a3 is not "OFF", the camera will wait a set interval before re-focusing, and by that time you could have re-acquired the bird

Brian
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richardd300 Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2009Thu 24-Mar-11 04:34 PM
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#15. "RE: knowing your circle of control for the d7k"
In response to Reply # 13


Dyserth, GB
          

Good point Brian, although I must admit on all my Nikons from D300 onwards the 3D tracking has done an admirable job and that's with a3 off. In fact, although quite old technology now by modern day terms I still marvel at the power of 3D Tracking.

Richard

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briantilley Moderator Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003Thu 24-Mar-11 04:44 PM
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#16. "RE: knowing your circle of control for the d7k"
In response to Reply # 15


Paignton, GB
          

I like 3D tracking with some subjects, but with small BiF I want to be able to choose my AF point rather than let the camera decide, especially when there is more than one bird in the frame.

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

  

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JohnE Nikon Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jun 2010Thu 24-Mar-11 03:43 PM
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#11. "RE: knowing your circle of control for the d7k"
In response to Reply # 0


New HArtford, US
          

Great post. Thanks.
I notice one easy way to help with sharp images is up my shutter speed.
Just curious do you have any experience with flash?
At a recent party I was using only popup flash but noticed significant subject motion blur which was frozen by flash. shutter speed was 1/60.
If I want to stop action better should I up it to 1/200-250 and use manual exposure? I like to keep aperture open at least to 4.0 to give me some DOF.

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richardd300 Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2009Thu 24-Mar-11 04:29 PM
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#14. "RE: knowing your circle of control for the d7k"
In response to Reply # 11


Dyserth, GB
          

I would probably go higher to freeze, probably 1/500 or even higher dependant on the speed of the moving object. Raise the ISO to achieve the higher speed.

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TakeTwo Silver Member Nikonian since 26th Jul 2009Thu 24-Mar-11 05:39 PM
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#17. "RE: knowing your circle of control for the d7k"
In response to Reply # 11


South Lake Tahoe, US
          

@ John, If you like to use Manual mode and shoot with a flash you would be happier using the x250 or x350 tl flash mode If you rotate your comand dial past 8 seconds and past bulb you will come to the x250 or x350 dependent on your menu setting on your flash mode. It works great and the flash is synced to to the shutter speed. Don

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briantilley Moderator Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003Thu 24-Mar-11 05:50 PM
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#18. "RE: knowing your circle of control for the d7k"
In response to Reply # 17


Paignton, GB
          

The flash will still synch correctly if you select 1/250th as normal in Manual Exposure mode. The idea of the "x250" setting is that it's a simple way of setting in advance what synch speed you want to use.

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

  

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TakeTwo Silver Member Nikonian since 26th Jul 2009Thu 24-Mar-11 05:57 PM
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#19. "RE: knowing your circle of control for the d7k"
In response to Reply # 18


South Lake Tahoe, US
          

@ Brian, Point taken. But he was also talking about blur which I took as motion after the flash. Am I looking at it wrong?

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briantilley Moderator Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003Thu 24-Mar-11 09:08 PM
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#20. "RE: knowing your circle of control for the d7k"
In response to Reply # 19


Paignton, GB
          

You're right that using a faster shutter speed like 1/250th will minimise the effect of ambient light and reduce any blur due to subject movement.

My point is that selecting a shutter speed of 1/250th directly via the Command Dial has exactly the same effect as setting the Flash Shutter Speed value in the menu to 1/250th and then selecting x250 on the Dial.

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

  

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TakeTwo Silver Member Nikonian since 26th Jul 2009Thu 24-Mar-11 10:05 PM
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#21. "RE: knowing your circle of control for the d7k"
In response to Reply # 20


South Lake Tahoe, US
          

Thank you Brian for clearing that up. This has been a helpful thread and I hope there is so more thoughts to share.

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km6xz Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Portraits and Urban Photography Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009Fri 25-Mar-11 02:51 AM
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#22. "RE: knowing your circle of control for the d7k"
In response to Reply # 21


St Petersburg, RU
          

Of course, any reduction in ambient light contribution to the exposure is going to reduce the ghosting in flash shots. Lower ISO, stop down aperture or increase shutter speed, or any combination of these will reduce ghosting.
I often drag the shutter to get more ambient light with long shutter durations, and using rear curtain, get a sense of motion, plus more saturated colors with the longer shutter duration. This works best when the speedlight is color temp. matched to the dominate ambient light component, accomplished with gels.
Stan
St Petersburg Russia

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glocke Registered since 15th Mar 2011Fri 25-Mar-11 08:56 AM
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#23. "RE: knowing your circle of control for the d7k"
In response to Reply # 22


US
          

OP: Long posts like that are difficult for some of us to read without breaking them up into paragraphs.

  

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TakeTwo Silver Member Nikonian since 26th Jul 2009Fri 25-Mar-11 01:09 PM
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#28. "RE: knowing your circle of control for the d7k"
In response to Reply # 23
Fri 25-Mar-11 01:14 PM by TakeTwo

South Lake Tahoe, US
          

>OP: Long posts like that are difficult for some of us to
>read without breaking them up into paragraphs.

Point taken, Its like photography, you have to be aware before you can do.

English has never been my strong point. Don

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JohnE Nikon Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jun 2010Fri 25-Mar-11 12:36 PM
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#25. "RE: knowing your circle of control for the d7k"
In response to Reply # 22


New HArtford, US
          

Thanks Stan.

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JohnE Nikon Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jun 2010Fri 25-Mar-11 12:40 PM
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#26. "RE: knowing your circle of control for the d7k"
In response to Reply # 20


New HArtford, US
          

Thanks Brian.
I think I will use manual giving me control of both shutter and aperture and let TTL compensate and see how that works for me.
I had more trouble with ghosting at my last party probably related to lighting. It was quite dark with Disco ball lighting likely also messing with my white balance.

JohnE Nikon
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"Cameras and lenses are simply tools to place our unique vision on film. Concentrate on equipment and you'll take technically good photographs. Concentrate on seeing the light's magic colors and your images will stir the soul." Jack Dykinga

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JohnE Nikon Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jun 2010Fri 25-Mar-11 12:47 PM
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#27. "RE: knowing your circle of control for the d7k"
In response to Reply # 17


New HArtford, US
          

Thanks Don.
Sorry my post ended a little off topic but thanks for advice.

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"Cameras and lenses are simply tools to place our unique vision on film. Concentrate on equipment and you'll take technically good photographs. Concentrate on seeing the light's magic colors and your images will stir the soul." Jack Dykinga

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TomNJ Silver Member Nikonian since 23rd Nov 2006Fri 25-Mar-11 11:50 AM
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#24. "RE: knowing your circle of control for the d7k"
In response to Reply # 0
Fri 25-Mar-11 11:51 AM by TomNJ

Parlin, US
          

Excellent post Donald, but I'm a little confused on the shutter speed math. If your circle of control at 50 feet is five inches, and goes to 20 inches at 200 feet, it seems to me you need a shutter speed that is four times faster, i.e. 1/250, rather than four stops faster, i.e. 1/1000. Am I missing something?

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TakeTwo Silver Member Nikonian since 26th Jul 2009Fri 25-Mar-11 01:11 PM
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#29. "RE: knowing your circle of control for the d7k"
In response to Reply # 24


South Lake Tahoe, US
          

>Excellent post Donald, but I'm a little confused on the
>shutter speed math. If your circle of control at 50 feet is
>five inches, and goes to 20 inches at 200 feet, it seems to me
>you need a shutter speed that is four times faster,
>i.e. 1/250, rather than four stops faster, i.e. 1/1000.
> Am I missing something?
>
>TomNJ


Tom, your are correct. I did post 1/1000, but I added another stop for safty. Don

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Rlstout Registered since 22nd Jan 2011Mon 28-Mar-11 12:50 AM
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#30. "RE: knowing your circle of control for the d7k"
In response to Reply # 29


US
          

Very clever, using the laser pointer. It certainly illustrates how much hand movement we have. A few months ago, I put a laser sight on my pistol. As soon as I turned it on at the shooting range, I realized why my accuracy was so erratic.

When I look at my blurred images at 100%, most of the time, it involves slower shutter speed and motion blur. Great post.

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