This is something I've been thinking about for a while. In order to get reliably sharp shots handheld I've found that I need to shoot at roughly double the focal length. So for a 50mm lens I need to shoot at 1/100 and for a 85mm lens 1/160 and so on. If I try to shoot slower than that then my keeper rate falls. The part that has me curious is if I'm alone in this or if other people are experiencing the same thing. If I'm the only one then my technique is at fault and there should be something I can do to improve it.
So what's your minimum shutter speed?
PS: I realize that I can use a tripod or a lens with VR. Since tripods aren't always feasible I'm specifically talking about hand holding lenses with no VR.
The minimum SS will depend on the print size and viewing distance. You can get by with a lot lower than 1/fl*2 if displaying a relatively small image on a monitor or print. If you are pixel peeping, even 1/fl*2 might not be fast enough. Stan St Petersburg Russia
Even when I'm shooting for myself and it's only going to be displayed on a computer monitor I still strive to make the best images I can. So if it's not sharp because my shutter speed wasn't high enough I hit the delete key. In some cases I find that my OMD EM5 outperforms my D600 because the larger DOF and IBIS lets me get away with a much slower shutter speed and a larger aperture.
The old guideline of "1 / L" using the focal (L)ength of the lens worked OK for 35mm film SLRs making 8x10 prints. With today's high res DSLR bodies, "1 / 2L" is not an unreasonable guideline, but it will depend on how steady your hands are so start with.
Back in the 80s and 90s I could hand hold a 200mm lens at 1/15 with no trouble. I cannot do that even in my dreams now. Using good technique, I can still do 1/L with my 12mp D700.
Using inertia, I find that heavier lenses are easier to hand-hold than lighter ones. ("Hold" not equal to "carry"!)
---------+---------+---------+---------+---------+ Joseph K Seattle, WA, USA
I agree that shutter speeds of 1/(focal length x2) is preferred, and I increase ISO to maintain that.
Mirror slap is another factor to consider and I try to keep shutter speeds faster than 1/160 for critical sharpness. I haven't tested the D600 for this yet, but my D7000 showed signs of mirror slap at slower than 1/160 when mounted on a good tripod with undelayed remote release.
My working theory is that higher megapixel sensors are less forgiving of any camera movement during exposure.
>Mirror slap is another factor to consider and I try to keep >shutter speeds faster than 1/160 for critical sharpness. I >haven't tested the D600 for this yet, but my D7000 showed >signs of mirror slap at slower than 1/160 when mounted on a >good tripod with undelayed remote release. > >My working theory is that higher megapixel sensors are less >forgiving of any camera movement during exposure.
I'm sure that's so at the 100% crop view, but other factors determine how much movement there is. For example, my D7100 exhibits less mirror-slap effect than my D7000 despite having a higher-resolution sensor. So each model needs to be evaluated on its own terms.
If you run the old "rear illuminated pinhole in the pie tin" test, many people will discover that even 3X still produces some elongation in the pinhole from camera shake. Of course it always depends on the person, the camera, the lens and other factors, including how you hold the camera. One trick I often use when shooting concerts, at 1/180th second at 200 mm, is to shoot at the maximum frame rate. No matter how good my technique is, the center frame is always a little bit sharper.