Camera Shake

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by albert knapp md, Aug 21, 2002.

  1. Camera shake is the bane of all photographers. We all have a
    low-grade "essential tremor" that only worsens with age, caffeine
    use or stress. This "essential tremor" is not to be confused with
    Parkinson's disease ! One excellent medical therapy that
    alleviates "essential tremor" is Inderal (propanolol.) The usual
    dose is 10 to 20 mg taken one hour before the putative
    photographic foray. Given inderal's short half-life, repeat doses
    are required every 6 hours. Please however contact your
    physician to make sure that this LOW DOSE of inderal is right for
    you as the medication can aggravate underlying diabetes or
    worsen a slow heart rate amongst other things. However, it is a
    very safe medication used therapeutically by tens of millions of
    people world wide for hypertension therapy.
  2. An addendum: This will markedly decrease you tremor but will
    not make your 400mm handheld photographs perfectly clear.
    Therefore, a tripod will still be required in many circumstances.
  3. Albert: can I take it with a Heinekin?
  4. What about propanolol's potentially deadly effect on asthmatics? Why bypass the tripod for prescription medication with potentially serious side effects?
  5. Hypertension therapy is a legitimate use of prescription medication (risks vs benefits analysis, something every medical student learns in their first week of Pharmacology). On the other hand, "Hmmm, you know what, my pictures aren't sharp" and "Hmmm, I just need to run 0.3 seconds faster to clinch a gold medal" are not legitimate uses.
  6. Like I told my primary care physician, I didn't have any of these problems when I was dating 16 year old girls...
  7. Albert

    I have to say I am surprised you are seriously recommending any recreational drug use to be honest; it sounds a very pooor idea to me. It is one thing if you have hypertension, but just to (possibly) be able to take the odd shot at slow speeds seems misguided.
  8. And to think some people have problems with discussing Hexar and Contax on this forum :)
  9. are we in a full moon?? things are getting very weird around here.
  10. Hey doc, try taking a deep breath instead of dosing up. Another sign of the medical profession wallowing in the same muck as the legal. Sorry, but just my uneducated 2cents.
  11. There are a lot of other drugs that can improve your photography too, just ask anyone from the 60's ;>)

    Seriously though, Albert it's your prerogative to self-prescribe Inderal to help steady your camera but I suspect that a lot of physicians might be unwilling to write an Rx for a patient for that purpose. Personally, I would first try cessation of caffiene intake, undertaking a stress-reduction program, exercise, Yoga, a table-tripod, and Image Stabilization, before swallowing something with a long list of potential side effects. Anyone who is on Rx meds knows it isn't all roses.
  12. Albert,

    Since you're an MD, could we pretend you're my physician and just send me a perscription? I don't think my doctor will give me one to cure "photo shake!" ;o)
  13. Hey Doc:

    Percoset works pretty well for me, how about some freebie samples?

  14. My actor friend takes Inderal for stage fright. I also know people who take it before delivering speeches and presentations. Apparently the drug takes the edge off, but doesn't leave the patient feeling drugged.
  15. MTC  Photography

    MTC Photography Moderator

    I think transcendental meditation, Qi Gong etc is better than
  16. Try 'Tri-X', the local drug store sells it over the counter. Side effects are minimal, but for a slight feeling of graininess.
  17. Doc,

    You're getting hammered on this one. Cease and desist before the insurance rates go up.

    How about letting us know how it went with the 24mm last weekend and posting some results?

  18. I'll not bash Albert on his post. Although his Inderal suggestion
    goes against my philosphy of purity, I like this thread nontheless
    -- most informative, though tangential and [ by the responses ]
    quite entertaining. I'll keep buying popcorn while the filck is
    rolling...when is intermission btw?
  19. i find a couple of heinies relax my muscles.
  20. Taking a deep breath as someone mentioned is good, but don't some photogs hold it before and on shutter release? And, of course, press that release gently. Seems mainly necessary for slow shutter speeds. Haven't tried one of those soft releases, but seems like an interesting device.
  21. Actually, instead of holding their breath, I think sharp shooters slowly exhale while they pull the trigger.
  22. Atwood in the Leica brochure: "It will give sharp images even in poor lighting because I can hold my breath and work at extremely slow speeds with no camera movement."
  23. Nevermind. Did a quick search on breathing. Snipers take their shot at the end of their breathing cycle. Sorry, this is getting way off topic.
  24. This is more on topic than Al's original post. We're talking about cutting down camera shake, do some photogs rest their elbows on their torso too? Hmn...
  25. mike dixon

    mike dixon Moderator

    I'm another of those who sometimes uses ethanol to dampen the shakes--never have tried propanalol. I don't get what the fuss is about. We have billions of dollars worth of ads telling us everyday how taking some drug or another will solve problems ranging from sneezing and farting to sleeplessness and anxiety (not to mention those drugs that will make us cooler, more popular, and more fun).
  26. I want to clarify my post before any further hammering. Firstly,
    Robin, inderal is not a recreational drug. The 10mg dose is a
    subtherapeutic dose that has minimal or no
    cardiovascular/metabolic side effects. Secondly, I stated quite
    clearly that the medication should only be dispensed following a
    discussion with your physician. Third, many physicians will
    prescribe the medication if you ask. Fourth, I agree with Jay in
    that it would be idiotic to use inderal if you are drinking tons of
    caffeine (coffee, TEA, and colas) or are smoking (ie, nicoteine).
    Therefore, if your doctor agrees, you can consider trying inderal.
    You may find it quite helpful as an adjunct.
  27. Go ask Alice, sounds like the AstraZeneca sales pitch to me doc.
  28. BV -Inderal is a generic. No drug company is getting rich over
    this nearly 45 year old drug !
  29. As one who hammered the good doctor with a bad joke, it was all in good fun.

    In all fairness, would we feel differently if we had the condition he describes?
  30. At age 79+, I'm very aware of Albert's concern about camera shake. Even with the steely nerves of forty-year-olds (as I used to be <grin>), I've found that Eric Put's advice is pertinent. This is from Eric's FAQ, and he receives full credit! He's speaking about what contributes to less-than-ideal sharpness.

    "Movement of the camera should be number one. Using a camera without support, that is: handholding, is the most important cause, especially when combined with slow shutterspeeds. A speed of 1/250, pressing the camera against your forehead will generate more degradation than using a full second on a stable tripod.

    The validity of the classical rule: a safe shutter speed is the reciprocal of the focal length (1/50 for a 50mm lens, 1/250 for a 200mm lens) has never been demonstrated. My testing indicates that the minimum is 1/250 for focal lengths from 15 to 50mm ans at least 1/250 for 75 and 90mm. A longer focal length and of course the vario lenses demand 1/500 to 1/1000 for best performance. This is defined as a high quality print with 12 times enlargement or a slide projection of
    one meter wide.

    For R-lenses a mirror lock-up, a very stable support that fixes body and lens with one mechanism is imperative."
  31. Well gang, I just returned from the ER and have a few minutes to
    review and respond to all of the posts. Let's do them in order.
    Sparkie--YES Inderal (propanolol) is fine with Heinekin but
    contra-indicated with any cheap suds. Best with the real
    budweiss from Bohemia however ! Al--asthma is certainly a
    contraindication. That is why I stated that you must first check
    with your own doc! Al K.--Keep dating those 16 year olds. It is
    very therapeutic ! Robin-- come on, lighten up. the dose of
    inderal is a minute one, just ask your doc. Roger-- yes it does
    look like a full moon is out there in cyberspace ! BVA-- deep
    breathing is an excellent way to minimize tremors BUT inderal is
    better ! Jay--did you inhale ? Guess what ? Speak to your
    personal physician and I think that you will be quite surprised
    when he tells you to try it if needed and not medically
    contra-indicated. Todd-- sorry no e-mail scripts ! Jack-- Percocet
    is a narcotic and actually can exacerbate visual accuity. This
    class of drugs is restricted and should only be dispensed for
    alleviation of severe I am sure you know ! Plus it
    constipates you ! Luke-- you are correct. A large number of
    actors, TV personalities and politicians use inderal regularly!
    Martin-- No qualms about meditation, but how do you do this
    right in the middle of a photojournalism shoot ? Ray-- Ha ha.
    Jerry-- malpractice rates have gone up nation-wide this year by
    10-25%. This is hitting below the photographic vest ! :)>))) I did
    not have a chance to use the new 24mm f/2.8 last weekend as I
    was stuck in the hospita with several emergencies ( everyone
    did fine.) Sparkie-- potty break is now! Steve-- to each his own.
    Paul-- you are correct. Mike-- strictly speaking propanolol would
    decrease alcohol metabolism as it decreases hepatic and
    splanchnic blood flow and this results in a prolonged "high".
    This is not helpful when you are trying to "focus" on your work !
    :)>))))) However, in all fairness, a low dose of inderal probably
    has no clinical effect. Ray-- most people have essential tremor.
    Just put your hands in front of you and flex (extend) your arms
    fully. You will see your fingers shake. George--who said wisdom
    doesn't come with age ? Drat, the beeper is ringing again......
  32. Doc, it's been a very long time since I dated a 16 year old, and not because my physician refuses to write the presription, either! I drink coffee, smoke, and can still pretty consistantly do 1/4 and 1/8 second with a 35mm lens. More movement in the subject not holding still than in my holding the camera. The tables and chairs look sharp in an 11x14.
    My biggest fear is opening up Popular Photography and seeing the full page color advertisements for Inderal! But what the hell, if it works and they're willing to pay me to be in their damned ads I'll do it! "Before my doctor told me about Inderal I had to use electronic flash on a Hasselblad at 1/500! Now I can hand hold my Leica at 1/2 second and get tack sharp pictures." Maybe Walgreens can put samples in the photofinishing envelopes.
  33. I the old magnetic storage business; we used core memory. These are little magnetic torids (donut shaped) that may be as small as 1/20 inch in diameter. Each core is one bit ususally. <BR><BR>As recently as on decade ago; there were core memory being made for older military memory systems.<BR><BR>This old old lady was the chiefs of chiefs in quickly winding and soldering the tiny core memory bits. <BR><BR>She would shake all the time unless she was doing her ancient core winding, soldering, or rebuild. During this process she was the most steady, consistant, reliable core technician. Before and afterward; her entire body was twitching; lip, face muscles, arms, fingers etc. <BR><BR>What ever faith or mental chemical she created to work on the cores was amazing; all her shaking would disappear so she could work on her BABYS; the mini cores. <BR><BR>When done with her job with the cores; her twitching ands shaking would restart.<BR><BR>
  34. Funny you should say that, Kelly. My hand held Leica shots are OK. Any video I take hand held is noticeably shaky. Very shaky.
  35. Doc, by telling me that most people have essential tremor I hope you're not implying that most photographers could benefit from taking this drug. When I said that those of us making fun of this post might feel differently if we had this condition, I wasn't referring to having a slight case of it.

    With the mania on this forum concerned with technical issues- getting the fastest possible, sharpest, newest equipment, I almost feel this post is an extension of that, another way to get a step up on technique, instead of a means of helping someone who really has a legitimately significant physical problem... "Camera shake is the bane of all photographers." Really? It seems to me that not being able to see much of interest is the bane of photographers.

    There may be an 80 year old guy around who just loves photography. I sincerely hope he is the type of person you had in mind when making this post, and suggesting this remedy. To get people who are in pretty normal health to start thinking they might improve their work by taking this stuff would be, well, just silly.
  36. Interesting story, Kelly. I wonder whether the stress of the job contributed to the shakes she had when she wasn't doing it? (Disclaimer - I do not harbour any vitriolic hatred for core memory... I think).
  37. Well, here we go again ! Al---- stop the smoking and contact your
    Hollywood agent. they don't like smoke induced yellow teeth or
    finger stains !!!! Ray--- Couldn't agree more ! Kelly-- a very
    interesting observation that has been reported in the neurology
    literature in patients with essential tremors, but doesn't hold for
    Parkinson's. Mani--- the lesson is simple, trash the video !! :)>)))
  38. Albert; It is interesting that my three Merck manuals have "tremors" in their indexs and text; but in radically different amounts. The Red veterinary manual only has one 3/4" entry on page 593 7th edition. it appears cattle get tremors from feeding on weird various grasses. <BR><BR>The regular merck manual and geriatrics manual have several pages on tremors.<BR><BR>Maybe non human animals can hand hold cameras at lower shutter speeds!. <BR><BR>My dad once saw a whole bunch on chimps on unicycles at a large circus in Detroit before World War 2. Heck; I've only made it less than 50 feet on a unicycle before bonding with the Earth; and earning some scabs. <BR><BR>
  39. Kelly: who ever said that we were at teh pinnacle of the
    evolutionary tree? Does this observation yet throw more fuel into
    the so called academic fire? :)>))))

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