Handheld shutter speeds with Canon 20mm f/2.8 and 800 film

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by j._d._mcgee, Jul 20, 2004.

  1. I plan to do a lot of low natural light photography with my most
    recent purchase, the Canon 20 f/2.8. I was wondering what are the
    slowest shutter speed I could hand hold my Elan 7 with the 20mm using
    800 speed film and still get sharp pictures.

    I have not used super wide angle lenses of the 20mm variety, my
    widest lens before was a 24mm. I use Kodak 800 and Fujipress 800
    (yes, film, remember that) every now and again for low light
    situations. I can only assume the inverse "rule" of 1/20 sec. would
    be as low as I could go but I was hoping to get 1/10 sec. Is this
    out of the question?

    Thanks, J.D.
     
  2. 1/10 of a second could probably be possible if you are a really relaxed person. Forget it if you take some cofee beforehand tough, you'd have to bump that speed up to 1/40... It all depends on you and your hands, you need to make a few tests and see if it works out!
     
  3. with a steady hand 1/10 should be fine.
     
  4. Be careful - I have that lens. The image quality is not horrible, but not really outstanding below f 5.6

    It's not great at all wide open. Avoid wide open unless you have no choice. I really wish it was better wide open.
     
  5. 1/10s really is marginal. Keep the shutter pressed for several frames in a row, that will increase chances that one of them is acceptable. Or get yourself a monopod. I bought a Manfrotto 679 for low-light photography and now I get consistently sharp photos at 1/6s with my 24mm f/2.8, on good days I can even do 1/4s - that's three stops more than the focal-length rule would dictate. Of course, our definitions of "acceptable" may differ. I usually don't enlarge beyond 20x30cm, with occasional 30x45cm and few 40x60cm prints. Alexander
    008vLk-18871784.jpg
     
  6. Of course, the monopod also allows longer exposures with my longer lenses. Here's one with the 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM:
    008vM4-18871984.jpg
     
  7. I did some shots with my 24/2.8 @1/30 sec, wide-open to f/4, using NPZ800 and NPH400(push+1) in some very low-light conditions - tungsten lamps + candles (80B - subtract 1 more step here), or fluorescent lamps corrected with FLW attached (-1 step again), and some other shots to Provia 400, wide-open and f/3.5.
    <br>
    The light falloff in corners isn't horrible even on a projection screen, but the lens becomes very limitied in close-up photo, and generally i had have only TWO options possible: close-focus with a very, very small DOF, and hyperfocal for any object that are located between 2.75m and farther.
    <br>
    Before buying the lens i have made some "comparition" shots between 20/2.8 USM and 24/2.8; on a 24 lens, only a very slight vignetting is visible, and for a 20mm it's nearly horrible. Two lens become ~indistinguishable after f/5.6, and @f/8 i see no difference at all (except for a viewing angle). But f/8 is NOT a low-light option, unless you're carrying a tripod.
    <br>
    24mm lacks a USM drive, but it seems to be a very popular lens for low-light photography.
    <br>
    <br>
    P.S. Please do not forget for the bokeh! 20mm's background blur is UGLY!
     
  8. "24mm lacks a USM drive, but it seems to be a very popular lens for low-light photography."

    I would argue that USM is a little less important on wide angle lenses. Yes they are quiter, but the main attraction of usm (to me) is the FTM, which I haven't really needed on my wide angle range. For me USM is great when you need to adjust the AF quickly or you may lose the shot - I haven't been in those situations with wide angle.
     
  9. Helen, for what I want to use it for I need the lens to be as wide as possible. 20mm instead of 24 seemed only reasonable to me as I have viewed both through my camera. I have heard some good things about the 20 which led me to choose it, besides I was comparing it to the Sigma 20 f/1.8 which I heard yeilded poor picture quality at f/2.8 compared to the Canon at the same aperture. Though I am sure the Canon 24mm is a nice lens I wanted one even wider than that even though I may sacrafice a little picture quality. I don't really care if the lens has USM or not, that was not a factor in my purchase.

    Also, reading over my original text I realized I was talking about film speed (it was late, I dunno). I know film speed has nothing to do with how low a speed you can handhold a lens at but rather just how much available light you can do it in.

    Regards, J.D.
     

Share This Page

1111