Slowest Shutter speed while shooting handheld? EOS1ds MKIII

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by john_davis|24, Aug 15, 2008.

  1. Hello,
    Since purchasing a new EOS-1ds MarkIII, I have noticed that my images are quite blurry when shooting handheld, at speeds that all other
    cameras have had no problem with- 1/60th and 1/80th.

    In fact, the only time I have gotten tack sharp images is when using strobes. Otherwise, they are at least a little bit soft.

    So I am wondering what the slowest shutter speed is for shooting handheld with this camera, and if this is normal, or if there may be some
    problem with the camera. Thanks!
  2. it all depends on the lens....try a wide angle instead of a 600mm at these speed
  3. Wouldn't it be fun to have a contest to see who can shoot a handheld telephoto lens with no image stabilizer and yet yield a clear image - just like the Olympic Games - with world records (measured by focal lengths) being set each time?
  4. Shooting at 1/50 with a 50mm lens, one will have a higher percentage of "sharp" 100% crops with a 5D than a 1Ds3. I'll leave it to the physics experts to give the technical explanation.
  5. I wonder if the massive resalution of this camera, means you are looking a little to close at the images you are producing with a critical eye. It could also have somthing to do with teh size and wait of your new cam.

  6. Hi John! Remember that rule of the thumb when shooting handheld (1/focal length). It goes something like this... Whatever lens you may be using, always pay attention with WHAT focal length of your lens you're currently using. Say for example, you have a 70-200 mm Lens & you're in the 180mm focal length, that only means that you should not(unless you have a very steady hands to prevent camera shake) shoot below 1/180th.
  7. As Oliver said, but you should also factor in the crop factor of the body. Can't remember where I saw an explanation of this though... I find I can hand-hold a quite a bit slower than 1/(focal length) with my 5D, so I guess I am lucky.
  8. What mixed bag is hidden behind the phrase "all other cameras"? Perhaps a Hassleblad 2 1/4" square (larger format), a Leica M6 (no mirror to add vibration)? Without points of reference the question is not answerable.
  9. Shooting at 1/50 with a 50mm lens, one will have a higher percentage of "sharp" 100% crops with a 5D than a 1Ds3. I'll leave it to the physics experts to give the technical explanation.

    I'm not a physics expert but EOS 1Ds Mark III is just heavier :)
  10. zml


    I happily blast away with a 1Ds3 at slower shutter speeds (provided that I don't have moving elements in the frame) with not too shabby results, with a variety of reasonable lenses (pretty much everything without IS below 85 mm plus 24-105 IS.) But keep in mind that pretty much anything below 1/150-1/100s handheld is a crap shot in terms of sharpness, IS or not (forget the 1/focal length "rule" - it's nonsense for anything other than RF cameras and in any event it was good only for 6x9 cm enlargements.)
    Put the camera on a tripod and test the sharpness using Live View and AF and compare it to the results you are getting handheld: chances are that this is pilot error.
    I'm not sure whether or not 1Ds3 requires any special handling, a steady hand always helps a lot with any camera, but for sure it makes pilot errors painfully obvious :)

    1Ds3, ISO 200, f/8, 1/50s, 24-105/4 L IS @105mm handheld
    Full frame, resized for web and slightly sharpened after resizing.
  11. i saw three different posts referring to the crop factor - the 1ds3 is full frame...same as the 5 so that is not an issue. it is heavier than anything you have likely shot before and that is an issue...
    Aside from that - send it to canon, seems like you have a problem
  12. If you think there is a problem with the camera that produces camera motion blur or similar you should try shooting from a tripod to make
    sure that isn't the case. If the camera is fine on a tripod, it seems unlikely that there is something about the body itself that is causing
    the issue.

    Are you inspecting images at 100% in order to make your comparison to "all other cameras?" If so, keep in mind that you are looking at
    a smaller segment of the overall image of 1DsM3 images compared to other FF bodies since the photosites are closer together. (If this
    is the issue, your prints should look equally sharp with this body even though the 100% magnification may reveal existing blur a bit

  13. You have a $8,000 1ds mk3 and you ask that question?

    Somebody please shoot me! ;-)
  14. Regarding the crop factor effecting handholding ability, I would think the crop bodies are making the effective focal lengths longer, and as always the narrower field of view makes it more difficult to handhold.
  15. Robert turner - so if I was a new photograpaher and came into shed loads of money, would I not be allowed to purchase a 1DIII as it is only reverved for experienced photographers? I've yet to see that condition on all the websites selling this camera. There are plenty of rich old men at camera clubs sporting the very top of the range gear, many of them inexperienced photographers. What you say is nonsense.
  16. @ david - i hear what you are saying but I kind of agree that you shouldn't drive a F1 race car if you don't know matter how much cash you have.
  17. Please, driving an F1 race car is a poor and incorrect analogy. It's like some people on this forum comparing the expertise of photography to brain surgery. They don't compare. One requires vastly more knowledge than the other. A camera is a camera. If you know how to set the aperture, ISO and shutter speed according to the scene, i.e. exposure, and press the shutter release button you can do okay. Composition and the moment the photograph is taken is another story with the skills required being unrelated to the camera body. This goes for any camera, even my old Leica III from 1936 (obviously not set the ISO because it is film....), all the way to my 5D. All the super dooper cameras offer are all sorts of nice and high performance features which in many cases come by default, such as inherent very low high ISO noise, high resolution, high frame rate. A person who understands a lowly 350D inside out would need a couple of hours max to familiarize themselves with a 1DsIII. For me going from my 350D to a 5D took me about 10 minutes - a quick look through the menus and a good old feel and I was ready to go.
  18. I use 24-70L with slow shutter like 1/15~1/10s handheld and I have no problems at all.
  19. "If you know how to set the aperture, ISO and shutter speed according to the scene, i.e. exposure, and press the shutter
    release button you can do okay."

    Maybe. But no better than OK.

  20. Mine 1/2 handhold...
  21. David B - Hey man, I totally agree with your comment. I have a 71 year old acquaintance who is dating a 19 year old supermodel - he doesn't know what to do with her most of the time either...:)
  22. Use the rule 1/(focal length of lens).

    I have steady hands so I generally shoot as low as 1/8 or 1/4th. Ive gotten sharp shots at 1 second. If you have a heavy camera you can generally go longer, my F4 is like a brick so it stays steady for longer.
  23. It is not the camera, it is your hands!

    if you see a difference between this and your previous camera, it is likely that due to a difference in weight and form factor, your hand are not as stable as before. I believe that with practice you can get the same level of stability as your previous cameras.
  24. General rule of thumb with a Full Frame 35: reciprocal of the focal length. Multiply by the crop factor. Thus to do it reliable shoot a 50mm lens at 1/80.

    Of course, if you don't there will still be shots that come out fine.

    Your grip has a lot to do with it, as does your foot position.
  25. I have been shooting for about 10 years now. I have shot 35 mm, 4x5 and own a rollei and a hasselblad, which I
    took all over the world with me. I am not as experienced with digital, but don't act like you know me because of a simple question.

    I am trying to figure out if other eos1ds mk3 users have a similar problem. I have never experienced this with my previous canon eos,
    any other digital camera. I have a very steady hand, and I can shoot with the hassleblad at 1/60 just fine. Ive shot 35mm at 1/60th for
    years without a problem. So I doubt it is me shaking this camera more. It is either something inherent to the design of the camera, or
    there is smoething wrong with it or the lens. The images i get from this camera at 1/80th are noticable soft, even when looking at the
    whole image, at 20% zoom in photoshop. I didn't even know how sharp this camera was until I did a series of headshots with flash only,
    and was able to zoom into see the pores and individual hairs, and it still had plenty of detail.

    Thanks for all the tips. I didn't know about the focal length rule.
  26. Minolta X-500 Rokkor 17mm f/4.0 1/4s handheld.
  27. Not Canon...
  28. "So I doubt it is me shaking this camera more."

    All the more reason to try a tripod test to rule out/in any camera shake issues.

  29. Aside of the Canon EOS1ds the rule 1/(focal length of lens) is false although useful.
    You may expect a 2 speeds difference between photographers and a a a 2 speed difference between cameras... Motor drive is another factor if you press the shutter button for the first shot you don't press the shutter for the following shots...

    It will get false when you go to very wide you can use way slower speeds than 1/(focal length of lens) when you shoot with a wide lens.

    Aside of this I don't know how to handle it with format and resolution... Some people told me that you can handle slow speed easier with MF cameras but this doesn't match my own experience.... My (very ligth) Ikonta doesn't like slow speed...) is it the weight ? The shutter Button ? And to be honest, it is not that noticeable for the same print format compared to a 35mm camera....
  30. David Bell-

    Relax, man- the smiley was put in for a reason.

    And, the Formula One analogy was actually spot-on.

  31. As an amateur photographer...If I had half of the training of a F1 driver I think I could get two speeds slower...I've been to 0,7s with digital camera and stabilizer... How slow with stabilizer a monopod ?... By the way I'm slow and lazy according to many people... That helps ;-)

    On the other the camera is important, I have blurred shot at 1/30s with a 29mm on a Praktica....

    My advice is : Buy a monopod the cost is marginal compared to the camera...
  32. IS on the lenses helps a LOT, so will a monopod or tripod.

    There is a point to Robert Turner's original half-serious joke, however.

    It is also helpful to learn the basic principles beyond the 'P' , 'Tv', or 'Av'.

    I haven't seen much reference here to Tom Ang's various books, but I do recommend that people take a look at his
    2008 book, _Digital Photography Masterclass_ from DK (yes, the kiddie picture book and tour book company). Even
    if you already know the principles, his examples will help anyone improve their "practice."
  33. I agree IS is a saviour in many cases. I once photographed a wedding in a very dark 350 year old venue with dark wood everywhere, at night time, with very poor ambient light. My 5D at ISO 3200 and 24-105 F4 IS, with 580ex and Gary Fong diffuser, allowed me to hand hold my camera and get the formal shots with a very healthy ambient/flash ratio. If I only had an F2.8 zoom I would not have got the shots, no question. This is the type of scenario where an F4 IS zoom lens outperforms an F2.8 zoom, allowing very slow shutter speeds. I am not biased either way as I have both, and use each as I think is appropriate. All I want, as I am sure most of us would like, is a full frame F2.8 IS zoom. Or in a perfect world an F2.8 version of the 24-105 F4 IS, but that's not going to happen anytime soon.
  34. "You have a $8,000 1ds mk3 and you ask that question?

    Somebody please shoot me! ;-)"

    I am glad I was not the only one to pick up on that!
  35. It's funny that $8,000 for a MKIII is considered so expensive in media-photography circles and beyond the reach of
    beginners, and some guy in from the rigs drops $35,000 on a Harley and nobody blinks! A buddy of mine had a fully-loaded
    Mac Book Pro that I would die for and he uses it only for email!
  36. "some guy in from the rigs drops $35,000 on a Harley and nobody blinks! A buddy of mine had a fully-loaded Mac Book Pro
    that I would die for and he uses it only for email!"

    Actually, the fact that you use those for examples points to the opposite - both examples (especially the latter one) get our
    attention because they seem so off-base. And while someone who would get equivalent photos from an XSi and kit lens is
    _able_ to blow $8000 (plus lenses?) on a 1DsM3, no else is very impressed.

    (I don't know if this accurately describes the OP in this thread, but the concept is significant.)
  37. John, have you maybe got an example of one of the soft photographs that you could post up?
  38. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Directed at the original question:

    I think you have to isolate the variables. Stick it on a solid tripod like G Dan M suggests and do some test shots. That`s a logical step 1, IMO.

  39. John,

    Are you sure the softness you are looking at is actually caused by camera movement and that you are not just looking
    at unsharpened RAW files? I note that the bulk of your photographic experience is film based - 35mm and MF - and that
    you have not had a problem with camera shake traditionally.

    If you are new to digital, one area that takes a lot of understanding is the issue of sharpening. If you are shooting jpgs
    straight out of the camera, the camera will apply sharpening to the images as it is processing them - to parameters, you
    can set. If you are shooting RAW, you can either sharpen in the RAW processing or (preferably) later on in Photoshop
    and then be size and final product specific.

    The inclusion of the filters in front of the sensor means that ALL DSLR images need sharpening at some stage and
    selecting the correct amount, radius and threshold for different output sizes and media takes a lot of practice, patience
    and comparing before you really get it nailed. There are many on-line tutorials to help get you started.

    If I am way off base, I apologize, but an unsharpened image can be described as "soft" especially when pixel peeping
    and it's worth eliminating this variable.
  40. Also, bear in mind that the massive number of very minute photosites on the sensor will define any blurriness from movement better.
  41. "Also, bear in mind that the massive number of very minute photosites on the sensor will define any blurriness from
    movement better."

    Another way to think of this is to realize that if you look at, say, a 100 x 100 section at 100% magnification you are
    actually looking at a smaller area of the overall print on the high photosite density example as compared to, say, a 12
    MP camera.

    I continue to think that the best tests take the workflow all the way to prints at equal sizes and compare the results

  42. I've never used an IS lens but often get good shots at 1/8 second HAND held.
  43. Amd yes, absolutely 100% what Robert Turner said. It bears repeating. It's not nonsense either.
  44. ". . . if there may be some problem with the camera."

    This is an understandable concern if you have just laid out $8,000 for a camera. I suspect that you can quickly allay your fears if you shoot some shots with a tripod, and possibly using MLU as well. If the images are still soft, there might be something wrong, but it seems much, much more likely that you just haven't been nailing the hand-held shots lately. Shooting hand-held is not the way to test any camera or lens for sharpness.

    The other side of all this is, if you are not getting particularly good results shooting hand-held, then you might as well be shooting, say, the 350D. All that wonderful potential resolution that you have with 22 MP is going to be lost if you are not holding the camera steady. I know that all this seems obvious, but I suspect that you are worrying yourself for no reason. I had the same fears with the IDs II at first. (I haven't shot the III version.)

    My larger concern with these expensive cameras is whether or not they are overkill for a lot of the ordinary photography that we do. For careful landscape and portrait shots, they are without equal.

    If you are getting sharp shots with a strobe, then the camera is capable of getting good resolution, period. Now you just have to replicate those results without the strobe. There is nothing quite like a tripod and remote or cable release for doing that--and shoot at low ISO in a well-lit test setting so that the shutter speed is very fast. Rest easy. You have yourself a great camera.

  45. >> I have been shooting for about 10 years now. [...] I didn't know about the focal length rule.

    I must confess I never thought I'd see these two sentences together, written by one person.

    Happy shooting,
  46. "Shooting at 1/50 with a 50mm lens, one will have a higher percentage of 'sharp' 100% crops with a 5D than a 1Ds3. I'll leave it to the physics experts to give the technical explanation." --Bryan Tan

    There is no crop factor to contend with here in terms of effective focal lengths of lenses (since both the 5D and the 1Ds III have the same size sensor, 24mm x 36mm). Therefore, if the statement quoted above is true at all, it would likely be because the higher resolution of the 1Ds III would more likely show the limitations of the lens. I have to say, however, that my own experience shooting the 5D and the 1Ds II (not III) indicates no obvious difference at 100% crop, except that the 1Ds II shows more detail, i.e., more resolution. Images from both cameras can be sharpened up about the same, as far as I can tell. There really is no particular reason why the 5D ought to be sharper on RAW files, although in-camera processing of JPEGS might result in one or the other producing greater sharpness. If so, that difference can be neutralized by shooting both with RAW files.

    Although I know of no available 100% crop comparison of the 5D and the 1Ds III, Phil Askey's site at did one of the 5D and the IDs II when the 5D came out, showing that at first glance the IDs II pictures do look a bit softer, but probably only because the larger file size gave a larger on-screen image:

    In spite of apparent softness, however, the IDs II had higher resolution--not a great deal, but definitely higher, as the link above shows. Apparent sharpness and resolution are hardly the same thing, however, and sharpening up the 1Ds II (or III) RAW files (converted to TIFF or whatever) will likely give again the effect that one would expect with higher resolution, that effect being the appearance of greater sharpness, even if the sharpness settings in post-processing are identical.

  47. A similar comparison of the 1Ds II and the 1Ds III on the same site ( shows the following:

    Such comparisons are deceptive, of course. Each incremental increase from the !Ds (11 megapixels) to the IDs II (16.7 megapixels) and then to the IDs III (>21 megapixels) does not seem impressive. If one could compare 100% crops from even further back in the Canon Digital Rebel line, one would again see very little increase in resolution with each new innovation. If one were to compare the 300D to the 1Ds III, however, then all of those increments would add up to a very, very obvious improvement.

    Even so, when making these comparisons, we have to remember that one would have to quadruple the number of megapixels to double the resolution, all other things equal. The reason is that resolution is a measure of a linear function (the increase along a side of the file), whereas the number of megapixels is more or less (i.e., ignoring pixel density for a moment) a measure of a square function, i.e., the surface area of the sensor.

    The IDs Mark III has thus only a bit over twice the resolution of a camera that has five megapixels, even though it has four+ times the number of pixels. The good news, however, is that one sure can crop more and still be able to print huge files once everything is sized, processed, and sharpened up just right. Is it worth the extra money? Well, of course, there are other improvements besides increases in megapixels, but the question is yet compelling, and the answer is always a personal decision.

    I know that I am rehashing a lot of things that are obvious to many readers, but I am sure that many at this stage are buying the huge, expensive DSLRs with the expectation that their images are better in some sense other than being merely "bigger," and that often is not the case.

    Are those big files worth the money? Again, the decision is personal. Will one's images be suddenly magnificently better with a big, expensive camera? Definitely not. Will the prints be noticeably better? Only if one prints very large prints. Oh, well. I console myself with the fact that the increments do add up, and add to that weather-sealed bodies, better in-camera processing, faster processing, larger buffers, etc., and surely the big new DSLRs are better. . . for some people.

    For me? I'm not sure yet. I think that I should have stopped with the 5D.

  48. still having trouble with it. It doesn't seem to be linked to camera shake, though I have had more success shooting above 1/100 sec. But
    I believe it may be an AF issue and not camera shake. I may have to send the thing in to canon...

    It seems that many of you think that a good image comes only from knowing how a camera works. A blind person would therefore be
    perfectly capable of making superb images (no offense intended). This is a techy forum, so it is to be expected, but it is still a bit
    disconcerting. But thanks for the feedback anyways.
  49. John, I think the first thing you need to do is to decide if this is a focus issue or a camera shake / motion blur issue.
    Also, whether it's user error or some mechanical / electronic camera error.

    You really need to conduct a series of well documented, controlled tests - MLU, tripod mounted test chart shots, front /
    back focus tests, testing in various AF modes, AF / MF tests, etc. would not only isolate the problem, but would also be
    helpful if and when you need to send the camera back.

    I agree that this can sometimes be a techy forum - some people seem irrationally impatient and others clearly come here
    purely for self-aggrandizement. Generally though, the people here are patient, helpful and just want the most information
    (with images if poss) to be able to help you out - and by extension educate other readers.
  50. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Ditto what John Bellenis wrote.

    IMO, John Davis, there has not been much specific feedback (technical nor anecdotal), nor any sample images posted, nor answers to the simple questions asked of you, by many who, on the face of it were just attempting to assist you.

    Really, you have not described even the vagaries of any ``testing`` you have done.

    These attitudes and actions, by an OP who was asking for an insight, is a bit disconcerting . . .

    that`s how I see it, (no offense intended either).


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