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Thread: Effectiveness of Mirror Lock-Up (MLU)

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    Alis's Avatar
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    Effectiveness of Mirror Lock-Up (MLU)

    Quick question: do you guys use mirror lock up, when if yes, and how effective do you think it is?

    Thanks,

    Alis
    Last edited by Alis; 7th October 2009 at 02:51 AM.

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    Re: Mirror lock up

    Quote Originally Posted by Alis View Post
    Quick question: do you guys use mirror lock up, when if yes, and how effective do you think this?

    Thanks,

    Alis
    Yes - most often when I'm using live view (which has to retract the mirror anyway).

    The effectiveness of MLU really depends on your shutterspeed and the sturdyness of your rig (eg on a multi-minute exposure you can even go and stand in front of the lens for a few seconds and it doesn't make any difference).

    Later generation IS units in longer lenses are specially programmed to compensate for it too.

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    Re: Mirror lock up

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Yes - most often when I'm using live view (which has to retract the mirror anyway).

    The effectiveness of MLU really depends on your shutterspeed and the sturdyness of your rig (eg on a multi-minute exposure you can even go and stand in front of the lens for a few seconds and it doesn't make any difference).

    Later generation IS units in longer lenses are specially programmed to compensate for it too.

    Thanks, Colin. You guessed it right, I was thinking about using it with long exposure for landscape.

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    Re: Effectiveness of Mirror lock up

    I use it every time I have the camera on a tripod. If you go through the trouble of setting it all up to stableize the camera - why not go all the way?

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    Re: Effectiveness of Mirror lock up

    Quote Originally Posted by KentDub View Post
    I use it every time I have the camera on a tripod. If you go through the trouble of setting it all up to stableize the camera - why not go all the way?
    Thanks, Kent. I agree that compared to the trouble of setting up everything else it is not that much of a hassle but I always like to hear about these details. It is fun and it is really helpful to learn more. Also, if it is not effective, even if it is not that much hassle, why bother?

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    Re: Effectiveness of Mirror lock up

    For me - it has more to do with that slight bump you give to the camera pressing the shutter button all of the way down, even as slow ans careful as I can, I still feel a slight bump. I guess that is more of a justification for using a remote release - or a self timer (which I do). I have those custom camera modes that I have mirror lockup turned on so its habit I guess =) Makes me feel better even if it dosn't have any noticeable impact -- just knowing I did everything I could to get the shot sharp

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    Re: Effectiveness of Mirror lock up

    Quote Originally Posted by KentDub View Post
    For me - it has more to do with that slight bump you give to the camera pressing the shutter button all of the way down, even as slow ans careful as I can, I still feel a slight bump. I guess that is more of a justification for using a remote release - or a self timer (which I do). I have those custom camera modes that I have mirror lockup turned on so its habit I guess =) Makes me feel better even if it dosn't have any noticeable impact -- just knowing I did everything I could to get the shot sharp
    Huh, I did not know MLU is an option under the custom settings! I have to read the manual I guess. Thanks!

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    Re: Effectiveness of Mirror lock up

    The Nikon D90 does not have a mirror lockup mode as such. It has a 1 sec delay mode where the shutter doesen't fire until the mirror has been up for 1 second, Nikon seem to think that 1 second is enough time for the mirror vibrations to dampen.

    In situations where I need to use it I also do my shutter release with a wireless (Not infra red) remote release. In other words, total hands off the camera.

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    Re: Effectiveness of Mirror lock up

    Quote Originally Posted by KentDub View Post
    I use it every time I have the camera on a tripod. If you go through the trouble of setting it all up to stableize the camera - why not go all the way?
    Unfortunately, because (on Canon cameras anyway) it has a 30 Second timeout (unless used via liveview) - which means that you can't use it where you've setup an intervalometer (timer) to capture a shot at - say - 1 minute intervals (eg when it's freezing cold outside - you're trying to capture a sunrise - and you can go sit in the car with a hot water bottle )

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    Re: Effectiveness of Mirror lock up

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Unfortunately, because (on Canon cameras anyway) it has a 30 Second timeout (unless used via liveview) - which means that you can't use it where you've setup an intervalometer (timer) to capture a shot at - say - 1 minute intervals (eg when it's freezing cold outside - you're trying to capture a sunrise - and you can go sit in the car with a hot water bottle )
    That's true. Can't you put the camera's mode on to the 10-second timer and then use the intervalometer? The intervalometer should then trigger the 10-second (or 2sec) timer to start counting down - which the mirror will flip up for. Close enough for government work?

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    Re: Effectiveness of Mirror lock up

    Quote Originally Posted by KentDub View Post
    For me - it has more to do with that slight bump you give to the camera pressing the shutter button all of the way down
    Hi Kent,

    It's not so much the "bump" that's the problem - because the shutter isn't open at that point - it's more any secondary oscillation that that bump might cause.

    In reality it's likely to be worse with longer lenses at slower shutterspeeds (between 1/100th down to 1/4sec), although the IS units like on the EF500mm are specially designed to compensate for it, even when tripod mounted.

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    Re: Effectiveness of Mirror lock up

    Quote Originally Posted by Alis View Post
    Huh, I did not know MLU is an option under the custom settings! I have to read the manual I guess. Thanks!
    Well I wasn't referring to custom settings in the way you're thinking =) (Although that is where you turn it on, at least on a Canon). I have a C1/C2 selection on my Auto/Av/Tv/M dial that has custom presets (a user-defined combination of settings). I have one of them setup for MLU so I can easialy turn it on without having to dig through Canon's cryptic custom mode menus.

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    Re: Effectiveness of Mirror lock up

    Quote Originally Posted by KentDub View Post
    That's true. Can't you put the camera's mode on to the 10-second timer and then use the intervalometer? The intervalometer should then trigger the 10-second (or 2sec) timer to start counting down - which the mirror will flip up for. Close enough for government work?
    That's one way - easier way is just to leave it in liveview (1Ds3 has massive battery capacity, so it doesn't cause an issue).

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    Re: Effectiveness of Mirror lock up

    Quote Originally Posted by KentDub View Post
    I have one of them setup for MLU so I can easialy turn it on without having to dig through Canon's cryptic custom mode menus.
    Another way with the more recent Canon units is to add it to the favourites menu - and if you tell the camera to go to the favourites menu first, it makes it fairly quick to get to.

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    Re: Effectiveness of Mirror lock up

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Another way with the more recent Canon units is to add it to the favourites menu - and if you tell the camera to go to the favourites menu first, it makes it fairly quick to get to.
    Good call -- I'll have to learn how to use that, would be useful to freeup those custom modes for something else, thanks for the tip

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    Re: Effectiveness of Mirror lock up

    Quote Originally Posted by KentDub View Post
    Good call -- I'll have to learn how to use that, would be useful to freeup those custom modes for something else, thanks for the tip
    No worries. It's kind of born out of necessity as we don't have the C1 / C2 modes on the top of the camera (we actually have 3, but you have to load them through the custom functions section) (you can also write many configurations to the card, but that's also a bit of a mission if your in a hurry).

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    Re: Effectiveness of Mirror lock up

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    No worries. It's kind of born out of necessity as we don't have the C1 / C2 modes on the top of the camera (we actually have 3, but you have to load them through the custom functions section) (you can also write many configurations to the card, but that's also a bit of a mission if your in a hurry).
    Exactly. Mine (5D MKII) has 3 (C1-3) on top of the camera but as you said you have to register these settings in another menu, but you only have to do it once if MLU is something that can be included.

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    Re: Effectiveness of Mirror lock up

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    ...an intervalometer...
    Colin, I have to tell you that thing is the most confusing piece of electronics I have ever bought, it has the same number of indicators/buttons as a meat thermometer and comes with a piece of paper (manual) that has zero information in it (in 50 different languages)...

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    Re: Effectiveness of Mirror lock up

    Well I used to use mirror lockup with timer and bracketing,; it locks up for two secs takes three at once the comes down.

    But being a cheapskate I bought a chinese cable release; now it locks up takes one photo and doesn't come down.

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    Re: Effectiveness of Mirror lock up

    I have experimented with mirror lock up but couldn't see any difference in identical images; and it made shooting macro insects etc virtually impossible.

    The same goes for cable release which I used all the time until I started comparing results. But I am mostly working at reasonably high shutter speeds so very slow exposures may be different. Although I would have thought that on a good tripod a quick starting bump would average out with no noticeable difference overall.

    It probably comes down to doing some experiments and seeing which suits you best.

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