Helpful Posts Helpful Posts:  0
Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Choosing a shutter speed

  1. #1
    Daniel Salazar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Switzerland
    Posts
    226
    Real Name
    Daniel

    Choosing a shutter speed

    Hi, as part of my learning process, I would like to know what I should consider when choosing the shutter speed.

    I now that depending on how close you are to the subject, you should choose a shutter speed higher than the focal length, however the question is what exactly I have to consider.

    e.g. I'm planing to buy a 500mm f/8 telephoto, however I would like to know what shutter speed I should choose when photographing airshows, or some other sports or some other action images.
    Last edited by McQ; 17th February 2009 at 04:32 PM.

  2. #2
    New Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Gig Harbor, WA
    Posts
    1

    Re: Choosing shutter speed

    Morning John, 1st thing to do is to decide on what you want to do. Do you want to stop action or blurr the action. I would suggest you get Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson. He does an excellant job at explaining. He also has a web site and online classes. Enjoy

  3. #3
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Windsor, Berks, UK
    Posts
    16,234
    Real Name
    Dave Humphries :)

    Re: Choosing shutter speed

    Quote Originally Posted by dasle View Post
    e.g. I'm planing to buy a 500mm f/8 telephoto, however I would like to know what shutter speed I should choose when photographing airshows, or some other sports or some other action images.
    Hi Daniel,

    As dougbutch says, it depends what you want to achieve, typically you would, as you say, base it on (inverse of) focal length (FL), so 1/500 minimum, probably much quicker for a plane against blank sky, as even when panning, there's going to be little background detail to show the speed and any shake is going to blur the shot.

    For other sports, that FL and f-stop might be restricting unless you up the ISO. However, if you pan with the subject and get skilled at it, you can get away with less. Depends on the sport; cars, cycles, etc. in fact any 'track' sport can be panned, but 'field' or 'court' sports cannot (usually), so you may well be relying on a fast shutter speed to freeze the action.

    One of the more experienced, perhaps ex-pro's, might give you a btter answer than this, especially if you can give us an idea what "other sports" or action you had in mind.

    Regards,

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    South Devon, UK
    Posts
    11,628

    Re: Choosing shutter speed

    I'm afraid that the simple answer is 'There isn't a simple answer'. There are just so many variables. The shutter speed/focal length equasion is a rough guide but that was invented before the introduction of image stabilised lenses.

    Obviously the use of a tripod/monopod or other support would give a new dimension to the question.

    Experimentation, after reading the basics, is really the only answer. But I would give one tip about airshows from my experience. When attempting to photograph some flying Battle of Britain aircraft I used 1/200 on a 300mm lens and also used 1/1000 on the same lens. The slower images were all slightly blured due to camera shake and the aircraft movement. The higher speed produced sharp images but the propellors were all 'frozen'. I did eventually manage to blur them using suitable software but it took a lot of time.

    For fast moving sports you will probably need something around 1/500 or more but you can sometimes do better by choosing a slower period of action, eg in front of a goal mouth.

    Don't forget that by using a fast shutter speed you may be altering the aperture and reducing your depth of field. In these circumstances, increasing ISO is the only comprimise. But don't get too worried about this as most modern cameras work reasonably well at ISO 800.

  5. #5
    Daniel Salazar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Switzerland
    Posts
    226
    Real Name
    Daniel

    Re: Choosing shutter speed

    Ji Dougbutch, thanks I've both books from B Peterson, they are great.

    thanks Geoff & Dave, I'll try using between 1/500 & 1/1000 and see what heppens.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: Choosing shutter speed

    Hi Daniel,

    I'm left wondering if you were alluding to the "1 over focal length" rule to minimise camera shake due to hand-holding?

    If that's the case then with a 500mm lens on a 1.5x crop factor camera then you'b be looking at around "1/750th" (1/800th).

    For aircraft in the air you'll be able to shoot wide open - the higher the shutter speed the better if you want to freeze the action - but if you're shooting wide open then you won't have much of a say in the matter (other than choosing an ISO that gets the speed up at the expense of noise).

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •