Some thoughts on mirror slap

Started Jul 10, 2011 | Discussions thread
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Steve Bingham
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Some thoughts on mirror slap
Jul 10, 2011

Yes, the mirror slap was proven on dpreview.com just a while ago. Silent mode seemed to eliminate it (slows down the mirror). I guess I need to run a few experiments, like I did with my Pentax 6x7, to see at what shutter speeds it occurs. With the Pentax 6x7 it was in the 1/8 to 1.5 second range. I learned to handle it, when needed, with a small lead bag or a "dead hand" resting on top of the camera. Most of the time I simply avoided those shutter speeds.

To test your camera for mirror slap vibration do a simple experiment:

1- Use a longer lens to make it easier to see the mirror vibration motion, although it will occur with any lens if it is true mirror slap vibration (which i strongly suspect it is).

2- Mount the camera on a sturdy tripod and take a series of photos using shutter delay to eliminate hand vibrations (with VR off of course). Start with 1/500 and work your way down to 8 seconds.

3- Examine the images at 100%, or even 200%.

Here is what I think you might find. Shorter exposures, like 1/250, simply won't show any mirror slap. Why? Because the faster shutter speed only captures a small amount of this vibration. Longer exposures, say 4 seconds, will have the camera "vibration free" for a greater percentage of the exposure. To eliminate mirror slap on a tripod, simply use MU or Q mode.

Using a slower hand held shutter speed, like 1/8, along with VR simply won't help. The vibration is still effecting the exposure. In short, don't use the D7000 in the vibration zone - even with VR. On the plus side, this is a very small blur and will only affect those who already have excellent technique and need large photos. But isn't that why some of bought the D7000 (with the magic 16 mp)?????

Now, what we need is a publication to test my theory and point out this zone with examples. You can do it at home, but it is best done with a pin point light source against a dark background (or a resolution chart like the ISO 12233). I will do this myself today . I need to know the zone!!!

Steve Bingham
http://www.dustylens.com
http://www.ghost-town-photography.com

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