'Mirror Lockup' setting on the canon 5D mark ii

Started Mar 24, 2011 | Discussions thread
gdanmitchell Veteran Member • Posts: 7,730
Re: 'Mirror Lockup' setting on the canon 5D mark ii

Dick Thomas wrote:

gdanmitchell wrote:

If you are using a tripod you should shade the viewfinder with the clip on the strap or something else to prevent any light leakage.

This is not really so necessary as some think. The light path from the eyepiece into the chamber behind the lens is physically blocked when the mirror is up. (The real reason for blocking the eyepiece has more to do with automatic exposure issues.)

The automatic exposure is the point. When I use mirror lockup on a tripod for a landscape I usually compose the shot through the viewfinder and then back away before pressing the shutter. If I don't cover the eyepiece then there is a chance of improper exposure if I let the camera set that automatically. I will usually take several exposures with the same tripod setup, often trying to capture some specific point in time such as the ducks swimming by on the pond. I don't stare through the viewfinder while I am waiting for them to paddle along, so I cover the eyepiece. If I go the other route of manually setting the exposure then I run the risk of changing light while waiting for the ducks.


I normally do rely almost exclusively on manual exposure settings when shooting landscape from the tripod. Automatic exposure is generally unreliable due to it's inability to deal with specific variations in the scene, especially highlight issues. Even though that little eyepiece cover lives on my lens strap, I cannot recall the last time I used it. If very

bright direct sun is shining into the eyepiece I might shield it with my hat or my hand, but that's about it.

I rarely use MLU when photographing birds/wildlife since here I need to continuously check the position of the target in the viewfinder. I suppose you could shoot wildlife that way, but in most cases it doesn't seem like a very promising idea - and live view might be a better option.

G Dan Mitchell - SF Bay Area, California, USA
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