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Old Jul 9, 2020, 12:07 PM   #1
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Default shutter speed should be no less than 1/focal-length

Is this still a good rule of thumb? In other words, should I be shooting at greater than 1/4.5 at wide angle, and 1/90 seconds at full zoom (20X)?
.... john
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Old Jul 9, 2020, 3:33 PM   #2
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That is for 35mm film and 'Full frame' cameras. If you've got something else, you should use 1 / (35mm equivalent focal length).
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Old Jul 9, 2020, 5:30 PM   #3
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Hi TCav,
I do have something else, a Canon SX240. Is the 35 mm equivalent what's marked on the lens, i.e. 4.5-90.0mm?
...... john
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Old Jul 9, 2020, 6:15 PM   #4
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G'day John

This is where some things become 'how long is the piece of string'

ALL fixed lens superzooms report their lens in 2 ways ... a) the actual lens mm's for the zoom and b) the 35mm full frame 'equivalent'. Therefore you might see a 20x zoom camera lens marked at 5-100mm and also "25-500mm" equivalent

The 'equivalent' comes from the maker using the angle-of-view for the zoom lens and comparing it with a 35mm full frame camera

Because small-sensor cameras also have small (in a physical size) lenses, this is the best way for the maker to tell the user what its performance is equivalent to, and allows many users to compare brand-A with brand-B and so on

With respect to shutter speed / camera shake issues, this is another matter

-yes- in 35mm film camera days, the rule of thumb was as you have described, although like all things "it depends" ... are you cold and shivvering? is there a wind affecting you? are you resting against a solid object to minimise your movement? and so on

While I.S. technology has allowed for some modification to the old 'rule' it certainly does allow us to shoot pics using a shutter speed somewhat slower that the old 'rule' suggested. Some makers suggest 3-speeds 'better' others claim 'up to 7 speeds better'. This is where the advertising becomes bumpf for many people, as it presumes the perfect conditions for all your photography

Speaking personally, with my original 10x zoom digital superzoom with no I.S. features I found that I could hand-hold at full zoom (400mm equiv) down to 1/4-second, -if- I also used burst and discarded the first of the 4 images because of moverment while pressing the actual shutter button. After this all I was doing was holding my breath, and the from the resulting images I chose the 'most sharp' - and often at 100% size on the computer screen there was zero blur of specular highlights, telling me that there also was no camera movement

I suspect that for each of us the sort of minimum shutter speeds we are capable of will differ at varying times, all depending upon the conditions

Hope this helps
Phil
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Old Jul 9, 2020, 9:46 PM   #5
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Hi Phil,
Yes, it helps. In other words the rule is VERY flexible depending on many conditions, and not very useful.
Not being a film guy I always found the 35mm equivalence factor somewhat irritating. Is it irrelevant today? Could it be replaced with ???, or does it still provide a meaningful reference to which all photographers can relate?
Thanks,
........ john
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Old Jul 10, 2020, 6:19 PM   #6
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G'day John

While I and other 'oldies' refer to "35mm film days" whatever was accepted then does apply equally to today's digital Full Frame systems - as their lenses have the same angles of view as the older film camera lenses, and therefore the camera shake rules-of-thumb will still apply to them when they are not using the in camera I.S. systems

We know that APS sensor digital SLRs have a crop factor when compared with full frame sensors, but most users simply accept it and "keep on shootin' ". There are people using APS sensor SLRs who still use the phrase "my 100-400 lens shoots the same as a 150-600" (or something along those lines) and while they know what they are talking about, the other 99% of APS SLR users just ignore it and say that they are using a 100-400 lens and be done with it

It only / mostly comes down to us small sensor camera users who need the Full Frame information so that we can make some sense out of the Brand-A vs Brand-B lenses that are much smaller than the dSLR lenses in their physical size but deliver results that equal the dSLR images in many ways. ie: most people looking at a 12" x 18" print will not see much if any difference between two prints supplied by the two different sensors

ps- I have just delivered an A3-sized / 12' x 18" print to a client and it's cracker sharp across the frame ~ the small sensor camera can & does provide good results esp, if its lens is up to par ~ and that is why I use Panny equipment

Phil
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Old Jul 11, 2020, 8:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shinnen View Post
I do have something else, a Canon SX240. Is the 35 mm equivalent what's marked on the lens, i.e. 4.5-90.0mm?
No. The Canon SX240 has a 35mm equivalent focal length of 25500 mm.
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