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Hand holding a TLR
Old 12-22-2015   #1
tho60
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Hand holding a TLR

I have bad experiences regarding camera jerking when I shoot with my Lubitel or Yashica Mat. I have searched the Internet and found many guys who brag they could hold their TLR camera for 1/8 or even 1/2 sec. Although I get serious camera shake with blurred images even at 1/125 sec.

What are your experiences? Any proven tips?
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Old 12-22-2015   #2
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1/125?? Thats really bad i think.
1/2 is not doable , not consistently anyway, but 1/30 is, i think.
Ppl also have different standards to what is ok and what is blurry...
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Old 12-22-2015   #3
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I'll hand hold my Rollei up to 1/60th, and if I'm feeling really daring, 1/30th. If possible I hold it with the strap around my neck, and the body against my chest, and hold my breath. i also use one of Tom Abrahamsson's mini soft releases on the shutter button of the camera, that makes squeezing off a shot smoother, at least for me.

But I also use a tripod for my Rollei at slower speeds, with a cable release.
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Old 12-22-2015   #4
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Cradle the camera in both hands left under right while you Pull down on your neck strap and against body for slower speeds. (hold your breath out).
If you have very large hands use your right thumb to gently squeeze the shutter.
If your hands are smaller your right index finger may be better positioned.
For some a TLR may not be the steadiest camera handheld. If you find that the case don a tripod
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Old 12-22-2015   #5
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I pull on the strap to get some tension and brace it on my torso. But I think that loads of those low shutter speed while hand held claims are internet wishful thinking.
I can hand hold mine down to 1 sec. As long as I don't mind the blurry result..
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Old 12-22-2015   #6
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1/15 is doable
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Old 12-22-2015   #7
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At 1/125, you may have some other issue occurring which is causing a "softness" to the image. Unless you're shaking a good bit or photographing some fairly quick movement, 1/125 is a pretty fast shutter speed. I wonder if perhaps your camera has a problem with a sticky shutter? As in maybe you have it set to 1/125 but it's shooting at 1/30 or less. If you are finding your negatives are more dense than usual (overexposed) this might support that theory. Hypothetically, a TLR is one of the easiest cameras to shoot at low speeds because of the leaf shutter and being able to secure it with a good strap.
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Old 12-22-2015   #8
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I get really sharp images at 1/60 with SLR's like the Pentax 67 and 1/30 with TLR's and RF's. I think 1/15 is perfectly doable but I prefer to play safe.
I press the camera against my chest and release the shutter before exhaling.
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Old 12-22-2015   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mawilliams View Post
At 1/125, you may have some other issue occurring which is causing a "softness" to the image. Unless you're shaking a good bit or photographing some fairly quick movement, 1/125 is a pretty fast shutter speed. I wonder if perhaps your camera has a problem with a sticky shutter? As in maybe you have it set to 1/125 but it's shooting at 1/30 or less. If you are finding your negatives are more dense than usual (overexposed) this might support that theory. Hypothetically, a TLR is one of the easiest cameras to shoot at low speeds because of the leaf shutter and being able to secure it with a good strap.
Yes, make sure that the shutter is in fact working correctly -- you should be able to get sharp shots with a TLR with no trouble at 1/125, if the shutter is in fact accurate.
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Old 12-22-2015   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tho60 View Post
I have bad experiences regarding camera jerking when I shoot with my Lubitel or Yashica Mat. I have searched the Internet and found many guys who brag they could hold their TLR camera for 1/8 or even 1/2 sec. Although I get serious camera shake with blurred images even at 1/125 sec.

What are your experiences? Any proven tips?
You can set the timer to release the shutter, that will certainly help by eliminating any finger movement or jerking on the button. Some cameras such as some of the Rolleicords enable you to set only a couple of seconds delay which can be ideal for this. But if you are experiencing difficulty at 1/125, there is something else in play, either with you or the camera. 1/125 should be easily achievable. I can easily hand hold various lenses on my Hasselblad at 1/60 (or even slower on occasion), a worthy camera indeed, but one which does not lend itself to longer hand held exposures as readily as a TLR. Ask yourself what sorts of speeds you have had success with when using other cameras. If they are considerably better, you either need to refine your TLR technique or there's an issue with the cameras themselves. You might try a short-ish cable release fitted to the socket, and see what, if any, improvement results.

Lastly, you are certain that your blurred images are a result of camera motion? There can be other causes such as focus inaccuracies.
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Old 12-23-2015   #11
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I will echo what many have said-brace the camera with the strap and your body and squeeze slowly. If you could, post a sample or two, so we can see. Brett made a good point, could be a focus issue, with the two lenses out of calibration with each other. Or could be sticky shutter, particularly if both are significantly older cameras.

I had good luck handholding Yashica Mat at 60th, spotty but generally good luck at 30th. Or so I thought, until I had it cleaned and serviced. When I got it back, the difference was night and day. Dirty lens elements and sticky shutter combined to yield some very soft images. Good luck.
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Old 12-23-2015   #12
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Proven tips? As others have said, make sure the camera is working properly. And make sure you are working properly. Breath slowly if possible whilst shooting; relax! Cradle the camera in both hands. Rollei recommends pulling against the strap to create tension for a steady platform; it doesn't work for me. Squeeeeeeeze... the shutter button gently... don't tap on it. Drink less coffee. 1/30 should be doable.
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explanation
Old 12-23-2015   #13
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explanation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pherdinand View Post
1/125?? Thats really bad i think.
1/2 is not doable , not consistently anyway, but 1/30 is, i think.
Ppl also have different standards to what is ok and what is blurry...
No, I do not suffer from Parkinson's disease At least, I hope. Let me explain the situation. I have a Lubitel-166 camera with Bakelite chassis. I believed that holding a light-camera is easy, but in fact, the light chassis do not damp any vibration. I shoot using the sport-finder, shutter set at 1/125 sec, and I got blurred negative. Sometimes, negs shoot with 1/60 sec were usable. With my Yashica Mat124 I dare shoot at 1/60.

Pulling down the neck strap is a tricky method. If you do not want to crop the top of the object to be photographed, you should adjust the camera's position in the moment of taking picture. This does not allow the most stable position every time, you must adapt to the situation. The 2nd problem: you can tension the strap usually with one hand, the other hand pushes the shutter release.
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Old 12-23-2015   #14
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It is similar with our Lubitel 166. The shutter release is pretty smooth, and you would not expect a problem. However, the camera is very very light...

I would not want to stress the frame particularly in an attempt to try to hold the camera steady via a strap. Our Lubitel is a tad flexible, and if distorted too much leaks light!
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Old 12-23-2015   #15
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Not getting it sharp at 1/125 (with an 80mm) is strange and I'd take a look at your technique. You must be doing something that make your camera shake. If with the sports finder you are holding it up in the air without any support (like holding a p&s and looking at the rear screen) then pushing the shutter release can move the camera. Try a flexible cable release and experiment with that.

I have no trouble with a M645 with grip and prism at 1/30 (with a 55mm) and good results at 1/15. Going lower I must use mirror up. So 1/125 should be no problem.
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Old 12-23-2015   #16
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If you're using the sport finder, then maybe you are not setting the focus correctly. There is a big difference in what camera shake looks like as opposed to Out-Of-Focus blur. With shake, the image should be a little bit smeared in one direction, while OOF is more like fog.

A grip handle could be useful when using the sport finder as some of them have the facility for using a cable release.

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Old 12-23-2015   #17
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One can also use the self timer, a daring option for some oldies, to get a steady shot even at 1/15.
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Old 12-23-2015   #18
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I found that with my Yashica Mat 124, I have to push the shutter buttom perfectly straight back or it does not fire or it will cause the camera to move. Using a concave soft shutter release button (that screws into the camera shutter button) has solved that.
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Old 12-24-2015   #19
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The Mamiya C330 is much easier to hold steady at slower speeds, using the (vertical) shutter release on the side of the body. I get reasonably sharp negs at 1/15, or even down to 1/2 sec if I can use a post or wall to brace myself. With my Yashica Mat I got blurry shots below 1/60 sec.
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Old 12-24-2015   #20
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There s only one way to tell. Take some exposures with some tension on the neckstrap. No neckstrap, then rest on tummy.

Some will look good down to 1/15 or 1/30, but not compared to the tripod shots done on the same roll.

Not using the best lenses will make this non transferable to other cameras. Yashica are not the best. The other, well it is a toy. You decide.
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Old 12-24-2015   #21
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Proven tip: monopod.
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Old 12-25-2015   #22
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Just about ANYTHING is doable. Just not all the time. The longer the (hand held) exposure, the lower the chances of a sharp picture. For me the 50/50 point is reached with a TLR at 1/5 or 1/10. By "50/50" I mean where I have at least an even chance of getting an acceptably sharp shot. But as others have said, "acceptable" varies from person to person and shot to shot.

Cheers,

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Old 12-25-2015   #23
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I rarely would go slower than 1/15 with a Rolleiflex TLR, or it becomes (what Roger called) a 50:50 case. I once used a heavy tripod at daytime and with lots of sunshine outdoors just to enjoy the flexibility of choosing small apertures and to expect very sharp images with three TLR cameras that day (2.8D, 3.5F, Tele). It worked well.
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Old 12-25-2015   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tho60 View Post
What are your experiences? Any proven tips?
For proven tips, get a book on shooting guns (at the library or so). A lot of the techniques and tips you find there also apply to taking photos. What I found in there that helped me most were:
- don't tension your muscles
- your posture
- control breath, slowly breathing out is steadiest

IIRC, it has been a few years since I read it.
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Old 12-25-2015   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
Just about ANYTHING is doable. Just not all the time. The longer the (hand held) exposure, the lower the chances of a sharp picture. For me the 50/50 point is reached with a TLR at 1/5 or 1/10. By "50/50" I mean where I have at least an even chance of getting an acceptably sharp shot. But as others have said, "acceptable" varies from person to person and shot to shot.

Cheers,

R.
I pulled of 1/2 sec one time in a museum with my M2
Strap tension and leaned on a railing.

I was shocked. But that was probably 1 in a thousand
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Old 12-25-2015   #26
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^ Ignore remarks concerning YashicaMat lens. I've owned 4 YashicaMats and all were
very capable of great images. I can't however remark on the shape of your lens,shutter assemblies.
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Old 12-25-2015   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spanik View Post
For proven tips, get a book on shooting guns (at the library or so). A lot of the techniques and tips you find there also apply to taking photos. What I found in there that helped me most were:
- don't tension your muscles
- your posture
- control breath, slowly breathing out is steadiest

IIRC, it has been a few years since I read it.
+1 .
I was taught this for the rifle range; I also use the technique with the camera.
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Old 12-25-2015   #28
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I was shooting my family playing pool in a dark basement under spotlights, had some foma 200 left in my mamiya tlr.... 1/8th sec at f2.8. No problem as long as I rested the camera on the edge of the pool table.
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Old 12-27-2015   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mwoenv View Post
I found that with my Yashica Mat 124, I have to push the shutter buttom perfectly straight back or it does not fire or it will cause the camera to move.
I have the same experience. Even if I pull down the neck strap, pushing the shutter button makes the Yashica to move.
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Old 12-27-2015   #30
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The first question is, do you get sharp images when using a sturdy tripod?

If you do, the problem is your technique. If you do not the problem is your camera.

Technique: Short neck strap, camera against your chest not your belly. Hold your breath. Squeeze the shutter button gently. Almost anyone should be able to get to 1/30 that way. Leaning against something solid should get you to 1/15 most of the time.
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Bad focus or camera shake
Old 12-30-2015   #31
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Bad focus or camera shake

Quote:
Originally Posted by farlymac View Post
If you're using the sport finder, then maybe you are not setting the focus correctly. There is a big difference in what camera shake looks like as opposed to Out-Of-Focus blur. With shake, the image should be a little bit smeared in one direction, while OOF is more like fog.

A grip handle could be useful when using the sport finder as some of them have the facility for using a cable release.

PF
You might be right. I have shot a test roll with my Lubitel-166 and found that pictures in the infinity (5 m and above) are blurred. This can be a focus error. However, if the camera focuses incorrectly, how the near pictures can be sharp?
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Old 01-01-2016   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tho60 View Post
You might be right. I have shot a test roll with my Lubitel-166 and found that pictures in the infinity (5 m and above) are blurred. This can be a focus error. However, if the camera focuses incorrectly, how the near pictures can be sharp?
maybe correctly aligned lenses, but focus beyond infinity
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Old 01-02-2016   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tho60 View Post
You might be right. I have shot a test roll with my Lubitel-166 and found that pictures in the infinity (5 m and above) are blurred. This can be a focus error. However, if the camera focuses incorrectly, how the near pictures can be sharp?
Previous owner could have installed a new mirror, and decided to refocus the camera, making the rookie mistake of setting it at a close distance instead of at infinity. Been done before.

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Lubitel and Yashica
Old 01-03-2016   #34
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Lubitel and Yashica

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Originally Posted by Ron (Netherlands) View Post
maybe correctly aligned lenses, but focus beyond infinity
I have recalibrated the taking lens and this resulted in a major improvement. However, I could not check the lens through a taut wax paper, as the film pressure plate comes into play too.

Regarding the opening post, I have shot a test roll with my Yashica Mat 124 (not the G version). A picture taken at 1/60 sec is affected with camera shake, but in general, this heavier camera is more easy to shoot without shaking.
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Old 01-04-2016   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tho60 View Post
I have recalibrated the taking lens and this resulted in a major improvement. However, I could not check the lens through a taut wax paper, as the film pressure plate comes into play too.

Regarding the opening post, I have shot a test roll with my Yashica Mat 124 (not the G version). A picture taken at 1/60 sec is affected with camera shake, but in general, this heavier camera is more easy to shoot without shaking.
I take a piece of hard clear plastic, like a CD case, and cut it to size to fit in the film gate (between the outer rails). Then I put some frosted tape on the lens side of the plastic to act as the film emulsion. Another couple of tapes to secure it from flopping around, and you've got a decent "ground glass" to check focus.

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Old 01-05-2016   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by farlymac View Post
I take a piece of hard clear plastic, like a CD case, and cut it to size to fit in the film gate (between the outer rails). Then I put some frosted tape on the lens side of the plastic to act as the film emulsion. Another couple of tapes to secure it from flopping around, and you've got a decent "ground glass" to check focus.

PF
I will try this method, but if the pressure plate is not perfect, it can push the film more towards the lens side.
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Old 01-06-2016   #37
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If you want to know how steady your hand held shots are. Here is shown how to perform some tests :


Camera Shake Test Stand (02) by Hans Kerensky, on Flickr

I usually shoot my MF TLR's when handheld 1/125 or faster.
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Old 01-07-2016   #38
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There was a different aproach posted at APUG - I think it is here

http://www.apug.org/forums/archive/i...p/t-52212.html

Specific quote:

"...String (actually sash cord works best) with a 1/4-20 eye bolt to thread into the tripod socket. Step on the string with one foot, and with legs spread a bit apart, you can tighten your whole body up when the camera strap is over your shoulders. It takes a lot of the bob and weave out of your body, and lets the shutter be tripped reliably at 1/15 , and less reliably at 1/8, providing you gently depress the shutter release, as opposed to a quick jab...."

I never tried it myself (not yet !)

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