In recent months, a number of
magazine articles have been printed about reduced telephoto image
sharpness as a result of mirror slap and shutter vibrations. At
first thought, the ideal solution might be to use a camera that has mirror
lock up to reduce mirror slap and a telephoto lens that has image
stabilization to counter shutter vibrations. While this is
definitely a solution, but expensive, how does one account for all of the
great, tack sharp, telephoto images not taken with mirror lock up and
image stabilization? In fact, I've never figured out how to take
photographs of flying birds with mirror lock up and my arms are not strong
enough to hand hold an 18 pound camera and lens for any length of
There is a technique for taking tack sharp photographs with a
telephoto lens which is outlined below:
Use a good tripod and ball head. Don't raise the center post of
the tripod if at all possible.
Avoid shutter speeds of 1/8 to 1/30 seconds since this is where
shutter slap is most prominent.
Hold left hand firmly on top of lens barrel, above tripod, to dampen
mirror slap during exposure.
While looking thru viewfinder, firmly hold back of camera against
face, this will dampen shutter vibrations.
Slide right finger across shutter release to make exposure, don't poke
the shutter release. Typically, I will already have the shutter
relief button already pressed half way to engage the auto focus.
Inhale or exhale and hold your breath while depressing shutter