Discussion Forum Leica S System S2 Lowest handheld shutter speeds on the S2
  • #466
    GPLeica

    For those of us who have been shooting the S2 for awhile and are printing larger than, say, over 30″ in width, what are the lowest shutter speeds you feel comfortable shooting handheld? I assume that if you're like me, I bought the S2 because I wanted super sharp images, or, if not the whole scene, selected portions of images. And yet precisely because the S2 lenses and sensor are so fine, any blur from handheld movement is very noticeable when you print large. I've seen where people swear they can handhold a shutter speed that is twice the focal length of the lens in use on the S2. But in my experience I need to go one shutter speed greater to ensure sharpness. What are others' experiences here?

    And thanks, David, for putting this new forum up and for the invitation to join! It shod prove to be a valuable engagement platform for all of us in the U.S. who are shooting with Leicas and love photography!

    Geoffrey
    Milford, PA

  • #474
    David Farkas

    GPLeica;147 wrote: For those of us who have been shooting the S2 for awhile and are printing larger than, say, over 30″ in width, what are the lowest shutter speeds you feel comfortable shooting handheld? I assume that if you're like me, I bought the S2 because I wanted super sharp images, or, if not the whole scene, selected portions of images. And yet precisely because the S2 lenses and sensor are so fine, any blur from handheld movement is very noticeable when you print large. I've seen where people swear they can handhold a shutter speed that is twice the focal length of the lens in use on the S2. But in my experience I need to go one shutter speed greater to ensure sharpness. What are others' experiences here?

    And thanks, David, for putting this new forum up and for the invitation to join! It shod prove to be a valuable engagement platform for all of us in the U.S. who are shooting with Leicas and love photography!

    Geoffrey
    Milford, PA

    Geoffrey,

    First, welcome to Red Dot Forum.

    As far as hand-held shooting, my best success shooting with the 70mm has been trying to stay above 1/125th. Of course, I have sharp results from 1/45th to 1/90th as well, but 1/125th to 1/180th guarantees crisp results.

    The 35mm is much easier to hand-hold as the angle of view is much wider. I am able to get tack-sharp results at 1/45th to 1/60th and I've had success hand-holding down to 1/24th. Due to the greater DOF wide-open and the slower shutter speeds required, this has become my low-light go-to lens.

    And, going the other way, I try to shoot the 180mm at 1/360th or 1/500th, even though I have gotten sharp results at 1/250th.

    So, like others, I've found that the basic rule on the S2 is to keep your shutter speed at or above 2x focal length. If I am just walk-around shooting, I'll usually keep the camera's ISO set to 320. There is almost no degradation of image quality vs. 160 and I get the benefit of one stop faster shutter speeds.

    The other thing I've noticed is that my percentage of sharp hand-held pictures at similar shutter speeds has increased as I've gotten more experience with the S2.

    David

  • #476
    Mark Gowin

    Hi Geoffrey,

    I am glad you brought up this topic. I have been making photographs with my S2 and the intention of turning the best ones into large prints in the future. The discussion about minimum hand-held shutter speed is important to me because I haven't yet had the opportunity to evaluate the effect of shutter speed on large prints. I have been relegated to 100% pixel peeping on the computer. Based that practice, I tend to agree with the two times focal length or maybe one stop more to ensure a high percentage rate of keeper. Of course the keeper rate (by measure of 100% pixel peeping) drops considerably with shutter speed, but I have been “lucky” to get a very few critically sharp photos at one times focal length.

    Mark

  • #571
    fotografz

    While the S2 most certainly promotes hand-held shooting and feels very much like a 35mm DSLR in operation, that is where the similarity pretty much ends. The S2 is very much a Medium Format camera when it comes to care in using shutter speeds … IF the objective is to get all of the capabilities the superb lenses afford us.

    I often find that using ISO 640 and sometimes even 1250 in good light has far fewer penalties than you'd imagine, and gets the shutter speed up for shooting moving subjects, or increasing the shutter speed when hand-holding. Try it, you may be pleasantly surprised.

    For normal applications where the prints will not be all that large (my largest wedding prints with the S2 rarely exceed 20″ wide), then the effect of motion blur is less noticeable because the files are so large to start with …especially with the 35 and 70.

    Obviously, a good tripod is a worthy consideration if you are going to print really large (like beyond the native resolution of the S2 files). As a mobile compromise, I have taken to using a Monopod with a RRS HD Monopod ball head with an Arca type quick release (note, if investigating this option, select the knob release as opposed to the lever type which is a bit more dangerious in use).

    For more spontaneous hand-held work, I found a hand-strap to be an indispensable accessory. I chose the Camadapter strap with their dual lug Arca style QR plate that allows use of their hand-strap AND the shoulder strap … the camera then hangs from one end like the M5 used to.

    -Marc

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