EF 24-70 f2.8L II Shutter Speeds

FTb-n

Canonet QL17 GIII
Sep 22, 2012
533
8
St. Paul, MN
Long ago, before IS lenses, I developed good habits for holding a 35 steady. I had too, since I was always pushing the limits of ASA 400 Tri-X and using relatively slow shutter speeds for candids. But, with a DSLR, I've grown quite accustomed to using IS lenses. For the past two years, the 70-200 f2.8 II has been my most used lens, supplemented by the 24-105 f4 during the past year. Both are used on 5D3 bodies.

With last week's sales and rebate, I took the plunge and ordered the 24-70 2.8 II. It arrived today. So, the first thing that I try is comparing it with the 24-105, both at 70mm and taking shots at a wall calendar -- my makeshift test chart. To my surprise, I'm not as steady as I thought I was. With the 24-70, it was a challenge to hold the center focus point steady against intersecting lines on the calendar. It seemed clear that I've been spoiled by IS.

For hand-held, non-IS shots, I've always adopted the minimum shutter speed = inverse focal length rule of thumb. At 1/80 second (and 70mm), most test shots were sharp, but it wasn't consistent. Some shots were blurry. In contrast, the 24-105 at 70mm and 1/40 with IS on was more consistently sharp. (To be fair, a few of the sharp images from the 24-70 were sharper than any of those from the 24-105).

Shooting candids and sports with shutter speeds of 1/200 and up was a key motivation for the purchase -- plus, I'm looking forward to its renowned IQ. But, I have a question. For those who own this lens, what's your most comfortable hand-held slow shutter speed at 70mm (assuming a sufficiently stable subject)?
 

neuroanatomist

I post too Much on Here!!
Jul 21, 2010
24,642
2,159
Re: EF 24-70 f2.8L II Shutter Speedss

The 1/FL 'rule' should be 1/2xFL or more for today's higher resolution digital sensors (and higher still for crop sensors).

Personally, I use a minimum shutter speed setting of 1/125 s.
 

Dylan777

EOS 1D MK II
Nov 17, 2011
5,515
7
I have 2 two kids(3&5yrs), min shutter speed is 1/100 for portrait. For others, landscape etc...I can shoot it at 1/60.
 

mackguyver

EOS 5D SR
I think this really depends on the person - and your desire to risk getting a blurry shot. I would agree with Neuro that 1/125s is safe, but like Dylan says, you can shoot slower if you're willing to take a chance. I've gotten sharp shots at 1/30s, but that's too slow for people (1/60s is really as slow as you want to go) and the keeper rate is much lower.
 

Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
Mar 25, 2011
15,797
937
Re: EF 24-70 f2.8L II Shutter Speedss

neuroanatomist said:
The 1/FL 'rule' should be 1/2xFL or more for today's higher resolution digital sensors (and higher still for crop sensors).

Personally, I use a minimum shutter speed setting of 1/125 s.
Beat me to it. We routinely view images from DSLR's at high magnification, and can easily detect any flaws in the image. I've scanned a lot of old photos, and find that they are not as sharp as modern DSLR's, even though they were sharp for their day.
 

FTb-n

Canonet QL17 GIII
Sep 22, 2012
533
8
St. Paul, MN
Thanks for the feedback. It didn't occur to me that today's DSLR may offer sharper images than yesterday's film gear.
 
I think that the answer to this question is, are you going to print it to a normal size, print to a massive size, export to social media, or pixel peep?

Generally, the 1/x focal length rule for shutter speed does still hold true for getting a sharp picture. Does that mean it will be the *sharpest* picture? Maybe, maybe not - it depends how steady you are. The higher you set shutter speed, the less chance you will have with sharpness issues (instead you will have increasing light/noise/color issues as ISO would likely need be raised). Image stabilization helps, but does not solve the problem - you still can get camera shake with image stabilization, and if you don't let it "set" before shooting you can even get blur from the image stabilization unit not being ready.

The real question is, what is the final destination of the picture? If it is the typical 13x19" or smaller print, or the destination will be a JPG on a social media site, then by all means use the 1/x rule as the extra detail gained by a higher shutter speed would likely not be exposed in these final exports and you would benefit from the lower ISOs more.

However, if you final export is a print much larger than 13x19". or you/your client will be digitally displaying it in a way where pixel-level detail is very important, then neuro's 1/(2*x) will give you that extra detail. Just be careful as if you are in a low light situation, the noise introduced by higher ISOs required for 1/125 will likely cause more damage to the print than a loss of pixel-level detail at 1/60 would (assuming decent technique used).

Finally, as others mentioned, if you are taking pictures of anything moving I would start at 1/100 at a very minimum and move up if a faster speed shutter is required depending on the speed of the motion. Anything below 1/100 with a moving subject and you will likely lose detail to motion blur, nevermind camera shake.
 

drmikeinpdx

Celebrating 20 years of naughty photography!
I have noticed the same thing over the last several years. Back in my 35mm film days, I was proud of what slow shutter speeds I could get a way with. Now I have to keep my shutter speed at 2X the focal length or faster.

I suppose some of this is attributable to age, but I agree with others that we are expecting a lot more sharpness from our modern digital cameras and lenses.

I am anxiously awaiting Canon's upcoming stabilized 50mm lens - when and if they ever release it.
 

privatebydesign

Would you take advice from a cartoons stuffed toy?
Jan 29, 2011
8,406
1,890
120
drmikeinpdx said:
I have noticed the same thing over the last several years. Back in my 35mm film days, I was proud of what slow shutter speeds I could get a way with. Now I have to keep my shutter speed at 2X the focal length or faster.

I suppose some of this is attributable to age, but I agree with others that we are expecting a lot more sharpness from our modern digital cameras and lenses.

I am anxiously awaiting Canon's upcoming stabilized 50mm lens - when and if they ever release it.
Expectations and image size, we have bigger screens than we normally printed so we are much more demanding now. But it can be counter productive, anybody that doubts that then take a look at a Steve McCurry print exhibition, which I have, several times, I also have all his books and it can be seen in them too.

http://www.thedigitaltrekker.com/2008/10/steve-mccurry-sharp/
 

mackguyver

EOS 5D SR
privatebydesign said:
drmikeinpdx said:
I have noticed the same thing over the last several years. Back in my 35mm film days, I was proud of what slow shutter speeds I could get a way with. Now I have to keep my shutter speed at 2X the focal length or faster.

I suppose some of this is attributable to age, but I agree with others that we are expecting a lot more sharpness from our modern digital cameras and lenses.

I am anxiously awaiting Canon's upcoming stabilized 50mm lens - when and if they ever release it.
Expectations and image size, we have bigger screens than we normally printed so we are much more demanding now. But it can be counter productive, anybody that doubts that then take a look at a Steve McCurry print exhibition, which I have, several times, I also have all his books and it can be seen in them too.

http://www.thedigitaltrekker.com/2008/10/steve-mccurry-sharp/
Thanks for the link - I'm a big fan of Steve McCurry and whatever his work may lack in sharpness, he more than makes up for with his composition, color, and emotion. He's also given me the highlight of my Instagram use since getting on there a few months back :)
 

Attachments

ahab1372

EOS RP
Nov 8, 2012
326
0
It can help sometimes to shoot a quick burst of 2 or 3 shots when you are pushing shutter speeds to the max.
 
Sep 20, 2012
1,689
0
Houston, TX
privatebydesign said:
Expectations and image size, we have bigger screens than we normally printed so we are much more demanding now. But it can be counter productive, anybody that doubts that then take a look at a Steve McCurry print exhibition, which I have, several times, I also have all his books and it can be seen in them too.

http://www.thedigitaltrekker.com/2008/10/steve-mccurry-sharp/
Great advice.
 

terminatahx

EOS M50
Aug 12, 2013
40
0
www.flickr.com
slowest I can shoot at 70mm is around 30.

I way overpaid for my copy; went on a business trip to NYC and decided to visit the epic BHphoto store. I got absolutely caught up and purchased one there. aside from my tse17, it's the sharpest lens I have. Can't believe it's a zoom.
 
Sep 20, 2012
1,689
0
Houston, TX
Re: EF 24-70 f2.8L II Shutter Speedss

neuroanatomist said:
The 1/FL 'rule' should be 1/2xFL or more for today's higher resolution digital sensors (and higher still for crop sensors).

Personally, I use a minimum shutter speed setting of 1/125 s.
+1. There is a setting on 5DIII to restrict speeds slower than a set point (with auto ISO).
 

FTb-n

Canonet QL17 GIII
Sep 22, 2012
533
8
St. Paul, MN
Re: EF 24-70 f2.8L II Shutter Speedss

sagittariansrock said:
+1. There is a setting on 5DIII to restrict speeds slower than a set point (with auto ISO).
Thanks for the tip. I mostly shoot in full manual, but I typically have Custom 1 set for grab shots with auto ISO.
 

Sporgon

5% of gear used 95% of the time
To guarantee 9 times out if 10 no relevant shake I'd have to be around 1/140 or twice the focal length. I'd get some OK at 1/70, maybe 50%

The earlier advice to 'double tap' is good and does work. Inevitably it's the second frame that is sharper, I have no idea why.