Hand Held steadiness in Minox Photography

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One of the advantages of Minox 35mm series cameras and Minox 8x11 cameras is quietness and less vibration then SLR or autofocus P&S. SLR camera has a great number of activities once you press the shutter release button: 1) lens barrel moves in or out to focus, creating reactive movement of camera body-- this is autofocus lens shake. 2) Reflex mirror moves up to clear the light path-- creating shakes of camera in counter direction. 3) diaphram shrinks to set aperture 4) shutter curtain moves horizontally from one side to other or from top to bottom, causing counter movement of camera body 4) film exposed.following this there are other mechanical actions which does not effect picture quality, but contribute to camera noise

Of course the best means of reducing camera shake is to put camera on tripod. But in many instances, tripod is neither convenient nor permissible. (for example, in gallery, museum, church etc )

Minox 35mm camera (GT-E etc) and Minox 8x11 camera has no mirror, no motor drive,hence camera vibration is minimuum. we can hold these Minox camera more steady.

-- martin tai (martin.tai@capcanada.com), January 26, 1999


The conventional rule of thumb in 35mm photography is 1/focal-length which means that you can hand hold GT-E at 1/50 sec, without causing blur. ( The number for Minox 8x11 camera is the same, 1/50 sec, not 1/15 see explanation in tripod thread ) But with some practice you can do a lot better. When I am free standing, with no wall or tree to lean on, I stand with with my feet perpendicular to each other, like - | instead regular | |, such that the natural movement of joints are directed at different directions. Keep arms tightly to the body to reduce free movement, hold the camera against brow to increase camera mass. Use Taoist style stomach breathing, slowly take the breath down to stomach, hold it there for a few seconds like transcendental meditation, slowly squeeze the shutter release. Avoid twisting body or head during shutter release, as rotational movement of body causes more blur than moving sideways. After shutter release, release breath from stomach. Draw a circle about one inch diameter a piece of Pose it paper on a wall. Stand 3 feet away from the wall, align one edge of viewfinder frame align with one end of the circle, practice this hand held Kung Fu, count one-two, one two, if in two seconds time, your deviation is within the one inch circle, you will be able to hand held Minox camera at 1/4 sec.

-- martin tai (martin.tai@capcanada.com), January 26, 1999.

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