What is Reciprocal Rule in Photography?

Sony A7R Image Sample (12)

One of the biggest challenges that many photographers face is yielding sharp photos when hand-holding a camera. Many end up with blurry images without understanding the source of the problem, which is usually camera shake. Unfortunately, camera shake can come from a variety of different sources – from basic improper hand-holding techniques to mirror and shutter-induced vibrations that can be truly challenging and sometimes even impossible to deal with. While I will go over the latter topics in a separate article, I would like to talk about the most common cause of camera shake: lower-than-acceptable shutter speed when hand-holding the camera. I will introduce and explain the reciprocal rule, which can help in greatly increasing the chances of getting sharp photos when you do not have a tripod around.

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Proof that Vibration Reduction Should First be Stabilized

Nikon 300mm f2.8 AF-S ED VR-II

I had a number of discussions with other fellow photographers and our readers about Vibration Reduction (also known as Image Stabilization, Vibration Compensation and Optical Stabilization), its behavior and how to best use it. While I will provide detailed information on how to properly utilize Vibration Reduction on Nikon’s lenses in a separate article, for a while I wanted to prove that letting VR stabilize first yields sharper images. There are a number of folks out there, who seem to think that just firing the shutter button is sufficient and that VR will stabilize those images as good as if one were to half-press the shutter button, wait a few seconds and then take an image. From my experience, letting VR stabilize first for a few seconds always yielded better shots, but I just could never actually prove it. Until today.

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Lens Stabilization vs In-camera Stabilization

Lens Stabilization vs Sensor Stabilization

While I am currently working on a couple of Sony camera and lens reviews, I decided to write a quick article on differences between in-camera and lens stabilization. As you may already know, Nikon and Canon are both big on lens stabilization, while other camera manufacturers like Sony and Pentax have been pushing for in-camera stabilization technology (also known as body stabilization). I have had a few people ask about differences between the two and I thought that a quick article explaining the pros and cons of each stabilization technology would be beneficial for our readers.

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