The Shutter Speed Focal Length rule in Photography


Today I’m going to show you a quick and
easy way to get much sharper photographs when shooting handheld now
I’ve talked about this before and it is embedded in some of my other videos but
what I want to do today is have its own video so it’s a good reference point for
this rule the shutter speed focal length rule is a way of ensuring you get sharp
photos when shooting handheld as long as your subject is in focus and you get a
good exposure you know that you’ll get many more usable photos when using this
technique all you do is match your focal length number to your shutter speed
number and whatever that shutter speed is you don’t use any slower shutter
speeds when shooting handheld if I was taking a photograph with a 50 millimeter
lens I’d make sure the slowest shutter speed I used was one fiftieth of a
second so I could shoot a photograph with 150 of the per second right through
to one eight thousandth of a second or faster if I have a faster shutter
mechanism in the camera that I’m using but not any slower if you were to go
down to 125th of a second with a 50 millimeter lens unless you had very
steady hands or very good image stabilization in the camera or a mix of
the two you’re more likely to get blurring in
your shot from the subtle movements in your hands if I’m shooting with an 85
millimeter I’ll have my shutter speed at 180 fifth of a second or faster if you
can’t find a matching number just make sure it’s higher so for my 85 millimeter
I make sure I’m at 1/100 of a second or faster if I was taking a photograph with
my 14 millimeter I’d make sure that my shutter speed was
one fifteenth of a second or faster now if you use in body image stabilization
or if your lens has optical stabilization you may be able to bring
this shutter speed slower but if you follow this rule you’ll be well on your
way to getting better sharper images now if you’re using a crop sensor camera
depending on the crop will change how this rule works but one rule that I
always say to people is if you are actually using a crop sensor camera just
double the focal length so say if you’re on 18 millimeters what you
DUS double it so what you do is you probably set it at 135th of a second or
faster this will ensure that you get good sharp images and if you’re shooting
with a 200 millimeter lens on a crop sensor camera i’d suggest keeping the
shutter speed at 1/4 hundredth of a second or faster now if you’ve got any
other rules that you follow in photography let me know in the comments
below it’ll be great to hear your thoughts for more videos subscribe and
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channel where I have a growing library of photography and videography tutorials
I’ll see you next time

20 Replies to “The Shutter Speed Focal Length rule in Photography

  1. Good basic rule that holds value until now. Another rule i follow is never listen or believe anything F Stopper says or post. #rules

  2. Great video, Mike. I have been using my minimum shutter speed lately to use Aperture Priority mode while still being able to attain a shutter speed to freeze motion. I just keep forgetting to set it back to normal.

  3. I hope you know how many of your videos have been added to my playlists for information in case I need to reference something about photo or video. Thanks for this Mike! Great work and love the graphics changes!

  4. 👍 Spot on, Mike. Key factor (among several others) in getting sharper images. In analog film cam days (full frame 35mm) wasn’t the rule of thumb 1/2X focal length? Good to see you using the Sony quick menu — thought you had a to-do vid on this feature in your queue. You were down to 28% battery level; no wonder vid had to be short 😁. Red graphic in thumb nail a nice change.

  5. Another good one, Mike! I like how you also made it easy to understand for crop sensor – just double it, no complicated formula needed!

  6. Great video! I know that this is a simple rule but sometimes simple rules are not talked about. It is assumed that everyone knows the basic simple rules. It was years before I heard about the shutter speed/focal length rule. Thank you for informing people that may not have heard about it in your direct non-fluff way.

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