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Thread: Sony 900 Mirror Slap Shocker!

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    Registred Users MoJo's Avatar
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    Sony 900 Mirror Slap Shocker!

    I am the new proud owner of a Sony A900 with 2 Zeiss lenses (24-70, and 135 1.8). I ran some tests the other day, with the camera on a tripod, and the 135 lens mounted. I had set the Sony Image Stabilization Off since I was using the tripod, but neglected to do any sort of mirror lock-up. Looking at the files, shot at low shutter speeds - 1/30th sec, 1/ 45 sec, I noticed that they weren't that sharp. However the file i had shot at 1/200 sec was noticeably sharper. So I re-tested the next day, using mirror lock-up, and immediately noticed the improvement, all the files were sharper using the mirror lock-up.

    I have read that having the battery grip on will dampen the mirror, and i have one on order anyway. But i am surprised by these findings. Does anyone have any insight for me on this?

    -Josef
    My photoblog: http://josefskye.tumblr.com
    Friend me on Facebook: Josef Skye Tornick

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    Super Duper
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    Terry's Avatar
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    Re: Sony 900 Mirror Slap Shocker!

    What I've found interesting is the opposite sort of. When handholding the Sony I get sharper shots at lower shuttere speeds than I was getting with my D700 and it felt like to me the combination of the IS system and mirror were smoother. I am very far from expert at this. I do shoot with the selftimer/mirror lockup or cable release.

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    Senior Member douglasf13's Avatar
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    Re: Sony 900 Mirror Slap Shocker!

    Josef, you should always use mirror lock-up when you are tripod mounted, and this is particularly the case with such high resolution cameras like the A900 or D3x. FWIW, I've heard from some users that SSS actual does help when tripod mounted at some shutter speeds, but I haven't tested it myself. I always turn SSS off, and use mirror lock up.

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    Registred Users MoJo's Avatar
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    Re: Sony 900 Mirror Slap Shocker!

    I was kind of surprised, as i used to shoot my (former) Rollei 6008AF on the tripod, and didn't always bother to use the mirror lock-up. I never noticed much of a difference at that time.

    I think I will just make it a habit of using the MLU whenever I use the tripod.

    With my (also former) canon 5d with the grip, i found i could hold the thing rock steady very easily, i never took it off. i expect it will be the same with the Sony.

    BTW, it was all the nice files, and useful info here that helped me to switch to the Sony, and I am glad I did. Just one look at the colors and i fell in love, these files make my canon seem artificial looking. I am looking forward to shooting some real stuff soon, and seeing how my B&W conversions look, being mainly up till now a B&W shooter.

    -Josef
    My photoblog: http://josefskye.tumblr.com
    Friend me on Facebook: Josef Skye Tornick

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    Senior Member douglasf13's Avatar
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    Re: Sony 900 Mirror Slap Shocker!

    Welcome, Josef! I look forward to seeing your images.

    The A900 has a pretty big mirror for 35mm, and combine that with high resolution, and mirror lock up becomes a must.

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: Sony 900 Mirror Slap Shocker!

    There are some interesting reading about mirror (and shutter) slap, tripods and exposure times in an ancient review of the Pentax 67 on LL. The problem is obviously of a far greater magnitude on the 67, but the principle remains the same, and the more resolution in a DSLR, the more visible the problem becomes, at least for pixel peepers.

    Here's the article:

    http://luminous-landscape.com/reviews/pentax67ii.shtml

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    Registred Users MoJo's Avatar
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    Re: Sony 900 Mirror Slap Shocker!

    Jorgen, thanks for the article link. That was helpful.

    -Josef
    My photoblog: http://josefskye.tumblr.com
    Friend me on Facebook: Josef Skye Tornick

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: Sony 900 Mirror Slap Shocker!

    Going through the photos on your website is a pleasure btw. I like the down-to-earth, no nonsense style, particularly in the photos from the Hebrides.

  9. #9
    Registred Users MoJo's Avatar
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    Re: Sony 900 Mirror Slap Shocker!

    Thanks, Jorgen. That was a 50 years later re-shoot of Paul Strand's classic book on the Hebrides, - 'Tir a' Mhurain' - Gaelic for "Land of Bent Grass". I cut my photographic teeth on that project - started my career on that one.
    My photoblog: http://josefskye.tumblr.com
    Friend me on Facebook: Josef Skye Tornick

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    Senior Member douglasf13's Avatar
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    Re: Sony 900 Mirror Slap Shocker!

    Nice work, Josef. I see you live in Santa Fe. What a beautiful place!

  11. #11
    Registred Users MoJo's Avatar
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    Re: Sony 900 Mirror Slap Shocker!

    Thanks, Douglas. Yes, Santa Fe is beautiful, but peculiar. It is tough to make a living here, there are many good fotogs here. Lots of fine-art stuff, galleries, though etc.

    I love ireland though, am going back there in Sept. for 16 days, and will take my new Sony.

    I have made a list of all the recommended setting from this group, i think i have it sorted. I am not really a camera geek or pixel peeeeeeeper though, just another fine art phtotgrapher.....
    My photoblog: http://josefskye.tumblr.com
    Friend me on Facebook: Josef Skye Tornick

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    Senior Member douglasf13's Avatar
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    Re: Sony 900 Mirror Slap Shocker!

    Hey mojo, I wanted to mention that you can find very cheap wired shutter releases for Sony on ebay, so you can set drive mode to "mirror-lock up" and use the release to trigger the camera. Unfortunately, you can't use mirror lock-up with the supplied wireless remote.

  13. #13
    Registred Users MoJo's Avatar
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    Re: Sony 900 Mirror Slap Shocker!

    Douglas: Thanks, I actually had bought and used the Sony remote shutter release during my tests.
    My photoblog: http://josefskye.tumblr.com
    Friend me on Facebook: Josef Skye Tornick

  14. #14
    Shelby Lewis
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    Re: Sony 900 Mirror Slap Shocker!

    Quote Originally Posted by TEBnewyork View Post
    What I've found interesting is the opposite sort of. When handholding the Sony I get sharper shots at lower shuttere speeds than I was getting with my D700 and it felt like to me the combination of the IS system and mirror were smoother.
    I'll echo this... and with non-sony higher res bodies, there is so little tolerance for slower shutter speeds. I've moved back into canon system for wedding work and the 5dmkii is merciless at slow shutter speed. I feel like I have to shoot an 85 at (at least) 1/125th to get sharpness that approached the sony at MUCH slower shutter speeds. I've heard similar reports on the d3x.

  15. #15
    Registred Users MoJo's Avatar
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    Re: Sony 900 Mirror Slap Shocker!

    Shelby, I am getting my battery grip in a day or so. I noticed that with my Canon 5D I could hold the camera much steadier with the grip - the weight and mass seemed to dampen the mirror perhaps, or stabilize the camera better?
    -Josef
    My photoblog: http://josefskye.tumblr.com
    Friend me on Facebook: Josef Skye Tornick

  16. #16
    Shelby Lewis
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    Re: Sony 900 Mirror Slap Shocker!

    Quote Originally Posted by MoJo View Post
    Shelby, I am getting my battery grip in a day or so. I noticed that with my Canon 5D I could hold the camera much steadier with the grip - the weight and mass seemed to dampen the mirror perhaps, or stabilize the camera better?
    -Josef
    Agreed.. I never shoot without a grip.

    Oh... and be ready... the sony grip is fantastic. Why no one else makes a grip that duplicates the controls AND the hand position relative to the lens is beyond me. You should have seen me at a wedding this weekend fumbling with the grip on my mkii. Funny stuff.

  17. #17
    Registred Users MoJo's Avatar
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    Re: Sony 900 Mirror Slap Shocker!

    well, your incredible wedding pictures helped me to switch to Sony, and now you are gone to Canon. I think we crossed in mid-stream. life is funny, isn't it. I just love the Sony files, to me they are pure magic, that intangible something....ESPECIALLY for portraits and skin tones .
    -Josef
    My photoblog: http://josefskye.tumblr.com
    Friend me on Facebook: Josef Skye Tornick

  18. #18
    Shelby Lewis
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    Re: Sony 900 Mirror Slap Shocker!

    Quote Originally Posted by MoJo View Post
    well, your incredible wedding pictures helped me to switch to Sony, and now you are gone to Canon. I think we crossed in mid-stream. life is funny, isn't it. I just love the Sony files, to me they are pure magic, that intangible something....ESPECIALLY for portraits and skin tones .
    -Josef
    Wow... thanks. I've been editing one of the last shoots I did with the sony and am just loving looking at the files. They are indeed sooooo much nicer than the canon mkII files at 100% IMO. If I weren't so unbelievably strapped for cash right now, I'd have kept the a900 system... even though I did get some great stuff this last wedding at iso6400 that I never could have gotten with the a900.

    Another kudo for the a900... the flash system. Although it overheats WAY too quickly if you hammer it, the exposure using ttl while using bounce flash was so consistent. My 580exii seems to have a bit more power and speed, but the exposures are a bit less consistent.

    ah... but the economy. Wife is laid off... 3 kids... and I have no excuse to be spending money on new gear without getting rid of current stuff to finance it. Weddings are paying the bills, and the studio I shoot for is a canon studio.

    I hate responsibility

    A year from now... I'll probably start easing back into the a900 system for some portrait work. It's great for that.

  19. #19
    Registred Users MoJo's Avatar
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    Re: Sony 900 Mirror Slap Shocker!

    Shelby: Well, if you save your pennies, in a year from now i expect Sony to have a new "pro version" Alpha, so you will be in good postion to get that one. As for me, I am in love totally, so no going back to Canon. See my other thread posted yesterday with some skin tones that blew me away..... under very harsh lighting.

    -Josef
    My photoblog: http://josefskye.tumblr.com
    Friend me on Facebook: Josef Skye Tornick

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