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I hope your having a super day!

Adam Williams here with another tip to help improve your photography!

What is the minimum Shutter Speed for Hand Held Photography?

Now generally I recommend a tripod for landscape photography, however, I do shoot a fair bit of hand-held landscapes too and trust me I have had more than my share of blurry photos in my 15 odd years of photography.

Is there anything worse than a Blurry Money Shot?


How do we shoot hand-held in tough conditions and make sure our photos are a good chance of being sharp?

Shutter speed is critical when shooting without a tripod, we need to shoot fast enough so that camera shake is not visible.

But what shutter speed is fast enough to avoid camera shake? Interesting question, it depends on the focal length of the lens you are shooting with.

Wide angle lens's are much easier to get sharp hand-held photos than a telephoto lens.

The rule of thumb that I use is:

1-2 Times the focal length is a good minimum shutter speed as a guide, faster obviously, the better chance of a good result, but 1-2 x the focal length is a good minimum to start at.

Now you might be thinking "what on earth is he talking about".

20mm lens: 1 x 20= 1/20th or 2 x 20 = 1/40th for a

20mm Lens you would want a minimum shutter speed of 1/20th - 1/40th of a second

100mm lens: 1 x 100 = 1/100th or 2 x 100 = 1/200th

100mm Lens you would want a minimum shutter speed of 1/100th - 1/200th of a second

400mm lens 1 x 400 = 1/400th or 2 x 400 = 1/800th

400mm Lens you would want a minimum shutter speed of 1/400th - 1/800th of a second

Of course, faster the better, if you can.


This won't guarantee sharp photos every time, but it will get you on the right track as far as shutter speed in concerned.

Below are further tips to the perfect hand-held Landscape photo.

  • Raise your ISO to achieve at least the minimum shutter speed
  • Brace yourself against a solid object to reduce camera shake
  • Choose a lens with Image Stabilisation
  • Set your camera to multiple shot mode and fire 3-4 consecutive shots, generally, camera shake is at its highest on the first photo as we press the shutter and settles down on the following consecutive shots.

I hope you found that helpful and I look forward to chatting again soon.

Cheers Adam

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