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Vibration, microscope, "live-view". First look.
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Charles Krebs



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 5805
Location: Issaquah, WA USA

PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2009 6:01 pm    Post subject: Vibration, microscope, "live-view". First look. Reply with quote

Normally I've mounted my DSLR on a separate stand with no physical contact with the microscope. This was in an effort to minimize the deleterious effect of mirror and shutter vibration on the image. Even though the bodies I used had mirror lock-up (MLU), the vibration of a focal plane shutter was enough to cause concern. Apparently most newer Canon cameras that have "live-view" capabilities also have the capability of using an "electronic first shutter curtain". This is definite on the 40D, 50D, 5DII, and 7D. Although not documented by Canon, it appears to also be the case with the Rebel XSi/450D, Rebel XS/1000D, and Rebel T1i/500D. (I'm double checking on the "Rebel" bodies, and will confirm this when I get a definitive answer).

This feature should not only avoid the mirror induced vibration but the vast majority of shutter induced vibration as well.

Since I have not yet set up my separate "stand" in my new location, I thought I would try mounting the camera directly to the microscope. I put a Canon 50D on the trinocular tube of an Olympus BHA microscope. I made a quick mount of a cranefly wing and ran a series of "tests" from 1/2 to 1/250 second shutter speeds.

(Keep in mint that this camera has 4752x3169 pixels. At 1:1 and 72ppi this would make the screen size of the entire image 66 x 44 inches. We are "pixel-peeping"). I focused on a small looping "vein" inside the wing edge.

Some results were as anticipated, others were a little surprising.

These are from the camera jpg's, no addition sharpening. A 2.5X photo-eyepiece was used, making the magnification 50X on sensor.





The "live view" images that used the "electronic first shutter curtain" were clearly better at all shutter speeds. The difference diminished somewhat at the extremes of range looked at -- 1/250 and 1/2 second -- but the improvement was still there. I was a little surprised to see the amount of difference that still existed at 1/125.

One thing that surprised me was how, at certain shutter speeds, the MLU shots did not look clearly better than the non-MLU shots. In most of the shots there was a slight difference (the MLU shots slightly better) but in the series I've posted here I'm hard pressed to see a difference. This is a "first look" and this set might have a little pilot error; I'm always concerned about slightly "jarring" things when changing camera settings. My overall impression from looking at all the series is that the MLU gave noticeably better results than the shots with normal mirror action, but not as much as I had expected. The "live-view" shots were clearly better. I'll be looking at MLU and non-MLU results more closely and will probably test this aspect more.

You probably should not make any "universal" conclusions based on this. The results will vary with different microscopes and cameras (and "macro" set-ups). But clearly, the elimination of the mechanical movement of the first shutter curtain is very helpful for continuous light exposures with certain equipment, within a certain shutter speed range.

Charlie
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gpmatthews



Joined: 03 Aug 2006
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Location: Horsham, W. Sussex, UK

PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2009 5:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Charlie,

This is all good stuff and excellently timed - I've just taken delivery of a 500D. I'm waiting for some engineering mods to a photomicrographic stand so that I can mount the camera above but not touching the microscope. In the meantime I have it mounted directly on the microscope, although I'm not entirely happy with the eyepiece arrangements at present.

When taking a shot with normal mode the vibration is very noticeable. With liveview/MLU the vibration is considerably less, as expected, but still evident.

I have not tried comparison shots as yet, but any info on "electronic first shutter curtain" for the 500D would be most welcome.
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Charles Krebs



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 5805
Location: Issaquah, WA USA

PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2009 9:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Graham,

I've confirmed with Canon that, although not documented, all the cameras I mentioned above do have this feature. It is always "on" with the 450D, 1000D, and 500D. On/off switchable with the other bodies... their "silent mode".

The difference in vibration is remarkable. If you are in live-view the vibration you are seeing occurs at the end of the exposure when the mechanical shutter closes and the camera returns to "live view" and the shutter re-opens. Try an exposure of about 1 second. It's sort of eerie... the camera makes no noise at all when the exposure starts. On the 50D the only way I know a picture is being taken is a red diode lights on the camera back. (It's sort of funny how I now now realize that when taking a stack, the "rhythm" you get into relied on the audible sound of the shutter opening at the beginning of each shot).

I think you're going to really like that camera. And HD video too!
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Barry



Joined: 18 Jan 2009
Posts: 147
Location: Netherlands

PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2009 2:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,

Although I'm following this forum for quite a while now, have a vertical stacking setup and a few macro lenses, this is my first post. I'm from the Netherlands and mainly photographing fossils, for scientific research.

The timing of your news is remarkable (I just bought a Canon 50D and sold the 450D, for the silent mode but also for some other features). Anyway, I am happy with the new camera, no doubt about that.

A question:
The silent mode works in live view. Is this equivalent when working with Eos Remote? The mirror is up, but does the camera apply the electronic first curtain?

Thanks,
Barry
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Charles Krebs



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2009 9:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've done some more with this subject. Will be putting it up as an "article". Not completely finished but if this topic is of interest check here:

http://krebsmicro.com/Canon_EFSC/index.html
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Wayne Baker



Joined: 26 Nov 2008
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Location: Melbourne, Australia

PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 3:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Charles.

I've read your article and have found the information most useful - thank you.

I've done my own testing using live view and got similar results. I am a little confused however as to the two different live view modes that can be set in the camera menu. The two modes are very unhelpfully labelled 'mode 1' and 'mode 2'. This gives no real indication of which mode does what, and neither does the user manual. When I look at your table of images in your article, the two right hand side images are using the live view, however you haven't labelled which one uses the mode 1 setting and which uses mode two setting. Are you able to clarify that for me at all? You mention silent mode on and off but I'm not sure whether mode 1 is silent mode on or mode 2? From reading the manual I'm making a wild assumption that BOTH mode 1 and mode 2 are silent modes and then there is the third 'disable' menu option, so I'd like to know what mode 1 is and what mode 2 is... Can you help?

Thank you!

Wayne Very Happy Very Happy
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Charles Krebs



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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wayne,

With the cameras that have "silent mode" settings you have (as you say) two options "Mode 1" and "Mode 2".

As far as vibration is concerned during a single exposure, there is no difference. The difference is what happens at the end of the exposure.

Mode 1: After the exposure ends (second shutter curtain closes) the camera immediately re-cocks the shutter. If the shutter release has been completely "unpressed" the camera returns directly to LV. But if the shutter release is kept fully "pressed" the camera will continuously take pictures (up to 5.8 fps with a 50D).

Mode 2: Only one picture is taken at a time, whether you hold down the shutter release or not. The shutter will not "re-cock" until the release is "unpressed". In Canons thinking, this is supposedly the most "quiet" method possible, since, if noise is a serious issue, you can even delay the sound of the shutter "re-cocking" until the camera is moved to a location where the re-cocking noise will not be a disturbance.

The sound of the shutter re-cocking is not loud at all. So I really need to think hard to come up with scenarios where I might need this. For our purposes it's probably better to think of this as Mode 1 = continuous exposures, Mode 2 = single frame.

With silent-mode "disabled" (in the cameras that have a "silent mode" setting) you revert to using the mechanical first shutter curtain. This will allow you to trip non-Canon flash units from "live-view".

____________

Barry,

I have not used EOS remote so I don't know. If you are using a "manual" set-up like bellows, or have the AF turned off then I would guess that it does. Best thing to do is set a long manual exposure (1 or 2 seconds), look into the camera and see what happens Wink
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Wayne Baker



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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Charles greatly appreciated. Very Happy Very Happy
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Barry



Joined: 18 Jan 2009
Posts: 147
Location: Netherlands

PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 7:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Charles for the idea. I connected the 50D to EOS Utility and set the shutter manually to 5 sec. No shutter sound when firing, so, here the first curtain works as well!

Cheers,
Barry
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Brodie Foster



Joined: 05 Jul 2010
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 2:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



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Craig Gerard



Joined: 01 May 2010
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 4:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brodie,

The real benefit of the EFSC (Electronic First Shutter Curtain) is when using a continuous light source, rather than electronic flash (Canon or otherwise).

If 'Silent Mode' is 'enabled' in Live View Settings, a Canon flash unit will fire, but a non-Canon flash will not fire.

However, in either case the EFSC will be 'disabled' due to the fact that a flash unit is being used.

Set 'Silent Mode' to 'disable' when using a non-Canon flash unit in Live View Mode.

*If you using some older model flash units, it is advisable to use a Wein safe sync, so that you don't fry the camera's electronics.

Hope this helps for now.

Some more reading at link below:
http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=8943

Craig
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Brodie Foster



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 6:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



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canonian



Joined: 31 Aug 2010
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 6:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Charles for an excellent post and your elaborate investigation on this subject.

However I'm confused and a feeling of disappointment is creeping up.
The Canon 550D / Rebel T2i I recently bought with the main goal to start macrophotography is as far as I can see nowhere mentioned in this topic.
I have not yet started to do macroshots in high magnifications where shutter movement is getting noticable.
The last weeks I mainly concentrated on gathering parts and hunting on Ebay to build a ridig setup complete with an BHMJ focusblock and all things needed to avoid motion blur.
Once completed and build I can thoroughly test if shutter movement is getting a real issue.

Does this mean the D550 (in reviews considered the "Baby 7D") lacks silent mode and/or EFCS?
The manual doesn't give me a clue.

Anyone here with a 550D and EFCS/silent mode experience?
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rjlittlefield
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 7:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

canonian wrote:
The Canon 550D / Rebel T2i ... is as far as I can see nowhere mentioned in this topic.

Bear in mind that the bulk of this topic was written in Sept 2009, well before the T2i was even announced. Its predecessor the T1i (500D) certainly has EFSC, as Charles describes.

On the T1i, there is a simple procedure to confirm that EFSC is working. Just set the camera to manual exposure with a several-second exposure time. Place the camera in Live View and while the Live View image is being displayed, listen carefully while taking a picture. What you hear is that at the beginning of exposure, there is only a faint "zing" sound, while at end of exposure there is the familiar "whack" of the mechanical shutter closing.

I don't have a T2i to test, but I suspect the same thing happens with it. Give it a shot and see.

BTW, I have never seen an explanation for that faint sound at start of exposure. If anybody knows what's happening, I'd appreciate hearing. It comes from the body and is not accompanied by any significant vibration, but it's puzzling because I can't figure out why anything would be moving at all at that time.

--Rik
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Charles Krebs



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fred,

Never handles a T2i, but I'm near certain it operates in the same manner as the T1i. Canon has been surprisingly "shy" about documenting this feature that we find so valuable. The only "clue" provided in the T2i instruction manual (and you would really need to know what you are looking for!) is the following:



This is because when a flash (internal or external Canon model) is "sensed" by the camera it no longer uses the electronic first shutter curtain (EFSC) and the mechanical first shutter curtain will first close before the exposure begins (thus the "second" shutter sound).

But only a dedicated Canon flash will "communicate" with the camera. That is why a non-Canon flash will not fire when in "live view". There is no flash sync signal sent unless the first shutter curtain is first closed... and the camera has no way of knowing it needs to do this unless it knows there is a flash attached. (Again, this is the way it has been implemented in this series of camera bodies up to the T2i, and I'm pretty sure it continues with the T2i as well.)

Brodie...
This is why, if you use something like a Vivitar 283, the camera (T1i, T2i...) will not fire the flash in "live view" mode. But if a non-Canon electronic flash is used (without Live-View) it will take care of most vibration issues. (You can also use the mirror lock-up custom function as a little extra security if you want to avoid mirror induced vibration even though you are using flash).

The 40D, 50D, 60D, 7D, 5DII type cameras have the option to use Live-View into two basic modes.... "regular" and "silent mode". When "silent mode" is set, flash operation will be like the T1i, T2i, that is, a non-dedicated flash will not fire. If "silent mode" is not set, then the camera will close the first shutter curtain for every picture, so any attached flash unit will fire.

Edit (2/1/11) A "caution flag" on the 60D... see this post:
http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=12203
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Last edited by Charles Krebs on Tue Feb 01, 2011 10:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
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