To achieve a sharper photograph using a tripod, but more light is needed, is it better to lower the shutter speed, or to increase the ISO?

7 Answers

  • J-Dawn
    Lv 7
    6 months ago

    In general, decrease the shutter speed. Higher ISO will end up noisy. Now if the subject is moving, that would end up with a blurry subject so a higher ISO would be necessary. I generally try to do as low an ISO and as high a shutter speed as I can unless I'm deliberately doing long shutter speeds for things like water motion or lightning photos.

  • 6 months ago

    lower shutter speed for still photography is better

    a high ISO will give more noise

    extremes of either causes issues

  • keerok
    Lv 7
    6 months ago

    Lowering the shutter speed can introduce blur if the subject or anything in the scene moves. Better increase ISO.

    Since the camera is already on a tripod and you're just asking whether to adjust shutter or ISO, I'm assuming aperture is already maxed out because if it's not, that's what you have to adjust.

  • Frank
    Lv 7
    6 months ago

    Depends upon the subject matter. If the lowering of the shutter speed will not cause unwanted motion blur, then always (without exception) decrease the shutter speed. Otherwise, you will have to increase the ISO in order to prevent blur caused by the movement of the elements within the scene.

    ALWAYS, without exception, use the lowest possible ISO. Raising the ISO will always lead to a loss of sharpness, color, contrast, dynamic range, and an increase in noise. The noise will need to be removed via noise reduction software which further reduces the sharpness.

    Other things to consider:

    1) Never press the shutter button when using a tripod. When pressing the shutter, the camera can move slightly and end up causing some blur. Always use either a remote, a cable release, or if you don't have either, then you can just set your camera on a 2 or 10-second self timer.

    2) Use mirror lock-up feature if your camera has it. The motion of the mirror slapping the top of the mirror box can induce some vibration which can cause blur in your images. This is especially true when using high magnification such as when doing macro work. I've tested several cameras that I've owned over the years, and without fail, the images with the mirror locked up were always sharper.

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • qrk
    Lv 7
    6 months ago

    Short answer, for digital cameras, shooting at slower shutter speeds is preferable to shooting at higher ISO when speaking about electronic noise, within reason (20 seconds isn't reasonable for still-life).

    Digital cameras, higher ISO mean more electronic noise. Modern cameras have very good noise performance at higher ISO settings these days.

    Longer shutter times can also introduce noise, but you would be shooting in to the seconds to see those issues.

    Your other option is to use a wider aperture, but then you need to deal with depth of field issues.

  • 6 months ago

    Good general info from Jogger, but I think you want a more simple, direct answer. Most likely you are using digital, so, being on a tripod, lowering the shutter speed will give you a better photo than will raising ISO. One thing though, if your subject is moving, then lowering the shutter speed is NOT what you want because the subject will then be blurred. So, if your subject is STILL, then the slower shutter speed is best, if the subject is MOVING, then raising the ISO would be preferred.

  • 6 months ago

    I take pictures using film, so my answer is from that point of view.

    On a film camera, the ISO usually refers to the film speed. You set the ISO on your camera to match the ISO for the film you are using.

    The choice to lower the shutter speed or increase the aperture depends on the picture you want to take.

    If you want to control depth of field, you would set the aperture and then use shutter speed based on the lighting. If you are taking a still life, this would be the way to do handle it. But, if something is moving, lowering the shutter speed will increase motion blur.

    If you want to control motion blur, you would give the shutter speed priority, at the risk of losing some depth of field.

    There are some circumstances where you want a motion blur. You might want to capture a sense of athleticism, for example. Having motion blurs in photographs of waterfalls is popular: It make it look like the water is flowing faster.

    • Jogger2425
      Lv 6
      6 months agoReport

      A film developer should know you pushed or pulled the film and by how much.

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.