Sunday, December 20, 2009

Nikon D90 Mirror Lock -Up?



Mirror Lock up (MLU) what is it and does the D90 have it?

What: Mirror lock-up (often abbreviated to MLU) is a feature employed in many Single Lens Reflex (SLR) cameras. It allows the operator to reduce vibration-induced motion blur during exposure. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Does the Nikon D90 have it? Unfortunately no but it does have a pretty darn good alternative. This is called Exposure Delay Mode, Page 183 of your manual. It's says, "In situations where the slightest camera movement can blur pictures, Exposure Delay Mode On can be selected to delay shutter release until about 1 second after the shutter release button is pressed and the mirror is raised".

D90 setting for Exposure Delay Mode: Custom Settings (Pencil) OK: d Shooting/display OK: d10 Exposure Delay Mode OK: On OK

I definitely see myself trying this mode next time i'm using my tripod for a landscape shot or something! Seems like a no brainier to me if I might get an even sharper photo. I've read mostly good things about how this isn't "True MLU" like some camera's have but those who have tried both say the D90's Exposure Delay Mode is a pretty good alternative to the "True MLU". What do you Think?

Illustration Courtesy Photozone

16 comments:

Dave Wilson said...

I find this feature very useful when shooting on a tripod. The one thing to be careful of, however, is to turn it off again! I frequently find myself wondering why my shutter lag has become so horrible then realise that I forgot to turn exposure delay off after my last HDR session.

Scbbbc said...

LOL, Yep Dave I can see myself doing that exact thing....Thanks for the heads up!

farmnwife said...

I am still exploring my D90. I think this tip will be very useful as I take many landscapes. Thanks a bunch.
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Marc said...

I use this feature regularly when I take pictures in slow speed like 1/2,1/10 with my tripod (I thought it was stable until I saw the result enabling the delay).

A friend showed me that disabling the VR when you shoot using a tripod helps to obtain a more nitid result (I don't know why but it works).

I want to join to Dave's club: I forget disabling this pair of adjusts too !! :D

James said...

I just used this for the first time tonight, and in spite of me trying to take an impossible shot (full moon on a tripod with gusts of wind over 30 miles an hour and a wind chill of -10 degrees F and a lens only 105mm in length), I definitely noticed an improvement.

From one blogger to another... whilst on the Blogger platform, I really like being able to comment with Name/URL. Otherwise, I'm forced to push you towards another platform profile instead of allowing me to identify myself with my blog. Would you consider enabling this option in the future? I'm leaving my comment with my Google account, but that's not how I identify myself if I can help it.

Scbbbc said...

James, I'm glad you stopped by. I'll see what thats all about with the posting...

Glen said...

A note for Marc about turning VR off when on a tripod. If you leave the image stabilisation on whilst on a tripod the camera tries to fix vibrations that are not really there which in turn creats small vibrations.

Martin said...

Oh I didn't know of this feature- what I usually do for this is setting a 2 second timer on my tripod shots since its a pretty weak plastic one and with heavy lenses it leans a bit :(

riberajoe said...

Thanks for this post. I was trying to find the setting for MLU in my Nikon D90 book and also in Busch's book without success. I was afraid there was no way to eliminate mirror vibration from making the sharpest possible image. This feature works fine when used with a tripod and remote release.

Allie said...

Thanks for this! I just tried the reverse lens stacking technique and even though I was using a tripod and remote, was still getting blur when I didn't have sunlight available. Going to try this soon!

Sam Ronicker said...

@Marc... The reason turning off VR for better results with a tripod... The VR, when attempting to compensate for movement from handholding it MOVES the lenses! Well, when you're using a tripod, it still tries to move the lens to compensate, even when there's no movement.

Sam Ronicker said...

Oh, another thing... using "liveview" also locks up the mirror. I've never tried it but it might work, the only potential problem I see is the view screen might cause some light pollution on very dark scenes.

Anonymous said...

I beleive that if you're using Live View, when you push the shutter release the mirror swings back down (exits Live View) and THEN takes the picture as usual. This will NOT result in reduction of mirror slap vibration. This is similar to using the timer or the remote - the mirror still behaves just as if you were hand-holding and puching the button. On the D90 the only thing you can do to reduce mirror-slap vibration is use the shutter delay function.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I was reading this blog after reading about Shutter LockUp in Bryan Peterson's brilliant book "Understanding Close-Up Photography" (all his books are brilliant). Happy to read that Exposure Delay is good alternative (tried immediately and yes it works). Now I read that it would not work when using LiveView because then first mirror falls back and then again goes up and releases shutter, so also tried that out right away. My conclusion: it does work with LiveView: when I then did remote (IR) cable release (using Nikon ML-L3, quite cheap, high value-for-money) indeed first mirror goes down (exit LiveView), but then when mirror goes up again for exposure, shutter release will indeed wait 1 sec before exposure starts by opening shuter. I tried it with a 30" exposure in dark livingroom and was tack sharp exposure. After exposure D90 returns to LiveView (mirror up). So Yes it works together. Regards, Dr.Beam

Anonymous said...

Great information. I will be using my D90 for astrophotography and was concerned about not having true MLU. Naturally the exposures will be very long so perhaps the effect of a slap at the beginning would be minimalized but still . . .
I guess Live View is an option but I fear it uses a lot of battery. Happy shooting!

Anonymous said...

why not just use the 10 second timer?