How to Combat Mirror Shock – JJ Equipment Tips


SLR’s all suffer from the same problem. That mirror flapping up and down causes the camera to move at the time of exposure. Camera Shake or ‘Mirror Shock’ is mostly caused by the mirror and not the photographer’s ability to hold the camera still.

Some cameras allow you to programme an extra delay on the mirror, this goes a long way to getting rid of Mirror Shock.

Recently I was on set and the photographer who was using small HMI’s with the Hasselblad H and IQ back. He was hand holding the camera at 1/125 wide open and was getting, what he referred to as ‘camera shake’. He tried upping the ISO but on that particular back, it started to introduce too much noise.

I suggested putting in some extra mirror delay (something he wasn’t aware of) I dialled in 50ms of delay, he took another shot and suddenly everything was sharp!

This Tip is very useful for Macro work, when using long telephoto lenses or just shooting at slow shutter speeds.

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Above is the difference between two exposures (both @ 1/125 sec) on Hasselblad H6X – On the left no mirror delay and on the right 200ms delay, you can clearly see the higher peaks on the left and the lower (less vibration) more spread-out graph on the right.


So how do you programme extra mirror delay on some popular rental cameras?

On the Hasselblad H4X / H5X / H6X    

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  • Go to the custom options menu
  • Scroll through to number 30 (extra mirror delay)
  • Select the delay you’d like to add (anything over 100ms and you will really start to notice the delay) so start at 25ms and gradually increase…


On the Canon 5DS 5DSr 5D mk4

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  • Go to the mirror lock-up section of the menu.
  • Press Set
  • If you choose the ‘Press twice to shoot’ option – the first time you press the shutter release it will lock up the mirror, the second time it will fire the shutter.
  • Or if you select shoot ⅛ sec after press, it will wait ⅛ sec (or 125 milliseconds) after the mirror has flipped up until firing the shutter (allowing vibration to die down)


On the Nikon D850

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  • Navigate to d Shooting/Display menu
  • Select d5 Exposure delay mode
  • In d5 menu you can select between 0.2sec and 3sec default is off (no delay)

On the Phase One XF Cameras

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  • In Vibration reduction mode, the XF body uses data from its seismographic sensor to monitor the low vibration.
  • The maximum capture delay is set using a long press of the Vibration icon in Drive screen or by pressing the Rear Key on the XF top screen and from the menu: select Capture Setup > Vibration and then toggle the rear dial to the wanted delay.
  • The delay can be adjusted between 0.5-8 seconds.

Most other cameras only give you the ability to lock the mirror up completely which is fine for macro work but no use in say fashion work. Alternatively, you could use live view and capture the still on some models.