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Shutter Speed Calculator

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Shutter speed calculator
Shutter Speed Calculator

This shutter speed calculator will help you estimate the correct shutter speed to use under any lighting condition, exposure valueaperture and ISO settings.

In this calculator, you will learn the shutter speed definition in the What is shutter speed? section of this text. You will also learn what shutter speed does and how to calculate the shutter speed. Keep on reading to learn how you can improve your shutter speed photography with confidence by using slow shutter speeds and fast shutter speeds.

What is shutter speed?

In photography, we expose our film or camera sensor to light to capture an image. By opening what we call the shutter in our camera, we let the light into the camera through the camera’s aperture. Closing the shutter will stop the light from coming in. How long we expose our film or sensor to the light affects the image we capture. To control this duration of exposure, we use our camera’s shutter speed settings.

In short, the shutter speed’s definition is that it is the speed at which the camera’s shutter opens and closes to let in the light that produces an image.

What does shutter speed do?

Setting a fast shutter speed lets less light onto our camera’s film or sensor. On the other hand, the longer the shutter speed is, the more we expose our film or sensor to the light. Shutter speed can be set to fractions of a second to “freeze” fast-moving objects. This setting is perfect for capturing moving subjects like a speeding vehicle, flying birds, or a running person.

Image of  different creative shots at fast shutter speeds.

Setting the camera to a slow shutter speed, such as for a couple of seconds or minutes, opens up possibilities for creative blurry shots or to let more light in to take images in low-light situations, light paintings, or of the Milky Way or other heavenly bodies.

Image of  different creative shots at slow shutter speeds.

To take sharp images of your subject at slow shutter speeds, it is best to keep the camera steady, like with a tripod. You can also “pan” your camera to track your subject just after releasing the shutter. When done right, you might capture a great shot with your subject in focus and the background in motion blur.

How to use our shutter speed calculator?

Using our shutter speed calculator is very easy. Select the lighting condition that your subject is in from the Lighting condition field. Then, select the aperture and ISO settings to show the shutter speed results instantly.

How to calculate shutter speed?

To calculate the shutter speed, we can use the formula that finds the exposure value. You can learn more about in the How to calculate the exposure value? section of our exposure calculator. It uses a logarithmic property, and after rearranging the variables of this formula, we can derive the following formula:

shutter speed = 100 * aperture2 / (ISO * 2EV)

where:

  • shutter speed – Shutter speed in seconds;
  • aperture – f-number of the aperture, like 2.8 for f/2.8;
  • ISO – ISO sensitivity, as in 100200400, and so on; and
  • EV – Exposure value.

The shutter speed we get from this formula is the shutter speed needed to meet the lighting condition’s exposure value at the chosen aperture and ISO settings.

Calculation of a shutter speed example

Let’s say we are out in the woods under a clear night sky. We want to take some photos of the Milky Way galaxy with our camera, which is capable of up to ISO 6400 sensitivity and has an attached lens with a maximum aperture opening of f/2.8. From the table of equivalent exposure values in our exposure calculator, the Milky Way galaxy has an equivalent of EV-7 exposure value.

Using this information, we can then solve the duration of the shot for us to capture the Milky Way galaxy by substituting the above values in our formula, as shown below:

shutter speed = 100 * aperture2 / (ISO * 2EV)

shutter speed = 100 * 2.82 / (6400 * 2-7)

shutter speed = 100 * 7.84 / (6400 * 0.0078125)

shutter speed = 784 / 50 = 15.68 seconds ≈ 16 seconds

We should then set our shutter speed to 16 seconds to expose our film or camera sensor long enough to process the Milky Way galaxy from our calculation above. Since we are also performing slow shutter speed photography, don’t forget to use a tripod to avoid blurring.

Image of  a scenery showing the Milky Way galaxy arm and a silhouette of a human and a camera on tripod.

Please note, that since cameras differ from each other slightly, it would be best to capture a test shot first and check if the current settings result in the photo you expected. If it did not, try changing some of the camera settings and see if that results in a better shot.

Want to learn more?

Shutter speed photography is so much fun to explore. Learning what shutter speed does would definitely improve your photography game. If you found this shutter speed calculator informative, we also have lots of other photography-related calculators like our crop factor calculator and our image file size calculator that you can check out.

On the other hand, if you feel like making or building something, perhaps you would like to check our smartphone projector calculator wherein you will learn how to make a DIY smartphone projector using just a box, a magnifying glass, and some crafting materials you might already have at home.

Time Lapse Calculator

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Time lapse calculator
Time Lapse Calculator

Whether you are a professional photographer or a beginner who just discovered his newest passion, this time lapse calculator will make preparing that magical night sky video a blast. You will be able to determine the capture interval, the number of photos you need, and the size of a memory card that will accommodate all of your precious pictures. Thanks to this tool, you will never have to spend hours calculating the parameters of your timelapse!

How to use the time lapse?

The basic idea of time lapse photography is taking photos at a much slower rate that they are going to be viewed. The photos are combined to form a video that is much shorter than the total recording time. When the video is viewed, the time appears to be elapsing much faster than in reality.

This kind of photography allows for capturing effects that are very subtle for a human eye, for example, the motion of stars and the sun in the sky.

What can our timelapse calculator do?

Our time lapse calculator can find seven basic parameters of a standard time lapse sequence. You have to predetermine four of them, and the time lapse calculator will automatically find the rest.

  • Clip length: the duration of the final video created with time lapse photography. Usually, these clips don’t exceed 30 seconds – if you want a longer video, it can be hard to take all of the photos in one shooting.

  • Total recording time: the total time you need to spend taking pictures for your time lapse. This can range from 30 minutes for a short clip to a few hours for longer clips with a higher interval in between pictures.

  • Frames per second: the number of frames in the final clip shown per second. Typically, 24 frames per second are used. Try not to go below 12 fps, as this will affect the image fluidity. High frame rates (up to 60 fps) correspond to high-quality videos, for example in 4K quality.

  • Image size: the data size of one photo taken during the time lapse. You can read it off your camera’s settings. If the total memory usage exceeds the capacity of your memory card, you can try to decrease the image size.

  • Capture interval: the time interval between two consecutive photos. It usually doesn’t exceed 30 seconds – a higher interval can cause the video to “jump” between frames. It can be calculated by dividing the total recording time by the number of photos.

  • Number of photos: the total number of photos you need to take for your time lapse. It is simply the clip length multiplied by the frame rate.

  • Memory usage: the total amount of space the photos will take on your memory card. It is found by multiplying the number of photos by an individual image size. For calculating the size of compressed videos, make sure to take a look at the video file size calculator. If you want to know how much time you will need to transfer these files from the memory card to the hard drive, check out our bandwidth calculator.

Focal Length Calculator

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Focal Length Calculator
Focal Length Calculator

The focal length calculator is a simple tool that facilitates the process of computing the magnification, focal length, and the angle of view.

Taking a picture of an object from a distance might be challenging – we’ll help you find the right focal length to create an image that perfectly fits your cameras’ sensor size. 📷

In the article below, we’ll teach you how to find the focal length, discover the lens equation, and talk about a few essential principles of photography and the lens choice.

What’s the focal length?

Focal length is one of the primary values of a photographic lens. Manufacturers usually give it in millimeters (mm).

Focal length describes the distance between the rear principal point and the sensor – in other words, it’s the space starting from the center of the lens, to the point where the light rays converge in the focal point (to form a sharp picture on a surface of a digital sensor, or 35mm film).

 

 

Biconvex lens-behavior of light rays from the focal point.
Credit: Kvr.lohithCC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

 

 

💡 Focal length can be determined only when the lens is focused at infinity.

🖼️ Thanks to the focal length, we’re able to calculate the angle of view – this variable informs us of the amount of the scene that will be captured. The wider the angle, the more of the scene can be transferred to a sensor, and be visible on the photograph. Thanks to the angle of view option, we don’t really need an additional field of view calculator – we got everything ready!

 

Lens\'Focal length principles
🔍 Thanks to our lens focal length calculator, you may also find the magnification – it allows us to measure how the size of an object changes when transferred to photography.

 

Still hungry for knowledge? Try our other lens calculators:

How to use the focal length calculator?

Our lens equation calculator has a straightforward structure; fill in at least three fields in order to acquire results.

  • Typical image sizes:
    • 3.6, 4.8, 5.8, 6.4, 8.8, 12.8 mm,
    • or 1/4, 1/3, 1/2.5, 1/2, 2/3, 1 inch.

    (Hey, if you’re still not familiar with different units, try our length conversion tool 😉)

  • Object distance is measured from the lens’s front principal plane to the object itself.
💡 Remember, our calculators work both ways. Your result can simply become another query!

The lens that makes objects appear small will have a small magnification – on the other hand, the lens that magnifies the picture will have a big magnification.

How to calculate focal length?

Finding focal length is an easy and very much needed ability; follow our simple guide to find all the details of these calculations!

  1. The typical focal length formula looks as follows:

    1/Focal length = 1/Image distance + 1/Object distance,

    where:

    • Image distance and Object distance are given in mm.
  2. And here’s the transformed equation that we use:

    Focal length = (Object distance / ((1 / Magnification) + 1)) * 1000,

    where:

    • Object distance is given in mm; and
    • Magnification does not have a unit.
  3. In order to copy the lens magnification calculator, you’ll need the following equation (take a closer look – it may also serve as an image distance formula!):

    Magnification = Image size / Object size = -(Image distance / Object Distance),

    where:

    • Object size – is the real size of an object, given in mm; and
    • Image size – is the size of the camera’s digital sensor or 35mm film, given in mm.
  4. To calculate the angle of view, you need to use the most complex equation of them all:

    Angle of view = (180/π) * 2 * aTan(Image size / (2 * Focal length * (Magnification + 1))),

    where:

    • aTan(x) means the arc tangent , described as the inverse tangent of a function x (in radians).