How & Why Use Mirror Lock Up For Sharper Photographs
With mirror lock-up the mirror (2) flips up towards (5) well before the shutter (3) opens. As a result light no longer reaches the eyepiece (8). - via Wikipedia

Using mirror lock up can significantly improve your long exposure photographs.

Mirror lock up is a feature inside of most DSLR cameras that will lift the mirror up when the shutter button is pressed. Then, with another push of the button the shutter will open and your frame will be captured.

Mirror Lock Up

mirror-lock-up-sharper-photographs
With mirror lock-up the mirror (2) flips up towards (5) well before the shutter (3) opens. As a result light no longer reaches the eyepiece (8). – via Wikipedia

Check out the video below for an example mirror lock up mode on the Nikon D800.

As you can see, it is a very simple feature that you can use that will not just help your long exposure photographs but any regular landscape and macro photographs.

If you are ever using mirror lock up I highly recommend using a cable release at the same time. Otherwise it will be very awkward to take a picture.

There are some skeptics who do not believe mirror lock up does anything useful. Through some searching, I came across a great article and video from Camera Technica that displays the shake differences with and without lock up.

Check it out…

It is worth noting that if you decide to utilize mirror lock up in conjunction with live view mode on your camera, do some research on your specific camera head of time.  Some brands and models will fire the camera with the mirror up and shutter open where others will close both before taking the picture.

So there you have it. The how and why to use mirror lock up for sharper photographs. If you have any questions, comment and let me know.

Thanks for reading and happy shooting,
Scott

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Very informative, it’s good to have it finally explained what exactly mirror lock up is, thank you for sharing!

    1. Glad you enjoyed it, Buryan

  2. Great information! I actually thought mirror lockup and bulb were the same thing.

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