What is MLU photography?

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In the field of photography, MLU stands for “mirror lock-up” and it is a common feature for some types of cameras particularly those that are equipped with single lens reflex. This feature is used to help reduce the vibration in the camera sensor as it captures a certain picture. During normal capture of an image, the mirror part of some cameras will literally move as it allows the other components to complete the shot.  While the picture is being captured, some vibration may occur and this is secondary to the movement of the mirror.  By literally locking this in the upward position via the MLU feature, the vibration will cease and the result will be a picture or shot with less blurring.

Not all people may different the sharpness levels of some pictures but when experts are consulted, blurring of some parts in the picture may be more detectable.  In the case of vibrations that are due to the mirror inside SLR cameras for example, they can actually ruin the vividness and clarity of the shot.  To minimize this effect and come up with much-clearer and sharper pictures, one may use the MLU feature.

The MLU feature is said to be very useful when taking shots using telephoto or zoom lenses.  In these types of lenses, blurring is common because of the longer time that it takes for the picture shutter to close and complete a shot.  The longer the camera shutter is open, the more vibration will be caused by the movement of the mirror.  This particular movement will then manifest as mini-vibrations that can cause a decrease in overall photo sharpness. The same is true when taking close-up or macro shots.  Even if a tripod is used, the movement of the mirror can still produce vibrations and so in these cases using the MLU feature is advised.

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