What’s right with this picture?

August 26, 2009

U.S. soldiers from the 1-32 Infantry unit fire 81 mm mortars at attacking Taliban forces from their position over the village of Bargematal, Nuristan, August 22, 2009. REUTERS/Oleg Popov

Is it possible to find out what camera settings Oleg Popov used when he took this picture, particularly the shutter speed?


Yes. Here are the particulars, plus another Popov shot as a bonus:

Camera – Mark III

Focal length – 16 mm

Iso 250

Shutter speed 1/800sec

F-stop – f7.1

GBU Editor

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1/800? Are you sure? Isn’t that still a bit slow to ‘catch’ a mortar?

Posted by Edwin | Report as abusive

Mr. Popov,

Bravo! Excellent capture!

It deserved the front page!

michael mcgreevy

Posted by michael mcgreevy | Report as abusive

The muzzle velocity of an 81mm mortar can be as low as 210ft/sec. If my math is correct, that’s just over three inches in 1/800 sec. I’m guessing there’s three-five inches of motion blur in that shot.

Posted by Alan | Report as abusive

Wow – that was well caught! Great shot (literally)! :-)

Posted by J Edwards | Report as abusive

1/800 is reasonable. I shoot baseball and a ball coming off a bat with bright lighting can be effectively captured at this speed.

Posted by Steve Kotvis | Report as abusive

I have never seen that before, I would not want to be on the other end of that.

Posted by Matt | Report as abusive

Popov is an amazing photographer. He really pushes the range of the camera. For examples, go to reuters.com and type in Popov Afghanistan. Most recently he has pictures of the same unit pictured here, waiting for the helo ride in, in the helo and reading maps/ cleaning a rifle by red light. He also has a beautiful shot of kids and cattle at a river near Pashad in early August, and an extremely peaceful shot, dated Feb 10 showing a US lieutenant talking to an elder. Many shots show soldiers with spectacular scenery in the background. His sports pictures are equally impressive. The guy has great eyes.

Posted by Loyd LaMois | Report as abusive

Great staff mate!!

Posted by Mohamed | Report as abusive