How to Stabilize Your Canon EOS 6D When You Use Long Telephoto Lenses

By Doug Sahlin

When you shoot with a long telephoto lens on your EOS 6D, any operator movement is magnified. The simple act of pressing the shutter button, no matter how gently you do it, vibrates the camera. The vibration degrades the resulting images slightly; it doesn’t appear to be tack-sharp. A tripod is a huge help when using a long lens, but it doesn’t stop the vibration.

Here are two techniques you can use to minimize the vibration transmitted after you press the Shutter button.

How to stabilize the EOS 6D with the Self-Timer

An easy way to stop vibration from reaching the camera is to delay the shutter opening after you press the shutter button. You do this with the Self-Timer as follows:

  1. Press the AF button.

  2. While looking at the LCD panel, rotate the Quick Control dial until the 2-Second Timer icon appears.


  3. Mount the camera on a tripod.

  4. Compose your scene and press the Shutter button halfway to achieve focus.

    When the camera focuses on your subject, a green dot appears in the viewfinder.

  5. Press the Shutter button fully.

    Press the Shutter button gently, don’t stab it with your finger. After you press the Shutter button, the timer counts down. When you press the Shutter button gently, two seconds is enough time to stabilize any vibration transmitted to the camera.

How to use Mirror Lockup to stabilize the EOS 6D

Your camera can also lock the mirror in the up position before the picture is taken. This helps minimize the transmission of any vibration that occurs when the mirror moves up prior to opening the shutter. This vibration can cause your image to be less than tack sharp. You can enable Mirror Lockup using a custom function as follows:

  1. Press the Menu button.

    The previously used menu displays.

  2. Use the Multi-controller button to navigate to the Shooting Settings 2 tab.

  3. Use the Multi-controller or the Quick Control dial to highlight Mirror Lockup.


  4. Press the Set button.

    The options for Mirror Lockup appear on your camera LCD monitor.

  5. Use the multi-controller or Quick Control dial to highlight Enable and then press Set.

    Mirror Lockup is enabled.

  6. Press the Shutter button halfway to return to shooting mode.

  7. Compose the scene and then press the Shutter button halfway to achieve focus.

    A green dot appears in the right side of the viewfinder.

  8. Press the Shutter button fully.

    The mirror locks up.

  9. Press the Shutter button again.

    The picture is taken and the mirror drops down.

When you’re using Mirror Lockup in bright conditions, press the shutter button as soon as possible after the mirror locks up. Excessive exposure to bright light or the sun can damage the sensor. Make sure you disable Mirror Lockup as soon as you no longer need it.