How Fast Do You See?

Have you ever wondered how fast (in terms of shutter speed) the human eye is seeing?  How fast are we able to focus?  I was surprised by the answer.

Walking around the yard on a very windy day last weekend I noticed a pinwheel going round and round as fast as it could possibly go – just a big, round blur.  The colors all merging together looked so pretty – I’ve got to take a picture!!  Grabbed the camera already set at ISO 400 and snapped this shot at 1/800.I was a little shocked when I checked the image – quite surprised that at 1/800 the movement was almost frozen.  Not at all what I expected.


So let’s slow things down a bit.  Changed the settings to ISO 100 which brought me to an exposure of 1/250.

Really?  Still not the total blur of color that I was seeing right in front of me.

Let’s slow things down some more – brought the aperture to f/22 leaving the ISO at 100 – this led me to an exposure of 1/50.

That’s more like it – that’s what I’m seeing right in front of my face.


Personally I was very surprised that the human eye sees things at roughly 1/50 sec.  I know this was hardly a scientific experiment but you get the idea.  I totally thought our eyes were faster than this – what did you think?


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