When attempting to take photos in manual mode, if I use a shutter speed faster than 1/250 I get half black photos.

Body: Canon 6D Mark ii

Lens: Canon EF 50mm 1.8

It's also worth noting that i'm not using any type of flash.

  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ Likely a bad shutter, but posting an example image would help. \$\endgroup\$
    – Eric S
    Commented Jan 27, 2020 at 23:02
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Are you taking these photos inside? What is the light source? \$\endgroup\$
    – scottbb
    Commented Jan 27, 2020 at 23:43
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ What do you see if you take off the lens, lock up the mirror and press the shutter button? \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Commented Jan 28, 2020 at 3:27
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ More information is needed. does it happen when taking pictures indoors with the light on for instance? An example photo could definitely be useful. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 28, 2020 at 7:18
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ If you switch into live view mode, do you see the effect there as well? (Mirror is already out of the way) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 28, 2020 at 10:22

3 Answers 3


Possible answers:

  • broken shutter or mirror mechanism. Please test, if that also happens when you take pictures outside in sunlight.

  • dimmable, very slow LED light. LEDs cannot be dimmed via voltage reduction. So the LEDs are pulsed to use the persistence of vision to create a dimming effect. If your shutter is fast enough and the LED lighting bad enough, the effect can be visible. However this usually this only shows up as banding effect (especially on electronic shutters), not a partial black frame.

  • and of course flash. You already ruled that out - but for the sake of completeness, going over your cam's flash sync speed if the usual reason for a half black frame.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I would guess that the mirror is not raising fully... \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 28, 2020 at 15:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ I agree. Or the shutter lags. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 29, 2020 at 16:32

The only reason I can think of is that the light source is a stroboscope. If the light is on before the opening curtain is fully open, or after the closing curtain is closing, but off for some or all of the time the shutter is fully open, then this would be the effect. But then it would be a different part of the photo that would be exposed every time. If it is the same half, and one half is pitch black and the other half is normally exposed, then it is likely a defect. Or is there a physical obstruction before the curtain? Can you see the whole sensor when opening it for sensor cleaning?


Please take a photo outside, as well as indoors. As mentioned in another post the light can be firing at 120hz or 60hz, in which case you may get a partial shutter since speeds over 1/250th are traveling slits.

Cheap LED lights have crap regulation and dimming, and pulse on and off. You can see this by waving your hand and noting all of the ghost fingers you suddenly get.


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