Beginner who doesn't know how to deal with Lowish Light

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by percent20, Dec 10, 2009.

  1. percent20

    percent20 TPF Noob!

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    My P & S is awesome it takes care of a lot of stuff for me, but I often find that I want to do things it can't do well. That brought be to getting a DSLR unfortunately I suck with it and am constantly struggling.

    I seem to be in lowish light settings most of the time leading to not so hot of pictures. When I say low light I mean dinner room table in a lit-up dinning room. I have tried many settings since my main flash makes things over-exposed and flushed out.

    I just am not sure really what settings to mess with settings wise to get good shots. I will say buying bounce flash is out of the question for a long time so anything I can work on in the mean time would be great.

    I am currently using a Nikon D40 with a kit lense.
     
  2. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    It sounds to me like it's time for you to get a copy of Bryan Peterson's Understanding Exposure. It will help you out.

    Low light is a challenge. One of the issues that you will have with your kit lens, is that it probably doesn't have a wide enough maximum aperture to handle low light well unless you crank the ISO way up on your camera. The D40 probably doesn't have great high ISO capacity, so you are handicapped. The next thing you can do is slow your shutter speed way down, but then you will definitely need a tripod and can't hope to attack moving targets.

    Flash can help, but on-camera flash isn't very useful. You need to get your flash off the camera before you start doing well with it.
     
  3. percent20

    percent20 TPF Noob!

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    I have read the book and while it helps it is just theory and once you get camera in hand theory tends to fly out the window to some degree until I take more shots.

    I have set the ISO up to 800 ISO couple even up to 1600 ISO. I sometimes have to get the shutter speed down to 1 second or slightly faster, but yeah have to go to tripod but that doesn't do to well when it comes to trying to get people talking etc.

    Looks like might need to stick to shooting during the day until i can get a bounce flash at least.
     
  4. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    What lens are you using? Both Canon and Nikon make a very nice 50mm f/1.8 prime that is very reasonably priced (I've seen the Canon used on Craigslist many times for about $70) and good for the kind of work you want to do.
     
  5. Darkhunter139

    Darkhunter139 TPF Noob!

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    "I am currently using a Nikon D40 with a kit len"
     
  6. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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  7. Darkhunter139

    Darkhunter139 TPF Noob!

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  8. chip

    chip TPF Noob!

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    SB400 for about $135 should help. It is just a small flash but bounces. I have one and love it.
     
  9. percent20

    percent20 TPF Noob!

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    I have been eyeing it for a while. Just need to save for a while longer yet. Just trying to figure out something I can do in the mean time. I was curios if there is a site that shows how it works/bounces and doesn't shoot just straight forward it doesn't look like it rotates and bends.

    I guess I'll keep the P&S for night unless it is a shot I can use the tripod with since I am horribly shakey.
     
  10. Gaerek

    Gaerek TPF Noob!

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    :thumbup: +1

    One thing to remember, I don't think this lens will autofocus with the d40. But since it is a fast lens, it will get rid of the problem you are talking about.
     
  11. Goontz

    Goontz TPF Noob!

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    Correct, the 50mm f/1.8 won't auto-focus on the D40 because it's not AF-S. They do have an AF-S 50mm f/1.4.

    You could make a DIY flash diffuser for your pop-up flash in the mean time while you're saving. Something like this: Yello77.com » Blog Archive » DIY Pop-up Flash Diffuser for the DSLR for example. A google search would probably turn up other options.
     
  12. PhilGarber

    PhilGarber TPF Noob!

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    :thumbup::thumbup::thumbup:

    All very sound advice. I'll second all of it.
     

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