Can Anyone Help This Newbie...Questions

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by HorsesHorsesHorses, Mar 14, 2006.

  1. HorsesHorsesHorses

    HorsesHorsesHorses TPF Noob!

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    I hope I am posting this in the correct place. I am brand new to the world of photography and I am having a bit of difficulty. I bought a Nikon D70 in the fall of 2005. I started taking picture immediately and was absolutely thrilled with the quality. I have read through some of the manual and have also read through Photography For Dummies trying to learn and answer my own questions.

    I started playing with the settings (nothing extreme as I'm still learning....did I mention reading the manual is like reading gibberish;)). My pictures started coming out really grainy. I tried to change the settings again and still got the same result. I finally just reset everything to the default settings. My pictures were clear again but now I am back to getting grainy shots even after I have reset the settings. I have no idea what in the world I am doing wrong. I have tried changing the ISO settings and have used several different settings (i.e. landscape, portrait, etc.). I have searched the manual and my book for dummies and I'm still at a total loss. I have attached a couple of pictures to help show what I am talking about.

    I also have a question that has been plaguing me. I don't know what number to put the ISO setting at and for what conditions.

    My main subjects are horses. I love to catch the action shots, does anyone have any recommendations for settings?

    Please keep in mind I am very new, if you could put it in the simplest of terms I would be grateful:blushing:.

    Thank you in advance!

    Clear Picture (I'm sorry I can't remember what settins I had this at)
    [​IMG]

    The next two are the grainy images I am getting (the last one was just taken today at dusk on the landscape setting and ISO at 200).

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    ADDED:

    This is a picture that shows quite a bit of grain to the picture
    [​IMG]
     
  2. HorsesHorsesHorses

    HorsesHorsesHorses TPF Noob!

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    I forgot....

    If it matters I usually use a 70-300 Nikkor lens.
     
  3. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    To be honest, your first two examples of grainy aren't really that grainy. The last one looks to be typical of about 800 ISO.

    All you can really do is try to recreate all the settings - look at the EXIF information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exif which tells you the summary.

    To get to the bottom of this, you're going to need to understand what settings are set manually and what are set automatically in all the different modes you shoot in. Otherwise, you're snapping away with no idea of what's going on.

    Try using Av and Tv (aperture priority and shutter priority) modes and forcing the ISO up and down manually and see if you can recreate the situation.

    Rob
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Welcome to the forum.

    The rule of thumb is that you always want to use the lowest ISO setting that you can. Higher ISO settings will mean more noise. (grain)

    So when should you use higher ISO settings? One answer would be when you need a faster shutter speed to eliminate camera shake or for freezing action.

    Firstly, to get crisp shots while holding the camera in your hands...you should be using a shutter speed that is at least as fast as the focal length of the lens. So when shooting at 300mm, the shutter speed should be at least 1/300 (or whatever the closest setting is).
    To freeze action, 1/250 or faster should be good.

    Now the problem: the camera & lens have to let in a certain amount of light to make the exposure. They do this with a combination of aperture (size of hole in lens) and shutter speed. When there is less light, you have to open up the aperture (low F number) and/or slow the shutter speed down. The lens can only open up to it's maximum aperture...so after that, you have to keep the shutter open longer...but we don't want to go too slow because we want sharp photos that freeze the action.

    The only thing we can do then...is to turn up the ISO setting. For every stop (200 to 400) you can get a shutter speed that is twice as fast. (1/125 to 1/250)...and keep the same exposure. The cost of doing this is noise (grain).

    You might find yourself wishing that you could open up the aperture to an even smaller F number. We all do. This can be accomplished with a better lens. Some lenses will open up to F2.8, or F1.8 or even F1.4 (some even more, but they are rare). The problem is that these lenses can get very, very expensive...especially for zoom lenses.

    Some however, can be less expensive. A 50mm F1.8 lens is very affordable.
     
  5. ceecookie

    ceecookie TPF Noob!

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    Should i rely on my Anti-Shake DSP that is turned on when i set the ISO to auto or manually set the ISO and keep the camera on an object or tripod?
     
  6. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    If the speed is 1/focal length (plus a bit) then you should be able to hand hold with no problems - leave the DSP on. For example, 1/60th second at 50mm is fine. 1/250th second is good for 200mm. 1/500th for 400mm.

    However, if speed is 1/focal length (minus a bit) then turn DSP off and use a tripod. Tripods will always give the crispest images, especially when used with a narrow aperture (e.g. f8+) as the exposure will be longer and more will be in the depth of field. If more is in the depth of field, shake is more apparant as areas which should be crisp go soft.

    In normal daylight, with a prime or wide/medium telephoto (like a kit lens) you should be able to shoot hand held at 100 ISO with no problems. Choose the aperture to suit your subject, or the exposure to ensure crispness. i.e. use Av mode for portraits and landscapes and Tv mode for sports, children and action.

    Rob
     
  7. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Keep in mind that Anti-Shake or Image Stabilizer will help you get sharper images at lower shutter speeds....but it will not help to freeze the action of a moving subject.
     
  8. ceecookie

    ceecookie TPF Noob!

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    Ok i bear them in mind...maybe i switch the DSP off when im using the flash or in the case of fast action like sports i tink i turn it off and manually set the ISO

    -----------------------------------------------------------------

    Haha the instruction is too complex for my Ex-S600
    its a slim mild-advanced point and shoot....
    i cant adjust the aperture...exposure tink can
     
  9. Soocom1

    Soocom1 TPF Noob!

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    hope I am posting this in the correct place. I am brand new to the world of photography and I am having a bit of difficulty. I bought a Nikon D70 in the fall of 2005. I started taking picture immediately and was absolutely thrilled with the quality. I have read through some of the manual and have also read through Photography For Dummies trying to learn and answer my own questions.

    Welcome to the forum, and the world of photography.

    I started playing with the settings (nothing extreme as I'm still learning....did I mention reading the manual is like reading gibberish;-)). My pictures started coming out really grainy. I tried to change the settings again and still got the same result. I finally just reset everything to the default settings. My pictures were clear again but now I am back to getting grainy shots even after I have reset the settings. I have no idea what in the world I am doing wrong. I have tried changing the ISO settings and have used several different settings (i.e. landscape, portrait, etc.). I have searched the manual and my book for dummies and I'm still at a total loss. I have attached a couple of pictures to help show what I am talking about.

    One additional adjustment can be the quality and file size settings. In addition, the way that the computer is reading the image can change as well and cause all kinds of problems. The best way to remember this is to not adjust the picture in any (hate to say this) Microsoft application. This includes the Microsoft Photo editor. It has a habit of changing things, and makes photos do funny things.

    I also have a question that has been plaguing me. I don't know what number to put the ISO setting at and for what conditions.

    First, consider these three items:
    1: Shutter speed.
    2: f-stop.
    3: Aperture.
    There is a forth, but this is a little advanced from the simple stuff.
    The lens speed. Your lens is probably a f-3.5 or 4. Eventually you will want to get a lens that is approx f-1.7 or faster. (The smaller the f number, the faster the lens).

    Look here:
    http://shutterbug.com/equipmentreviews/lenses/0899sb_super/

    To reiterate the statement above, set the ISO rating for the lowest that is doable while keeping the shutter setting at approx 1/30th-1/60th of a second at that lighting condition. BUT, that also means that low light conditions like your sunsets need to be slower. (1/15th etc.) I say this, because eventually you will discover the concept of slow cooking your images. (i.e. setting the camera to a ISO/ASA of 25 speed or slower if the camera is capable.) BUT, you need as large a piece of glass that you can afford. The larger the front element, generally the brighter the image for the same camera setting.

    My main subjects are horses. I love to catch the action shots, does anyone have any recommendations for settings?

    Try to keep your settings as low as possible, but as stated above, get a large lens like an APO 100 or 300mm. (This will come in time, don't worry about it now.They do after all run from $500-50,000.) With your 70-300, try to keep them at ISO 400, 1/250th-1/1000th, at a f-8 to f-11 MID DAY!!!
    During the late afternoon or early morning, slow down the shutter to about 1/125th at about an f-4 or so. Don't even worry about flashes at this time. Again, if you can get a fixed focal lens that is a f-1.7 or even f-1.4, use it.

    Please keep in mind I am very new, if you could put it in the simplest of terms I would be grateful:blushing:.

    Seek all knowledge... And ye shall be enriched!!

    Thank you in advance!
     
  10. ceecookie

    ceecookie TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the help too guys
    i managed to take a fast shuttter speed photo by disabling Anti shake DSP, enable Quick shutter and use the "Sports" in Best Shot.1/1000 was managed
    And yea Anti-shake slowed the shutter speed by up to half to 1/320 and 1/200;)
     
  11. HorsesHorsesHorses

    HorsesHorsesHorses TPF Noob!

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    Thank you all so much! I have printed off all the replies and will be spending the weekend going over everything. I think I might just get a hang of this yet:D .
     

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