Canon 400D

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by wiltshireflyer, Feb 22, 2007.

  1. wiltshireflyer

    wiltshireflyer TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2006
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Salisbury Wiltshire UK
    Hi everyone.

    I am wondering if anyone can streer me in the right direction here. I run, as a sideline, a licensed private investigation service. I undertake quite a lot of covert photography and have bought a new Canon 400D.

    I would like to know some optimum settings, which I know will be a bit hit and miss, because the light will vary on every shot, but I want to at least have a starting point. I usually have a photgrapher do this for me, so Im struggling a little with clear crisp shots at present.

    My main photos will be of subjects usually within 30 - 40 feet of my camera, usually in the street or outside somewhere. These targets will usually be moving (ie) walking pace etc

    I need to take pictures, without flash of said moving person sometimes in twilight and more often than not during daylight hours. What F numbers should I be using and ISO? I have tried on one subject but end up with a blurred image, so obviously my settings arent quite ball park.

    I normally use a 70-210ef lense for this purpose.

    Any ideas? :wink:
     
  2. darich

    darich TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2005
    Messages:
    1,230
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Near Lanark, Scotland
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    To capture images in low light you need a higher ISO. I'm not sure what the max rating for the 400D is - possibly 3200 if you can extend the range using a custom function.
    A fast lens is also necessary - something like a 70-200 f2.8.

    someone, probably on here once said that a noisy sharp image is better than a quiet blurred one. Never a truer word was said.

    I'd be inclined to have the ISO high or even at maximum all the time so you don't need to worry about it for every shot. a fast lens will help capture images in low light too.
     
  3. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 3, 2006
    Messages:
    7,500
    Likes Received:
    478
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I understand why you bought the rebel. It's cheap, it's small, it's easy to conceal. But not the lens you're going to need to put on it. like what darich said, 70-200 f/2.8. Better yet would be 2 bodies, one with an 85 prime and a 180mm prime. the lower the f/ number the better becuase it lets in more light. High ISO's are key becuase it increases the sensitivity of the sensor. and that will help in low light. also, if it's at dusk or dawn, you might want to expose for the shadows instead of highlights so your subject doesn't look black. You'll figure this all out when you start fiddling around with the camera.
     
  4. darich

    darich TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2005
    Messages:
    1,230
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Near Lanark, Scotland
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Considering the use of the camera and lens will be for private investigations and therefore secretive , i think a zoom lens is a far more practical idea.
    I agree primes are faster but a 70-200 f2.8 L is among the best lenses Canon makes and having a zoom function is something i'd consider vital when shooting a subject whose distance to the camera can vary. The zoom is what keeps the photographer distant and unseen. A fixed length lens may mean having to move closer (or further) from your subject to get the shot required.
     
  5. wiltshireflyer

    wiltshireflyer TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2006
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Salisbury Wiltshire UK
    Hi and thanks for the info.

    Concealment of the camera is not an issue, as most pictures are shot from a stationary car, through glass. Is my ordinary canon zoom lense EF 75-300 1:4-5.6 II (as listed on the lense) not good enough for this type of work?
     
  6. DeepSpring

    DeepSpring TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2006
    Messages:
    1,451
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    If you are shooting in sunny conditions that should be fine but as it gets darker the aperture
    of 4-5.6 (the numbers go up as you zoom) might not be fast enough. That is why a 2.8 zoom has been recommended
     
  7. Stevedevil

    Stevedevil TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2007
    Messages:
    257
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Essex In UK
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I think that the point is being missed, The set up can be the lower end of f stop, as he is not trying to win a competition on the photo, exposure, sharpness, etc, the main aim is to get some evidence.

    All I will add is that if you adjust your photo from the Camera's original then you will not be able to use this in court, as any adjustments can NOT be made, It really depends on what your gonna shoot, If its for someone who needs to see their Husband / Wife with someone else then you can adjust ISO to suit a faster shutter speed at Higher F stop, as with any noise you will still see a good image, but not a great one

    If you need to shoot a car at high speed at midnight and get the licence plate then yes get some lenses that are around f 1.4

    Its all about what YOU need for your application
     
  8. Stevedevil

    Stevedevil TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2007
    Messages:
    257
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Essex In UK
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    You mention that the 300mm lense is not any good, but if your setting the higher end f stop ( 4 - 5.6 ) then yes it may need a slower shutter speed, or higher ISO

    But adjust the camera f stop to arounf f22 and I feel that you may a higher shutter speed at lower ISO
     
  9. Stevedevil

    Stevedevil TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2007
    Messages:
    257
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Essex In UK
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    At night with no flash you will need some light, or mount a tripod in the car, as Stability will be needed as to take longer shutter speeds, or as you say use some high ISO values ( 3200 )
     
  10. sothoth

    sothoth TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2006
    Messages:
    250
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hmm, what part of the world do you live in? What kind of car do you drive? I'd like to keep a lookout for you if I'm doing something I'm not supposed to. :)
     
  11. PhotoHeather

    PhotoHeather TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2007
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    0
  12. darich

    darich TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2005
    Messages:
    1,230
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Near Lanark, Scotland
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Very true when looking side on.

    But when the camera is aiming at the subject i'd suspect that the white lens would only be very slightly more obtrusive or visible than a black one. Especially if the body of the camera is black too
     

Share This Page