fast prime lens, flash, no flash

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by bonosa1, Nov 10, 2009.

  1. bonosa1

    bonosa1 TPF Noob!

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    D90. Pictures of pet birds.

    The lighting in the room I take pictures in is good so at shutter speed of 125 with the 50mm f1.8 set to f 2.8 I am able to get nice and bright pictures BUT they are not as sharp as the ones at shutter speed of 250 with the bounce flash.

    So this means pics taken with flash are always sharper than pics without?
    Is it the shutter speed making them sharper? Or the flash?

    I thought the whole point of fast lenses was that you could get by without flash. But they are just not sharp enough!!:confused:
     
  2. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Its both the flash and the 1/250 shutter speed. A faster shutter speed is always good for moving subject and bird are no exception. See whilst you can mostly counter handshake problems at 1/125sec wth a 50mm lens you still have to account for a moving subject as well. Its also possible that the flash is giving you more contrasty and/or harsher shadow lines so that shots are appearing a little sharper as well.
    Fast glass in lower lighting will never makeup for having good lighting to start with - that is a fact of life but you can boost lighting without flash - using things like reflectors.

    If you could give some examples it would help
     
  3. bonosa1

    bonosa1 TPF Noob!

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    Thank you for the response!
    I'll take the same pic with flash and also no flash and post them tomorrow.
     
  4. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    At close range with a 50mm, like say, shooting a photograph of a parrot, if the bird is shown large, the depth of field from close enough with a 50mm lens set to f/2.8 will not render the entire bird sharp from head to tail, unless he is sideways to the camera. If the bird is in a cage, the cage wires will be out of focus if he is on a perch a few inches back of the exterior of the cage.

    Using bounce flash might allow you to close the lens aperture down to a smaller-diameter aperture, like from f/2.8 which is a large, wide aperture, to a small-diameter aperture like f/7.1. The bounced flash will be a very short duration pop! that lasts maybe 1/3000 second, and the 1/200 or 1/250 shutter speed does NOT make the exposure within the flash-illuminated area, but will help to keep bright, outdoors lighting from showing up as overly bright.

    When shooting flash pictures, in the areas the flash reaches, the FLASH makes the exposure; at the same time, in areas where the flash does not reach, like say looking out the windows and across the street--the exposure is made by the shutter speed and the lens opening. Flash is very brief--measured in thousandths of a second, not hundredths, and so flash will make sharp, frozen,crisp shots as long as the shutter and lens opening are not allowing in large amounts of light--as for example they would if the shutter speed were set to 1/4 second and an aperture of f/2.8 indoor at ISO 800. Then, the combination of flash + generous ambient light exposure could creat a sharp image with a fuzzy "ghost" image.
     
  5. bonosa1

    bonosa1 TPF Noob!

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    Derrel, I was just arriving at this conclusion yesterday! The pics with flash were way too bright due to the ambient light and I was fiddling around with the shutter speed and fstop. I want to get quick at this because I miss a lot of cute shots :D.
    Have to keep adjusting depending on the altitude I am at as well (like on a step ladder taking pics of the birds wrestling on the cage playtop)
    But I refuse to go back to P mode again hehe
    Thank you so much for your input!
     

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