Indoor Photography - No Flash

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Nikkor, Dec 14, 2009.

  1. Nikkor

    Nikkor TPF Noob!

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    I hate using my D60's little pop up flash and haven't been able to afford a new legit flash quite yet, so I'm wondering what's a setting you like to use when you're say .... shooting a birthday party in a poorly lit restaurant? Is it really just trial and error? I really want an Orbis Ring Flash.

    My 18-105mm's F drops down to 3.5.
     
  2. Goontz

    Goontz TPF Noob!

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    I don't think there's any way someone can suggest a setting that will work without knowing exactly what the lighting is like, etc. You'll probably have to use the lowest aperture you can and up your ISO, which will then introduce noise with the D60 depending on how high you go. Aside from that: trial and error.
     
  3. Big Mike

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

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    Sometimes there are just limits to what you can do.

    If there isn't enough light, then you will have to compromise somewhere else. For example, you can take a photo even when it's quite dark, but you'll just need a slower shutter speed to get enough light. A slow shutter speed will render motion as blur though...so if the camera or the subject is moving, there will be blur.

    If you want to reduce blur, you will have to stick with a shutter speed that is fast enough. The rule of thumb for hand holding the camera while avoiding camera shake, is 1/focal length. So for a FL of 100mm, you would want a shutter speed of 1/100. Some say that you should figure in the crop factor, so you'd want a shutter speed of at least 1/150.

    Now, it's not that easy...you can't just set a shutter speed of 1/150. To get a proper exposure at that speed, you may need a large aperture. I think that lens has a max of F5.6 (when at 105mm), which is rather small. The only other option you have, is to crank up the ISO...but that introduces noise. And there is the compromise you'd have to make.

    This is why it's really helpful to have 'fast' lenses (large max aperture). Something like a 50mm F1.4 would let in a lot more light than your slow zoom lens, thus allowing you to get faster shutter speeds without having to max out the ISO. (depending on the light, of course).

    Sometimes, even all that is not enough (although, the best DSLR cameras are getting very good at high ISO, which allows them to shoot in lower light).
    So when that's not enough, you might have to consider adding your own light....flash being the most common way of doing that.

    Of course, the on-camera flash is going to give you poor results. It's just too small, too underpowered and too close to the lens. Get a flash that can bounce, or better yet, get a flash that you can use off-camera.
     
  4. Nikkor

    Nikkor TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Big Mike. You can delete this topic now. That answers my questions. I made a note of what you said. Grazie.
     
  5. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    aaah, what the h***, my 5cents.

    D60, I believe has same (don't quote me on it) sensor as D50, D70, D80, D200, D40 models have. Meaning shooting at higher ISOs will totally suck thus ISO400 is a safest way to start. You kit lens probably can't be open wider then 5.6 unless you shoot wider then you'll get wider apertures.
    SO... ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/60 (1/50) sec.
    Personally, I prefer a bit of grain/noise on BW thus if you go to ISO800, you'll get that extra stop but will be grainy - again, I have no problem with that but these are your images.

    There are some cheaper 3rd party flash units out there that are significantly cheaper. Most can be used in manual mode. If you do get one, try this starting point...
    ISO 400, 1/60sec, f/5.6, flash at 1/4power with stofen(similar) diffuser on facing straight forward - 10-15 feet from your subject, lighting should be ok ( but needs to metered). When you bounce the flash, boosting up to 1/2 power and a bounce card (self made) will usually be enough. However, it is hard to judge the situation w/o actually seeing it thus settings I through out are just starting points and NEED to be adjusted.
    Oh and ofcourse, unless you're shooting raw, preset your WB :)
     
  6. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  7. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Most people that visit TPF aren't members. Your question is of benefit to many people beyond yourself. They won't delete the thread.
     
  8. bennielou

    bennielou TPF Noob!

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    Unfortunately, you can not do it properly with what you have currently. I shoot in dark situations all the time, and the fix is to lift the flash off the camera, and shoot up or backwards. That is the only real way to do it. But you also have to shoot in manual to pull this off.
     
  9. Nikkor

    Nikkor TPF Noob!

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    I always shoot in manual. Plus now I have the SB-900 on my new D3S, so I don't need this thread anymore.
     
  10. bennielou

    bennielou TPF Noob!

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    I'm just trying to help you. But if you don't want it, that's cool.
     
  11. Nikkor

    Nikkor TPF Noob!

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    No, no worries. Wasn't trying to be rude. I was just saying I fixed the problem. There was no way around it, I needed a flash that moved like you and everybody else said.
     
  12. bennielou

    bennielou TPF Noob!

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    So let me ask you a question......just for conversations sake. How would you shoot a night time wedding with no flash from a long distance?

    I'm not picking on you, I am just asking.
     

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