Lighting issue... help?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by DGMPhotography, Feb 14, 2017.

  1. DGMPhotography

    DGMPhotography No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    So I was photographing an event (without flash) and kept having really inconsistent lighting in my photos. I checked my settings and everything was manual (i.e. settings weren't changing between photos). And I also looked away from the camera to see if the lights were flickering or something, but that wasn't the case either. I tried some different SD cards too and no dice.

    Any idea what could be causing this? I'm stumped.

    Screen Shot 2017-02-14 at 5.11.28 PM.jpg Screen Shot 2017-02-14 at 5.11.32 PM.jpg

    Screen Shot 2017-02-14 at 5.23.44 PM.jpg Screen Shot 2017-02-14 at 5.23.49 PM.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2017
  2. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Fluorescent lights and AC voltage. They're constantly cycling. You can't see it with your eye, but it's happening.
     
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  3. DGMPhotography

    DGMPhotography No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Oh really???

    That's so interesting!
     
  4. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Yep. 60 cycles a second.
     
  5. dasmith232

    dasmith232 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    There's a similar problem with Mercury(?)/Sodium(?) vapor lights used in various sports venues. I've seen it in tennis and ice hockey facilities. You'll either get light or no-light between shots, but also can get color shifts from frame to frame. Weird shades of red or green randomly appear in the shots.

    If your shutter is open long enough (1/60th or slower) then you won't see the effect. Of course you'll be dealing with camera shake or subject blur.
     
  6. DGMPhotography

    DGMPhotography No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yeah, I was thinking maybe a slower shutter speed might help, but then you have motion blur.

    Any other ways to counter this? I know the best solution is probably flash, but you don't always have that option.
     
  7. smoke665

    smoke665 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    The older fluorescent lights flickered at twice the supply frequency when new, but more as it nears the end of life. Using a shutter speed of less than 1/100 (or less) will give more consistent results. Bumping the ISO to get above the flicker synch isn't an option, as the fluorescent doesn't maintain a consistent temperature like an incandescent bulb, and the flicker acts like multiple flashes from a strobe causing banding in some cases. If you want consistent color and faster shutter speeds you have to use a speedlight.

    Footnote: The new T8 bulbs and CFL's operate at substantially higher frequency (25-60 KHz) which is beyond perception of the human eye. I've used some CFL's for lighting with no noticeable effects, but not T8's.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2017
  8. pixmedic

    pixmedic Critical Care Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    shoot in raw and fix the WB and exposure during editing.
     
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  9. astroNikon

    astroNikon 'ya all Bananas I tell 'ya Supporting Member

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    A D500 has a Flicker feature to compensate for this.
    Could always buy a new camera :)
     
  10. Destin

    Destin No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thus far, this has been the single biggest improvement I've noted with the new D500. The number of keepers from indoor sports shooting has gone up dramatically because I don't lose frames to the cycling lights anymore.

    Genius addition by Nikon
     
  11. Trever1t

    Trever1t Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I learned something new! I never shoot indoor lighting other than stage lighting, good one!
     
  12. DGMPhotography

    DGMPhotography No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I didn't know it did that! That's cool. No wonder it's such a great sports photo.
     

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