Suggested Settings

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by CNCO, Apr 10, 2010.

  1. CNCO

    CNCO TPF Noob!

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    I am going to shoot a school play and possibly a fashion show. I was told no flash during the play. Any tips on what my aperture and shutter speed should be?

    Bear with me, I'm still learning.
     
  2. Johnboy2978

    Johnboy2978 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    No flash means you're probably looking at a lot of noise. So, I would take my fastest lens, that is the one w/ the widest aperture (smallest number, f/1.4, 1/8, 2.8, etc) and probably a tripod. I would start w/ ISO 100 and the widest aperture to see what shutter speed you're looking at. You're probably going to need something around at least 1/125 to avoid motion blur. So you'll just have to keep upping the ISO until you get there. You'll probably be in the neighborhood of ISO 800 or 1600 and a good aperture to get to that point. Then you're going to need neat image or noise ninja to smooth out some of the noise.
     
  3. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    f/22 for the aperture and 1/3000 of a second on the shutter. You'll get very consistant images. All black. ;)

    Without knowing how much light there will be no one can tell you what settings to use.

    You'll need to use the light meter in the camera viewfinder and adjust accordingly.

    What is the speed of the lens you will be using? That will determine how high you'll need to set the ISO to.
     
  4. Vinny

    Vinny TPF Noob!

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    As KmH said it all depends on the available light. More than likely you are going to be running at a high ISO, which means you are going to want as much light as possible ... possible slow shutter speeds and high aperture. Keep in mind that sharpness of the picture has a direct reltionship to the focal length and shutter speed, shutter speed = 1/focal length but with the vibration reduction on lenses you may get away with a slightly slower speed. Then there is motion blur.

    Depending on how large an auditorium it is I would use that Nikon 55-200 if it's a 1.4 or the Quantaray, again if it's a 1.4.

    To give an example I had used a 205mm zoom setting using a film camera using 400 speed film (I think ... may have been 800 speed) to take photos of my son in a band concert in high school and it was too slow an ISO, couldn't get any pictures worth anything. Now that I went digital, I'm hoping to be able to capture those moments having higher ISOs available at my fingertip vs a local drug store not having high ISO film. Tripods are another story, if you can use one so much the better.
     
  5. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    The 55-200 is a 1:4-5.6. (f/4-5.6, not f/1.4-5.6)

    He has a couple of typo's in his signature (the 70-300 is also 1:4-5.6).

    The only glass CNCO has that is fast enough is the 50 mm f/1.8. It doesn't have the reach, unless he's in one of the very front rows, and really needs to be stopped down to at least f/2.8 for sharp focus and enough depth-of-field (DOF).

    The D80's ISO performance is such his usable ISO pretty much ends at ISO 400, but noisy photos are better than blurry photos.

    Shooting in low light is one of the toughest situations in photography, and one of the main reasons serious shooters pay several thousand dollars for a camera body that has enough ISO capability so that supplimental lighting isn't needed (D700, $2500). They then spend a couple of thousand more dollars for a lens that is up to the task. (AF-S 70-200 f/2.8G VRII, $2300)

    Entry-level consumer camera bodies and kit lenses just do not have the capabilities to shoot quality images in low light without flash, regardless the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO settings.

    I would recommend CNCO sell the 18-135, 55-200, and the 70-300. Add to those $$$'s enough additional $$$'s to get a good used AF 80-200 mm f/2.8D. Then sell the D80 to fund acquiring a good used D90.

    There is probably not enough time for that strategy to help for the upcoming play and fashion show, but it will get CNCO a lot closer to what he needs for the next one.

    I recommend the following mid-level lens lineup for Nikon dSLR cameras having a focus motor in the body:

    AF-S 12-24 mm f/4G (this is a DX lens)
    AF 24-85 mm f/2.8-4D
    AF 80-200 mm f/2.8

    If you gotta have 300 mm:
    AF-S 300 mm f/4D

    Certainly everyone prioritizes their camera gear expenditures differently, but each piece of camera gear has it's technical limitations.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2010
  6. Vinny

    Vinny TPF Noob!

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    I've been out of photography for many years (except for point and shoot ... that doesn't count) and honestly I having a little trouble with some of this digital terminology. Back when I was seriously into photography you mentioned you had a lens with a f of whatever; never saw the terminology 1:4-5.6. But then again I believe zooms had a fixed maximum aperture - I need to look at my old zooms.

    As far as the camera body, I never researched older Nikons enough to know what their highest ISO usability is and I just assumed that it had a high enough ISO to handle really low light situations. The research I did for my camera led me to the Nikon D90 since it had decent high ISO performance along with lenses that were deemed pretty good (not great); at least in the on-line research I did. I would imagine that some of the noise could be taken out by processing the photo, I don't know though as I have yet to seriously process one.

    As far as spending $1000's of dollars for equipment ... some of us have money limitations and get the best they can afford and dream about what they would like to have. Even some of us without endless pockets are serious about things and live within our limitations. And really serious photographers scoff at using a SLR (digital or 35mm), their only medium is a large format camera ... but it is kind of hard to shoot sports toting around a 8x10 Hasselblad!

     
  7. Felix 222

    Felix 222 TPF Noob!

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    throw the 50mm 1.8 on the crop body, open up the aperture, and lower the iso as much as possible before motion blur.
     
  8. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Yes, that's why I closed with: ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑.
     
  9. CNCO

    CNCO TPF Noob!

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    I pretty much use the 18-135 all the time. I enjoy the 50mm fixed because its so fast and amazing quality. The 70-300 is all i have at that focal length but to be honest the macro setting is pretty good.

    Eventually when I do more photography Ill buy a nice lenses like the 80-200 f 2.8. A grand for a lenses isnt the best investment right now.
     
  10. Vinny

    Vinny TPF Noob!

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    Since all your zooms aren't extremely fast (mine aren't either) my suggestion is to get there early to get a seat close up unless you're the "staff" photographer for this then you'll be in the back. If the play is bright you may have a chance at decent photos. Unfortunately, even with fast lenses you might have a slight proble with a shallow depth of field - everything is a tradeoff.

    Have you tried your D80 with higher ISOs yet?


     
  11. jeffreyamanning

    jeffreyamanning TPF Noob!

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    My suggestion is to put your camera on shutter speed priority with auto ISO. Try to avoid the motion blur ruining your photos by choosing 1/125 or faster as someone else suggested. Play with it and try to find the best exposure. They may end up a little grainy, but at least you're not having to deal with 6 inches of motion blur around people and objects.
     

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