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 Post subject: low light question
PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2007 5:40 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2007 5:29 pm
Posts: 7
Location: sydney, australia
hi all,

i'm new here. firstly i'd like to thank camera labs for your reviews, thanks gordon. i just bought a new nikon d80 + 18-70mm lens based on reviews and comments here.

i haven't been able to take photos outdoors properly yet. so, i'm just indoors for now and i take mostly night photos.

does anyone have any tips on snapping in low light conditions? what i've been doing is using high ISO(1000) and use shutter priority around 1/6 if not it gets too dark. my photos are pretty shaky from the slow shutter. i dont really know how to use the flash properly.

thanks in advance!!


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2007 6:08 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2007 10:55 am
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Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
I have the exact same problem with flash... :) You can take a look at this thread and see if it helps, it helped me at least.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2007 6:35 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2007 5:29 pm
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Location: sydney, australia
thanks for the link rune. i've read that before buying and after i've tried my camera, it makes more sense now. but i still have the problems. like thomas said, the mixture of flash and ambient light is a bit weird.

going with gordon's recomendation, which is to increase ISO, what kind of shutter speeds would be good? how do i take advantage of the metering system to know what shutter speed or aperture to use?


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2007 9:55 pm 
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Location: Queenstown, New Zealand
Hi Kinteru, welcome to the Cameralabs forums - and congrats on your purchase!

I'm a great believer of using Program mode for almost everything, and manually setting the ISO to suit the subject / lighting. The 3D matrix metering on the D80 is so good, it'll work out the best exposure.

So if I were you in low light, I'd set your D80 at 800 ISO or if it's really getting dim, 1600 ISO, but leave the mode to Program and let the camera work it all out for you.

Do keep your eye on the shutter speed though: without stabilisation, you should try for shutter speeds of at least 1/30 with your lens at 18mm, or 1/100 with it at 70mm to avoid camera shake. If you have shutter speeds slower than this, you run the risk of shake.

Of course it all depends how steady you and your subjects are, but certainly a shutter of 1/6 with a non-stabilised lens is very ambitious unless you're rock steady!

Gordon


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2007 1:31 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2007 12:40 am
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Location: Scotland
I'd say shutter-priority is the way to go. Set a minimum for camera shake and use AutoISO to boost the levels.

Alternatively, wait until tomorrow and get outside.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2007 3:05 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2007 5:29 pm
Posts: 7
Location: sydney, australia
hey guys,

i have tried P mode but haven't quite gotten used to it yet. when i did, i couldn't get the camera expose enough. the suggested speed is always too slow making the the picture shake. i will try it again and adjust the ISO's and see what happens. i don't have flickr yet but i'll post stuff up soon. :D

i've been going with shutter speed but it gets abit messy when i consider the ISO. i like my pics a bit moody/darkish and abit unreal when i shoot in low light. so with P mode, i can't make the shutter any faster, the camera won't let me.

what kind of changes must i do when flashes come into consideration? sorry for being too long.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2007 5:59 pm 
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Well the flash almost instantly damages your "lo-light mood" so only use it, when there is no other chance. If you're in automatic-mode the D80 decides when to use the built-in flash and it makes some pretty decent photos too:
Image
http://www.flickr.com/photos/thomasrubach/373755621/
B.t.w.: This is an example of the shadow that the lens-hood on a 18-200mm can cast, when used together with the built in flash. My advice: remove the lens-hood when the sun is down!

In P/S/A/M-mode the flash not comes up automatically but has to be activated by the flash-button. Then the cam locks to 1/60sec and tries to put enough light on the scene. So the chances are good, that the pic does not suffer from shake, but it may be underexposed.

When I'm shooting under low-light conditions and don't want the flash to take control here is my advice:
- buy a lens with anti-shake (VR in Nikon-speak)
- set the ISO to 800 or use Auto-ISO (your D80 easily copes with high-ISO :) )
- set the program to "S" (=shutter) with 1/15 with the VR-lens and 1/60 with a standard lens. That way you're pretty sure that you don't have shake-probs and the cam ups the IOS only, when fully open aperture does not give enough light.

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