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 Post subject: Noise v light dilemma.
PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2011 10:56 am 
Firstly i would like to say a big helllo to everybody on this forum. I have followed the Nikon forum for many months but this is my first post.

Sorry if this seems to drag but here goes :wink:

My hobby is photographing Dog Agility and my D5000 coupled with my 70-300 lens has been fine to a degree. When the light is reasonable pictures are pin sharp. With the speed the dogs run i need a shutter speed of 1/800 - 1/1000 sec @ F5.6. This is great when i can shoot at ISO 400 or less but when in bad light i really struggle.

I have now been asked to shoot at some indoor shows. The problem I will have is my camera will really struggle with the light and even with the ramped up ISO i will end up with either pin sharp photos that are totaly underexposed or well exposed photos that are blurred, neither of which is acceptable.

I need another camera to shoot indoors that must be able to handle the low light coupled with the fast shutter speeds required
Im looking at upgrading to either the D7000 or the D700. Ideally i would like to think the D7000 will be upto the job. I need to use a lot of the zoom on my 70-300 which is great with the multiplier of the DX sensor but i know i will struggle to get close enough with my current lens using a D700.

Will the D7000 be up to the job. I dont want to buy it and find i needed the D700, which we all know is fantastic in low light.

Many thanks in advance.

J.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2011 11:36 am 
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Location: St. John's, NL, Canada
Welcome to the forum Janner.

Seems as if your willing to spend the money on a new body... my recommendation to you is two buy one or two flashes - and perhaps some umbrellas and stands. Nikon's SB-600's are great but I'm not sure if they communicate natively with your D5000. You might need to buy some flash triggers. Which in case, perhaps buying one flash will fill up you budjet.

Either way, I really think flashing is the way to go.

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Trevor Harris

Nikon D200
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YN-560 II
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Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8
Nikon Series E 50mm f/1.8
Nikon AF-S 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2011 12:30 pm 
Thanks for your reply Trevor.

Unfortunately using a flash just isnt possible. The size of the arena the dogs run around would make using any form of flash totaly impracticable. Also the fact that i shoot in bursts to get the best shot would mean i could not use a flash anyway.

All i really want to know is whether the D7000 can handle low light at high ISO (upwards of 6400) coupled with a fast shutter speed of 1/800 - 1/1000 sec.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2011 12:43 pm 
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Hi Janner.
Flash would seem the obvious way to go, but not sure how distracting it would be for the dogs.

The D7000 copes better than most @ higher ISO (not sure how it compares against the D700 though) but ultimately when you get up above 3200 it's gonna show.

Do you use any NR progs? eg Noise Ninja, Neat Image, Tapaz de-noise, etc etc

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Image btw,He who dies with the most toys, WINS!
Nikon D800E & D700 bodies + Nikon 200-400mm F4 VR1, 50mm F1.4G, 16-35mm f/4G VR, 105 F2.8 VR macro, 70-300mm lenses. A couple of filters, Giotto tripod & ballhead. Lowepro Slingshot 302 AW
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Last edited by oldCarlos on Tue Nov 22, 2011 1:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2011 1:00 pm 
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Location: The Netherlands
I would look at buying a faster lens, instead of a better body. Look at the Sigma 70-200 F/2.8 for instance.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 2:42 am 
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Posts: 368
I have the D7000 and D90 (the D90 having the same imager as the D5000).

There is a difference between the two, but it's not dramatic, though the 6fps of the D7000 is OK to have). Maybe a stop, but my opinion is not scientific.

A 70-200 f2.8 lens would be reasonable, though you would lose focal length, and focus will be more critical at f2.8. The 300mm f2.8 would tend to be expensive.

Bit of a conundrum. It would be good if you could borrow an f2.8 lens of acceptable focal length and see how you like it before committing money.

The D7000 will get you a little extra headroom, but I'd recommend trying the lens first. The D5100 has the same imager as the D7000 but I couldn't comment on its ergonomics (the D7000's are excellent).

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 6:35 am 
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Are you restricted to any sort of strict budget? If not, go for a 300mm f/2.8, a D3s and an SB-900 :lol:

However, I'm assuming that you're restricted and can't afford gear like that which will cost you upwards of $15,000. I think that three options could help you.

Regarding upgrading to a D7000, you won't see a huge difference. The D7000 will be better for sure, you'll be able to go up to ISO 25 600 in a pinch (hopefully you won't need that, though!), and it's generally a bit cleaner. If it's too noisy, you'll also be able to reduce it to almost nothing with NR software such as, my personal favorite, Noise Ninja. The extra resolution doesn't help too much, but if you make huge prints it may be nice to have. What will make the biggest differences would be the faster 6 FPS shooting to capture the action, plus the external controls to quickly change settings. Those features will make sure that you're there to get the shot and you're given the opportunity. Of course, that doesn't mean that your photos will be any better if you don't know what you're doing!

Your next option would be to purchase an external speedlight flash. An SB-600, SB-700 or SB-800 would probably fit you nicely, you'll then be able to bounce light and have more control over the lighting of your subject. I don't regret purchasing my flash, it's great in low light. However, you'll have to make sure that you'll be allowed to use the flash near the dogs. I've done some obedience in the past as well, I do have three dogs of my own, and I don't think that they'd react too badly to a flash, but that's my dogs.

Your third and probably best option would be to purchase a faster lens. An f/2.8 zoom would be great, however they're very expensive. The Nikon offering is $2200 new, but second hand versions of previous generations can be snagged for as little as $800 or $900. New versions from off brands such as Sigma or Tamron run <$1000, so that may be a better investment. You'll lose 100mm at the telephoto end, so if you need the 300mm it may not be a good idea, but otherwise 70-200 f/2.8 zooms are excellent lenses for telephoto use. If you need the 300mm, consider a 300mm f/4 AF-S.

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-Evan

Gear: 7 Nikon Nikkor AI-S and AF-S lenses, SB-700 flash, Nikon D7000, Nikon FM, variety of accessories

"There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs."
- Ansel Adams


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 8:01 am 
Thank you all very much for your informative replies. Ive done a bit of digging and using a flash for the indoor shows is a no go.

As for lenses i have had the oportunity to use one of these http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/80200afs.htm

The lack of VR is a moot point as im shooting at such high speeds. Ive found it to be a great lens and a hell of a lot cheaper than the later 70-200. The extra 10mm i lose doesnt matter either as im normally shooting at the long end anyway.

Now the major draw back.... The D5000 doesnt have an internal screwdrive and manual focus is a non starter due to the nature of what i am photographing.

It seems that i will get myself a D7000 and i can pick up a second hand 8-200 F2.8 for £350 from a friend.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 8:06 am 
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I've just been shooting some evening/night beach football, which is in a similar sized arena and I need shutter speeds in the same ball park.

The competition takes place over 5 days, with this evening being day 2. On day 1 I took my D700 and lenses. Auto ISO, with a minimum shutter speed of whatever your requirements are is the way to roll, along with AF-C.

Last night I was using the 70-300mm VR, and needed up to ISO4000-5000 at f6.3 and 1/800th second. I later tried my 85mm f1.4 for action nearer my position, safe in the knowledge that I could crop and still have plenty of detail. I was hitting 1/800th or 1/640th at f2, with ISO never going above 500.

Now tonight I'm taking two bodies. The D700 will have the 70-300mm and the D90 will have the 85mm f1.4 (127mm equivalent on crop). I think this accentuates your possibilities in two ways.

1. A body with greater high ISO capability is a way to go. I'm getting perfectly usable results up to ISO6400 so know I'm safe.

2. A fast lens CAN negate the need to go for a faster body, as long as the D5000's autofocus can keep up with the action in your environment and the focal length is OK.

Then you have the crop v. full frame argument. For dogs, you'll be needing as much mm as you can manage, or playing safe and cropping in post. The D7000 will give you benefits there as you will have ample resolution to crop and have sharp results, even at higher ISOs, as long as the autofocus speed of the 70-300mm (it can hunt in lower/differing light) can keep up.

Hey - ideally you'd have a D3S with 200mm f2, 400mm f2.8 and 1.7 TC but we can't all spring to that setup! I think the D7000 is the way to go as faster primes with the focal length you require are either way too expensive or cheaper and not quite fast enough focussing to track (thinking the good old 180mm f2.8 here - very underrated but maybe more up to equestrian indoor sports rather than dogs)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 8:12 am 
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And you're right - any flash you require for shooting dogs in an arena would be retina burning for anyone with 100m! Unless you can go with a wireless radio triggered rig with lights on every jump, which might kinda put the dogs off!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 9:28 am 
Thanks for the reply Phil, like you say a faster lens can negate the faster body but there is no way i can afford £1600 for the 70-200 VRII 2.8.

The downside of getting the 80-200 2.8 is it has no internal screwdrive. No problem if im shooting static or slow moving objects but for dog agility photography it just wouldn't work.

Outside in good light my 70-300 is great and the AF is pretty damn good if im honest. Getting a D7000 wont be a bad thing as it is a much better body than my D5000 plus then i will have a backup camera which i dont have at the moment.

This is the type of photography i do, both shots taken with my D5000 and my 70-300

Image

Image


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 11:30 am 
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Location: Scotland
You could also look at your local hire shop and try both approaches before you buy. Get the faster lens(es) and the different bodies for 1 show and see which gives you the best results for the way you shoot.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 4:41 pm 
this is as much a question and thought as anything

In low light arent most auto focus systems going to struggle a bit? Could this be solved with a bit of planning and pre focusing. Now one advantage you have with Dog agility is that they are going to be following a pre determined path. You'll just need to identify initially where it is the shot you want is likely to appear. With a bit of planning and technique you could probably identify a series of locations around a course where you could set up for each shot before the dog got there.

There is a fundamental principal that "Cameras Love Light"

If your light is lacking you're going to have to use a bit of cunning to get the shots not just new kit


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 5:26 pm 
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With the D5000 noise should not be an issue up to ISO 1600. Just make sure you get the most out of your files. At the higher ISOs the sensor produces noise at two or more stops below white and the closer to black the worse it is. So expose to the right as much as you can. Personally, I would try using slower shutter speeds on a tripod/monopod to get some nice motion blur and create a more compelling image. Who says motion has to be perfectly frozen? Photography is a form of art and not engineering.
Another thing about noise is that in 90 percent of all images it is post processing which worsens it: Try to avoid brightening dark areas and sharpening filters.


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