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PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 5:07 am 
Hello all,

I would really need some advice with regards to my Canon Rebel T3i. I am just learning about this camera. My daughters' are in a dance recital at the end of the month and I would really like to take some good shots. I have been practising at other friends' recitals but with no luck. I have a 55mm-250mm lens. I have tried automatic = very dark. I have tried no flash = blurry. I have tried sports mode = blurry. I have tried AV = not bad but still blurry. I have also tried TV = not bad but still blurry. I would really need someone to tell me what the proper settings would be for a dance recital. Obviously, the lighting will be low. I don't feel that I know enough yet to be able to judge properly and I would really hate to waste all my shots. Any prompt response would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

JPLD


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PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 8:20 am 
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Again, here, too?

OK, like I said on the other forum in response to your most recent post and more-or-less at the end of my previous post on this this forum:

OK, to be as straight forward as possible:

Tv mode
Shutter speed 1/200
ISO1600

The pics will be dark, but that's the best you can do with that lens (which is why I recommended some alternatives previously).

Mark


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PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 9:37 am 
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And if ISO 1600 is too dark, ISO 3200 is very high and the shots will be noisy but noisy shots are better than no shots at all.

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PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 7:29 pm 
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First thing is that you don't have the right tool for the job there. The 55-250 is a slow f5.6 lens. If you could get your hands on a fast 2.8 zoom or a prime like the 85/1.8, you could be letting in 4 times as much light with a 2.8 zoom and over 8 times as much light with the 85/1.8 prime. I understand the money may be an issue for you and prevent getting a faster lens now, but understand that you are operating at a severe disadvantage with that lens in that kind of lighting. The 50/1.8 is a cheap option if you can get close enough.

Do you have a speedlight? Can you use it? Can you use pop up flash?

First thing is make sure you are shooting raw files so you can adjust white balance and exposure in post production. Then make sure you are using AI servo AF setting so if your subject moves across the stage, the focus will move with them.

If you can't use flash, do this: Lighting output in these gyms will cycle with the AC current, so take some test shots in AV mode. Shoot wide open at f5.6 and raise your ISO until you get a fast enough shutter speed to stop the motion of the event which should be 1/500" preferably, but you may be limited by ISO and have to go down to 1/250" or 1/200". Check your exposure in your viewfinder of the test pictures and then remember what shutter speed it came at. Then switch to manual mode and dial in those settings and shoot them the rest of the night. With the cycling light output, you will get varying exposures so that is why manual helps lock in the right light.

If you can use flash, shoot in manual mode and select your max synch speed for shutter speed if using pop up flash (1/200") and f5.6. Start out with ISO of 800 and raise this if your pictures turn out too dark and lower it if they are too bright. If you have a speed light, turn on high speed sych and raise your shutter speed to 1/500".

The pop up flash of the t3i has a guide number of only 13 meters or 43 feet, but when you are using a slow f5.6 lens, your effective range is about 7.5 feet at ISO 100. Every time you raise the ISO 1 stop, you increase the range of your flash by 1.44 times. So at ISO 3200, you have an effective flash range of about 45 feet (66 feet at ISO 6400). If you are further away than that, your flash is more or less worthless.

I am not exactly sure of the automatic settings the camera chooses in the Rebel T3i, but it probably only picked a max ISO of 400. Selecting the ISO yourself in AV, TV or M modes may give your flash the added oomph you need. This caused the dark image in auto mode. No flash mode caused blur because the shutter speed wasn't fast enough. Same with sports mode, your lens is too slow for the lighting. What were your exact settings for the AV and TV shots?

You may want to post a sample image from your AV and TV shots with full exif information and we can help you tweak the exact settings.

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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 6:05 am 
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Have we all forgotten about Metering?

If its a normal stage where the stage is lit up bright and the audience is in Darkness - you should set the Metering mode to SPOT or PARTIAL metering.

If the whole place is lit up, leave the metering to the most general one: EVALUATIVE.

Other than that - ISO 3200 - BUT I dont know if the Rebel has an expanded ISO where you can se it to 2000 instead of 3200, if its too noisy.

Good luck.

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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 7:08 am 
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Leo wrote:
Have we all forgotten about Metering?

If its a normal stage where the stage is lit up bright and the audience is in Darkness - you should set the Metering mode to SPOT or PARTIAL metering.

If the whole place is lit up, leave the metering to the most general one: EVALUATIVE.

Other than that - ISO 3200 - BUT I dont know if the Rebel has an expanded ISO where you can se it to 2000 instead of 3200, if its too noisy.

Good luck.


Based on the OP's question, I don't think metering was ever mastered much less forgotten. If the OP is using the 55-250 on a crop camera, the venue would have to be as big as Yankee Stadium for that lens to not be able to fill the frame with the 'stage', but yes you do bring up a good bit of information for knowledge building. If the OP has parts of the dark audience in the frame, then spot or partial would be better.

Also the T3i has the same sensor as the 7D so it can go to 6400 without turning on the 12.8K custom function, but I did some reading up on the t3i. With the pop up flash, the camera automatically sets the ISO at 400 in basic modes. That means the max subject distance is about 15 feet from the camera for pop up flash when using those basic modes.

When in sports mode, the camera can auto select up to ISO 3200 if needed, so if that is still giving subject blurred images, then the OP is getting close to being maxing out with out getting a faster lens. ISO 6400 and higher isn't going to give very good results regardless.

Another thing the OP should do is check the setting for max ISO if using auto ISO to make sure it is not set at 400. Max it out at 6400 or at least 3200.

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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 7:40 pm 
Forget about all these comments telling you to use a particular ISO speed - the posters suggesting settings have absolutely no idea what the ambient light level is, so they can't tell, they're guessing.

You need to understand the exposure trio - google it, it applies to all cameras. As another poster suggested, you have to understand your camera's light meter, irrespective of whether you use aperture priority, shutter priority or manual.

My father used to ask me what the 'correct' settings were - it's a misnomer, there's no such thing.

After you understand exposure and metering, google for creative effects of shutter and aperture settings.

learn these simple concepts and your original question will be answered.


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