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Old Dec 12, 2006, 2:49 PM   #1
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As a real newbie at manual mode, I think I finally understandDOF and how to set it. But, how do I begin to judge the shutter speed? Use the histogram? Low DOF with fast shutter and deep DOP with slow shutter?

Where does slow shutter speed end?

How about night time shots with all the gorgeous christmas city lights? I think I'd use wide DOf, but slower shutter here?

Now I know why AUTO mode is so convenient.............but I'd really like to learn to do Manual...................thanks for the help....
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Old Dec 12, 2006, 3:09 PM   #2
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Shutter speeds can range into minutes or longer in manual.

Aperture should be chosen according to the scene. The front of a house will require shallow DOF while an illuminated front yard would require deep DOF.

Be sure to bracket your settings by varying the aperture and shutter speed to get the best combination.

Be sure to use a tripod or other steady support.
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Old Dec 12, 2006, 3:43 PM   #3
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For normal photographyit is easiest touse aperture priority to adjust depth of field. Open the lens all the way for minimum depth of field and close it down for maximizing DOF. How much you can close it depends on how much shutter speed you need, and the camera will probably tell you the shutter speed it will use with a half press of the shutter.

If the camera is on a tripod you can obviously stop the lens all the way down since you can use whatever shutter speed it needs. If you are handholding you have to consider things like focal length and stabilization to determine what speed you can handhold at, and therefore how much you can stop down. In addition to the aperture you can also adjust the ISO to increase the shutter speed and allow a smaller aperture (larger number).

If you want to use full manual, set the aperture. Then consult the camera metering to determine how much shutter you need. It should work out the same as using aperture priority.

I think most people use the histogram to avoid blowing out highlights. In any automatic mode like aperture priority it is I think most common to adjust the histogram with EV shift.

For Christmas lights you normally use manual mode and a tripod with the shutter usually in seconds. Unless the lights are moving choose the lowest ISO and set the aperture to full wide if you want minimum DOF and stop it down if you need more DOF. Then use whatever shutter gives the image you want.

At f2.8 I would start about four seconds on the shutter. Then review the photo and see how it came out. Some people want just the lights and others want more of the building or whatever the lights are on. Longer exposures will give you more of the building and less will give you mostly lights if there isn't other lighting.

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Old Dec 12, 2006, 5:13 PM   #4
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Thanks so much. I'm going to try playing around with this tonight--it isn't raining, and see what happens. I'll try both Aperture priority and then manual.

I know---there's nothing like experience---but I gotta start somewhere...
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