Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > General Discussion

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Oct 24, 2016, 12:28 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Decatur, GA
Posts: 2,053
Default Holiday Lights Without Tripod

Can anyone suggest good settings (I have a Nkon D500) for getting a massive display of Holiday lights all in focus and sharp but am not allowed to bring a tripod into the park/old fashion village type area where the event is held. i woul have loved to have done a 3 second or so exposure for the best possible light. I was thinking to use a 16-80mm f/2.8-4. Some lights are just on buildings and others are through an area all along walk ways....... approx 2 Million lights total. I also have a 70-200mm f/2.8 and 1.4x tele-extender.

Would f/5.6 be enough for sharpness throughout or should I stop down to f/8. I know it would be after dusk for the most part to well after dark (at least an hour or more) I don't want to stop down to far and get dark images. But I also know I can raise my ISO to 3200 without fear.

Thanks in advance for all the tips

davetv13 "Aka Dave From GA"
Photo 5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Oct 24, 2016, 11:41 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
TCav's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Washington, DC, Metro Area, Maryland
Posts: 13,534
Default

Are any of your lenses stabilized?

I caution you that you have never seen image noise until you've seen it in a photo of Christmas lights. I think that ISO 3200 is optimistic.

Try experimenting on typical lights in your neighborhood at night. The lights won't be the same, but the exposure settings should be very close.

At a distance of 25 feet, a focal length of 50mm, and an aperture of f/5.6, the DoF will be from 19 feet to 38 feet, but at 35mm, the DoF will be from 15 feet to 83 feet. Some OOF blur on distant lights might not be a bad thing, though, so experiment with that too. If you've got the time, try a variety of settings.
__________________
  • The lens is the thing.
  • 'Full Frame' is the new 'Medium Format'.
  • "One good test is worth a thousand expert opinions." - Tex Johnston, Boeing 707 test pilot.
TCav is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 24, 2016, 12:46 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
VTphotog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Extreme Northeastern Vermont, USA
Posts: 4,212
Default

If you can't use a tripod, how about a monopod? I have one that doubles as a walking stick, and works pretty well. It could give you enough extra edge to get decent sharpness at the lower shutter speeds you may need.
VTphotog is online now   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 25, 2016, 12:29 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Decatur, GA
Posts: 2,053
Default

Yes both lenses have VR. I regularly do zoo photography and get good photos at ISO3200 within our snake house. As for monopod I am guessing I could as it never said I couldn't. I also had the thought that I would see more noise in Christmas Lights as I saw more than my normal amount last year(using a K-3ii) fr whatever reason. Thanks for the DOF translation. The lights I need to photograph will be well before my neighborhood lights good up..... I will just have to take multi frames at different f-stops and then when I get home see what worked best. i know I am good at zoo work but based on last year with the extra noise and the back half f the photo (further lights) sometimes in focus sometimes not I wanted to ask if anyone had any magic tricks.

davetv13
Photo 5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 25, 2016, 4:58 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Australia, New South Wales central coast
Posts: 2,885
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Photo 5 View Post
Can anyone suggest good settings .... Would f/5.6 be enough for sharpness throughout or should I stop down to f/8. .... But I also know I can raise my ISO to 3200 without fear. Thanks in advance for all the tips davetv13 "Aka Dave From GA"
G'day mate

Several thoughts Dave -
When I do this type of shooting I set EV to -1,0 to counteract the meter's tendency to 'brighten' up otherwise dark subjects. Also I use 'continuous' a lot when hand-holding / monopodding (!!) long exposures, where the 1st image often has some blur from pressing the shutter, but follow-on images are just holding the beast steady. ISO - I don't know what your camera's max setting is, but I have found that the top 2 ISO numbers are often optomistic rather than really useful. On my Panny, I stop at 1600 rather than using the 3200 or 6400 that's on the dial

I would keep lenses under 200mm to minimise weight / wobble issues & stopping down 1 or 2 stops from max should be more than okay for the type of scenes you are describing

Hope this helps
Phil
__________________
Has Fuji & Lumix superzoom cameras and loves their amazing capabilities
Google me at Travelling School of Photography Australia
Recent images at http://www.flickr.com/photos/ozzie_traveller/sets/
Ozzie_Traveller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 25, 2016, 6:03 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Bangor,North Wales
Posts: 3,731
Default

Could you not bring in a wee table top tripod and rest the camera on whatever's available... which would make IS irrelevant. Utilizing bracketing ( if your metering gets fooled) and shooting RAW will give you the most latitude for PP.
I fear what you're trying to do hand-held will be very difficult to get worthwhile results... but wish you all the best...!
SIMON40 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 26, 2016, 6:30 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
TCav's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Washington, DC, Metro Area, Maryland
Posts: 13,534
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Photo 5 View Post
Yes both lenses have VR.
That should help a great deal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Photo 5 View Post
The lights I need to photograph will be well before my neighborhood lights good up.....
You don't need to wait for the Christmas lights to go up in your neighborhood. Do it with just the street lights, porch lights, and interior lights as seen through the windows. That should give you a good idea of what exposure settings you'll need with the Christmas lights you'll be shooting, and it will show you what kind of DoF you'll be dealing with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Photo 5 View Post
... I wanted to ask if anyone had any magic tricks.
Yeah. Good luck with that.
__________________
  • The lens is the thing.
  • 'Full Frame' is the new 'Medium Format'.
  • "One good test is worth a thousand expert opinions." - Tex Johnston, Boeing 707 test pilot.
TCav is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 26, 2016, 7:36 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Decatur, GA
Posts: 2,053
Default

Great ideas guys. I like the continuous idea and will practice on some outdoor lights and signs this weekend. Your latest ideas are great. Thanks

davetv13
Photo 5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 1, 2016, 8:15 PM   #9
NHL
Senior Member
 
NHL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: 39.18776, -77.311353333333
Posts: 11,511
Default

I'm with SIMON40, I used one of this: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...rk_2_mini.html

straddled it on a fence to shoot this: Niagara Falls

... and it fitted in my pocket
__________________
photos (ϕοτοσ), light
graphos (γραϕος), painting

Last edited by NHL; Nov 1, 2016 at 8:22 PM.
NHL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 2, 2016, 6:09 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
TCav's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Washington, DC, Metro Area, Maryland
Posts: 13,534
Default

The GorillaPod is also a good choice. It's much more flexible (obviously) than conventional tabletop tripods.
__________________
  • The lens is the thing.
  • 'Full Frame' is the new 'Medium Format'.
  • "One good test is worth a thousand expert opinions." - Tex Johnston, Boeing 707 test pilot.
TCav is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 7:19 AM.