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Old May 24, 2010, 1:30 PM   #1
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Default taking pics in an auditorium far off?

Newbie here with a Canon Rebel XSi. I went to my son's preschool graduation yesterday. It was held in a school auditorium. The lights were off but the stage lights were on. I used my telephoto lens (with IS). I would have liked to have been able to zoom a little further since we were sitting pretty far back, but the problem was the pics weren't clear....and were a little dark. I adjusted them with Corel Paint Shop Pro PhotoX2, but they still don't look very clear. I know flash won't work that far off. What does one have to do to get good clear pics in that situation? Is it even possible without a professional setup?
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Old May 24, 2010, 3:00 PM   #2
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What setting did you use? From one amateur to another, you can try going to AV mode, then go into tools and set ISO to max, which I think is 1600 for that camera. You can then use the dial to open aperture to the max, and the camera will set the shutter speed. I have the same problem, if you do not have a lense with a f/2.0, it is hard. The only thing that helps is setting your ISO to max. I have a XT, which is the older version of yours, and with a canon 85mm 1.8 I get good results, but no zoom. hope this help
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Old May 24, 2010, 3:18 PM   #3
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Tonya - one big issue you mentioned that is very important - even with your longest lens you were still too far away. You're not going to get good results when you're too far away. The answer is - you need to move closer. Even so, it's going to be tough going with an f5.6 lens.
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Old May 24, 2010, 7:38 PM   #4
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Old May 25, 2010, 6:14 PM   #5
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We sometimes must decide between being a nice audience member, or a serious image grabber. The former sits in back and hopes. The latter finds good shooting position(s), studies the light, maybe brings an external flash, maybe uses a faster lens, etc.

I was in a similar situation recently, at a music show in a church. I was as nice as I could be -- I sat not too far back, right on the aisle, with a good view of the action. The serious lensers were in the front wings with tripods up; they (and others) used flash, but I stuck with available light. I'd taken my fastest lenses -- 50/1.4, 85/2, 135/2.5 -- and I used each for various fields-of-view, rather than zooming myself up and down the aisle. The manual 85/2 saw the most use.

Yes, I could have set myself in front with slower 35-135 or 70-200 zooms, or my 18-250 superzoom, and a flash -- but that would have wasted the stage lighting, unless I'd placed a wireless slave flash WITH the stage lights. If you can't control the lights, the best options are just faster lenses and higher ISO. Damn, reality is so relentless sometimes...
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