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Old May 6, 2006, 10:30 AM   #1
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Hi, two days ago I did my first shooting with my D50. Mixed results. I think I did not do rightsettings. A frriend was with me. He has a Fuji S9000. He always shoots in auto mode. Most of his photos come clean: sharp and in-focus. None of the photos are overblown. So I tried auto mode on my D50: wow, highligths could damage the LCD . Tried P mode: rather the same and many blurry photos. Shooting using those two modes, the photos were totally unusable. So I went manual. Took me hours to figure out speed and aperture but I manage to get it right. Now no highlights but one blurry picture out of three. Speed: 1/4 second, F6, F7.1. ISO 200. *Matrix.* AF-single. Most of the time I underexposed the photos to avoid highlights.* I swear, I* depressed the shutter only when the in-focus indicator told me to.* So I'd like to know why my friends's S9000 auto mode gives well highlighted photos when D50's auto mode don't and how could I figure out fastly and accurately how to set aperture and speed in studio lighting conditions? I loved this experience and I want to do it again. I am very intrigued by the fact that the in-focus indicator would tell me the AF was done. Plus, I carefully chose the focus zone to compose my photo. If you think it would be best, I could UL a* photo or two of the shoot. But one thing for sure: we were all blown away by the quality and the richness of the coulor. Awsome![img]/forums/images/emoticons/icon_lol.gif[/img]Thanks a million times friendsGermain
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Old May 6, 2006, 10:44 AM   #2
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Karmin wrote:
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Speed: 1/4 second, F6, F7.1. ISO 200. �Matrix.� AF-single. Most of the time I underexposed the photos to avoid highlights.� I swear, I� depressed the shutter only when the in-focus indicator told me to.� So I'd like to know why my friends's S9000 auto mode gives well highlighted photos when D50's auto mode don't and how could I figure out fastly and accurately how to set aperture and speed in studio lighting conditions?
You're getting blurry photos because your shutter speeds are way too slow (unless you're using a tripod and shooting stationary subjects).

As for the highlights, what kind of studio lighting? What metering mode are you using?

If you're using radio controlled strobes (or PC Sync Port attached strobes), your camera is not going to know that they are there. Instead, it's going to meter for ambient light, and when the strobes fire, you may get overexposed images.

If they are strobes, just keep the aperture the same and use faster shutter speeds (the flash burst is very short with a strobe, and only aperture will impact the amount of light your camera sees from them). Using a slower shutter speed can allow more ambient light in the image. But, if it's enough to expose your subject, you'll get motion blur if shutter speeds are not fast enough (and 1/4 second is too slow).

I'd try around 1/60 to 1/125 second as a starting point, using the same aperture you got good exposure with. Then, open up the aperture a bit more (smaller f/stop number) as needed if they are underexposed (use test shots to get it right).


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Old May 6, 2006, 1:57 PM   #3
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Hello again,The lighting in the studio was obtained with three big spotlights giving rather white light, not warm yellowish light. As I said, the most powerful one was located at left of the subject, the second behind and the third at right in order of "power" if I can say so. No external flash at all. I did not use the built-in flash either. Camera was mounted on a tripod. Metereing: Matrix (default). My friend's Fuji S9000 exif: 1/14, F3.8, ISO 200. I still wonder why the D50 Auto mode would produce blownouts. Anyone has a clue?Thanks a million times againGermain
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Old May 6, 2006, 2:38 PM   #4
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Any camera has a limited dynamic range that it can capture, and metering behavior is going to vary by camera model.

I'd expect the Nikon to have much better dynamic range (the S9000 is not known to be very good in this area, based on reviewer opinions I've read, probably because it's trying to stuff 9 million photosites into a sensor that's much smaller than the one in your Nikon).

You may want to upload a photo or two including the EXIF so that members can see what you're talking about. Are you sure you didn't have some of the camera settings changed from defaults (for example, contrast set higher)?

As for the blur, was your subject stationary? 1/4 second is too slow for a non-stationary subject (i.e., a person).

Also, even if you use a tripod, you can get some camera shake if you're not careful. So, use of a self timer or remote release is preferred at those kind of shutter speeds. You've also got mirror slap to contend with, and your D50 doesn't have a mirror lockup feature to avoid the vibration at shutter speeds that slow.

As for your use of manual exposure, that's fine. But, I'd have selected some settings with faster shutter speed (either opening up the aperture and/or using a higher ISO speed to get shutter speeds up to a reasonable level).

If you had blown highlights, the easiest way to adjust exposure in non manual modes would have been to use Exposure Compensation (that's what it's there for).

If the metering is overexposing areas you want correctly exposed, simply use a -EV setting and the camera will expose darker than the meter thinks it should expose.

If the metering is underexposing areas you want correctly exposed, use a +EV setting and the camera will expose brighter than the meter thinks it should expose (and I'd make sure that you didn't have it set that way to begin with, causing your problem).



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Old May 6, 2006, 4:31 PM   #5
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Hi again, I UL two of the photos taken that day. They're original only resized. I did notice that my camera had the Auto-ISO setting on as suggested on the Ken Rockwell site (there's a topic aout that). Some of the blownup photos were taken at ISO 800. Could there be a link?Thanks again for your help, Germain
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Old May 6, 2006, 4:50 PM   #6
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That one was taken using manual exposure, but the exposure doesn't look too bad to me (other than it looks like you've got an area where the lighting was reflecting off of the model).

It is a bit blurry. But, that could be from the slow shutter speeds used (that one was at 1/8 second) if you had focus lock.

How far away from the model were you? Are you sure you weren't too close to focus? I can't judge the scale by looking at it.




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