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Old Dec 24, 2003, 10:25 PM   #1
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Default First time D-rebel user & amueter moving into Dslr

Hi all,

After much consideration I a Point & shooter decided to upgrade, learn more and get better pics. So i brought the D-rebel.

While I am trying to learn I find it also very confusing. I was wondering if anyone can recommend some good beginner books on digital photograhpy that cover basic topics such as EV, AE, etc..

I also have a few questions and if anyone can give me a good deep explanation I would be incredibly grateful as i really don't understand alot of this stuff.

Questions:
I was wondering if anyone can explain this to me
"I have found that using the camera in M mode provides the best indoor flash shots because you're using center weight average metering and you can control both your flash speed and your aperature (to a limit)"

How do I control the flash speed on my d-rebel? And what exactly does the FEC do and how does it relate to EV and what are the differences?

I read the manual that came with the D-rebel but I don't understand exactly what the A=depth does, What's the difference between that and full auto or Landscape mode?

One more thing, I was taking pictures on auto of my kitchen. What keeps happening is this.
1.) the background is very sharp, middle area is sorta of sharp, area in front out of focus (when I aim at the background)
2.) The background is sorta of out of focus, middle is extremely sharp, area in front is out of focus (when I aim at the middle, halfway between the front area and the background)
3.) area in front is sharp, middle is sorta of sharp, background totally out of focus. (when I aim at the front)

All shots were taken using auto. THen I tried using A-depth. Same outcome. What am I doing wrong?

thanks
john
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Old Dec 25, 2003, 8:15 AM   #2
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Quote:
1.) the background is very sharp, middle area is sorta of sharp, area in front out of focus (when I aim at the background)
2.) The background is sorta of out of focus, middle is extremely sharp, area in front is out of focus (when I aim at the middle, halfway between the front area and the background)
3.) area in front is sharp, middle is sorta of sharp, background totally out of focus. (when I aim at the front)
This is called Depht Of Field (DOF) and is what makes a dSLR slightly different from most Point & Shoots where everything is almost in focus since they have a smaller image CCDs making their DOF much wider. You can control the DOF somewhat with the aperture. The reason I say somewhat is because as you close the aperture down the shutter speed will decrease and then you'll get a blurry image because of motion, but since you're indoor using flash, it's perfectly OK to try.
Set the camera on Av and increase the aperture (ie f-stop). the higher the number the more DOf you will have... The flash will then output the correct amount of lighting to compensate for the smaller aperture!

Quote:
How do I control the flash speed on my d-rebel? And what exactly does the FEC do and how does it relate to EV and what are the differences?
Don't worry about FEC (Flash Exposure Compensation) since you don't have one on the Digital Rebel! Use Flash Exposure Lock (FEL), it's the same button as AE lock but works when the flash is enabled.
http://www.stevesforums.com/phpBB2/v...947&highlight=
http://www.stevesforums.com/phpBB2/v...484&highlight=
ie the center weight metering is used exclusively by the FEL, so you don't need to switch the camera to manual or anything...
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Old Dec 25, 2003, 1:28 PM   #3
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Default another question

When shooting with the D-rebel, is it better to us automatic AF point selection or Manual AF point selection? I noticed that at times the Auto af selection keeps missing what I want to shoot. Which is better when you're shooting a scene with bigger DOF?

Need advice:
One of the rooms I'm shooting is about 15 feet long and 7 foot wide. 5 feet away from the wall is a vase and my camera setup is 5 feet away from the vase. 2 foot away from the vase is a chair. (which means the chair is between my camera setup and vase)
Camera Settings: Dial on Manual
F stop of F11 and a shutter speed of 1/20 with ISO 200. Manual AF point selection with Center AF point at the vase, flash on with FEL set.

Every picture I've taken has the Vase coming very sharp but the background wall still comes out a little out of focused. And chair that's two feet away from the vase is also a little out of focused. If i wanted to take a picture in which the chair + vase + background is in focus what settings should I be using?

Thanks
Merry christmas all
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Old Dec 25, 2003, 6:02 PM   #4
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Quote:
Camera Settings: Dial on Manual
F stop of F11 and a shutter speed of 1/20 with ISO 200. Manual AF point selection with Center AF point at the vase, flash on with FEL set.

Every picture I've taken has the Vase coming very sharp but the background wall still comes out a little out of focused. And chair that's two feet away from the vase is also a little out of focused. If i wanted to take a picture in which the chair + vase + background is in focus what settings should I be using?
You didn't say what lens you're using... but DOF also increases with wider lens:

ie I'm assuming you are using the kit zoom lens -> use the 18mm wide angle position @ the same f/11 (or higher) setting should get everything in focus if the tele position, or the focal lenght you're currently using can't span the entire wall, vase, + chair. You can then crop the image afterward and don't use the zoom to compose since the more you zoom in, the less of DOF you will have!


Quote:
When shooting with the D-rebel, is it better to us automatic AF point selection or Manual AF point selection? I noticed that at times the Auto af selection keeps missing what I want to shoot. Which is better when you're shooting a scene with bigger DOF?
I always use the central AF... It's sensitive to both horizontal and vertical details. The auto AF drives me wild, beside varying the exposure around which AF point it decides to pick. You want to be in control of the camera and not the other way around... which is why we all moved up to a dSLR, correct?

BTW in case you want to have control over the AF evaluative metering as well:
Partial metering is the 'spot' metering for the 300D! This is set automatically by the camera when the * (AE lock) button is depressed by the user on the Digital Rebel in any of the creative zone, check page 84 of the manual... This method uses the center area of approximately 9% the screen. Centerweighted is only available in manual, but again this too it can be overiden to 'spot'/partial when the * button is pressed. ie the user has control of the metering! This is also tabulated on page 122.
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Old Dec 25, 2003, 9:51 PM   #5
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recca,

I'd get a good book on photography, not on digital photography, things like correct exposure, depth of field etc. are universal to film or digital and I haven't seen a good book solely on digital that would be helpful with an SLR.

What you need to understand is how aperature (f-stops) affects DoF - smaller f-stops (more open) have a shallower DoF and higher f-stops give a longer DoF. But aperature affects the exposure, which means you need to adjust shutter speed. et cetera

Add into the mix the 'film speed' ISO setting and lens (shorter lenses have longer DoFs, telephotos have shallower DoFs).

I learned a lot by taking a (non-digital) photo course at the local arts centre. It may be well worth the effort.

My personal favourite 'learning' site on the net is photo.net - check out this link on exposure http://www.photo.net/making-photographs/exposure, it may be helpful.

The great thing about digital is that you can inexpensively experiment and you can get better feedback because the camera records the exposure settings in the EXIF data. Not knowing your computer setup I can't tell you how to look at this info.

If you look at my website you'll see the info that the camera captures when taking the image. Combine this with the photo.net guide and it's a good way to learn.
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Old Dec 25, 2003, 10:35 PM   #6
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Default Photography Books

Recca: I agree with the last poster. You need to get some good books on general photoraphy and read them. I will suggest two books to you as basic primers.

1. 'How to take good pictures' by Kodak
2. 'John Hedgecoe's New Book of Photography' by John Hedgecoe

These books will help to explain things with both text and photo's. Just ignore the section on films in these books. The rules of photography have not changes simply because you are using digital instead of film. These books will explain DOF, apeture, composition etc. to you. As far as I know they are both still in print. I agree with the poster that books on digital photography well nice won't answer most of the above questions. What I have found with digital photo books is that they spend a great deal of time on 'how to fix things in PhotoShop (or other packages). If you get it right in the camera the first time, you won't have to fix anything or at least will minimize what you do have to work through.

Hope that this helps.

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Old Dec 25, 2003, 11:14 PM   #7
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Default thanks

Thanks I will look for those books at barnes and noble. Hopefully they still carry it.

As for shot that i was trying to do I was using the lens kit that came with the D-rebel. 18-55 lens

I have that lens at it's widest of 18. No zoom. At this point I'm assuming (based on NHL) that the wide angle on the kit lens isn't wide enough to span the entire wall, vase, + chair. While this makes perfect sense for the forground where the chair is I don't understand why the back ground behind the vase is still slightly out of focus when I have a F11.

Setup:
Room 17 feet long, 7 foot wide
Vase 5 foot from rear wall
Camera 5 foot from Vase
Between Vase and cames is a chair. Chair is 2 foot away from the Vase

Camera setting:
Default lens kit at full wide, no zoom used
Manual, F stop of F11 at ISO200, shutter speed of 1/20, with pop-up flash, FEL/AEL
Manual AF selection. Center box is select AF point. When shooting, Center box(Af point) is directly on the Vase.
Room lighting: White Fluorescent light

I also tried using Manual. F stop of F18, ISO200, Shutter speed of 20 secs (with tripod), pop-up flash, FEL/AEL. Everything else the same.

In both situation the vase came out pretty sharp but the background & foreground was again little out of focused even though it was bright enough. (sometimes I even get overexpose on the whites in the pictures.)

What am I doing wrong with this setup? Is it because kit lens isn't wide enough to handle a large DOF? I mean it's only 17 feet. Should I be shooting the chair instead of the Vase if i wanted everything behind it to be sharp?

Thanks
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Old Dec 25, 2003, 11:20 PM   #8
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FYI

http://dfleming.ameranet.com/dofjs.html
You should have a pretty deep DOF, ie from ~2ft(@ 18mm f/11) to infinity... !

BTW the more distance you move the camera back from the closest object, the more it'll help the DOF.
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Old Dec 26, 2003, 12:41 PM   #9
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"You should have a pretty deep DOF, ie from ~2ft(@ 18mm f/11) to infinity... "

That's what i thought too but with the setup I have it's not happening. Could there be something wrong with my kit lens?

I took a few pics out the window at full wide angle(using kit lens) at the building across from me(Mid afternoon shots) and I noticed that the lower right and lower left corners of those pictures were kinda of out focus. Not so bad that you can't tell what it is. You can see the shape of the oject and tell what it is but all the details are just lost.

Do I have a lens prob perhaps?
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Old Dec 26, 2003, 6:44 PM   #10
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You might want to try another lens... especially stop down all the way.

My 17-35mm lens barrel marking @ f/16 for DOF pretty much spans the entire focusing range! The corners are always the worst but the lens should be sharp especially when it's that far away and stop down to f/11-18 (but then my lens is a full-frame and not designed for digital so the camera actually crops out the outside areas and mask out the offending corners if there is any...)
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