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Old Oct 9, 2006, 12:27 PM   #1
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Last night, I went to a concert, had excellent seats & made a number of photos using my 35mm SLR Film camera, 1600 ISO speed film, Nikon FE, and a 70-210mm zoom lens (Quantaray). No flash. I'd have to get the numbers off the lens, which I'll do tonight.

The photographer from the local newspaper was there, and made photos from a similar vantagepoint. I'm not sure of the setup he was using though. I've emailed him to ask.

His photo in the paper turned out much better than most all of mine did.

http://ws10.ipowerweb.com/chathamf/m...Karen/SamBush/

is the link to all of my photos.

His photo turned out much better.

This has me thinking (re-thinking) looking at a DSLR camera and its features, specifically, the ISO 1600 & 3200 that's available on a few cameras.

The one absolute thing I have to have with a DSLR is a camera capable of making good photos in low light, without a flash.

As you'll notice in all of mine, even the photos where his face photographed well, his hands did not.

Does anyone here make any photos with DSLR's similar to the ones I've got here (using zoom lens, low light, no flash)? Would appreciate any opinions & experiences.

SC




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Old Oct 9, 2006, 1:09 PM   #2
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I am not sure but consider these possibilities -

he probably used a better lens made of better glass

he could have had a wider aperture, which allowed for faster shutter speeds

Quantaray is an ok brand for lenses, but I think there are better brands. I suggest going to a photo shop or two and asking around.

I have a Pentax *ist DS digital SLR. I "splurged" on a decent prime lens with autofocus and was instantly impressed with the quality of the pictures it allowed me to take.

In your case, you might spend as much for a really good lens as for the camera itself to get the kind of pictures you want.


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Old Oct 9, 2006, 2:10 PM   #3
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robbo wrote:
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I am not sure but consider these possibilities -

he probably used a better lens made of better glass

he could have had a wider aperture, which allowed for faster shutter speeds"

In your case, you might spend as much for a really good lens as for the camera itself to get the kind of pictures you want.
I understand what you're saying about Quantaray lenses. Sort of like quantifying the differences between "Acceptable" "Good" and "Great".

I will double-check my camera, but I am pretty sure I had it set at its widest aperture. I am thinking too that the meter in the camera set to take a photo pretty fast.

I had been leaning away from the Nikon D80, a camera I had only been considering since I owned a 35mm film camera as well, and would be able to use my Nikkor macro lens and the 70-210mm manual lenses I already had. However, the thing I didn't like about the Nikon was that it didn't have the Image Stabilization in it, and I think was up to 1600 ISO. Some of the others I had been looking at had either the Image Stablization or 3200 ISO available.

My short list of cameras are the Nikon D80, the Canon Rebel XTI, and the Pentax K10D.

However, I don't want to lay out $1,000 + and get back photos like the ones I got from my 35mm.

What is a good lens to use with each of those cameras? Anything I need to look at to weigh between the two? How do you tell a good, fast lens from a not-so-good, not-so-fast one?

SC


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Old Oct 9, 2006, 2:17 PM   #4
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The Pentax K100D haveanti-shake build in and good ISO 1600 - ISO 3200.

There are fast lenses available for it too!

Is the high ISO performance of the Nikon D80 as good as the Pentax K100Ds'? (It also have ISO 3200 via ISOboost)

Also keep in mind that older Pentax dSLR models such as the IST DS & IST DS2 have good ISO 1600 -ISO 3200 as well.

The new Rebel XTi and K10D doesn't have ISO 3200.

Just remember that those 6 MP APS-C CCD dSLRs have one of best high ISO performance in history!

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Old Oct 9, 2006, 2:42 PM   #5
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This is the #1 priority for me too: excellent photos in low light without flash. My camera before was the Olympus C05050Z, which I got because of it's F1.8 lens. But that camera's busted now (lens won't come out), and I've been wanting a DSLR for a while, but they just didn't seem to be a good value yet.

So I've been looking and reading for quite a while, can't really afford to buy a DSLR now, in college and have a kid, not working... But the Pentax K100D might just be the first DSLR that would convince me to buy it even though I can't afford it. I got a Canon A620 to replace the dead 5050 and wow, what a dissapointment, most shots are blury and it just doesn't seem any sharper dispite having 2 million more pixels.

So ~ here's where my post is more related to the OP's question: will the K10D have inferior low light performance compared to the K100D because of it's smaller pixels on the sensor? 10 MegaPixels would be nice, but not at the cost of sacrificing low light performance.

Hopefully soon sensor technology will develop to the point where low light is simply not an issue anymore (i.e. sensors at least/more sensitive than the human eye), but we're not there yet.

I can't wait for a real review of the K10D to tell us how it's low light shooting compares to the K10D and other similarly priced DSLRs like the Rebel XTi.

Here's another related question: do different lenses, when set to the same F stop (apeture), have the same depth of field? Do different lenses, when set to the same F Stop, let in the same amount of light (if theyare different focal length).

So, if you had a 50mm and a 85mm lensboth at F2.8, of about the same quality glass, I'm guessing you'll get the same quality ofphoto, exceptthat the higher zoom lens will be more affected by camera movent?

If the K10D gives the same or better low light performance as the K100D, then you could use a lens that lets in more light (less zoom) and crop (vs the K10D with 4 less megapixels)?


RE: previous poster, 3200 ISO - just because a camera has 3200 ISO doesn't mean it's useful, shots might be too noisy. I think that is the case with the K100D, ISO 3200 is awefully noisy from what I read.
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Old Oct 9, 2006, 2:45 PM   #6
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BenjaminXYZ wrote:
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There are fast lenses available for it too!"


"Just remember that those 6 MP APS-C CCD dSLRs have one of best high ISO performance in history
What are the 6MP APS-C CCD dSLRs? not familiar with all of the acronyms for them.

My question still is - how do you tell a fast lens from a not-so-fast one (without relying on the guy trying to sell you one)?

SC
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Old Oct 9, 2006, 2:52 PM   #7
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Code:
What are the 6MP APS-C CCD dSLRs? not familiar with all of the acronyms for them.

The Pentax K100D

The Pentax IST DS (Not worse than the DS2 model)

The Pentax IST DS2

The Nikon D50

The Nikon D70s

The SAMSUNG GX-1S (Same as the IST DS2 model from Pentax)

All those dSLRs above have one of the best ISO performances IMO!!

EDIT: Sorry, I must have missed out the Pentax and Samsung "L" models!


Code:
My question still is - how do you tell a fast lens from a not-so-fast one (without relying on the guy trying to sell you one)?

SC

Fast lenses includes F/1.0, F/1.2, F/1.4, F/1.7, F/1.8, F/1.9, F/2.0, F/2.1, F/2.2, F/2.3, F/2.4, F/2.5, F/2.6, F/2.7, and F/2.8. (Anything above those figures are not considered really fast for me) :-)



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Old Oct 9, 2006, 8:23 PM   #8
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There are two paths to consider, I think.

1. Get a DSLR and the kit lens for everyday shots. The added cost of the kit lens is not much. Then get an expensive fast lens (f 2.8 or faster (i.e. the number is smaller)). If you get the most recent Pentax or Sony DSLR's, there is built-in stabilization, which reduces the odds of blurry pictures caused by your hands shaking/moving while the picture is being taken. This path will probably cost you more than $1000, but if you are making money from your photo gigs, you will probably pay off your camera fairly quickly.

2. Get a point and shoot digicam.The Fujis seem be the best at low light photography now. I have the Fuji FinePix S5200, which now costs under $250 at some online retailers. I think its pictures at a concert like the one you attended would be at least as sharp as the pictures you directed us to. There are two more Fuji zoom digicams with decent low light performance, the S6000fd and the S9100. However, at the higher zoom ranges, the maximum f-stop is higher, so you would need to use slower shutter speeds or higher ISO's to get enough light.

Could you borrow or rent one of these cameras to see if they would be useful for you?

As for finding out which DSLR lenses are the fastest/best, I think there are lens forums on this site. I think the really good, fast telephoto lenses cost over $500, some well over $1,000.
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Old Oct 9, 2006, 8:39 PM   #9
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I checked the settings on the lens (Quantaray) I had. It's numbers are:

4, 5.6, 8, 11, 16 & 22

I had it on 4. From what I recall it hovered in the meter around 125 or thereabouts.

The lenses I had been looking at I think were a minimum of 2.8 or so.

As far as manufacturers go, which ones as a rule are generally better quality/better performing lenses?

SC



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Old Oct 9, 2006, 11:12 PM   #10
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Low light with just about any dSLR and a fast lens (under f/2.8) is pretty easy. I took this with my $350 Pentax *ist DL and a Pentax FA50mm f/1.4 lens (another $180). The only light was a few cheap colored spots. I didn't really know what I was doing (had the ISO set at 3200, for one) but it's easy capturing the light. My problem with the wide open aperture is getting a sharp focus due to the very narrow depth of field. Pictures like the one below would be focused on the end of the guitar as opposed to the guitarist. However, that's user error and I can figure out how to make those better. But, for low light, dSLRs rule with the ability to change ISO settings on the fly.

BTW, the larger megapixel cameras (10 MP) can sometimes have worse noise problems because the sensor is still the same size as a 6 MP camera, it just that they crammed in an additional 4 MP into the same space. Therefore each pixel is smaller, captures less light, and generates more noise trying to bump up the signal.

Russ




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