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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Sep 15, 2007, 11:52 AM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 4
Default

I have a Nikon D50 with a Tokina 80-400mm lens. I'm having trouble taking wildlife pictures in the early mornings and late evenings when they are the most active. I have missed a lot of pictures because it won't take. I use a tripod so is there any way to trick the camera into shooting in low lighting? Would changing the ISO help any? Thanks for any tricks that might help me.
cams1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Sep 15, 2007, 12:07 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,870
Default

cams,

You can't really trick your camera - the D50 is too smart for that. Seriously, the lens you're using has a maximum aperture of F4.5 - F5.6, which doesn't let a whole lot of light in. The only way you can fix (trick) that is to increase the ISO and/or decrease the shutter speed. I'm not really sure what you mean by "...it won't take". Why don't you post a couple of pics (with EXIF attached), and let one of our resident experts (myself excluded) offer some suggestions?

the Hun


rinniethehun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 15, 2007, 12:16 PM   #3
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 4
Default

I was referring to that the shutter would snap. On my old Olympus 2100, I could turn the dial to the + or - and then the camera would take the picture. I know it won't be a great quality picture, but I would have something.
cams1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 15, 2007, 12:42 PM   #4
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

It's probably too dim for it to Autofocus (and the camera is set to where it won't take the photo without a focus lock).

So, try to find something with more contrast to focus on that's close to your subject distance. Once you get a focus lock (half press the shutter button until the green light is steady), reframe and press it the rest of the way down.

If you can't find something at close to the same distance as your subject that you can lock focus on, switch to manual focus instead.

A tripod will also help out with Autofocus at longer focal lengths (so that the camera has a steady image to try and lock on).


JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 15, 2007, 2:08 PM   #5
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 4
Default

Thanks you guys for the quick answers. That gives me something to try.
cams1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 15, 2007, 8:43 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Corpsy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 879
Default

If the problem is as JimC suggested, that you're just having trouble getting autofocus to work, then there are a couple things you could try. Firstly, I'm guessing that the lens isn't terribly sharp at full telephoto, which affects not only it's ability to get sharp photos at wider apertures, but also it's ability to autofocus. You might want to try using less zoom.

Secondly, you could try manual focusing, though that can take a bit of getting used to. Usually the viewfinder has more depth of field than the lens so things will appear in focus that actually aren't. I find the best technique for myself is to focus in front of the object, then focus outward until I first see focus (front focusing).

Since you're using a tripod, if the subject you are shooting isn't moving around much you could try using a smaller aperture and longer shutter speed. This could help ensure you get the subject in focus.

Good luck.
Corpsy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 15, 2007, 11:01 PM   #7
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 4
Default

Thanks again for the suggestions. I'm photographing elk and they are in their prime right now. I appricate the help so I don't lose out of good pictures experimenting on my own. You guysaregreat forspending your time to help out andsolve problems for us weekend camera buffs.
cams1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 30, 2008, 12:48 AM   #8
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 2
Default

Low light is not the strength of digital....or zooms. My 35 yr old Mamiya dtl 1000 with the 300 f 4 tele and asa 800 or beyond can shoot rather well in pretty weak light. Typically with digital,the 12 mp cameras have the best low light sensitivity,often a 6 mp can't do much better than iso 400-800 and that's a bit noisy. I could push Tri-X black + white to 1600 and have just moderate grain. Get a basic FILM camera for situations when the digital is not so good...get one fast telephoto for it.
rerem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 30, 2008, 7:22 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
BillDrew's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Hay River Township, WI
Posts: 2,512
Default

cams1 wrote:
Quote:
... I'm having trouble taking wildlife pictures in the early mornings and late evenings when they are the most active. ...
Post a couple of pictures that have the right exposure even if everything else is wrong. That way we can look at the EXIF data and find out just what you mean by "low light"

You are right: the critters tend to be most active in twilight. Seems most often dark enough that I don't even think of reaching for a camera. The dawn chorus occurs when there is just enough sunlight to barely compete with the light of a full moon - way to dark to use much less than an f/0.5 lens at ISO 128000 with a shutter speed much over a second.

Lots of luck with film.
BillDrew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 1, 2008, 8:30 AM   #10
Member
 
erutcip's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 45
Default

One setting that hasn't been mentioned is "release priority"... at least that's what Olympus calls it. When set, it allows the shutter to be released in autofocus modewithout a focus lock. Of course, if you do this,you take your chances concerning focus.

IMO, if autofocus is the problem, manual focus is the answer. And split prism focus screens greatly aid manual focus. YOMD

Dennis
erutcip 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 12:30 AM.