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Old Feb 7, 2006, 8:13 PM   #1
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It's likely that similar questions have been asked many times, so my apologies in advance. I recently picked up a Nikon D50 and have been doing some random shooting for the past serveral months.

I am going to be supporting a friend of mine who is DJing at a dance club fairly soon. The establishment is dark with very little lighting. My Lensesare the 18-55mm 4-5.6, the 50m/1.8 and the 55-200 ED.

My first question is does it matter if I use the Prime or the 18-55 4/5.6 kit lens?

Second, is it recommended that I stick the Camera in Shutter Priority Mode for this situation? I am guessing that Iwon't be able to avoid the flash at all. Will I want to need to adjust my EV/ISO? I'm just trying to get a feel for what I wantfor the best results, although I think that will just take several shots to see.

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Old Feb 7, 2006, 9:29 PM   #2
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You might be able to get some keepers without a flash using the 50mm f/1.8 at ISO 1600 if the light isn't too low and you've got steady hands. But, you can probably count on some motion blur without a flash. I'd take lots of shots both ways if you're allowed to use one (but, some clubs frown on flash photos).

As for the 18-55mm 4-5.6, it may or may not work OK using a flash. The 50mm f/1.8 is anywhere from 4 to 8 times as bright as your 18-55mm f/4-5.6, depending on how much you zoom in with the 18-55mm).

You'd need to try it to see if it can focus in the lighting or not if it's very dim. If it can't, you may need to go manual focus with it (and smaller viewfinders can be deceiving trying to do this in low light). You're probably better off sticking to the 50mm in very low light.

A lens that drops off to a largest aperture of f/5.6 probably isn't going to cut it for Autofocus if you zoom in any at all (and it may not cut it at it's widest position in very low light).

Second, is it recommended that I stick the Camera in Shutter Priority Mode for this situation?
I wouldn't. If you set your shutter speeds too fast for the largest available aperture, lighting, and ISO speed, you'll run out of room and get underexposed photos if you're not careful and watch for underexposure (the aperture or shutter speed in the viewfinder will probably start blinking once it begins underexposing, but check your manual to see what to expect).

You can only open up the aperture so much, so if your shutter speeds are set too fast for the lighting and maximum available aperture of the lens, you'll get dark images.

I'd go aperture priority (Av Mode) instead and shoot pretty close to wide open at ISO 1600 if using the 50mm f/1.8 without a flash to try and keep shutter speeds up. Then, let the camera select the fastest shutter speed it can for the aperture while insuring it's exposed OK.

You'd need to see how low the shutter speeds were at f/1.8 to see if you could stop it down any (perhaps to as much as f/2.8. Larger Apertures (smaller f/stop numbers) will let in more light. But, that also means a shallower depth of field (and most lenses are not as sharp at wide open apertures).

If using a flash, I'd probably stop it down a bit more (perhaps to around f/4), and keep ISO speeds set lower (perhaps ISO 400). You'll need to experiment for best results.

If not using a flash, you'll probably need to play with your white balance. Try incadescent as a starter.

If using the flash, I'd probably just leave it set to Auto. Make sure it's not on incadescent (tungsten) when using the flash.

If you want to shoot existing light (no flash), and your shutter speeds are not fast enough using the 50mm f/1.7 wide open at ISO 1600, you could try deliberately underexposing by setting your Exposure Compensation to a -EV value and brightening the images later with software (the D50 doesn't have an ISO 3200 setting) But, underexposing will make noise look worse, just as if you were using even higher ISO speeds. I wouldn't try underexposing by much.

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Old Feb 7, 2006, 10:34 PM   #3
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Very Good Information. Exactly what I needed to know. ThankYou.

I'lltry the 55m/1.8 and experiment andlet everyone know what worked.
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