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Old May 16, 2010, 10:45 PM   #11
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Hi Brian,

Thanks for the response.

I was shooting a runway fashion show last week as practice for a more important one I'm doing this week. I was using a D40 with the 55-200 VR kit lens. I was shooting shutter priority at 1/125 to reduce motion blur. There wasn't enough light for the correct exposure, so I figured I do what i can and the attempt to post-process to brighten the photos. But as I was shooting, I realized that I could try to add EV. Thinking about it, I didn't know if it would do anything since the aperture was already wide open.

I didn't consider setting the ISO to higher than 400, but I guess I should have. 1/125 was still too slow as the images were still soft. I guess 1/250 would have been getter.

In another thread, I asked for other tips for shooting the show. I couldn't decide between posting the questions in this forum or in the Tips and Tricks forum. Maybe I should have asked here?

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Old May 16, 2010, 10:59 PM   #12
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I would shoot at 800 or 1600 if you are not using a flash.
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Old May 17, 2010, 7:44 AM   #13
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How underexposed were they?

If you needed to brighten them by a couple of stops later, you might as well have used ISO 1600 to begin with, since you'll end up with much higher noise that way (underexposing a photo and "pushing" it later using an editor). Your Dynamic Range will also suffer with that technique. But, those shutter speeds would still be too slow.

The last time I shot a fashion show, I needed ISO 1600 at f/2, just to get my shutter speeds up to 1/160 second for a properly exposed image. IOW, ISO 3200 was really needed for a higher percentage of photos without blur from subject movement (1/160 is not fast enough), even using a bright prime. So, I took most of the photos with flash.

If you're zoomed in much with a typical kit lens, you'd only have f/5.6 available, and you'd probably end up with a lot of blurry photos, even at ISO 1600 to 3200 if they're properly exposed. If they're underexposed at those ISO speeds, I doubt they'd be usable at all (you'd have far too much noise after you brightened them later if starting out at ISO speeds that high and trying to "push" them with an editor).

IOW, I'd get a good external flash (or plan on getting a much brighter lens compared to your 55-200mm, and using much higher ISO speeds than you're trying to use, and even then, you may still see some blur from subject movement). ;-)

An external flash would make it much easier, allowing you to freeze the action with the flash and to keep your ISO speeds set lower.
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Old May 17, 2010, 3:44 PM   #14
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I am going to rent a Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 VR (I) for $60 (3 days rental including insurance -- that an ok price?). I don't know how well the D40 will perform at 1600. (Let's see what Ken Rockwell has to say:- ) I'm going to set shutter priority at 1/250, and see how lighting goes. These aren't for a magazine, but some may be wanted for keepsakes (one of the designers is my daughter).

Thanks for everyone's advice! If any of the photos come out, I'll post them. This will be a good learning experience for me.
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