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Old Jul 1, 2011, 10:14 PM   #1
Lej
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Default Nikon d70 ghost hunting!

Hello all! I've got a brand new d70 my grandmother bought for taking pictures of houses. I've been ghost hunting for a while, and I thought this would be a great addition to our equipment!.. I'm not very up to date on my camera terminology.. But I read the manual and got it to where I could take pretty good night images, but we ended up having to have someone point a flash light at the ground for me to focus on.. It was the only way the camera would take. And then, the flash light kind of ruined the picture...

Anyways, I'd love if someone could list some settings that will allow for the camera to take in almost pitch black situations!..and still come out with a nice clean image!.. Thanks!
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Old Jul 2, 2011, 7:16 AM   #2
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First, you need a large aperture lens. There are several good choices. In the "Reasonably Priced" category, there are:
  • Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF (~$130)
  • Nikon 35mm f/1.8G AF-S DX (~$200)
  • Nikon 50mm f/1.4D (~$350)
  • Sigma 28mm f/1.8 EX DG (~$450)
  • Nikon 50mm f/1.4G AF-S (~$450)
  • Nikon 85mm f/1.8D (~$465)
  • Sigma 30mm f/1.4 EX DC HSM (~$490)
  • Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DC HSM (~$500)
The larger the aperture (the smaller the f-number) the better. In addition to getting correct exposures in near darkness, this will help with the focusing.

Second, you need to set a high ISO value. This is the sensitivity of the image sensor. The highest ISO value available on the D70 is 1600, but that could produce a lot of image noise, obscuring what your looking for.

The third factor in obtaining a good exposure is shutter speed. Given the amount of light passing through the lens (aperture) and the sensitivity of the image sensor to light (ISO) the only thing left is how long the image sensor is exposed to light. My guess is that you'll be shooting handheld, as opposed to using a tripod, so you should keep the shutter speed at 1/100 or faster. Hopefully, you'll be able to get good exposures with that.

The D70 has an AF-Assist Illuminator (See page 72 of the D70 Guide.) which should help you focus on poorly lit subjects.

Enjoy yourself.
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Old Jul 2, 2011, 12:33 PM   #3
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If the subject has little detail to it, the focus system can have a lot of trouble, even using the focus assist light. For what you are doing, you may be able to use the flashlight to set the focus, as you were doing, then switch the camera to manual focus mode, and turn off the flashlight. This should allow you to get the picture without the flashlight.
Good luck with capturing a ghost image, and try not to get any ectoplasm on the lens, it is sticky and hard to clean.

brian
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Old Jul 3, 2011, 8:21 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VTphotog View Post
If the subject has little detail to it...
...try not to get any ectoplasm on the lens, it is sticky and hard to clean.
what if the subject doesn't have any detail to it ?
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Old Jul 3, 2011, 8:32 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marawder View Post
what if the subject doesn't have any detail to it ?
Take it to the car wash for detailing, of course.

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