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Old Feb 24, 2005, 10:38 PM   #1
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Hello, I'm very interested and new to photography and I recently purchased a Nikon D70. When I take photos in poor lighting without the flash the shutter takes a while and the photo comes out blurred lighting/motion blurred. How can I make it to where I just get natural lighting and it look normal with no blurs or anything. Thank you!
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Old Feb 25, 2005, 4:00 PM   #2
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It sounds like you're shooting on some sort of automatic mode (like full automatic or Program mode). What's happening is that because the light is low, the shutter has to stay open longer for proper exposure. To fix your problem, you either have to get your camera to be more sensitive to light, or put more light onto the sensor. Two ways to do that:

(1) You have to boost the ISO (chip sensitivity) in the camera. It's highly likely that even at ISO 1600, if your lens is not a "fast" lens (f/2.8 or better [meaning smaller numbers]) then you still might have slow shutter speeds and blurry pics.

(2) Put the camera on a good tripod and use an external shutter release switch. That way, your camera is not moving when you open the shutter, and (assuming you don't have a moving subject) then you won't have blur.

The core of all of this is that to get a good picture, the image sensor needs enough light (and that usually means a lot more light than you need to see, or that you would expect you'd need). You can get lots of light by (1) having lots of light (duh... like adding a flash, shooting outside in a sunny day, or using studio strobes or 1000w "hot" lights) (2) letting more light into the camera by opening the aperture of the lens wide open (but, on cheaper zoom lenses, "wide open" is not very wide at all) (3) making the camera "see" more light by increasing the sensitivity of the imager (i.e. changing the ISO -- which means that the sensor will be more sensitive, but also that digital noise will be much higher) or (4) letting the light filter in for a longer time by keeping the shutter open a longer period (which is fine unless your subject is moving or you're handholding the camera, causing blur).
(Oh, there's option no 5... which is set to manual mode, get slightly underexposed pictures, and then boost the levels in a photo editing program like Photoshop. Especially if you shoot in RAW, this is an acceptable way to get proper exposure in low light).

The general rule of thumb is that when handholding, the shutter speed cannot be slower than 1 / the focal length of the lens. Thus, if you're shooting a zoom shot from far away with a 300mm lens, then unacceptable levels of blur will exist if you the shutter speed is set any faster than 1/300 second. When you're shooting handheld with a 50mm "normal" lens, shutter speed should not be less than 1/50 second. Etc., etc.

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Old Feb 26, 2005, 7:47 AM   #3
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LaVie, perdendosi has laid it out very succinctly as to what you have to do to obtain enough light without flashing. I note that you never mentioned what lens, lighting situation, or setting. And as to agree with perdendosi, it sounds like the lens was just not fast enough for the available light.

It also sounds like you just wanted to purchase a nice camera, without any specifics in mind.So I would imagine that you just probably have the kit lens. As nice as that lens is, its probably not the best lens for shooting in low light situations without flash. F3.5 and up, such as 4.5, 5.6 etc., would be considered (slower) not condusive to indoor lower light situations, as compared to F2.8, 1.8, 1.4, which would be more condusive to indoor low light situation.

Whereas when I purchased my D70 I knew that I would be using it quite often in lowlight situations where possibly I would not be able to use flash. I found to be a nice investment was the 50mm1.4 lens. This photo was done with the 50mm.1.4, but trust me the 50mm1.8 would have done the same job. You can get a 50mm1.8 for less then a $100. A great investment for lowlight indoor photography with a camera (D70) that gives you ISO1600.

This photo was shot with a 50mm1.4. The F-stop was 1.8, shutter 125, ISO 800, WB set on incandescent, which it was regular indoor house light.

I forgot to mention the faster the lens such as 1.4 or 1.8,can rapidly help you adjust the proper light in theAperture, Shutter, and Manual Mode. And sometimes its fast enough for the Program or Auto Mode.

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Old Mar 14, 2005, 6:04 PM   #4
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bugshutter wrote:
I found to be a nice investment was the 50mm1.4 lens. This photo was done with the 50mm.1.4, but trust me the 50mm1.8 would have done the same job. You can get a 50mm1.8 for less then a $100.
I'm in the process of deciding which DSLR to buy, the D70, Rebel XT, or even the 20D. I'm primarily interested in low-light situations, because I know that all of these cameras can take pictures outdoors or in lit situations quite nice. I'm talking about mostly street photography. I read the 20D is quite adept at low-light situations, but given the premium I can't afford it. So I'll probably go with the XT or D70 and a 50 1/8 lens. Bugshutter, which 50 1/4 do you own, and does anyone have any experience with the XT and D70 and 50 1/8 in low light situations can recommend one or the other? thanks!

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