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Old May 15, 2006, 7:23 AM   #1
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I'm a newby D50 user (less than a week) so I'm still trying to get my head around the numerous controls and features. I'm using a Nikon 18-70 lens and also a Sigma 70-300 APO DG Macro. I've not had a lot of time to play with the Sigma but I have noticed that in auto mode that it is selecting quite low shutter speeds (usually about 1/30 or 1/50 - thats in dull cloudy conditions in my garden). Obviously using a slower shutter speed than the focal length (which on these occasions was 200-300mm) leads to blurring. I'm on ISO200 for these shots. Would raising the ISO make the difference or is there something else I'm missing?
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Old May 15, 2006, 8:07 AM   #2
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What kind of conditions are you shooting in?? In short, yes, raising your ISO will allow the camera to select higher shutter speeds. Higher iso values will lead to more digital noise, although the images will still be quite usable, especially if you're using noise reduction software.

The rule of thumb to prevent camera shake, is to use a shutter speed at least 1/focal length. Even then you may have a hard time shooting at 300mm handheld. If shake is still an issue, you may need to invest in a tripod.
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Old May 15, 2006, 11:54 AM   #3
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Many thanks for that. Regarding the conditions - well I was just practising over the weekend in my garden at home, in cloudy overcast conditions but still full daylight. I suppose I'm used to being able to shoot at full zoom on my Canon S2IS which has built in stablisation.

On the D50 I've tried upping the shutter speed to match the focal length but then the picture becomes too dark. I guess I'll have better results in bright sunshine (I'm off to Greece in a few weeks so plenty of that there!). I do have a tripod but dont really want to have to use it every time I take a shot over 200mm focal length. I do of course always use the tripod for night shooting.


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Old May 16, 2006, 12:55 AM   #4
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Hello, I'm about to buy this lens (Sigma 70-300 APO) for my D50 in complement to the 18-55 kit lens. I did some tests inside the store and results were quite impressive on Auto mode or Program mode (attachment). Taken at 1/60, f5.6, Matrix, 300mm. A shot of a building was also taken outside at 1/800 and the photo came very sharp. At which speed is a tripod mandatory? An average speed to ensure no blurred photos would be starting at how much? I shall be getting the lens later this week. I'm like a baby longing for his candy. Thanks again. Germain
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Old May 16, 2006, 10:16 AM   #5
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Shaun Geraghty wrote:
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On the D50 I've tried upping the shutter speed to match the focal length but then the picture becomes too dark. I guess I'll have better results in bright sunshine (I'm off to Greece in a few weeks so plenty of that there!). I do have a tripod but dont really want to have to use it every time I take a shot over 200mm focal length. I do of course always use the tripod for night shooting.

Just upping the shutter speed may not give you enough to get proper exposure, especially if light is low. I would start by using Aperature priority and selecting the widest aperature possible to ensure you have the maximum amount of light entering the lens. If you're not achieving fast enough shutter speeds, then I would increase the ISO. Both of these allow the camera to adjust the shutter speed higher while maintaining proper exposure.

Shooting in shutter priority or manually adjusting the shutter speed can be tricky, as the camera will take the shot regardless of whether or not exposure is correct. If you see a "L" in the viewfinder, then your image will be underexposed.
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Old May 16, 2006, 10:19 AM   #6
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Karmin wrote:
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Hello, I'm about to buy this lens (Sigma 70-300 APO) for my D50 in complement to the 18-55 kit lens. I did some tests inside the store and results were quite impressive on Auto mode or Program mode (attachment). Taken at 1/60, f5.6, Matrix, 300mm. A shot of a building was also taken outside at 1/800 and the photo came very sharp. At which speed is a tripod mandatory? An average speed to ensure no blurred photos would be starting at how much? I shall be getting the lens later this week. I'm like a baby longing for his candy. Thanks again. Germain
You're hijacking the original posters thread. You'll likely get more answers by starting your own:-)
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Old May 16, 2006, 6:20 PM   #7
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Shaun, I have this Sigma APO and hve been getting good results. it must have been quite poor lighting for the camera to force you down to such low shutter speeds. I generally shoot in 'P' and just up the ISO if i need more speed.

At the long end (200 - 300), at Standard ISO 200, hand held, I have been getting speeds of 1/160 to 1/250 (in brightbut notsunny conditions) in the back garden and the shots have been pretty sharp.

I never use auto, but will check over the next few days how this lens and auto work together at the long end. I would have thought that auto would automatically favour the wide end (f5.6 at full zoom).
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