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Old Apr 3, 2006, 1:00 PM   #1
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The Zuiko f/2 zooms are the brightest in the world for use on a DSLR model with interchangeable lenses. http://www.steves-digicams.com/pr/ol...lenses_pr.html Of course, you could argue that you need the extra stop with the Olympus E Series due to noise differences compared to some competing DSLR models (since you could use an f/2.8 zoom with them at higher ISO speeds). There are pros and cons to any system.
Can you explain it in simpler terms. I will open a new post for this discussion. I ordered the 14-54mm f/2.8 - f/3.5 for low light no flash shooting. My friend said I need a sub f/2.0 lens for this. How can I set the camera to get most out of the 14-54 lens.
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Old Apr 3, 2006, 1:22 PM   #2
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Your friend meant fixed focal length (non zoom) lenses. You use your feet for zoom. ;-)

You can get brighter primes (a term you see many users applying to non-zoom lenses now) compared to zooms.

The lens you need depends on the conditions if your subjects are not stationary and you can't use a flash.

In some lighting (candle lit restaurants and clubs in my area), even a Minolta 28mm f/2 shooting at ISO 3200 with my Konica Minolta 5D is "borderline" (you'll still see some blur from subject movement because of slow shutter speeds).

I'm considering replacing a Minolta f/2 with a Sigma 30mm f/1.4 EX DC lens now to get an extra stop (since Sigma announced this lens would be available in Konica-Minolta mount soon).

But, in typical indoor lighting, you may be able to get by with f/2.8 (and f/3.5 is only a half stop down), if you set ISO speeds high enough and if your subjects are not moving too fast.

To put things into perspective, the aperture scale in one stop increments goes f/1.0 (theortically larger apertures are availalbe, too), f/1.4, f/2.0, f/2.8, f/4.0, f/5.6, f/8, f/11, f/16, f/22, etc.

With each one stop move to a smaller aperture (represented by larger f/stop numbers), you will need shutter speeds twice as long for proper exposure, given the same lighting and ISO speed.

That also means that with each one stop move to a smaller aperture (higher f/stop number), you lose half the light getting through the lens to the AF sensors and viewfinder (and to the main CCD when the mirror flips and shutter opens).

A brighter (a.k.a., faster) lens helps a camera to "see" better for Autofocus Purposes.
See this handy online exposure calculator to get a better idea of the relationship between light levels, ISO speed and aperture. Note that Film Speed in the calculator is the same thing as ISO speed:

http://www.robert-barrett.com/photo/...alculator.html

If you are trying to take photos in low light, you need higher ISO speeds and larger apertures (smaller f/stop numbers) in order to try and keep shutter speeds fast enough to reduce blur from camera shake and/or subject movement if you can't use a flash.

Larger available apertures will also increase lens size, weight and cost.

Another tradeoff of using a larger aperture is that depth of field will be shallower.

One of the tradeoffs of using higher ISO speeds is that noise will be higher.

It's really not that complicated, once you have a better understanding of exposure.

In low light, you can use Av Mode (aperture priority) setting your aperture to a larger value (set it to smaller f/stop numbers), and the camera will automatically select the correct shutter speed for proper exposure. It would probably do the same thing in Auto modes if light was low, too.

If shutter speeds are still not fast enough, increase ISO speeds (each time you double the ISO speed, the camera can use shutter speeds twice as fast for the same lighting and aperture).

You can use tools like Noiseware or Neat Image when shooting at higher ISO speeds is needed to help reduce the appearance of noise. Shooting in raw would probably be your best choice (since some softening of images can occur at higher ISO speeds shooting jpeg).

If shutter speeds are still not fast enough to stop motion blur, use a flash. ;-)

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Old Apr 3, 2006, 1:24 PM   #3
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The sensor in Olympus 4/3rdsDSLR'sare somewhat smaller than sensors in, say, Canon's models, and the Canon CMOS sensors are industry leaders when it comes to noise reduction at higher ISO's, so it's not just Olympus that are behind in this category. To this point the Kodak sensors Olympus has used in the E-1, E-300, E-500have been, quite frankly, inferior in terms of high ISO performance, so sensorsize is involved, but I also think technology is involved. That said, I am perfectly happy with ISO 800 on my E-1 and 1600 is very useable whencleaned upwith Neat Image.

The OlympusE-330 is their first DSLRnot using a Kodak sensor. I believe it is a Panasonic sensor, so things are starting to change, and everything to date points to this being their best sensor yet when it comes to high ISO performance- it's still not as good as Canon's, but I'm not sure they'll ever be as good due to the size limitation of the sensor and higher resolution requirements everyone's trying to meet, so Olympus can mediate it to a point by offering faster zoomlenses.

An f2 zoomlens is very fast. Yes, in a perfect world a 50mm or 85mm f1.8 lens would be great, but how low in terms of available light do you plan to go, and how much money are you willing to spend to get these fast f2 lenses? There'sa 14-35 f2 lens that should have been out by now, but at this point appears to be pushed back to 2007 before it is going to be available, and I don't look for it to be under $1,750- $2,000 when it does come out- the 35-100 f2 is over $2,000and the 90-250 f2.8 is almost $6,000. A zoom at f2.8-3.5 is faster than most OEM consumer zoomlenses from Nikon or Canon. You need to start going high-end at big prices to get those "L" series f2.8 Canon zooms and Nikon "ED" 2.8 zooms. I do quite well today with my 14-54 and 50-200 f2.8-3.5 zooms and ISO 800.

The Sigma 30mm f1.4 Jim mentioned above is about to be released in the 4/3rd's mount as well. I believe it and 3-4 other popular Sigma zooms are supposed to be available starting sometimethis month.

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Old Apr 3, 2006, 1:59 PM   #4
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Thank you for your prompt responses.

My subjects rooms and artworks. I will be shooting churches and museums. You know the lighting conditions in churches and museums. I will be using the Sandisk Extreme III to write the RAW image faster to CF media. I have a pretty steady hand. I can't bring a monopod or tripod, so I usually try to lean against a post or wall while shoot. I use the EVF to steady it against by head. I try to get as close as possible to what I am shooting and still be able to focus all of it in.

25% less light available between f/2.8 and f/3.5.

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Auto: ISO100 to 400 Manual: ISO100 to 400, Expandable to 1600 (in each 1/3 EV step possible) (Noise filter is selectable in ISO boost)
I was reading about using a higher ISO with f/2.8 but how would noise come into play with f/2.8 and ISO 400? I try not to get people in my shots in low light. Movement does blur. I don't plan on using auto mode. I was told that manual focus is better in lower light. Should I create a program mode for museums, night, or night + portrait mode? What is the noise filter they mention above? Is ISO boost the equivalent of optical vs digital zoom. I usualy disable digital zoom. Do I need to learn to adjust Ev for low light shooting or just adjust it in Photoshop CS2 on the raw pictures?

Any good books or FAQs on exposures and basic photography?

The people I shoot usually are not moving and in good light. I don't want to spend $1000+ on lens for the few times I use it in a year. I will stay with the three lens and learn how to get the most from them.

I plan on taking a lot of pictures before the trip for practice and review.


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Old Apr 3, 2006, 2:10 PM   #5
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mckennma wrote:
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25% less light available between f/2.8 and f/3.5
It's more than 50% less light at f/3.5 compared to f/2.8 (f/3.4 is a half stop down from f/2.8, and f/3.6 is 2/3 of a stop down from f/2.8 )

That's still not a big deal though, in the overall scheme of things. Staying closer to the wide end of a lens will help (brighter, and less blur from camera shake since camera shake is magnified as focal lengths get longer).

As for the noise filtering (which can soften images), if you're shooting raw instead of jpeg, it shouldn't make any difference if it's on or off (your raw images won't have any noise reduction applied yet).

As for books, any book on basic photography would apply (it doesn't need to be specific to digital).

As for "ISO boost", it probably means that sensor output is being amplified after the Analog to Digital converter to simulate higher ISO speeds by increasing the digital values stored. But, only Olympus knows for sure how it's being accomplished.


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Old Apr 3, 2006, 2:11 PM   #6
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I'm about to put my system to that exact test. May 28-June 10 I'll be in Paris, France with my three lens setup (14-54 and50-200 f2.8-3.5 and 7-14 f4) with my E-1. Over those 12 days I'll beshooting inevery church and Museum I can get away with it- most with no option of using my FL-50 flash, so I plan on a lot of ISO 800 shooting.
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Old Apr 3, 2006, 2:27 PM   #7
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I will be in London, Paris, Stockholm, Heilsinki, Berlin, Copenhagen, Tallinn, St. Petersburg. I am checking into the charges to take pictures in the Hermitage.

What you are saying is:
So keep it as wide as possible with f/2.8 instead try to get a close as possible to what I am shooting. This reduces noise and shaking effects. I try to keep it at wide end and manually move myself instead of the lens.

I will check on ISO 800 setting and higher ISO settings.

Is there a table on f stop light reduction?

My web site is off due to storms at home. Otherwise, you could see my three previous trip shoots. Tomorrow, it will be on. http://68.47.81.240 . IIS 10-user is avilable in Windows 2000 Pro and XP Pro. I just set my Dlink DGL-4300 router to NAT ports 21 and 80 to this box. I shot Italy, Sicily, Capri, Malta, Monaco, Spain, Croatia, Turkey, Greece, and France. Been in a lot of churches and museums in Europe.

Post some of your pictures.

I will be practicing at The Henry Ford and Detroit Institute of Arts.




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Old Apr 3, 2006, 2:32 PM   #8
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mckennma wrote:
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Is there a table on f stop light reduction?
See my first post in this thread. I gave you f/stops in one stop increments in the post, and included a link to an exposure calculator that gives you 1/3 stop increments (it defaults to one stop increments, but you can change it to 1/2 or 1/3 stop increments at the bottom of the page).

Added:

Here is another page explaining aperture:


http://www.uscoles.com/fstop.htm



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Old Apr 3, 2006, 3:09 PM   #9
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Thank you, I do appreciate your time and patiences in answering my questions.
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Old Apr 3, 2006, 3:18 PM   #10
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I wouldn't worry about a lot of the details, other than you'll need to increase ISO speeds in low light to keep shutter speeds up.

The camera will probably select the largest available aperture (smallest f/stop number) anyway in low light, even in Auto Mode.

But, to be safe, shoot in Av (Aperture Priority) mode and select it yourself.

In addition to bracing yourself, controlling your breathing, and smoothly squeezing the shutter button, you may want to consider taking photos in bursts, too. Sometimes, the first photo in a burst is blurrier from camera shake compared to subsequent images.


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