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Old Jun 2, 2008, 11:50 PM   #1
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As some of you might remember, I'm not the steadiest person any more. So this past Friday morning I took a walk around instead of going to the gym and found myself at a fountain. Well, they call it a fountain, an inverted fountain, the water goes down instead of up.

So I thought I would play around with shutter speeds to see just where you get that nice, smooth effect. It became somewhat an examination of how sharp the DA*50-135 is at smaller apertures, too (I did that instead of putting on the circular polarizer because I was starting to run short of time). In the end, it was mostly an example of just how good the anti-shake is on the K20 because all of these pictures are hand-held. Since SR wasn't my initial subject, I wasn't completely careful about the focal length - two are at 85mm and the rest at 95mm - not a huge difference. All pictures are jpg and only resized - no other pp.

Without SR, I wouldn't be able to reliably handhold at shuuter speeds any less than 1/85 sec. This is the entire series I shot, this isn't some chosen out of a larger group.

First, 1/400 sec, f3.2, ISO 100 (it's also somewhat underexposed). I was looking at "freezing" the water as much as I could, given the early morning light:



Next one 1/200 sec, f3.5, ISO 100, the values that the camera chose for the program line. As far as the water goes, not much difference:



This next onewas at 1/25 sec. f10, ISO 100. Since I wanted blurred water, I didn't shoot anything in between 1/200 and 1/25. It still wasn't quite the effect I wanted - it wasn't smooth enough to be really cool, and not fast enough to look frozen. But it was about now that I thought I would push the SR.



So then I tried 1/10 sec, f18, ISO 100. This was the effect I wanted but what really surprised me, it's still sharp (remember, I'm handholding):



I decided I'd push it a bit more. Here's 1/6 sec, f22, ISO 100. No, I did not forget a "0" behind the 6 - it really was 1/6 sec. at 85mm. Also notice the rocks and the wall's sharpness at f22 - it looks nice for a non-macro lens. There is absolutely no way I could shoot a series like this, at these shutter speeds and focal length without working SR:



I know, not exactly a scientific test, but it convinced me.

I"ve recently been wondering if my monitor at home is set too light. I have a calibrator and I know the monitor doesn't have the best dynamic range (it's older and newer ones can cover more range). However, I've begun to think it shows shadows as being lighter than most other monitors - does the water going down show up as grey, or is it lost in shadow?
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Old Jun 3, 2008, 12:12 AM   #2
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Encouraging examination, Harriet!

The water looks OK with a lot of detail on my screen. It's not calibrated, but pictures posted by anyone usually looks fine and yours do too.

Kjell
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Old Jun 3, 2008, 8:29 AM   #3
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Hi,

Nice test! I envy you that you have a job where you can take your camera with...:G

Rudy
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Old Jun 3, 2008, 8:43 AM   #4
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Very interesting and an informative demonstration. Thanks for the post.

Jeff M
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Old Jun 3, 2008, 9:02 AM   #5
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Thanks, Kjell, for the confirmation. They look a little dark on the monitor at work (which isn't calibrated and I think is a bit darker than I would want for photographs, but works well for text and b&w drawings).

My final conclusion about the water was that 1/6 sec gave the best effect, with 1/10 sec being OK. Now I just need to find a water fall or a babbling brook and try out my new-found knowledge for something more interesting. I've never been quite able to decide if I think the fountain is a pleasant spot to sit, a simulated babbling brook in the middle of a huge urban area or a silly idea. It's been a photography challenge to me (I never find my pictures of it aren't very interesting, these were informative, though).
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Old Jun 3, 2008, 9:33 AM   #6
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Impressive demo. Thanks. Colour and brightness fine on my monitor.
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Old Jun 3, 2008, 10:00 AM   #7
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Old Jun 3, 2008, 12:56 PM   #8
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mtngal wrote:
Quote:
Thanks, Kjell, for the confirmation.* They look a little dark on the monitor at work (which isn't calibrated and I think is a bit darker than I would want for photographs, but works well for text and b&w drawings).

My final conclusion about the water was that 1/6 sec gave the best effect, with 1/10 sec being OK.* Now I just need to find a water fall or a babbling brook and try out my new-found knowledge for something more interesting.* I've never been quite able to decide if I think the fountain is a pleasant spot to sit, a simulated babbling brook in the middle of a huge urban area or a silly idea.* It's been a photography challenge to me (I never find my pictures of it aren't very interesting, these were informative, though).
Hi Harriet,

On the subject of urban waterfalls -- they seem to being built everywhere around here -- I'll go with "a silly idea". . . :-).

While you're experimenting, try using the multi-exposure mode (best on a tripod though). You can simulate multi-second exposures to get that milky look to the moving water by using multi-exposure mode with auto exposure compensation. The advantage of this is that you don't need ND filters in order to get very long exposures in daylight.

Your experiment turned out very well, IMO -- with a very nice demo on softening moving water -- and the value of SR. My personal record is a lucky 1 second exposure that I took last year.

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fo...31&forum_id=80

Scott
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Old Jun 3, 2008, 2:43 PM   #9
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I'd forgotten about that picture - it is impressive, Scott.

I really need to play with the multi-exposure option. I got confused just reading the directions (not uncommon with me) and haven't actually tried it. It doesn't quite make sense to me without having actually done it, I think.

Thank heavens SR only measures the camera movement (i.e, my shaky hands), rather than the subject's movement. Otherwise it would really go nuts with all we photographers try to do with our cameras!
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Old Jun 4, 2008, 4:08 AM   #10
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Impressed by your picture [email protected] afocal lenghth of 85mm & a shutter speed as slow as 1/6''!!

Great comparative setrevealing the effectiveness of the (improved) SR whichhighlightsone of theUSP(s)ofPentax
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