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Old Jul 24, 2010, 7:35 AM   #1
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Default How do take pictures in dim light???!

Hello everyone,

I am beginng to believe that I now at least can take decent pictures with my camera, atleast outside...but HOW do you guys/girls take such stunning pictures in the dark, dim light, inside??!

My cam wanna pump upp the iso to atleast 6400 and the shutterspeed goes down to like 1/8 - 1/13 then the whole scene is quite noisy, not to mention blurry (cause I can not hold the cam still enought at that slow shutterspeeds),

Today it is cloudy/raining outside so we are inside so I thought I would take some pictures of my kids when they were putting a puzzle together, but the images I got is quite noisy,so I put up the flash and took some pictures and they are fine, but if you have any suggestions please tell

For example, if you are outside in a parade or something and wan't to take pictures how do you do to get thoose fantastic pictures I've seen here? is a faster lens the answer? i am planning on buying a Pentacon 50mm F/1.8 would that make me use lower isos and higher shutter speeds?
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Old Jul 24, 2010, 7:55 AM   #2
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A faster lens would certainly go a long way to helping you attain your goal. Your two lenses are on the slow side.

Personally I never shoot at anything over 1,600 but you have the Kx I believe, which is a better low light camera than the K7 that I use, so maybe you could push it to 3,200 but 1,600 would be much better. 6,400 is a gimmick unless you have a very high end Canikon etc.

Indoors - if you are taking shots of still life then a tripod and long exposure would work. If of family or anything with movement then you will need a flash (preferably bounced off a nearby ceiling or wall) and that will get you sharp shots and freeze the action for you.

Outside there is usually more light than you can find indoors, even if it seems dim. I use ISO 800, often 1/200 and whatever aperture is needed to achieve that, which could be as low as F1.9 or F1.4 depending on the lense, but is usually a little higher.
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Old Jul 24, 2010, 9:55 AM   #3
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A faster lens would definitely be a solution. Shooting at high ISO with Kx at smaller apertures is also very possible with some post processing. With all due respect, ISO 6400 is not just a gimmick on the Kx, but a very functional tool. I shoot the Pentax 50mm 1.4 and a Vivitar 24mm 2.8 manual for low light, but do not hestitate to shoot a Tamron 18-250. There are several short length f2.8 zooms that would suit you very well. Below is an example of ISO 12,800 with the Kx and Vivitar with noise reduction and sharpening. The picture printed very nicely. See the Breath of Life thread for examples of an f2.8 zoom in very difficult shooting conditions.
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Old Jul 24, 2010, 11:03 AM   #4
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Welcome to the age-old search for light. It's at the heart of most photographic technique.

Given the example you had....photographing kids putting together a puzzle...you did exactly what you need to do....get out the flash. Even with fast lenses, you're going to have trouble getting shutter speeds fast enough to shoot kids playing indoors without a flash.

I make an assumption when I shoot low-light that I'm going to have to do fairly extensive post-processing, especially noise reduction. I use Noiseware, but there are several good programs out there. I also shoot RAW to give me maximum control during post-processing. pboerger's example at ISO 12,800 is really impressive.

I appreciate the kind words of pboerger concerning the "Breath of Life" series. I chose the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 over the Pentax 50mm f/1.4 because I wanted the flexibility of focal lengths. By pure luck, I had second row seats, and I thought I would be able to take advantage of performance lighting. I also knew that the 50mm would be far too much lens for scenes at the front of the stage and not nearly enough at the back....thus the advantage of the zoom.

Keep at it. One of the fun things about photography is that you're constantly dealing with new challenges and learning how to meet them. Low-light photography is one area that will always give you new challenges.

Paul
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Old Jul 24, 2010, 12:36 PM   #5
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I would not worry about shooting at 6400iso, it not bad even in jpeg format. But your kit lenses are general photography lens, not bright enough for shooting in very very low light. I would get the FA 50mm 1.4 for shooting in that environment. At 6400is and f1.4 you can get some decent movement shots.

If the subject is none movement, set the camera to 1600 iso, and let the shutter slow down, with IS you may be able to hand hold to 1/8 of a sec. Depending on how steady you are.

Here are some shots I took at 6400is of a canon 50mm 1.4. And the k-x is a bit cleaner at 6400iso. There are some external flash shots mixed in, but ignore them.

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/pe...s-dancing.html
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Old Jul 24, 2010, 1:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shoturtle View Post
Here are some shots I took at 6400is of a canon 50mm 1.4. And the k-x is a bit cleaner at 6400iso. There are some external flash shots mixed in, but ignore them.

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/pe...s-dancing.html

"but ignore them"..

I dunno about that. I think I'd use the flash shots in that thread as an example of how to get better quality, as the shots in that series without flash have severe Dynamic Range issues with blown highlights, burnt skin tones, etc.

IMO, the photos with flash in that series are dramatically better.

You can't always expect good quality without a flash, and when you have that much difference between lighter and darker areas in a scene, sometimes shots without a flash can lead to lots of problems (as in the blown highlights I see in the photos taken without a flash in that lighting).
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Old Jul 24, 2010, 1:08 PM   #7
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No flash photography seems to be what the poster was headed. I have been asked to stop using a flash at clubs on a number of occasions. You can not always use a flash.

And there is no way to avoid flash wash to some degree.
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Old Jul 24, 2010, 1:59 PM   #8
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I wanna say thanks to all of you!! I will continue buying a prime with something like f/1.4 or near and also explore my flash abit more..coming from the compact world I hate flash (because it looks so fake...the mood is gone, but as I have seen on numerous pics both yours (shoturtle) and others there are ways to get good pictures with flash (that doesn't ruin the mood)

Perhaps I should buy an external flash? if that is the case, would any flash work or must it be pentax branded?
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Old Jul 24, 2010, 2:04 PM   #9
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the pentax or the metz 48 would be good flashes with the pentax. The metz works well with my brothers k-x. But the FA50 1.4 is a really nice prime for low light shooting. That was the second thing he added after getting the k-x 2 lens kit.

But if you get a external flash get a good defuser, something like a sto fen
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Old Jul 24, 2010, 2:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shoturtle View Post
the pentax or the metz 48 would be good flashes with the pentax. The metz works well with my brothers k-x. But the FA50 1.4 is a really nice prime for low light shooting. That was the second thing he added after getting the k-x 2 lens kit.

But if you get a external flash get a good defuser, something like a sto fen
ok, thanks...
one more question,

When I raise the flash the shutterspeed tend to go up like 1 step (from like 1/20 to 1/25) but the iso and aperture stay the same, should I lower iso manually, (if thats what i am after) or should I take a higher shutterspeed, if that is what i want?

hope I make myself somewhat understandable

/Michael
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