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Old Mar 25, 2008, 11:25 AM   #11
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Shutter speeds that slow are to be expected shooting indoors without a flash at ISO 400 with a kit lens with a widest available aperture of f/3.5 on it's wide end, dropping off to only f/5.6 on it's long end.

You're lucky you got shutter speeds that fast. If you didn't have light coming in through the windows, shutter speeds would have been even slower.

In most indoor lighting, you'll need to shoot at ISO 1600 using a brighter lens (with wider available apertures, represented by smaller f/stop numbers) to get decent results without blur if your subjects are not motionless. Indoor lighting is not very bright to a camera.

Again, see the exposure calculator I posted a link to earlier to get a better idea of the relationship between lighting, aperture, shutter speed and ISO speed (shown as film speed in the calculator).

The same exposure concepts apply to both film and digital. If anything, you'll get slightly faster shutter speeds for a giving lighting, aperture setting and ISO speed setting with your A100. That's because it's slightly more sensitive than set for ISO speed.


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Old Mar 25, 2008, 11:32 AM   #12
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I assumed that in the auto mode, I had no control over ISO and shutter and used that mode to assure that I got decent pictures. WRONG.

Are you suggesting I use the manual mode for these indoor shots?

I will post a couple of the sports mode shots.

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Old Mar 25, 2008, 11:33 AM   #13
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One more of volleyball
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Old Mar 25, 2008, 11:43 AM   #14
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Flying Fossil wrote:
Quote:
I assumed that in the auto mode, I had no control over ISO and shutter and used that mode to assure that I got decent pictures. WRONG.
And the camera probably had a hand blinking in the viewfinder to let you know your shutter speeds are too slow (especially for the first one where you were zoomed in all the way), so you'd know you need a flash. ;-)

Also, the camera doesn't know that you're shooting moving subjects.

In addition, the Auto ISO feature won't go above ISO 400 on many camera models unless you set it higher.

Quote:
Are you suggesting I use the manual mode for these indoor shots?
I'd shoot in either Aperture Priority mode or Manual Exposure indoors without a flash, and set the ISO speed as desired, depending on what type of subject and how much noise you are willing to tolerate.

Or, use a flash. That's what it's there for. You can assume that virtually any camera model with a kit lens is going to need a flash to get a higher percentage of photos without blur indoors. That's what it's there for. Use an external flash for best results (so you can bounce it for more diffused lighting).

If you plan on shooting indoors without a flash, I'd get a brighter lens. One of my favorites for shooting indoors in closer quarters like those family shots is the Minolta 28mm f/2. If buying a new lens, you may want to look at a Sigma 30mm f/1.4. It's $429 at B&H.

A lens with f/2 available is 8 times as bright as your kit lens is when zoomed in much (since it drops off to a widest available aperture of f/5.6 when zoomed in to 35mm or longer). A lens with f/1.4 available is 16 times as bright as your lens is when it's zoomed in much. So, you could get shutter speeds 8 to 16 times as fast using one of those lenses (Minolta 28mm f/2, Sigma 30mm f/1.4), for any given lighting and ISO speed.

The same thing is true for the kit lenses other manufacturers include (Nikon, Canon, Pentax, etc.). They're not bright enough for shooting non-stationary subjects indoors without a flash (unless you want blurry photos when your subjects are moving).

If you want to try and a use kit lens without a flash indoors, don't zoom in any (it's roughly 3 times as bright on it's wide end compared to when you zoom in much with it). You'll also need to try and time your shots when your subjects are motionless. That will take a bit of practice.

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Old Mar 25, 2008, 11:47 AM   #15
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For your indoor sports, you're going to need even faster shutter speeds.

I'd suggest a Sony/Zeiss 85mm f/1.4, Minolta 100mm f/2 or Minolta 85mm f/1.4 AF lens. Or, if you can get real close, a 50mm f/1.4 or 50mm f/1.7. Then, shoot at ISO 1600 with the aperture set to around f/2, and use noise reduction tools later.

But, even with a brighter lens, indoor sports are tough to shoot and you'll need to practice at it.

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Old Mar 25, 2008, 12:06 PM   #16
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That second volleyball photo was taken at ISO 500, f/4 and 1/125 second.

So, ISO 800 and f/4 would have got you around 1/200 second, and using ISO 1600 would have got you up to around 1/400 second. That's about as slow as you'd want to go.

That's exceptionally good lighting. The gyms I've shot at around here were *much* dimmer. lol

The reason it was much slower for the first photo, is because you were zoomed in (and your lens only has f/5.6 as a widest available aperture when zoomed in much).

If lighting is normally that good there, you could probably do OK with an f/2.8 zoom. For example, a Sony/Zeiss 70-200mm f/2.8 or Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 (or a shorter zoom with f/2.8 available). f/2.8 is exactly 4 times as bright as f/5.6 (the widest available aperture your lens has when zoomed in much). So, you could get shutter speeds 4 times as fast with an f/2.8 lens for any given lighting and iso speed.

You could probably get around 1/400 second at f/2.8 and ISO 800 in that lighting from what I can tell of the way that Volleyball image was exposed (or get shutter speeds twice as fast with ISO 1600). That's *very* good light for indoors.

With an f/4 zoom, you'll probably need to shoot at ISO 1600 in it for any keepers. With only f/5.6, forget it. You'll just have a lot of blurry photos.

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Old Mar 25, 2008, 11:04 PM   #17
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Thanks for the input folks, as you may have surmised, I am not much of a photographer.
I am using several of the lenses that I had from my Minolta Maxum film camera and none of them are very fast lenses. with my 50mm 1:1.7 being the fastest, and then the Kit lense 18-70 zoom @ 3.5-5.6 and the Minolta 35-70 zoom and the beer can at 1:4.
I have a lot of experimenting to do and think my next attempt will be to use the manual mode and play with shutter speed, ISO aperture and get away from the habit of zooming in on everything, loosing light and shutter speed.

Thank god for the cheap film these days.

Fire away.
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Old Mar 26, 2008, 6:26 AM   #18
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Use the 50mm indoors if you can't use a flash. It's your best choice out of your existing lenses. Stop it down to around to f/2.2 (or even f/2.8 if light allows), for a tad more sharpness and depth of field. Just use Aperture Priority, set the Aperture to somewhere between about f/2.2 and f/2.8, and let the camera select the shutter speed needed for proper exposure.

You don't have to use manual exposure if you don't want to if this stuff is a bit confusing. You don't even need to use Aperture Priority (although that would give you a bit more control).

Even in P (programmed auto) mode, the camera is going to use the widest available aperture anyway in low light, and it will pick both the shutter speed and aperture for you.

You will have to set your ISO speed higher if you're not getting fast enough shutter speeds. That's no big deal. After all, you had to change film if you wanted faster film (with choices like ISO/ASA 25, 64, 100, 200, 400, 800, etc.). With a dSLR, you select a menu choice for it. ;-)

The main problem is that your kit lens is just not bright enough for indoor use without a flash (if your subjects are moving any). So, the camera can't pick an aperture that's bright enough if the lens doesn't have it. ;-)

In many indoor conditions, you'll need an f/2 or brighter prime like your 50mm f/1.7.

In some indoor conditions, you may be able to get by with a zoom. But, you'll want a zoom with f/2.8 available. For example, a Sony/Zeiss 24-70mm f/2.8, Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8, Sony/Minolta 70-200mm f/2.8G, Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8, etc.

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