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Digital SLR Camera Settings  
User currently offlineOlympus69 From Canada, joined Jun 2002, 1737 posts, RR: 7
Posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 5318 times:

As I am trying to figure out while I have been getting so many rejections lately I thought it might be a good idea to find out if I am making the best use of my Nikon D70.
I would be interested in finding out what settings other Digital SLR owners are using for such things as Autofocus mode, (Single or Continuous); Focus area; Shooting mode (Auto, Program, Shutter, or Aperture Priority, etc.). Also other in-camera enhancements such as sharpening or color mode.
I am interested mainly in settings for action photos of aircraft - landing, taking off etc.I am currently using 1/640sec for the shutter setting. I was using the Program mode but was getting very high shutterspeeds - 1/2000 or faster, and wide apertures. I now seem to be getting photos fairly consistantly under-exposed for some reason. This happens even on sunny days but is worse with overcast conditions. I am using a Nikkor G type lens, 70-300mm, 1:4-5.6.
I would like to hear from users of Canon or other makes as`well since they probably all have similar features, though the names may differ.

18 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineFlyingZacko From Germany, joined May 2005, 583 posts, RR: 6
Reply 1, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 5312 times:

Quoting Olympus69 (Thread starter):
I now seem to be getting photos fairly consistantly under-exposed for some reason.

I would say 1/640th of a second is too fast.

Cheers,
Sebastian



Canon 40D + 24-70 f/2.8 L + 70-200 f/4 L + Speedlite 430EX
User currently offlineUsaf6986 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 35 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 5314 times:

Canon Rebel XT user, Well I use Av or Manual Mode, about Using continuous shooting, ISO 100. I usually try to stay above f/8 when i can, this usually accomplishes anywhere from 640-2000th of a second. I use center weighted metering. and on the settings, i have sat, and anything besides sharpening in the middle, i have it one notch higher. if you are getting slighty underexposed pics, i would use Exposure comp. of a +1/2 or maybe even 1.

User currently offlineFlyingZacko From Germany, joined May 2005, 583 posts, RR: 6
Reply 3, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 5302 times:

Quoting Usaf6986 (Reply 2):
I usually try to stay above f/8 when i can, this usually accomplishes anywhere from 640-2000th of a second.

Is staying above f/8 setting it f/>8 to you? Because if so, I really don't see how that will give you an exposure between 640-2000th of a second, especially when using ISO100.

Cheers,
Sebastian

[Edited 2005-09-29 18:12:29]


Canon 40D + 24-70 f/2.8 L + 70-200 f/4 L + Speedlite 430EX
User currently offlineSmAlbany From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 285 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 5300 times:

I use a Canon 300D so I don't have a lot of options regarding metering or focus mode. For jets I usually use aperature priority. I try and keep the aperature set between 6.3 and 8. I use a 70-200 f/4L lens. I only shoot it wide open if the light conditions are bad. For props I usually switch to shutter priority with it set at 1/200 or so. That way you get some motion blur in the props. I always use iso 100.

That my 2 cents.

Hope it is of use.

Dan


User currently offlineNorfolkjohn From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 251 posts, RR: 8
Reply 5, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 5299 times:

Hi,

I'm not a Nikon user but interestingly I am in correspondence with another D70 user that is also having major acceptance problems and he is also shooting in full auto mode. I would be very interested to know what D70 users with good acceptance ratios are doing as I freely admit, based or reviews I have read, that the D70 should be capable of excellent results.

I use Canon equipment (D10 & D20) and nearly always shoot in Shutter Priority mode. This is largely because I grew up with shutter priority film cameras like the Canon AE1. For action shots what I do depends on the nature of the action to some extent. For approach and landing or take-off shots I generally work at around a 1/320 of a second. For jets I'll push that up to a 1/500 if lighting permits and for props / helicopters I will come down to 1/250 to increase prop / rotor blur. As far as possible I aim to keep aperture above f7.1 with f8 to f11 my ideal. I seldom select the ISO to anything other than 100.

As for AF the standard advice for action shots is AI Servo but I normally use AI Focus which starts off in single shot mode but automatically switches to Servo if the camera detects motion. I also aim to get the lens to refocus just as I'm about to take the shot rather than trying to continuously track the subject for an extended period of several seconds. To do this I focus on the subject initially then take my finger off the shutter release button which will stop any AF tracking then just before taking the shot I half depress the shutter button to do a final focus check hold it down and shoot. If I'm going to adjust the zoom setting I do that before the final focus check so I am not trying to AF track and zoom at the same time. I find the AF very fast indeed and seldom have a problem with a lens losing AF lock or hunting to lock back on the target after AF tracking has been interrupted. I always work with only the center AF point selected as active. I admit that this is probably not a normal way of opeating but it DOES work for me in the situations described above i.e take off, approach and landing.

On the rare occasions I shoot fast jets at an air display I do put the AF on Servo and try to continuously track the subject. I aim for a shutter speed above a 1/500 and prefer to be at 1/1000 while still looking for f7.1 to f11. In other words if it is not a bright day I don't try to get real high speed shots. I would also mention that I am normally using image satabalized lenses (300 f4 L or 100-400 L)

On internal image adjustments in the camera I generally do NOTHING at all. The only exception is that with my 10D I have found that with certain lenses I get slightly better results if I use one increment of in camera sharpening. My general advice would be don't do any colour / contrast / sharpness adjustments in the camera. Do these adjustments in Photo Shop on your computer.

Everyone has their own ways of doing things and the above is just my personal way of working.

All the best.

John



One thorn of experience is worth a whole wilderness of warning.
User currently offlinePositiveClimb From Germany, joined Jun 2004, 213 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 5267 times:

Okay, Olympus E-300 user here (it's called Olympus Evolt 300 for you Americans out there  Wink ).

Typical settings something like that:
Shooting in Aperture Priority mode, normally at around f6.3 - f9.0 (depending on lighting conditions), always keeping an eye on the resulting shutter time (try to keep it shorter than 1/equivalent focal length as a rule of thumb or even shorter for fast moving objects), ISO100 normally (ISO200 in bad light - normally I avoid using ISO400 or above).
Normally using continuous shooting and continuous AF with only the center measuring point selected, metering is typically center weighted, internal sharpening set to 0 (ranging from -2 aka low to +2 aka high). If needed manual exposure compensation (but normally not more than +/-1/3).

That's it, works fine for me so far, but I think everyone has his "own" settings...

Best Regards,
Fabian/PositiveClimb Big grin



A380 - love at first flight
User currently offlineScbriml From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2003, 12040 posts, RR: 47
Reply 7, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 5230 times:
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Quoting Norfolkjohn (Reply 5):
I would be very interested to know what D70 users with good acceptance ratios are doing

Well, I use a D70 anyway!  biggrin 

I shoot in:
A mode (aperture priority), with aperture set to f8-f11 depending on conditions.
AF: continuous
AF-area: single (centre)
Matrix metering.

In bright conditions I usually underexpose by 0.3 or 0.7 to prevent blown highlights.



Hey AA, the 1960s called. They want their planes back!
User currently offlineMikephotos From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 2923 posts, RR: 54
Reply 8, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 5220 times:

Quoting Scbriml (Reply 7):
Well, I use a D70 anyway!

I shoot in:
A mode (aperture priority), with aperture set to f8-f11 depending on conditions.
AF: continuous
AF-area: single (centre)
Matrix metering.

In bright conditions I usually underexpose by 0.3 or 0.7 to prevent blown highlights.

Same here (as listed above). Just to add, ISO-200 and usually custom WB using the "pringles cap" or sunny when I'm lazy.

Mike


User currently offlineNIKV69 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 5189 times:

Quoting Mikephotos (Reply 8):
and usually custom WB using the "pringles cap"

Hey Mike  wave 

I use those settings but I have always used the "sunny" setting on white balance. I am going to try that other setting!

Thanks!  biggrin 


User currently offlineOlympus69 From Canada, joined Jun 2002, 1737 posts, RR: 7
Reply 10, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 5177 times:

Thanks for all your comments so far. There are several suggestions I will have to try out. Incidentally, I keep the shutter speed quite high because my 78 year old hands are not very steady, and need all the help I can give them!
I have trouble following moving planes accurately and this sometimes leads to chopped off tails or noses. Naturally this usually happens when I am photographing something rare  Sad
I also seem to have a bad habit of getting the plane too low in the frame, which sometimes has a bad effect on the metering, and also rotating the camera about 5 degrees counter-clockwise, which has a bad effect on my temper when I am processing the results  Smile
I have had the D70 since April of last year and have taken about 2,500 photos with it. I have been happy with the results until recently; they have been much better than the Minolta and Olympus point and shoot 10x zoom cameras that preceded it.

John.


User currently offlineTonimr From Spain, joined Jan 2001, 325 posts, RR: 23
Reply 11, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 5087 times:

Hey John!

I'm not quite sure if I'll be helpful to someone who used to take photos many years before I was even born, but I'll try anyway.  Wink

The minimum ISO 200 of the D70 will allow you to take photos at around f8 with speeds around 1/640 or 1/800 on sunny days, If the sun is hidden by clouds you'd had to slow down to 1/400 or 1/500.

Anyway, as your main concern seems to be avoiding camera shake, I'd try to work in "S" mode at 1/800 or lower (1/500) with less light. If that gives you f8 to f11 you'll be getting the best of your 70-300 and you'll get a reasonable depth of field.

Concerning the underexposure you get, it's quite normal as most digital cameras (specially Nikon's) tend to keep highlights safe. In cloudy conditions it's usual to compensate +1.0 or even more, but remember that an underexposed shot is always easier to rescue...

The D70 matrix metering is quite accurate but I've noticed that you'll get OVERexposure when shooting at aircrafts with a high contrast livery over a blue sky. In this cases you should compensate the exposure -0.3 to -0.7 as Steve suggests or switch to center weighted metering.

Autofocus: AF-C works well for action and AF-S for static slow objects. If you don't want a lot of different angles of an approach you can use AF-S and move apart your finger from the trigger between shots to ensure that each frame is correctly focused.

And don't forget to keep posting those slide scans regularly!

Toni



There is a very fine line between 'hobby' and 'mental illness'.
User currently offlineOlympus69 From Canada, joined Jun 2002, 1737 posts, RR: 7
Reply 12, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 5012 times:

Quoting Tonimr (Reply 11):
The minimum ISO 200 of the D70 will allow you to take photos at around f8 with speeds around 1/640

I usually seem to get f10 or 11 with 1/640 on sunny days. Maybe that accounts for the underexposure? Anyway I'm going to take the camera to Nikon in a month or so when I'm not using it as much and have them check it out. I may take some examples of the original photos with all the shooting data on them.

Quoting Tonimr (Reply 11):
And don't forget to keep posting those slide scans regularly!

Slide scans?

Thanks for the advice,

John.


User currently offlineTonimr From Spain, joined Jan 2001, 325 posts, RR: 23
Reply 13, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 4974 times:

Quoting Olympus69 (Reply 12):
I usually seem to get f10 or 11 with 1/640 on sunny days. Maybe that accounts for the underexposure?

Well, that was just an estimation... it depends of the subject or local circumstances...

Quoting Olympus69 (Reply 12):
Anyway, I'm going to take the camera to Nikon in a month or so when I'm not using it as much and have them check it out.

I don't think that your camera needs fixing, the behavior of it seems similar of what I get with my D70 (and quite similar to the D2X). It's just a matter of recognizing when you need to apply a bit of exposure compensation.

Quoting Olympus69 (Reply 12):
Slide scans?

Yes!, I love your older shots...

Toni



There is a very fine line between 'hobby' and 'mental illness'.
User currently offlineKC7MMI From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 854 posts, RR: 3
Reply 14, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 4875 times:

I thought my D70 was underexposing too until I read an online article that describes that this is the characteristic of the in-camera tonal curve. You can change this curve as long as you have Nikon Capture software. Go to Photogenetic's Custom Tone Curves page for more information on this. I regularly use custom tone curves to improve the image right out of the camera. The great thing is, if you're using Nikon Capture, you can always revert to any of the other in-camera tonal settings.

[Edited 2005-10-02 20:34:24]

User currently offlineKc7mmi From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 854 posts, RR: 3
Reply 15, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 4855 times:

Here's another link for the custom curves:
http://www.pbase.com/oldskoo1/the_curves/


User currently offlineDC3 From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2004, 50 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 4711 times:

Hello John.

Although there may be ways of fine-tuning the camera that will help (compensation, etc.) I think your main problem is framing - if the subject isn't more-or-less central, and of a reasonable size, the meter will be heavily influenced by the tone of the sky, which is normally much brighter than that of the aircraft, hence the underexposure. The meter always assumes the subject is medium-toned. The clue is when you say 'the situation is worse on overcast days' because then you will be metering off a white or pale-grey sky. Clear blue skies, by the way, are pretty-much medium-toned, especially if you are shooting at about 90 degrees to the sun, and are less likely to cause problems even if you are metering 'past' the subject.

Try this - using the same focus as you would for aircraft (usually somewhere near infinity) and any shutter speed that will give you acceptably sharp pictures, meter off some fresh grass or a medium toned building, weathered concrete, etc., note the aperture and set the camera manually. Use this setting for a few aircraft shots, and see if this helps. I would guess that it will.

You can also check the camera's exposure by using the 'sunny f16 rule'. Let me know if you want any help with this concept.

And finally - 78, and still taking pictures!! Well done!!

Cheers,

Chris


User currently offlineC133 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 225 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 4698 times:
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Quoting Mikephotos (Reply 8):
Same here (as listed above). Just to add, ISO-200 and usually custom WB using the "pringles cap" or sunny when I'm lazy.

Okay, nobody else asked, so I will: what's the "pringles cap"?

Terry



Fine: Tax for doing wrong. Tax: Fine for doing well.
User currently offlineMikephotos From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 2923 posts, RR: 54
Reply 18, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 4695 times:

Quoting C133 (Reply 17):
Okay, nobody else asked, so I will: what's the "pringles cap"?

If you can find the older pringles cap that are not clear you can use it to set custom white balance. Use it instead of the more expensive ExpoDisc. It's probably not as great as the $100+ Expodisc but works just fine from my experience.

Mike


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