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Best Setting For Nikon D3100  
User currently offlineevall95 From Australia, joined Aug 2011, 306 posts, RR: 0
Posted (2 years 11 months 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 15163 times:

Hi guys I have recently just bought a Nikon D3100 and have been shooting in auto mode just to get the hang of things. I was just wondering what would be the best settings to shoot aviation photos.

Thanks  

16 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinedazbo5 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2005, 2913 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (2 years 11 months 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 15163 times:

Quoting evall95 (Thread starter):
I was just wondering what would be the best settings to shoot aviation photos.

There aren't any best settings as it all depends on the light at the moment you press the shutter speed. It might be worth reading the manual or getting a good photography book to learn about the exposure triangle, what it means, how ISO, shutter speed and aperature all influence each other and how to use them for best effect. Then practice and learn what works and what doesn't for you. For starters, if you've shooting on a nice day, ie bright, ISO 100 in aperture priority at f/8 is not a bad starting point. Depending on focal length, a shutter speed from 1/200th+ and you should get better results than the automatic settings.

Darren



Equipment: 2x Canon EOS 50D; Sigma 10-20 EX DC HSM, 50-500 EX APO DG, Canon 24-105 f/4 L, Speedlite 430EX
User currently offlineDehowie From Australia, joined Feb 2004, 1058 posts, RR: 33
Reply 2, posted (2 years 11 months 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 15146 times:

Best advice I can give you is go buy a good book on basic principles of photography..will teach you all you need to know and you can apply it for the rest of your photography life..
Best investment you will ever make..



2EOS1DX,EF14.2.8LII,17TS,85/1.2,16-35L,24-70LII,24L,70-200F2.8LII,100-400,300/400/500/800L
User currently offlinebelfordrocks From Australia, joined Nov 2007, 60 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (2 years 11 months 12 hours ago) and read 15077 times:

I'd use Manual mode with manual shutter and aperture speed and auto ISO.

User currently offlineJForbes From United States of America, joined Sep 2011, 27 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (2 years 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 15042 times:

For aviation photography, I use full manual if the path of planes is not in varied light. There's no way to get more consistent exposure!

Depending on how bright it is, I'll shoot between f/4 and f/11, at shutter speeds from 1/30th to 1/2000th. Yes, it's a broad range, but asking what specific settings is a bit silly: it depends! If my camera is nearby and I need to prep for a grab shot, I just use program mode with a higher ISO than I would normally use (say, 400 instead of 100-200 during the day).

If the light changes, change the exposure. If it doesn't change, you have nothing to worry about. just check every once in a while so you don't get stuck with 150 overexposed, blown out images :P

I do more landscapes than anything else, and again, it depends. If I'm light limited and need depth of field, I set the ISO as high as I dare and use shutter priority at the slowest shutter speed I can reasonably get a sharp image at. If I have plenty of light, I use aperture priority and adjust aperture as needed for more/less DOF. If I'm on a tripod and taking my time, it's all manual, all the time, but when the camera comes off the tripod I plop it in to P mode in case something interesting comes along.


User currently offlinecomair25 From United States of America, joined Sep 2006, 216 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (2 years 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 15016 times:

If I could I kinda wanna piggy back off of this question. I't trying to figure out the most advantageous metering mode to use?

User currently offlineJForbes From United States of America, joined Sep 2011, 27 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (2 years 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 14902 times:

comair25:

Manual. That way, the meter doesn't change the exposure because the plane is a different color.

If you use a spot meter, the brightness of the plane will drastically affect exposure. White planes will come out underexposed and need positive exposure compensation. Gray planes will come out closer to right, and dark planes will come out overexposed and need to be reduced.

If you're not shooting in manual, you're probably best off using the normal full scene metering system. Nikon's metering is pretty good, and you won't need to adjust too much from it, but it is always necessary to pay attention when shooting in any autoexposure mode.

Moreso than anything else, I would recommend paying attention to how the meter works, find out what situations it tends to over or underexpose in for yourself, and make adjustments accordingly. Every camera is a bit different, and every camera has its own metering quirks. If you shoot in manual, you won't have to deal with any of them, no matter what camera you use!


User currently offlinecomair25 From United States of America, joined Sep 2006, 216 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (2 years 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 14883 times:

I do currently shoot in full manual mode and most of my shots seem to be coming out slightly overexposed especially on white aircraft. The exposure meter in my viewfinder shots properly exposed, but when I check the shot normally the mountain is slightly off, or example will look like this when shooting aircraft on final. My guess would be do to there only being a small amount of colors present, but I'm just making an educated guess from what I have learned so far.
http://www.airliners.net/aviation-photos/misc/uf/42070/php4HPkPj.jpeg
When you say manual do you mean matrix mode for Nikon? I guess I am kinda confused by what you mean when you say manual. I am looking through my guide on the D3100 as I am typing this. I am also looking at the different focus modes and AF-C seems to be for moving subjects which would be proper for aviation.
I can never get the smooth mountain exposure unless I shoot in auto which bumps up the ISO to almost 800 and shutter is normally 1/2000 with an extremely high F stop, which is unacceptable especially in bright daylight and slow moving aircraft.
I kinda feel like this is the wrong way to get a correct exposure, but it seems that f/8 is the sharpest for my lens (nikon 55-300MM VR 4.5-5.6) with ISO 100(depending on light). I shoot in manual and adjust shutter speed with each scene to keep the exposure correct. Is that right or am I just doing it all wrong? I seem to be getting good results using that method. I have not experimented with AF lock or AE lock yet. Im still trying to understand those.
I have a ton of questions haha
Thanks

Ryan

[Edited 2011-11-01 06:09:27]

User currently offlineJForbes From United States of America, joined Sep 2011, 27 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (2 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 14840 times:

If you're using manual mode but relying on the meter, you're still using the meter. I mean to use it as a general guideline, but ignore it after that. If there are hot spots on the planes you will need to expose less to get the detail. If there are not, you can expose more to get better quality in post.

Once you're in manual mode and your exposure is near where it should be, just pay attention to see if the meter is changing due to light conditions, which should signal that you may need to adjust your exposure. But if you set your exposure in manual mode to "0", you're not doing anything in manual mode that won't be done in an automatic mode - you're essentially doing manually controlled autoexposure!

So when you're shooting in manual mode, different metering modes will cause the meter to bounce around a little bit differently, depending on the scene, but it doesn't matter, as you are the one that is setting the exposure - you are ignoring the camera. you are smarter than the camera.

The idea of shooting in M is that you can find the spot where you're not blowing out parts of your image, and ignore what the stupid meter tells you 


User currently offlinecomair25 From United States of America, joined Sep 2006, 216 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (2 years 10 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 14820 times:

So the whole idea is to not rely on the meter in the viewfinder? So say after I get my shutter speed set say at 1/400 or 1/500 seem to work great at f/8, I just use exposure compensation to change the exposure correct? I also seem to have small blown out spots on the aircraft, even in one of my latest that were accepted, there are a couple blown out spots one of the vertical stabalizer the other on the fuselage. Im still trying to wrap my head around the exposure concept. Metering modes being Matrix, center weighted and point correct? I have always shot in matrix mode. Im really sorry if Im asking to many questions lol. I guess I have trouble understanding you said when you move the camera around to different scenes yes the meter does bounce between over and underexposed. So if you are following aircraft the mater will change how do you keep it from being over or underexposed wen you snap the shutter release. Say with an aircraft on final those settings above would be fine, but I may turn to get an aircraft taxing in front of me and it shows I need to slow to shutter down to 1/40. So much to learn haha.
example
This one is in the queue to be screened, it has no blow out spots and actually looks like on of my best exposed photos.
http://www.airliners.net/addphotos/big/ready/e1320102340.0106sas.jpg

The accepted photo of the same aircarft just seconds earlier. The only difference I believe is I was relying on the meter and I saw it change so I adjusted with shutter speed to make the correct exposure again.
http://www.airliners.net/photo/Scand...d=e404d15a9e2f15d1236f5beb3f75ff69

Thank you so much JForbes

Ryan

[Edited 2011-11-03 00:54:17]

User currently offlinedazbo5 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2005, 2913 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (2 years 10 months 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 14815 times:

This all sounds very complicated, and probably more complicated than it needs to be. Using Aperture or shutter priority works fine in 99% of cases. If some want the challange of full manual, then fine but with modern cameras, Av or Tv is more than adequate. I do shoot manual at times, there are pro's and con's but until the photographer becomes more exerienced, why complicate things by suggesting some of the above?

Quoting comair25 (Reply 9):
Metering modes being Matrix, center weighted and point correct?

If you are shooting full manual, metering won't be used as it's up to you as the photographer to work that out or by inputting the readings from the light meter. Exposure modes are only applicable when using the cameras meter. Matrix is most comonly used as centre weighted or point normally gives a false reading in aviation (and is more advanced, you need to know about metering and what happens etc so that's for the future).

Quoting comair25 (Reply 9):
Im still trying to wrap my head around the exposure concept

Exposure has 3 elements, aperture, shutter speed and film (sensor) sensitivity (ISO).

Aperture - the opening in the lens that controls the amount of light entering the camera.
Shutter peed - is the length of time the film or sensor is exposed to the light
ISO - the sensitivity of the film or sensor to light

Each one of the above is influenced by the other. For xample, if you increase the ISO, the camera becomes more sensitve to light so you either need to reduce the shutter speed or close the aperature (reduce the f number). Once you grasp the basics of the exposure triangle, it makes photography and controlling your camera much easier. When you shoot in full manual, you have to control and work out all of the above. When you shoot in semi-automatic such as aperature or shutter priority, you control the ISO and either the aperture or shutter, and the camera works out the other component. The vast majority of photographers here will either use aperature or shutter priority. So don't let things get too complicted by trying to use full manual until you have mastered the basics, it's just not needed. Refer to my post at the top of the page.

Darren



Equipment: 2x Canon EOS 50D; Sigma 10-20 EX DC HSM, 50-500 EX APO DG, Canon 24-105 f/4 L, Speedlite 430EX
User currently offlinecomair25 From United States of America, joined Sep 2006, 216 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (2 years 10 months 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 14812 times:

Darren,

I just want to make sure. The meter I am using is in the viewfinder. I have been adjusting shutter speed to keep the meter in the center to be properly exposed. That seems to work ok, but photos are normally slightly overexposed. Would exposure compensation not fix that to help out the blown out poritions of photos?

Thank You very much. I do understand what the differences are in all three, its going to be using all three of them in manual mode. Next time I go out Ill shoot in A priority and see what I can come up with. M has actually done me well in that I have photos accepted apparently not even using it correctly haha. Ill just put it to F/8 and let the camera control the shutter. I had picked up Photography for dummies all in the one and have been reading that. It has been a big help so far. I will keep reading and after a bit more practice head back out and try manual again after some shooting around my local area.

Thank You

Ryan


User currently offlinedazbo5 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2005, 2913 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (2 years 10 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 14810 times:

Quoting comair25 (Reply 11):
Would exposure compensation not fix that to help out the blown out poritions of photos?

It's normal, on Canon cameras at least, to use -1/3 of exposure compensation on a bright day to prevent blowing out of highlights. Conversely, on a dull day, I'll generally dial in +1/3 of exposure compensation to lift the brightness and get a more accurate exposure. It's a question of practice and experience to see what works best for your style of photography and what works for you. Assuming you have a bright day, just try shooting with ISO 100 or 200, an aperture of f/8-11 and see what the shutter speeds are. If they are acceptable, you should see good results. As we're getting in to winter, you may not need exposure compensation as the sun isn't as strong, but see what works. I would forget full manual for the time being until you have mastered the basics.

Darren



Equipment: 2x Canon EOS 50D; Sigma 10-20 EX DC HSM, 50-500 EX APO DG, Canon 24-105 f/4 L, Speedlite 430EX
User currently offlinecomair25 From United States of America, joined Sep 2006, 216 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (2 years 10 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 14807 times:

Thanks a bunch. I was reading some other topics on the forum and have seen the use of the grey card seems pretty handy. Would you suggest picking one up? I saw a post where you can set your exposure off of the grey card, lock it in and shoot away, is it really that simple? (of course having to set your other stuff first ISO,shutter, etc.)

User currently offlinedazbo5 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2005, 2913 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (2 years 10 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 14805 times:

Quoting comair25 (Reply 13):
I was reading some other topics on the forum and have seen the use of the grey card seems pretty handy.

In my experience, not really. Modern cameras have pretty accurate meters and do a pretty good job so it's not really needed, in aviation photography anyway. The trouble is, the light can change in a second and you often don't have chance to meter while an aircraft is on aproach at 150kn. Keep things simple to begin with. An 18% grey card is good in other situations when time is on your side and you want to get more technical, but for me, it's not for aviation. It is a simple case of metering on the grey card, but what happens if 5 seconds later a thin cloud covers the sun while the aircraft is just about to get in to the right position for you?

Darren



Equipment: 2x Canon EOS 50D; Sigma 10-20 EX DC HSM, 50-500 EX APO DG, Canon 24-105 f/4 L, Speedlite 430EX
User currently offlinecomair25 From United States of America, joined Sep 2006, 216 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (2 years 10 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 14804 times:

Quoting dazbo5 (Reply 14):

Ive had that happen a few times. Ive got a few captures where the aircraft is half lit. Everytime I have gone shooting at FRA its always changing so I can see how its not very advantagous to aviation photographers. I also do some other photography (nature, etc) around here in Germany. Its so beautiful here. Makes me not want to go back to the States. Hopefully this weekend Ill be able to go back out to FRA and shoot more with A and S mode and see how things turn out. Thank you for your help, If I have any more questions Ill PM you.

Ryan


User currently offlineJForbes From United States of America, joined Sep 2011, 27 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (2 years 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 14748 times:

When the meter tells you something is properly exposed, it's not necessarily properly exposed. If there's a hot spot on an airplane, for example, the meter may just blow it out. If it's small, it won't be a problem, but if it's large, it can be. You don't need to keep the dot on "0" to have a good exposure.

If you're shooting in aperture priority, you are in auto exposure. If you want the exposure to come out darker or lighter, you can use exposure compensation. If you don't use exposure compensation, then it will do what it wants.

My issue with shooting in autoexposure is because it may not care that some of the image is blown out, or that it won't necessarily try to fix it. Or if subjects of significantly different colors come in to the image (common with planes), the exposure reading will be different.

I'm saying that you're best off when you're looking at the images on the screen in manual mode, and adjusting exposure as needed. Look too bright, have hot spots? Increase shutter speed or close down the aperture a bit. Look too dark? Slow down the shutter speed, widen the aperture, or increase tjhe ISO. Simple. But if the meter bounces around a click or two, it's not a big deal. Small exposure differences are irrelevant in post if you're shooting RAW.


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