kaitak744
Posts: 2110
Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2005 1:32 pm

Need Help With Taking Indoor Images

Fri Feb 29, 2008 12:33 am

This is not really related to aviation, but related to photography.

I have a Nikon D80. I was in a moderately well lit ball room, and i was trying to get shots roughly 40-50ft away with my 18-55mm lens (F3.5-5.6). But even with a flash, a shutter speed of 60, and full aperture, the shots came out dark. Then I tried moving up closer, and the shots still came out much darker than expected.

However, it wasn't due to the conditions. I saw many other people (with much bigger and expensive lenses) taking pictures with DSLRs and they seemed to be doing fine. They didn't even need a flash.

So, what could I be doing wrong?
My lens perhaps? Which one is good for indoor conditions?



Thanks a lot.
 
Newark777
Posts: 8284
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 6:23 am

RE: Need Help With Taking Indoor Images

Fri Feb 29, 2008 12:46 am



Quoting Kaitak744 (Thread starter):
with much bigger and expensive lenses

Bigger lenses will let more light in, but did you raise your ISO at all? If you kept your ISO down in the default range, it would cause the problems you're talking about. Also, with the flash, the camera thinks that it's going to get illumination in addition to what it's metering, but with a subject that far away, not as much light is going to reach it with a default flash.
Why grab a Heine when you can grab a Busch?
 
kaitak744
Posts: 2110
Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2005 1:32 pm

RE: Need Help With Taking Indoor Images

Fri Feb 29, 2008 1:01 am

The camera was set to "auto", and the ISO was within the range of 60-80. But wouldn't keeping the ISO down increase the amount of time the camera is exposed to the light, and thus make it brighter?
 
CalgaryBill
Posts: 618
Joined: Thu May 04, 2006 12:27 am

RE: Need Help With Taking Indoor Images

Fri Feb 29, 2008 1:55 am



Quoting Kaitak744 (Reply 2):
The camera was set to "auto", and the ISO was within the range of 60-80. But wouldn't keeping the ISO down increase the amount of time the camera is exposed to the light, and thus make it brighter?

Keeping the ISO down means the sensor is less sensitive to light, so the image won't be brighter, the sensor has to be exposed longer to get a properly exposed image. To extend the reach of your flash or get a quicker shutter speed, you have to increase your ISO. Rather than break down how your camera captures an image, here's how I shoot candids at a wedding: ISO set to 640, 70-200mm lens set at f2.8, flash set to iTTL and -2/3 stop, camera set on manual and either 1/30 or 1/60 of a second.

You said you are using a flash, but didn't mention which flash. The one on the camera is terribly weak and really isn't useful over about 25 feet. To shoot 50-60 feet away, you will need an SB-600 or SB-800, and I would suggest mounting it on a frame above or to one side of the camera to avoid red-eye and flat lighting.

To understand the "why" of all of this, go out and buy two books: "The Camera" and "The Negative" both by Ansel Adams. The two together provide a really solid foundation in camera operation and image exposure.

B
 
kaitak744
Posts: 2110
Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2005 1:32 pm

RE: Need Help With Taking Indoor Images

Fri Feb 29, 2008 3:38 am

Thanks Newark777 and CalgaryBill.

In addition to taking all those steps, would you recommend getting a different lens? The one I have is the cheap one which comes with the camera and can only go to F3.5, and not lower.

Or, does the lens have little to nothing to do with my situation?
 
CalgaryBill
Posts: 618
Joined: Thu May 04, 2006 12:27 am

RE: Need Help With Taking Indoor Images

Fri Feb 29, 2008 6:06 am



Quoting Kaitak744 (Reply 4):
Or, does the lens have little to nothing to do with my situation?

The bigger aperture lenses will definitely let in more light, giving you a faster shutter speed and more reach with your flash. Typically the larger aperture lenses also have better quality glass (there are exceptions to every rule!), but that comes with a higher price tag.

B
 
metroliner
Posts: 847
Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 4:35 am

RE: Need Help With Taking Indoor Images

Fri Feb 29, 2008 11:32 am



Quoting Kaitak744 (Reply 2):
The camera was set to "auto", and the ISO was within the range of 60-80

No wonder you were having difficulty without flash. Get the ISO up to a reasonable figure for indoor light! You should be seeing at least 400ISO for crisp shots with that lens hand-held. And, as CalgaryBill said, you need to have the ISO at a reasonable value for the flash to do it's thing too.

Quoting Kaitak744 (Reply 4):
In addition to taking all those steps, would you recommend getting a different lens? The one I have is the cheap one which comes with the camera and can only go to F3.5, and not lower.

Or, does the lens have little to nothing to do with my situation?

Yes and no. I would firstly second the following recommendation:

Quoting CalgaryBill (Reply 3):
The one on the camera is terribly weak and really isn't useful over about 25 feet.

...and get a better flashgun, or:

Quoting CalgaryBill (Reply 3):
To understand the "why" of all of this, go out and buy two books: "The Camera" and "The Negative" both by Ansel Adams. The two together provide a really solid foundation in camera operation and image exposure.

...settle down with a good book on photography and the theory of photography and gain an understanding of how it all works so you never have to feel dirty when you use a $1000 camera on 'Auto' again  Wink.

Good luck, and if you have any more questions, we're all willing to help  Smile

Toni
Set the controls for the heart of the Sun
 
CalgaryBill
Posts: 618
Joined: Thu May 04, 2006 12:27 am

RE: Need Help With Taking Indoor Images

Fri Feb 29, 2008 3:58 pm



Quoting Metroliner (Reply 6):
so you never have to feel dirty when you use a $1000 camera on 'Auto' again

Love it!
 
kaitak744
Posts: 2110
Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2005 1:32 pm

RE: Need Help With Taking Indoor Images

Sat Mar 01, 2008 1:51 am

Thanks a lot guys (and girls if some of you are). I previously mistook the shutter speed for the ISO. (I am still pretty new at this. This is my first "real" camera). My ISO was at 200, and the shutter speed was ~50-60. Anyways, I have been playing around with it, and I think I got it down.

Thanks.

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