BetterPhoto.com - Become a better photographer today!
EMAIL:
PASSWORD:
remember me:     
     


BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

To participate in the Forum, become a BetterPhoto member or Sign In.

 
Photography Question 
Paul D. Freedman
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Paul
Paul's Gallery

member since: 11/10/2008
 

Slow Shutter in Aperture Preferred


 
 
I was in New Orleans earlier this week. I have a Nikon D90 with an 18-200 lens. It was not a bright day but not overcast or dark. It was around 1:00 in the afternoon so not a lot of shadow. I had my Aperture set to F8 and my ISO was 200. I thought I would get at least 1/60 sec shutter speed but the result was 1/8 which was way to slow.

Why would I get such a slow shutter under these conditions?

3/29/2012 8:11:30 PM

 
Christopher J. Budny
BetterPhoto Member
chrisbudny.com

member since: 10/3/2005
  Do you know what metering mode you were in at the time? And did you have any Exposure Compensation (negative) dialed in?

3/30/2012 10:39:39 AM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member
gregorylagrange.org

member since: 11/11/2003
  That's about right actually. Large shaded area from a building. You weren't over near where the shade borders the sunlight. And you said it wasn't a bright day to begin with.
Maybe a different metering mode would've put you at 1/15, but there's no accidental exposure compensation. The picture isn't over exposed.

3/30/2012 3:26:46 PM

 
Paul D. Freedman
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Paul
Paul's Gallery

member since: 11/10/2008
  I went back to the original and I was at a -1 EV on exposure compensation. So assuming I zeroed out the EC this would have put me at 1/15 from 1/8. Still a bit slow for handheld with a moving subject.

Should I have pumped up the ISO to 800 which would have given me two more stops to 1/60th from 1/15th?

Would all cameras, at the same ISO, Shutter and Aperture give the same exposure or are certain cameras (eg full size Sensor) yield better performance under marginal lighting conditions.

PS. I enjoy street photography but walking around with a strobe or reflector does not really lend itself to that genre and a tripod does not help if the subject is moving. I am often out in the evening after work so lighting is often subdued.

What can I do or buy to get good exposures at resonable shutter speeds without sacrificing depth of field?

3/30/2012 5:29:05 PM

 
Christopher J. Budny
BetterPhoto Member
chrisbudny.com

member since: 10/3/2005
  Sounds like a pretty tall order---shooting in less than "fast" light, your subject is often in motion at the time (presumably you want to freeze their motion, at least moreso than in your example image?) and you want generally more depth of field rather than less, plus lower noise. Hmmm...
I'd start with a field analysis of your gear---ie, I'd go out with a friend, in the light you usually encounter, have them walk around at a normal clip, and photograph them at a variety of ISO's, and f/4 - f/8 (a variety of f-stops, paired with a variety of ISO's), and then examine the results, to get a feel for where the gear will yield acceptable results.
Your shooting scenario would seem to suggest to me, that you need the best-performing noise sensor you can get---one that can run well up past 800 before noise starts to degrade the image---allowing you to stick with your chosen f/8... or, you'd need to grow comfortable with shallower DOF? Or accept some subject blur?

3/30/2012 6:29:11 PM

 
Paul D. Freedman
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Paul
Paul's Gallery

member since: 11/10/2008
  Thanks Chris and Greg.

I guess I thought that under the conditions I would have had a bit higher exposure value. I can certainly understand the advantage of fast glass but as an amateur spending upwards of $2000 for a 1.8 or 2.3 zoom is a bit much.

As far as reducing noise at a higher iso, would I see much of an improvement by upgrading my D90 to a D7000 or D700? Thanks again.

3/31/2012 4:18:45 AM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member
gregorylagrange.org

member since: 11/11/2003
  If you were at -1 ev, putting it to zero would have made your exposure 1/4. Or it would have kept it at 1/8 and changed the aperture to 5.6
I'd say you should have raised iso and wider aperture. That short a focal length, for that subject and what they're doing, you're not going to have that much effect on how the picture feels as far as depth of field by going from f/8 to the widest that lens you were using can give you.
I don't know which brand of lens it is, but I'm guessing at 60mm it's about 4-4.5 is the widest it can do.
I wouldn't say that different cameras will give the exact same exposure, but they'll be really close, giving that the metering points are probably similar. A full frame sensor wouldn't matter much unless it meant something drastically different at the edge of the frame would now be visible that a smaller frame wouldn't include.
Full frame sensors have an advantage of less noise because the sensor sites are usually bigger. But that's not a hard rule. I believe Canon's 1D is still considered to have the best picture quality out of all it's cameras.
As far as doing street photography, your camera goes up to iso3200, and it's not that old. It came out in 2008. Picture quality should be pretty good past iso800. Work at staying at wider apertures and moving around instead depending on the zoom. It'll help with learning to blend in and you might even get into conversations and taking pictures of people right next to you.

3/31/2012 10:13:52 AM

 
Usman Bajwa
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Usman
Usman's Gallery

member since: 4/11/2006
  Hi Paul, Chris are Gregory have given you some great points on the camera side of things, which is fine. I would suggest to use noise-reduction softwares such as Noise Ninja, Topaz Denoise, etc which can be had for a lot less money than going for a fast glass or a full frame camera. Nikon D90 is a reasonably good hardware IMHO. I, for one, am shooting with a primitive Nikon D40, with barely acceptable noise management over ISO800. However, at times I jack it up to 1600 for an image that is sharp (blurry-less) but with high noise image. Then in post-processing, I subdue the noise to a great extent and I have an image which is sharp with minimal noise which I consider much more acceptable than a blurry noise-free image.

My 02 cents.

UB.

3/31/2012 7:42:50 PM

 

To participate in the Forum, become a BetterPhoto member or Sign In.
 

Copyright 1996-2014 BetterPhoto.com, Inc. All Rights Reserved.