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Subject: "D50 and Christmas Lights" Previous topic | Next topic
DanD50 Registered since 22nd Nov 2005Fri 09-Dec-05 01:22 PM
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"D50 and Christmas Lights"



          

Again - I am new to the SLR world so you might have to dumb down your answers for me. Last night I photographed the buildings and christmas lights in our city center. Here are the settings that I used and the reasons that I choose to use them.

- I used a tripod.
- ISO: 200 because the lower the ISO the less chance of noise in low light

- F22: because I was going for the largest depth of field possible. In other words I wanted the lights in the foreground to be in focus as well as the building in the background.

- Shutter speeds between 3 and 30 seconds depending on how much light was around.

- Metering: I mostly switched between spot and matrix until I got the desired results.

- WB - Auto

1 - I was pleased with the results but I know that I could do more. First of all based upon what I was shooting and my goal to have as much in focus as possible do the above settings sound OK? Is F22 too big? What settings would you use on the D50 for the same night of shooting?

2 - I really struggled with WB. I had read that Auto is not good enough when photographing Christmas Lights but it seemed like as I took test photos in other modes they all looked worse. What would you have your D50's WB set on for this type of shooting?

Thanks!
Dan

  

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Replies to this topic
Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: D50 and Christmas Lights
avm247 Moderator
09th Dec 2005
1
Reply message RE: D50 and Christmas Lights
Shred
09th Dec 2005
2
     Reply message RE: D50 and Christmas Lights
soupdragon
09th Dec 2005
3
          Reply message RE: D50 and Christmas Lights
edmun
09th Dec 2005
4
               Reply message RE: D50 and Christmas Lights
nickschneider
12th Dec 2005
5
                    Reply message RE: D50 and Christmas Lights
DanD50
12th Dec 2005
6
                         Reply message RE: D50 and Christmas Lights
espuna
13th Dec 2005
7
                              Reply message RE: D50 and Christmas Lights
DanD50
13th Dec 2005
8
                                   Reply message RE: D50 and Christmas Lights
DanD50
14th Dec 2005
9
                                        Reply message RE: D50 and Christmas Lights
soupdragon
14th Dec 2005
10
                                             Reply message RE: D50 and Christmas Lights
Shred
14th Dec 2005
11
                                                  Reply message RE: D50 and Christmas Lights
DanD50
19th Dec 2005
12
                                                  Reply message RE: D50 and Christmas Lights
MstrBones Silver Member
22nd Dec 2005
13

avm247 Moderator Awarded for high skills in documentary architecture and aviation photography Charter MemberFri 09-Dec-05 03:13 PM
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#1. "RE: D50 and Christmas Lights"
In response to Reply # 0


Rancho Cordova, US
          

Dan, I would shoot as near to twilight as possible to get the best detail in the buidings as possible and to even out the exposure. Definately shoot with a tripod. You might consider shooting with RAW in order to play with WB later; you might also try an incandescent balance. I also would recommend shooting in the neighborhood of f/5.6 or f/8. Too long an exposure and the lights may be over exposed loosing definition and shape.

Anthony

The Moderator Page and My Gallery
"Eliminate the unnecessary and focus on the substance." (Tommy Ramone of the Ramones)

Anthony

The Moderator Page and My Gallery
The important things in life are simple; the simple things are hard.

  

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Shred Registered since 28th Oct 2005Fri 09-Dec-05 04:42 PM
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#2. "RE: D50 and Christmas Lights"
In response to Reply # 1


FI
          

When using f22 apereture it is quite likely that diffraction starts to soften the image.
Keep the apereture at f11 or brighter to achieve maximum quality.


  

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soupdragon Basic MemberFri 09-Dec-05 06:50 PM
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#3. "RE: D50 and Christmas Lights"
In response to Reply # 2



          

It's hard to say without seeing the results but if white balance is your main problem, try using tungsten as most of the light available at night will be that or sodium.
Both of these light sources will make your pictures appear brown/yellow if you have your camera set to anything close to daylight or flash.

  

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edmun Registered since 16th Sep 2003Fri 09-Dec-05 08:08 PM
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#4. "RE: D50 and Christmas Lights"
In response to Reply # 3


eugene, US
          

WB at night is tricky.

Logically Tungston is the right one but sometimes it looks more like night if daylight is used.

Reason -- with T balance it looks too much like a daylight shot while the daylight setting looks more like what you saw.

ledmun

  

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nickschneider Registered since 01st Dec 2005Mon 12-Dec-05 02:34 PM
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#5. "RE: D50 and Christmas Lights"
In response to Reply # 4


Guelph, CA
          

Custom white balance your shots if none of the preset are too your liking. And re-do custon WB each time the lighting changes.

And another vote for keeping it at f11'ish. f8-f16 is where most lenses have the maximum depth of field before softness due to defraction starts marring your shots.

-Nick

  

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DanD50 Registered since 22nd Nov 2005Mon 12-Dec-05 06:18 PM
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#6. "RE: D50 and Christmas Lights"
In response to Reply # 5



          

Thanks for all of the feedback. So I should try not to go any higher than about an F8 or F11 right?

Check out a few of the shots that I posted and let me know what you think about the Aperature and the WB on the D50.

http://www.bytephoto.com/photopost/showphoto.php?photo=54774&password=&sort=1&cat=500&page=1

http://www.bytephoto.com/photopost/showphoto.php?photo=54775&password=&sort=1&cat=500&page=1



Thanks!
Dan

  

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espuna Registered since 07th Dec 2005Tue 13-Dec-05 09:02 AM
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#7. "RE: D50 and Christmas Lights"
In response to Reply # 6


Mazarrón, ES
          

It might be worth experimenting with some higher ISOs, if necessary. I've been pleasantly surprised at the lack of noise with the D50.

  

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DanD50 Registered since 22nd Nov 2005Tue 13-Dec-05 01:13 PM
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#8. "RE: D50 and Christmas Lights"
In response to Reply # 7



          

Thanks for the comment - again I am new to the SLR world so would you explain a little more about why I would use a higher ISO in this case?

Thanks!
Dan

  

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DanD50 Registered since 22nd Nov 2005Wed 14-Dec-05 01:18 PM
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#9. "RE: D50 and Christmas Lights"
In response to Reply # 8



          

Also -
It sounds like the consensus is that instead of using such a high Aperture setting I should try not go go above around 8 or so. Could someone explain why. Again my entry-level knowledge tells me that the higher the aperture setting the more in focus everything will be. So why would I not choose the highest F number if I wanted everything in focus.

I believe what you guys are saying I am just trying to understand the idea behind it.

Thanks!

Dan

  

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soupdragon Basic MemberWed 14-Dec-05 03:10 PM
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#10. "RE: D50 and Christmas Lights"
In response to Reply # 9



          

Ok, let me try and understand your problem.
You want to photograph Christmas lights at night as opposed to twilight and you want architechtural features in focus too.
Firstly I think you are right to use a tripod and as the D50 has no mirror lock up (big shame on Nikon) I would suggest the use of a remote release.
As for sensor noise check you have the long exposure setting "on" to reduce the effects of aliasing or whatever it does.
If auto WB is working for you, stick with it, I would use tungsten and correct colour casts later.
One reason for upping the ISO will be to increase the shutter speed as most of what looks to be out of focus, especially when shooting outdoors, will be object motion caused by wind/breeze.
As for the lens aperture, most all lenses will suffer when used either wide open or closed down.

  

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Shred Registered since 28th Oct 2005Wed 14-Dec-05 04:51 PM
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#11. "RE: D50 and Christmas Lights"
In response to Reply # 10


FI
          

and see what kind of DOF values different focal lengts and aperetures give.
Choose D70 from the camera list as D50 is not listed, they share same sized sensor so results are valid.


This page explains difraction and gives good example of how diffraction can detoriate image sharpness.
Diffraction starts to soften images when aperetures beyond ~F11 are used
so dont use them unless that extra dof is relly needed to get a good picture.

  

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DanD50 Registered since 22nd Nov 2005Mon 19-Dec-05 02:39 PM
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#12. "RE: D50 and Christmas Lights"
In response to Reply # 11



          

I am going to have the opportunity to take this photo again tonight. Any additional suggestions? I am going to try and take the photo from closer to the ground instead of on the top of my tripod in order to make the ground seem closer and the train passing by taller. I will try keeping it under F11 or so.

Please check out the photo below and thanks for any suggestions!
Dan

http://www.bytephoto.com/photopost/showphoto.php?photo=54774&password=&sort=1&cat=500&page=1

  

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MstrBones Silver Member Nikonian since 06th Dec 2005Thu 22-Dec-05 04:26 PM
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#13. "RE: D50 and Christmas Lights"
In response to Reply # 12


AW
          

Dan,

I looked at your webpage and saw this...

Dimensions: 1584 x 1053

Why not set the camera to at least a large jpg fine setting (3008x2000). Bigger image, more image detail, more to work with in your photo editor software.

Regards,

""

  

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