Hi, I had my D60 for a year now, and having trouble with getting shots of Hummingbirds. I set the speed to 1250 or 1600, F6.3 on my sigma 150/500, they are to dark, It seems the only way to lighten them up is to turn the ISO way up, then of course they are grainy. any thoughts on different settings I can try? Thanks so much
You'll have to lower the shutter speed or open up the aperture, or apply more light....
If you're trying to stop motion, a wider aperture or more light (like a strobe, perhaps diffused, or a reflector or two) is probably what you're stuck with. Longer shutter speeds will let the bird's wings blur more in any given situation.
(I'm not sure if 1250 or 1600 is fast enough to stop their wings anyway.)
Cranking up the ISO has the same effect as adding more light, but, as you've noticed, introduces noise into the final image, which looks like grain. Actually adding light, with a lower ISO, won't do that.
So, depending on whether you're trying to stop motion or not, switch to shutter or aperture priority modes and play with the shutter speed or aperture and see what happens. If you'd prefer to let the camera do all the work, adding more light would be easy enough with reflectors.
Playing with a strobe is going to lower your shutter speed (I forget what the maximum sync speed on these things is - maybe 1/200) and blur the bird's wings, but will brighten up the bird. You might also want to look at a diffuser (I like the "puffer") to make the light look a bit more natural. You can also get flash head covers that both diffuse and change the color of the light a bit - might be worth playing with, 'cause they're not expensive.
About the only other thing I can think of is to get 'em stoned, and tape them to something .... (Works with my cats.) (Not for photography - prescribed Valium to get 'em to the vet. Duke likes to hide.)
If the images are too dark, there isn't enough light to be using the settings you're using (1/1250 sec @ f/6.3). The combinations of shutter speed and aperture availabe are limited by the amount of available light. You can't just use any settings for any lighting situation and expect the exposure to be correct. Upping the ISO or adding flash are likely to be your only choices.
There have been a number of post and they discuss using a Nikon CLS Speedlight as a remote and setting the unit to a manual power level to use a short burst of light to stop the wing action and letting the camera control the background ambient exposure.
#4. "RE: D60 settings" In response to Reply # 3 Mon 24-Oct-11 04:08 PM by gkaiseril
As you set the power level to a lower power level and faster light burst, you may need to move the Speedlight closer to the subject's expected location for there to be enough illumination on the subject to stop the wing movement.
You will need a Speedlight with an SU-4 mode, an SU-4 (SB-600), other optical trigger, or the strobe would need to be wired to the camera with an SC-17/28/29 TTL cord.