To Aperture or to Shutter - that is the question.

KillerbobKillerbob Posts: 732Member
edited June 2013 in General Discussions
I am playing around with HDR photography, which has let to a discussion in the local photography club here in Nuuk...

Some are of the opinion that when using Bracketing to capture 3, 5, 7, or even 9 frames for putting together into a single HDR pic, it is best to use Aperture priority. Some are of course of the opinion that Shutter priority is best. The Nikon manual is crap in this regard, and Thom Hogan's otherwise trusty book "Complete Guide to the Nikon D800" is also in between. Hence I am asking my Nikon Rumors buddies to share their infinite wisdom:)

I must admit I thus far have used Aperture stops to generate the different frames, but I am now leaning towards it being better to use Shutter speed to differentiate with - simply because if I use Aperture it actually alters the picture. This however means changing the setting in E6 (on D800) "Auto bracketing (Mode M)" to "Flash/speed" (I think). Normally I would leave this one at "Flash/aperture"...
Post edited by Killerbob on
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Comments

  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    If you are ready to get into the world of HDR...like I have, the in camera process is time consuming, frustrating and inefficient. The solution: Promote Control System.

    After you have look at this amazing, let me know your thoughts.

    Have a look at my HDR Set to see some of things I have done.

    Cheers.
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • JJ_SOJJ_SO Posts: 1,158Member
    D800 has a dynamic range of 14 f-stops - there are not many scenes I need HDR for. If there's not enough light, I use long-time exposures and do some lightpainting in the scene. Although I consider HDR would be useful to get better shadow structures, in general I don't like the "over-artificial"-effect of most examples. But that's a matter of taste. I would get more into it, if I had to do architectural shots of rooms.

    For that reason, aperture has to remain fix. Now, what to do, if the fixed aperture is not sufficient for the necessary DOF? Or the amount of details should be higher? First answer: focusstacking, second answer: panoramas. In none of those scenarios aperture should be changed.

  • Rx4PhotoRx4Photo Posts: 1,200Member
    My best results have come with Manual Mode, set your aperture for your desired depth of field and keep it there, your shutter speed will change based on the changes in exposure. I'll have to look at my setting for E6 later. I just know that when auto bracketing my shutter changes speed, not my aperture.
    D800 | D7000 | Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 | 24-70mm f/2.8 | 70-200mm f/2.8 | 35mm f/1.8G | 85mm f/1.4G | Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art | Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art | Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM | Zeiss 100mm Makro-Planar ZF.2 | Flash controllers: Phottix Odin TTL

  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,030Moderator
    The answer is obviously Aperture Priority as otherwise you have a varying depth of field which could give you ghosting where the DoF's are different from frame to frame.
    Always learning.
  • proudgeekproudgeek Posts: 1,422Member
    It's funny that you mention this Bob, because I saw an HDR image you recently posted and while I liked it, I was confused by the fact that you bracketed your apertures instead of your shutter speeds. I'm not saying one way is wrong or right, but as Rx4 says, varying your apertures can mess with your depth of field. All the reading I've done on the topic says to bracket shutter speeds. I think you'll find this more of an issue when you're NOT shooting stuff where everything in pretty far off in the distance.
  • Vipmediastar_JZVipmediastar_JZ Posts: 1,708Member
    Set to aperture priority.

    I like HDR and do it once in a while. Look for my photo tomm in the PAD.

    It is a single HDR photo edited in Nik HDR. Otherwise I use 9 photos 1stop with d800.



  • KillerbobKillerbob Posts: 732Member
    @Ali, I think the package from Promote looks nice, but it sure is expensive for something where most of the functionality is already build into the D800.

    I'll play around with it some more, but the consensus here seems to be that Shutter-based bracketing is the way to go in HDR photography.

    Thanks for all the feedback!
  • JJ_SOJJ_SO Posts: 1,158Member
    edited June 2013
    I would not use the HDR in D800 - it's only working for JPG. If you do so, you're doing a 8bit file - why should I not take advantage of the full 14bit power? I rather do HDR in "HDR efex" of Nik or in Photoshop, but never ever in the cam!

    Post edited by JJ_SO on
  • KillerbobKillerbob Posts: 732Member
    I didn't mean I would use the HDR functionality in the D800, it is basic at best. I meant that the bracketing, the time-lapse, etc. are built-in functionalities in the camera, and not necessarily something I need to spend money to get:)
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    @Killerbob: Just keep it in mind...as your HDR passion grows, you will find that the Promote System will take you to the next level. And should you get it, you will kick yourself in the butt for why you did not in the first place. Let me know if you want me to send you some YouTube links....cheers.
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,030Moderator
    Tell me Golf; I like your HDR's as what they are, but does the Promote System let you do natural looking shots without the 'HDR' look? If so, would it work better than Photomatix Pro when using say, three exposures two stops apart? I am getting banding and wonder if 2 stops are too much for the software I am using, but I have no option to do more exposures closer together with the D7K.
    Always learning.
  • proudgeekproudgeek Posts: 1,422Member
    I have no option to do more exposures closer together with the D7K.
    Are you 100% sure about this? I have a D90 and can only bracket three images at a time, but I can adjust the amount the "outlier" shots vary from the metered shot anywhere from 1/3 EV to 2 EV. I am only guessing, but maybe the banding your experiencing is due to a gap between the metered image and the +/-2.0 images.
    If you feel like +/-2.0EV creates too much of a range, you can also shoot manually, as long as you're careful not to move the camera when moving the shutter speed adjustment wheel. I tend to use 5 shots. Anything more creates either too much overlap or too much information that probably never gets used in the final image anyway. I have one friend who constantly berates me for not using 9. To each their own I guess.

  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    edited June 2013
    @spraynpray: YES YOU CAN!!!!!! And then some. The combination of shooting is just mind blowing: 3, 4, 7, 10, 15, 20, 30, 40 shots...you name it. How about each of those setting with +/- 1/3 stop or how about +/- 1EV or 2 or 3. Want to change shutter speeds...no problem bulb mode, 30", 1/10, 1/300...you name it. All these change can me made in 2 sec on the unit and bam you are off snapping away. Time-lapse no problem. You think your D7K, D7100, D600, D800, or D4 can do it....yes and no. Tell me how easy is it to adjust the ISO or change the shutter speed as the light changes on those build within the unit. The hours you save in post. With the Prompt Control you set the setting you want and push start and walk away....it is priceless....worth every bit of the $300 on pays for the unit. Lets put it this way, if my tripod goes with me, the unit is always coming along.

    This video is a bit long but worth watching. Jump to 6:25 and you will get some valuable info.

    Post edited by Golf007sd on
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,030Moderator
    I will watch that in the morning Ali, thanks.
    Always learning.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,030Moderator
    I have no option to do more exposures closer together with the D7K.
    Are you 100% sure about this? I have a D90 and can only bracket three images at a time, but I can adjust the amount the "outlier" shots vary from the metered shot anywhere from 1/3 EV to 2 EV. I am only guessing, but maybe the banding your experiencing is due to a gap between the metered image and the +/-2.0 images.
    If you feel like +/-2.0EV creates too much of a range, you can also shoot manually, as long as you're careful not to move the camera when moving the shutter speed adjustment wheel. I tend to use 5 shots. Anything more creates either too much overlap or too much information that probably never gets used in the final image anyway. I have one friend who constantly berates me for not using 9. To each their own I guess.

    @Proudgeek: Sorry mate, you have missed my point - it isn't well written perhaps - my D7K can only do three exposures when I bracket and I set the exposures to +/-2 stops for high contrast shots (like into the sunset). If it could do five seven or nine, I could shoot smaller differences like 1 stop or even 1/2 stop.
    Always learning.
  • proudgeekproudgeek Posts: 1,422Member
    I thought I might have missed the point. I would have been surprised had you not figured that out yet as you seem to know your way around the camera. My apologies for assuming you hadn't. Like I said, you can do a 5 or 7 image bracket manually, but it takes a lot more care and effort.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,030Moderator
    I think I will set up U1 and U2 to give a wider range of closer exposures.
    Always learning.
  • Vipmediastar_JZVipmediastar_JZ Posts: 1,708Member
    I have posted my HDR shot in the PAD for todays date. Check it out. Single photo and then converted to HDR.
  • mtsmphotomtsmphoto Posts: 4Member
    Hi, I am new ...

    Actually never had the D800 ... how ever I think using Aperture Pr. is better cuz it controls the sharpness in focus ... and te camera controls the EV steps ... But, when using Shutter Pr. u will get different DOF in every shot ...

    Thank u ...
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    The OP was talking about HDR and the effect will be different if one has different apertures combined into an HDR image vs, several images for which the aperture is constant. By a variation of the aperture there will be a fuzziness in the final image as has been pointed out the DOF changes with aperture. Shutter speed allows a constant DOF, but may allow some other problems if there are objects in the image which are not fixed.

    By fixing the aperture and shutter, allowing the ISO to change....maybe this would be better.
    Msmoto, mod
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    In all the HDR photography that I have taken. I have always kept the ISO, aperture and EV setting constant and change the shutter speed in order to get the proper amount of dark and light in each shot. For example, the shot below was taken with following setting: ISO 100, f/9.0, +/- 1EV. The shutter speed started and 1/10 second and the calculation in bracketing the 10 other shots was done by Promote Control System.

    Balboa Park 4.jpg

    D4 14-24 2.8
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • KillerbobKillerbob Posts: 732Member
    @Gold007sd - really really nice. I especially like the "non-HDR" look of it. It comes across tack.sharp, and is very life-like.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,030Moderator
    @KillerBob: NON-HDR? You are joking surely!
    Always learning.
  • KillerbobKillerbob Posts: 732Member
    I actually do not think this is as HDR-looking as many of the HDR pictures out there. It looks like something I remember seeing, whereas many other HDR attempts look "too much HDR". Perhaps it is deceiving that it is a night shot, but I do not think this is overly HDR.
  • YetibuddhaYetibuddha Posts: 388Member
    It seems there may be a bit of conflating techniques here. One component is the image capture process; the other is the post capture processing using some kind of HDR software. In the image capture process, aperture priority would be preferable for the constant depth of field, after all, we set aperture to control that. Shutter speed then controls the exposure (keeping ISO constant). The HDR "look" is more a function of post capture processing. This is a link to an image composed from 7 original captures with my D700http://www.flickr.com/photos/yetibuddha/6862245526/. The processing was deliberately done to provide a bit of gritty look, as this was a building in a ghost town in the Namibian desert. The dynamic range was simply to great for a one image capture.

    Have fun
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