low light tutorials?

tiCreativeMediatiCreativeMedia Posts: 81Member
edited November 2013 in D90/D7x00
Hi,

I have a AF-S DX 35mm F/1.8G lens and just tried some low light shots, but the shutter speed was still really slow. I've seen other people shoot great stuff in super low light. Is there a trick to this, or maybe a tutorial somewhere that anyone knows of?

THANKS!!
Dave
D7100, 35mm 1:1.8G, 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED AF-S DX, 24-70mm f/2.8G ED, 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II, AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED
«1

Comments

  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    a bit more information please
    what camera
    how low is low light
    what ISO are you using
    and how slow is too slow
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,363Member
    A lot of new threads you've been starting @tiCreativeMedia . Maybe consolidating your questions into one thread, so people have a better idea of what you are shooting, and what you are shooting with would be more helpful?
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • tiCreativeMediatiCreativeMedia Posts: 81Member
    Camera: D7100
    low light as in my office at night, so maybe just a touch brighter than say a restaurant
    ISO is at 200 right now. I tried other ISO settings but it didn't seem to make a difference
    currently I'd say it's clocking in around a half second or so. I can't hold it in my hand and get a clean shot.

    THANKS!
    Dave
    D7100, 35mm 1:1.8G, 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED AF-S DX, 24-70mm f/2.8G ED, 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II, AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED
  • tiCreativeMediatiCreativeMedia Posts: 81Member
    yes, @PB_PM... was kind of doing that on purpose so that my main subject wasn't buried in another thread.

    plus I'm pretty excited about this new camera, and just can't get all my thoughts together at once. I'm running in to these new issues after I've posted the previous one :-)
    D7100, 35mm 1:1.8G, 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED AF-S DX, 24-70mm f/2.8G ED, 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II, AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    Camera: D7100
    ISO is at 200 right now. I tried other ISO settings but it didn't seem to make a difference

    is the camera set at AUTO ISO? try cranking it up to to 1600 - 3200

  • henrik1963henrik1963 Posts: 561Member
    edited November 2013
    I did a few shots in my living room at night. ISO 2000 - F2.8 - minus 1/3 in comp - in Aperture mode. It all depends on what kind of light you have. Good luck
    Post edited by henrik1963 on
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,427Moderator
    I really suggest your next purchase is not gear, but a workshop (or two) as you will learn more on a £50 workshop in a day than you will by asking vague questions here. Or, you could do what we did which is read books, click and learn. Sounds rude if you want to read it that way, but it is good advice.
    Always learning.
  • tiCreativeMediatiCreativeMedia Posts: 81Member
    not at all @spraynpray... that's exactly what I was asking in the first place was somewhere that had a good tutorial-I'm not looking for handouts-just a good learning place. I was going to sign up for one class tonight, but it's about 8.5 hours away.

    AND @sevencrossing I tried auto ISO and that did the trick-THANKS!! Was just hoping to control that ISO a bit more to keep those blacks nice and rich, but starting to get the hang of it.
    D7100, 35mm 1:1.8G, 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED AF-S DX, 24-70mm f/2.8G ED, 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II, AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED
  • manhattanboymanhattanboy Posts: 1,001Member
    Good place to start maybe is the nighttime scene mode. See what shutter speed, aperture and ISO you get and whether you like the resulting image. I would then use either manual or shutter priority and adjust things based off how you wanted to change the photo taken in the scene mode. There are some outstanding books you can read about this as spraynpray mentioned, but in the end playing around with the various settings will teach you a lot. The 7100 is a great camera and other than hunting for focus at night, the pics I've taken with it at night haven't been that bad. 1/2 sec exposure at night for hand held is too long IMHO, but I tend to shoot tele which needs a much faster shutter speed and don't even own an autofocus 35mm lens...
  • tiCreativeMediatiCreativeMedia Posts: 81Member
    one thing I did try is using P with auto ISO. got great pix. Then I set it to manual, with what seemed to be the same settings and I got a black shot?

    D7100, 35mm 1:1.8G, 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED AF-S DX, 24-70mm f/2.8G ED, 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II, AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED
  • proudgeekproudgeek Posts: 1,422Member
    Here's a quick (and very rough) overview of what those buttons mean.
    P=you let the camera make all the decisions for you with regard to ISO, shutter speed, and aperture
    A=you choose the aperture and the camera decides what the best shutter speed is. It will also choose your ISO for you if you're using Auto ISO
    S=you choose the shutter speed and the camera chooses the right aperture. It will also choose your ISO for you if you're using Auto ISO
    M=You choose shutter speed and aperture yourself, taking the camera out of the equation.
    Now I'm not a betting man, but I'd bet dollars to doughnuts that when you shot in manual mode you didn't set the shutter speed or aperture. If you take a look at the EXIF data for the shot that came out black, I'm going to guess the shutter speed was something like 1/800, where your shots in P mode were closer to 1/50.
    The relationship between these three factors (ISO, shutter speed, and aperture) lies at the heart of photography. I'd say go out in daylight and experiment with your camera in different modes to see how each has the ability to impact the others.
  • rschnaiblerschnaible Posts: 308Member
    You will want a tripod, use up that disk space with different setting to see what you get trying different settings.... Cruise Flickr and type in low light, long exposure, your camera etc. to see what others do and what they get by looking at the settings of the shots taken and for me I like to shoot long exposure in RAW format so I can make corrections in the post processing....

    Glad you are enjoying your new camera !

    Let us know how it goes :)
  • kyoshinikonkyoshinikon Posts: 411Member
    P=Professional mode :P... In all seriousness lets get some things out there. Prowdgeek touched on these 3 things.

    Your camera has 3 basic settings.

    Apeture -How much light goes through the iris in your lens
    Apertures main function is to control your DOF (depth of field)

    Shutter Speed- how much light you allow through your camera body
    Shutter Speeds main function is to control the timespan in which the exposure is made

    ISO- How much light your exposure surface (sensor in your case) absorbs light
    ISO's main function is controlling the speed in which your sensor picks up photons (light)

    In a dark setting you first concern would be in letting in more light as there is less of it
    Using a higher iso like ISO3200 will allow your camera to gather light much quicker. The tradeoff is that it isnt able to collect photons as easily as there are less of them so you get noise (ISO 3200 on a D7XXX body should never be an issue) Your 35mm has a f-stop of 1.8 which means it lets more light in. however if your Sensor's collection rate is at ISO 200 it will collect it too slowly and result either in the shutter being open too long to get a good exposure but a blurry image or your image being underexposed as your sensor didn't get enough light.

    In a dark environment I recommend you starting on manual to get your toes wet and switching to SS priority when you are comfortable as you will learn firsthand about what exposures you need for the conditions. Try an Iso od 3200 with a Shutter Speed of 1/250th and an f-stop/Aperture of f/1.8. If the image is too dark, lower your ss(shutter speed) to 1/60th and if too light raise it up to 1/500th. If it is too orange set your white balance to auto for now. You can learn that later. A general rule you will hear is that your shutter speed should never be lower than your focal length.
    “To photograph is to hold one’s breath, when all faculties converge to capture fleeting reality. It’s at that precise moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy.” - Bresson
  • WestEndBoyWestEndBoy Posts: 1,456Member
    spraynpray said:
    I really suggest your next purchase is not gear, but a workshop (or two) as you will learn more on a £50 workshop in a day than you will by asking vague questions here. Or, you could do what we did which is read books, click and learn. Sounds rude if you want to read it that way, but it is good advice.

    Not sure I agree with you. Perhaps he is a newbie, but picking up a book can be quite daunting. While I agree with your recommendation about the value of books and workshops, asking the right questions and receiving the right help as everyone else on this thread has been happy to provide can cut through a lot of the chafe.
  • NikonMickNikonMick Posts: 41Member
    Tripod, tripod, tripod ... here's one I prepared earlier.

    "Ken Evans frame, white peaches & art deco stove"

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/68039985@N08/8289145548/in/photostream

    Nikon D3100, AF-S Nikkor 35mm/f1.8, tripod, available light.

    Cheers

    Mick
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,427Moderator
    edited November 2013
    Jeez Mick, you need to tidy up your house and update that stove... :)

    @jshickele: That depends on the book which is why I recommended a good book. I teach newbies at my camera club but I still say that a book that is written for the newbie and starts at auto will take them through the learning process logically and simply. Parroting settings will likely lead to a 'but I used the same settings as last time and got a dark picture this time' scenario.

    @tiCreativeMedia:

    Click here
    Post edited by spraynpray on
    Always learning.
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    edited November 2013
    Whatever the technique, practice is the way to find the solution. For low light, grab camera, set ISO to 400, shoot wide open, see what happens. Shoot stuff at speeds below what is suggested…i.e., 1/15 with 50 mm lens, handheld. Use what is around for support. Put on 100-200mm lens, shoot at 1/60 sec and then some at 1/100, 1/200. Turn on VR and then turn it off. Use matrix metering. Always use manual mode for this practice.

    Same practice but then give yourself ISO 1600.

    Try all this at night in a city. See what happens. Find out how well the focus works.

    When you get home with your 50 - 100 images, look at them in the computer and critically analyze what went wrong and what went right.

    By pushing oneself way beyond the limits one finds out just where the limits are. Then, you will know what you can and cannot do in low light. Oh, make certain you are photographing people or animals as this will make the process far more difficult and this is what we want if we are to learn.

    Reading books is always helpful, but, the only way to learn this is to burn film (old expression).
    Post edited by Msmoto on
    Msmoto, mod
  • SquamishPhotoSquamishPhoto Posts: 608Member
    edited November 2013
    I really suggest your next purchase is not gear, but a workshop (or two) as you will learn more on a £50 workshop in a day than you will by asking vague questions here. Or, you could do what we did which is read books, click and learn. Sounds rude if you want to read it that way, but it is good advice.
    This might have been helpful advice if she or anyone had been suggesting gear as her next purchase, but no one was. And you're right, it does sound rude and it totally didn't need to. How hard would it have been for you to simply offer a link to somewhere with loads of technical information for beginners like http://www.luminous-landscape.com/index.shtml, among many others? Her original post included a request for tutorials and I don't really understand why you'd first suggest she spend her own hard earned money on course when she can clearly navigate the internet which can occasionally lead one to the odd nice person who will offer helpful advice in threads such as these, and as already mentioned the rather overwhelming amount of free content available for beginners, novices and professionals all over teh interwebs. Look how easy it was for msmoto in the above post?
    Post edited by Golf007sd on
    Mike
    D3 • D750 • 14-24mm f2.8 • 35mm f1.4A • PC-E 45mm f2.8 • 50mm f1.8G • AF-D 85mm f1.4 • ZF.2 100mm f2 • 200mm f2 VR2
  • tiCreativeMediatiCreativeMedia Posts: 81Member
    excellent points from all of you, and THANKS! I do already understand what ISO, A, M, P, etc does. I'm coming from an Olympus E-3, and in addition to that, I'm trying to up my game with this camera. My biggest struggles right now are getting to know the camera. What I'm trying to figure out now is what's malfunctioning: me or the camera. I see bracketing works but I seem to have to noodle with it every time to get it to work. I even shot one where I got 3 exposures, then looked at my camera and only had one image. Thus, that question on the black shot, because from what I can tell, my settings *should* be the same, or I'm not reading something right.

    I also find that I can't seem to EVER set my aperture and shutter so that the exposure meter evens out, and I can't find anything on troubleshooting that.

    so, for now I have bought that book mentioned above, will shoot more today, and am currently looking for a knowledgeable instructor in the Boston area, so if you know of anyone, let me know. I'm curious to see if I'm doing something wrong, or I need to exchange the camera.

    Some things seem to work great-others, not so much. I'm guessing that's because I just don't understand the camera just yet...
    D7100, 35mm 1:1.8G, 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED AF-S DX, 24-70mm f/2.8G ED, 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II, AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    if you think it is the camera do a two button reset
  • MikeGunterMikeGunter Posts: 543Member
    Hi all,

    @ tiCreativeMedia you've got a great deal of great advice from some really great folks proudgeek, SquamishPhoto, kyoshinikon, 7C, Msmoto, rschnaible, NikonM, everyone, really, although sometimes it's conflicting - it's just a different point of view - which is sort of nice, at least you get a reality check, there really isn't a one size fits all world.

    One thing I would add for clarity - as you increase ISO speed, 'noise' which is sometimes sometimes appreciated as 'grain' in photos will increase. That can be effective for some pictures and awful in others.

    One more thing. Correct exposure as read my your light meter is somewhat subjective by the eye, but not by a histogram, and the light meter in a Nikon has 3 'modes' of operation that measure differently - spot, average and matrix. Read the manual on how they differ and when and why to use them and how to read the 'histogram'. You can and should (IMHO) set the preview to play back the histogram as one of the screens so you can preview it for critical shots.

    And, keep in mind, there are several 'correct' exposures to be made just by selecting another f-stop in A mode. That will make the shutter faster or slower depending on whether it wider or more narrow, but that faster or slower adds to your creativity, making some things blur - perhaps a walker by - and a more visually appealing photo.

    Getting a tripod is a nice call. But it's your money. I use mine all the time. For really low light, it can't be beat. For lowish light, high ISO, really fast lenses (read that as expensive), steady hands, and maybe some technique will get you by. ;-)

    My best,

    Mike
  • Vipmediastar_JZVipmediastar_JZ Posts: 1,708Member
    I love this forum as it offers the best help and doesnt tell the users to google it.
    Having said that i dont want to post links here but google
    Nphoto its a website and magazine, digital camera world, diyphotography and digital photography school
    Those sites have helped me in the past.
    Have fun shooting your nikon
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,427Moderator
    I really suggest your next purchase is not gear, but a workshop (or two) as you will learn more on a £50 workshop in a day than you will by asking vague questions here. Or, you could do what we did which is read books, click and learn. Sounds rude if you want to read it that way, but it is good advice.
    Blah,blah,blah
    Well, at least Dave took my recommendation in the spirit it was meant Squamish, Who kicked your cage? [-X
    Always learning.
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited November 2013

    One thing I would add for clarity - as you increase ISO speed, 'noise' which is sometimes sometimes appreciated as 'grain' in photos will increase. That can be effective for some pictures and awful in others.

    Good advice as ever from Mike
    high ISO will also reduce dynamic range and colour fidelity
    This may show up with skin tones looking blotchy
    using a tripod, take the same shot at different ISO values and see for your self
    if you are concerned about grain and want to keep those blacks nice and rich
    shoot RAW and learn how to use Lightroom
    more shots are lost because of camera shake than "grain"

    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • MikeGunterMikeGunter Posts: 543Member
    Hi all,

    Again - it's always one more thing - this just a handy tip - the Nikon USA site has a support area for downloading the manual in PDF format you can add to your phone, tablet and computer, nice to search for 'HDR', 'histogram', whatever, when you want to look something up and read up on it.

    I find I use my pdf manual more than my paper manual and my tablet or phone manual most often.

    It's really useful when you read a tidbit that's 'new' and you want to confirm something in the manual while shooting in the field.

    My best,

    Mike

Sign In or Register to comment.