Need advice on D3100 and lens upgrade...

2

Comments

  • racheldistadracheldistad Posts: 36Member
    no i hadn't - sorted now!
  • MikeGunterMikeGunter Posts: 543Member
    Hi all,

    @KnockKnock Nice shot!

    @tcole1983 Nice shots!

    @Msmoto Nice shots, too!

    @racheldistad Shooting at long durations will bring its own problems, too, with addition noise, some of which can be cleaned up by the Long Exposure.

    While counter intuitive, I would turn off other noise reduction in the camera, such as high ISO noise reduction.

    You do want to put light on the sensor, and that means a steady camera on a sturdy tripod; if the D3100 has a mirror up option, you should use it, and certainly use a remote, or a cable release, or the timer to reduce the camera shake.

    In RAW, you can make individual layers for merging in Photoshop in increments (after you have done your best with vibrancy, contrast, highlights, etc.) with various + and - exposures saving from Adobe Camera Raw as Tif or jpg or PSD files in a unique folder.

    From Bridge, under Tools, Photoshop, Merge to HDR those files. From there, Photoshop will open with lots of options to guide you to change the picture.

    It should help a lot to do what you want to do.

    My best,

    Mike












  • dissentdissent Posts: 1,290Member
    edited March 2013
    Ah, there they are.

    The first pic is at a pretty high ISO, the 2nd one at even higher ISO. So, noisy. With my D5100 I'm finding that noise becomes an issue at 1600 and above. What's wrong with the 3rd shot; nice silhouette, IMHO. I like it. ISO 100 helped there.

    As has already been suggested, I'd get a nice solid tripod before I'd worry about changing camera and lenses. Then you can go about finding the limits of your current equipment with respect to the kinds of night photos you want to try to take. Keep shooting. The examples posted will give you some ideas of camera settings to try; look at their EXIF data. Incidentally, did you shoot those with the 35mm?
    Post edited by dissent on
    - Ian . . . [D7000, D7100; Nikon glass: 35 f1.8, 85 f1.8, 70-300 VR, 105 f2.8 VR, 12-24 f4; 16-85 VR, 300 f4D, 14E-II TC, SB-400, SB-700 . . . and still plenty of ignorance]
  • racheldistadracheldistad Posts: 36Member
    @mikegunter thanks for the advice, I've recently bought a cable release, the remote release I bought doesn't work on the d3100, frustration. Would you suggest adding a flash?

    @dissent I chose them because I wanted to show 3 different settings. The first was on the kit 18-55mm, the second 55-200mm and the final one was the prime, and the only photo of the 3 that I'm satisfied with.. The others are so so noisy. But then, it could be the limitations of the cameras sensor, I don't know. I'm not sure what I can do with the noise, it my biggest issue, as I wouldn't say the lenses or the trid are the problem..
  • dissentdissent Posts: 1,290Member
    edited March 2013
    I'm sure one of the more knowledgeable folks here will correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't see any reason why you can't shoot with the kit 18-55 at low ISO. Or the 55-200. Set it in manual, open the aperture to what you want and then just run longer and longer shutter times till you get the exposure you need. Bulb mode, if necessary. Need a still subject, obviously, unless blurred motion is what you want to capture.
    Am I missing something related to how you're experiencing your shooting issue?
    Post edited by dissent on
    - Ian . . . [D7000, D7100; Nikon glass: 35 f1.8, 85 f1.8, 70-300 VR, 105 f2.8 VR, 12-24 f4; 16-85 VR, 300 f4D, 14E-II TC, SB-400, SB-700 . . . and still plenty of ignorance]
  • MikeGunterMikeGunter Posts: 543Member
    Hi racheldistad,

    Adding flash only covers a small part of what you're shooting.

    image

    In this case, the flash covers only the models, and the flash is bounced and not harsh.

    image

    In this photo, the entire wall and the models were illuminated by a bank of Speedlights in a single box.

    image

    This is a long exposure with one Speedlight, off to the right of the camera.

    None of these are what you are doing, these are portraits for theatrical display, but they are longer exposure photos with flash. They are all mixing flash and ambient light.

    You might borrow a flash, or buy a used flash to see if you like it.

    My best,

    Mike
  • tcole1983tcole1983 Posts: 981Member
    edited March 2013
    Thanks mike!

    As for your examples...well I see the problems. There isn't any reason for using such high ISO...it should really be a last effort if nothing works then up the ISO. Even the best FX cameras out won't look good at 12800 ISO, so I wouldn't be disappointed. Anyway...you need to work on your exposure. Instead of having the ISO so high you need to use a longer shutter speed. Pic one lower the ISO...I mean really try to shoot ISO 200 most of the time and change everything else before resorting to ISO 3200. I think the banding there is more a factor of how the light is coming from the city and not really the camera. The noise is the ISO. And the setting is just a hard one...you have really bright spots and really dark ones..on that I would suggest exposing for the bright spots and trying to get the shadows back in post (I could be wrong there). Pic 2 again the ISO...no need for 12800...just an exposure problem I see here. Pic 3...shooting into the sun. Looks find to me and about what you can muster in that situation. Some work in post might help some, but when you have a very bright spot like that there are limits to it.

    Also as mike points out above...a flash will help in his situations, but for a cityscape it isn't going to do anything. It won't help any of your examples you posted at all.
    Post edited by tcole1983 on
    D5200, D5000, S31, 18-55 VR, 17-55 F2.8, 35 F1.8G, 105 F2.8 VR, 300 F4 AF-S (Previously owned 18-200 VRI, Tokina 12-24 F4 II)
  • starralaznstarralazn Posts: 201Member
    the big thing is using the cameras time delay shutter release feature ( hitting the trigger and then the picture will be automatically taken after a few seconds) this will help in long exposures. the first photo was taken at 1/8 at 3200, which could be easily taken down to 1 second and iso 400 or something. so i'd follow everyone's advice and find a sturdy tripod to use

    i dont think the d3100 has mirror lockup
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,181Member
    edited March 2013
    @racheldistad : As i was suspecting .. you are using high ISO for nightscape shots which is not the right way to shoot nightscapes. You need to take the camera off auto iso and manually set it to ISO 100. For your sample shots, there is no reason not to use exposures of up to 1-2 mins. As mentioned only increase the ISO as a last resort. first parameter to change is the aperture then shutter speed.
    Post edited by heartyfisher on
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • racheldistadracheldistad Posts: 36Member
    edited March 2013
    @heartyfisher I only use manual or aperture.. I don't use auto...

    Well at least now I know; ill do longer shutter speeds, thanks everyone :)
    Post edited by racheldistad on
  • JJ_SOJJ_SO Posts: 1,158Member
    heartyfisher, have you ever really tested what you're recommending? This is only a question, not a complaint.

    As noise can will be an issue, I wonder what generates more or worse to remove noise artefacts: Long exposure, which is also generating noise over a long time and adds this to the information or higher sensitivity, like 400 or 800 ISO, which will generate noise as well but in summary less than longtime exposure?

    One second exposure time at 800 ISO is equivalent to 8 seconds at 100 ISO - doesn't look much of a difference, but 4 seconds at 800 ISO mean 30 secs. at 100 ISO. Still only 8 times more time, in total 26 seconds more time to heat up the sensor. More heat = more noise. So, by trying to do the best (low ISO) you get a disadvantage.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,236Moderator
    edited March 2013
    @JJ_SO: I do a fair bit of low light work and I regularly do up to 30 second exposures at ISO 100 with long exposure NR turned on and do not get any noticeable noise by exposing to the right. For example:

    Canary Wharfe at Low water

    QEII Bridge by night

    Bruge 10
    Post edited by spraynpray on
    Always learning.
  • JJ_SOJJ_SO Posts: 1,158Member
    As I don't see the EXIF data... ;) but of course I believe you.

    Nonetheless, I believe even more what I did myself, so it appears to become time for some looooong time exposures. :)
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    For me, shooting scenes with large dynamic range is best done in JPEG with in camera HDR. Neither the D3100 nor the D7000 does this so the only way to accomplish this is in a post processing program.

    Thus, some images will not be possible without extensive lighting. Flash as noted is good for fill up close, yet there is one other way.

    With the camera on a tripod, stopped down and exposure set for background lighting, one can paint the foreground with an extremely bright flood light and this will accomplish fill without multiple flash. This is something one learns only after extensive testing.

    But, the fact is, there is nothing in photography which happens without a lot of work.
    Msmoto, mod
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,236Moderator
    @JJ_SO - you dont see the Exif? Click on the bridge image and look halfway down the page on the right.

    Funny how you can see noise that I can't but you can't see Exif data that I can.... :-?
    Always learning.
  • jjdarlingjjdarling Posts: 59Member
    A flash can be a lot of fun for freezing motion at night, definitely worth playing with one. Also, if you're shooting everything on manual and don't need TTL, you can get a decent one for under $70.
    image
    From 2012 xmas
    This was shot at 10mm, and the flash ALMOST can cover the whole thing. I think this was done at half-power (SB-700, on camera) too, and there's very little ambient light here.

    Also, everybody says to get a big sturdy tripod, but I've found that's not really necessary (please don't crucify me everybody). If you're a student I'm guessing you're on a student's budget. I use a Gorillapod for just about everything, as well as a cheap ($10 AmazonBasics brand) remote for the shutter (I also own the Nikon one, but the AmazonBasics is better).
    image
    From DC January 2013
    This is an 8 second exposure using a D3000 and your 35mm prime, mounted on the gorillapod which is hugging a flagpole tightly. The world is full of things that are bolted down far more securely than the most expensive RRS tripods.
    www.jjdarling.com
  • tc88tc88 Posts: 416Member
    heartyfisher, have you ever really tested what you're recommending? This is only a question, not a complaint.

    As noise can will be an issue, I wonder what generates more or worse to remove noise artefacts: Long exposure, which is also generating noise over a long time and adds this to the information or higher sensitivity, like 400 or 800 ISO, which will generate noise as well but in summary less than longtime exposure?

    One second exposure time at 800 ISO is equivalent to 8 seconds at 100 ISO - doesn't look much of a difference, but 4 seconds at 800 ISO mean 30 secs. at 100 ISO. Still only 8 times more time, in total 26 seconds more time to heat up the sensor. More heat = more noise. So, by trying to do the best (low ISO) you get a disadvantage.
    JJ_SO, you do raise an interesting point. First regarding ISO, the sensor captures the same amount of light regardless the ISO. It's only during the multiplication stage where that amount is multiplied depending on the ISO, it comes into play. In general, larger multiplication factor creates more noise since any small noise is amplified.

    Regarding long exposure, in general that should also help reduce noise. Your signal to noise ratio is supposed to be same per period. But by extending the time, the noise will average out since it's random while the signal will add up. Of course, that's assuming perfect stabilization where your camera does not shake and your object does not move. That will be increasingly harder the longer it is.

    However, as you say whether the sensor may overheat, especially after multiple long exposures and cause more noise to be generated per time period compared to a cold sensor, I can see a such a possibility.

    Hope I'm right here.
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,181Member
    edited March 2013
    @heartyfisher I only use manual or aperture.. I don't use auto...

    Well at least now I know; ill do longer shutter speeds, thanks everyone :)
    I am not certain that you understood what I meant :-)
    There are 3 things that you can change manually.

    1) The aperture
    2) the shutter speed.
    3) The ISO.

    It sound to me like you may be using Auto ISO. You may want to dig through the settings menu to see where to set it to a specific ISO value. .. or you can just use longer shutter speeds :-) LOL ! sigh .. sometimes i over think things :-)


    Post edited by heartyfisher on
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • MikeGunterMikeGunter Posts: 543Member
    Hi all,

    @racheldistad

    The best thing you might be able to do is get a light meter. The Gossen Luna Pro F that I've had for over 30 years (I think). It reads to -2 EV and that's really good.

    It's a flash, ambient, and reflective meter (and those are good things), and it's analog - that's retro, but it's pretty cheap on Ebay which is good for your wallet. One listing had a 'Buy it now' price of $20 with shipping at $10. The seller claimed perfect working condition.

    With it, you can take an ambien reading, get a correct exposure for your camera, expose a tad more (that would be to the right). Or you could use the method I outlined in the previous posting for High Dynamic Range merging of Layers in Photoshop - that would give a very different look.

    In any case, a light meter would help you in your photography.

    My best,

    Mike
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,181Member
    edited March 2013
    I have friends who shoot star trails of over several hours.. I have not done it yet but i am interested to try some time when I am far from any city lights on a warm summer night with a clear sky and motivated to sit by my camera for a few hours :-). He says that yes it does get hot and there is noise from the heat but its not as bad as many belief. Although the total exposure is over several hours, he actually takes the photos in batches of 30 mins each, and then merges them in post.
    Post edited by heartyfisher on
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • MikeGunterMikeGunter Posts: 543Member
    Hi all,

    I think racheldistad needs to use the lower ISO to stop the noise . Longer shutter isn't the problem, noise is.

    Motion blur with subjects - cars, people, etc., probably add interest to her work. Noise adds distraction.

    Low ISO, long shutter is key. Correct aperture for whatever lights - street lights, car lights windows, reflections, and such will be issues in as much as they can and will be, in many cases blown out - why I'm suggesting that she consider HDR.

    Nailing the exposure is what she needs to do.

    My best to all,

    Mike
  • MikeGunterMikeGunter Posts: 543Member
    Hi all,

    @heartyfisher Yeah, exposure stacks are really cool when done right.

    I've not been one who has done that. :-(

    My best,

    Mike
  • racheldistadracheldistad Posts: 36Member
    @heartyfisher I appreciate what you're saying, but how many times do I need to repeat that I only use manual settings? It's slightly frustrating to hear that when that isn't the case.

    @mikegunter yeah I agree - its been helpful to know its such a simple and easy to manage problem, it's a slight relief. I think I need to try borrow a flash and maybe just keep shooting unti l get a decent result.

    @jjdarling - nice images. I think I definitely need to look at playing with lash, even if its just for fun, haha. I'm excited to start experimenting again now :)
  • JJ_SOJJ_SO Posts: 1,158Member
    @JJ_SO - you dont see the Exif? Click on the bridge image and look halfway down the page on the right.

    Funny how you can see noise that I can't but you can't see Exif data that I can.... :-?
    Funny, I didn't notice that in Google chrome, I've to check it tomorrow.

    Please, could you do me one favor? Instead of misinterpreting what I wrote to "I can see noise", just stick on the words I actually wrote - not on that what you thought I meant. I never said I can see noise in your pictures. For that they are just too small.

    <:-P
  • JJ_SOJJ_SO Posts: 1,158Member
    @JJ_SO - you dont see the Exif? Click on the bridge image and look halfway down the page on the right.

    Funny how you can see noise that I can't but you can't see Exif data that I can.... :-?
    1. Thank you for inspiration to a comparison.
    2. The 100 ISO shot with 116 sec. at f/11 is noise free but has some little pixel dots on it (hot pixel?). They become visible at 200% enlargement , so not much to worry about
    3. The 800 ISO shot with 13 sec at f/11 shows noise, but appears to be sharper. Hot pixel are more difficult to discover because of the noise.

    Interesting, I didn't see so much hot pixels on D7000 before.

Sign In or Register to comment.