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Why does my shutter speed have to be so slow and aperture at 1.4-1.6 to get light?

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Thread started 29 Nov 2011 (Tuesday) 21:04   
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thedcmule2
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1) Im indoors at home under white lights.
2) Canon 60D + 50mm F/1.4 (prime).
3) ISO is 200 to prevent noise.

I'm reading Bryan Peterson's Understanding Exposure and so far every shot he's taking has had high F-stops like F/11 or F/22 so he can capture a bigger depth of field. Also his shutter speeds are faster EVEN when the aperture hole is smaller like at shutter speeds of 1/500 or 1/250.

I'm shooting close objects (5-10 feet away) and the only way to get a decently lit image is to have my F at 1.6 or lower and my shutter speed at 4 (which is 1/4 sec?). If I boost my shutter speed at all it gets dark, really dark.

Post #1, Nov 29, 2011 21:04:20




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MT ­ Stringer
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Adjust your ISO

Post #2, Nov 29, 2011 21:07:09


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rdompor
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His examples are most likely for an outdoor exposure. I have never seen a building bright enough to shoot at f/11 and 1/500 under ambient light.

Post #3, Nov 29, 2011 21:08:55


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Iscariotau
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MT Stringer wrote in post #13471528external link
Adjust your ISO

This.

Post #4, Nov 29, 2011 21:09:02


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thedcmule2
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But my ISO is 200 to prevent noise, isnt this what im supposed to do? I hope nothing is wrong with my equipment.

rdompor wrote in post #13471543external link
His examples are most likely for an outdoor exposure. I have never seen a building bright enough to shoot at f/11 and 1/500 under ambient light.

Duh, I shouldve realized this makes a difference.

Post #5, Nov 29, 2011 21:12:26




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timnosenzo
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thedcmule2 wrote in post #13471559external link
But my ISO is 200 to prevent noise, isnt this what im supposed to do?

Then add more light. :)

Post #6, Nov 29, 2011 21:14:39


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pbelarge
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You can definitely shoot at a higher ISO than 200. The best way to learn at this point is to set your camera up for the shot and experiment at different ISO's for multiple shots.

Post #7, Nov 29, 2011 21:14:50 as a reply to thedcmule2's post 2 minutes earlier.


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Tim ­ S
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Try ISO 800, very little noise.....

Post #8, Nov 29, 2011 21:17:43


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ISO is the sensor's sensitivity to light - because there is not much light, you need to turn the sensitivity up.

you should be at Iso 800 to Iso 6400 inside (depending on how dark it is) to get a reasonable hand holdable shutter speed inside

outside use 100, 200, 400 Iso in the sunlight, and if its a miserable cloudy day, you might need to push it to 800 Iso

Post #9, Nov 29, 2011 21:18:51 as a reply to thedcmule2's post 6 minutes earlier.


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Stone ­ 13
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Keep in mind that your eyes are far more sensitive to light than any camera's sensor. Alot of times, what looks like plenty of light to you is not enough for you to shoot at a low ISO indoors. If you're at 1/4 sec & f1.6, you can go up to ISO 800 f1.4 to get a slightly faster shutter speed, you shouldn't have much noise but it appears that you're in a pretty dimly lit room, you might want to use your flash....

Post #10, Nov 29, 2011 21:19:38


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timnosenzo
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It's been a while, but Bryan must talk about the "exposure triangle" in that book, no? There are 3 settings you can change to obtain a correct exposure with a set amount of light, your aperture, shutter speed and ISO. Adjusting each one changes something about the final photo, good or bad - whether it's the amount of motion in the photo (shutter speed), the depth of field (aperture), or the amount of noise (ISO).

If you would like more DOF but can't slow your shutter speed down anymore, and don't want to increase your ISO, you need to add more light.

Post #11, Nov 29, 2011 21:20:54


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thedcmule2
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Tim S wrote in post #13471593external link
Try ISO 800, very little noise.....

Echo63 wrote in post #13471599external link
ISO is the sensor's sensitivity to light - because there is not much light, you need to turn the sensitivity up.

you should be at Iso 800 to Iso 6400 inside (depending on how dark it is) to get a reasonable hand holdable shutter speed inside

outside use 100, 200, 400 Iso in the sunlight, and if its a miserable cloudy day, you might need to push it to 800 Iso

Cool, this makes sense thanks so much.

Post #12, Nov 29, 2011 21:21:03




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thedcmule2
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Okay I read somewhere like the minimum my shutter speed should be is 1/50 (the 50 comes from my lenses' focal length number). So does that mean I should avoid slower speeds like 1/4? I hate rules, I dont want to be scared to use a setting, I want to embrace them.

Post #13, Nov 29, 2011 21:29:15




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deanedward
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they're not rules. they are merely recommendations. if you want to shoot at your preferred settings, then do as you please but do not expect to get the results that you want by simply using whatever setting that you want. there are just limits that you have to grasp, accept and work within.

Post #14, Nov 29, 2011 21:32:35


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timnosenzo wrote in post #13471613external link
It's been a while, but Bryan must talk about the "exposure triangle" in that book, no? There are 3 settings you can change to obtain a correct exposure with a set amount of light, your aperture, shutter speed and ISO. Adjusting each one changes something about the final photo, good or bad - whether it's the amount of motion in the photo (shutter speed), the depth of field (aperture), or the amount of noise (ISO).

If you would like more DOF but can't slow your shutter speed down anymore, and don't want to increase your ISO, you need to add more light.

Yes, Bryan does talk about the exposure triangle - in fact, he covers it very thoroughly. It sounds as if the OP (as with many new photographers) overestimated the amount of light in an ambient indoor setting and was getting resultant very slow shutter speeds.

thecdmule2 - as Stone 13 said, indoor light which seems entirely adequate to our eyes appears very dim to a camera. Sports shooters often have to use high ISOs and very "fast" (wide aperture) lenses to shoot in indoor gyms, which usually appear plenty bright to the human eye. The lighting in most homes necessitates a high ISO and/or use of a flash to brighten things up enough that the camera isn't "starving for light" for an exposure. Try working through some of the shots in Understanding Exposure outdoors in daylight, you'll have much better luck! :)

thecdmule2 wrote:
...So does that mean I should avoid slower speeds like 1/4? I hate rules, I dont want to be scared to use a setting, I want to embrace them.

Now you sound like my wife!!! :D Feel free to experiment with settings - worst you'll have to do is delete the image because it's a blurry mess (which it most likely will be if you handhold your camera at a 1/4 second shutter speed). The "rule" you're talking about is a recommendation to avoid seeing the effects of camera shake in your images. If you put the camera on a tripod or rest it on a sturdy object and use the 2-second timer, you can get away with those kind of shutter speeds....handheld, you're going to have a big mushy blur. Experiment with it and you'll understand why the "rule" (recommendation) exists.

Post #15, Nov 29, 2011 21:35:51


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Why does my shutter speed have to be so slow and aperture at 1.4-1.6 to get light?
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