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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 05 Jun 2008 (Thursday) 04:53
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Getting the Shutter speed down

 
pjfrad
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Jun 05, 2008 04:53 |  #1

Hi everyone,

Yesterday afternoon I went for a walk to the park to try to get some shots of ducklings and squirrels. The park is pretty much surrounded by trees and so the whole area was shady.

I was shooting at around 300mm with my Kit lens on a 400d which I know isn't the best, but I was really struggling with my shutter speed. I pushed the ISO all the way up to 1600 and opened to f5.6 (as far as the lens goes) but was still struggling to get a shutter speed faster than 100-200.

Most of the shots are worthless because of camera shake, moving subjects or noise due to the ISO, but there are a couple that might come out OK which I'll post when I've had time to try and clean them up a bit.

What I want to know is are there any tricks that I'm missing to help with a faster shutter in lower light conditions? Apart from spending thousands on a zoom lens with a huge apature and IS. Using my tripod is pretty tough trying to chase animals around a park....

Thanks Peter


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cdifoto
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Jun 05, 2008 04:58 |  #2

pjfrad wrote in post #5663874 (external link)
What I want to know is are there any tricks that I'm missing to help with a faster shutter is lower light conditions? Apart from spending thousands on a zoom lens with a huge apature and IS.

Thanks Peter

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tzalman
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Jun 05, 2008 05:09 |  #3

Google 'Better Beamer'.


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adam ­ LC
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Jun 05, 2008 05:11 |  #4

You could try shooting in full manual mode, underexopsing to get the shutter speed you want and then upping the exposure in post processing.


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JeffreyG
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Jun 05, 2008 05:46 |  #5

1/100 to 1/200 would have worked if you had a lens with IS. This is why IS is valuable. So the not quite cheap approach would have been a lens like the EF 70-300 f/4-5.6 IS USM. It's similar to the lens your have except a little better optically plus the IS....which is what you really needed.

But all in all it is as CDI stated.....long and fast lenses cost a lot of money. The longer and faster you want the more you spend. Try checking out the price of the EF 300/2.8L IS. That would have had you shooting 1/400 to 1/800 but would set you back $3800 here. It's also better than 3.5kg.


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PhotosGuy
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Jun 05, 2008 09:00 |  #6

Most of the shots are worthless because of camera shake,...

Tripod, or brace yourself on something & squeeeeeez the button. Don't stab at it.

moving subjects

They'll stop sometime. Wait for it.

or noise due to the ISO,

The better the exposure, the less noise you'll see.
Try manual in those tough conditions. First set the f-stop & shutter speed you need. Then adjust the ISO. Need an exposure crutch?
This shows how the subject can affect the exposure & why manual keeps me worry free: Post #47

Everyone runs into these "problems". You just need to think while you're shooting? ;)


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chauncey
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Jun 05, 2008 09:40 as a reply to  @ PhotosGuy's post |  #7

You must find some way to brace that camera as Frank suggested.

I suffer from caffeine/nicotine induced palsy and your problem is something I deal with by using a trpod/monopod most of the time.

Getting that SS up and the ISO down and the lens wide open is sometimes a neat trick.


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ryant35
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Jun 05, 2008 09:48 |  #8

adamlc wrote in post #5663921 (external link)
You could try shooting in full manual mode, underexopsing to get the shutter speed you want and then upping the exposure in post processing.

And shooting raw because you can up the exposure by 2 stops.



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nicksan
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Jun 05, 2008 11:19 |  #9

Yep, I agree with this.
At 300mm, on your camera you would ideally want something like 1/480 shutter speed to prevent handshake blur.

With the 3 stop IS, you can use as slow as 1/60...and given that you were getting 1/100 - 1/200 shutter speed on your current lens, you would have easily handheld it at those speed, and at 1/200 possibly fast enough to stop subject motion as well all without handshake affecting your shots.

JeffreyG wrote in post #5663998 (external link)
1/100 to 1/200 would have worked if you had a lens with IS. This is why IS is valuable. So the not quite cheap approach would have been a lens like the EF 70-300 f/4-5.6 IS USM. It's similar to the lens your have except a little better optically plus the IS....which is what you really needed.

But all in all it is as CDI stated.....long and fast lenses cost a lot of money. The longer and faster you want the more you spend. Try checking out the price of the EF 300/2.8L IS. That would have had you shooting 1/400 to 1/800 but would set you back $3800 here. It's also better than 3.5kg.




  
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ryant35
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Jun 05, 2008 11:21 |  #10

And if you cannot get the shutter speed that fast with that lens, you will have to wait for better light.



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Stocky
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Jun 05, 2008 12:13 |  #11

I just went through something similar and decided that I was better off with my 24-105 than with my 70-200 f/4 with no IS. It worked better to crop a good picture than to take a close blurry one.


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pjfrad
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Jun 06, 2008 05:16 |  #12

Thanks for the replies everyone.

I was trying to brace against a tree or fence when I could but still found it difficult to hold the camera perfectly still, perhaps it's just me, I may have been a bit aggressive on the shutter button in an attempt to get the shots. I can try my tripod but it's pretty large.

I had the ISO and f-stop maxed so I guess the only other thing I could try to do is go out when the light is a bit brighter. I do shoot in RAW, and did try putting -2 EC on to fix in post production, but will have to wait and see how that comes out when I have a moment to process them. I'm also concerned about the amount of noise in them from the high ISO.

It looks like the main answer though is a lens with IS or a better f-stop, is anyone selling in the UK? My main concern with this is that I don't want to go and spend £800 - £1000 on a lens and then find I still take crap photos because it's just me...

Thanks for the help.
Peter


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SkipD
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Jun 06, 2008 06:05 |  #13

What you really need is a GOOD QUALITY tripod. Then, you can choose whether or not to use it. If you don't have one with you, you don't have the option. A good tripod is sometimes the only practical solution to your problem.


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sigmonster
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Jun 06, 2008 06:30 |  #14

The cheapest option is a monopod and it's very portable too but basically there is no substitute for a fast lens.


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ryant35
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Jun 06, 2008 09:16 |  #15

The best tripod or monopod won't help you if your shutter speed is too slow for your moving subjects.



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Getting the Shutter speed down
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