Manual DSLR Users...

Discussion in 'The Fire Hydrant' started by FG167, Dec 23, 2012.

  1. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    The clarity of the grass is telling of where the focus is. The exposure should be set to meter on the dog itself. Meaning, the peg lining up on or about on the center tick in this photo.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    1/5000 Æ’/2.8 ISO 160 200 mm

    The WB is off on this photo (it was super hard to balance in my yard in vegas, so much red!) but you can see it's hard for me as well with a moving white dog to balance properly. Many variables to keep in mind. Her shoulder by the vest is over exposed slightly.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Equinox

    Equinox Active Member

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    Wow, huge thanks Adrienne for the fantastic posts and explanation!! I've done a bit of reading here and there on adjusting aperture, shutter speed, ISO, exposure, etc. but learn most of the little I know from experimentation. Being able to see quality photos and their settings REALLY help - I stalk Flickr's all the time and look up the information on photos that I especially like for the depth of field or clarity or brightness or whatnot.

    I actually spent an entire afternoon just taking pictures of Trent in manual mode about two days ago (and dropped a blanket on him to keep the photos interesting LOL) and was pleasantly surprised by how much more I preferred the photos to what I had in Automatic or even Aperture Priority. A lot of them I'd actually be okay with posting SOOC, which happens about never with pictures taken in Auto.

    I also had to take pictures for a friend last month at an indoor sports event, and could only use Manual to get any amount of consistency. Indoor + sports = a GREAT learning experience!! My first time shooting in Manual and I was bumping ISO, aperture, and shutter speed up and down to compensate for the awful conditions. Plus, the sun moving around didn't help, either, and I was running around finding and following the light.
     
  3. crazedACD

    crazedACD Active Member

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    Hmmm....do you suppose it's just me not focusing properly? Yes autofocus is on (both on the camera and the lens). I get stuff like this a lot.
    [​IMG]

    Still shots are usually fine
    [​IMG]

    I will admit I stupidly dropped the camera bag last year (with camera in it)...and I really need to bring it to someone, because the picture is off. If you focus at something, it will appear normal in the VF, and then when you see the picture, it's actually down a pretty significant amount. So I've learned to compensate for it...but I wonder if it's messing up the focus.
    Like this...I probably shot straight at him, and this came out...
    [​IMG]
     
  4. Grab

    Grab Active Member

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    Not to hijack, but for basic dog and kid pics, would I be better off with a 55-200 lens or a 50/1.8? I'm not sure if the lack of zoom option would be an issue or not on the 50 mm?

    /hijacking over, sorry
     
  5. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    I imagine taking pictures of a child is fairly akin to taking pictures of ferrets (LOL) and I haaate my 50mm for them.
     
  6. Grab

    Grab Active Member

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    He can be pretty ferretlike, including stealing shiny things :)
     
  7. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    A drop can definitely alter the AF ability, it possibly slowed it, but because it appears to work in stills I assume it has more to do with a trouble with tracking the shot. Are you using the "grab any point" setting?

    For example, the default is "all" which means the camera will guess for you what to put in focus, this is often not what you're seeking. Like I want the eyes in focus most often but my camera is rarely that smart. Autoselection isn't an issue with a deep DOF (ie f/14) but shallow DOFs (ie f/2.8) will be effected by this selection.
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    Controlled here on some models, controlled on the screen in others
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    But I suggest doing this
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    It allows you to do this
    [​IMG]
    Images borrowed from here, more explanation found on this page: http://tutorials.lifeinedit.com/tutorial-11-understanding-auto-focus/
     
  8. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    50mm is usually kept for still work. You must "foot zoom" and this can be difficult when you need to take a photo of a moving object quickly. I think it is a fantastic lens and very versatile. Right now it's a whoopin 92 dollars on B&H (see previous post) so I really recommend it but it may not satisfy all of your desires.

    I prefer a standard 24-70mm and 70-200mm or 80-300mm but the later can be very heavy and cumbersome for basic photography. I find my 24-70 lacks distance but it is light enough for my damaged hands and wrists to stabilize yet offers up plenty for portrait and action.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2012
  9. Equinox

    Equinox Active Member

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    I'm not experienced in photography at all (just got my DSLR 6 months ago) so I'm not sure how much my opinion is worth, but I'd take the 50mm any day of the week. I take pictures of dogs and kids and the 50mm hardly ever leaves my camera, although I personally stick to portraits rather than action shots when it comes to kids. In fact, the biggest obstacle I come across is the fact that the 50mm can be too close of a crop on my D90 (DX) - but, again, I only take portraits and therefore kids running out far from me never becomes an issue.

    Here is a picture I took recently and only just uploaded a few minutes ago. Impromptu picture of my "niece" right after her bath - forgive the terrible crop job:

    [​IMG]
    Aperture: f/2.8 Shutter Speed/Exposure: 1/80 ISO: 720

    And another
    [​IMG]
    Aperture: f/2.8 Shutter Speed/Exposure: 1/80 ISO: 450

    Here is one of Trent, taken about an hour before that:

    [​IMG]
    Aperture: f/3.5 Shutter Speed/Exposure: 1/200 ISO: 1600

    Same settings
    [​IMG]
    Aperture: f/3.5 Shutter Speed/Exposure: 1/200 ISO: 1600
     
  10. Linds

    Linds Twin 2

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    I'm with Grace, I loooove my 50mm. I mean, that may be because it's what I have so I had to learn but I find I get pretty decent action shots that I'm consistently pretty happy with.

    It can be a pain because I have to anticipate a lot of the action that will happen so that I can be in the correct spot because of the lack of zoom. And that really does get annoying sometimes and also puts me dead center in the danger zone :D For pictures of them in the water I am in the water with my camera.

    But overall if I had to have one lens it would be the 50. The versatility from portraits to action to indoor to outdoor is great, as is how small and light it is. Huge plus when carting it around.
     
  11. crazedACD

    crazedACD Active Member

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    Oooh, just realized I can move that 'spot' around (keep in mind using a Sony DSLR here). Interesting...will have to mess around with more settings.

    I just messed around, got some shots of my fish (challenging as well, heh). Like I said I can't set the fstop lower than between 4-5.6, even on manual. Is that due to the lens? I only have an 18-55 and a 55-200. Any recommendations?
     
  12. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    Definitely!! A more expensive option is the 50mm 1.4 or a 35mm.

    These were 50mm of my nephew
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  13. stardogs

    stardogs Behavior Nerd

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    crazed, yes, each lens has it's limit on f stop - that's likely why you can't go further down.
     
  14. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    Yup, you can only go as low as your lens will allow. For example my 24-70mm f/2.8 can go to f/2.8 but my 50mm f/1.8 can go down to f/1.8. A standard 18-55mm f/4.5-5.6 can only go down to f/4.5 or f/5.6 depending on the zoom.

    Again, the 50mm 1.8 is only 92 dollars on B&H.com right now so that's a great option to buy and tinker with before you start laying down some serious cash.

    Your glass will always be the most expensive part of photography.
     
  15. Equinox

    Equinox Active Member

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    Yes :)

    For example the 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens only goes from f/3.5 at 18mm and f/5.6 at 55mm. Meaning, the highest aperture setting (lowest f stop number) you can go at 18mm is 3.5, and as you zoom in the aperture decreases/the f stop number gets higher. At 55mm on the 18-55mm, you can only go f/5.6 and up in f stop number.

    With the 55-200mm, I have the Tamron 55-200mm f/4-5.6, meaning at 55mm the lowest f stop number is 4.0 and if I zoom all the way to 200mm the lowest f stop number I can use is 5.6

    ...I think :lol-sign:

    This is why I love lenses with a fixed aperture and covet a zoom lens with a fixed aperture (such as Adrienne's 24-70mm f/2.8). Zoom all you can with the lens and the aperture won't have to change!
     
  16. Linds

    Linds Twin 2

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    Since we're already all over the board I have a question.

    After the new year I'm going to start saving up and looking around for a nicer zoom lens of some sort. I want it under 1000 dollars but one that I'm going to be happy. Any ideas? I don't mind older or used as long as they are still quality.

    You all see what I take pictures of :) Dogs running around like crazy. I don't want to have to use a tripod but I would like something that I don't have to be right up close to the dogs like I do with my 50.

    Ideas?
     
  17. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    You folks are not helping with my 50mm want at all. Just sayin.
     
  18. crazedACD

    crazedACD Active Member

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    Thaaaank you...makes a lot of sense. I will have to look into it when I'm not bleeding money so much.
     
  19. Equinox

    Equinox Active Member

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    Okay, 1) everyone uses their 50mm f/1.8 better than I do and I am now inspired even more to take better photos with mine.

    2) this is really worth repeating -

    The one time someone else (as in, someone other than me) threw the ball for my dog, I was so excited because I actually got to take pictures of Trent playing catch. THAT turned out to mean "hey, I'll stand here across the field while you throw the ball at me, because then Trent will be close enough and facing the right direction for pictures". Guess how fun that was?

    Okay, it was fun. But still, a lot of ducking and screaming was involved.
     
  20. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    I think you can find a 70-200mm from sigma for under 1,000.

    What I recommend doing though is renting a couple lens and testing them out before you decide. There are a couple great services out there who're great and reliable to work with.
     

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