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Thread: How to shoot in dark?

  1. #1
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    Default How to shoot in dark?

    Places like pub, big hall are usually very dark. How to shoot in this enviornment, with and without flash? I am not confident to shoot under this condition and haven't figured out correct settings for my camera. Anyone can enlighten me? Thanks!!!
    Last edited by tomshen; 15th July 2002 at 10:55 AM.

  2. #2
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    With great difficulty. Actually, as long as you show your resultant pics in a dark room, you'll do alright.


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    Er... can share any specific skills/settings?

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    Hi,

    1. Get the 3 fastest lenses : 28/1.4, 50/1.4 and 85/1.4 (or their Canon equivalent)
    2. Get Press 800, push 2 stops. Or get TMAX 3200.

    Then you can shoot without flash. Typical pub lighting goes like 1/8 at f/1.8 @ ISO 1600 or thereabouts. Flash in such situations is going to look very harsh, bounced or not, coz the lighting ratio of your flashed subject and the background is going to be very high.

    Or you can get the legendary Leica M series cameras and then get the Noctilux 50mm f/1.0 lens.

    Regards
    CK

  5. #5
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    CK, thx for your tips. If i have to use flash, what's the possible good settings to take the shot?

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    Originally posted by tomshen
    CK, thx for your tips. If i have to use flash, what's the possible good settings to take the shot?
    Trust the Canon E-TTL.

    Regards
    CK

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  8. #8

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    although i'm not going to shoot in a pub, but I'm going to shoot some pictures in the upcoming Uni convocation soon, probably in a dark hall. What advice do you give for one whose is using a digicam with inbuilt flash ? I'm using s602z.

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    Originally posted by shawntim
    although i'm not going to shoot in a pub, but I'm going to shoot some pictures in the upcoming Uni convocation soon, probably in a dark hall. What advice do you give for one whose is using a digicam with inbuilt flash ? I'm using s602z.
    If you can, forget the digicam, and use a film camera with fast lenses and fast film. (e.g. Fuji Press 800, 28/1.4, 50/1.4, 85/1.4 etc, push the film to 1600 if you need to).

    Built-in flash on digital cameras are only good for fill-ins, for dark situations, it's not going to work well, or it's going to be harsh. If you have to, then borrow a pretty powerful external flash for your 602.

    Regards
    CK

  10. #10

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    From my limited experience:

    1. Use a fast lens. Minimum f2.8, preferable f1.8 or f1.4.

    2. Use as wide a lens as you can get away with. Firstly, it will minimise camera shake at the low shutter speeds you'll be using. Secondly, it will give you a relatively larger depth of field, so focussing will be less critical.

    3. If using autofocus, prefocus at a high contrast object at roughly similar distance to your subject, then either lock focus and recompose, or set to manual focus and shoot away. Focussing manually can be difficult in low light unless you have very good eyes, but you can use the distance scale on your lens if you can judge distances accurately.

    4. If you have a 550EX flash, you can use the infrared AF assist lens to help AF (but it does become fairly noticeable in the dark). Some cameras like my EOS 50 have got a built-in infrared AF assist light.

    5. Use higher ISO eg 1600 (or 1000 in your case). You can "push" the ISO by setting exposure compensation at -1 or -2 if necessary.

  11. #11
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    Originally posted by StreetShooter
    5. Use higher ISO eg 1600 (or 1000 in your case). You can "push" the ISO by setting exposure compensation at -1 or -2 if necessary.
    For D30/60, this is probably not a problem. But for the lower end prosumer cameras like the 602, noise can be a problem at high ISOs. Then if you push it somemore.....

    Regards
    CK

  12. #12

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    also do take note that as higher speed film are more sensitive to light, you might underexpose due to some background lighting interference. Do some bracketing during your shoot to ensure. Over exposure slightly on negative is often better. Make sure you meter correctly. also take note that higher speed film or pushing will give you grainier image at the same time.

    Negative is a better choice as it's easilier to manipulate during printing.

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    yeah take it that what your eye can see, ur normal digicam needs that x 2 (1 stop more), esp when u can see the shape of the lights rather than a whole area...
    "I'm... dreaming... of a wide... angle~
    Just like the ones I used to know~"

  14. #14
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    Originally posted by excentrique
    Do some bracketing during your shoot to ensure. Over exposure slightly on negative is often better.
    Good advice. Note that if you stick with the digicam, it is better to underexpose instead of overexposing (unlike film), because there is no way to recover over-saturated highlight detail from a digital photo, whereas shadow detail can usually still be brought out in software post-processing. Anyway, when in doubt, just bracket.

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