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Thread: Any camera settings recommended for indoor exhibitions?

  1. #1

    Default Any camera settings recommended for indoor exhibitions?

    hi,

    i am new to photography and clubsnap.

    i have gotten a d80 recently, and went for a car exhibition at expo yesterday. personally i tried not to use the built in flash because i was hoping to capture the natural skin tone. normally take my photos at iso settings of 400 or lower for outdoors, but at the expo, the light conditions were relatively poor without the flash, and i had to use settings of 800 and above, which resulted in grainier shots.

    asked a photographer beside me that day what iso setting he was using - he mentioned he was using iso100 with flash. is that possible? or should i say whether that is possible with the default built in flash of my d80 with the lighting at the expo halls?

    i was using manual mode with iso ranging from 400-800 because i didnt want the grainy shots and traded that off with a lower shutter speed in order to maintain the correct exposure, resulting in many blurred shots as the models moved about. understand that as a general guide, the shutter speed should not be less than 1/80, but mine was as low as 1/20 that day ... which was no wonder most of my shots were wasted.

    i turned on the built in flash later, but i wasnt sure if it was working well with my continuous shooting mode that i had set my cam on. at one point, there was no flash, and i couldnt take any more photos and had to disable the flash again before i could resume.

    any advise in general of the recommended camera settings for the lighting conditions for indoor exhibitions would be greatly appreciated, thanks !

    yew fai
    Last edited by Yew Fai; 9th July 2007 at 08:17 AM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Any camera settings recommended for indoor exhibitions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yew Fai View Post
    asked a photographer beside me that day what iso setting he was using - he mentioned he was using iso100 with flash. is that possible?
    yes...why not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yew Fai View Post
    or should i say whether that is possible with the default built in flash of my d80 with the lighting at the expo halls?
    yes...why not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yew Fai View Post
    i was using manual mode with iso ranging from 400-800 because i didnt want the grainy shots and traded that off with a lower shutter speed in order to maintain the correct exposure, resulting in many blurred shots as the models moved about. understand that as a general guide, the shutter speed should not be less than 1/80, but mine was as low as 1/20 that day ... which was no wonder most of my shots were wasted.

    any advise in general of the recommended camera settings for the lighting conditions for indoor exhibitions would be greatly appreciated, thanks !

    yew fai
    after saying so much...whats your aperature setting and lens u using? you dun want to use flash but you say the general guide is that shutter speed is not to be less then 1/80? where you hear that from?

    1/20 is not low...its your hand that is not stable...

    Quote Originally Posted by Yew Fai View Post
    i turned on the built in flash later, but i wasnt sure if it was working well with my continuous shooting mode that i had set my cam on. at one point, there was no flash, and i couldnt take any more photos and had to disable the flash again before i could resume.
    do you know what is the recycle time of your flash? what power you set it to?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Any camera settings recommended for indoor exhibitions?

    Quote Originally Posted by westwest2 View Post
    yes...why not?

    after saying so much...whats your aperature setting and lens u using? you dun want to use flash but you say the general guide is that shutter speed is not to be less then 1/80? where you hear that from?

    1/20 is not low...its your hand that is not stable...

    do you know what is the recycle time of your flash? what power you set it to?
    hi,

    i am using a 18-200mm 3.5-5.6 lens. now that you mentioned it, i think i set my aperture to f/5.6 when i could have set it at f/3.5; i understand if i set the aperture at its largest size, my exposure would be better, but most of the time, i was doing some zooming here and there, so i couldnt maintain a f/3.5 throughout anyway.

    i may be wrong, but for still objects, probably 1/20 should still be sufficient, but for models moving about every now and then, i am not sure if a shutter speed of 1/20 is sufficient. regarding the minimum shutter speed, i guess it is 1/60 (not the 1/80 i mentioned). i found it here (http://digital-photography-school.co...shutter-speed/) and elsewhere, but i also understand it is just a general guideline, most cams have built in stablisers in the lens or in the cam itself, so i think a lower shutter speed is still possible without using a tripod.

    haha ... regarding my hand being not stable ... you are probably right too. the cam gets heavier after prolonged holding and shooting, and not to mention being in the frontline doing battle with the models ...

    i was using the manual mode with my flash disabled, ISO 800, f/5.6 and based on the metering, i adjusted my shutter speed constantly (around 1/20 or slightly lower) ... most of my shots were sufficiently well lit, but the percentage of blurred shots were close to 30-40% ... disastrous for me. of these group, maybe 50% were just not sharp, but the remainder were obviously quite blurred and wasted shots.

    i didnt fiddle with my flash shutter speed since i didnt really experiment with it ... the manual states that the default is 1/60 ... it should be enough for my continuous shooting mode, which is about 3+ frames per secound. but i recalled the camera sort of hanging on me during the shoot after a while, so i had to disable the flash before i could resume shooting. still do not know what actually happened then.

    ahh ... i didnt even know i could adjust the power of my built in flash until you mentioned it. mine was set at TTL default (i am not sure what the acronym TTL stands for) but the manual states that the output is adjusted automatically in response to the shooting conditions. i can try experimenting it on manual setting, since there are various options available, eg. power output, flash frequency, number of times the flash fires, etc. thanks for bringing this to my attention.

    anyway, i was originally hoping to achieve ideal exposure without the use of flash without compromising on the skin tone of the subject, or compromising on the shooting rate. it seems that my worries may be unfounded. maybe flash is really required in indoor conditions afterall ... now i start to understand why others 'diffuse'(?) their flash to achieve the right amount of light on the subject ... cos shooting without flash is close to impossible unless you raise the ISO, which will compromise on the quality of the photos, or reduce the shutter speed, which will blur those shots, or get good and costly lens with huge apertures ... which is beyond me ... aghhh. painful lesson learnt here.
    Last edited by Yew Fai; 9th July 2007 at 03:25 PM.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Any camera settings recommended for indoor exhibitions?

    Get/use a faster lens? e.g. f/1.4 or wider, coupled with a higher ISO to achieve a faster shutter speed?

  5. #5

    Default Re: Any camera settings recommended for indoor exhibitions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yew Fai
    i am using a 18-200mm 3.5-5.6 lens. now that you mentioned it, i think i set my aperture to f/5.6 when i could have set it at f/3.5; i understand if i set the aperture at its largest size, my exposure would be better, but most of the time, i was doing some zooming here and there, so i couldnt maintain a f/3.5 throughout anyway.
    You may be right to get better exposure if used f3.5 but your sharpness may not be good. Most super zoom lens have softness quality at largest aperture.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yew Fai
    i may be wrong, but for still objects, probably 1/20 should still be sufficient, but for models moving about every now and then, i am not sure if a shutter speed of 1/20 is sufficient. regarding the minimum shutter speed, i guess it is 1/60 (not the 1/80 i mentioned). i found it here (http://digital-photography-school.co...shutter-speed/) and elsewhere, but i also understand it is just a general guideline, most cams have built in stablisers in the lens or in the cam itself, so i think a lower shutter speed is still possible without using a tripod.
    haha ... regarding my hand being not stable ... you are probably right too. the cam gets heavier after prolonged holding and shooting, and not to mention being in the frontline doing battle with the models ...
    1/20 sec for range from 18-200mm is not fast enough. I believe most of your shots were taken @200mm to capture closeup shots of the model. Remember to use the rule of 1/focal length sec.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yew Fai
    i was using the manual mode with my flash disabled, ISO 800, f/5.6 and based on the metering, i adjusted my shutter speed constantly (around 1/20 or slightly lower) ... most of my shots were sufficiently well lit, but the percentage of blurred shots were close to 30-40% ... disastrous for me. of these group, maybe 50% were just not sharp, but the remainder were obviously quite blurred and wasted shots.
    You were capturing low shutter speed w/o flash. That is wny the shots were blurred.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yew Fai
    i didnt fiddle with my flash shutter speed since i didnt really experiment with it ... the manual states that the default is 1/60 ... it should be enough for my continuous shooting mode, which is about 3+ frames per secound. but i recalled the camera sort of hanging on me during the shoot after a while, so i had to disable the flash before i could resume shooting. still do not know what actually happened then.
    ahh ... i didnt even know i could adjust the power of my built in flash until you mentioned it. mine was set at TTL default (i am not sure what the acronym TTL stands for) but the manual states that the output is adjusted automatically in response to the shooting conditions. i can try experimenting it on manual setting, since there are various options available, eg. power output, flash frequency, number of times the flash fires, etc. thanks for bringing this to my attention.
    Cannot comment much as not sure how is your flash setup. Shoot directly or bounce ? Moreover if the lighting is poor, flash need more power to light up the object, thus recharging of the flash is slower. That is why ext. flash battery pack is important.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yew Fai
    anyway, i was originally hoping to achieve ideal exposure without the use of flash without compromising on the skin tone of the subject, or compromising on the shooting rate. it seems that my worries may be unfounded. maybe flash is really required in indoor conditions afterall ... now i start to understand why others 'diffuse'(?) their flash to achieve the right amount of light on the subject ... cos shooting without flash is close to impossible unless you raise the ISO, which will compromise on the quality of the photos, or reduce the shutter speed, which will blur those shots, or get good and costly lens with huge apertures ... which is beyond me ... aghhh. painful lesson learnt here.
    Yes, a fast lens with flash fill-in would achieve a better effect. Try a 50mm f1.8 for cheaper setup.
    See my Photo Gallery at the Clubsnap

  6. #6
    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any camera settings recommended for indoor exhibitions?

    Quote Originally Posted by westwest2 View Post
    1/20 is not low...its your hand that is not stable...
    You wanna try shooting some models with 1/20 and showing me the results? Even if you dun move, the models may, how do you expect to get good shots like that?
    Michael Lim
    My Flickr Site

  7. #7

    Default Re: Any camera settings recommended for indoor exhibitions?

    1/20 (or slower) + rear curtain flash = Artistic shot to express motion!

  8. #8

    Default Re: Any camera settings recommended for indoor exhibitions?

    Quote Originally Posted by zac08 View Post
    You wanna try shooting some models with 1/20 and showing me the results? Even if you dun move, the models may, how do you expect to get good shots like that?
    orh...cannot lor...

    Quote Originally Posted by ipin View Post
    1/20 (or slower) + rear curtain flash = Artistic shot to express motion!
    saw the effect...very nice...

  9. #9
    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any camera settings recommended for indoor exhibitions?

    As for why the built in flash does not work in continous flash photography, it's due to protection circuits built in to prevent overheating. Only 1 shot at a time, and when you've shot a few in quick succession, the camera will shut down the built in flash to allow it to cool. When cooled sufficiently, it will be enabled again.

    As for sharpness, I believe it has been mentioned that kit lenses normally suffer from soft pictures at wide open. Thus it's always a good idea to stop it down by 1 to 2 stops, i.e f3.5 (at zoomed out) stopped down to f5 and f5.6 (zoomed in) stopped down to f8.

    Try those values yourself at home with an object and mounting your camera on a tripod, you'll find out which is better when you try this.
    Michael Lim
    My Flickr Site

  10. #10

    Default Re: Any camera settings recommended for indoor exhibitions?

    hey guys,

    thanks for all your feedbacks so far - a little overwhelmed, haha.

    yeah, at f/5.6, i find that even in the better shots, the off-centre areas appear somewhat less focused. i am not sure what f/3.5 would bring about - have to experiment with it to find out more about my cam.

    a fixed 50mm f1.8 sounds like a good idea for a less costly setup, except then i may really have to get up close and personal with the models with the rest of the 'mob'... haha. and less versatile when the models move away or if the distance permitted between the model and me is greater ... cannot get close up of their faces, expressions, etc. it's a worthwhile tradeoff for better photos though ... will definitely consider this when i go for my next lens, thanks

    yeah, i read about the reciprocal rule ... at 200mm, i need a shutter speed of at least 1/200 ... ideally. at iso800 without flash, the best i could shutter speed i could achieve was around 1/20 ... in fact i normally wouldnt have my iso beyond 400 on outdoor shots cos i find it pointless to waste so much time taking grainy shots ... i think i really need to experiment with my flashlight setting, and get an stronger external flash if necessary.

    i thank you guys for the feedback. bottomline is - the flash is built there for a purpose, haha. and i never utilised it ... sheesh. gotta learn how to use my flash and hopefully my next experience would be so wasteful - but at least i learnt something.
    Last edited by Yew Fai; 9th July 2007 at 05:31 PM.

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