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Thread: what's the reason to ask "what settings you used?" ?

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    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default what's the reason to ask "what settings you used?" ?

    I notice this a lot in CS. Someone puts up a photo in the galleries, and sooner or later (usually several posts down), someone asks "What settings you used?".

    I'm not really sure what the benefit of that information is. Photography is very time and location-specific. Knowing that someone used f11,1/200s, ISO200 and auto WB for a particular shot isn't really going to teach me much. Far better to experiment on my own, especially with digital camera (ie instant results).

    i dunno.... maybe you guys can share your opinions...

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    Default Re: what's the reason to ask "what settings you used?" ?

    Because it makes me feel like I've asked an intelligent question.
    Sony Alpha system user. www.pbase.com/synapseman

  3. #3

    Default Re: what's the reason to ask "what settings you used?" ?

    Im sure people are just curious.
    Most of the time, if u use the camera enough, u can already roughly gauge the setting needed for some photos.

    Perhapes, these CSers just wanna confirm their thoughts.

    And really, nice photos aint always the correctly exposed photos... =p

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    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: what's the reason to ask "what settings you used?" ?

    hahah thanks for the quick replies. I agree that the great photos aren't always the ones that are technically perfect.

    I mean, I am by no means an expert in photography or even in getting correct exposure, but never has it crossed my mind to ask someone what his/her settings were for a particular shot, be it portraiture or action or landscapes.

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    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: what's the reason to ask "what settings you used?" ?

    such questions are nothing more like 刻舟求剑, but at least is able to tell you that the sword is drop in the water from the boat.

    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: what's the reason to ask "what settings you used?" ?

    to those don't understand Chinese idiom, it says a man drop his sword from the boat while crossing a river, so he immediately make a marking on the boat, others saw it, asking him why? the man replied when the boat reach the shore, he able to retrieve his sword from the water where the marking is......

    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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    Senior Member Leong23's Avatar
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    Default Re: what's the reason to ask "what settings you used?" ?

    Another common question is "what is your setup?"

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    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: what's the reason to ask "what settings you used?" ?

    Well, it can also give them an idea of the various settings required for them to try out for a start....

    though, it all depends on the situation.

    The gear queries are more for the techie chasers... they want to be able to replicate it with the same gear... whether they can or not is another thing...
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    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: what's the reason to ask "what settings you used?" ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Leong23 View Post
    Another common question is "what is your setup?"
    this question is valid, since a newbie may not know what is the workable set up for certain type of shoot..

    but most the time can tell that people are asking for "song" "song"!
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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    Default Re: what's the reason to ask "what settings you used?" ?

    i have no idea

    because the light is never the same, better to understand your camera's style of metering to get what you want, rather than hope that your camera is the same as others, and hope that you get the exact same light. you can have the same sort of scene, the same sort of equipment, but using the same settings doesn't mean you will get the same exposure

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    Moderator nightwolf75's Avatar
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    Default Re: what's the reason to ask "what settings you used?" ?

    settings, i am fine cos as a newbie, it is nice to know a starting point. just dat one must remember that light changes.

    equipment is one thing i dun understand too. unless it is specialised... really no point in asking.
    If Life worked on auto mode then manual mode for photography would have never existed. ― Deeksha Mittal

  12. #12

    Default Re: what's the reason to ask "what settings you used?" ?

    as a newbie, I sometimes ask the question to people using same camera to have a guage of the settings to try...
    now u guys are making feel idiotic for asking...:P

  13. #13

    Default Re: what's the reason to ask "what settings you used?" ?

    i do realise such question pop up as and when...another question what lens u use? even a owner of pix provide the all the info like setting, setup and even model of the lenes..it maynot get the same result either.. there's an eyes of the person n PP to consider too..

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    Default Re: what's the reason to ask "what settings you used?" ?

    as a reference perhaps....

    no harm asking if one is willing to answer and the other one is willing to appreciate.
    cameras are not made of tofu

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    Default Re: what's the reason to ask "what settings you used?" ?

    When people ask me what settings I use, I'd usually say "I don't know - I used "P" Mode" Honestly!

    But set-up is easier to answer, and I agree this could be a more useful question.

    You get a very close-up pic of a lion's face at the zoo. 400mm?
    Ultra-wide angle shot. 10mm?
    Pic of bride with background totally blurred. f/1.4 lens?
    Can see compound eyes of mosquito. 180mm + extension tube + ringflash?
    Sony Alpha system user. www.pbase.com/synapseman

  16. #16

    Default Re: what's the reason to ask "what settings you used?" ?

    Most of the time.. I also using P mode.

    And I dont know what is the my setting...
    But every time I want to check I open the pix with Fast Stone Image and select image properties to view the setting... Hope for those ppl dont know what is their setting. you can do the same too..

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    Member lennyl's Avatar
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    Default Re: what's the reason to ask "what settings you used?" ?

    Quote Originally Posted by ZerocoolAstra View Post
    I notice this a lot in CS. Someone puts up a photo in the galleries, and sooner or later (usually several posts down), someone asks "What settings you used?".

    I'm not really sure what the benefit of that information is. Photography is very time and location-specific. Knowing that someone used f11,1/200s, ISO200 and auto WB for a particular shot isn't really going to teach me much. Far better to experiment on my own, especially with digital camera (ie instant results).
    Seriously? You guys don't think it is useful? I learn a lot from the settings that is used to capture an image. Sure, I don't care about *all* the settings. But knowing what shutter speed was used to freeze motion, or to give just that amount of motion blur, what aperture was used at what focal length to give just that amount of DOF, how was a particular butterfly shot (what lens? flash? settings?) and what lens / focal length was used to capture that landscape, it's all part of the learning process. Sure, I can go take a few images of every shot and study the difference, or I could learn from what I think are great photos. Seems like a no brainer to me.

    The other thing is confirming - someone asked for critique, and you want to say "you should have used a smaller aperture for greater depth of field" but before you do that, don't you want to know what is the ISO, shutter speed and aperture first? If they're already shooting at high ISO and shutter speed is barely fast enough, and they don't have a tripod or they're not allowed to use one, would you still die die insist they must use a smaller aperture?

    Kinda long winded. What I'm trying to say is, knowing the settings is useful. Knowing why those settings are used, and how it affects the image, is invaluable.

    Now, having said that, let me add, if you're using Firefox, install the FxIF addon. It allows you to view the EXIF (if present) by right clicking on an image and select "Properties"

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    Senior Member velasco's Avatar
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    Default Re: what's the reason to ask "what settings you used?" ?

    to emulate

  19. #19

    Default Re: what's the reason to ask "what settings you used?" ?

    Quote Originally Posted by lennyl View Post
    Seriously? You guys don't think it is useful? I learn a lot from the settings that is used to capture an image. Sure, I don't care about *all* the settings. But knowing what shutter speed was used to freeze motion, or to give just that amount of motion blur, what aperture was used at what focal length to give just that amount of DOF, how was a particular butterfly shot (what lens? flash? settings?) and what lens / focal length was used to capture that landscape, it's all part of the learning process. Sure, I can go take a few images of every shot and study the difference, or I could learn from what I think are great photos. Seems like a no brainer to me.

    The other thing is confirming - someone asked for critique, and you want to say "you should have used a smaller aperture for greater depth of field" but before you do that, don't you want to know what is the ISO, shutter speed and aperture first? If they're already shooting at high ISO and shutter speed is barely fast enough, and they don't have a tripod or they're not allowed to use one, would you still die die insist they must use a smaller aperture?

    Kinda long winded. What I'm trying to say is, knowing the settings is useful. Knowing why those settings are used, and how it affects the image, is invaluable.

    Now, having said that, let me add, if you're using Firefox, install the FxIF addon. It allows you to view the EXIF (if present) by right clicking on an image and select "Properties"
    the point is that environmental conditions are vastly different. from one moment to the next, the light can change. for example, even when you are talking about sports, where "freezing of motion" is possibly key.. let's say a motorcycle race. do you really think that A telling you that f/2.8 1/4000 iso 800 is going to be useful? the next moment, a cloud passes over the sun, and suddenly to get the same shot with the same dof and motion freezing you will still need at least 1/2000 and f/2.8 but iso 3200.

    i find that understanding exposure and perhaps, learning how the metering in-camera works. in the past with film was even worse, need to bracket, but in-camera metering tends to be pretty consistent these days, with a particular lens-camera combination anyways.

    that said, there are probably situations where maybe asking settings is useful, especially for depth of field related, focal length related, lighting (constant) related, or lighting setup to achieve certain effects. but i think the ts' gripe is that it is probably asked so often. it gets asked a lot in the landscapes section, which is all fine and dandy, but i think maybe people should note that going out to take the photo and dialing in the same settings will not give them the same results.
    Last edited by night86mare; 3rd August 2008 at 01:32 PM.

  20. #20
    Member lennyl's Avatar
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    Default Re: what's the reason to ask "what settings you used?" ?

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    the point is that environmental conditions are vastly different. from one moment to the next, the light can change. for example, even when you are talking about sports, where "freezing of motion" is possibly key.. let's say a motorcycle race. do you really think that A telling you that f/2.8 1/4000 iso 800 is going to be useful? the next moment, a cloud passes over the sun, and suddenly to get the same shot with the same dof and motion freezing you will still need at least 1/2000 and f/2.8 but iso 3200.
    That's why I said not all the settings are useful. I guess my post was too long winded. But I did summarize with "What I'm trying to say is, knowing the settings is useful. Knowing why those settings are used, and how it affects the image, is invaluable."

    I totally agree that asking for settings without understanding why totally defeats the purpose of finding out the settings. Knowing how aperture and shutter speed affects a photo, and then learning through experience (your own shooting, or viewing photos taken from others)

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