Need your advice for D90 setting in Manual mode


tlra1984

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Jan 4, 2012
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#1
Hi all, firstly I would like to thank you for taking your time to read my post.

Brief intro :
Basically I have been using D90 for quite awhile, most of the time i have been using Aperture and Shutter priority mode. However I'm not satisfy with the result due to camera shake, so I decide to learn using Manual mode so I can also control both Aperture and Shutter speed.

Testing in mode with D90 and Tramon 17-50mm :

I have seen videos and sites mentioning Shutter @ 1/60 always the best to avoid camera shake so i decided to give it a try and below is the result.



I am pleased with the sharpness but the lighting is bad.

Another test with lower speed



Colour is good but there is a motion blur under the light due to long exposure. So the question now how can I improve this shot @ 1/60 only with flash? Or speed @ 1/60 is for taking photo in the bright day light?
Tried bumping ISO up but picture seems to be alittle too noisy on the result. By the way both ISO above is at 200.

Many thanks again for your time to read up my post.
 

Last edited:

SamTac

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Jul 19, 2007
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#2
Set ur f stop to lowest & increase ISO.
 

SamTac

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#4
Another option is tripod
 

kei1309

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#6
different shutter speeds will freeze objects moving at different speeds.

e.g. at 1/60 you wouldn't be able to free someone jumping up and down. but at 1/60 you could freeze someone wagging a finger slowly

at 1/250 a person jogging could be frozen, along with motion that is slower than that. but a person sprinting would be a blur. especially if it's Usain Bolt.

anyways your question is jumping all over.

ISO is the sensitivity of the sensor to light. at higher ISO, it just means that the conditions are quite dim and you require the sensor to be more sensitive. hence, you'll increase the ISO. but in the day time outdoors when it's bright, you would keep to a low ISO.

Noise is a characteristic of using High ISO. you can't avoid it. and yes. you can use the flash under low ISO to brighten up the room, while using a faster shutter speed to freeze the swinging pull-switch of the ceiling fan/light.

and to answer your question on whether 1/60 is fine for day-time? yes, it is. BUT, depending on what you're shooting. like mentioned above, if you're shooting people strolling, 1/60 might be fine. but shooting people running, you'll need a faster shutter speed.

and if your shutter speed is too fast, your picture might be underexposed. hence, you need to increase the ISO.

did that answer your question?
 

Octarine

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Jan 3, 2008
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#7
Basically I have been using D90 for quite awhile, most of the time i have been using Aperture and Shutter priority mode. However I'm not satisfy with the result due to camera shake, so I decide to learn using Manual mode so I can also control both Aperture and Shutter speed.
Why? It seems you try to achieve with trial and error what the camera does in A and T mode within Milliseconds. Both modes work well, you can still use EV for additional adjustments.
BUT: Photography is about capturing light. If there is not enough light to find a solution for the 'Exposure Equation' for ISO200 and handholding shutter speed there are only two options left. 1) Tripod to capture enough light with slower shutter speed; or 2) Increase ISO to achieve a shutter speed suitable for handholding.

I have seen videos and sites mentioning Shutter @ 1/60 always the best to avoid camera shake so i decided to give it a try and below is the result.
That's too general and nearly wrong. The guideline is: shutter speed = 1 / focal length. Some people also factor in the crop factor. For you lens that would mean that at 17mm a shutter speed of 1/20 (or 1/25s) is the minimum, anything faster should be fine. For the long end (50mm) you'll need 1/50s (or 1/80s) as minimum shutter speed.
Colour is good but there is a motion blur under the light due to long exposure. So the question now how can I improve this shot @ 1/60 only with flash?
Stabilize your camera with a tripod or lean against door frame, wall, wardrobe ..
Or speed @ 1/60 is for taking photo in the bright day light?
Sorry, that's nonsense. 1/60s is a shutter speed value, nothing else. The two other factors (ISO, Aperture) are missing and last but most importantly: what is your intention? For certain applications 1/60 is to slow, for other cases it might be too fast. Such generic statement does not make any sense without context.
Tried bumping ISO up but picture seems to be alittle too noisy on the result. By the way both ISO above is at 200.
Your camera comes with a software pack. Use this to reduce the noise. Do also think about shooting RAW which gives even better options for noise removal. In addition (and if you don't want to use any software), you can also check your camera manual about different settings for noise removal (I'm not familiar with D90, but other models have levels from Low to High).
 

kei1309

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Apr 12, 2010
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#8
BTW, it's not just D90 in manual mode. any camera that's in Manual Mode, will require the user to control all three parameters of ISO, Shutter Speed and Aperture to achieve the desired exposure/effect.

there is no magic setting. now it's up to you to experiment
 

tlra1984

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Jan 4, 2012
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#9
different shutter speeds will freeze objects moving at different speeds.

e.g. at 1/60 you wouldn't be able to free someone jumping up and down. but at 1/60 you could freeze someone wagging a finger slowly

at 1/250 a person jogging could be frozen, along with motion that is slower than that. but a person sprinting would be a blur. especially if it's Usain Bolt.

anyways your question is jumping all over.

ISO is the sensitivity of the sensor to light. at higher ISO, it just means that the conditions are quite dim and you require the sensor to be more sensitive. hence, you'll increase the ISO. but in the day time outdoors when it's bright, you would keep to a low ISO.

Noise is a characteristic of using High ISO. you can't avoid it. and yes. you can use the flash under low ISO to brighten up the room, while using a faster shutter speed to freeze the swinging pull-switch of the ceiling fan/light.

and to answer your question on whether 1/60 is fine for day-time? yes, it is. BUT, depending on what you're shooting. like mentioned above, if you're shooting people strolling, 1/60 might be fine. but shooting people running, you'll need a faster shutter speed.

and if your shutter speed is too fast, your picture might be underexposed. hence, you need to increase the ISO.

did that answer your question?
Hi Kei thanks for the response, actually I did tried shooting with my SB 600 before it actually works with no issue. But just trying to figure it out without using flash.

Why? It seems you try to achieve with trial and error what the camera does in A and T mode within Milliseconds. Both modes work well, you can still use EV for additional adjustments.
BUT: Photography is about capturing light. If there is not enough light to find a solution for the 'Exposure Equation' for ISO200 and handholding shutter speed there are only two options left. 1) Tripod to capture enough light with slower shutter speed; or 2) Increase ISO to achieve a shutter speed suitable for handholding.
Hi Octarine, thanks for response @Aperture priority in low light condition without flash I understand the censor is trying to set a decent exposure by lowering the shutter speed. But alot of time it turn out to be blur due to camera shake, that is why I want to try in manual mode to see if I can achieve what I wanted it to be.

That's too general and nearly wrong. The guideline is: shutter speed = 1 / focal length. Some people also factor in the crop factor. For you lens that would mean that at 17mm a shutter speed of 1/20 (or 1/25s) is the minimum, anything faster should be fine. For the long end (50mm) you'll need 1/50s (or 1/80s) as minimum shutter speed.
thanks for pointing out this as i always could not decide which shutter speed to use due to the crop factor (i.e 17mm 1/20 or 1/25)

Sorry, that's nonsense. 1/60s is a shutter speed value, nothing else. The two other factors (ISO, Aperture) are missing and last but most importantly: what is your intention? For certain applications 1/60 is to slow, for other cases it might be too fast. Such generic statement does not make any sense without context.
Sorry for any misleading part. My main intention will be purely on outdoor long portrait from head to toe with background for now in M mode. I understand that different application require different shutter speed but I mean 1/60 for daylight portrait to freeze subject movement.

Your camera comes with a software pack. Use this to reduce the noise. Do also think about shooting RAW which gives even better options for noise removal. In addition (and if you don't want to use any software), you can also check your camera manual about different settings for noise removal (I'm not familiar with D90, but other models have levels from Low to High).
Noted on this i will give it a try.
 

Last edited:

Blur Shadow

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Sep 17, 2005
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#10
Exposure is a function of shutter speed, aperture and ISO.

To have more light, you'd need to adjust the 3. In low light conditions, certain sacrifices may have to be made.

You can use a longer shutter speed, but that depends on your stability. Technology such as IS and VR can help.

You may use a larger aperture, but you lose depth of focus. May or may not be good for you. Also, you tend to get a stronger vignette and lose sharpness, especially at the corners for some lenses. Once again, this may or may not be important for certain uses.

Finally, you have ISO. I'm sure you know what that does.
 

kei1309

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#11
Other than freezing motion, you need to ensure that you use sufficient shutter speed to eliminate hand-shake blur by the 1/focal length rule. If you're shooting at 1/60 at 200mm or 300mm for example, your shots might still turn out blur.
 

ZerocoolAstra

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Mar 13, 2008
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#12
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Hi Octarine, thanks for response @Aperture priority in low light condition without flash I understand the censor is trying to set a decent exposure by lowering the shutter speed. But alot of time it turn out to be blur due to camera shake, that is why I want to try in manual mode to see if I can achieve what I wanted it to be.
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The camera makes use of the 3 parameters (ISO Speed, Shutter Speed, Aperture Value) to achieve the desired exposure level.
It seems you've got ISO fixed at 200, so we can consider that as a constant in the equation.
In Aperture-priority mode, you've set aperture to f/2.8, the largest possible aperture, and yet the camera is unable to select a fast enough shutter speed to eliminate hand-shake blur.
So what gave you the impression that by switching to Manual mode, you could change the outcome? As Octarine mentioned, you are trying to duplicate in Manual mode, what the camera can achieve in milliseconds.

If you look at your first photo, you increased the shutter speed to 1/60s which resulted in a grossly underexposed photo.

Did you notice the reading from the camera's meter? It was probably off the scale on the negative side.
 

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Octarine

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#13
Hi Octarine, thanks for response @Aperture priority in low light condition without flash I understand the censor is trying to set a decent exposure by lowering the shutter speed. But alot of time it turn out to be blur due to camera shake, that is why I want to try in manual mode to see if I can achieve what I wanted it to be.
Again: you will come to the same results as the sensor (not censor.. that's a government function in SG) - because you both measure the same light situation. There is little use here to try Manual. Make light, that's what you need.

Sorry for any misleading part. My main intention will be purely on outdoor long portrait from head to toe with background for now in M mode. I understand that different application require different shutter speed but I mean 1/60 for daylight portrait to freeze subject movement.
Which could be too slow or unachievable in certain situation. A bright sunny day and aperture f/4 to isolate your subject - you will never get 1/60 even if you use ISO100. Maybe you'll get 1/500s - and your flash becomes unusable if it cannot work in High Speed Sync mode.
If you use Aperture priority mode then shutter speed will follow the other two parameters. Just make sure it is not below the figure according the guideline '1 / focal length'. But aiming to use only 1/60s is a bit pointless.[/QUOTE]
 

catchlights

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#14
when the lighting is inadequate,

open up your aperture, use longer shutter speed, plus higher ISO to get correct exposure.

so when you need to use smaller aperture, then you use much longer shutter speed and higher ISO to compensate,

so when you need to use short shutter speed, then you use much bigger aperture and higher ISO to compensate,

so when you need to use lower ISO, then you use much bigger aperture and longer shutter speed to compensate,


you can use tripod, flash, or install more lighting fixture to help you.
 

AnsQ

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#15
Colour is good but there is a motion blur under the light due to long exposure. So the question now how can I improve this shot @ 1/60 only with flash? Or speed @ 1/60 is for taking photo in the bright day light?
Tried bumping ISO up but picture seems to be alittle too noisy on the result. By the way both ISO above is at 200.
Hi tlra1984,

To answer your questions, yes, flash will help. Putting the camera on a tripod or flat solid surface and using a lower shutter speed will help too.

1/60 is not "always the best" to handhold a lens. The general rule of thumb is, 1/the lens range. That is, if you are using a 17mm, it should be safe to handhold at 1/20s. If you are shooting at 200mm, you will need a 1/200s shutter speed. That is excluding any VC, IS or any form of image stablising your camera/ lens might have.

Something to add on, Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO are the three things that determines how a camera (sensor) makes an exposure. With regards to your photos, if you are already at max aperture (f2.8 in your case), and your camera needs a 1/5 shutter speed to expose the scene correctly, the only way to increase the shutter speed is to increase the ISO (since you can't increase the aperture anymore).

Shooting in aperture-priority or shutter-priority mode isn't bad, it is fast and convenient for most situations, but you will need to have an understanding of what your camera needs to get a proper exposure.

Hope this helps.
 

tlra1984

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Jan 4, 2012
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#16
Hi to all, it seems that i got mislead by all the videos and site from the net.

I shall get the thumb of rule into my mind.
Shutter speed = 1/focal length is always the best setting for any lens be it crop or non crop factor.
Longer Shutter = more light or vice versa.
Bigger Aperture (ie f2.8) = more light or vice versa. But somehow always think the other way round.

I might just use my SB600 for extreme low light condition to capture picture instead. For tripod wise I don't think i will be using it as it is quite troublesome to bring it out. But still I will take in consideration for all 3 element ISO, Aperture and Shutter Speed to get better pictures in M mode. Will try it out the next few days with different lighting condition in M mode.

Once again thanks for all the comment and guidance, I greatly appreciate that.
 

spree86

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Feb 3, 2009
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#17
Hi to all, it seems that i got mislead by all the videos and site from the net.

I shall get the thumb of rule into my mind.
Shutter speed = 1/focal length is always the best setting for any lens be it crop or non crop factor.
Longer Shutter = more light or vice versa.
Bigger Aperture (ie f2.8) = more light or vice versa. But somehow always think the other way round.

I might just use my SB600 for extreme low light condition to capture picture instead. For tripod wise I don't think i will be using it as it is quite troublesome to bring it out. But still I will take in consideration for all 3 element ISO, Aperture and Shutter Speed to get better pictures in M mode. Will try it out the next few days with different lighting condition in M mode.

Once again thanks for all the comment and guidance, I greatly appreciate that.
1/focal length is not the best setting for any situation. The shutter speed should be set according to what you are trying to achieve and not base on the focal length.
 

SkyStrike

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#18
Shutter speed = 1/focal length is always the best setting for any lens be it crop or non crop factor.
As pointed out by Spree, 1/focal length is not the best shutter speed setting for ANY situation, it's just the recommended shutter speed to reduce potential handshake.
With this setting
- Handshake can still occur if you hand is not steady enough
- Subject movement causing your final pic to be blurrish is possible too, if your subject is moving faster than 1/focal length speed

Longer Shutter = more light or vice versa.
This provided that you did not change the other 2 parameters (ISO and Aperture)
 

catchlights

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#20
Hi to all, it seems that i got mislead by all the videos and site from the net.

I shall get the thumb of rule into my mind.
Shutter speed = 1/focal length is always the best setting for any lens be it crop or non crop factor. No, it is not, is only just a suggestion for handheld shots with reasonably fast enough shutter speed.
Longer Shutter = more light or vice versa.
Bigger Aperture (ie f2.8) = more light or vice versa. But somehow always think the other way round.

I might just use my SB600 for extreme low light condition to capture picture instead. For tripod wise I don't think i will be using it as it is quite troublesome to bring it out. it is lame excuse and make your tripod useless
But still I will take in consideration for all 3 element ISO, Aperture and Shutter Speed to get better pictures in M mode. Will try it out the next few days with different lighting condition in M mode.

Once again thanks for all the comment and guidance, I greatly appreciate that.
see reply in Red
 

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