Shooting kids indoor - any suggestion?


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kitchionh

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Dec 28, 2007
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#1
Hi All,

I'm trying out shooting my kids indoor at night with Nikon D40x and am having some problems getting it right.

I don't like to use the built-in flash because it gives a very flat feel (i know some may suggest getting a SB600 or SB800). I rather play around with exposure, aperture and ISO etc first.

That leads to the point about whether would a Nikon 50mm f/1.8D help in such situation because of the ability to widen the aperture at close up range to allow more light to enter and not slowing down the shutter speed too much such that you get a blur image?

Also, on white balancing, I realise that if I set my D40x to auto, again, indoor shoots are no good. I need to choose between flourescent or incandescent and the result is flourescent gives a nicer yellowish look while incandescent gives a whiter look. I thot it should be the opposite??

Alternatively, I know I can up the ISO and I think it should be about 400 using hte 18-55mm kit lens. Anything above that gives a bit of noise when zoom in.

Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

Thanks.
 

Squid

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Jun 10, 2004
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#2
You need to do manual focusing when using AF-D 50m F1.8 lens on Nikon D40x. D40 and D40x lack the motor drive as compared to other Nikon DSLR camera models. For your convenience of having auto focus function, you may examine Sigma 30mm EX DC F1.8 HSM lens for Nikon D40x DSLR. :)
 

kitchionh

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Dec 28, 2007
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#3
You need to do manual focusing when using AF-D 50m F1.8 lens on Nikon D40x. D40 and D40x lack the motor drive as compared to other Nikon DSLR camera models. For your convenience of having auto focus function, you may examine Sigma 30mm EX DC F1.8 HSM lens for Nikon D40x DSLR. :)
Hi Squid,

I know the manual focus bit for using Nikon AF 50mm f/1.8D but given the price being about $170-180, what else can you ask for?

Btw, how much is Sigma 30mm Ex DC F1.8 HSM? Can only find Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC HSM in Sigma website and the 3rd part lense thread maintained by Otega (http://forums.clubsnap.org/showthread.php?t=264060)... and it costs $600-700!!! more than 3 times the price.. very expensive leh..

Rgds
 

catchlights

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Sep 27, 2004
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#4
if your kids can hold still for you to take photos,

or you can add many lights to the room to make it very much brighter,

or you can live with shooting at ISO 3200,

or bring the kids to outdoor and only shoot at bright day,

else just make your life simple, get a flash.
 

Six-GHz

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Nov 29, 2006
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#5
The Sigma will cost you more than $700. The Nikon though much cheaper, would still be quite insufficient to take active kids... you'd need both speed and aperture. I'd say get a SB400, at about $180. It makes your indoor shoots more pleasant too.
 

zac08

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Feb 21, 2005
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#6
Indoor at night? Yeah, go for the 50 f1.8 if you're ok with manual focusing... ;)

Flash would need some good techniques, else they'd just end up like some deer in headlamp shots....
 

kitchionh

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Dec 28, 2007
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#8
Thanks All for the suggestions.

My kids are 5 half and 14 mths. Both boys and active.

Sometimes when they are sitting around and playing, would like to take close up shots of their expressions. Doing with flash at close range would be quite painful to the eyes (would imagine). Of course I won't be shooting them while they are running around indoor. Kinda difficult.

On 50mm f/1.8, manual focusing is fine with me. That's what I did during the SLR age.

Rgds,
 

zac08

Senior Member
Feb 21, 2005
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#9
Thanks All for the suggestions.

My kids are 5 half and 14 mths. Both boys and active.

Sometimes when they are sitting around and playing, would like to take close up shots of their expressions. Doing with flash at close range would be quite painful to the eyes (would imagine). Of course I won't be shooting them while they are running around indoor. Kinda difficult.

On 50mm f/1.8, manual focusing is fine with me. That's what I did during the SLR age.

Rgds,
At those age groups, I'd stick with a fast lens and no flash... I rather not risk their eyes (myth or not)
 

zac08

Senior Member
Feb 21, 2005
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#12
Hi,

Is SB-400 good enuf for normal usage indoor and in restaurants etc? Not the pro kind.
Yes, why not. Just note that it can only swivel up and down. The guide number is also lower.
 

nixontkl

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Nov 12, 2007
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#14
Florencent setting is when your room is using florencent light which is bluish or white, using this setting make things more yellow or red to make your pic look warmer

incandence is the opposite, yellowish lighting in the room, the setting will whiten the picture

the 50mm f1.8 may not be that applicable as u should not forget that D40x got the 1.5x crop factor, so u are using a 75mm lens in the end which for indoor use provide a very narrow field of view thou the lens is fast. and that you need to auto focus, at f1.8 the DOF is very shallow high chances is your subject will still be blur. I bought this lens also cos it was reasonably cheap and the wish to have a fast f1.8 apperture to use, but end up seldom use cos the field of view is really narrow and hard to use as not often u need to shot at that focal length

my colleague bought his canon 400D and have the same intention of snapping his kids at home, and he have the same problem as you. after much discussion among other dlsr colleague, the better solution is to get external flash to raise the lighting so that you can snap at a faster speed.

as for the fear that flash can hurt your childrens' eyes use bounce and diffuser to soften the light on the eyes

SB400 allow you 2 options of direct flash or 90 deg up and bouncing the flash. if your use is mostly indoor then it would very much fit your need. cost wise should be around $180

if you want more free play u can up the notch to SB600. it gives you more play with how u like to bounce your flash. $353 cash at CP penisula plaza (got mine there in nov 07)
 

ortega

Moderator
Staff member
Nov 2, 2004
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#15
i agree with mr catchlights

get an external flash (SB400 will do)
bounced ceiling flash technique (maybe a small bounce card for catchlights in the eyes)
use a higher ISO

have fun!
 

ndroo

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Nov 22, 2003
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#16
Doing with flash at close range would be quite painful to the eyes (would imagine)
Just don't flash direct. I've been using flash to take pics of my kid when it's too dark and even a f1.4 lens (and iso1600) can't do a good job. Otherwise, I'll just wait till he's playing near the window if I wanna use natural light. Have fun!
 

jacob

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May 11, 2005
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#17
i second mr ortega.
my opinion, sb800 if got money as better recycling time so u dun missed precious shots. else make do with sb600. but not sure sb400 got enough power or not since bouncing is preferred.

kit lens good enough anyway.

my $0.01 worth

i agree with mr catchlights

get an external flash (SB400 will do)
bounced ceiling flash technique (maybe a small bounce card for catchlights in the eyes)
use a higher ISO

have fun!
 

kitchionh

New Member
Dec 28, 2007
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#18
Thanks all.

I think I'll get a SB-400. Not a heavy user. Certainly the reason for me buying D40X in the first place - portability is important.

As for AF 50mm f/1.8D, will seriously consider but reckon will one day end up with it soon...

Rgds,
 

kitchionh

New Member
Dec 28, 2007
52
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#19
Just bought SB-400. The results are amazingly good. I'm impressed. Paid S$190 for it at TK Foto.

Rgds,
 

Six-GHz

New Member
Nov 29, 2006
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#20
Just bought SB-400. The results are amazingly good. I'm impressed. Paid S$190 for it at TK Foto.
Rgds,
Told you so! A simple flash can do wonders to your pics... especially indoors! :)
 

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