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Old Apr 2, 2013, 04:57 AM   #1
MonkeySee....
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Just bought a D7000 + 35mm AF-S F1.8G Lens

I've made a massive leap from a D40X to a D7000 and may be a little out of my depth as I 90% of the time shoot from automatic modes.

I didn't wan to go for the D3200 though as I felt I need to push myself out of my comfort zone.

Tips on shooting moving objects (e.g on bouncy castles etc)

Tips on low light shooting with minimal blur (e.g Indoors + birthday party + cake with candles etc)

Its my boys 3rd birthday on the 4th Apr and my other boys 1st birthday on the 8th of May so i need to get these right!

Any advice would be appreciated!
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Old Apr 2, 2013, 06:48 AM   #2
admwright
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To avoid bluring due to movement then you need to control the shutter speed. This can be done multiple ways. The simplest make use of auto ISO where you set the maximum ISO you are happy with (you should be able to go one or two stops above what you used with your D40X) and the minimum shutter speed that is acceptable, for posed people this is usually 1/60s, but for children you might want 1/100s and the bouncy castle 1/250 or higher. Then you decide how much further control you want of the shutter speed:

1) Use Program mode and the camera will try to use the highest speed, but also takes in to account the aperture.

2) Shutter priority and just set the speed you want. The camera will adjust the aperture for correct exposure.

I will often use a lower shutter speed for the auto ISO setting and Program mode, then switch to Shutter priority whe a higher speed is needed. Note that the last speed used is remembered so if you have been using 1/500 for the bouncy castle, go inside switch to program then outside again and switch to shutter you will get the 1/500s again. So all you need to do is turn the mode dial.

Practice before the event and if you are really struggling put the 35mm on the D40X to get th elow light capability with your familiar camera.
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Old Apr 2, 2013, 08:07 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by admwright View Post
To avoid bluring due to movement then you need to control the shutter speed. This can be done multiple ways. The simplest make use of auto ISO where you set the maximum ISO you are happy with (you should be able to go one or two stops above what you used with your D40X) and the minimum shutter speed that is acceptable, for posed people this is usually 1/60s, but for children you might want 1/100s and the bouncy castle 1/250 or higher. Then you decide how much further control you want of the shutter speed:

1) Use Program mode and the camera will try to use the highest speed, but also takes in to account the aperture.

2) Shutter priority and just set the speed you want. The camera will adjust the aperture for correct exposure.

I will often use a lower shutter speed for the auto ISO setting and Program mode, then switch to Shutter priority whe a higher speed is needed. Note that the last speed used is remembered so if you have been using 1/500 for the bouncy castle, go inside switch to program then outside again and switch to shutter you will get the 1/500s again. So all you need to do is turn the mode dial.

Practice before the event and if you are really struggling put the 35mm on the D40X to get th elow light capability with your familiar camera.
Thanks for taking the time to respond. I'll have a play with those settings!

Would it be useful if I programme in some settings un "U1" - Bouncy castle pics and "U2" - Low light pics.

Probably pointless right? and lazy.
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Old Apr 2, 2013, 11:12 AM   #4
MCH-1138
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Congratulations -- D7000 and the 35/1.8 is a nice combination.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MonkeySee.... View Post
Its my boys 3rd birthday on the 4th Apr and my other boys 1st birthday on the 8th of May so i need to get these right!
Do you have time in the next couple of days to practice and try out the different settings before the first party? If not, it may be safer to stick to one of the auto modes if that is what you have been most comfortable using. The P, S, A, and M modes will give you more control, but also more opportunity to goof something up.

If you have time to put the camera through its paces and get used to the settings, here is what I would try as a starting point:

- Aperture-priority (A) mode
- Auto-ISO (max sensitivity 3200, minimum shutter 1/100)
- Auto-WB

Try f/4 as a starting point -- bump it up (maybe f/5.6-8 or higher) if you are shooting a group shot, drop it down (maybe f/2.8 or lower) if there is a single subject and you need the extra light. Remember that you can hit the pop-up flash if you need it.

For the bouncy castle or other fast action, it may make more sense to use Shutter-priority (S) mode and a faster shutter speed (say, 1/250 or higher, unless you want to include some motion blur for effect).

Try to resist the temptation to shoot everything at f/1.8. There is a time and place for it, but you will usually want more depth-of-field than that.
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Old Apr 2, 2013, 04:16 PM   #5
oldgeezer
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For controlling motion blurring Shutter priority is the way to go. If you want blurring, slow the shutter down. If you want to stop motion, speed the shutter up. Auto white balance should be fine -- particularly if you're shooting in RAW format, since then you can change it in post processing.

You have a nice fast lens so you should be able to shoot at quite fast shutter speeds and the camera will take care of the aperture.

If you're shooting birthday candle pictures inside and are using a flash it's best to use rear curtain sync on the flash since any pictures of the cake being carried will have light trails behind the motion that way. I also set my white balance for incandescent if I know that's what the majority of the light will be and it seems to do a better job than the auto white balance setting.

I've had my D7000 for over a year now and am still exploring all of the functions available to me. It's a great camera and I can't seem to find any good reason -- other than ego value -- to move to Nikon's full frame line. When the quality of my images suffers in the DX format maybe I'll change my mind, but I'm a long way from that level of photography. The only major downside to DX is the 1.5 focal length multiplier for lenses but once I got my head around it I don't think about it any more.
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Old Apr 3, 2013, 03:20 AM   #6
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Many thanks for your posts. Some great tips there and i've been looking into the "S" setting alot although I don't really understand the LCD display..



Where the shutter speed says "125" what does that mean? Is that 1/125?

Also where you guys say the shutter speed will allow me to "freeze" pictures. Would I also use this for night shots?

I've seen people take pictures at concerts and I've wondered how they get the shot with no blur even though the subject is moving.

Thank you all for your patience and not calling me stupid
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Old Apr 3, 2013, 03:46 AM   #7
MCH-1138
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MonkeySee.... View Post
Where the shutter speed says "125" what does that mean? Is that 1/125?
Yes -- 1/125 second.

Quote:
Also where you guys say the shutter speed will allow me to "freeze" pictures. Would I also use this for night shots?
Using a faster shutter speed will help avoid motion blur, day or night. But you might not have enough light at night to maintain a high enough shutter speed. Your options to help keep your shutter speed higher include using a wider aperture (keep in mind that this affects your depth of field), a higher ISO, or adding light (i.e., using flash). As admwright suggested, keep in mind that what is a "fast enough" shutter speed will vary based whether and how fast you and your subject are moving relative to one another. So what is fast enough for a photo of the birthday cake sitting on the table probably is not fast enough for a photo of kids running around.

Quote:
I've seen people take pictures at concerts and I've wondered how they get the shot with no blur even though the subject is moving.
Most likely a combination of high(er) ISO, wide(r) aperture, and a fast enough shutter speed.

Quote:
Thank you all for your patience and not calling me stupid
No stupid questions.
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Old Apr 3, 2013, 06:25 AM   #8
admwright
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MCH-1138 View Post
Try to resist the temptation to shoot everything at f/1.8. There is a time and place for it, but you will usually want more depth-of-field than that.
Very good advice about f/1.8, you will get a lot of the photograph out of focus when the lens is wide open and a very narrow range of the subject in focus. Using f/2.8 or above will increase your depth of field and more likley to have successful images. Try different apertures in your house tonight to get an idea of how this affects the image. You will see a big difference from a kit lens (f/3.5 to f/5.6).
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Old Apr 3, 2013, 07:21 PM   #9
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Congrats on your purchases. Just an FYI, I also got the 35mm 1.8 lens (I'm using the D5100) and after a few months have finally discovered its limitations...at least with respect to multiple subjects (i.e. kids). As admwright says, at 1.8 it is difficult to get tack sharp images on both subjects' faces. I've gotten lucky a few times but many times one will be sharp and the other soft, especially if they are different distances from the lens, which is expected I guess (I'm no professional and am still learning). But at times, they're approximately the same distance and only one or neither comes out sharp. Other posts I've read have also recommended increasing (well, decreasing) your aperture to at least 2.8, which of course is still better than the kit lens. I've recently read that 4 and 5.6 are often considered ideal. This kind of defeats my whole purpose in getting the lens!
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Old Apr 3, 2013, 07:53 PM   #10
MCH-1138
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trs0722 View Post
Just an FYI, I also got the 35mm 1.8 lens (I'm using the D5100) and after a few months have finally discovered its limitations...
That isn't a limitation of the lens. It is a limitation of shooting at f/1.8. With that wide of an aperture, the depth of field is extremely shallow. At f/1.8, with multiple subjects, "approximately the same distance" probably isn't close enough. Even with a single subject, you probably will not have the depth of field to keep the eyes, nose, and ears all in focus at that aperture (depending on other factors, including your distance from the subject).

If you have multiple subjects and aren't getting either one in focus, then there is something else at work (e.g., missed focus point, camera shake, motion blur, etc.).

Last edited by MCH-1138; Apr 4, 2013 at 12:22 AM. Reason: Finished my thought.
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Old Apr 3, 2013, 10:04 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trs0722 View Post
I've gotten lucky a few times but many times one will be sharp and the other soft, especially if they are different distances from the lens, which is expected I guess (I'm no professional and am still learning). But at times, they're approximately the same distance and only one or neither comes out sharp.
I just got a 50mm 1.8 yesterday for my D5100 The pics I saw before buying it showed that at f1.8 you could have the eyes and nose in focus, but the ears were beginning to be blurred.

I shall treat it thus:
  • staged portraits I'll use f1.8 - 2.8.
  • indoor party pics with moving kids (as the OP is wanting to do), I'll put on a flash and hope the red cordial hasn't kicked in yet
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Old Apr 4, 2013, 12:06 PM   #12
Mike in Kansas
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Originally Posted by trs0722 View Post
I've recently read that 4 and 5.6 are often considered ideal. This kind of defeats my whole purpose in getting the lens!
Not really. A lens typically isn't its sharpest wide open but stopped down. If you are shooting a kit lens at f/5.6, chances are it's not yet at its sharpest. That probably starts to happen around f/8 or so. However, an f/1.8 or f/2.8 lens is usually very sharp at f/4 of f/5.6. So not only are you getting the good depth of field at f/5.6, but the images should be sharper with the 35 f/1.8 than a variable aperture lens.

I have both the 35mm f/1.8DX and 50mm f/1.8D and they are incredible sharp at f/4. It is hard to get an image that sharp with a kit lens wide open. Plus the f/1.8's usually have better bokeh than a variable aperture lens as well.

It's all about compromise and selecting the best tool for the shot at hand. No one lens will do it all, and do it all well.
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Old Apr 4, 2013, 02:53 PM   #13
trs0722
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Thanks for the tips guys. Another question that maybe will help the OP too. What is the best combination of Focus Mode and AF Area Mode for the 35mm 1.8 for multiple subjects? I had been using single point AF but then realized this was not ideal.
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Old Apr 4, 2013, 03:12 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trs0722 View Post
Thanks for the tips guys. Another question that maybe will help the OP too. What is the best combination of Focus Mode and AF Area Mode for the 35mm 1.8 for multiple subjects? I had been using single point AF but then realized this was not ideal.
Honest? Manual.

I have a D7000, and it can be quite sporadic with multiple points.

Next lens on your list op should be the 28mm f/2.8 - that's a gorgeous piece of glass for the money.
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Old Apr 4, 2013, 03:27 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trs0722 View Post
What is the best combination of Focus Mode and AF Area Mode for the 35mm 1.8 for multiple subjects? I had been using single point AF but then realized this was not ideal.
I usually use single-point AF because it lets me choose the focal point. As a rule of thumb(*), your depth of field will be split about 1/3 in front and 2/3 behind your focal point (or more accurately, focal plane). So if I have multiple subjects, I try to focus on something about 1/3 of the way back. Alternatively, you can use a narrower aperture (to increase your depth of field) and focus on the nearer subject.

I usually use the AF-S mode, but will use AF-C or AF-A if I expect the subject to be moving.

(*) EDIT: This rule of thumb is actually only true at a specific distance. The ratio varies depending on the distance. At close distances, it may be closer to 1:1 (i.e., 1/2 in front and 1/2 behind). At the hyperfocal distance and beyond, it is 1:∞. The point is that DOF is generally split in front of and behind the focal plane, and that the DOF beyond will be greater than the DOF in front of the subject.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Y View Post
Next lens on your list op should be the 28mm f/2.8 - that's a gorgeous piece of glass for the money.
Not to change the subject, but your lens selection should be driven by your needs. If the OP finds himself always cropping photos or needing to get closer to the action, he would need a longer lens, not a wider one.

And if the OP finds himself in want of a wider lens, it is unclear to me why that lens should be a 28mm if he already has a 35mm. To me, there is not enough of a difference between those two focal lengths (28mm and 35mm) to justify those being my only two lenses.

Ultimately, like Mike in Kansas said, it is about selecting the best tool for the shot at hand.

Last edited by MCH-1138; Apr 4, 2013 at 04:48 PM. Reason: (Hopefully) clarified my thought.
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Old Apr 7, 2013, 05:30 AM   #16
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If you have a couple hundred to spend consider picking up the 50 1.8g and the 28mm 2.8. Both can be had for about 100$ ea and would cover a bit of range. I recently bought a d7000 to go w my d700. Flash sync at 320 all day even tho printed at 250. I use it primary w a 8mm fisheye.
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Old Apr 8, 2013, 03:16 AM   #17
MonkeySee....
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Hi guys,

Thanks for all the tips you gave. I did have a few struggles but I got some good photos.

Annoyingly and probably through faults of my own I had to use one of the "scene" settings (sports) as it was giving me much better results with regards to lighting etc.

I tried to see what settings the "sports" mode was giving me and tried to replicates it but was'nt coming out the same.

If you can get the exif details from these pics and let me know what you'd have done that would be great.

Thanks

All of these pics had no manual input from me i'm afraid.
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Old Apr 8, 2013, 06:05 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by MonkeySee.... View Post

Thank you all for your patience and not calling me stupid
The only "stupid" aspect of this would be if you were too hard on yourself for not mastering photography and a complex camera in a matter of days.

Be patient and give yourself time to read, research, learn and practice, practice, practice. Don't get frustrated by results that you think are poor. Remember that it can take years of dedicated effort to get to where you may want to be right now.

Peter

Last edited by Cheese&Apple; Apr 8, 2013 at 06:22 AM.
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Old Apr 10, 2013, 09:51 AM   #19
cc2096
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Great shots, even if they were using the scene modes.

If I could give one bit of advice (and i'm just as new as you to DSLR photography) it would be to go take a good beginners digital photography class in your area. Check groupon, locally, or just good search for photography classes in your area and i'm sure you'll find something. Expect to pay about $150 or so for a good class, but it will be money well spent if you come out of it with even half a clue more about your camera and it's settings, and how to use it and the basics rules of photography to take a great pic.

Before I took my class (I just bought a D7100 and took the class this past weekend) I would only shoot in the auto modes on my P&S. Now I am able to get shots like this (attached), and know what I did to accomplish it and can repeat in future shoots. Good luck!!
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