F-stop\Shutter speed question

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by Bote, Oct 14, 2005.

  1. macrumors regular

    Bote

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    #1
    I am not sure if this is the right forum for this question but everyone seems pretty knowledgable about photography here. I recently got a new digital camera that takes nice pics when set to auto but also has the ability to be controled manually. The problem is that I do not know how to use this function. Can anyone recommend a good book or website for learning to set the correct iso and shutter speed, etc when in manual mode :confused:
     
  2. macrumors 68000

    Josh

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    #2
    Check out the Photozo digital photograhy forums - they are some of the most helpful forums I've ever seen:

    http://www.photozo.com

    Good luck, happy shooting!
     
  3. thread starter macrumors regular

    Bote

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    #3
    Thanks, I will check it out now. Any books you like too?
     
  4. macrumors 65816

    Sweetfeld28

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    #4
    what camera did you buy, as i am currently trying to decide between Nikon and Canon?
     
  5. macrumors 68000

    Josh

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    #5
    ^

    Though the question was not directed at me, I was in the very same situation before I got my dSLR.

    I was deciding between Nikon and Canon, and I visited hundreds of sites, read tons of reviews, and I eventually chose the Nikon D70.

    I HIGHLY recommend it if it is one you are considering. The body is definitely a huge plus over the Canon, as it is much more solid and not "plasticy."

    Picture quality is great too - I couldn't be happier :D
     
  6. macrumors 68020

    pdpfilms

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    #6
    Don't forget the lens... that baby's a gem at such a cheap price.
     
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  8. macrumors 601

    HiRez

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    #8
    The exposure is determined by the combination of the f-stop (size of the iris aperture when it closes down to take the picture) and shutter speed (how long the aperture stays "closed" for). You can think of these two factors as a balance (scale). To maintain the same exposure, if you increase one, you must decrease the other, or vice-versa. For example, if you change the shutter speed from 1/1000th of a second to 1/500th, you are doubling the amount of light that will be used for the exposure since it's being exposed for twice as long. To counteract that (assuming you wanted to maintain the same exposure), you would have to therefore increase the f-stop by one stop, making a smaller aperture that will let in half as much light. Since smaller f-stop numbers really mean a larger iris opening (somewhat confusingly), if your original f-stop was f8, you would change it to f11, which is the next major f-stop number (one stop). Here is a pretty good explanation of it, probably much better than I gave, but you can find many, many more on the web through the miracle of Google. Try a search for "f-stop aperture shutter speed exposure" or somesuch.

    Now why would you want to manually set the shutter speed or aperture if all these combinations give the same exposure? Wouldn't it be easier to just pick one value for each and always use it? Yes, it would be easier, but varying the shutter speed and aperture have different effects, and sometimes one is more desirable than others, depending on what you're going for. A major effect of changing the aperture (f-stop) is that the depth of field, the distance at which things in your image will be in focus, changes with it. As you close down the lens (increase the f-stop number), you get more depth of field, and less as the lens is opened up. With shutter speed, objects in motion may become blurred if the shutter speed is too low. This includes the motion that your hand and fingers impart on the camera, which is why generally photographers do not take handheld pictures at any less than 1/60th of a second shutter speed. However, depth of field and shutter speed can be used as creative elements; there is no "right" setting, you must understand the effects that changing the values will have and decide what you want each photograph to look like when shooting. As examples, you might want to choose a fast shutter speed when shooting a sporting event with very fast-moving objects, or a small (high-numbered) f-stop if you need to keep both near and distant objects in sharp focus together.

    A camera's Auto mode will set things for you to get what is generally a good exposure (not too light or too dark overall), but cameras are still fairly "dumb" about these things; they cannot intelligently analyze each scene the way the human mind can, nor can they know the photographer's creative intentions. Thus, Auto mode is always a compromise, although not always a bad one. First I would suggest you read some online material, but preferably a comprehensive book that starts with the basics (I would search Amazon.com and read some reviews). When you set the shutter speed and aperture manually, you are in full Manual mode. However, many cameras have several "semiautomatic" modes that let you experiment with effect while still having the camera calculate a decent exposure. Aperture Priority mode lets you choose the aperture manually, then the camera will select the shutter speed automatically based on your choice. Conversely, Shutter Priority mode lets you choose a manual shutter speed and the camera will select an appropriate aperture for you. These two modes, if available to you, can be a great way to experiment and still expect good exposure before you move on to full Manual mode once you get some experience. Even this is a very primitive explanation, you really need to do some serious studying and practice shooting to really understand it (fortunately digital images are essential "free", so you can shoot a ton). Choose subjects and shoot a series of shots varying either shutter speed or aperture and compare the results. Try a tennis match, a flowing stream or waterfall, or a close-up portrait of a person or object in the foreground with the distant horizon in the background and you will begin to understand what happens when you move these values around. Good luck.
     
  9. macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    All photography is; doubling or halving, exposure is a function of amount of light and duration. If your camera permits use the spot meter mode and meter a shadow area. That is the the exposure for recording detail in that shadow area. This will insure good exposure for brighter areas.
    Depending on your specific need the f-stop determines depth of field and shutter speed is determined by camera support (hand-held or tripod mounted).
     
  10. thread starter macrumors regular

    Bote

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    #10
    I do not have a dSLR camera yet. I have a Fugi Finepix E550. Good enough for me for now. It is 6.3 mp and quite nice but not as nice as the other cameras listed in this thread by the others. I like all the camera info from others however since I will upgrade someday!
     
  11. thread starter macrumors regular

    Bote

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    #11
    Thanks for the explanation. You should be a teacher :) I have messed around with aperture priority and shutter priority for fun, but I really want to try out different techniques and not just guess at what I am doing. That is the reason for my post. Thanks for the quick lesson and response. Everyone has been very helpful to me. Thanks again to all.
     
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  13. macrumors 65816

    Sweetfeld28

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    #13

    To those who replied to my response i am looking at the Nikon D50, D70, and the Canon Digital Rebel XT.

    Where did you get your Digital Rebel, and what did you pay (if you don't mind me asking)?

    thanks, ryan
     
  14. macrumors 6502

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    #14
    IMO www.dcresource.com is the best site for reviews and feature set information about cameras. He does really thorough reviews and in a useable way that allows you to really compare them.

    to the origional poster - go here and you ought to be able to find out what all your camera can do, then I would turn to your owner's manual to figure make your particualr camera do that.

    to get good at photography, learn what something does then take pictures until you get an idea what is going on (which is nice with digital beacause practice costs nothing).


    P.S. If people here were looking for camera reccomendations - if you want a point-n-shoot, high zoom, decent manual controls - check out the Canon S2 IS, I have the previous model and its pretty stinkin cool.
     
  15. macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    #15
    When I'm feeling lazy, I set my Rebel 2k to "P", and just have at it. I think the XT supports E-TTL2, but I'm not sure.
    Also, clicky.
     
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    .
     
  17. macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    #17
    To clarify, any EOS camera (unless I'm mistaken, which is possible) can use any EF mount lens. From the cheap ones that come in the Rebel kits, to Canon's 1200mm monster. Some (Digital Rebel, 20D) are compatible with the newer EF-S mount as well.
    It is lightweight, but only when compared to better cameras ;) My Rebel 2k body is just 12 oz. My 70-300 lens and 420EX flash both weigh more that it. I think even with the kit lens attached, it's under a pound. Which is the complete opposite of my Minolta, which, in it's 31 year old glory, feels like a ball of cast iron, hanging from a thin vinyl strap around your neck.
     
  18. macrumors G3

    puckhead193

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    #18
    I love that camera i was gonna get it but with all the lens its not my thing so i got a nikon 8800 I love it
    In my film photography class we have a book called "black and white photography a basic manual by Henry Horenstein, it covers the basic of photography
     
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  20. macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #20
    I just wanted to say that while I am just a lurker in these forums, it's always great when people take the time to explain things very clearly instead of just muttering some obscure terms to total noobs who obviously don't have the slightest clue.

    So yeah, thanks for all the great explanations. :)

    Here are a couple of other sites I found when trying to learn about photography.

    Camerapedia.org
    Specific Nikon model's site, but it has lots of good general info as well.



    I'm in the same situation. I want to get either a Canon 350D, or Nikon D70/D70s, and while some people say "Get the Canon, it's great!" and others will say "Get the Nikon. It's so much better to use!" I find these arguments sort of baseless.

    What are the real reasons for choosing a Canon 350D over a Nikon D50/D70, or vice versa? I have owned a regular Canon film camera, and 2 Canon digital cameras (an A60 and an IXUS 40/SD300 that I currently use), and so I'm very familiar with Canon and favour them. However, I won't say that I refuse to buy a Nikon simply because of brand loyalty.

    I just want someone to tell me the cold, hard facts opinions as to why one is better than the other. :confused:
     
  21. thread starter macrumors regular

    Bote

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    Philadelphia PA
    #21
    did you check out the link www.dcresource.com that was provided by Lopresmb? I am not even in the market for a camera at this time but have spent a lot of time reading the reviews. They fully review most major cameras and are very honest giving the positives and negatives of each camera. No brand loyality there. That was an excellent link. Thanks Lopresmb!
     
  22. macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    #22
    Well, it seems that Canon and Nikon cameras are really never in direct competition, like, say, Ford and GM. Their cameras seem to leapfrog each, in a constant game of one-upsmanship. I recommend just going to a shop (Ritz/Wolf, and most consumer electronics stores like Best Buy and CompUSA will have those cameras) and just playing around with them. That's how I decided that I want to drool over the 20D, at least until it's replaced (or someone gives me a couple grand ;)). As far as switching, if you have accessories for a particular system (Canon EOS, or whatever Nikon's is called), it's probably best to stay with it, as switching is very expensive.
     

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