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      04-26-2009, 11:47 PM   #1
dpouldar90210
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need some help

i need you help everyone im a newcomer to dslrs

so...if im shooting cars at an outdoor car show on either full manual or aperture priority on a nikon d40: if i were on full manual what shutter speed shud i be shooting on without a tripod??? (i want as sharp of a picture as possible with my aperture closed as much as i can so i get as much of the picture in sharp focus but still no blur from too slow of a shutter speed??.

any other suggestion on shooting without a tripod to get as sharp as a picture as possibe? (better to shoot full manual or aperture priority?) or would you just suggest shooting on auto???
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      04-27-2009, 12:03 AM   #2
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there is no such a thing as recommended shutter speed. it will be different in every situation. it depends on your ISO and aperture settings, which are obviously different for every lens.

The camera has an Electonic meter / exposure compenation display (fig. 3 on the left image). Use that as a reference.
It will change when you play with aperture, shutter speed and ISO. Keeping that display at 0 is usually a safe bet to begin with,
and then adjust the settings according to your liking.

and i always shoot in manual. auto would probably give you decent results, but i wouldn't bet on it.

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      04-27-2009, 12:39 AM   #3
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thats the thing i wanna keep my aperture as closed a possible (so as much of the picture is in focus as i can)...nd i dnt really know where to start..should i just keep it at aperture priority nd let the camera choose the shutter speed for me???
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      04-27-2009, 01:07 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpouldar90210 View Post
thats the thing i wanna keep my aperture as closed a possible (so as much of the picture is in focus as i can)...nd i dnt really know where to start..should i just keep it at aperture priority nd let the camera choose the shutter speed for me???
i would still do it on manual. since you are shooting during the day, and at the car show, just close the aperture all the way and play with shutter speed. the chances of you hitting slow shutter speeds during the day are next to nothing.
however, don't limit yourself to the same setting. also, shoot in raw. this way you could edit the images without losing any quality. you could always export as a jpeg later.
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      04-27-2009, 02:14 AM   #5
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What lens are you using? The conventional "wisdom" is that the shutter speed should be 1/(focal length) for handheld shots. However, that was based more on film as the medium, and not digital sensors. I've read that you should go at least 1 stop beyond that minimum, and to include the "crop factor" in the estimation.

So, using a D40 (1.5x crop factor) with a 70-300 lens would yield a "minimum" shutter speed range of:
Low end:
70mm x 1.5 crop factor = 105mm effective focal length.
Thus, 1/105 would be the old "minimum" shutter speed, but we need to round it to a "standard" full-stop speed of 1/125. Add 1 stop and we get 1/250 and for 2 stops we have 1/500.

Let's settle on 1/250 as the minimum shutter speed to minimize "shake".

High end:
300mm x 1.5 crop factor = 450mm effective focal length.
Thus, 1/450 would be the old "minimum" shutter speed, but we need to round it to a "standard" full-stop speed of 1/500. Add 1 stop and we get 1/1000 and for 2 stops we have 1/2000.

Again, let's settle on 1/1000 as the minimum shutter speed to use at 300mm handheld.

The problem will be the lighting conditions you face. Very bright sunlight should pose zero problem. Light overcast, probably not an issue either. Heavy overcast? You might be running into problems if you want maximum depth of field from the high aperture (f/16 - f/22.)

But going with really high apertures has its own set of problems (diffraction mostly.) Starting around f/16 you might start getting some diffraction issues, and almost certainly at f/18 or smaller. I'd try to stay in the f/11 to f/16 range, and not any smaller.

Some (most?) lenses will have a "sweet spot" for aperture. Try to find out what that is for the lens you are planning to use. My guess is it will be somewhere between f/8 and f/11. Put the camera in Aperture Priority mode, and run at f/11 and see what kind of shutter speeds you get. If they are at least what has been noted above, shoot away. If not, you may consider turning up the ISO, but I wouldn't go crazy there either. Try to leave it at 100, which is the "native" ISO for the D40.
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      04-27-2009, 12:42 PM   #6
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after speaking to a few people they suggested shooting on aperture priority (ill adjust aperture and the camera will adjust shutter)...does this sound like the best way to go?
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      04-28-2009, 11:48 PM   #7
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      04-28-2009, 11:57 PM   #8
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unless you only have two minutes to get your shot, heed scollins' advice and see what you come up with. trial and error is your friend when you have the time.


i'd say put it in Manual, set your aperture to f/8, your ISO at 200 (base ISO for the D40, i think) and let your shutter speed be your only variable if you're staying outdoors. start at 1/500th and see what your images look like, then adjust accordingly.
i'm guessing you're shooting wide, so at f/8, anything beyond a couple of feet will be in sharp-focus. if you go higher than f/8, you'll run into diffraction and lose contrast, so just adjust your shutter speed.
oh, and RTFM. ;]
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      05-02-2009, 06:34 PM   #9
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i was in the same boat last year when i started. i spent the year shooting im apeture mode only, just getting used to how iso, f/, and surrounding light affected what i and how i shot. this year i made the jump to full manual and havent looked back yet. you can always do this, shoot some in av mode and some in manual and try to match what the camera does in av mode. if you are out doors, keep the iso as low as it goes. watch the light meter as posted above, then mess with the f/ and shutter speed. try to take shots at a few diff f/ and change the shutter speeds to try and keep the meter at 0. good luck man and welcome to the fun.
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      05-03-2009, 05:33 AM   #10
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You circumstances are going to vary each time, its not a recommendation of settings you need from us IMO, you need to experiment when you get there.

If you want to use small apertures, remember to bump up your ISO to compensate. I tend to just stop my lens down a touch. Keeps my ISO low and SS quick enough.
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      05-03-2009, 10:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpouldar90210 View Post
after speaking to a few people they suggested shooting on aperture priority (ill adjust aperture and the camera will adjust shutter)...does this sound like the best way to go?
yes.
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