Dumbest Question You Probably Will Be Asked All Day- Flash Control

Started Feb 9, 2014 | Questions
iljitsch Contributing Member • Posts: 664
Re: Next Question(s) - APERTURE / "3 clicks from smallest number"

Phoebe1 wrote:

So what could he mean by 3 clicks from the SMALLEST number?

Not 100% sure, but typically we work with "stops" in photography. With the shutter speed or ISO (the sensitivity of the sensor) a stop is doubling or halving. So one stop up from 1/60th of a second is 1/125th of a second (give or take to keep the numbers nice and round). With the aperture things work a bit differently, here the stops are counted like this:

1.4 2 2.8 4 5.6 8 11 16 22 32

So if your lens has a maximum aperture (= largest lens opening = smallest number) of 4, then three stops up is 11.

However, your camera will probably let you adjust things in 1/3rd of a stop. It could be that the writer here means 3 x 1/3rd = 1 stop, which would make a bit more sense as the lens sweet spot than going up 3 stops.

You could of course try both and see which gives you better results.

I don't understand why he calls it lens angle if these are indeed the numbers he means. I think the book says these are FOCAL LENGTH numbers. Are the terms interchangeable? I thought at first he was referring to the angle I hold the camera lens?

They're not the same but they're two sides of the same coin. It's a bit like standing close to a window, that way you have a wider view outside than when standing far away from it. The angle of view is what you're after, the focal length is the thing that you change to get that desired angle of view.

As for the WHITE BALANCE, the teacher says not to worry about it because I am shooting RAW. Sounds great but what should I then have as a default? setting for the WHITE BALANCE because there is no OFF selection that I see. If the camera knows not to worry about the WB because I am in the RAW mode then should I leave the setting on auto?

The camera still needs a white balance in order to display your photos, there's no such thing as "no" white balance. The difference when shooting raw (not an acronym, just a regular word) is that you can later change the white balance without losing any information. When shooting JPEG changing the white balance after the fact will reduce the quality of the image.

When learning new things, it helps to focus on one thing or a small number of things at a time. I'd say that at this stage it's probably best to leave the white balance on auto.

I was reading about the other ways to set up WB and the PRE sounds interesting. But I suppose that wouldn't matter either since I am shooting in RAW.

Pre is definitely interesting, select it and see what happens!

Lastly, for the moment anyway, is SHUTTER SPEED. I am supposed to use this to adjust exposure so that BRACKETING can be done. What is the best way to handle this procedure? I don't see BRACKETING guidelines in my field guide book index.

Not sure if you mentioned what camera you have. The D7100 has a BKT button. I think the lower models have a menu to enable this.

Or go old school and simply shoot three images: one with the correct shutter speed (as chosen/indicated by the camera), one with a slightly faster and one with a slightly slower shutter speed.

 iljitsch's gear list:iljitsch's gear list
Nikon D7100 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR +4 more
John Stark Regular Member • Posts: 148
Re: Next Question(s) - APERTURE / "3 clicks from smallest number"

Phoebe1

The D3200 is my first DSLR purchased in October 2013.  I am still learning to use it.  A friend who is photographic guru (and Pentax fanatic) has been telling me about exposure bracketing, tone mapping and HDR (high dynamic range) photography.  Being able to take multiple exposures and then combine them with software (He uses Photomatix) seemed like a good thing - to bring out detail in shadows and highlights that normally would not be there with a single shot.

I was disappointed to find that the D3200 does not do automatic exposure bracketing.  In order to take photos with different exposure with the D3200 you have to take separate photos and alter the exposure yourself between shots.  This is, of course, impossible with moving subjects, but is possible with a still-life or other subjects where nothing will move between photos.  A stable tripod is essential.

However, I also read that the D3200 has such high dynamic range that it does not need the exposure bracketing feature (and yet my friend's Pentax has similarly high dynamic range and does have exposure bracketing).  Maybe this is just Nikon marketing people trying to make the lack of a feature seem like an advantage, but the dynamic range of the D3200 is pretty good and especially if you shoot in RAW, there is detail in shadows and highlights that can be revealed in post-processing.  Even with a single jpg image it is possible to create an HDR image using software.  If the main problem is likely to be blown highlights (and you can only take one photo), I have found it best to under-expose a little.  You can drag some detail out of the shadows that way, but if the highlight is completely blown, there's nothing much you can do.  Conversely, you can over-expose very dark subjects a little.

The other feature of the D3200 that is really handy when learning is the Guide Mode.  Not many DSLRs have this feature - you can select the type of photo you want to take (e,g., closeups, landscapes) and the camera will select the most suitable aperture, shutter speed, ISO etc.  You can take your photos and examine the EXIF data to see what settings were used.  Then, once you know, you can shoot in M, A, S, or P modes and choose the settings yourself.

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John Stark, Nelson, NZ
Fujifilm MX700, S602z, Z33WP, XP150, S9500
Nikon D3200 twin lens kit, SB-400

Phoebe1
OP Phoebe1 Regular Member • Posts: 179
Re: Dumbest Question You Probably Will Be Asked All Day- Flash Control

Thank you for the recent replies to my questions. I will be saving to put with my printed guide books as additional info.

Took some pics last night with the settings discussed here and this might work to solve the problem I have been having capturing this one image accurately. Today I will need to buy a tripod because the makeshift "tripod" I created did not work out at all. It might have if I had a remote shutter release but I don't yet. Any suggestions on which kind you believe I should start with? I can't determine if I should get the ball head or the other kind.

I am also going to try taking this project outside again. If that doesn't work back inside I will be. I haven't heard back about my question from last night about the validity of black or not around the subject painting and behind the camera for indoor shooting of this nature. I keep reading about differences of opinion.

Thanks lots,
P
--
"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body. But rather to slide in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out and loudly proclaiming WOW WHAT A RIDE!" - Unknown

johnbachel Regular Member • Posts: 437
Re: Next Question(s) - APERTURE / "3 clicks from smallest number"

Hi Phoebe - you've introduced a number of issues that make a relatively small difference in the images you capture.  I'd encourage you to master the white balance issue first.

Taking the picture outside might be useful if you have full sun, and set the camera white balance on that setting as a place to start.

I'd still recommend taking a piece of copy paper  or a white card with you  and making an image of it to establish correct white balance.

Regarding the tripod, the choice depends on the amount of resources you have available and how much you will  use it.  Look for a sturdy tripod that does not shake easily.

A ball head is a nice extra, but not absolutely necessary.

Joh

 johnbachel's gear list:johnbachel's gear list
Nikon D600 Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D Tamron AF 28-75mm F/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF) Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm f/4G ED VR
iljitsch Contributing Member • Posts: 664
Re: Dumbest Question You Probably Will Be Asked All Day- Flash Control

Phoebe1 wrote:

Today I will need to buy a tripod because the makeshift "tripod" I created did not work out at all. It might have if I had a remote shutter release but I don't yet. Any suggestions on which kind you believe I should start with? I can't determine if I should get the ball head or the other kind.

I have a cheap one, it's not great but it works and it was cheap... Remember that you don't need to have super smooth action for photography (you do for video), but bubble levels are very helpful.

One trick to use if you don't have a remote shutter release is to use the self timer.

 iljitsch's gear list:iljitsch's gear list
Nikon D7100 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR +4 more
bolador Contributing Member • Posts: 534
Re: Next Question(s) - APERTURE / "3 clicks from smallest number"

Just to check
If instructions ask for a 100° Angle of view this is a really wide angle .
You need a 12mm focal lenght in a DX camera to get 99° in diagonal AOV and less focal length if AOV is refered to the horizontal.
I think you need to check the objetives (goals) of the teaching exercise. Otherwise we may misslead you and I don't think you will learn anything just following direct instructions to complete the exercise. ..
Hope this help. ..

 bolador's gear list:bolador's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 Nikon D90 Nikon D7200 Tokina AT-X Pro 11-16mm f/2.8 DX
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