Old 10-30-2009, 09:43 PM   #1
norfolksouthern
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Arrow Question about night with ISO

Hello everyone,

I really want to need your help about night shot with ISO so what a mostly peoples using with ISO between of number like 80 or 200? With flash or without?

So, I using my new camera Canon EOS 50D

- David
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Old 10-30-2009, 10:31 PM   #2
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My few night shots have been time exposures with ambient light, ISO 200.
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Old 10-31-2009, 12:20 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by norfolksouthern View Post
Hello everyone,

I really want to need your help about night shot with ISO so what a mostly peoples using with ISO between of number like 80 or 200? With flash or without?

So, I using my new camera Canon EOS 50D

- David
Hi David,

Since night photos often involve long exposures, you want the lowest ISO setting your camera can offer to minimize noise. I'm guessing the 50D goes to ISO 100, so I would use that.

As for the use of flash, it depends on what you are doing. The built-in flash units on most cameras are only good for very short ranges. For shots of people working on equipment at very close range, the built-in flash would probably be OK. For shots of equipment taken from any distance (more than 10 feet away), you'd either need supplemental lighting or some big external flash units.

In my limited experience, night shots are almost always long-duration exposures (meaning 1 second or more....sometimes many seconds, depending on the lighting available). You would need a tripod for your camera, as well as a remote shutter release cord. The lighting is typically done with:
  • Halogen light stands, like the ones you can buy from Sears....except lots of them.
  • Multiple, remotely fired flash units
  • Flashbulbs or a Lumidyne Electronic Flash Unit

One alternative to a big production is to purchase a powerful lantern. I've met several people who do their own night shots by putting their camera shutter on the "Bulb" setting....meaning open as long as the shutter release is held. They open the shutter, then "paint" the subject with a powerful lantern and close the shutter when done. Obviously, this only works on static subjects and takes some experimentation to get the exposure right.

Hope that helps at least a little....
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Old 10-31-2009, 12:35 AM   #4
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Noise in the shadows is caused by under exposing using a high ISO. You can avoid that by shooting at a low ISO.

With a static subject, at night, you go with a tripod.

I have the 40d and use 200 ISO. I see no difference between 100 and 200 myself.

I have tried the "painting by lantern" gag myself. Worked good enough for RP.

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I painted the loco and the poles but not the building.

100 ISO for the longer time exposure and f10.
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Old 10-31-2009, 03:41 AM   #5
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I usually keep my ISO around 200 when I do night shots.

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This one was at ISO-200. The color in the sky came from doing the shot at sunset, to light up the sides of the 4266 I used a flash, firing manually. I think it was three pops on the sides, plus one more on the nose. I let what little ambient light there was expose the background.

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For this one I went to ISO-250. As I recall, some experimentation revealed that ISO-200 didn't quite capture the clouds as well as I had hoped. For this one, a nearby yard light fixture provided plenty of ambient light for the side of the unit, but a single flash pop was used to hit the nose. I should also note that since I was working alone, I left the cable release in the camera bag and used the timer. The 10 seconds while the timer ran gave me time to get into position to pop the flash but still keep the exposure relatively short to avoid noise.
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Old 10-31-2009, 03:56 AM   #6
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For this one, ISO-400 was required. There is a little noise in the sky (which is why I haven't submitted it to RP) but most of that comes from processing the image with Picasa. Now that I finally have PSE I should be able to clean it up enough to post here.

This was the most complicated night shot I have attempted by myself so far. The camera was on the bulb setting at f5.6, with the shutter open until I got done lighting the scene (which ended up being about 90 seconds). Again, used a hot shoe flash, but fired it hand-held. It took me four attempts to get this one right, with five flash pops at ISO-400 being the winning combination. In hindsight, I should have fired it one more time from somewhere near the camera to illuminate the foreground.
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Old 10-31-2009, 03:56 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paolo Roffo View Post
Edit: Couldn't get the thumbnails to show in the thread, so I had to resort to links. Shouldn't it work if I use the "Insert Image" button?
The way to post one of RP's images is to do it this way:

[photoid=XXXXXX] xxxxxx being the ID number of the image.

BTW, nice photos Paolo!

You should submit the one with the 44 tonner and the RDC soon. I think it looks great and the screeners will ignore what little grain I see. Submit! You can always try again.
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Old 10-31-2009, 05:03 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis A. Livesey View Post
The way to post one of RP's images is to do it this way:
Thanks Dennis. Lesson learn, and edit made.
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Old 10-31-2009, 11:20 PM   #9
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How 'bout paint with a Mini-Mag?
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The nose would have been "backlit" otherwise.

As far as ISO. Keep it as low as possible to avoid the noise. On a time exposure, any shutter speed/aperture combo settings should suffice. Now if you're trying to stop movement, you can only open your aperture up so far to compensate for the faster shutter speed, so you then need to compensate with your ISO, hence the keep it as low as possible. And as has been stated, TRIPOD.

You CAN get around a remote release by using your timer. Before I got my release, I set my timer delay to 2", but that only limited my shutter time to the 'pre-sets', and I couldn't use BULB function then.
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Old 11-02-2009, 03:42 PM   #10
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Thanks everyone!

I has few seen to peoples most using between with ISO 100 to 200. With lights.

Dennis and Kevin,

Yes, I already has tripod but were belong with regular camera but my guessing may my camera can fit them but were tripod really very too lightweight ugh..

Hey Kevin,

Which I can using TV or "P" with ISO or just went to night screen into my camera? But, if I using with auto will there bit mess up like darkness or isn't?

By as way that nice night photo Paolo and EMTrailfan

- David
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Old 11-02-2009, 04:25 PM   #11
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There are two kinds of tripods: cheap or good.

The $40 Walmart one is worthless.

I have a Manfrotto with a ball head. It is inexpensive, about $200. It is not tight enough on telephoto shots.

Gitzo tripods, the fanciest, are $600 up. Arca Swiss and Really Right Stuff ball heads another $250 or so.

The ball head has changed my life. I now shoot tripod, even in the day, in a never ending quest for sharpness.
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Old 11-02-2009, 05:19 PM   #12
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Dennis;

200 dollars? Inexpensive? Some of us wish for that. I bought a 99 dollar tripod more than ten years ago. It still locks the camera on in place and has never failed me yet. Some of us have to make do with the cheap stuff. It's why I shot with the kit lens for years.
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Old 11-02-2009, 05:25 PM   #13
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Which I can using TV or "P" with ISO or just went to night screen into my camera? But, if I using with auto will there bit mess up like darkness or isn't?
Auto is worthless at night in my few attempts with it. I wouldn't mess with the camera's sports settings, etc. either. Shoot full manual at night all the time. Start with stationary targets, a railroad building or sitting engine and practice with the various settings. This is a great time of the year to shoot at night, since there's so much night out there and so early too. Shoot hundreds of frames of the same subject if you have to varying the settings until you find one you like.

Start simple, too. Find a setting that is lit without having to supply lighting yourself. These guys who talk about "painting with light" are trying to help, but someone just getting into night photography needs to start a little lower down the totem pole. It's like telling someone to go do a pan shot when they just bought their first SLR. If the lighting is dark to start with, shine your cars headlights or another source of light onto the subject, get your focus and then cut the lights off before you take your picture.
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Old 11-02-2009, 05:33 PM   #14
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Joe, I hear you. A man's view depends on where he stands if you will.

I am indeed fortunate to afford the Manfrotto. And all my other gear of course.

But there is always the next level and I get covetous like any guy when the more expensive stuff shows up.

In the end it is the photographer that make the picture. I go out laden down with all my crap, and get shown up by a youngster with nothing more than a consumer DSLR camera, a kit lens on and another in his pocket!
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Old 11-02-2009, 05:59 PM   #15
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I will grant you that gear and what one puts into it often says a lot. I've worked at two TV stations. One station had really nice gear and a super tripod. (The tripod was slow in coming. The first one they gave me was a piece of crap.) I loved that gear. The other station gave us a slightly more expensive version of wedding photographer gear, a cheap POS Panasonic. The tripod was cheap. It basically held a camera, but no real smooth pan shots were possible. The only thing it had going for it was that it recorded on P2 cards. Depending on how many P2 card you had on you, it was possbile to have more money invested in the recordable media than in the camera itself. I can go back and look at my stuff and just shake my head at what was shot on the latter.

Ironically, the self-billed #1 station in South Carolina gave out the cheap crap while the small, bare boned independent outlet gave us the good stuff.
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Old 11-05-2009, 04:22 PM   #16
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Auto is worthless at night in my few attempts with it. I wouldn't mess with the camera's sports settings, etc. either. Shoot full manual at night all the time. Start with stationary targets, a railroad building or sitting engine and practice with the various settings. This is a great time of the year to shoot at night, since there's so much night out there and so early too. Shoot hundreds of frames of the same subject if you have to varying the settings until you find one you like.

Start simple, too. Find a setting that is lit without having to supply lighting yourself. These guys who talk about "painting with light" are trying to help, but someone just getting into night photography needs to start a little lower down the totem pole. It's like telling someone to go do a pan shot when they just bought their first SLR. If the lighting is dark to start with, shine your cars headlights or another source of light onto the subject, get your focus and then cut the lights off before you take your picture.

Hmm, maybe I should go to using "manual exposure" on my camera. Also, I should turn AF (auto lens focus) to MF (Manual lens focus)?

Guy, you as know that I always slowly time no hurry just keep learn how to work with my camera..because if there trains park with beautiful day with sun then I should turn to 20 or 100 ISO but I could be wrong..

- David
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Old 11-05-2009, 04:30 PM   #17
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Turn it to MF for night shots, and then use live view to focus.
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Old 11-06-2009, 03:43 AM   #18
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I have found that using a cheap tripod with a weight, such as my camera bag suspended on a hook underneath or the spreaders, works well enough in a pinch, if it's not too windy. Even with my current good tripod, I've become accustomed to still use my camera bag as additional weight with no adverse effects. It also keeps the critters out such as the field mouse (I think that what it was I hope), one lovely night in Cumberland.

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Old 11-06-2009, 05:52 AM   #19
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I have an inexpensive tripod, the $20 one from Wal-Mart. Don't get me wrong, this tripod has come in very handy over the last few years. This past summer I was trackside and had my Canon S3 mounted and ready to shoot video. It was a windy day and the tripod tipped over, making several scratches in my truck and some nice guffs in the camera. I'm just glad that I didn't have my Rebel XSi on there or I would have cried.

I'm thinking in the not to distant future I will be purchasing a better tripod.
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Old 11-06-2009, 06:36 AM   #20
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Nice tripods, camera bodies, and glass are all the same: you don't need the high end stuff to produce great results, but it certainly helps.

I can recommend the Manfrotto 055XPROB with 322RC2 head ($280ish new). It's solid enough you don't have to worry about it falling over and flexible enough that you'll be able to get some shots that wouldn't be possible with lower end stuff... like leaning over the edge of a bluff at a weird angle:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/23527415@N07/4006750443/
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Old 01-21-2010, 07:23 AM   #21
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Oh, okay thanks everyone for how to description. And, of course I have tripod just once.

Sorry I know this thread was too old one.

- David
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