Old 09-06-2010, 03:14 PM   #1
baldwin8
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Default Suggestions for camera settings

I know opinions may vary. I am looking for suggestions for camera settings when shooting moving rail subjects. Should I use the sports mode? Shutter priority, etc.

My current equipment is a Sony a350 with 18-70mm.

Thanks for reading.
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Old 09-06-2010, 03:29 PM   #2
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Its what will work well for you. I don't know how hard your camera is to set up but the one thing that needs set to manual is the ISO keep it at 200 as much as you can and try shutter priority to start with at 1/500 to stop the trains for sharpness and see if you like what you're getting from it. Other setting like how big the file is you need to look at to, Shoot at it maximum size settings and smallest compression settings till you fell like starting shooting RAW.
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Old 09-06-2010, 04:07 PM   #3
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Red the manual. It will help. Trust me!
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Old 09-06-2010, 04:45 PM   #4
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Hey guys,

I'm sort-of having a problem here. I've been sticking to the rule of "1/500 at ISO 100 and 5.6 aveture. I have my camera set so that it is continuously focusing. However, I'm having a problem with the lead locomotive being in focus, and say, the whole background, is out of focus. I'm not sure what's happening here...

I have read my manual cover to cover, as well as picked up a few books, including one that is specific to my camera.
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Old 09-06-2010, 05:54 PM   #5
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It is called Depth of Field, Daniel. What you do is (if you think it is a problem, which I don't really) you have to up the aperture. Basically the wider the aperture, the more the light will diffuse before and after the focus point causing shallow DoF. If you narrow the aperature (make the number larger), the light will diffuse less and you will have a deeper DoF and more of the train will be close to or in focus. And if all else fails there is Wikipedia.
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everytime i see non-train photos of yours i think, "so much talent. wasted on trains."
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Old 09-06-2010, 07:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walter S View Post
Red the manual. It will help. Trust me!
I'm sure you meant "read the manual". And yes I did, but it didn't have a section called "photographing medium speed trains". I have photographed static subjects and understand depth of field. I am new to DSLR photography and was looking for a bit of a starting point suggestion.

I will gladly take anyone's helpful advise and see where I can improve my work. My first submission to rp.net was rejected and a couple of people suggested the shot looked a bit soft. Hence the new thread.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to share their thoughts.
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Old 09-06-2010, 07:52 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baldwin8 View Post
I'm sure you meant "read the manual". And yes I did, but it didn't have a section called "photographing medium speed trains". I have photographed static subjects and understand depth of field. I am new to DSLR photography and was looking for a bit of a starting point suggestion.

I will gladly take anyone's helpful advise and see where I can improve my work. My first submission to rp.net was rejected and a couple of people suggested the shot looked a bit soft. Hence the new thread.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to share their thoughts.
Yeah, I mean "Read". Sorry about that.

I wasnt trying to be smart, but obviously you were.

I shoot all manual.

And anyway, as most people know here, I do not have much experience shooting medium speed trains.
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Old 09-06-2010, 08:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walter S View Post
And anyway, as most people know here, I do not have much experience shooting medium speed trains.
With all those photos on Facebook that you took of yourself, I can see you're really good at sloth photography.
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Old 09-06-2010, 08:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazytiger View Post
It is called Depth of Field, Daniel. What you do is (if you think it is a problem, which I don't really) you have to up the aperture. Basically the wider the aperture, the more the light will diffuse before and after the focus point causing shallow DoF. If you narrow the aperature (make the number larger), the light will diffuse less and you will have a deeper DoF and more of the train will be close to or in focus. And if all else fails there is Wikipedia.
That's what I was thinking, too. Thanks! Still warming up to my new camera...
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Old 09-06-2010, 09:23 PM   #10
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Eventually, I think both of you guys should shoot full manual when you are comfortable with it. I wish I had taken that advice sooner than I did. One day go out and set your camera on full auto. Don't shoot anything, just point it at different subjects with the lens zoomed in or zoomed out, a variety of subjects and focal lengths. If your cameras was like mine (first a Rebel EOS, then an Elan 7) you probably won'tget the same settings twice. This is not good. You are smarter than that piece of plastic in your hand. I know this because I'm smarter than that and if I am, anyone is.

I shoot full manual, but I have to let the camera autofocus. I set the focus point where the nose of the train will be. Every once in a while, the lens will screw it up, but while I may be smarter than the camera, it has better eye sight than me. It would be worse if I was manually focusing.

Home base position for me when starting out of a sunny day is ISO 100, f8 and somewhere around 1/500, though that is the first thing I would adjust if I needed to.
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Old 09-07-2010, 12:09 AM   #11
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Thank you Joe, I appreciate all the help. I only get out to shoot once and week and so I want to make the best of my limited shooting.
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Old 09-07-2010, 01:34 AM   #12
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Once a week was better than I did for a long time and is not unusual now. I would make an educated guess that many on here (Joe?) get out about that much or less.
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Old 09-07-2010, 01:58 AM   #13
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Daniel, I've had that problem. My suggestion is to put the camera focus on one-stop and pick a single point. Then, keep the train over that point and click the button half way to focus. Then the lead unit should stay in focus.
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