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the need for speed


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#1 cyn

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Posted 12 November 2006 - 03:14 PM

hi, i posted this to darrell and he asked me to post this here so everyone could benefit. because everything in my life has always been achieved on the incline, steep incline that is, i have a question that maybe you could answer. i have recently purchased my “annie” a d2xs (i always name things i'm fond of) but i have already run into a stumbling block or a mountain take your choice. i am trying to shoot in an indoor arena that does not allow flash. so today i went there and tried a few different things to try and adjust for that. well, let me tell you, things didn't turn out exactly as planned. (refer to the steep incline statement) anyhow, what i did do to try to accomodate the situation was to increase the iso. unfortunately, i misjudged horribly. in order for me to see things at least half way on the lcd, the iso was cranked up to hi 2. even with the noise reduction on, all the shots look like total you know what. my issue is that i am shooting moving subjects. on my d70 i had to have 1/1000s to freeze the action (outdoors only) although it seems that “annie” seems to freeze the subjects at 1/800s even indoors. is that possible?ŋ or am i still confused?ŋ so, i'm trying to find out if i should ignore what i see on the lcd. also do you have any suggestions as to what i can do. technically wise as i am writing you because of your in-depth knowledge. by the way, i've read all your articles and you really seem to know your stuff. i especially like the article on hi speed crop. that is so cool that it increases the focal point by twice. something i must have missed when reading the manuel. addendum: ok, so i go to another indoor arena event and this time i try cranking up the ev. i still found myself having to crank the iso way up but this time not to hi2. i am in a delima as i need the shutter speed of atleast 1/800s for movement with out blur. by the way, most of the pics were still filled with noise and totally unexceptable. again, because i'm shooting in raw should i ignore what i see on the lcd of the camera and try to adjust for that in camera raw? thanks for your time. any info is greatly appreciated. cynthia

#2 Dave Whiteley

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Posted 12 November 2006 - 04:29 PM

Some web sites say the following:- To stop motion across the field of view 1/500th of a second or faster. To stop motion coming towards you 1/60th of a second or faster. I suppose it depends how fast the motion is, also whether the camera is static or if you are panning with the action. If panning you may get away with a slower shutter speed. In some cases though image blur gives a sense of motion. It depends on the effect you want. Dave Whiteley
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#3 Virgil

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Posted 12 November 2006 - 06:38 PM

Tony raised a good question - i hope mine is valid to - what sort of "action" are you going to shoot which needs 1/800s to stop it? I shot jetplanes (admittingly in daylight) but they didnīt needed 1/800s to stop them though theyīve been fast and i used a 300mm lens. I think it would help us if you could elaborate a bit about the subject youīre going to shoot and which lens youīre using in order to give you a proper advise. And donīt be worried about the naming of things ;-)
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#4 cyn

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Posted 12 November 2006 - 08:47 PM

howdy fellas, well the lens i'm using is the 70-200mm vr zoom max ap at f2.8. as far as what i'm shooting, well it is mostly animal game stuff. i am attaching one of my favs but it is outdoors. but it will give you a feel for what i'm trying to accomplish indoors. hope this comes through. thanks for the immediate response. cyn addendum: just noticed that the pic attachment didin't go though. i will try once again. cyn Attached File  katie.jpg   117.43KB   28 downloads

#5 Virgil

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Posted 13 November 2006 - 01:17 AM

Hi Cyn, hard for me to give advise without knowing the scene. I would shoot wide open, center-weighted, AF-single in case i pan or AF-continous, ISO cranked up to maintain at least 1/200s and try to pre-focus on the barriers (in case itīs showjumping for example) to capture the moment when the action peaks. If it works? honestly no clue. Shot icehockey in very dark icerinks and got good results using the above approach with much slower gear (D70/70-300G). But this might not be comparable to your shooting situation.
Cheers

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#6 waterflyboy22

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Posted 13 November 2006 - 12:55 PM

Hi Cyn (and all D2Xs users. Yah, I'm jealous) I was lurking here and wanted to put in my .02. I shoot lots of indoor volleyball with a D2H and the 70-200 VR f/2.8. I have to open the lens all the way and push the ISO to 800 to get a shutter speed near 1/500. Unfortunately, ISO = noise. Soooooo, with that said, I feel your best bet is to open that lens up (you'll get beautiful bokeh in those shots, if it's any consolation...) and see where your ISO has to be to give you the results you are looking for. That, and maybe an investment in Noise Ninja! Hope this helps!

#7 Adri H

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Posted 14 November 2006 - 01:41 AM

Hi Cyn,

hard for me to give advise without knowing the scene. I would shoot wide open, center-weighted, AF-single in case i pan or AF-continous, ISO cranked up to maintain at least 1/200s and try to pre-focus on the barriers (in case itīs showjumping for example) to capture the moment when the action peaks. If it works? honestly no clue.

Shot icehockey in very dark icerinks and got good results using the above approach with much slower gear (D70/70-300G). But this might not be comparable to your shooting situation.


Virgil, perhaps a stupid question but in case you pre-focus I assume you either hold that focus locked, or work with manual focus?
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#8 Luis V.

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Posted 14 November 2006 - 11:19 PM

This is a very difficult question to answer because it varies depending on the situation. However, I'll mention a few things. 1) 1/800 or 1/1000s is overkill in my opinion. You may blur the legs on a horse running at full speed however a jumping horse is easy to freeze at 1/250 to 1/500s. You may need to pan but your horse will be sharp. 2) No question the lens is shot wide open. 3) what kind of lighting are we dealing with? I've shot football games at night with below average lights at ISO 800 and 1/250s. 4) Noise reduction is allowed. Noise Ninja is awesome. Don't underate it. However, I don't think you'll need it. 5) Shoot with a monopod if possible. If you've shot there before have you gotten an incident meter reading? How about a post of one of the bad shots. Ultimately, you should be OK at ISO 800.
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#9 Virgil

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Posted 15 November 2006 - 01:41 AM

Virgil, perhaps a stupid question but in case you pre-focus I assume you either hold that focus locked, or work with manual focus?


Hi Adri,

never heared of a stupid question whilst not asking is stupid - focus locked (iīm not into manual except macro).
Cheers

Virgil

#10 cyn

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Posted 16 November 2006 - 06:07 PM

hey guys, first of all, thanks for all the responses and sorry i haven't been able to respond back in the last few days. but i'm sure y'all know how that goes sometimes. anyways, first i am shooting wide open. the lighting leaves a lot to be desired. i believe it is mostly incandescent lighting for what it is worth. most of the lighting is so dim and sits so high up on the arena ceiling it does not seem to produce a lot of useable light. at some places in the ceiling, there is also those clear natural light panels. trouble is, they are usually so dirty, they too don't let in much light. at the last place i went to, (i usually use a monopod) they had this nice fencing around the course which i used to stablized the camera. because i'm not really good at posting pics, i can post a few of the pics, but don't know how to include the meta data for which i would like y'all to also see. can someone tell me how to do this? next, in going through the photos i did find that the camera would sometimes focus on one of the cross bars, instead of the subject right there. i can post a few of those too. what can i do for this? thank you for all your time. i know that is a valuable thing to each in our own way. i just want you to know how much i really apprecaite the time everyone has spent trying to help me. cyn

#11 Luis V.

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Posted 16 November 2006 - 10:16 PM

...anyways, first i am shooting wide open. the lighting leaves a lot to be desired...

because i'm not really good at posting pics, i can post a few of the pics, but don't know how to include the meta data for which i would like y'all to also see. can someone tell me how to do this?

next, in going through the photos i did find that the camera would sometimes focus on one of the cross bars, instead of the subject right there. i can post a few of those too. what can i do for this?

thank you for all your time. i know that is a valuable thing to each in our own way. i just want you to know how much i really apprecaite the time everyone has spent trying to help me.


As for the metadata. You need to simply view it and write down the settings. We don't need everything, just the Aperture, Shutter Speed, lens, focal length, ISO, camera.

As for the focus point, your best bet is to focus on the horse and track it with focus lock on. There are a few options there. The idea is to get the lock on the horse and the camera will ignore the bars. To not get into it too much here, read Darrell's acticle on CAM2000 (D2 series AF system).

As for the time.... you are more than welcome..... I love the posts and the ability to help.
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#12 DigitalDarrell

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Posted 16 November 2006 - 11:58 PM

Cyn, Isn't this a great place to be?
Best regards,
Darrell Young (Digital Darrell)
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#13 cyn

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Posted 18 November 2006 - 09:59 PM

hey guys, first, yes darrell this is a great planet. ok, i'm going to attempt to download five photos including the meta data. i hope they will turn out big enough to read. i didn't want to go over the limit. so… you can see how the lighting really changes in this particular arena. any suggestions?ŋ by the way, how do you like my really in focus poles in the last shot? i guess the camera thought they were of more importance. ha ha. thanks cyn Attached File  1.jpg   635.98KB   26 downloads Attached File  2.jpg   493.33KB   44 downloads Attached File  3.jpg   488.01KB   29 downloads Attached File  4.jpg   459.7KB   27 downloads Attached File  5.jpg   540.73KB   40 downloads

#14 Adri H

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Posted 19 November 2006 - 01:18 PM

Some nice piccies there Cyn.. welcome to the board from me too btw :D I was wondering why your pictures have a resolution of 5120x3104 :unsure: mine are 4288x2848 pixels max Can't help you with the indoor stuff though, I only do outdoor stuff :rolleyes:

Edited by Adri H, 19 November 2006 - 01:18 PM.

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#15 cyn

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Posted 19 November 2006 - 04:50 PM

thanks tom for your response. i'm patiently waiting… hi adri, are you using high speed crop?ŋ i did a little research on pics i've taken and when high speed crop was on my pics came up with the res you spoke of. if you look in camera raw (when you first open a raw image), you will see that the related image size is also in direct correlation to the mega pixs. i think i read somewhere that hi speed crop changes the res to 6. something instead of 12. something. that's my best guess… cyn

#16 Adri H

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Posted 20 November 2006 - 02:53 AM

Speed crop, that is not the issue here.
The output filiseze differs when you have the camera set to do so, but the maximum amount of pics as mentioned in the tests and in the handbook is 4288x2848 (12.2 megapixels) in non-cropped mode. :o
So the enigma remains why yours are 5120x3104 (15.8 megapixels) :blink:

Edited by Adri H, 20 November 2006 - 02:53 AM.

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#17 cyn

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Posted 20 November 2006 - 05:13 PM

hi adri, don't know what to tell you about the dimensions. sorry, i'm not that good at trying to figure things like that. cyn

#18 Adri H

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Posted 21 November 2006 - 05:36 PM

Well, I'm still puzzled.. anyone else owning a D2X(s) wanna add something?
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#19 cyn

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Posted 21 November 2006 - 09:09 PM

thanks tom. cyn

#20 Virgil

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Posted 22 November 2006 - 01:18 AM

@ Cyn - the X isnīt exactly a high-ISO body so the noise in your shots doesnīt really surprise me at all. Even if the X is fast enough itīs not the camera for low-noise @ high ISO sports shots. Sorry, but i think there is no work-arround and your results are close to the best you can do with this camera. Thatīs why Nikon also has the D2H(s) on offer for those facing such shooting situations. But even then the results are not noise-free - just a bit better (bearing in mind 1/3 of the resolution of the X on the same sized sensor, different processing etc.). These people also tend to shoot faster primes - 50 or 85mm f/1.4 - but even then results are not that superior to justify the purchase of such lenses for just this application. Unfortunately there are no other options concerning lenses or reducing the noise. Maybe exposure wasnīt spot on but i donīt expect that much better results even if it would have been. Frankly spoken - we should not forget - you did shoot at ISO 1250-1600(!) and if you look only some years back analog results would have been much more worse and close to unuseablitiy. Please bear that in mind when you judge your shots. I personally use the X even at high ISOīs without hesitation if capturing the scene is more important then the quality it turns out. And sometimes noise doesnīt show as extreme in print then when viewed on screen (pls not large then 50%). I also think that people - me included - had much higher expectations then whatīs possible with todayīs sensor technology. I also checked other body options (didnīt wanted to change - just out of sheer curiousity whatīs up in the other camp) and found that the results are not superior. So it can be said in general that the sensor technology we can currently buy doesnīt yield better results - no matter which camp you belong to (they just have a more agressive noise-reduction which causes artefacts :) ). Sorry to have no better input. @ Adri - youīre right concerning resolution (maybe itīs wrong displayed) - resolutions are 4288 x 2848 (native) or 3216 x 2136 (HSCmode) given itīs shot in L(arge).
Cheers

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#21 Adri H

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Posted 22 November 2006 - 06:01 AM

Are there no software applications that can reduce the noise?
http://www.picturecode.com/ offers Noise Ninja.
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#22 Neil Rothschild

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Posted 22 November 2006 - 11:26 AM

I shot this at 1/45s F/2.8 ISO 500 with a D2H and 70-200 VR.

http://www.pbase.com...025592/original

My yield was very low, but at about 1/200 I was getting decent images. I like shooting this type of blurred image; it was outdoors near sunset in shade. I couldn't shoot a "normal" image so I worked on slo-blurr images.


Here is another at 1/45:

http://www.pbase.com...025591/original

Here is one at 1/250s, which I really like. Shot closer at 34mm, making things much easier :lol:

http://www.pbase.com...923269/original



Regards,
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Edited by Neil Rothschild, 22 November 2006 - 11:59 AM.


#23 Adri H

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Posted 22 November 2006 - 12:39 PM

Some very nice ones there Neil. I also like the portraits, amazing stuff and great colours .

Edited by Adri H, 22 November 2006 - 12:41 PM.

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#24 Ron W

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Posted 22 November 2006 - 05:32 PM

Are there no software applications that can reduce the noise?
http://www.picturecode.com/ offers Noise Ninja.


I've had real good luck with "Neat Image".

www.ronwooldridgephotography.com

 

 

 

 


#25 cyn

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Posted 22 November 2006 - 09:15 PM

oh golly gee wilikers!!! i just typed out a big post and lost the dang thing. don't ask… anyways adri, i did some research as it was bugging me and i found the culprit was the xmp file from camera raw. in other words i had opened the files with the higher res orginally accidently. adobe bridge recognizes that. so i trashed the xmp and everything was fine. neil, nice pics. i love the renaissance festival. i too, sometimes use that blur effect it adds a bit of drama. ron, never used noise ninja but have heard a lot of great things about it. maybe i need to look into that. virgil, thanks for the response. just to let you know i knew the exposure wasn't correct, but i was a girl with a mission or desparate, take your choice, just trying to get light. note that the ev was cranked up to +5. ok so i've got a question for you, i think i read somewhere that auto focus is sometimes not desirable in low light situations. something about the metering system. maybe i'm wrong or just plain mixed up. i've been reading so many technical manuals lately dealing with some of my other equipment that i feel light headed and foggy. any light you could shed would be greatly appreciated. thanks to all for your help. cyn

#26 Neil Rothschild

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Posted 23 November 2006 - 10:28 AM

Some very nice ones there Neil.
I also like the portraits, amazing stuff and great colours .



Thanks, Adri and Cyn. Sometimes I think I should just throw out all the images except the ones I shot in that late afternoon sweet light, especially the armored portraits and action.

#27 darin d.

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Posted 24 November 2006 - 07:08 PM

@ Cyn - the X isnīt exactly a high-ISO body so the noise in your shots doesnīt really surprise me at all. Even if the X is fast enough itīs not the camera for low-noise @ high ISO sports shots. Sorry, but i think there is no work-arround and your results are close to the best you can do with this camera. Thatīs why Nikon also has the D2H(s) on offer for those facing such shooting situations. But even then the results are not noise-free - just a bit better (bearing in mind 1/3 of the resolution of the X on the same sized sensor, different processing etc.). These people also tend to shoot faster primes - 50 or 85mm f/1.4 - but even then results are not that superior to justify the purchase of such lenses for just this application. Unfortunately there are no other options concerning lenses or reducing the noise. Maybe exposure wasnīt spot on but i donīt expect that much better results even if it would have been.

Frankly spoken - we should not forget - you did shoot at ISO 1250-1600(!) and if you look only some years back analog results would have been much more worse and close to unuseablitiy. Please bear that in mind when you judge your shots. I personally use the X even at high ISOīs without hesitation if capturing the scene is more important then the quality it turns out. And sometimes noise doesnīt show as extreme in print then when viewed on screen (pls not large then 50%).

I also think that people - me included - had much higher expectations then whatīs possible with todayīs sensor technology. I also checked other body options (didnīt wanted to change - just out of sheer curiousity whatīs up in the other camp) and found that the results are not superior. So it can be said in general that the sensor technology we can currently buy doesnīt yield better results - no matter which camp you belong to (they just have a more agressive noise-reduction which causes artefacts :) ).

Sorry to have no better input.

@ Adri - youīre right concerning resolution (maybe itīs wrong displayed) - resolutions are 4288 x 2848 (native) or 3216 x 2136 (HSCmode) given itīs shot in L(arge).



Virgil,
Interesting about the other "camp", I'm glad you had some input, because there r times
I do wonder about the other guys pro models and if they r much better than Nikon. I'd be
curious to here other comparisons or info regarding the Nikon pros against other "camps"...
Just thought I'd let you know, thanks...
Darin D...

#28 Virgil

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Posted 25 November 2006 - 01:49 AM

@ cyn - itīs a given fact that AF becomes challenging when light dims - itīs system inherent rather then specific for a brand/body. Shooting in dark icerinks let the lens start hunting but that never caused me to switch to manual (i tried it but iīm too slow if it comes to fast paced action). @ Darin - as iīm still convinced that iīve choosen the right tool(s) for me (a very personal decission) i donīt care about other brands and therefore donīt compare. It was just the one issue concerning noise which made me curious. I mean letīs face it - weīre talking about physics when it comes to noise - and as i couldnīt imagine that other vendors have overcome physical limitations the curiousity started.
Cheers

Virgil

#29 Dave Whiteley

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Posted 25 November 2006 - 04:04 AM

cyn

Its not the metering that's the problem regarding autofocus in low light situalions it is the autofocus itself. The autofocus depends on image contrast to work, it has a problem with any evenly lit plain surface. Although this does not usually apply in low light situations, the contrast range (difference between light parts and shadows) is then reduced so much due to it being poorly lit that the autofocus has little to focus on.

It also happens in macro too. I am not certain what is the minimum aperture autofocus needs to let enough light through to work (I seem to remember it is f5.6), but when you put automatic extension tubes on the camera the marked apertures on the lens are no longer relevant as you are working at effective apertures much smaller than these, and probably below f5.6 with the lens wide open, so autofocus cannot work.

When you use your lens normally this does not apply, as though you may use a very small aperture to take the picture the lens does not stop down until the picture is taken, so you are autofocusing at the lenses maximum aperture anyway. In many cases there is the autofocus assist light to provide a brief pulse of light to enable autofocus to work.

Darin, regarding noise and CCD v. CMOS sensors, see:-

http://www.dalsa.com...S_Litwiller.pdf.

Dave Whiteley
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#30 Adri H

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Posted 25 November 2006 - 04:48 AM

I found the DPreview test a good reading.
They compared the D2X with the 1DsMarkII at the time
Nikon EM - F801S - D2X and some fast Nikkors




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