Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
12-06-2009, 04:32 PM   #1
Site Supporter
klh's Avatar

Join Date: May 2009
Location: Rochester, New York, USA
Posts: 765
Need advice for high ISO shooting w/K20D

I've been learning to do swimming and diving meets lately. The swimming photos are OK, but for diving I really need to get up to 1/500 shutter speed to freeze the diver. Unfortunately, that means raising the ISO and getting more noise.

Here's one of my recent attempts that didn't turn out so well...




Now here's what I wish I could do. A friend showed up with his Nikon D3. Here's the same shot from his camera...



Both these images were taken at basically the same settings (1/500, f/2.8, ISO6400, 70mm). Now I know his camera cost way more than a K20D, and it's full frame, so it gathers more light at the same zoom. So the first thing I think I need to do is use a shorter lens for the diving and crop where necessary. Does that make sense? And what else would you recommend to get better results?


Last edited by klh; 12-06-2009 at 04:49 PM.
12-06-2009, 04:42 PM   #2
Veteran Member
krypticide's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2007
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,079
Those are tough conditions. His sensor has better high ISO performance, but it would also help if you were to get closer. Light intensity falls off with the square root of distance, so even if you're at the same aperture and setting as your friend, getting closer will get more light onto your camera and help with noise.
12-06-2009, 04:46 PM   #3
klh
Site Supporter
klh's Avatar

Join Date: May 2009
Location: Rochester, New York, USA
Posts: 765
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by krypticide Quote
Those are tough conditions. His sensor has better high ISO performance, but it would also help if you were to get closer. Light intensity falls off with the square root of distance, so even if you're at the same aperture and setting as your friend, getting closer will get more light onto your camera and help with noise.
Great idea, but any closer, and I would be testing the water resistant properties of my K20D more than I would like!
12-06-2009, 04:57 PM   #4
Veteran Member
kevinschoenmakers's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Shanghai
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,513
These kind of conditions is where the D3 price-tag shows its worth. Perhaps panning would allow you to drop the shutter speed, but I don't know how well this works when divers twist and turn.

12-06-2009, 05:06 PM   #5
Pentaxian
Just1MoreDave's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Aurora, CO
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 4,814
This is an interesting problem, and the comparison photos are great. Note that 70mm is not the same on both cameras, so his diver is smaller. (Your photo composition works better for me.) A lot of the stuff you would normally try is not available to you. You're at the limit for ISO and there are no zooms faster than f2.8 for K-mount. Closer might mean in the pool.

Flash would help if you are allowed to use it. The flash duration is short enough to freeze the diver, so you might not need high-speed sync to keep shutter speed at 1/500 sec.

The only other suggestion I can think of is a fast prime lens like the FA 50mm f1.4 or DA*55mm f1.4, and using them at f1.4. The FA 77mm f1.8 might work too. You may have trouble relying absolutely on AF because the diver is moving too fast, but the diver's distance is predictable, so either choose the right focus point in advance or manual focus. You gain as much as two stops of light over the f2.8 zoom, so you can go to ISO 1600. If you get the focus right, the diver will be in focus and the grandstands will be not, highlighting your subject. I would definitely try this because I already have the lens. I'm not sure enough of it to say run out and buy one yourself.
12-06-2009, 05:32 PM   #6
Damn Brit
Guest




Have you tried a little slower shutter speed? I should imagine that with prefocusing and panning you could get shutter speed down to maybe 1/180 sec and 1600 ISO. You'd also get some interesting blurred backgrounds.

The Nikon looks a little unnatural and over exposed to me.
12-06-2009, 05:57 PM   #7
Pentaxian
LeDave's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Minneapolis - St. Paul
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,895
What I also recommend is a noise reduction software such as Noise Ninja. It helps a ton.
12-06-2009, 06:10 PM   #8
Veteran Member




Join Date: May 2007
Location: Somerset, UK
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 629
Why not use flash? His photo looks like he has some fill in? Its the flash that will give you crisp frozen photos and the flash will easily overpower the lights in the swimming center. If you have an external flash flash arround with it on say 1/4 power and going down to 1/16th that should give you some nice photos.

12-06-2009, 06:17 PM   #9
Pentaxian
LeDave's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Minneapolis - St. Paul
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,895
QuoteOriginally posted by dopeytree Quote
Why not use flash? His photo looks like he has some fill in? Its the flash that will give you crisp frozen photos and the flash will easily overpower the lights in the swimming center. If you have an external flash flash arround with it on say 1/4 power and going down to 1/16th that should give you some nice photos.
Yeah but whether flash will be able to reach that far or not. Also this is indoors in a competition. I don't think they're allowed to use flash as it could blind and interfere the divers.
12-06-2009, 07:47 PM   #10
klh
Site Supporter
klh's Avatar

Join Date: May 2009
Location: Rochester, New York, USA
Posts: 765
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by LeDave Quote
Yeah but whether flash will be able to reach that far or not. Also this is indoors in a competition. I don't think they're allowed to use flash as it could blind and interfere the divers.
You're right, flash is absolutely verboten. Neither of us were using it.
12-06-2009, 07:53 PM   #11
klh
Site Supporter
klh's Avatar

Join Date: May 2009
Location: Rochester, New York, USA
Posts: 765
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Damn Brit Quote
Have you tried a little slower shutter speed? I should imagine that with prefocusing and panning you could get shutter speed down to maybe 1/180 sec and 1600 ISO. You'd also get some interesting blurred backgrounds.

The Nikon looks a little unnatural and over exposed to me.
I can go a little slower, but the diver is moving so fast (and twisting/turning) that anything less than 1/500 begins to blur. This one is at 1/200.



This is at 1/400. It's not too bad, but begins to show motion blur.

12-06-2009, 07:55 PM   #12
klh
Site Supporter
klh's Avatar

Join Date: May 2009
Location: Rochester, New York, USA
Posts: 765
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
This is an interesting problem, and the comparison photos are great. Note that 70mm is not the same on both cameras, so his diver is smaller. (Your photo composition works better for me.) A lot of the stuff you would normally try is not available to you. You're at the limit for ISO and there are no zooms faster than f2.8 for K-mount. Closer might mean in the pool.

Flash would help if you are allowed to use it. The flash duration is short enough to freeze the diver, so you might not need high-speed sync to keep shutter speed at 1/500 sec.

The only other suggestion I can think of is a fast prime lens like the FA 50mm f1.4 or DA*55mm f1.4, and using them at f1.4. The FA 77mm f1.8 might work too. You may have trouble relying absolutely on AF because the diver is moving too fast, but the diver's distance is predictable, so either choose the right focus point in advance or manual focus. You gain as much as two stops of light over the f2.8 zoom, so you can go to ISO 1600. If you get the focus right, the diver will be in focus and the grandstands will be not, highlighting your subject. I would definitely try this because I already have the lens. I'm not sure enough of it to say run out and buy one yourself.
Now that you mention it, I do have an A50/1.7 I can try. As long as the DOF is enough to get the diver as they move through the dive, that just might do the trick. I think I'll give that a try and reduce the ISO to 1600 as you suggest.
12-08-2009, 02:25 AM   #13
Veteran Member




Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Var, South of France
Photos: Albums
Posts: 1,071
QuoteOriginally posted by krypticide Quote
Light intensity falls off with the square root of distance, so even if you're at the same aperture and setting as your friend, getting closer will get more light onto your camera and help with noise.
That's true only between the light source and the subject...
Subject-to-camera distance does not change the way the subject is lighted, and so moving away or near the subject won't change the settings needed to properly expose it...
For instance, a lightmeter is used at the subject location, and gives the aperture/sensibility to use to properly expose the subject for a camera 2 meters away...

In such a case where speed is fixed, iso is already maxed, and flash is forbidden, the only solution is indeed a faster lens (or a better body!)...

Or coming with your own halogen lights...
12-08-2009, 05:54 AM   #14
Loyal Site Supporter




Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Southern Indiana
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 14,951
One thing is that rather than shoot at iso 6400, I would rather shoot at 3200 and pull up the exposure myself. I just don't find that 6400 is very good on the K20 and if I am shooting in RAW, I can underexpose some at lower isos and then push it afterward. Combined with noiseware/noise ninja, you'll be OK as long as you don't want huge prints. On the other hand, I think you did wonderfully considering the circumstances.
12-13-2009, 03:42 PM   #15
klh
Site Supporter
klh's Avatar

Join Date: May 2009
Location: Rochester, New York, USA
Posts: 765
Original Poster
Update

I got some better results this time. It helped that this pool had a little better lighting. In addition, I tried my A50-f/1.7, manually focused to where the diver should be in the dive. What do you think?


1/500, f/2.2, ISO 1600
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
camera, iso, pentax help, photography
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
K-7 and the opinions of high ISO shooting. PinarelloOnly Pentax DSLR Discussion 23 10-13-2010 09:14 AM
m4/3 high ISO better than K20d ?? arbib Photographic Technique 12 09-10-2010 06:30 PM
K-7 high ISO vs K20D high ISO supa007 Pentax DSLR Discussion 72 05-10-2010 04:24 PM
Km vs K20D High ISO tarsus Pentax DSLR Discussion 10 01-07-2009 03:53 PM
How to reduce high ISO noise while shooting PentaxPoke Pentax DSLR Discussion 21 05-17-2008 07:17 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:37 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top