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12-19-2009, 12:08 PM   #1
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Tips for shooting at night w/ the K200D

I been trying to night preparing for the Xmas Party and the setting is outside the house w/ a few xmas lights and bulb lights. Im using K200D w/ kit lens.
I tried shooting at iso 1600, f4, 1/10 but still a bit dark.
My Concern is the Iso of the K200D is only 1600 is there a way that i can turn it up? Also Whats the purpose of the D Range in the Iso menu of the K200D? I tried using it but its just the same as not in the D Range the only difference is that there is no iso 100.
Im thinking of putting more xmas lights and few lights. Any Suggestions?

Im not sure if its the right section or maybe in general photography.

12-19-2009, 12:24 PM   #2
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Metering such a scene on any auto mode is bound to cause underexposure. This is where you need to intervene with a manually set long exposure with the camera on a tripod. You don't need a high ISO, just a long exposure. D-Range will not be of much use here. All the Christmas lights will appear blown out anyway according to the histogram and do not need recovering.

So try ISO 200-400, f/5.6-8 at 10-30 secs. See what you get...
12-19-2009, 12:40 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by rustynail925 Quote
I tried shooting at iso 1600, f4, 1/10 but still a bit dark.
Shooting in low light is always better with a faster (larger maximum aperture) lens, but if f/4 is the best your lens can do and you've reached the limit of handholdable shutter speeds, your options are to either use a tripod to get slower shutter speeds, or to underexpose and push the results in PP. I'm way too lazy to bring a tripod with me most of the time, so underexpose and push process is something I do all the time. Takes only seconds to apply a +1 EV push to a whole night's worth of pictures, giving you the equivalent of ISO 3200.

However, chances are your pictures are actually overexposed in the lights as it is. Sure, the rest of the scene is dark, but that's because it really *is* much darker than the lights. You can't have it both ways - either the darks will be underexposed in a scene like this, or the lights overexposed. It's all about finding a compromise you can live with. And again, a couple of second in PP to apply a curve or fill light or local contrast enhancement to lighten the shadows on a whole night's worth of images makes a huge difference.

Generally, if you want the scene itself to not be very dark, you're better off shooting when it is *not* in fact totally dark - around dusk, rather than full night.

QuoteQuote:
Also Whats the purpose of the D Range in the Iso menu of the K200D? I tried using it but its just the same as not in the D Range
No, the shadows will be a little less dark for the same exposure, because the camera is doing exactly what I described above (applying some kind of curve to lighten the shadows in its own JPEG processing).

Last edited by Marc Sabatella; 12-19-2009 at 02:19 PM.
12-19-2009, 01:42 PM   #4
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I think the best solution would be to simply get more light onto the subject, either (a) by setting up more external lights, or (b) simply by using camera flash where you need to.

12-19-2009, 07:21 PM   #5
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This is for a xmas party so i will be shooting people & would need a higher shutterspeed..
12-19-2009, 07:26 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
No, the shadows will be a little less dark for the same exposure, because the camera is doing exactly what I described above (applying some kind of curve to lighten the shadows in its own JPEG processing).
You mean if i shoot Jpeg D range is a better option and if i shoot Raw it doesnt matter?
12-20-2009, 11:39 AM   #7
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I wouldn't say D-range is a "better" option - it is if you want you shadows lighter, and don't mind the noise that results when the camera artifically lightens them. But yes, D-range is an option that makes more sense for JPEG than for RAW.

As for the party, you'll probably find you need higher ISO if f/4 is as fast a lens as you have (and if we're talking the kit lens, be sure to keep it below 28mm so you can actually get f/4 - at the long end, it's only f/5.6). Since the K200D maxes at 1600, just underexpose and push in PP. Underexpose either by using negative exposure compensation in Av mode to get a high enough shutter speed, or by going to M mode and simply dialing in the specific aperture and shutter speed you want (that's how I'd do it). I like to keep shutter speeds to 1/30", but I have f/2.8 lenses, so I only need a little underexpose if any to get that. You might find pictures unacceptably noisy after pushing them as much as you'll need to in order to get 1/30" - which is why people buy faster lenses. Realistically, for the party, you might find you do better with flash. You can try ISO 1600, aperture of f/4, shutter speed of 1/30" or maybe 1/20", which would give you "almost" enough light without flash, so the flash only has to make up the difference - this will make the results less harsh than if the flash was providing all the light.
12-20-2009, 12:05 PM   #8
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flash maybe?

12-20-2009, 08:00 PM   #9
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Thx for te tips. Will it be ok to use ISO 1600, f4, 1/20 and use a flash @ -2.0?
12-21-2009, 10:39 AM   #10
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Try it and see. There's a lot of trial and error involved in stuff like that; too much variation in terms of how much light there actually is and how far away your subject is and what kind of results you find acceptable for anyone else to be able to say for certain.
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