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Favourite / Default settings

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badprop_za
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Favourite / Default settings

Unread postby badprop_za » Tue Dec 01, 2009 11:22 am

Hi guys,

Just for interest sake, maybe you can share what your favourite (or default) settings are when shooting your pics.
I know it will depend on what you want to achieve or type of photography you are doing, but call it normal wildlife / birding photography.
I am sure that most will immediately try specific aperture, shutter speed, etc. first to take a photo before changing it.
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Re: Favourite / Default settings

Unread postby DuQues » Tue Dec 01, 2009 11:45 am

Birding:
Set to AV (aperture select), Lens wide open (I have f/5.6 at the long end) and if need be I up the ISO to 200. I'm aiming for a shutterspeed of 1/125 or quicker.

General wildlife:
AV, if I make portraits the lens wide open, if I want a bit of background f/8, and if it's my intention to put it into the landscape I pop to f/16. Aiming for speeds not under 1/125.

Low light wildlife:
Set to TV (exposure select), trying to get 1/60 or faster, if need be with upping the ISO.

Landscapes:
f/16 all the way, so set to AV. If there is movement in the background I'll need a bit of speed, say 1/60, but usually I don't really look at the shutterspeed. And I can get away with really long exposures as I use a tripod!
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madach
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Re: Favourite / Default settings

Unread postby madach » Tue Dec 01, 2009 12:24 pm

Birding & General wildlife:
Always set to AV (aperture select). Aperture depends on the kind of photography that I'm doing and the distance to the subject. Usually I have my aperture set to f/5.6 to f/8.0, for portraits it depends on the distance to the subject and I use a aperture of f/2.8 to f/8.0. I use image stabilized lenses and try to keep the shutter speed to 2/focal length (so 1/250sec for a 500mm lens) for stationairy objects. For birds in flight I use 1/750 sec and faster.
The ISO setting I use entirely depends on the available light. On my Mark III I frequently use 800 ISO. I sacrifice ISO over shutter speed which means that I'll select a higher ISO setting to get a good exposure before I decide to use a slower shutter speed. Higher ISO means a bit more noise in the picture (which you can remove afterwards) while sacrificing shutter speed can mean blurred images (which leads to throw-aways).

Landscapes:
f/16, set to AV. Tripod used if shutter speeds become to long. ISO usually set between 100 and 400 ISO.

Flash photography at night:
Set to M (manual exposure). Flash set to ETTL. Aperture and shutter speed completely dependent on the available light. With flash ISO set to anything up to 800 ISO. With spotlight ISO set to anything up to 3200 ISO.

Startrails:
Set to B (bulb exposure). Cable release. Use largest aperture available and tripod. ISO set to 100 ISO. Manual expose anywhere between 10 min and 3 hours.

I hope this helps.

M.

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Josh of the Bushveld
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Re: Favourite / Default settings

Unread postby Josh of the Bushveld » Tue Dec 01, 2009 12:31 pm

I don't change white balance, though I may start doing so soon.

I generally leave my shutter open on Av mode, and quite closed on P. That way I can switch between different depths of field quite quickly. I usually leave ISO at 200 or 400 if shady, though I have my function button on my D40X set to ISO so I can change it easily.

Other settings:
RAW + large, fine JPEG
AF-S auto focus mode
matrix metering (though this can change if there are difficult light conditions. I often change it to spot).
Manual focus area selection
No exposure compensation.

This past weekend, while using a hot-shoe flash with extender, the flash would usually be set to about -1.3 compensation, though this changed if I needed more light. (I didn't manage to set the camera to rear curtain sync).

What else?
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Re: Favourite / Default settings

Unread postby Josh of the Bushveld » Tue Dec 01, 2009 12:34 pm

mods, should this be moved to the Sanparks camera club section?
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Re: Favourite / Default settings

Unread postby oddesy » Tue Dec 01, 2009 8:17 pm

I think i need to try and change the settings i use, all the good photographers use AV :shock: :doh: , i mostly use TV for all wildlife with auto iso in a 100-400 range during the day and early morning and late afternoon manual iso which i dont often set to more than 800. Also Manual white balance. Also continous auto focus unless im aiming for a portrait shot where i then use AF-S so i can lock focus and reposition the animal for a better frame.And finally shoot only in RAW :thumbs_up:

Nice thread :thumbs_up:

Im going to a reserve tomorrow so i think im going to try out AV to see how that works out for me :)
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madach
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Re: Favourite / Default settings

Unread postby madach » Tue Dec 01, 2009 11:26 pm

Oddesy,

It's good practice to set the white balance manually using either a white or gray card as you then know the exact white balance, but if you shoot in RAW you can also set it during post processing. I never worry about my white balance and always have it set to 'Auto'. Sometimes setting the correct white balance during post processing is tricky but most of the times it's not that difficult to determine an accurate white balance.

Using Tv is not wrong by the way. If you need a specific shutter time and your camera offers an auto ISO shift function Tv can be a very useful mode. Most of the time I'm more worried about depth of field (DOF) which is controlled by the aperture then shutter speed so I always use the Av mode.

M.

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Josh of the Bushveld
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Re: Favourite / Default settings

Unread postby Josh of the Bushveld » Wed Dec 02, 2009 7:40 am

I generally leave my white balance on auto, haven't had major problems so far. I shoot in RAW though (but not doing much post processing yet).
This past weekend I shot with a D50 (and my D40X with different glass) and I must admit the colour from the D50 (on auto white balance I think) was much better than my D40X.

Maybe I should get a colour reference card (though wouldn't it be hard to set in the car with a long telephoto?)
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Re: Favourite / Default settings

Unread postby Sprocky » Wed Dec 02, 2009 8:02 am

Seems we all use similar seetings. I shoot almost all my shots on AV using the biggest available aperture. ISO is normally set on 200 and sometimes I use 400. The big difference between how I shoot and how you guys shoot is that I only shoot on jpeg, I never use RAW.

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Josh of the Bushveld
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Re: Favourite / Default settings

Unread postby Josh of the Bushveld » Wed Dec 02, 2009 8:10 am

I'm starting to lean towards not shooting in RAW.

Most sources I've read say you shouldn't use the largest aperture on the lens, rather one or two stops down, since the largest aperture is at the quality limit of the lens.

Depending on your lens, you shouldn't necessarily always shoot at the biggest aperture, since your depth of field may be too narrow - you may not get all of the animal etc in focus. (This may be the effect you're looking for though.)
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madach
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Re: Favourite / Default settings

Unread postby madach » Wed Dec 02, 2009 9:57 am

The aperture is used for controlling the depth of field, in other words you control what is sharp and what is not using the aperture. The smaller the aperture the greater the depth of field. If you always shoot at the largest possible aperture then you'll get the shallowest possible depth of field.

In the picture below I tried to use an aperture that would give me a sufficient depth of field to get the complete head of the hyena in focus while still blurring the background. I used an aperture of f/5.6 but unfortunately that wasn't small enough as the nose isn't completely in focus. In this case I should have probably used f/7.1 or f/8.

Image

Had I used the maximum available aperture (f/4.0 on this lens) then half the hyena's head would have been out of focus.

M.

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Re: Favourite / Default settings

Unread postby bucky » Wed Dec 02, 2009 7:17 pm

Default - ISO 400 Aperture F8.

I always shoot in Aperture priority mode, and adjust aperture to get whatever I want the image to look like.

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Re: Favourite / Default settings

Unread postby Switchback » Wed Dec 02, 2009 7:58 pm

My default settings as I would pick my camera up out of its bag disregarding what I am about to shoot:

Apperture Priority
ISO: 200
AV: Depending on which lens is on, but usually on F3.5
ALWAYS shooting RAW
EV: Always -0.3 to begin with
AF-S
Single Point Focussing
Matrix Metering

Always have a quick look at my dial and top LCD as I take it out of the bag and from there do adjusments as needed for what I am about to shoot. Basically, my camera is setup to take action right out of the bag.
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Re: Favourite / Default settings

Unread postby oddesy » Wed Dec 02, 2009 10:35 pm

After trying it out today On AV i did not get the same results i usually do on shutter priority, so i will have to practice more :doh:

JL, why shoot in RAW if you do not do much(how much is much? :) ) post processing??, Im most defiantely a RAW convert the results are very different in my opinion :D

Thanks madach
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Josh of the Bushveld
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Re: Favourite / Default settings

Unread postby Josh of the Bushveld » Wed Dec 02, 2009 11:23 pm

Cos I have the option of fixing things if I'm so inclined :)
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