Old 01-06-2012, 02:41 AM   #1
coaststarlight14
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Default A camera question...

So, i got a Canon EOS rebel T3 about a month ago. I've noticed that some people have posted (in photo descriptions) that they used F/2.3, but the new T3 doesn't go that low.
With the lense that came with the camera it only goes as low as F/5.6 zoomed in, zoomed out it does F/3.5

is it better to have a low F stop number and a High shutter speed, or a higher F stop number and slower shutter speed?

thanks, CS14
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Old 01-06-2012, 03:04 AM   #2
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Are you shooting full manual?
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Old 01-06-2012, 03:09 AM   #3
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Yep, full manual...
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Old 01-06-2012, 03:31 AM   #4
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So, i got a Canon EOS rebel T3 about a month ago. I've noticed that some people have posted (in photo descriptions) that they used F/2.3, but the new T3 doesn't go that low.
The camera isn't the limiting factor. The lens is. The F-stop, or aperture, is a function of the design of the lens. The lower the F number - 1.4 as opposed to 3.5, for instance - the larger the opening in the lens allowing light through when you take a picture. Your kit lens is designed with a maximum aperture of f/3.5 at its minimum zoom, and a maximum of f/5.6 at maximum zoom. The wider your aperture (lower F-stop), the more light your lens is allowing through to the sensor, so the faster your shutter speed can be. This is especially helpful in low light situations or with things that are moving quickly. The tradeoff is that at wider apertures, the depth of field - or the amount of your subject that is in focus - is much smaller than at higher F-stops.

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Old 01-06-2012, 03:57 AM   #5
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K, thanks

So essentially for shooting a train, you'd want a mid range F-Stop/ mid range shutter speed for the depth of field, and a lower F-stop/ faster Shutter speed if its going fairly fast.

for the past couple times a went out shooting i used the Auto setting's "reccomendations" and plugged them into the manual setting...

For the most recent picture on RP i used a tripod, 8 second Shutter speed, ISO 100, and F/5.6, and the pic turned out great!

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphot...=384753&nseq=0
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Old 01-06-2012, 04:14 AM   #6
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Well, it also depends on lighting. The brighter the conditions, the faster a shutter speed you can use with a higher F-stop.

Jon
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Old 01-06-2012, 05:09 AM   #7
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for the past couple times a went out shooting i used the Auto setting's "reccomendations" and plugged them into the manual setting...
That's crazy. That's not shooting on full manual either; that's shooting on full auto. I don't get it, actually. Lately, I've been trying to stay around f16 with a shutter speed of no lower than 1/400. Trains move slow around here which helps. I might jack the ISO up to 320, but I like it lower than that. For a long time, I was an f8 type of guy, but I decided to "branch out."
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Old 01-06-2012, 05:11 AM   #8
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That's crazy. That's not shooting on full manual either; that's shooting on full auto. I don't get it, actually. Lately, I've been trying to stay around f16 with a shutter speed of no lower than 1/400. Trains move slow around here which helps. I might jack the ISO up to 320, but I like it lower than that. For a long time, I was an f8 type of guy, but I decided to "branch out."
Haha, yeah well thats because the full manual wasn't quite working out...
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Old 01-06-2012, 05:36 AM   #9
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With the shutter speed you have go judge it based off the conditions you have. Sometimes you can get away with a 1/320th exposure when the train is moving very slowly or stopped. That especially helps when you have low light conditions. But if your shooting an Amtrak Capitol Corridor train in East Davis, you going to need to go 1/800th or above so you capture a crisp image of a train going 80mph. So base your shutter speed off of your lighting conditions and also how fast the train is moving. With the f stop, I usually like to get a large of f stop as I can w/o going over ISO200. ISO400 can sometimes come out grainy so I avoid that one most days. But ISO200 will work well. So usually I got as big as I can because I'm trying to shoot the scene and it would be nice if it wasn't all blurred out. But again sometimes I have to go lower because of bad lighting conditions and or I'm trying to go with a different affect. But usually when I'm shooting I'll stay somewhere around 1/800th, f8.0, ISO200. That's different than some people but it seems to have worked decently well for me in the past so I'm going to stick with it.
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Old 01-06-2012, 05:52 AM   #10
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With the shutter speed you......different than some people but it seems to have worked decently well for me in the past so I'm going to stick with it.
when you say large f-stop do you mean large number or large size?

and isn't it the smaller the hole the greater depth of field you have?
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Old 01-06-2012, 06:28 AM   #11
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when you say large f-stop do you mean large number or large size?

and isn't it the smaller the hole the greater depth of field you have?
I mean larger the number. If I could shoot on f22, I would because I could then get everything from the farthest peak to the for ground ballast in focus. When I think about shooting a "scene", I think of the "big picture" which equals a big f stop for me. I can't shoot on f22 because my camera body just isn't *that* good. But yeah the bigger the f stop, the smaller the hole, and the more that is in focus.
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Old 01-06-2012, 12:21 PM   #12
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Haha, yeah well thats because the full manual wasn't quite working out...
That's because you don't understand the relation of apertures, shutter speeds and ISOs yet and how they work together.

I suggest picking up the book "Understanding Exposure" by Bryan Peterson to help you better understand how to shoot using the manual mode.
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Old 01-06-2012, 12:59 PM   #13
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That's because you don't understand the relation of apertures, shutter speeds and ISOs yet and how they work together.

I suggest picking up the book "Understanding Exposure" by Bryan Peterson to help you better understand how to shoot using the manual mode.
^ This...

I find some of the advice in this thread absolutely amazingly inaccurate for a photography website. The book Jim advocated is excellent.

As mentioned, camera is not a factor in the min/max aperture size, lens is. It's also a good bet that if the lens dont go below F4, it's not going higher than F16 or so. Cheaper lenses or lower end lenses have a smaller aperture range because quite honestly they are meant for beginners who dont shoot in manual and done need as wide a range of apertures.
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Old 01-06-2012, 01:21 PM   #14
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Interesting that in all the threads about f stops and shutter speeds that no one mentions focal length. Big difference in depth of field between shooting wide angle at say 18mm and shooting telephoto at 200mm. An f5.6 gives you a big depth of field at 18mm but not much at 200mm. You have to factor that in when you decide which f stop will work.

Back in the old days they used to put DOF marks on the lens, now they don't. Learning the varies DOF ranges for some of the common focal lengths you shoot at can help a great deal in determining f stops. Learning the hyper-focal point for various common focal lengths helps too.

Good site here to play around with. There are other sites like this, but I like this one the best.

http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html
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Old 01-06-2012, 01:49 PM   #15
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You guys are gonna kill him. Start out simple.

Constraint #1 need to stop action of moving train with fast shutter speed, use 1/500 or faster

Constraint #2 want large depth of field for trains/landscape, need smaller aperature of f8 to f16 (ideally)

Constraint #3 the lower the ISO, the less grain in the image. in the daytime, there's no reason to ever go above 200 IMO.

Break above rules depending on which constraint is least important given the situation.

Make sure when you read your light meter it's not aimed at the bright sky or something real dark, otherwise the exposure will be off. Rather, aim it at the ballast or some bushes in the sun.
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Old 01-06-2012, 01:59 PM   #16
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Constraint #2 want large depth of field for trains/landscape, need smaller aperature of f8 to f16 (ideally)
I generally agree, but going from f/8 to f/16 generally buys you very little, perhaps nothing at all noticeable, from a depth of field point of view, and costs you one stop in either shutter speed or ISO. No need to go past f/8 in my book. I never go past f/11 anymore.

Also, at f/16 I think one starts seeing some diffraction effects on a crop sensor camera.
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Old 01-06-2012, 02:17 PM   #17
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I would not argue the point. I forget that I deal only with full frame film and digital cameras. Hell I shoot at f2 if need be!
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Old 01-06-2012, 07:04 PM   #18
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Constraint #2 want large depth of field for trains/landscape, need smaller aperature of f8 to f16 (ideally)
Are you saying the range of f8 to f16 is ideal, or f16 is ideal? Because if it's the latter, you are definitely going to need to go above ISO 200 to get a fast enough shutter speed when using f16. Remember the Sunny 16 rule? At f16, you're going to have to use ISO400 just to get to 1/400th.
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Old 01-06-2012, 07:32 PM   #19
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Are you saying the range of f8 to f16 is ideal, or f16 is ideal? Because if it's the latter, you are definitely going to need to go above ISO 200 to get a fast enough shutter speed when using f16. Remember the Sunny 16 rule? At f16, you're going to have to use ISO400 just to get to 1/400th.
No, I meant in the range of f8, f11, f16. Any of those work fine.

Here's one that could have been f16, 1/500, ISO200 (but wasn't).

Image © John Crisanti
PhotoID: 385951
Photograph © John Crisanti

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Old 01-06-2012, 09:23 PM   #20
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I always find myself shooting F 5.0 ISO 100-250 1/200-1/250th with the weather as of lately when i'm out.

I try to shoot ISO 100 F 5 1/400th or somewhere near that on a sunny day
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Old 01-07-2012, 12:20 AM   #21
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I always find myself shooting F 5.0 ISO 100-250 1/200-1/250th with the weather as of lately when i'm out.

I try to shoot ISO 100 F 5 1/400th or somewhere near that on a sunny day
Maybe that's why you keep getting so many shots rejected... that's lousy advice.
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Old 01-07-2012, 06:19 AM   #22
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I always find myself shooting F 5.0 ISO 100-250 1/200-1/250th with the weather as of lately when i'm out.

I try to shoot ISO 100 F 5 1/400th or somewhere near that on a sunny day
Jeez, when I was shooting Velvia at 50 ISO, I tried to at least hit 1/350 to 1/500 at all times. Anything less and you would get motion blur. I always try to keep my shutter speed up - seems like you have do so even more with digital cameras. 1/500 is my slowest speed I use with digital, though I prefer to shoot around 1/750 to 1/800 most of the time. One of the camera's I use works just fine at 400 ISO so that's my minimum with that one. If I need to crank it up, I do to maintain the needed shutter speed.

I never shoot at the maximum f stop, never have seen a need to, ever. A fairly wide apature isn't going to hurt you in railroad photography. I've shot some pretty OK stuff on film at f1.4 and f2.0 over the years on Velvia.

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Old 01-07-2012, 06:51 PM   #23
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Here's one that could have been f16, 1/500, ISO200 (but wasn't).

Image © John Crisanti
PhotoID: 385951
Photograph © John Crisanti
Hmm...f7.1, 1/1000th and ISO 100. Let's see if I do this correctly:

f16 would be just over two stops down, so in order to compensate for that, 1/500th and ISO 200. I'm surprised you were able to get that good of an exposure without going to at least ISO200. Or, was it a little underexposed? I ask because I find myself shooting f8, 1/800 and ISO 200 quite often on sunny days. I guess the Sunny 16 rule doesn't always apply.

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I never shoot at the maximum f stop, never have seen a need to, ever.

DS
Same here. I'm ALWAYS shooting with either f4, f5.6 or f8, depending on what lens I'm using, the lighting conditions and whether or not I've got the CP filter on the lens. And recently I've been finding myself shooting at ISO 400-800 more often, especially because I like to shoot at f8 as much as possible. The Canon 60D seems to work pretty well with those higher ISOs. And of course, the 5D is pretty good at those numbers as well.

f8, 1/320 and ISO 800 on the 60D:



Can't complain about that!
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Old 01-07-2012, 07:25 PM   #24
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Hmm...f7.1, 1/1000th and ISO 100. Let's see if I do this correctly:

f16 would be just over two stops down, so in order to compensate for that, 1/500th and ISO 200. I'm surprised you were able to get that good of an exposure without going to at least ISO200.
The fact that he is shooting a snowpacked field helps his cause, he would have never been able to pull that off without snow.
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Old 01-07-2012, 08:43 PM   #25
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Wasn't my shot, I just looked at the shots of the day and looked for a really bright situation.

Regarding sunny 16, I think negative film was a lot more forgiving than even digital. I accidentally shot a roll of 200 film at 100 iso and I didn't notice any problem when the negatives came back. I was really worried too because it was of my daughter's first solo bicycle ride.

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