Old 05-09-2013, 01:34 AM   #26
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Kent, why would you not use a tripod for night shots?

It is comparing apples to oranges.

Daylight shots and night shots are very different even though you might have the settings set the same.

Ergo, your analogy makes no sense to me.

Further, the Mojave has plenty of wind too, in fact it is rare that there is very little air movment.

And I shoot at 1/250 fairly regularly.
Day & night shots are not really all that different. Yes, if shooting ambient light, a tripod becomes much more critical. But when your only light is flash, remember that shutter speed is no longer much of a factor. The duration of the flash (for SB-28 it's ~1/1200s) in effect becomes the shutter speed. As to why I didn't use a tripod, the reason was I was using a Nikon D7100. I took a horizontal shot using a tripod, but the shot was better as a vertical. Since the D7100 is so new, there was not yet a Kirk L-plate available. So, I took the camera off the tripod and shot it handheld. My new Kirk L-plate showed up today and it's already on my camera.

The comparision I was making was between shots made with/without a tripod, since the train was dead in the hole. It was a very applicable comparision. The only thing that changed was use of tripod. Wind speed was troubling as it was a gusty ~25 mph, and it was knocking me around a bit.

Every year here, the wind blows semi-trucks over on the highway. Pass with care on the windward side.


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Old 05-09-2013, 01:39 AM   #27
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Only if you're shooting a train moving across the sensor plane at a 90 degree angle. At 45 degrees to the sensor, the apparent motion is 1/2 the actual motion at 90 degrees, and directly into or away from the sensor is only 1/4 the 90 degree actual.

So when Jimbob Fred pops that sweet dash 9 head on wedge in a cornfield in Nebraska at 1/400th, he'll be under the 1 pixel of movement guideline for the full size print he'll be making.

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We'll see. I will do the tests in the field very soon. Have you actually run the equations to see what the movement will be? It's simple physics. There is a second potential problem with shooting a train head-on, and that's the quality of the camera's AF module. I'm very curious to see what variable controlled shooting actually shows. I know some flat areas where the trains run a reliable 45-49 mph, and they announce their speed over the radio.


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Old 05-09-2013, 01:42 AM   #28
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If you are shooting at a very wide angle in low light, then yes you want a higher shutter speed, but if you blur a train due to shutter speed at a head on angle like this you just suck.
I assume you have NO clue at all what the conditions were that I was shooting in. Without knowing that, you might be very foolish assuming you could do better.


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Old 05-09-2013, 01:58 AM   #29
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You have NO clue at all what the conditions were that I was shooting in. Don't be so ignorant.


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Of course nikos1 was referring to the original poster's photos.... so he actually knows exactly what the conditions were.
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Old 05-09-2013, 02:02 AM   #30
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Of course nikos1 was referring to the original poster's photos.... so he actually knows exactly what the conditions were.

In that case, I fully apologize. I got mixed up with the pronouns.


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Old 05-09-2013, 02:06 AM   #31
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We'll see. I will do the tests in the field very soon. Have you actually run the equations to see what the movement will be? It's simple physics. There is a second potential problem with shooting a train head-on, and that's the quality of the camera's AF module. I'm very curious to see what variable controlled shooting actually shows. I know some flat areas where the trains run a reliable 45-49 mph, and they announce their speed over the radio.


Kent in SD
By your own admission, you're new to field of railroad photography. Perhaps in whatever other field you have pervious experience (based on what you've been harping on, maybe bird photography?) the subject was so far away, moving so fast that pounding out equations was a must. But in the field of railroad photography, you are making a mountain out a mole hill. 1/500s @ F8 has been the gold standard in this hobby since the dawn of time. Thats not by chance.


... and also, this is major pet peeve of mine, so sorry if I come off sounding rude. But... you are showing up to these forums, going against established conventional wisdom, handing out advice to other photographers, but to my knowledge haven't shown us a single railroad photograph other than a 'test' night shot. It would be nice to see some proof that you actually know what you're talking about.
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Old 05-09-2013, 02:16 AM   #32
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Have you actually run the equations to see what the movement will be?


Kent in SD
Just enough to post what I did earlier, as it is indeed just simple physics and math.

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Old 05-09-2013, 02:32 AM   #33
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... and also, this is major pet peeve of mine, so sorry if I come off sounding rude. But... you are showing up to these forums, going against established conventional wisdom, handing out advice to other photographers, but to my knowledge haven't shown us a single railroad photograph other than a 'test' night shot. It would be nice to see some proof that you actually know what you're talking about.
And here we go...


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Old 05-09-2013, 03:01 AM   #34
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... and also, this is major pet peeve of mine, so sorry if I come off sounding rude. But... you are showing up to these forums, going against established conventional wisdom, handing out advice to other photographers, but to my knowledge haven't shown us a single railroad photograph other than a 'test' night shot. It would be nice to see some proof that you actually know what you're talking about.
Hope you're wearing diapers because you might crap your pants due to overwhelming awesomeness:
http://s148.photobucket.com/user/duc...?sort=3&page=1
http://www.flickr.com/photos/96826069@N00/
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Old 05-09-2013, 03:38 AM   #35
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Is that the only picture you took? If so, why not use the camera's multi-shot ability?

When a train comes, I shoot it until it passes me. I might end up with 30 pictures of the train coming, but as I'm shooting I'm refocusing. Def saved me before when the AF started wondering.
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Old 05-09-2013, 04:42 AM   #36
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I like this shot, but I have two questions:

(1) Why is the switch sign blurry (and the whole switch)?; and

(2) Why is your strobe in the shot?


It is also unfortunate that none of the pictures I saw had captions, dates, locations etc.

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Old 05-09-2013, 10:44 AM   #37
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(1) Why is the switch sign blurry (and the whole switch)?; and

That's one of the weaknesses of Instagram.
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Old 05-09-2013, 07:14 PM   #38
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That's one of the weaknesses of Instagram.

Oh ya right, I forgot about that.

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Old 05-10-2013, 01:16 PM   #39
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1.By your own admission, you're new to field of railroad photography.

2.1/500s @ F8 has been the gold standard in this hobby since the dawn of time. Thats not by chance.


3.... and also, this is major pet peeve of mine, so sorry if I come off sounding rude. But... you are showing up to these forums, going against established conventional wisdom, handing out advice to other photographers, but to my knowledge haven't shown us a single railroad photograph other than a 'test' night shot. It would be nice to see some proof that you actually know what you're talking about.
1. I've been shooting trains for only 14 years, but the thing is I'm a salesrep and drive a lot on my job. I shoot them pretty much every day, (and night.) I have taken photos for pay for about 25 years now (stock, calendar, weddings, commercial, events, etc.)

2. I'll do the tests. It might come down to just how sharp you consider sharp enough. Setting f8 & 1/500s likely came to be mainly because that was the top speed of most cameras during the 1950s & 60s though. (Compur shutters.)

3. Fair enough. I have posted a number of shots here, including a link to about 50 of them shot with my 1951 Rolleiflex. I have a few under another, older screen name. I could transfer them to my current one. My problem is I tend to take a lot of shots that really aren't appropriate for RPnet. Below are four they would likely never go for.


1. Not a sunny day photo:


2. I deliberately blur the train; the subject is the ice:


3. Shot with c.1942 Leica IIIc, shows the FEEL of winter:
(might be my favorite shot so far this year)




Lately, I've been shooting mostly with a c.1902 Kodak Brownie No. 2 Model A. I love the results I'm getting from that camera, but it's just not RPnet material. Doesn't mean I'm not a foamer though.


I doubt RP screeners would like any of the shots I've posted above, even though they are among my favorites. I just don't shoot on sunny days very often, and when I do it may be in b&w with a vintage camera. Most of my shots are about -feel-, not a photo of a well lit engine.


Kent in SD

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Old 05-10-2013, 01:26 PM   #40
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Well, back to the OP, everything is soft, not just the moving train. That would rule out shutter speed. However, hand shake/movement can screw things up even at 1/500 from my experience. Could be that or very low grade glass? Foul-up in processing somehow?
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Old 05-10-2013, 03:38 PM   #41
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Does RP have an out of focus rejection? If so this whole thread about shutter speed nonsense could have been avoided, if not they need one. Its not "blurry", its out of focus, theres a big difference.
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Old 05-10-2013, 05:23 PM   #42
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Does RP have an out of focus rejection? If so this whole thread about shutter speed nonsense could have been avoided, if not they need one. Its not "blurry", its out of focus, theres a big difference.
There's no difference between "out of focus" and "blurry." Those are synonyms.

Actually "soft focus" is in the same category.

Now there are grades of softness, blurriness or lack of focus, and this issue can originally be caused by either camera movement, subject movement, or missed focus, which are different categories (and maybe the point you were getting at) but I digress.

When we start to make up our own meanings for words, we lose the ability to communicate.
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Old 05-10-2013, 05:36 PM   #43
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I don't care what the dictionary definition is, for the purpose of this thread and subject there IS a difference.
The OP's shot is out of focus but it is not blurry, meaning there is no focus point (or the wrong focus point ie: backfocused) but there is no evidence of movement of the train or camera in the image.
Conversely you can have a tack sharp shot but the train is blurred due to using too low of a shutter speed to stop the motion
By not differentiating between the two we end up with ridiculous and misleading suggestions like the image would have worked if the OP had shot on ISO 400 and 1/1200th of a second.....
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Old 05-10-2013, 06:52 PM   #44
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He shot the pic at f10 and nothing in the frame is in focus? That's hard to do... Looks to me like a really bad lens or something. CA evident here and there.
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Old 05-10-2013, 07:29 PM   #45
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He shot the pic at f10 and nothing in the frame is in focus? That's hard to do... Looks to me like a really bad lens or something. CA evident here and there.
Or had the lens on manual when he thought it was on auto.
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Old 05-10-2013, 11:33 PM   #46
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When we start to make up our own meanings for words, we lose the ability to communicate.
Even if we communicate our own meanings with each other?
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Old 05-11-2013, 12:43 AM   #47
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Kent, the photobucket link that Chris posted to your work is misleading as to the quality of what you do - I would dump that account or make sure it does not connect to your name in any way.

Very dramatic image of the (dead? injured?) animal and blood in the snow on the flickr account.
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Old 05-11-2013, 01:27 AM   #48
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2. Kent, the photobucket link that Chris posted to your work is misleading as to the quality of what you do - I would dump that account or make sure it does not connect to your name in any way.

1.Very dramatic image of the (dead? injured?) animal and blood in the snow on the flickr account.
1. Thanks for the thought. I use that account to generate links for various reasons, as you can see. I often dump shots on their I'm not quite happy with so I can post to something like the Leica forum or whatever. I've never been all that concerned about letting people see my mistakes. We all make them, after all. In truth, I'm only really happy with about 5% of mine.

2. Dead, and the blood was frozen in the 30 below zero temp before it could oxidize (turn dark.) That was one shot I posted on a "nature" photo gallery.

When I get back from K.C. this weekend, I will start a thread on "sharpness." I'll do some tests, and open up a dedicated discussion about the results.


BTW--apologies to the OP. I didn't mean to get this involved with your thread.


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Old 05-11-2013, 01:39 AM   #49
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Even if we communicate our own meanings with each other?
And you call yourself Jim Thias, Grammar Sheriff. Shame.

(More honest answer - of course, jargon and common usage allow for mutual understanding that is not widely recognized, however that is not really what's going on here. This is an attempt to say "dumb" means something different than "stupid" because, "Heck, that's how I feel.")

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Old 05-11-2013, 01:42 AM   #50
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I don't care what the dictionary definition is, for the purpose of this thread and subject there IS a difference.
The OP's shot is out of focus but it is not blurry, meaning there is no focus point (or the wrong focus point ie: backfocused) but there is no evidence of movement of the train or camera in the image.
Conversely you can have a tack sharp shot but the train is blurred due to using too low of a shutter speed to stop the motion
By not differentiating between the two we end up with ridiculous and misleading suggestions like the image would have worked if the OP had shot on ISO 400 and 1/1200th of a second.....

Honestly, an educated person such as yourself should use the language properly in order to get his point across. Pretending words mean something different is actually obfuscating your point (which is a good one).

The words "blurry" and "out of focus" are NOT the issue here. If someone came to read what you said and saw those terms they would be CONFUSED.

The issue here is that the photograph cannot be saved because it is too blurry or too out of focus (which are the same thing - you do not have permission to change the language from what it means).
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