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View Poll Results: Do you shoot TRAINS in M, Tv, Av, or P
Manual 37 62.71%
Shutter Priority 10 16.95%
Apeture Priority 7 11.86%
Program 5 8.47%
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Old 10-02-2007, 06:30 AM   #51
Hill 57
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Aperture or Shutter speed here.
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Old 10-02-2007, 02:01 PM   #52
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Actually, since I posted in this thread things have changed a bit for me, and we may have a manual convert here! Last saturday I took 83 shots, and about half of them ended up being in manual mode. In the future in non-standard lighting conditions, I will be shooting manual, as much to my surprise I could set up better shots than my camera in those conditions just by going with my gut. I was pretty surprised!
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Old 10-02-2007, 03:38 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ken45
Actually, since I posted in this thread things have changed a bit for me, and we may have a manual convert here! Last saturday I took 83 shots, and about half of them ended up being in manual mode. In the future in non-standard lighting conditions, I will be shooting manual, as much to my surprise I could set up better shots than my camera in those conditions just by going with my gut. I was pretty surprised!
I'm with you Ken! After reading this thread I was inspired to shoot manual. I went out last Saturday set to Manual and got some great shots. In fact the first train of the day was a meet on the NS at the diamond, which I plan to upload this week.
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Old 10-03-2007, 12:52 AM   #54
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Ok I admit I have had some luck with shooting manual. When setting up for the shot do you meter off the ballest and set the camera's meter to dead on exposure or do you go up a half of stop or more because of the locomotive lights?

Ken 45 Or Railfan ohio Care to share what you did?
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Old 10-03-2007, 01:07 AM   #55
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The only time I'll stray from the camera's "dead on" metering is when the histogram tells me different or when there's snow on the ground. I will purposely overexpose winter shots because the snow is so blindingly bright when it comes to getting an accurate meter...
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Old 10-03-2007, 01:14 AM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlg759
Ok I admit I have had some luck with shooting manual. When setting up for the shot do you meter off the ballest and set the camera's meter to dead on exposure or do you go up a half of stop or more because of the locomotive lights?

Ken 45 Or Railfan ohio Care to share what you did?
I followed Jim Thias' methods. I set the aperature to f8.0 and set the shutter speed so it was either on or one of the meter. I either metered off the ballast or the blue sky, and most came out pretty well, with only a few over/underexposed because I didn't make the proper adjustments.
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Old 10-03-2007, 02:29 AM   #57
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I typically meter on the ballast to get a starting point. For moving subjects, as the train gets closer to where I want it to be for the shot I check my meter again. If I can't get the meter to be dead on center for whatever reason now that the subject is in the frame I usually opt to be a little on the low (underexposed) side, rather than risk blowing out the sky or other bright detail.

I shoot RAW only and I have better success in post processing if I am dead on meter wise or a bit low.

Works for me.
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Old 10-03-2007, 05:14 AM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlg759
Ok I admit I have had some luck with shooting manual. When setting up for the shot do you meter off the ballest and set the camera's meter to dead on exposure or do you go up a half of stop or more because of the locomotive lights?

Ken 45 Or Railfan ohio Care to share what you did?
I kind of followed Jim Thias' method, and kind of did my own thing. When shooting a train straight on, I'd meter the scene with my camera, then switch to manual so the headlights wouldn't trick the camera. Other times I'd meter a scene, then over or under expose it based on what was important to me for the shot. And finally, I just went with my gut a couple of times when my test shots weren't looking the way I wanted them too. I think the thing I took away was that shooting in manual didn't screw up a bunch of my pictures like I always thought it would.
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Old 10-03-2007, 11:59 PM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ken45
I think the thing I took away was that shooting in manual didn't screw up a bunch of my pictures like I always thought it would.
See, I think that is the perception that many people have who don't try it and actually see how easy it really is! After forcing myself to learn how to shoot in manual nearly two years ago, I haven't gone back to using any other shooting settings on the camera.

If you do it long enough, you start to recognize what the proper settings are for particular conditions. You learn to find things to meter off of (ballast, blue sky, clouds, etc) and how they relate to exposure. Reading the book "Understanding Exposure" helps quite a bit, too.

I guess I just like to have full control when shooting. I don't want my camera suddenly changing the settings because the brightness of the headlight or darkness of the paint (NS) tweaked the meter and threw off the proper exposure for the scene. Metering off the ballast or blue sky really is a surefire method to getting a proper exposure. Just pick an aperture (always 5.6 or 8 for me when shooting trains) and adjust the shutter speed accordingly. Simple as cake! And don't forget the ISO. MOST occasions (ie: good lighting) you can get away with using 100. And remember, as you double the ISO to 200, 400, etc, the shutter speed can double as well (each doubling of ISO and shutter speed are equal to 1 stop of light) to maintain the proper exposure and catch that faster moving subject in lower light.

And as I read what I just wrote, it just ticks me off that I didn't "get it" 20+ years ago when I took a photography class in high school.
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Old 10-04-2007, 02:51 AM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimThias
Just pick an aperture (always 5.6 or 8 for me when shooting trains)
"Always"? Now that you have taught everyone else, Jim, it's time for you to branch out, into the world of shallow depth of field, such as at 2.8!

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hmm, thought I had more of these, hmm, need to go do some more myself!
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Old 10-04-2007, 03:58 AM   #61
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Jim,

Maybe I misunderstood, but it sounded like you only shoot at f/5.6 or f/8 and nothing in between. I sometimes shoot at f/7.1 so bump up the exposure speed a bit. If you only shoot at f/5.6 and f/8 I'm just curious why nothing in between?
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Old 10-04-2007, 11:22 PM   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRMDC
"Always"? Now that you have taught everyone else, Jim, it's time for you to branch out, into the world of shallow depth of field, such as at 2.8!
Janusz, since you already missed my birthday in July, feel free to send me a 70-200 2.8 L IS for Christmas and I'll GLADLY shoot at 2.8.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike B.
Jim,

Maybe I misunderstood, but it sounded like you only shoot at f/5.6 or f/8 and nothing in between. I sometimes shoot at f/7.1 so bump up the exposure speed a bit. If you only shoot at f/5.6 and f/8 I'm just curious why nothing in between?
Well, one reason is because it's easier to figure out changes in stops when you're using the standards.

But for the most part, it's because of the limitations of my lenses. My 17-40's "sweet spot" is f8. At 5.6, my pictures just aren't as sharp with that lens. For my 100-400, the fastest I can go is 5.6 across the entire focal length. Sure, I can go 4.5 at 100mm, but once I zoom in it goes up to 5.6 automatically when I start getting close 400mm. Instead of dealing with changing apertures when I zoom in and out, I just keep it at 5.6, which will give me the most light across the entire zoom range.

I guess I'm just kind of basic when it comes to camera settings. Pick up an old photography book and you'll see the standard settings instead of all the "tweeners." It's just easier to understand the relationship between aperture, shutter speed and ISO when you stick to using the standards (1.4, 2, 2.8, 4, 5.6, 8, 11, 16, and so on).
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Old 10-05-2007, 01:26 AM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimThias
Janusz, since you already missed my birthday in July, feel free to send me a 70-200 2.8 L IS for Christmas and I'll GLADLY shoot at 2.8.
50mm f/1.8, the "nifty fifty", $60-70 or so used, $75 or so new, happy to help, you can buy the beer when I am out your way
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Old 10-05-2007, 06:57 AM   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRMDC
50mm f/1.8, the "nifty fifty", $60-70 or so used, $75 or so new, happy to help, you can buy the beer when I am out your way
No thanks. I already have the 50 1.4.
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