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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,562

    Pushing the limits of my Sony A100

    My granddaughter had her first dance recital yesterday. I had to use my Minolta 50mm lens and bumped the ISO up to 800. I never had good results with ISO over 400 but I am very happy with these. I will post more later.


    Frank

    As Shot



    Cropped an edited

    Sony A77
    Sony A580
    Sony A 100
    Maxxum 400si.
    Sony 18-70 Kit Lens
    Minolta AF 35-70
    Minolta AF 50 f/1.7
    Tamron 70-300 f/4-5.6 Di LD
    Tamron 60mm Macro
    Tamron 17-50 f/2.8
    Tamron 2x Converter
    Sony HVL-F42AM
    Quantaray 70-300 4.5-5.6 Macro
    Slingshot 200 Bag



    http://www.flickr.com/photos/22083244@N06/

    http://s305.photobucket.com/albums/nn219/sparkie1263/

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,554

    Lightbulb Puttin' on those dancin' shoes - Speed & Low Light

    Quote Originally Posted by sparkie1263 View Post
    My granddaughter had her first dance recital yesterday. I had to use my Minolta 50mm lens and bumped the ISO up to 800. I never had good results with ISO over 400 but I am very happy with these. I will post more later.


    Frank

    Cropped an edited

    Hey Frank,

    Shooting low light images like these is where the α700 or the α850/α900 would excel, because of the improved ISO response, that would provide a bit more speed to swap off and nicely "freeze" all of the action (the little gal's head {on the left side of image}).

    Angelina looks great!

    Without actually knowing the EXIF, I am going to assume you shot "wide open", at f/1.7, and around 1/60 or 1/125th of a second, judging by the limited amount of blur, in the image. The camera's built-in "stabilization" seems to have worked excellently.

    Concerning the DOF of the shot, according to the calculator, @ 50mm, f/1.7, and about 30 feet away ... the lens gives you a 7-foot window (+/- 3.5 feet), front to back, from your focus center (Angelina) ... allowing for a good portion of the dance line to be in focus. Had you gone with an 85mm f/1.4-shot ... under the same conditions ... that would have been chopped down to 2-feet (kind of tight) around Angelina. Just something to consider, when selecting glass. I think the 50mm for getting the "full line" was a good choice, considering the angle you were shooting from, also.

    Going to ISO1600 (not on the α100, of course) ... would have allowed you another f-stop, which, in a dance recital, as you know, can make or break the shot. Still, as you say, you struggled with α100's limitations to get these. I can only imagine how much more fun you might have had with a little more room in your exposure with another level.

    I suspect, with its own limitation, the α550 might be another avenue, to get a better low light performance from the DSLR. While I have not put one of these to the test, I am hearing some solid reports about its ISO response, when the lights go dim. It might be worth a try/buy comparison, should you continue to have these kind of shooting challenges. This kind of shooting is where the photographer is definitely "put to the test", having a bit more exposure choice built into the camera, can ease that workload considerably.

    Once again, thanks for sharing the work.

    (Psst - I've always looked at these "challenging" situations as "evidential support" for moving the camera gear up a notch .. , nudge nudge )
    Last edited by DonSchap; 06-26-2010 at 09:00 AM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,562
    Don, I shot these at Iso 800, f/2.8 and speed 125. The Camera RAW 6.0 noise sliders did wonders for these. I also used Noise Ninja after I finished editing in PS.

    Thanks again for the comments
    Frank
    Sony A77
    Sony A580
    Sony A 100
    Maxxum 400si.
    Sony 18-70 Kit Lens
    Minolta AF 35-70
    Minolta AF 50 f/1.7
    Tamron 70-300 f/4-5.6 Di LD
    Tamron 60mm Macro
    Tamron 17-50 f/2.8
    Tamron 2x Converter
    Sony HVL-F42AM
    Quantaray 70-300 4.5-5.6 Macro
    Slingshot 200 Bag



    http://www.flickr.com/photos/22083244@N06/

    http://s305.photobucket.com/albums/nn219/sparkie1263/

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Monmouthshire, UK
    Posts
    2,152
    Frank, good effort under the circumstances.
    whilst the A100 is a very capable camera it dates from 2006 and has a CCD sensor which is blessed with good IQ at low ISO's, but at anything over ISO400 becomes noisy, as you can see.
    I don't see why you would throw away 1 stops by choosing f2.8/ISO800 when you could have selected f1.7/ISO320.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,562
    I thought I would lose too much DOF at 1.7. How do you set it to ISO 320?

    Thanks
    Frank
    Sony A77
    Sony A580
    Sony A 100
    Maxxum 400si.
    Sony 18-70 Kit Lens
    Minolta AF 35-70
    Minolta AF 50 f/1.7
    Tamron 70-300 f/4-5.6 Di LD
    Tamron 60mm Macro
    Tamron 17-50 f/2.8
    Tamron 2x Converter
    Sony HVL-F42AM
    Quantaray 70-300 4.5-5.6 Macro
    Slingshot 200 Bag



    http://www.flickr.com/photos/22083244@N06/

    http://s305.photobucket.com/albums/nn219/sparkie1263/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    7
    Don,

    What is this calculator you speak of? An online tool or something or some mobile app? If it's free I'd like to check it out.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Monmouthshire, UK
    Posts
    2,152
    Jose, it's possible to make your own but a good on-line tool exists here.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Monmouthshire, UK
    Posts
    2,152
    Quote Originally Posted by sparkie1263 View Post
    I thought I would lose too much DOF at 1.7. How do you set it to ISO 320?
    I see; I did wonder whether it was because you feared a lack of sharpness with the lens wide open. As for setting ISO320, maybe it's only the A700 which allows for ⅓ of a stop increments.

    As Don pointed out, the DOF is 7 feet (f1.7 and 30feet to subject) so no problem there. Remember that DOF is mostly affected by magnification so short subject distances are the ones to worry about with the shorter focal lengths. I keep a small chart in my bag as an aide memoire although you do get to know intuitively when there's a problem. Here's a chart for 50mm lens'.
    Name:  DOF 50mm.jpg
Views: 667
Size:  601.5 KB

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,562
    I had this app on my phone and didn't remember to use it. It is called Photo Tools.

    Photo Tools
    v1.0.10

    Photo Tools is good for any format, digital or film SLR camera. It contains 17 calculators for: exposure, circle of confusion, depth of field, magnification, angle of view, field of view, flash guide number and aperture, camera pixels, aperture average, stops difference, ND filters, bellows.

    Here is a list of everything it does. I need to start thinking before I shoot. I try to remember the important things but forget the little things that would help the most,

    Thanks again

    Frank

    Here is the link if anybody has an Android phone and wants the app.(there is one for the Iphone)
    http://www.androlib.com/android.appl...ools-qnjD.aspx
    Sony A77
    Sony A580
    Sony A 100
    Maxxum 400si.
    Sony 18-70 Kit Lens
    Minolta AF 35-70
    Minolta AF 50 f/1.7
    Tamron 70-300 f/4-5.6 Di LD
    Tamron 60mm Macro
    Tamron 17-50 f/2.8
    Tamron 2x Converter
    Sony HVL-F42AM
    Quantaray 70-300 4.5-5.6 Macro
    Slingshot 200 Bag



    http://www.flickr.com/photos/22083244@N06/

    http://s305.photobucket.com/albums/nn219/sparkie1263/

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Monmouthshire, UK
    Posts
    2,152
    Definitely helps to think, Frank. Here's another thought for you.

    Lets say that DOF consideration made it essential to choose f2.8@iso800 over f2@iso400 and given that we don't really want to ask iso800 of the A100, why not choose f2.8@iso400. This will underexpose by one stop but you can then use your RAW converter to adjust the exposure which, I think you'll find, gives a better result.

    If this seems counter-intuitive, remember that choosing iso800 over iso400 doesn't get twice as much light to the sensor, it simply amplifies the signal from the sensor and that means that you double up on the noise as well.

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