View Full Version : Nikon D50? night pics blurred

06-22-2007, 10:32 PM
I am trying to make some pics inside where I can't use the flash. So I have turned it off. And now the pics seem to have enough light in them but they are blured. I have been taking pics at a dance recital where is pretty dark and the targets are moving and they are all bluured. Any sugesstions ? Where should I put the settings on it?

06-22-2007, 11:40 PM
It sounds like you've lengthened the shutter speed to allow enough light for a good exposure, but now your shutter speed is too long to allow you to hand-hold it without having camera shake (as humans, we just wobble when we hold things.) The way to prevent the camera shake is to place the camera on a tripod, table, bench, wall, or other solid surface when taking the picture. Also, if your subject is moving, you will get motion blur at around 1/60 sec. or longer shutter speed.

Opening the aperture as wide as you can (use the smallest number you can get, such as 5.6, 3.5, 2.0, etc.) will help enable a shorter shutter speed. But opening the aperture will only get you so far. You might also want to look into the vibration reduction/image stabilization lenses out there.

06-22-2007, 11:43 PM
Marlin you need fast glass for this.

So please specify what lens you are using.

It isn't the camera at all. Performances like this can be extremely hard.

Here are a few tips until you can purchase faster glass.

Switch your camera to Raw format, so that you can recover more under-exposed data. Flip your Mode to "M" and set your ISO to 800 or higher (might have to really push it high). Once you have your ISO set high (it will likely be noisey but that is better than blurry), and your aperture set on the largest it will go (smallest f-stop), then set your shutterspeed to somewhere around 200. You still might get some blur at that speed, but if you go much faster without fast glass you probably won't be able to have a useable exposure.

Toriaj beat me to it, and I think he overlooked the dance recital part. Because VR won't do much more than squat to stop that action in low light. 8o) Toriaj knows that though.

06-23-2007, 12:21 AM
Some great tips, too, tcadwall.

I'm a girl, and also not very knowledgeable about VR or IS lenses at all ... I just thought it might help to reduce the camera shake. I know it wouldn't help with the action blur ;) but I've seen some amazing shots that include action blur with dancing, either very blurred, or just a little to indicate the movement. I guess it's all about what you want to create (or what your situation leads you to create, like it or not:rolleyes:)

06-23-2007, 08:22 AM
I'm a girlLOL! I'm a guy with a girl's name, so I bet I get that mistake more than you do! LOL - I've made note, now apologies, and hopefully I won't forget next time!:o

Action blur is a nice effect, but imo the exposure still needs to be right. In order to get that in a theater lighting type environment you really have to have fast glass. I have wasted my share of shots with my 18-200mm VR in those kind of conditions. Zoomed in at 200m and max aperture of f/5.6 just sucks, vr or not if the people on stage are moving. IOW, having noisy, under-exposed shots with blur just don't have the same impressive look, as clean, correctly exposed motion blur. They are almost always moving too!

06-23-2007, 08:27 AM
Like said above, you need to keep your exposure time fast enough. Without any fill in flash to freeze part of the action, try not to go below 1 / focal length too much, to prevent camera shake. Also, do not go too low, else the subjects will be too blurred. A bit of movement blur is not bad as it can add to the photo.

To keep your exposure time short enough, up the ISO setting. If you have to go up to ISO 800 or ISO 1600, just do it. Noise can be dealt with reasonably, unwanted movement blur can't.
You do not have to set the camera to M though, setting it to shutter time priority mode will help you when you are unsure about going all manual with metering. You set the shutter speed you need, the camera will choose the according aperture.
You may want to get a lens with a bigger maximum aperture too.

06-23-2007, 12:38 PM
Marlin, what lens are you using? I'd strongly suggest getting the Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 if you don't have it already - small and not too hardy, but very handy for low light, and it only costs a hair over $100. That lens, combined with ISO 800 or 1600, should be great for low light (shoot at f/2 or 2.8, I would think, for a somewhat less shallow depth of field, so it'll be easier to get in-focus shots).

06-23-2007, 03:11 PM
I am using a nikon dx 55/200mm 1.4to 5.6g not sure what that is. I have two more times to night and tomarrow I'm going to make some changes and try it again

06-23-2007, 08:27 PM
Marlin, let me really stress using raw mode. You can do raw+jpg if you don't yet have a raw editor, but it could make a difference if you under-expose in order to stop the action you can bring out a lot more of the details than if you are shooting jpg.

of course the rest is important too.

06-24-2007, 01:53 PM
My rule of thumb: Never underexpose an image simply to gain shutter speeds. Its not a good habit to form.

Having said that. Turn your camera to M mode. Set your ISO to its highest setting, set your lens to its largest aperture setting (lowest F number). Now, adjust your shutter speed to 1/250 (or by looking at your display simply 250). Now meter your scene? Where is the hash mark on your meter located? if its anywhere below 0 meaning -1, -2, less than -2, then that means your not getting enough light to hit the sensor at your camera + current lens' most light sensitive setting to still be able to freeze action. This means you're going to need a fast lens - something with an F-stop of f/2.8 or larger (f/1.8, f/1.4). To shoot action in low light without flash requires $$$$$.

06-24-2007, 02:10 PM
Never underexpose an image simply to gain shutter speeds. Its not a good habit to form.

Didn't mean to sound like it was a good practice. Sometimes under-exposing is the only way to get the shot. Dark theater environments that don't allow flash are not very easy - even with fast glass. Even with my 50mm f/1.8 I have under-exposed intentionally to achieve shutter speed before. I'm not saying it is good, but rules are rules. Sometimes you just break them because you need to.

Earlier in the thread I said the same thing, but then switched to talking about alternatives... if there is no time to get the glass.

Marlin you need fast glass for this.

So please specify what lens you are using.

It isn't the camera at all. Performances like this can be extremely hard.

Here are a few tips until you can purchase faster glass.

But there might be a tutorial out there by Ken Rockwell on how to achieve proper exposure with slow glass, moving subjects, and bad lighting. ;)