LEARN UR CAMERA SETTINGS : in simple 2 understand english

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by chryslerchick, Nov 7, 2006.

  1. HI ALL...i found this on another photography site & is realy usefull
    especialy everyone new to photography or dslr/slr cameras. it is long
    but if you copy/paste it into your word pad you can keep on your
    computer & refer to it as & when you need it
    ***************************************************************************************************************
    Many of you are just beginning to learn how to use digital cameras.
    This is a beginning disscussion on basic camera functions. In addition
    I will attempt to teach you basic exposure control and other principals
    of photography. Please note that Digital point and shoot cameras may
    not have any or few of the things in this discussion however the basic
    principals of photography will still apply. This is intended mainly for
    35mm SLR's / DSLR
    There are many markings and numbers on your camera and lens. Most noobs
    are easily confused by then. Here is a guide to what they mean. How and
    why you use these markings is discussed after the introduction. Please
    note that digital cameras may not have these markings but all 35mm
    SLR's will have them.

    LEARNING YOUR WAY AROUND YOUR CAMERA

    The infinity symbol (sideways figure 8) is found on the lens and it
    refers to the maximum focus point (distance) of your lens. There are
    usually other numbers on the lens that are the focus distance in meters
    or feet. These numbers can be useful especially when figuring depth of
    field, which will be discussed later.

    The other markings on your lens are the ones that confuse people the
    most. These are the aperture settings or F/stops. They look like this:

    1.2 2.8 4 5.6 8 11 16 22.

    The F/stop markings on your lens may be slightly different but they all
    do the same thing and that is control how much light passes thru your
    lens to the film or pixals. Each setting is double the amount of light.
    For example, f/4 allows twice as much light as f/5.6 even though the
    numerical values don't add up to double. Confusing? Yes. F/stops work
    in conjunction with shutter speeds to control how much light hits the
    film or pixals to make a proper exposure.

    F/stops also play a role in controlling depth of field. Depth of field
    refers to how much of your subject is in focus from near to far. The
    smaller the aperture (f/16 is smaller than f/8 for example) the more
    the DOF in your picture.

    Where you focus the camera also plays a role in DOF. The closer your
    subject is to the camera, the less DOF you'll have. This is why macro
    shots have very shallow DOF.

    Lens selection is also crucial in determing how much depth of field
    you'll have in a given picture. The longer the lens (telephoto) the
    less DOF you'll have. Conversely, the wider the lens, the more DOF in
    your picture.

    Your camera also has a shutter speed knob or dial. Most cameras double
    the shutter speed as you move up or down the scale. For instance, my
    camera's settings in seconds are:1 -/1/2-/1/4
    -/1/8/-1/15/-1/30/-1/60/-1/125-1/250-1/500-1/1000. Most professional
    photographers can hand hold at 1/30 sec with a wide angle lens and get
    a sharp pic. but going any slower or using a longer lens requires some
    sort of camera support.


    The "B" next to your shutter speed knob stands for "Bulb". It's
    typically used in conjunction with a cable release to hold the shutter
    open for long exposures.

    An "X" by the 60 or 125 shutter speed means that's the shutter speed at
    which your flash will sync with your camera. If you use a faster
    shutter speed the shutter itself will close before the flash has fully
    fired leaving part of your picture dark. You can always sync a flash at
    a slower speed. Some cameras like the Hassleblad use a different type
    shutter and will flash sync at any speed.

    EXPOSURE

    Your camera has to have the right combination of light + exposure time
    to = proper exposure. Your shutter speed and your lens aperture work
    together to give you the correct exposure as determined by either you
    or your camera. (more on how to determine best exposure later). This
    means that if you change shutter speed you must also change f/stop
    (aperture) in order to keep the same exposure value.

    Lets assume that your camera's light meter tells you that 1/60 second
    exposure time @ f/11 will give you the correct exposure. If you were to
    place the shutter speeds and the f/stops (aperture) on a scale the
    following combinations would also give you exactly the same exposure
    value.

    1/15 - 1/30 - 1/60 - 1/125 - 1/250 - 1/500 - 1/1000
    f/22 - f/16 -- f/11 - - f/8 --- f/5.6 -- - f/4 - -- f/2.8

    Deciding which combination to use depends primarily on which is more
    important to the photographer, shutter speed or depth of field for this
    particular picture. Remember however, if you change shutter speed
    setting (or aperture) you must change the corresponding aperture (or
    shutter speed) setting to keep the same exposure value.

    For example. If your camera light meter tells you that 1/60 second at
    f/11 will give you the correct exposure and you want to increase your
    shutter speed to 1/250 sec you must open your lens aperture to f/5.6 in
    order to keep the same exposure value. You have to let in more light to
    compensate for the fact that you're now cutting the amount of time that
    the light will be exposed on the film or pixals.

    Remember, f/5.6 is two stops wider than f/11 and 1/250 sec is two
    shutter speed settings from 1/60. This is the easiest way to remember
    this as opposed to thinking; "hmm...1/250 is four times faster than
    1/60 so I need four times as much light...." The math is much easier if
    you simply remember if you change your shutter speed by x number of
    clicks you must change the aperature the same number. And vice versa
    obviously.

    Faster shutter speeds means you need more light. Less light means you
    need slower shutter speeds.

    ISO refers to a films "speed" or the sensativity of the pixals you've
    selected in your digital camera. The higher the number, the more
    sensative to light is the film/pixals. However, the higher the speed
    the more "grain" or "noise" you'll get in your final picture. High
    speed film or ISO settings is useful for shooting fast action where you
    need a very short shutter speed to "freeze" the action. It's also
    useful in very low light situations. The rule of thumb is to use the
    slowest film/ ISO setting you can for the shot you want.

    HOW TO GET THE PROPER EXPOSURE

    Much can be written about this however I'll try to keep it simple.
    There are two types of light meters that are used to measure the amount
    of light your camera needs. Incident and Reflective. Incident meters
    measure the amount of light that is illuminating a subject. These
    meters are used mainly by professional cinematographers and
    photogaphers. Reflective meters measure the amount of light that is
    reflecting off your subject. A Reflective meter is what your cameras
    uses to judge how much light is needed to make a proper exposure. The
    easist way to use your meter is this:

    Let your camera do the work for you.

    The vast majority of pictures will turn out just fine if you trust your
    camera's built in exposure meter. Your camera "sees" the image and
    calulates the exposure value based on the areas of light and dark in
    the scene. Most cameras will average the light and dark parts of a
    scene to come up with the correct setting however some cameras will
    allow you to "spot" the area you want to meter.

    Your camera will then either set the f/stop (remember those?) or the
    shutter speed or both automatically for you. Some cameras allow you to
    chose either the shutter speed or the f/stop you want to use and the
    camera will do the rest.

    The problem with this type of photography is that your camera is only
    as smart as you allow it. For instance, if you want to take a picture
    of a very bright subject, say a sailboat with white sails, the camera
    will "see" all this white area and try to average it so that it comes
    out to be a middle grey. This will cause the picture to be
    "underexposed" or in other words, not enough light has passed thru the
    lens to make a proper exposure. In order to make a correct exposure of
    the follwing picture I had to open my aperture one full f/stop to allow
    more light to hit the film.


    dePTH OF FIELD

    When you take a picture you focus on your subject. However, depending
    on aperature setting and how close to the subject you are will
    determine how much of your subject stays in focus. Also, the smaller
    the aperature you use (higher f/stop number) the more DoF you will
    have.

    Depth of Field (DoF) is the distance in front of and behind your focus
    point that will appear to be in sharp focus.

    Image size and f-stop are the main determinants of depth of field.
    Focal length of the lens does not matter, although on the extreme ends
    of focal length, image diffraction and interference play some part. If
    one moves an 18mm shot close enough to make the subject exactly the
    same size as it was with the 250mm lens, then the DoF is identical
    assuming the f-stop is exactly the same.

    The following pictures are examples of DoF and how best to use it. The
    first two pictures were taken with the same lens (135mm) but the image
    size is different. In the first pic of the little boy, the subject is
    about 10' from my camera. The background is out of focus due to two
    things. First, the closer the subject is to the camera, the less DoF
    you will have. Second, by using an aperature of about f/5.6 I was able
    to insure that the background would be nice and soft. Note. I should
    have used a flash on my camera to "fill in" the boys face with light.


    HOW TO SET EXPOSURE FOR FLASH

    All aftermarket flash units have a scale built in that will tell you at
    what range they are effective. Some even offer an automatic setting
    that regulates how much light it puts out depending on how close you
    are to the subject. The effective range of the flash is dependent on
    the speed of the film or ISO setting on your digital camera.

    In order to get a proper exposure using an aftermarket flash, you first
    have to dial in your film or ISO speed. If the flash is in manual mode,
    you would then calculate the distance from the flash to the subject.
    The scale on the back of the flash would then give you the right
    aperture (f/stop) to use. Some flash units offer an automatic setting
    whereby you set the aperture you want to use and the flash will adjust
    itself to give you the correct exposure from 5' to 25'. The flash
    actually "sees" the light as it bounces off your subject and
    automatically shuts itself off when enough light has reached the
    subject.

    FILL FLASH

    You might think that using flash in daylight isn't necessary but it
    can add a lot to your pictures. This technique is called "fill flash".
    It's used to help fill in the dark shadows caused by the bright sun.
    It's normally used for taking pictures of people rather than larger
    objects. The only trick is that you have to use a shutter speed
    (usually 1/60) that will sync with your flash. Note: newer digital
    cameras will usually sync at any shutter speed which makes fill flash
    much easier to do. Point and shoot cameras can simply leave the flash
    on all the time. When you use a slower shutter speed in the bright sun,
    your aperture setting may be too small (f/22 for example) for your
    flash to be effective. In this case, switching to a very slow film or
    ISO setting will help or if your camera will sync with the flash at any
    shutter speed, simply use a faster shutter speed and a larger aperature
    setting (f/8 for example instead of f/22) Bear in mind that fill flash
    typically works best when the subject is fairly close to the camera.


    FASTER THAN A SPEEDING BULLET

    Perhaps the best use of flash is its ability to freeze fast moving
    objects. A flash units light typically operates in the tens of
    thousands of seconds range. In the right conditions a flash can freeze
    a fast moving object much better than your cameras shutter.
    chryslerchick, Nov 7, 2006
    #1
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  2. chryslerchick wrote:
    > HI ALL...i found this on another photography site & is realy usefull
    > especialy everyone new to photography or dslr/slr cameras. it is long
    > but if you copy/paste it into your word pad you can keep on your
    > computer & refer to it as & when you need it
    > ***************************************************************************************************************
    > Many of you are just beginning to learn how to use digital cameras.


    Not so many. But thank you for the thought.

    You might consider copying and pasting just relevant parts into
    *replies* to actual questions asked.

    --
    john mcwilliams
    John McWilliams, Nov 7, 2006
    #2
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  3. chryslerchick

    Paul Heslop Guest

    John McWilliams wrote:
    >
    > chryslerchick wrote:
    > > HI ALL...i found this on another photography site & is realy usefull
    > > especialy everyone new to photography or dslr/slr cameras. it is long
    > > but if you copy/paste it into your word pad you can keep on your
    > > computer & refer to it as & when you need it
    > > ***************************************************************************************************************
    > > Many of you are just beginning to learn how to use digital cameras.

    >
    > Not so many. But thank you for the thought.
    >
    > You might consider copying and pasting just relevant parts into
    > *replies* to actual questions asked.
    >
    > --
    > john mcwilliams


    much better than pasting a link to another of those dodgy 10 best
    sites though :O)
    --
    Paul (Need a lift she said much obliged)
    -------------------------------------------------------
    Stop and Look
    http://www.geocities.com/dreamst8me/
    Paul Heslop, Nov 7, 2006
    #3
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