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  1. #1
    Senior Member

    Blurry / underexposed indoor images

    Took some D3300 test shots with the 35mm prime at a daytime get together today. The shots were all of people / kids indoors under incandescent lighting with varying amounts of natural light. I was initially shooting in aperture priority mode (F2-F8) , but saw that a number of the pics were blurry. So I switched to Shutter priority with a speed of 1/500s, but the pics were still blurry and/or underexposed, so I dialed in some exposure compensation, which helped reduce the problem but didn't eliminate it. Short of using a tripod, what should I have been doing differently to prevent blurry, underexposed shots? Thanks in advance!


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    D3300: 18-55 DX VR II, 55-200 DX VR II, 35 f/1.8 DX
    D7100: 200 f/4 Nikkor Q.C Ai'd, 180 f/2.8 P.C Ai'd, 135 f/2.8 Q Ai'd, 105 f/2.5 Ai-s, 100 f/2.8 E, 75-150 f/3.5 E, 55 f/3.5 P.C Micro Ai'd (w/ PK-13), 50 f/1.8 AF, 50 f/1.8 E, 28 f/2.8 Ai-s, 28 f/3.5 H Ai'd, modified TC-16A, 18-55 DX VR, 55-200 DX VR



  2. #2
    Senior Member
    aroy's Avatar

    Re: Blurry / underexposed indoor images

    Quote Originally Posted by gustafson View Post
    Took some D3300 test shots with the 35mm prime at a daytime get together today. The shots were all of people / kids indoors under incandescent lighting with varying amounts of natural light. I was initially shooting in aperture priority mode (F2-F8) , but saw that a number of the pics were blurry. So I switched to Shutter priority with a speed of 1/500s, but the pics were still blurry and/or underexposed, so I dialed in some exposure compensation, which helped reduce the problem but didn't eliminate it. Short of using a tripod, what should I have been doing differently to prevent blurry, underexposed shots? Thanks in advance!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    For kids on the move you really need 1/500. The problem is that with insufficient light even at F1.8, you will rarely get 1/125. I have shot a lot of images at F1.8 indoors, even a dance a couple of days ago. But the light has to be decent or the subject still. Upping ISO does help a bit, but in my opinion that increase shadow noise a lot.

    When you set the mode to "S", the camera will keep changing the aperture. As the light intensity reduces, the aperture will keep opening up. Till it hits the fastest; in your case F1.8; after that the speed keeps reducing. Here are the work arounds
    . Shoot RAW. That gives you much leeway in correcting exposure in post. If you have never processed RAW, download the Nikon Capture NX-D from Nikon site, install it, read the manual and start using it.
    . Set ISO to 100.
    . Set Aperture Priority.
    . Set Aperture to F1.8. Till you get decent light avoid using higher F numbers.
    . If speeds are around 1/60, then dial in Exposure Compensation at -1EV
    . If that still does not help, increase the ISO to 400. Though that will give correct exposure at the bright parts, shadows will be quite noisy.
    . If nothing else helps, use the flash. That works for near enough objects.
    . If you have an external flash, then use it with the head pointed up and exposure compensation on flash as +2.
    Best Answers gustafson voted best answer for this post
     
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  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Horoscope Fish's Avatar

    Re: Blurry / underexposed indoor images

    Quote Originally Posted by gustafson View Post
    Took some D3300 test shots with the 35mm prime at a daytime get together today. The shots were all of people / kids indoors under incandescent lighting with varying amounts of natural light. I was initially shooting in aperture priority mode (F2-F8) , but saw that a number of the pics were blurry. So I switched to Shutter priority with a speed of 1/500s, but the pics were still blurry and/or underexposed, so I dialed in some exposure compensation, which helped reduce the problem but didn't eliminate it. Short of using a tripod, what should I have been doing differently to prevent blurry, underexposed shots? Thanks in advance!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Simple answer... Use a higher ISO, or use flash (preferably an external so you can diffuse the light by bouncing it off the ceiling or with a mounted diffuser).

    Bumping the ISO will result in more noise but unintended motion blur, in my opinion, kills a shot while digital noise can be dealt with in post rather effectively.

    Shooting in RAW will give a LOT more flexibility during post processing but if you're shooting JPG then your best bet is probably to bring more light to the scene by using a good flash.
    ....
    Last edited by Horoscope Fish; 09-21-2015 at 01:09 PM.
    Best Answers gustafson voted best answer for this post
     
    ~ Paul
    ....
    ....
    Primary Kit :: D850, Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 G2, Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 G2, Sigma 135mm f/1.8 Art, Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art,
    Godox Flashes & Triggers, Manfrotto X055PROB, 3-Legged Thing Airhed II... All Stuffed into a Manfrotto Pro Backpack 50
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  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Bob Blaylock's Avatar

    Re: Blurry / underexposed indoor images

    Quote Originally Posted by gustafson View Post
    Took some D3300 test shots with the 35mm prime at a daytime get together today. The shots were all of people / kids indoors under incandescent lighting with varying amounts of natural light. I was initially shooting in aperture priority mode (F2-F8) , but saw that a number of the pics were blurry. So I switched to Shutter priority with a speed of 1/500s, but the pics were still blurry and/or underexposed, so I dialed in some exposure compensation, which helped reduce the problem but didn't eliminate it. Short of using a tripod, what should I have been doing differently to prevent blurry, underexposed shots? Thanks in advance!
    A broad general concept to understand is that photography requires light, and from the viewpoint of trying to get the sharpest, most technically-perfect picture, more light is nearly always better.

    Indoor lighting is much darker than you realize, compared to outdoor daylight.

    Outside, during the day, there's plenty of light, so you can use a fast shutter speed, for less motion blur, a small aperture for more depth of field, and a lower ISO setting for less sensor noise.

    Indoors, or otherwise in lower light, you have to start compromising. You have to use a slower shutter speed, which will give you more motion blur; you have to use a larger aperture, which will give you less depth of field, and you have to use a higher ISO, which will give you more sensor noise. It's a matter of figuring out which elements to sacrifice more, in order to sacrifice less of others.
    Thanks/Like Blacktop, aroy Thanks/liked this post
    Best Answers gustafson voted best answer for this post
     

  5. #5
    Senior Member

    Re: Blurry / underexposed indoor images

    Thanks for the insightful responses. So my follow-up question is this: what is your preferred mode for indoor shots in low light if you want to avoid using a flash and prevent motion blurring? What minimum shutter speeds and ISOs would you typically use, assuming I'm shooting RAW and can correct later? And is exposure compensation a potential lever here, or does it only affect jpegs?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    D3300: 18-55 DX VR II, 55-200 DX VR II, 35 f/1.8 DX
    D7100: 200 f/4 Nikkor Q.C Ai'd, 180 f/2.8 P.C Ai'd, 135 f/2.8 Q Ai'd, 105 f/2.5 Ai-s, 100 f/2.8 E, 75-150 f/3.5 E, 55 f/3.5 P.C Micro Ai'd (w/ PK-13), 50 f/1.8 AF, 50 f/1.8 E, 28 f/2.8 Ai-s, 28 f/3.5 H Ai'd, modified TC-16A, 18-55 DX VR, 55-200 DX VR

  6. #6
    RIP :(
    Don Kuykendall's Avatar

    Re: Blurry / underexposed indoor images

    Are you using Auto ISO? If not then you should try it. Set ISO to 100 with a max of 800. Not sure about the D3300 but I know on mine I can set a minimum shutter speed.

    Higher ISO is all you can do. Grain is better then blurry any day of the week.
    Best Answers gustafson voted best answer for this post
     

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  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Bob Blaylock's Avatar

    Re: Blurry / underexposed indoor images

    Quote Originally Posted by gustafson View Post
    Thanks for the insightful responses. So my follow-up question is this: what is your preferred mode for indoor shots in low light if you want to avoid using a flash and prevent motion blurring? What minimum shutter speeds and ISOs would you typically use, assuming I'm shooting RAW and can correct later? And is exposure compensation a potential lever here, or does it only affect jpegs?
    It depends greatly on just what I am shooting. If it's a static subject, I'll usually put my camera on a tripod, leave the ISO at 100, set the aperture to get the depth of field that best suits the image (often, shallow depth of field is desirable, to blur out a distracting background) and then set whatever shutter speed it takes to make the rest of the parameters work. If nothing is moving, then I can get away with as slow a shutter speed as it takes.

    If it's a subject that moves or that might move, then I need an adequate shutter speed, and I'll have to sacrifice on other parameters to get it. There is no one right answer that I or anyone else can give you, that will be right for your circumstances, or even for my own circumstances all the time. You'll just need to learn, yourself, how to judge the balance between these parameters for each situation.
    Last edited by Bob Blaylock; 10-01-2015 at 01:58 AM.
    Best Answers gustafson voted best answer for this post
     

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Horoscope Fish's Avatar

    Re: Blurry / underexposed indoor images

    Quote Originally Posted by gustafson View Post
    Thanks for the insightful responses. So my follow-up question is this: what is your preferred mode for indoor shots in low light if you want to avoid using a flash and prevent motion blurring? What minimum shutter speeds and ISOs would you typically use, assuming I'm shooting RAW and can correct later? And is exposure compensation a potential lever here, or does it only affect jpegs?
    In such a situation, and assuming flash is out of the question, you have to make a choice about what is most important: Stopping the action, or keeping the digital noise to a minimum; because you are NOT going to have both a high shutter speed (for stopping motion) AND low noise levels (by using, say ISO 100). So that's the decision you have to make. As Bob points out, photography is often a juggling act.

    If it were me, I would choose an aperture, say for instance f/2.8 or f/4, that would give the DoF I need to keep the subject matter in sharp focus. I would adjust Auto-ISO to use anything from ISO 100 to 12,800 (or whatever maximum ISO is on your D3300) and adjust the shutter speed setting (also in the Auto-ISO menu) over to the right to keep the shutter speed as high as the subject matter and focal length required.

    If your D3300 doesn't allow you to adjust the minimum shutter-speed as part of the Auto-ISO settings, I would probably shoot in full Manual with Auto ISO enabled. I'd adjust my aperture to what ever I thought would be required to keep the subjects in focus, say, f/4 for example, and a shutter speed fast enough to stop the action, say for instance 1/250 or so. Auto-ISO will then adjust the ISO as needed to work with my chosen aperture and shutter speed and render correct exposure. You can then see what sort of ISO's you're shooting at and adjust shutter-speed or aperture to achieve the overall balance you need.
    ......
    Thanks/Like Don Kuykendall Thanks/liked this post
    Best Answers gustafson voted best answer for this post
     
    ~ Paul
    ....
    ....
    Primary Kit :: D850, Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 G2, Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 G2, Sigma 135mm f/1.8 Art, Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art,
    Godox Flashes & Triggers, Manfrotto X055PROB, 3-Legged Thing Airhed II... All Stuffed into a Manfrotto Pro Backpack 50
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  9. #9
    Senior Member

    Re: Blurry / underexposed indoor images

    Thanks for the responses to the follow-up. Dan, yes to using Auto ISO. However, I realize now I had set the max ISO to 3200, and the camera seems to have selected an ISO of 3200 for a majority of the shots, so looks like I inadvertently crippled its working range. Most of the blurry shots were in aperture priority, where the camera selected shutter times of 1/3-1/10s, and the blur could have been a combination of camera shake and subject movement. Even when I switched to shutter priority, the limit on max ISO produced less than ideal shots. Lesson learned on not limiting ISO and post-processing noise out of RAW instead!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    D3300: 18-55 DX VR II, 55-200 DX VR II, 35 f/1.8 DX
    D7100: 200 f/4 Nikkor Q.C Ai'd, 180 f/2.8 P.C Ai'd, 135 f/2.8 Q Ai'd, 105 f/2.5 Ai-s, 100 f/2.8 E, 75-150 f/3.5 E, 55 f/3.5 P.C Micro Ai'd (w/ PK-13), 50 f/1.8 AF, 50 f/1.8 E, 28 f/2.8 Ai-s, 28 f/3.5 H Ai'd, modified TC-16A, 18-55 DX VR, 55-200 DX VR

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    WayneF's Avatar

    Re: Blurry / underexposed indoor images

    Flash of course has very much to be said for it. Camera flashes (called speedlights) are extremely brief duration, faster than the camera shutter. Speedlight flash is used for high speed photography, to stop all intense motion, like bursting balloons or splashing milk drops, or humming bird wings.

    Flash allows low ISO (because sufficient light is provided).
    Flash allows maximum shutter sync speed (typically 1/200 second).

    Flash intensity does fall off with distance, actually only the correct exposure at the one correct distance. However bounce flash is often possible with a speedlight... just aim the TTL flash head at the ceiling (8 to 12 feet white ceilings), and set f/5, 1/200 second, and ISO 400. The whole (normal size) room will be more or less the same distance from the ceiling reflection, so the (reasonable) background will just light up.
    Last edited by WayneF; 09-21-2015 at 06:22 PM.





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