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Me or my camera?

ambaranowski
Occasional Contributor

New to portrait photography and having trouble getting crisp images in low light.  Shooting on a Rebel T5i with the 18-55mm kit lens.  AF and stabilier on.  Is there something I'm missing or is it time for an upgrade to something with a better sensor or ISO?

 

f/5, 1/100, ISO-3200

IMG_8637-1.jpg

 

23 REPLIES 23

ambaranowski
Occasional Contributor
Good to know, Mike! Do you have any recommendations for where to learn more?? Seems like I've been looking at the wrong info!

stevet1
Frequent Contributor

@ambaranowski wrote:

New to portrait photography and having trouble getting crisp images in low light.  Shooting on a Rebel T5i with the 18-55mm kit lens.  AF and stabilier on.  Is there something I'm missing or is it time for an upgrade to something with a better sensor or ISO?

 

f/5, 1/100, ISO-3200


I found this article to be pretty helpful:

https://www.techradar.com/how-to/best-aperture-and-focal-length-for-portraits

Here's one example they give:

aperture.jpg

Steve Thomas

ebiggs1
Forum Elite

Here are some considerations.  If you intend to go mirrorless don't buy any more ef or ef-s lenses.  If you are into real estate photography don't buy a 50 mm prime. Could be one of the worse FL for real estate photos. BTW, you have 50mm already in your kit zoom lens.  If you want or think you need 50mm just set it there.

 

DOF is probably not the problem shown in your example. At f5 and 37mm the DOF is almost 4 feet.  DOF relies greatly on focal length. Even wide open apertures benefit in DOF when FL is decrease. DOF is also affected by distance from subject.

As to open aperture or small, it depends on your goal.  Both are good and correct.

 

You do need more light for the conditions in your sample.  You can add a flash but a flash brings along all its little quirks too. Your WB is off and if it was better that would make the shot better. A mirrorless camera in itself will not make a shot like that better.  More light will. Another is post editing.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

"BTW, you have 50mm already in your kit zoom lens.  If you want or think you need 50mm just set it there."

 

I do not understand the logic of this argument.  There is a major difference between 50mm f/5.6, and 50mm f/2.8, or even wider.  It is called 2 stops.  When you need more light, then using a faster lens is much preferred over using a higher ISO.

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"Doctor told me to get out and walk, so I bought a Canon."

"BTW, you have 50mm already in your kit zoom lens.  If you want or think you need 50mm just set it there."

 

I do not understand the logic of this argument."

 

I'm not surprised. It gives you the opportunity to try being forced to stay on 50mm without spending any money.  That's all, so you can see how limiting a prime can be. If you'er good with it you might want to buy the prime if not now you know.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

"When you need more light, then using a faster lens is much preferred over using a higher ISO."

 

No, not necessarily.  That may be your opinion but it is not true or a fact.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

ebiggs1
Forum Elite

IMG_8637-1.jpg

 

Nice shot!  Smiley Happy

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

ambaranowski
Occasional Contributor
So one more question and then I'll put this thread to bed: how much light is more light? This shot was taken indoors but the subjects were facing a wall with two windows about six feet from them. Not a sunny day, but still plenty of natural light. There were also four bright recessed lights above them, four in each of the adjoining rooms, and two windows behind them (15' or so away). What makes indoor photography "well lit"? Even my outdoor shots on cloudy days seem grainy. Does well lit have to be full sun?

There is enough light if you don't need a flash, and/or your shutter speed is fast enough with a relatively low ISO.

 

Now, you might also have an issue with mixed lighting throwing the white balance/flicker detection off.


@ambaranowski wrote:
So one more question and then I'll put this thread to bed: how much light is more light? This shot was taken indoors but the subjects were facing a wall with two windows about six feet from them. Not a sunny day, but still plenty of natural light. There were also four bright recessed lights above them, four in each of the adjoining rooms, and two windows behind them (15' or so away). What makes indoor photography "well lit"? Even my outdoor shots on cloudy days seem grainy. Does well lit have to be full sun?

Your metering system in the camera should tell you when your exposure is properly set for the available light.  

 

However, indoor lighting can actually fool the camera into thinking there is more available light than there actually is.  Indoor lighting tends to flicker faster than the eye can see.  If the shutter fires at the wrong moment, then the photo will look underexposed, which sort of what your original photo looks like.  Some cameras can detect flicker, and will fire the shutter only when indoor lighting is at its' brightest.

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"Doctor told me to get out and walk, so I bought a Canon."