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Thread: New member looking for advice - getting sharp macros in low light

  1. #1

    New member looking for advice - getting sharp macros in low light

    hi! im new here. i need some help with my tamron 70-300mm tele-macro lens. i find it hard to capture sharp images especially at low light. i understand that i have to compensate with either slowing the shutter speed (which makes images blurry) or by increasing the ISO speed (grainy). any suggestions aside from using tripod? or do i need to purchase flash guns?help pls...

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Just add 'MacKenzie'

    Re: NEW MEMBER? please introduce yourself here

    As advised in the 'New member' thread, I've moved this in here so that more members will see your post and, hopefully, give you the benefit of their advice.

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    Re: NEW MEMBER? please introduce yourself here

    Quote Originally Posted by mongarenas View Post
    hi! im new here. i need some help with my tamron 70-300mm tele-macro lens. i find it hard to capture sharp images especially at low light. i understand that i have to compensate with either slowing the shutter speed (which makes images blurry) or by increasing the ISO speed (grainy). any suggestions aside from using tripod? or do i need to purchase flash guns?help pls...
    I think you have really answered your own question here.

    At 300 mm I ideally wouldn't like to hand hold much below 1/200 shutter speed even with a stabilised lens. And I would certainly expect difficulties below 1/100. However, you should probably be able to get down to 1/60 at the 70 mm end with no problems. Are you attempting to shoot at considerably slower speeds?

    At what ISO setting are you experiencing grainy results? You should get away with ISO 800 under most conditions.

    Otherwise, as you said, the answer either involves a tripod or flash. Also beware of any subject movement issues with low shutter speeds.

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    inkista's Avatar
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    Re: NEW MEMBER? please introduce yourself here

    Flash (moving subject) or tripod (still subject) would certainly help. There's also the possibility of using noise reduction software.

    When using a consumer-grade telephoto lens, you've really only got those two options (slower shutter speed or higher ISO) without purchasing extra equipment. There's a rule of thumb that while handholding, to mitigate camera shake blur, you want to use a shutter speed of at least 1/focal_length or faster (mind: rule of thumb. People do have different handholding capabilities, so this is just a ballpark figure and not a hard-and-fast numbers thing. Some folks throw in the crop factor as well, or just double the number. Also, realize there is a lower bound around 1/30s or so). So, shooting @300mm with an unstabilized lens, you need to be at 1/300s or faster.

    In addition, nearly all lenses are sharper when stopped down at least one full stop from wide-open. Consumer-grade telephoto zooms seem to follow this rule pretty exactly and most max out at f/5.6 @300mm, so you really want to be at at least f/8. Put this all together with low light, and you either need to stabilize the lens to get slower shutter speeds, or you want to add flash illumination, or you want to crank that iso up.

    Now you know why some folks find paying four-figure pricetags for f/2.8 zooms worthwhile.

  5. #5

    Re: NEW MEMBER? please introduce yourself here

    oh I see, thanks..It reaaly helped a lot..

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