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Do I need a kit upgrade to take better photos without flash?


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#1 Elliot B.

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 16:20

I have an entry-level Nikon D3100 DSLR camera with the included 18-55mm VR lens.

In lowish light conditions (e.g. wedding dances indoors in the early evening (but not night)), I try to not use the flash and, whilst the photos rarely blur because I increase the ISO, there is a lot of noise.

I believe I need to let more light in.

Can I do this by simply getting a bigger lens or will the body hold a bigger lens back?


#2 c.grz

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 16:27

Is the D3100 a DX or FX camera?  I haven't been following cameras since I can't afford to buy any.  :-(

 

If it's DX; I say go for this:  http://www.kenrockwe.../nikon/1755.htm

If it's FX or you plan on going FX soon, I say go for this:  http://www.kenrockwe...kon/24-70mm.htm

 

But these lenses range from $1,500 to $1,800.  Fast lenses aren't check.



#3 Skiver

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 16:27

a lens will help to a degree, I suspect the standard lens is the same that came with my 5100 which has an apperture of 3.5-5.6. You could opt to buy something that has a higher Aperture, this is quite a popular lens I believe for these tpyes of events;

 

http://www.jessops.c...81294/show.html

 

Fixed focal legth which you may not like but I think it would do. However I doubt it will allow you to lower the ISO by enough. Have you not considered buying a flash to attach to the Camera? Get one that you can then angle and flash covers etc to soften the light.

 

I'm not massively experienced with flashes but I believe the trick is to aim it towards a reflective surface (ceiling, wall to the side) which will then reflect back to your subject without the horrible bright foreground/dark background then you often get with standard forward facing flashes.



#4 Draconian Guppy

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 13:26

I have an entry-level Nikon D3100 DSLR camera with the included 18-55mm VR lens.

In lowish light conditions (e.g. wedding dances indoors in the early evening (but not night)), I try to not use the flash and, whilst the photos rarely blur because I increase the ISO, there is a lot of noise.

I believe I need to let more light in.

Can I do this by simply getting a bigger lens or will the body hold a bigger lens back?

The 3100 is an adequate performer.

 

C.grz and Skiver are spot on, though I'd say Skiver is more realistic (as I wouldn't suggest +$1000 lens for someone on an entry level body )

 

One question I have to ask.

 

Where do you see yourself in the future camera wise? Do you plan in changing body? Stay DX or FX (Full frame) ? The rule of thumb would be glass glass glass glass before body AND only when you have figured out that your body has weaknesses, you may want to think of a new camera body.

 

I shot a lot of High ISO shots as well,  I went from Nikon D50, D5000 to D600. in 7 years ( 3 with d50 and 3 with d5000). With those bodies (both DX) I bought a the nifty fifty Skiver is suggesting, 35mm 1.8, 70-300 (kit lens), 24-85, 24-70 amongst others, just as an example of how I grew with my bodies.

 

For low light, you can't go wrong with prime lens. Though you need differentiate whether you want to use ambient light or flash light from a proper flash.

 

@50mm with your body you have to multiply x 1.5 = 75mm, which is portrait territory, if it's more ambient + waist shots this will better serve you:

 

http://www.amazon.co...ords=35mm nikon

 

You don't necessarily need to invest in a new flash, this is a technique I used before being able to afford external flashes:

 

https://www.google.h...iw=1280&bih=881

 

For noise, you can also post process using lightroom, noise ninja, neat image, there are a ton of noise removal tools.

 

Do you have some sample images?

 

Before choosing to buy a prime lens, look at your photos and determine what range you use the most (eg. either 18 or 55mm or something in between 30-35mm?) and that should be your prime lens.