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Thread: Questions?

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    Default Questions?

    I'm new on here and thought this the place to get a good answer to a question you've all probably heard before.

    I have taken a few images and have some pretty good "old-fashioned" film equipment. I would like to know, what is a good stop and speed to get good images of the Aurora? I understand the basics just need details. Gotta tripod, an F-100, lots of lenses and gadgets. Thanks.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    Here's something for you to read. http://www.alaskaphotographics.com/h...n_lights.shtml

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    Thanks, Jim. Very helpful for both.

    I thought I'd get a 17-55 f2.8 with the body and more battery. You are right about the pc and more space on it. I am switching to Mac and will shoot in RAW, I've heard that to have advantages.

    My newer lenses are the D type AF and are compatable with the D200. I was aware of the 1.5x of the sensor so will try to take advantage of it and then buy what would "normally" be a super wide angle. I'll probably just get one good quality fast, wide zoom. I'll have to check them out more closely. The DX lenses are G's and have no retrofit capability to my F100.

    Thanks again for all your help.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    2.8 lense is simply to slow. Yes, they can work if you increase the film speed but then the quality of the image suffers. The faster the lense the more you capture of what you are seeing, instead of a blob moving across the sky
    In my opinion the best glass for aurora's is something fixed from 24 to 35 mm with a 1.4 lense.
    Generally this is the time you want to stay with the old fashioned film as well. Digital bodies are still producing to much "noise" at longer exposures.
    Tennessee

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    Thanks, Randy.

    I agree about the faster lense for the long exposure, hadn't considered the digital noise. I don't plan to abandon film for a while.

    I have a good 24 f1.4 lense for my F100 and all kinds of gadgetry to make long exposures. I'm sure that would be better. I really didn't mean I was going to buy a D200 and a 17-55 just for the Aurora shots, but I guess it did look that way.

    I'm a big fan of fixed, fast lenses anyway, most of my arsenal is fixed and big. And I have done some long exposures of stars and moon and such just never got the lights on film.

    Another question about shooting in RAW. As I understand this, it is more like a negative and can then be cropped or pushed or what is needed, is that correct?
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    RAW images allow you to adjust the exposure (to a certain extent) and color after you take the shot.
    Considered by most to be the best format for digital however most of the time it simply isnt necessary.
    90% of the time TIFF meets or exceeds what most of us need. For saving images for online use .jpegs are fine but I would avoid using the .jpeg format for images that you are opening and closing a good deal as you process them as they lose data.
    RAW is the best but it uses the most memory. If the scene is easy to expose I would set the camera for TIFF.
    I know just enough about digital photography to get myself into trouble, lol. I own Photoshop CS and used to do a good deal of my own printing but the more I got into it the more I realized I didnt know.
    I am happier now just taking the images and sending them in for processing. If you do a web search about RAW you will find tons of information. This is an excellent site also to help answer any questions you may have:
    http://www.dpreview.com/
    Tennessee

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    Murphy, here are a couple links that will keep you busy for a long time!!

    http://photography-on-the.net/forum/
    http://photography-on-the.net/forum/...splay.php?f=18

    Tons of information. Eric

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    RAW (NEF for Nikon) is generally a 12 bit per pixel format, while JPEG (JPG) and regular TIFF (TIF) are 8 bits, so RAW should be larger, but many cameras (Canon for instance) use a lossless compression scheme that makes their RAW files smaller than TIFF.

    One of the advantages of a 12 bit file is that there is more data stored for each pixel location, and some of that data is in the brightest highlights and some in the darkest shadows. Manipulation of this data while you convert it to a more usable format like JPEG or TIFF allows you to better adjust exposure the way you want it. There is perhaps as much as a full stop of highlight recovery data in some RAW files, and as much as 2 stops of underexposure data to recover. You can adjust exposure in JPEG and TIFF too, but once the highlights are blown there is no easy way to fix it. Same with underexposure, but recovery is easier to some extent.

    The same thing is true with color balance. You can adjust a JPEG or TIFF image color, but there are issues when you do. If you didn't set color balance properly, or your camera's auto white balance didn't do a great job, you can still fix it even if it is a JPEG or TIFF, but you often actually throw out some color information as you do. Shooting in RAW and adjusting as you convert allows more freedom to fix color without loosing data.

    The problem with RAW is that it is not a usable file format for nearly anything. It has to be converted first. Every camera manufacturer distributes their own RAW converter with their camera, but some, like Nikon, give away fairly lame version of it. Nikon's better RAW converter sells for $100, and does not come free with the camera. There are other third party converters that are arguably better anyway, but they usually cost between $50 and $300. If you are going to shoot RAW a lot I would recommend looking into Bibble or Phase One. Photoshop also comes with it's own RAW converter if you have that.

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    Canon SLR cameras include a free 3-sotware set, including a RAW converter that works very well with my Mac computer. PhotoShop Elements ($65.00) also includes a RAW converter. There some free software for the Mac, and PC I imagine, that also convert RAW photos, but a $35.00 Mac software called "Graphic Converter" can do all that, plus photo manipulation much like PhotoShop, although not as powerful as this one.

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