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It was a dark and stormy...
Old 07-08-2005, 10:09 AM   #1 (permalink)
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...day actually, which I thought might work in my favor, but no luck.

The details; yesterday I set out to scout a location to practice some effects I'd like to someday shoot with a model, in this case the effect I'm after is 'soft' water (moving water shot with a shutter speed of several seconds or more). What I discovered was that I over-exposed everything and ended up with a fine bunch of photos depicting a polar bear in a snowstorm.

I'm pretty much an amateur and was using my most capable camera, an Olympus C-8080, which has a fixed lens with an aperture range of f2.something to f8. I set the ISO to 50, I set the aperture to f8, I set the exposure variable as dark as it would go, I even backed way off and tried max optical zoom. I knew the limited aperture range might cause exposure issues, so I intentionally waited for a dark rain cloud latten day (which sure seem plentiful in north GA these days), but no love.

Anytime I open the shutter for more than 1/16th of a second, I over-expose. I think this effect needs at least a 1 second exposure, probably more… but I'll be darned if I can validate that from what I shot.

To the point, I've been quietly reading posts, studying techniques, and in general, trying to leverage as much knowledge from you pro's as I can. I owe many of you a great deal of thanks for sharing your knowledge so freely, Thank you!

Unfortunately I can't find any previous posts that are helpful to my question, hence my first post, a plea for even more knowledge.

Is it possible to obtain this effect with the limitations of my camera? I suspect the real answer involves spending money on a more capable camera/lens, but since I'm pretty much broke and you guys seem to be helpful for a price I can afford [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] , I figured I'd just throw it out there and hope for some tip or trick to surface.

Thanks in advance,

David (a.k.a. Stupid)


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Re: It was a dark and stormy...
Old 07-08-2005, 10:24 AM   #2 (permalink)
Kurt_Gearheart
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One thing I did long ago when I had a similarly limited camera, is to buy a cheap piece of super-darkened glass, the kind that is in the front of welder masks, and taped it in front of the lens.

Even with a minimum aperture of f/8, you can use very long exposures without blowing out.

Of course, this will cause some blur and focus problems, and forget about white balance altogether, but this trick did allow me to do VERY long exposures with a limited camera.

None of the images were exactly Vogue/National Geo quality, but it was great to play with and learn f/stop-exposure ratios.

I now have a lens with a minimum aperture of f/45, so...
 
 
Some bad news and some good news ...
Old 07-08-2005, 11:31 AM   #3 (permalink)
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The bad news is that you are more than likely asking that camera to do something beyond its capabilities. A possibility is to try a neutral density filter, if one can be attached to the front of the lens.

The good news is that you can get a pretty nice water blur at 1/15th to 1/30th second. But you've gotta use a tripod to prevent camera movement which would blur the entire photo! At one second or more, the water movement would more than likely cause the water to be unrecognizable as water.

As for a more capable camera at a good price, try http://www.keh.com. Look at their used cameras at the BGN (bargain) level. They are legit and offer a very good warantee on their used gear. I once equipped abouit 90% of a commercial studio with them and never had a problem which was not immediately corrected.
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Re: Some bad news and some good news ...
Old 07-08-2005, 11:35 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Agreed about KEH.com

I got a Nikkor 70-210mm zoom from them (the good OLD model) for $97.00!!!, and have used the hell out if it since with no problems at all.

Review of the lens, listed as "The Best Inexpensive Telephoto Zoom" by Ken Rockwell.

http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/7021056.htm
 
 
Be careful...
Old 07-08-2005, 12:20 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I'm with Doug... barring a manual camera, try a neutral density filter, say +2 or +3 stops... definitely use a tripod and fire the shutter with the self timer or a cable release.

Be careful... hang around here too long you'll be cashing in your 401K or hocking your car to buy a Canon 20d, some lenses and a hive of Alien Bees.

Good luck.
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Sorry this turned round a little (tangent)
Old 07-08-2005, 01:03 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I'm having the same problem with a Nikon E8700 I have. It's aperture range is 2.8 to 8.0. I' thinking I'm gonna go th ND filter route and try that for a couple of weeks. Anybody know where the cheapest ones are? After that or before if someone is interested, I'm selling the camera, wide angle adaptor, wide angle lens, telephoto adaptor and lens(2x which with 8x zoom built in the camera is awesome), 256 mb card, 128 mb card, cp-11 lens hood, 77mm circular polarizer, uh... oh cleaning kit, one standars battery, 1 two hour L ion batt, cleaning kit, mini tripod, uh, lets see, 58mm uv filter for the telephoto lens, case for the camera, VidPro case for the lenses, uhh.... ummm.. that's about it. I'll take the price of a used d70 with kit lens and card, or I'll trade it for the aforementioned d70 kit. Any takers? let me know guys and please pass the word. Sometimes this camera really makes me LOVE my Canon AE1- Program. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img]
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Re: Sorry this turned round a little (tangent)
Old 07-08-2005, 03:16 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Try these guys... http://photofilter.com. What kind 77mm polarizer you got?
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Re: Sorry this turned round a little (tangent)
Old 07-08-2005, 03:28 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks for the link. I got a PROMASTER circular polarizer made in the Phillipines just like me! Filter factor 3-4 Exposure Factor 1.5-2 stops. Paid 70 for it. I'm kindof wanting to let it go with the camera though. It works very nicely with the lens hood. Awesome sky blues.
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Re: It was a dark and stormy...
Old 07-08-2005, 04:35 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Start here and follow the links to methods for cleaning: http://fovea.perso.cegetel.net/IonizerE.htm
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Re: Be careful...
Old 07-11-2005, 10:29 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks everyone for the great advice!

It's probably very obvious to most, but I had forgot all about those little round things that attach to my lens (but hey, I never claimed to be all that bright). I went to a few camera stores this weekend and managed to scare up a ND2 that fit my lens, probably not dark enough for what I'm after, but I'm dying to go try it.

Along the way, I saw soooooo many other types of filters that I want to explore now. So I guess you nailed it, I'm soon to become hopelessly addicted.

One question... I don't suppose there's a 12 f stop pro... err, I mean 12 step program for this huh?

Thanks again, hopefully I'll shoot something worthy of posting from this effort.

David (a.k.a. Stupid, as in I'm with <-- )
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