Model Railway Forum banner
1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Good friends,
I have had endless good advice to help me build my model, but I am wondering if there are any photography experts in our midst.
I would like to take a few good pictures, but I have only a Nikon Coolpix camera, which takes amazingly good photo's in normal use, but I cannot get a set-up which works for the model.
Auto mode gives good sharp images, but always insists on using the flash which spoils the result.
I have tried 'close-up' mode and covering the flash, but still not good results.
any suggestions to achieve a more realistic result? preferably with good depth of field.
My model is under an opace glass roof, so the amount of light is good and even.
Thanks Duztee.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,342 Posts
Hi Not sure about your camera

But the general rule for Photograph is More light !

The more light you have on the subject- the smaller the aperture - the greater the depth of field -and more is in focus

Even if you have to bring in some extra lights Some from the front - and side and a little from the rear
Try to eliminate any reflections (off the subject) by raising or lowering the front light
Try to eliminate shadows

Remember the Brain/eye compensates for what we see - the camera does not
So what may seem reasonable to the eye , can look harsh to the camera

Hope this helps

Regards Zmil
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
9,844 Posts
Digital camera sensors really do need as much light as they can get set their eyes on. The Nikon Coolpix has a good reputation as a compact camera, so I would be surprised if there wasn't a way to get it to work in the way you would like. For model photography, you are looking for words like Macro or super macro. It is worth noting that for auto focus to work in Macro mode on some Zoom cameras, you need to have the lens at the maximum wide angle - ie zoomed right out. The flash can usually be disabled by cycling through the Flash modes. This usually goes something like Auto, Red Eye, Off.

For my indoor shots, I use an Ottlite to provide extra light. I place the camera on the baseboard as the shutter speed is usually way down at 1/10th. For three quarter shots, I set the aperature as high as it will go - I think F8 is the limit on my Fuji - to get the best depth of field. For "flat" shots I go the other way so that I can increase the shutter speed.

You can decide whether or not I succeed from the shot below which was taken in the loft:-



Another possibility is to do a Google search on "Nikon Coolpix low light photography" and see what it turns up.....

David
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,397 Posts
I would suggest a good read of the manual to see exactly what your camera can and cannot do. I am still coming to terms with digital photography as I prefer my regular SLR for pictures. I know what I am doing with that whereas I am still figuring out how to recreate the same effects with the digital.

I only use the digital for photographs for the internet. However what I would say is get your self a tripod. Get as much, preferably natural, light on the subject as you can. Do not use flash at all. Smaller appertures give better pictures but you do have to balance this out with loss of depth of field. You need to consider each picture individually and what you want to represent in it. A book on photography would also be a good idea as this is a very broad subject.
 

·
Paul Hamilton aka "Lancashire Fusilier"
Joined
·
844 Posts
QUOTE (Duztee @ 8 Jul 2008, 19:50) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>...but I am wondering if there are any photography experts in our midst.

Hardly an expert by any stretch of the imagination but I do use a similar Camera to you which is the Nikon Coolpix S9.

QUOTE (Duztee @ 8 Jul 2008, 19:50) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I would like to take a few good pictures, but I have only a Nikon Coolpix camera, which takes amazingly good photo's in normal use, but I cannot get a set-up which works for the model.

I am still experimenting with this myself and as per the comments received from others it is very evident that the flash "washes out" the colour definition and removes any "warmth" from the image when used on the auto mode.

The following image is on my modelling workbench using auto mode and about 200 Watts of halogen light (4 x 50W) about 2m above the signal. By the way these are the normal room lights not some specialist camera lights I have procured!



The following information relating to this photo was made available to me on the Flickr website where I host my photos. It provided all the information about the settings that the camera had used even though the camera (as can be seen in the folloiwing information) was actually on the Auto setting.

Camera: Nikon Coolpix S9
Exposure: 0.033 sec (10/303)
Aperture: f/3.5
Focal Length: 6.4 mm
ISO Speed: 64
Exposure Bias: 0/10 EV
Flash: Flash fired, auto mode

Orientation: Horizontal (normal)
X-Resolution: 72 dpi
Y-Resolution: 72 dpi
Software: QuickTime 7.2
Date and Time: 2008:05:17 23:33:04
Host Computer: Mac OS X 10.4.9
YCbCr Positioning: Centered
Exposure Program: Normal
Date and Time (Original): 2008:05:15 11:30:09
Date and Time (Digitized): 2008:05:15 11:30:09
Maximum Lens Aperture: 36/10
Metering Mode: Pattern
Color Space: sRGB
Compression: JPEG

To turn the flash off of the Coolpix is easy to do just press the lightening flash symbol on the back of the camera and a menu of flash options appears and select the one that shows the flash crossed out and that turns it off.

However, this means that in low light conditions like shade and inside regardless of my 200 W lights, the exposure time is longer to compensate for the lack of flash and as such the slightest movement in the camera during this exposure will blur the image and the camera will tell you that the image is blurred and ask if you want to keep it or not. Tripod was then duly brought out of the cupboard but even my finger presses caused blurring so now I am trying the 10 second auto timer delay such that I am not actually touching the camera whn the exposure is taken.

Notice in the photo above that the colour is actually not too badly washed out bu the depth of field is somewhat limited as indicated by the relatively short focal length in the text. This is the ongoing trade off between aperture, light and exposure time.

I am also continuing to experiment with flash off settings to see if I can produce something better but as the others have mentioned above the solution will probably lie with some portable lights that can be set up for photos.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,342 Posts
QUOTE (neil_s_wood @ 9 Jul 2008, 06:44) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I would suggest a good read of the manual to see exactly what your camera can and cannot do. I am still coming to terms with digital photography as I prefer my regular SLR for pictures. I know what I am doing with that whereas I am still figuring out how to recreate the same effects with the digital.

I only use the digital for photographs for the internet. However what I would say is get your self a tripod. Get as much, preferably natural, light on the subject as you can. Do not use flash at all. Smaller appertures give better pictures but you do have to balance this out with loss of depth of field. You need to consider each picture individually and what you want to represent in it. A book on photography would also be a good idea as this is a very broad subject.

Hi Neil you can get the best of both with a Digital SLR
It is amazing what you can do with them!
I took some photo's on a holiday in caves in our SW
using available light supplied by the National Park people to highlight the features in the caves
With Digital you can "set film Speed" (virtual film speed ) to 1600 ASA and not use flash
I just could not believe the results
"just like a postcard"
Regards Zmil
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,397 Posts
QUOTE (zmil @ 9 Jul 2008, 14:04) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi Neil you can get the best of both with a Digital SLR
It is amazing what you can do with them!
I took some photo's on a holiday in caves in our SW
using available light supplied by the National Park people to highlight the features in the caves
With Digital you can "set film Speed" (virtual film speed ) to 1600 ASA and not use flash
I just could not believe the results
"just like a postcard"
Regards Zmil
Wow, that would be a handy feature. Are the results grainy?

Were those caves near Margaret River? I went to those ones once.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,342 Posts
Hi Neil
yes The Mammoth , Jewel and Lake caves near Margaret River
Pictures can be grainy just as if you were using the real 1600 ASA film
I took some pictures in near total darkness
the only light of any strength was the camera's inbuilt light to assist in focusing
Those ones turned out grainy!
I was debating whether to take a tripod (glad I didn't)
Its a long haul

I'm still amazed at what you can do with digital
and the computer

Took a photo of my Grandson and Zoomed in to his eye using photo shop
you can see a perfect reflection of the photographer! on his cornea

Still , its harder to take pictures of little things , the closer you get the more your depth of field narrows

Regards Zmil
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,397 Posts
QUOTE (zmil @ 9 Jul 2008, 15:26) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi Neil
yes The Mammoth , Jewel and Lake caves near Margaret River
Pictures can be grainy just as if you were using the real 1600 ASA film
I took some pictures in near total darkness
the only light of any strength was the camera's inbuilt light to assist in focusing
Those ones turned out grainy!
I was debating whether to take a tripod (glad I didn't)
Its a long haul

I'm still amazed at what you can do with digital
and the computer

Took a photo of my Grandson and Zoomed in to his eye using photo shop
you can see a perfect reflection of the photographer! on his cornea

Still , its harder to take pictures of little things , the closer you get the more your depth of field narrows

Regards Zmil
Thanks for that info Zmil. I have a feeling that it is going to cost me a lot of money. My EOS is getting on a bit and could do with an update.
 

·
Just another modeller
Joined
·
9,983 Posts
QUOTE (Lancashire Fusilier @ 9 Jul 2008, 08:51) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hardly an expert by any stretch of the imagination but I do use a similar Camera to you which is the Nikon Coolpix S9.

I am still experimenting with this myself and as per the comments received from others it is very evident that the flash "washes out" the colour definition and removes any "warmth" from the image when used on the auto mode.

The following image is on my modelling workbench using auto mode and about 200 Watts of halogen light (4 x 50W) about 2m above the signal. By the way these are the normal room lights not some specialist camera lights I have procured!

The following information relating to this photo was made available to me on the Flickr website where I host my photos. It provided all the information about the settings that the camera had used even though the camera (as can be seen in the folloiwing information) was actually on the Auto setting.

Camera: Nikon Coolpix S9
Exposure: 0.033 sec (10/303)
Aperture: f/3.5
Focal Length: 6.4 mm
ISO Speed: 64
Exposure Bias: 0/10 EV
Flash: Flash fired, auto mode

Orientation: Horizontal (normal)
X-Resolution: 72 dpi
Y-Resolution: 72 dpi
Software: QuickTime 7.2
Date and Time: 2008:05:17 23:33:04
Host Computer: Mac OS X 10.4.9
YCbCr Positioning: Centered
Exposure Program: Normal
Date and Time (Original): 2008:05:15 11:30:09
Date and Time (Digitized): 2008:05:15 11:30:09
Maximum Lens Aperture: 36/10
Metering Mode: Pattern
Color Space: sRGB
Compression: JPEG

To turn the flash off of the Coolpix is easy to do just press the lightening flash symbol on the back of the camera and a menu of flash options appears and select the one that shows the flash crossed out and that turns it off.

However, this means that in low light conditions like shade and inside regardless of my 200 W lights, the exposure time is longer to compensate for the lack of flash and as such the slightest movement in the camera during this exposure will blur the image and the camera will tell you that the image is blurred and ask if you want to keep it or not. Tripod was then duly brought out of the cupboard but even my finger presses caused blurring so now I am trying the 10 second auto timer delay such that I am not actually touching the camera whn the exposure is taken.

Notice in the photo above that the colour is actually not too badly washed out bu the depth of field is somewhat limited as indicated by the relatively short focal length in the text. This is the ongoing trade off between aperture, light and exposure time.

I am also continuing to experiment with flash off settings to see if I can produce something better but as the others have mentioned above the solution will probably lie with some portable lights that can be set up for photos.

***Not sure what Nikon call it but learning to set the "white balance" in my Canon G5 camera was the one thing that really made the difference with my photography - For a nocive like me it wasn't easy to work out the "Japlish" of the manual as some terms wren't familiar so perhaps with some camera manuals its actually easier to get the manual as a PDF file as you can therefore search for the things you want by key word rather than have to plod right through the manual to interpret it????

With the resolution of many current ameras you shouldn't need super close up - take the image at say 600 to 900mmmm and with full resolution - you will be able to zoom with the PC to a painfully close detail level then anyway - and depth of field isn't so compromised....

As others have mentioned you can also manually select a smaller aperture to restore some depth of field in close up shots.... which WILL in turn slow the shutter speed so a remote or delayed exposure will be helpful in stopping blurring.

Richard
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,342 Posts
QUOTE (neil_s_wood @ 9 Jul 2008, 15:58) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Thanks for that info Zmil. I have a feeling that it is going to cost me a lot of money. My EOS is getting on a bit and could do with an update.


The Digital SLR I use is the Canon EOS 20D bit old now as it a superseded by a newer model
So you can use the same lens and filters as yours
Did the same , replaced a EOS for a digital EOS
Regards Zmil
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for all the suggestions,
it may not be perfect yet but it is a better result than i have had before, so a little more experimentation should improve things even more.
It is certainly true that a photograph shows all the errors which the eye ignores!!
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
9,844 Posts
That photo looks pretty good to me.

David
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,397 Posts
QUOTE (zmil @ 9 Jul 2008, 21:11) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>The Digital SLR I use is the Canon EOS 20D bit old now as it a superseded by a newer model
So you can use the same lens and filters as yours
Did the same , replaced a EOS for a digital EOS
Regards Zmil
I never thought about that. If that's the case that would save me a fortune. I might start making enquiries about digital bodies.

Nice picture dutzee
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,342 Posts
Hi Neil
I think the new version of the EOS20D is the EOS40
Had a look at the Canon web site and its amazing what new improvements there are!
I wanted to download a manual as mine must be in storage
If you are accustomed to the 9 point auto focus of the EOS (it follows what your Eye looks at through the lenz)
The digital version is the same
The new models are definitely quick to respond
Regards Zmil
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,397 Posts
QUOTE (zmil @ 10 Jul 2008, 12:08) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi Neil
I think the new version of the EOS20D is the EOS40
Had a look at the Canon web site and its amazing what new improvements there are!
I wanted to download a manual as mine must be in storage
If you are accustomed to the 9 point auto focus of the EOS (it follows what your Eye looks at through the lenz)
The digital version is the same
The new models are definitely quick to respond
Regards Zmil
Hi Zmil, I had a look at the 40. Looks pretty good. I'll better start saving as I think I've convinced myself it's a good idea.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
9,844 Posts
Neil,

Take a look at this review of the Canon EOS 40D at Trusted Reviews. I bought my Fuji S9500 on the basis of this guy's review on the same site and I've never regretted it. If you expect this review to save you money, it won't


Enjoy
David
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,397 Posts
QUOTE (dwb @ 11 Jul 2008, 03:15) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Neil,

Take a look at this review of the Canon EOS 40D at Trusted Reviews. I bought my Fuji S9500 on the basis of this guy's review on the same site and I've never regretted it. If you expect this review to save you money, it won't


Enjoy
David
Thanks for the link David. It sounds good. It also seems to have the same lense attachment as my SLR EOS, I have a few lenses and if I could reuse them with a DSLR that would save me a lot of money. Trouble is this would be competing for money from my train budget. I sounded out my wife last night and she didn't sound keen.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top