pictures at night of streets

G

Guest

Hey everyone! I am fairly new at this and I have a Maxxum 9xi with a bunch of the expansion cards, external flash, and a Zoom xi AF28-80 lens. I got this as a gift and I have a few questions about the best way to take a few pictures. First: I really like to take pictures at night of streets and walkways and such...i also like to get pictures of lightning. Could someone give me som advice on what I can do to get the best quality pic? Such as film speed and other camera settings I could tweek? Another situation I was in is a vacation in the Bahamas and a chance to go in a undersea tunnel where the light was low but each 'tank' was lit up nicely. Even with my flash pointing away from the tank (to avoid reflection) my pictures turned out blurry. What I would like is to just have the tank lit up in the picture and the rest of it as dark as possible. Kinda like taking a picture of a television in a dark room, where the tv is all that shows up. Anyt advice here? Thanks again
 
G

Guest

James, I think that your post ideally should be in the Maxxum 9xi section rather than the Maxxum 9 section (different camera) but I'll go ahead and tackle your questions while Dirk looks after the housekeeping . . .
A good place to find exposure guidelines for subjects like streets at night and lightning is the film data sheet. In "the old days" these were furnished with every roll of film, but now all we get is a terse, abreviated version printed on the inside of the box! So, I recommend that you browse to the film manufacturer's website (e.g.,
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) and look up the film info section. There you will find recommendations for film exposure under a wide variety of conditions -- probably more than you thought of. Regarding the aquarium tank situation, I think you should forget about using flash, and instead equip yourself with fast film (i.e., ISO 400+), a lens of f2.8 or better, and perhaps a tripod. The strategy here is to obtain sufficient exposure without using long shutter speeds. You may also need to pre-focus or 'guess focus' if your 9xi has trouble locking focus on the aquarium subject matter. Taken together, I think this will put you in the position of getting more satisfactory pictures next time. Good luck.
 
G

Guest

Thanks for the advice. Sorry that I put it in the wrong forum, but I = did not see the 9xi forum. I have one question though...You said to get a = lens of f2.8. That's the aperture correct? If so, is that number based on = the camera itself or the lens that I have? The reason I ask is that = currently I can only go as low as f4. If I can change this through another lens, = how will I know the aperture the new lens will achieve? I really hope this = is the case, if it is a camera setting then mine will not go lower than f4. Thanks again
 
G

Guest

That's correct, James, 'f2.8' is the aperture, and it refers to the lens. Every SLR lens is marked with its focal length and maximum aperture, usually on the front end, but sometimes on the barrel. For ex&le, it might say: "Minolta Lens 100mm F 1:2.8" This indicates that the focal length is 100 millimeters and that the largest F-stop (aperture) is 2.8 (in reality there won't be any quotation marks, though!). Ask your photo equipment dealer to help you select a suitable lens for your purposes.
 
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