Pictures in Delivery Room (Low Light)

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by connie_simon, Dec 16, 2007.

  1. Can someone help me out with this question since I will be in a delivery room taking pictures some time
    this next week.

    We have a Canon EOS Digital Rebel 300 body and have been trying to take pictures in low light to prepare.
    They are coming out blurry since the shutter speed is very slow and they are yellow. I have set the camera
    on the Program setting and taken the ISO as high as 1600 with no success. I have three lenses 1) 75-
    300mm 1.5m/4.9ft 1:4-5.6 2) Ultrasonic 35-135mm 1:4-5.6 3) EFS 18-55mm .28m/.9ft.

    I am not an expert at the digital camera and was wondering if there are any settings to we need to find to
    help make this happen, or if I have to go back to my film Canon Rebel and by high speed film.


  2. What were your shutter speeds at full open apertures at ISO 1600. From that you can calculate whether for instance getting a f1.8, f1.4 or even a f1.2 lens might be what you need to get the shots... If the images include subject movement, which I assume it does since you're probably not taking pictures just of the room but of the people in it, that might be the only way to go.<p>
    If you need to push it even further, you can add exposure compensation to underexpose by one or two stops as necessary - it will give you noisier pictures as you bring the exposure up in post-processing, but it is still a lot better than blurry shots, and noise reduction can get rid of the worst of it.<p>
    High speed film might potentially turn out a lot more grainy than turning up the ISO in a digital camera...
  3. The largest aperture of your zooms is F4. That's really slow for available light without a
    tripod. You should consider buying or renting a fast prime, e.g., EF 35 2.0 or EF 50 1.8. If
    you demand a zoom, a fast zoom such as an EF-S 17-55 2.8 IS USM would gain you a
    stop and steady your hand with IS. I've used that lens to shoot in murky bars and casinos
    and got many amazingly sharp pics.

    As for the yellow color, that's simply a matter of WB. You can set it manually. Personally I'd
    shoot RAW and mess with WB later. RAW also makes it easier to add EC if the pics are too
  4. bs


    I'd think about picking up a fast 50(1.4) and/or 85(1.8).
  5. Use your shutter speeds around 30 or less at full open apertures at ISO 1600 and put your camera on tripod. ;)
  6. I wonder how one would use an 85mm lens on a 1.6x crop body in a delivery room. Lots of options: Go wide and shoot high ISO. Lean against the wall. Get a monopod. Rent a better camera like the 5D.
  7. A *dark* delivery room? I would think of all places a delivery room would be quite bright?
    We are talking about a hospital delivery room right? And it is dark? I would think 1600 ISO
    would be plenty of speed under those conditions, even without a very fast lens. I agree,
    shoot RAW and work with white balance later. There should be plenty of white in the
    delivery room to target when adjusting the WB in post processing. Definitely get OUT of
    the PROGRAM mode. I would use TV priority, (shutter speed priority) and set a speed of
    around 125. Again, with the high ISO I would think this would give you enough light under
    the conditions, unless they are delivering babies in dark rooms now.
  8. bs


    Okay. It must be nitpick Sunday. How about just looking into a fast, inexpensive prime in an appropriate focal length for size of the room and the crop factor that you're dealing with. It appears that a ~$250-400 investment would do it.
  9. 85mm, or even the 50mm will be a recipe for heartbreak...
    This one is from the days of film - Rebel G, EF 28mm/2.8 with Ilford XP2 400 film exposed at ISO 800:
    Try 35mm or wider, and you should rule out anything slower than f/2.8.
    EF 28/2.8 is probably your cheapest bet in terms of buying. Renting an L series wide f/1.4 lens (either the 24 or the 35) is probably the ideal solution.
    Good luck - with everything!
  10. A *dark* delivery room? I would think of all places a delivery room would be quite bright?
    They vary, but many have quite subdued lighting. It can be downright dark during parts of the labor process. In most hospitals, there will be very bright "operating room" style lights which the doctors can turn on if and when needed, but otherwise, it can be fairly dim.
  11. I have typically found that my 50 1.8 works well in this environment, which you can get for $70. When the baby is on the table being cleaned up with the bright warming light on him, you will have plenty of light, the challenge comes in the recovery room, but if you have a window or can turn on some lights you should be able to get some available light shots. I set aperture to 2.8 and I believe 800 ISO and find that works well--you should be able to get in the 1/80 shutter speed range. I concur with others that wider is better with the crop sensor and the sometimes small hospital rooms so if you can get a wider prime, that would work well. I also agree with others that the lattitude of shooting raw with regard to your control over white balance and exposure will be helpful. I have the good fortune of taking such pictures on four separate occasions. Good luck!
  12. SCL


    In the olden film days, when my daughter was born, I used ISO 400-650 (Tri-x), and a 35mm lens set at around f2.8, varying the shutter speed from around 1/60-1/125. The pix were priceless. When my granddaughter was born two years ago, I shot ISO film around 400 (Tri-x again), with a 50mm lens set at f2.8, using aperture priority..I'm guessing shutter speeds were in a similar range. If you're shooting that slow and with a wide aperture, be prepared to brace yourself/camera and be careful of shallow depth of field - ie focus on what you want to be in focus.
  13. Another vote for a Canon prime 50mm f1.8 (~$80) or f1.4 (~$240). It will do the trick since
    its footprint is small and has very nice bokeh (background blur).

    You say that you shoot in P mode. Try to use Av (aperture priority) and dial it low enough
    (wide apertures) to get exposure times 1/60 or less which should be doable in the delivery
    room. Again the warming lights will be very bright.
  14. I took this photo of my daughter with my Digital Rebel 300D some time back. I have a lot of photos of both my kids in the hospital made with the 300D with no flash. I just took a look at the meta data at several of them and the most were shot at ISO400 f5.6. That was the 18-55mm kit lens. I think you will be fine. Jason
  15. This one was shot at ISO100 f4.
  16. And again ISO400 F5.6.
  17. BTW most of my shots were around 1/40 shutter, give or take.

  18. [[I have typically found that my 50 1.8 works well in this environment]]

    I took the Rebel XT and the 50mm f/1.8 to the hospital when my son was born. It was a fantastic combination.

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