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Cheat sheets for nighttime pictures

edited April 2016 Posted in » Nikon D5100 Forum
I have the cheat sheets for the Nikon D5100 with two lenses, the 55-200mm and 18-55mm. I only see daytime pictures, with indoor and outdoor options. What about nighttime pictures, indoor and outdoor options? For instance, children and baby, nighttime pictures indoor and outdoor.



  • edited April 2016
    Hi @kayregie - Think of lenses like sunglasses. Some are darker than others.

    Imagine wearing dark sunglasses indoors or at night. That's basically what happens when you attach a lens with a maximum aperture around f/3.5 or higher to your D5100.

    Higher apertures (above f/3.5) represent "darker" glass. Lower apertures (f/2.8 or lower) represent "brighter" glass. Brighter lenses allow you to capture sharper images in low light, because it allows more light into the camera leading to faster shutter speeds which freeze subject movement.

    You'll notice the cheat cards for the 35mm and 50mm f/1.8G lenses include scenarios for low light situations. This is because of their bright f/1.8 aperture. The 18-55mm on the otherhand has a maximum aperture of f/3.5 at 18mm and f/5.6 at 55mm which is much too dark.

    For situations where it's extremely dark, you'll need to use flash. The only way to get creative looks with flash is to use an external flash and bounce the light off a ceiling (indoors) or use it off-camera outdoors. The Strobist blog ( has some great tutorials.

    When there isn't any ambient light left and all you have is your camera with built-in flash, you can just use Auto mode.

    All the best!
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