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Need help w/ Camera Lens for D40

Discussion in 'Fine Living, Home, Design & Auto' started by Douglas, Jan 22, 2009.

  1. gdl203

    gdl203 Senior member Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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    Is that something I can do in full auto mode? The extent of my settings is: I just pick flash or no flash and press the button. [​IMG]
     
  2. Crane's

    Crane's Senior member

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    My DSLR is in full time manual mode as it should be. Take the time to learn the camera functions, what some of the photo terms are and how to manipulate them, ie. ISO, white balance, F stop and depth of field, saturation/desaturation, bracketing, aperature, shutter speed, etc. etc. Take the time to learn about light and how to shoot in ambient light versus using a flash. Photography is way way cool and it really isn't all that difficult to learn how to take a good pic.
     
  3. gdl203

    gdl203 Senior member Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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    My DSLR is in full time manual mode as it should be. Take the time to learn the camera functions, what some of the photo terms are and how to manipulate them, ie. ISO, white balance, F stop and depth of field, saturation/desaturation, bracketing, aperature, shutter speed, etc. etc. Take the time to learn about light and how to shoot in ambient light versus using a flash. Photography is way way cool and it really isn't all that difficult to learn how to take a good pic.

    mmm OK. I won't do that but thanks. Good for you though
     
  4. Nantucket Red

    Nantucket Red Senior member

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    Tons of great info in here guys, thanks so much.

    I am wondering if there's a better solution than the 50mm lens though. With a digital SLR isn't that going to equate to something more like a 70mm?


    But 75 is an ideal focal length for portraits. The Nikkor 50 1.4 is a lens you should definitely have. Learn to use it in aperture priority mode and shoot wide open or close to it. For portraits, focus on the eye.

    Here is Nikon's line up: http://www.nikonusa.com/Find-Your-Ni...ses/index.page

    A 50mm lens translates to 75mm on Nikon DSLRs. But, keep in mind that anything else without the AF-S designation will not autofocus with your D40. I don't know about you, but I'm certainly not fast enough to focus manually while trying to capture an action shot.


    Leaning to focus manually may be one of the best photographic skills you ever develop, and with digital it costs you nothing but time noodling around. With practice you can get quite fast.

    Also, depth of field is an essential component of focus, so you should learn to judge it instinctively. With a DSLR you should be able to preview it, and in any case, shooting digital will shorten your learning curve.
     
  5. milosz

    milosz Senior member

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    Yes, that's something you can do in full auto. I don't have a D40, but the process (either buttons to push or which menu to go to) should be in the instruction manual.
     
  6. Crane's

    Crane's Senior member

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    I'm serious, a good camera store should have classes and the few hours you spend taking them will be well worth it. You'll have the foundation to take spectacular pics without a bunch of post processing not to mention you'll get the ones that would otherwise be lost because of bad camera settings.
     
  7. Nantucket Red

    Nantucket Red Senior member

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    Yes, seriously, the time you spend learning the basics of photography rather than relying on the camera to do everything for you will be time very well spent.
     
  8. matadorpoeta

    matadorpoeta Senior member

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    Is that something I can do in full auto mode? The extent of my settings is: I just pick flash or no flash and press the button. [​IMG]

    mmm OK. I won't do that but thanks. Good for you though

    couple things for you.

    1) when i first took up photography, i rented a vhs tape from the local library. it was maybe half an hour long. the guy showed how to load the film, set the i.s.o., set the aperture, shutter speed, and focus. the hardest part was loading the film. the second hardest part was focussing accurately, but you have autofocus anyway. learning to set the aperture and shutter speed on your own will take about 10 minutes.

    2) if you are really that stubborn as to not want to take 10 minutes to learn how to use your camera, at the very least, i hope you put your camera in portrait mode when you shoot a portrait.
     
  9. gdl203

    gdl203 Senior member Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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    Hey, not everyone is interested in picking up a new hobby every week, alright? I bought a camera that takes good pics in full auto mode precisely because I have no interest in "learning" photography. I bought a DSLR 4 years ago because I liked the end results pictures and I liked the flexibility to change lenses when I need to use a strong zoom or when I want to take portraits. Is that being stubborn to have other priorities for my time and have zero interest in learning photography or experimenting with apertures, shutter speed, ISO, etc?
     
  10. gdl203

    gdl203 Senior member Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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    Yes, that's something you can do in full auto. I don't have a D40, but the process (either buttons to push or which menu to go to) should be in the instruction manual.

    Thanks - I'll see look through the manual. Mine is a D70 btw
     
  11. matadorpoeta

    matadorpoeta Senior member

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    Hey, not everyone is interested in picking up a new hobby every week, alright? I bought a camera that takes good pics in full auto mode precisely because I have no interest in "learning" photography. I bought a DSLR 4 years ago because I liked the end results pictures and I liked the flexibility to change lenses when I need to use a strong zoom or when I want to take portraits. Is that being stubborn to have other priorities for my time and have zero interest in learning photography or experimenting with apertures, shutter speed, ISO, etc?

    i guess my point is that learning to set the exposure manually is not a big deal. it takes a few minutes. learning photography would involve learning to use light and lighting equipment in creative ways.

    it's like knowing how to drive a stick. some people never learn because they are intimidated by it. those of us who can know it only takes a few minutes to learn (and maybe a lifetime to master.)

    i think a grown man who owns a dslr should know how to set the exposure manually. if you don't, it means you spent hundreds of dollars on equipment but didn't spend 10 minutes to learn how to use it.
     
  12. gdl203

    gdl203 Senior member Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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    i think a grown man who owns a dslr should know how to set the exposure manually. if you don't, it means you spent hundreds of dollars on equipment but didn't spend 10 minutes to learn how to use it.
    Obviously, I disagree. And I know very well how to use my DSLR - you turn it on and push the button. [​IMG]
     
  13. B1FF

    B1FF Senior member

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    If you think you're only going to be shooting indoors, a 50mm 2.8f (about $300) or 1.8f (much more) will give you great indoor pics (esp portaits) even in lower light situations.

    Prices may have changed in the last 3-4 years, but a new Nikon 50mm 1.4f used to be about $300, and the Nikon 50mm 1.8f about $125. Cheap!
     
  14. Crane's

    Crane's Senior member

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    Obviously, I disagree. And I know very well how to use my DSLR - you turn it on and push the button.

    Ok, then duplicate these in auto mode.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  15. gdl203

    gdl203 Senior member Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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    mmm... I'm not really sure how to say this other than to repeat: I have no interest in taking pictures of lightnings, I have no interest in photography as an art to practice. I know it's hard to believe for someone who has passion for something, but believe me, I only want to take good, easy pics of my family and places we visit as souvenirs. And I want a camera that does it all for me and still is flexible enough and takes great photos. I don't want to replicate these shots at all. They're very nice though. (btw, the last one is very easy in full auto with my 70-300... point and press the button)
     
  16. Crane's

    Crane's Senior member

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    mmm... I'm not really sure how to say this other than to repeat: I have no interest in taking pictures of lightnings, I have no interest in photography as an art to practice. I know it's hard to believe for someone who has passion for something, but believe me, I only want to take good, easy pics of my family and places we visit as souvenirs. And I want a camera that does it all for me and still is flexible enough and takes great photos. I don't want to replicate these shots at all. They're very nice though. (btw, the last one is very easy in full auto with my 70-300... point and press the button)

    Not unless you know about depth of field and macro pic taking.

    Anyway, if you take enough pics you'll quickly find out that you're going to have to use your camera's functions to get good ones in the real world of light and shadow. Those picture perfect days are far and few between.
     
  17. otc

    otc Senior member

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    Leaning to focus manually may be one of the best photographic skills you ever develop, and with digital it costs you nothing but time noodling around. With practice you can get quite fast.

    Unfortunately, it might be harder to learn to focus well manually on digital equipment.

    My dad's a photographer and I learned how to focus on a fully manual (other than an on-camera light meter) olympus OM-1 and learned how to use bits of newer equipment as it became available (I never played with his medium format work-cameras but now that he's gone digital there is crossover again).

    My problem with manual focus is that on my canon D60, there is no split-prism overlay in the viewfinder which makes it a lot harder to achieve tack-sharp focus. Some of the higher end cameras have swappable viewfinder screens but on the D60 it is a kind of pricey modification that ends up causing the camera to mess up the exposure settings on a lot of shots...
     
  18. Nantucket Red

    Nantucket Red Senior member

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    Unfortunately, it might be harder to learn to focus well manually on digital equipment.

    This is true, but it's still possible. Also, I believe most digital cameras have a focus confirm indicator that can be used for focusing manually. Admittedly, though, I'm out of my depth when it comes to digital, since I use fully manual film cameras exclusively. Still, I've used Nikon DSLRs enough to know how easily autofocus can be fooled or in some cases fails entirely. Being able to focus manually is always a good skill to have.
     
  19. DNW

    DNW Senior member

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    This is true, but it's still possible. Also, I believe most digital cameras have a focus confirm indicator that can be used for focusing manually. Admittedly, though, I'm out of my depth when it comes to digital, since I use fully manual film cameras exclusively. Still, I've used Nikon DSLRs enough to know how easily autofocus can be fooled or in some cases fails entirely. Being able to focus manually is always a good skill to have.

    There is, and it's not that hard to focus on a DSLR. I'm comfortable enough to use MF when I couldn't get what I wanted with AF, but I just can't compete with a fast AF lens when it comes to fast moving action shots. Maybe I'll get there some day.

    But, I echo gdl's sentiments. Sometimes you just want to pick up the camera and start clicking away without have to fuss over the settings, especially when you're also trying to have fun with the people who you're trying to capture.
     
  20. Nantucket Red

    Nantucket Red Senior member

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    But, I echo gdl's sentiments. Sometimes you just want to pick up the camera and start clicking away without have to fuss over the settings, especially when you're also trying to have fun with the people who you're trying to capture.

    Modern DSLRs are good news for anybody with that approach. But still, investing a trifling amount of time learning the basics will repay the effort many times over in the quality of your photos.

    And I can appreciate that most people are not life-long hardcore photo nerds like me. [​IMG]
     

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