Need help w/ Camera Lens for D40

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

  1. gdl203

    gdl203 Affiliate Vendor Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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    My (in today's terms) ancient D70 @1600 had less 'grain' than Tri-X in D76 1:1.

    ha - another antique amateur. My prehistoric D70 seems OK at high-ISO too but to be honest I don't print 20" photos so I don't think I would see anything
     


  2. milosz

    milosz Senior member

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    I still keep that one around for places I don't want to take my D700. The D70 was (and is) a fine camera. 6mp will get you better than an 8x10 with no visible degradation.
     


  3. Huntsman

    Huntsman Senior member

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    I thought the 50/1.2 AIS was still in production? My (in today's terms) ancient D70 @1600 had less 'grain' than Tri-X in D76 1:1.
    Wow, you're right, the 50/1.2 AIS is still available. http://www.nikonusa.com/Find-Your-Ni...f%252F1.2.html I had one for a short while -- I thought I could use it as a knockaround lens that I wouldn't worry about as much as the Noct. But I found it wasn't too sharp wide open compared to the Noct so I flipped it. Did likewise with the 55/1.2 -- which has some really weird bokeh going on. I'd love to have the full trifeca of ultra-fast Nikkors -- the Noct, the 28/1.4 and the 35/1.4 (though the 35/2 is probably better anyway). The 85/1.8 would be nice also. Ah well, we can dream. ~ H
     


  4. milosz

    milosz Senior member

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    I'd knife a hobo for the 28/1.4.

    My only regret moving back to Nikon from the 5D is that there's no real equivalent to the 24/1.4 and 35/1.4.
     


  5. GQgeek

    GQgeek Senior member

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    ha - another antique amateur. My prehistoric D70 seems OK at high-ISO too but to be honest I don't print 20" photos so I don't think I would see anything

    Noise is totally overblown as an issue for most DSLRs. One of the weak points of Olympus compared to Nikon and Canon is the greater noise associated with the smaller sensor. You really do have to be pixel peeping (or printing really big) to notice though. The output of my E-3 at 1600 is great, even though high iso is really not the e-system's strong point.
     


  6. gdl203

    gdl203 Affiliate Vendor Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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    For indoor, no flash, portrait lens, few are better in terms of value than the prime Nikon 50mm f/1.4d lens. It's around $250 on fleabay new. Its cheaper, and slower brother is the 50mm f/1.8d, which is around $100. The only downside is that both of these lenses are fixed, so you'll have to move back and forth to get the frame right.

    I realized I didn't weigh in at all. I'm completely illiterate when it comes to photography but when I seeked similar advice as the OP and was frustrated by my 18-55's performance for interior no-flash shots (the exterior shots are really awesome though), I was told to get the latter (50mm f/1.8d) because $100 was about my budget for a 3rd lens.

    The difference is noticeable IME - the low-light portraits (I use it now 90% of the time to take pics of the babies) are so much better.

    Here are shots of the same little guy - both with interior morning light, no flash, no additional lights. First one is with the Nikkor 19-55 VR AF-S, second is the following day with the 50mm f/1.8d.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     


  7. chorse123

    chorse123 Senior member

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    So cute!

    I like a shallow depth of field, and in my mind that is another major shortcoming of high minimum f. lenses.
     


  8. otc

    otc Senior member

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    It looks like your nifty-50 is a little low on the color saturation?

    That could jsut be due to it being a different day with different light though
     


  9. gdl203

    gdl203 Affiliate Vendor Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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    So cute!
    Isn't he? [​IMG] They crack me up
    I like a shallow depth of field, and in my mind that is another major shortcoming of high minimum f. lenses.
    I don't know what this means - I'm totally illiterate when it comes to photography [​IMG]
    It looks like your nifty-50 is a little low on the color saturation?

    That could jsut be due to it being a different day with different light though

    Again, I have no idea what it means or how to change that. Do you mean that the colors are not very bright? I think there was a little bit more direct light in the second shot because the first one is on the floor (play mat)
     


  10. milosz

    milosz Senior member

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    The darker one isn't a contrast/saturation issue, it's just underexposed by a half-stop or maybe a full stop.

    If you don't want to get into RAW and post-processing (which would brighten that up easily), try bracketing your baby shots - one stop under, even, one stop over. Then you can pick out the best of the three and delete the others if you wish.
     


  11. gdl203

    gdl203 Affiliate Vendor 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]
     


  12. 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.
     


  13. gdl203

    gdl203 Affiliate Vendor 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
     


  14. Nantucket Red

    Nantucket Red "Mr. Fashionista"

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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.
     


  15. 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.
     


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