Not too happy with my D7000 Quality... HELP!

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by DGFinePhoto, Mar 26, 2012.

  1. DGFinePhoto
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    DGFinePhoto New Member

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    I have had my 7k for about a year now and through that time of working with it I know I am nowhere near mastering it and the problem is probably just me. However, my images just do not come out clean and crisp. I have read many threads over this subject and I am thinking the main problem is because I use studio lighting instead of flash. Could this impact my quality as much as it does? Also, I am not using a tripod for my work... I usually shoot handheld for flexibility. Are these key factors in my quality? Here is a screenshot of a comparison I made with a C-5D Mark II and my 7k. Now I know that the nikon is not on the level of the M-II BUT please let me know how I can improve...

    Image L:
    Focal length- 90
    F/8
    Exposure time: 1/60
    Flash

    Image R:
    Focal length: 105
    F/5.6
    Exposure time: 1/15
    Studio

    Please HELP. I just want tips to make my quality as close to that of the Mark 5D - improvements in general.
    Thank you.

    Attached Files:

  2. SCraig
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    SCraig Well-Known Member

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    The image on the right was shot at 105mm and 1/15 second? That shutter speed is too slow for 105mm even with VR, especially since you are not using a flash.
  3. cgipson1
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    cgipson1 New Member

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    When you say "Studio lighting", do you mean constant lighting.. like incandescent or flourescent?

    My advice.. throw that crap away... and get some real studio lighting.. as in Flashes....

    What set of Studio Lighting do you have?
  4. Mach0
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    Mach0 TPF Supporters

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    User error. Make sure you lock focus and using a decent shutter speed. If you are using slower, you risk camera shake. Especially, without flash.
  5. WhiskeyTango
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    WhiskeyTango New Member

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    Given the differences in shutter speed & aperture, I'm guessing the overwhelming majority of light in the first image is strobe. Despite the 1/60th shutter speed, you're getting a LOT less than 1/60th of a second of light, meaning the first shot will freeze motion a whole lot better than the 2nd.

    It'd be a lot more helpful to see a side-by-side comparison with equal shutter speed, aperture, and ISO (and preferably focal length, if you have the lenses for it.)
  6. DGFinePhoto
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    DGFinePhoto New Member

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    Thank you. And thank you for your kindness and not ripping me to shreds.... I have a kit I bought online from Kaezi.com and it seems to be of fair quality but I really am itching to buy a few Nikon hot-shoes... Is there another (cheaper$) brand you suggest... I have no problem spending the money for a Nikon set but if there is a way I could save some and get the quality that's always a plus!
  7. cgipson1
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    cgipson1 New Member

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    1) you can get a lot more power output from a strobe than a constant light source. (you would need like 50 to 100 bulbs to equal even one small flash.. and then you have to deal with heat)

    2) Constant lights sources produce a lot more heat. (even Flourescents make more than strobes do)

    3) Constant light sources are really bright and hard on the eyes of a model. Imagine having to stare into a 1500w light source. You will not be a happy camper.

    You can get good quality, inexpensive studio strobes... like the Flashpoints from Adorama... and get decent shots for a change
  8. cgipson1
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    cgipson1 New Member

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    If you would prefer speedlites.. get the Yongnuo 560's... cheap, not real powerful, but they do the job. Or the Vivitar 285's! Look at older Nikons like the SB-28...

    you can use these with wireless triggers on any camera...
  9. gsgary
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    gsgary Well-Known Member

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    I love it when people blame the camera, it's all down to user error
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  10. DGFinePhoto
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    DGFinePhoto New Member

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    Not at all blaming the camera. As stated in my original question "It is probably my fault" ... I am well aware and am not a "Know it all"... Thanks for your input.
  11. Mach0
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    Mach0 TPF Supporters

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    Good options.
    If you want to use cls or high speed sync you will need the newer sb's or even a compatible 3r party flash.
  12. gsgary
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    gsgary Well-Known Member

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    Your biggest problem is shutter speed using 100mm you need at least 1/100
  13. KmH
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    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish

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    As mentioned, the main problem is not the hardware.

    It seems you have little, if any, understanding about how the camera or lighting works. That is essential knowledge you simply must have for using the camera effectively. The white balance in the image on the right is also off.

    Here is the deal with constant lights - a 500 watt constant light seems really bright to a human, and it's bright to a camera too, only if you can set and use a long enough shutter speed. That 500 watt light delivers that 500 watts in one second. If you used a 500W light, at 1/15 your photo only uses 1/15th of the 500 watts to make the exposure, or only 33.33 watts of light (a night light). (It's amazing how often math and mathematical relationships have to be used when doing photography.)

    In photography, 1 second is a long exposure time. 1/15 of a second is a long time too. Your D7000 has a 1/8000 of a second shutter.

    Few people can hand-hold a camera steady at 1/15 for a shutter speed, excpet when ultra wide angle lenses are being used. The basic rule-of-thumb is that the shutter speed needs to be 1/the focal length of your lens. In your example on the right above that would be 1/105 of a second for the slowest usable shutter speed that would not record camera shake blur induced by the photographer.

    For doing portraits, since the subject can't stay that still either, 1/100 is a kind of defacto minimum usable shutter speed even if you're using a lens with less than 100 mm for a focal length.
  14. DGFinePhoto
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    DGFinePhoto New Member

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    Thank you all for your valuable information. I will put them to use. Also, I will be switching to Speedlights and putting my constant lights on the backburner. I am really leaning toward ordering (2) Nikon SB-28 for now and then eventualy upgrading. My reason for this is that I have been saving $$ to purchase new glass.
    I have my original VR "Kit lens" (18mm-105mm) that came with my D7k & an older-class Nikkor Telephoto Zoom (75mm-240mm). I want to shoot mainly fashion as that is my passion, do you all have any lenses you would recommend for that type of work?

    I do admit that I have a bit to learn. However, I am eager and willing to take the plunge. I live in an area where there is not many resources or an option for a mentorship so the Internet and books at Barnes & Noble have been my guides. I confess that I have not had much time to really devote to my camera and that is the reason for my lack of knowledge.

    Thanks again for all of your support.
  15. cgipson1
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    cgipson1 New Member

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    My Photos Are NOT OK to Edit
    Any decent lens that will shoot portraits... good primes like 50mm 1.4 or 85mm 1.4 / 1.8 to zooms like the 24-70 2.8s and 70-200 2.8s.

    Depends on what you want, how much room you have to shoot, budget, and what you are shooting (both subject, and camera body).

    An 85mm will be LONG on a DX body... so probably not good indoors, unless you have LOTs of room. Sigma 50mm 1.4 is highly recommended.

    If you want seriously good zooms.. the two I mentioned rock...

    for Fashion.. lighting is as important, or even more important.. than the lens / body.

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