Please help me decide on a lens

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by McMommy, Apr 11, 2010.

  1. McMommy

    McMommy TPF Noob!

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    At the advice of several friends who are very familiar with photography, I went to the camera store to buy a Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 lens. It fit my budget, and according to a good friend, my needs: portraits, FAST shooting and does well in non-optimal lighting.

    The store was out of stock of the 50mm, but the salesman there told me about another lens, the Nikkor 35mm f/1.8g. He explained that the only minor difference I might notice, especially starting out at this level, is that it is a slightly wider lens. I decided to try it, knowing that anything too wide, I could just crop out... easy right?

    Well it's been a week of using this lens, and I am finding that I sometimes have a hard time with getting fast, crisp images. I shoot mainly on Aperture priority mode, or "P" mode and try to avoid the flash. I often have plenty of light, even indoors. But my photos still come out blurry.

    Here is an example, I feel like I missed a wonderful photo! Yes, he was running, but the whole reason I wanted to get into DSLR photography is because of its speed and clarity.
    [​IMG]

    Now there are a few reasons I'm sure that this happened/happens:

    1) I am extremely inexperienced. I am getting to know my camera via practice, and reading slowly through a couple books. Maybe I just didn't have it on all the correct settings at the right time. So maybe this will just improve with time.

    2) Is the 35mm lens that noticeably different from the 50mm? I know a lot of people rave about the 50. Do you think I should go exchange the lens? The salesman did offer me the option of doing that after trying out the 35mm. Would I really notice a difference, with as little experience that I have?

    Really, I'm looking for personal preferences and experiences. I want to and will improve, but if the big difference is in the lens, then I want to exhange it now while I have the opportunity and the lens is still in pristine condition!

    If this needs to go in the product discussion forum, I understand, but I tried a search on 35mm vs. 50mm and found nothing.
     
  2. McMommy

    McMommy TPF Noob!

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    And after more research, I've decided to stick with my 35mm lens for good. It seems that the 50mm 1.8 doesn't have autofocus anyway, so it probably wouldn't help for my speedy 20-month old coming into a clear focus!

    More practice, more patience.... I'll get there!

    Thanks anyways, even though I answered my questions before anyone else had a chance to! ;)
     
  3. Fedaykin

    Fedaykin TPF Noob!

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    From your EXIF data, Shutter Speed: 1/50 sec. There's your problem.

    Next time try a shutter speed of say 1/250 sec. When taking shots like these.
     
  4. SushiWarrior

    SushiWarrior TPF Noob!

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    You shutter speed is too low. You could open the aperture up (but that would almost be wide open, and you'll have problems with it being soft then) or you could bump up the ISO to 400 or even 800.

    If you set it at 400ISO and F/2.5 then that should would have been at 1/400 shutter speed, easily enough to stop motion.
     
  5. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    McMommy, get this[ame="http://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Exposure-Photographs-Digital-Updated/dp/0817463003"] book[/ame]. It will give you a good understanding of how aperture, shutter speed and ISO work together. Like the others said, your shutter speed was far to slow.
     
  6. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    You are mis-informed, the Nikon 50 f/1.8 certainly will auto focus.

    The issue is that the Nikon D40/D40x/D3000 and D60/D5000 camera families do not have a focus motor in the camera body.

    All other Nikon digital SLR cameras do have a focus motor in the camera body and the 50 f/1.8 auto focuses like a champ.
     
  7. Felix 222

    Felix 222 TPF Noob!

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    that shot was at f3.5....use the lens to its potential and drop the aperture to 1.4! you'll be fine. (you may still have to bump up the iso if you still experience some blur)
     
  8. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Oh this I want to see, opening a max f1.8 lens up to f1.4 with out mechanical surgery. Is this something that can only be done with a Nikon lens? :lol:

    Felix 222 is on the right track. Open the lens up to the maximum aperture while still keeping the DOF you want and bump the ISO up until you get a shutter speed of at least 1/125th. Little kids are fast, but not as fast as your typical athlete. 1/250th would be better, you just need to decide where to compromise, shutter speed or higher ISO.
     
  9. McMommy

    McMommy TPF Noob!

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    Thank you so much, everyone, for the helpful information! I have Understanding Exposure, and while I love it, I'm still reading and re-reading it daily.

    I think I need to either make a custom "Logan" setting so that I can quickly capture his FAST movements and funny faces, or get a LOT of practice with quickly adjusting my settings.

    I shot it on aperture-priority, so I guess that's not the exact one for fast moving little people? I am still pretty intimidated by the shutter-priority mode because I'm always off and the photos end up extremely dark. Then again, it's only been two weeks of taking real photos for me, so I have a very long road ahead of me of getting to know my camera.

    I'm glad to know though that the overwhelming response is that I need more practice, and not a different lens AND more practice! :lol: Thanks again everyone!!
     
  10. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Actually Aperture Priority is an excellent mode to capture fast motion. Set the Aperture where you want it, check the shutter speed you are getting and raise the ISO until you get the shutter speed you need. This is exactly how I teach beginning sports photographers that are not comfortable in manual mode to freeze the action. Good luck.
     
  11. McMommy

    McMommy TPF Noob!

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    Ah-ha! This is the part that may as well have been written in Greek to me in Understanding Exposure. I'll play around with this! Thanks!!
     

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