Question about my Nikon D200 - Background out of focus

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by wtdedula, Jul 13, 2008.

  1. wtdedula

    wtdedula TPF Noob!

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    Hello All;
    I have just purchased a Nikon D200 with 18-200 mm VR Nikon lens. I also bought the SB800 Speedlight. The mode I always use is "P" while I'm learning and it takes great pictures but I have one problem I wish I could avoid. I take pictures of people mostly and everytime the person is in focus perfectly but the background is out of focus. I know some folks like this effect but is there a way to assure that everything is in focus both the person I'm shooting and the background ?

    I believe I read that decreasing the size of the aparture will avoid this problem but if correct, is there any way to have this happen automatically while shooting in "P" mode ?

    Since I shot all of my pictures in Raw mode, is there any software out there that will enable me to fix this problem (Ie. Background and subject in focus) after the pictures were taken ?

    Thanks for any advice you can give me.

    Tim
     
  2. Kegger

    Kegger TPF Noob!

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    Switch to Aperture priority and put it at 8. That'll make sure the background is in focus, kinda. Remember, if you focus on a certain point other things won't be in focus. A camera is just an eye that keeps the images. And like eyes, cameras can't focus on everything at once.
     
  3. im_trying11

    im_trying11 TPF Noob!

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    shootin in apeture priority

    is this your first dslr
     
  4. nymtber

    nymtber TPF Noob!

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    Just goes to show $2400 worth of photo equipment wont help you understand photography anymore than a $100 point and shoot.

    have you read the owners manual? That's a good place to start. You cant fix focus in any software, except you CAN blur select areas in photoshop/the like.

    dont mean to come off negative, but i also cant figure out buying that level of DSLR and not knowing how to use a SLR type camera...
     
  5. wtdedula

    wtdedula TPF Noob!

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    Yeah ... im_trying11 ... it's my first dslr. Though previously I had a Nikon Coolpix 8700 that I could never get to work properly no matter what I tried. Then one day, I got some sort of lens error and read on the internet it was a very expensive problem to fix so I figured it was time to upgrade. And boy was this an expensive upgrade. I was debating whether to get the D80, D200, or D300 and I knew someone who had the D200 so I went with that.

    Thanks for the aparture priority tip. I believe I tried that and it seemed to work though I probably went higher than 8. I still wasn't entirely sure this was the approach to take so that is why I asked you fellas. If the aparture gets smaller, won't the flash have to compensate by getting brighter to let the right amount of light in to expose the image properly ?

    Anyone know if there's any software that will bring the background back in focus after a picture was taken ?

    Tim

    Tim
     
  6. wtdedula

    wtdedula TPF Noob!

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    Thanks, nymtber;
    Yes I understand. I did get two tutorial DVD's - one on Nikon DSLR's in general and another on the D200 specifically and I watched both of them. I am determined to learn how to use the D200.

    Oh I composed my previous question before I saw your response so this is why I asked the question about software again.

    Tim
     
  7. nymtber

    nymtber TPF Noob!

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    no. focus is how the image apears on the sensor because of a combination of lens focal length, aperture, and distance from lens to subject. ie: cant be fixed in software, can be fixed by learning how to use a camera. Again, do yourself a favor, read the owners manual (it REALLY explains that stuff simply!) and buy yourself a book on photography for beginners. OR...its a digital go play with the camera, take notes, and learn by doing? also, if your just learning how to use it your not going to win much advantage using RAW mode. Id personally start with JPEG's then when you start learning how to use all the functions, then switch to RAW and start post-processing hevily ;) I shoot RAW, have only had my DSLR for 3 weeks, but I owned a film SLR for 8 years and never used auto or program unless i was inside with flash taking snapshots (family events). Im far from a pro, but i learned a bit by reading books or articles online. Easier and faster than asking on a discussion forum too!

    you got a dvd on the camera itself, and you still use Program mode??? hmm get a book on photography! even I am going to buy one...i was near the bookstore today too :( (near as in right next door!) oops...

    i tried explaining the focus thing a little above, its confusing kinda. I work in optics so I should understand it more, but I just polish lenses all day LOL. I did read all about it at one point while figuring out my old Canon rebel 35mm film camera :D
     
  8. Harmony

    Harmony TPF Noob!

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    You're right, the smaller the aperture, the more light you need to get a properly exposed picture. The flash won't "get brighter", but you can compensate in low light areas with a longer shutter speed (although you'll probably get camera shake).
     
  9. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Let the dude stay in P mode for a while... if DOF is a totally foreign concept to him, he has a way to go yet. (granted, obviously if he wants deeper DOF he can't use P as Nikons tend to try to default to wide open)
     
  10. wtdedula

    wtdedula TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for your advice, everyone. Very, very helpful. Now I know exactly what I need to explore and experiment with further.

    Tm
     
  11. Chewbecca

    Chewbecca TPF Noob!

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    Let me just say: I have EXTREME camera envy right now.
    Once you figure out DOF (depth of field), you are going to realize just what a GREAT picture-taking tool you have. You will be kept busy for a LONG time learning this camera and taking great shots.
    I advise learning everything you can about photography in general, and THEN learning everything you can about that camera.

    Where are you taking pictures of people at?
    What kind of people pictures are you taking? Are you taking pictures of just individuals, or groups, or people playing sports?
    Sometimes if you make the background in focus, too, the picture will be too busy and people will lose focus the individual you were photographing. It can be too distracting.
    You usually want the person you are photographing to stand out in the picture.
    But I have no idea what type of pictures you're trying to take.
    I mean, of course, if you're taking pictures of people standing next to/in front of a mountain and you want both in focus, yeah, narrow that depth of field.
     
  12. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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