Blurred Photos?


TPF Noob!
Jan 9, 2008
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in a house on the prairie ...
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So I recently got a Nikon D40 for X-mas and I was messing around with it, I had tried most of the modes and I am sticking with Auto for now but I was wondering: If I want to let the natural light of the room or outdoors do the work instead of flash how can I change the shutter speed so it still gets the picture but with no blur on auto? (click the picture to make it bigger)

This was as close as I got to good with no flash, but as you can see it has lots of noise and is kind of blurry.

Sorry if my question is a little unclear.
Faster shutter speed, make sure your iso is set at 200 to eliminate the noise. Or use a tripod.
Problem is on auto you can't change the shutter speed, as far as I know. I am still new to this camera and photo taking in general.
You took that at iso3200, 1/25s, and f/5.6 which comes out to just under 5EV, which is really dim for an f/5.6 lens. That's why you were at iso3200 and still only getting a 1/25s shutter speed which will be blurry on most 55mm shots handheld. Like most things in photography, there's a lot of different ways to do the same thing.

If your cat stays very still, use a tripod and lower the iso down to 800 or so and you'll have a 1/6s exposure which will look a lot cleaner and also be blur free.

Get either an SB-400 or SB-800 flash. With the SB-400 you can flip the flash head directly up and bounce flash, but it might ruin the ambient light look with a ceiling bounce. With the SB-600 you can rotate it 270 degrees along with level to straight up in various increments so you could point it at your light source (a window) and the flash will have the effect of just adding to the light that's coming in through the window. If you get your flash bouncing technique right and have your white balance tuned properly, you can get great looking completely natural light looking photos. But it might disturb your cat.

Next up are faster lenses. The 18-55 has a maximum aperture of f/5.6 at the long end which is super slow, especially for dim indoor lighting. The 50mm f/1.8 is $100 and just over 3-stops faster, but it won't focus nearly as closely as the 18-55 will, so probably not a good option. You can get extension tubes (kenko 12mm) and close-up filters that will help get you at least as close as the 18-55 if not better, but if you like taking close-up photos you might want to just look for a dedicated macro lens.

You can get a 55 or 60mm f/2.8 macro lens that will focus even closer than the 18-55 will (full 1:1 macro vs 1:3.2 on the 18-55) and the f/2.8 aperture is a ton faster. You'd be able to pull off 1/60s and iso1600 which should give you a much sharper and cleaner looking picture. The D40 does pretty good at iso1600, but do that on a tripod at 1/30s, f/2.8, and iso800 and it'd look even better. Pickup the ML-L3 IR remote shutter release for 15 bucks and you'd be golden. The only catch is, you'd have to manually focus these lenses because they're not AF-S, but that's not a big deal for macro photography. A lot of people end up manually focusing anyways.

There's the 105mm f/2.8 VR micro lens which is AF-S, plenty quick, has VR, and will give you more working distance from your subject, but of course it's the priciest option. I forget the price but I think it's in the $700 range.

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