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Old May 16, 2004, 8:00 PM   #11
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coedfun, dont give up dude! I was frustrated too the first couple of days, all the photos I took with my new D70 looked worse than anything I've ever shot before (Digital rebel, Coolpix5400) wich are great cameras too. I took the time, posted questions in the forums, read my manual... and now? I wouldn't give up my D70 for the world!

Take your time, learn your camera, you wont regret it! But realise this; if you dont learn how to use it,educate yourself a bit more on photgraphy and DSLR's, then like onyx said, a consumer point and shoot camera is what you need. A camera like the D70 is not made to take outstanding pictures in "auto" mode. Use "auto" for quick snapshots of familly and friends etc... not close-ups or high quality "Photos". There is a difference between a snapshot and a photograph! Good Luck!
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Old May 16, 2004, 8:26 PM   #12
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I've been reading these forums daily for the last two months or so. I almost bought an 8 mp Canon Pro1, but the reviews weren't too good. Then decided on a Minolta A2 - until I saw that a customer of mine has one. The EVF is horrible. The I decided to to go SLR. The D70 was a no brainer. I've read all the concerns with back focus and I see that many pro's are poking in on this camera. Hey this is an enthusiast camera and a damn good one. My last three digitals were point and shoot and all I can say is good riddens. As a beginner to the SLR world I can off a bit of advice. Try shooting in auto mode and pay attention the the F-- stop and the shutter speed that the camera selects. Then switch over to P mode and turn your flash on - even for outdoor shots. If you aren't too close to your subject, it will make for some good results. Try taking some pictures across your living room while sitting on the Lazyboy and pay attention to how different F and S settings affect the outcome. I am far from being a good photographer but with help and advice from people like Onyx, I hope to get there some day. By the way, I spent a half hour showing my wife some of the features other than Auto mode last night and she got home with a camera full of great pics tonight (I got to clean out the garage). Good luck man. Here's a pic my wife took of two of my kids with her Dad. She used portrait mode but should have used the flash IMO. Oh and my camera does have a bit of back focus. I got the shelf model while they are waiting for new stock to arrive so it's probably one of the first run.
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Old May 17, 2004, 12:55 AM   #13
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As many other responders have already suggested, the big difference here is that the D70 is a "real" camera, with some attempt to give it simple shooting modes, but you really won't start to get the most out of it until you have learned a bit more about photography. I suspect the reasons your D70 photos are less satisfying are that (1) you took them with the kit lens, which only focuses to about the equivalent of 1:3.5 on a 35mm camera, while many digital P&S cameras focus to much greater magnifications out of the box, and (2) perhaps you used the "flower" mode on the D70. I have not explored this mode much, but from Nikon's brief description of it in the manual, I would say avoid it like the plague for macro shooting. Their description says something like "for shooting closeup subjects so that they stand out from their background" Thie suggests strongly to me that it actually biases the program towards wide apertures. This may be fine for consumer P&S digicams, which often have too much depth of field in closeups due to their very short focal length lenses and small sensors, but on a real camera it is disastrous and silly, exactly the opposite of what you want--you want f/11-f/22 for shots like this one. Next time, try using the popup flash for fill or even as the main light source, and/or cranking up the ISO, and make sure the lens is at f/11 or less.

If you do a lot of closeup work, you will need to get a macro lens (ideally) or other closeup devices or attachments; the kit lens just does not focus close enough, as is usual for lenses on SLRs that are not designed for macro work. Macro lenses do not have to cost an arm and a leg, and if you always shoot stopped down, the quality of inexpensive ones is about the same as that of very expensive ones. The Vivitar 100/3.5 macro, available lots of places for about $US 140, is made by Cosina, has the about the same optical formula as the old Micro Nikkor 105/4, and has received very good consumer comments; I have just ordered one of these to use in place of my 105/4 Micro Nikkor which only works in full manual with the D70. I could have bought the Nikkor 105/2.8, but it is twice as heavy, 4X as expensive, and even according to the experts (eg http://www.photodo.com) there is little difference at small apertures, which are really necessary for decent depth of field.

I shoot a lot of macro of small animals and always use two flashes and shoot at f/16-f/22. For this the D70 is magnificent. See http://ross.pibweb.com for examples (macro but not digital though, I haven't updated it in a while).
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Old May 17, 2004, 2:41 AM   #14
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coedfun, sorry if I sounded so rude, perhaps because you mentioned spending $5000 on equipment and then not getting the same results from your FZ1, I took you for some rich person with nothing better to do than buying the latest and greatest and then whinning about it not performing as the cheaper camera, without even trying to learn about photography or the equipment. I apologise for it.

Now, different lenses have different reproduction ratios as Ross touched on. The FZ1 being an all in one package gave you a better ratio. Since I don't do close-ups all the time (portraits is what I do), a dedicated macro lens is not really that important an investment. I use a +5 close-up screw-on lens and have gotten good enough results with smaller apertures and slightly higher ISO settings. Please continue to post your questions and don't give up because a rude person tells you otherwise
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Old May 17, 2004, 11:03 PM   #15
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OK. Here is a shot I took tonight. No post processing. I currently have Fotogenetics Provia 3.4 curve loaded, EV +.7, and sharpening to +1. I leave these set all the time.

I thought I had the shutter set for 20 seconds, but it was set for 25. OK so the highlights are blown a little. OK; more than a little

Nikon D70
2004/05/17 21:31:41
JPEG (8-bit) Normal
Image Size: Large (3008 x 2000)
Lens: 18-70mm F/3.5-4.5 G
Focal Length: 38mm
Exposure Mode: Manual
Metering Mode: Multi-Pattern
25 sec - F/4.2
Exposure Comp.: +0.7 EV
Sensitivity: ISO 200
Optimize Image: Custom
White Balance: Auto
AF Mode: AF-S
Flash Sync Mode: Not Attached
Color Mode: Mode Ia (sRGB)
Tone Comp: User-Defined Custom Curve
Hue Adjustment: 0°
Saturation: Normal
Sharpening: Medium high
Image Comment:
Noise Reduction: OFF

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Old May 17, 2004, 11:41 PM   #16
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dcrawley, was there a secondary light source against that house? It seems the white balance was set to whatever was shining from the front left, and that has left the incandescent lights on the house a little warm.

Also for nighttime long exposure shots, may I suggesting reducing aperture to F/8 to F/16 range - the kit lens isn't at its best wide open, and for long exposure you generally don't want wide apertures either.
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Old May 18, 2004, 11:48 AM   #17
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I was mostly trying to see what difference the noise reduction made. I really am having a hard time finding much to fault on the kit lens. No, there was no other light sources on the house other than what you see. Some light from lights on the flagpole may have spilled over.

On the whole I didn't think that the picture was too bad, but not great either as this is my first post of any pics that I have taken the my D70 (and my first night shot ) that I felt was not too horrid while I learn its capabilities; I have never really been able to get anything remotely similar with my old Canon G3.

Go easy guys while I figure this out. I have only had it 2 weeks and spent half of that timeat work.

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Old May 21, 2004, 2:05 PM   #18
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I'll be blunt and to the point also. The D70 was a great camera except I could not get consistently accurate manual focusing. Yes, I said MANUAL focusing. At some focal lengths the focus was way off the mark, which made the camera mostly useless for my needs. Perhaps Igot a lemon kit lens, who knows.
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Old May 22, 2004, 2:53 AM   #19
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Manual focusing with the kit lens? I see you enjoy purely academic challenges... :-)

I've used some older manual Nikkor lenses on the D70 and I concur with the lack of focus acuity. This could be the limitation of pentamirror viewfinder, not being as "usable" for focusing as a superior pentaprism design. But I'm also finding a general lack of sharpness and contrast with my MF lenses too, so it could well be the age of the lens contributing to the lack of image quality, or maybe the compatibility is merely a token gesture from Nikon - wanting instead for its customers to upgrade to newer AF CPU chipped D and G lenses so highly recommended in their literature.
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Old Jun 12, 2004, 10:26 AM   #20
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One comment on manual focus vs autofocus: Someday everybody will have forty or fifty year old eyes. IfI manage toselect the correct focus sensor, AF is usually more accurate than my vision, and always faster.

For those who are wondering about lens performance or if you are having good experiences (or bad experiences) with different lenses on the D70,here is a data base of user experiences:


I will leave that data base online as long as it seems relevant.


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