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Old May 21, 2008, 2:24 PM   #1
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Hello. I just recently got a Nikon D40X SLR camera. I have no formal photography training, I am just getting started on a hobby that I have always been interested in.

Anyways, my biggest frustration with it so far is the manual modes. Whenever I shoot in aperture or shutter mode, my pictures are always blurry. The only time I get sharp pictures is when I use the auto modes, which is not the reason I bought this camera! I mostly take pictures of my toddler and family when we areout and aboutso I usually do not bring my tripod with me. I just got a Manfrotto tripod and it is great, but my pictures are still blurry when I use it. What am I doing wrong? I am very frustrated! I do not have a VR lens, just the 18-55mm and 55-200 Nikkor lenses.

We were just in Mexico and I got some amazing shots but it was only using the landscape mode. Whenver I tried a manual mode the pictures were blurry.

Thanks in advance for your help.
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Old May 21, 2008, 2:40 PM   #2
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Can you post a couple of the blurry photos, preferably with the EXIF data intact so we can see the camera settings?

A. C.


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Old May 21, 2008, 3:06 PM   #3
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Sure, thanks. I will post a couple.
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Old May 21, 2008, 7:56 PM   #4
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ac.smith wrote:
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... with the EXIF data intact so we can see the camera settings?
More important than us seeing your EXIF data, you should look at it. What was the shutter speed when you shot? What was the focal length of the lens? What ISO? What were those when the auto mode was used?

I strongly suspect that the auto modes bumped up the ISO thus alowing a faster shutter speed.

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Old May 22, 2008, 8:31 AM   #5
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Likely your blur is coming from shutter speeds that are too long. To prevent camera shake you'll need a shutter speed of at least 1/focal length, ie. if your at 55mm, you'll need at least a shutter speed of 1/60. To freeze moving subjects, you'll need even faster shutter speeds to prevent motion blur. I understand the desire to have more control over your shooting, but if your getting good results in auto, then it's no crime to stay in auto, especially if your at a once in a lifetime event. I shoot 99% of the time in aperture priority to control depth of field or insure I have the widest opening in tough lighting. From there, I just adjust the iso to achieve the shutter speed I need to get the exposure right. I don't like shutter priority because it is too easy to get a bad exposure..selecting too fast of a shutter speed can exceed the necessary aperture and vice versa.
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Old May 24, 2008, 11:04 AM   #6
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Rjseeney,

"I shoot 99% of the time in aperture priority to control depth of field or insure I have the widest opening in tough lighting"

Thanks for the practical tip.

I have been shooting mostly on manual mode on my newly acquired D200, and this is very true that I miss some of my shots because of being slightlyout of focus. Let's see if you technique improve my shots.
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Old May 27, 2008, 10:37 AM   #7
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Thanks for all the advice. I have a lot to learn.......
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