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Old Sep 20, 2006, 2:54 PM   #1
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Ok, I just got my new D200 last week with a Nikon 18-200mm lens. I have taken some phenomenal pictures (compared to my Coolpix 8800) on programmed auto.

My question is this: I like to take landscape shots. Of course with the point and shoot, it was easy to set in auto...just select the program of landscape and go. I'm thinking that evil little camera has totally handicapped my with my new dslr, since I used to have some knowledge of manual photography.

Anyway, I know that I need to adjust my aperture to a higher number. I put the D200 in aperture priority mode, and set the aperture to a higher number, but it just didn't seem to get the whole frame in focus. I tried just about every set of focus modes also.

I'm just learning the camera, so I'm trying to stay close to the auto settings until I get a good hold of them. Then I want to go full manual to get creative.

Any recommendations/pointers for the aspiring photographer?
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Old Sep 20, 2006, 4:53 PM   #2
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You don't say what apertures you've tried. There is less depth of field with the D200 than with a compact camera. How much depth of field you get depends on the focal length of the lens which you haven't mentioned. Assuming something like the 18-70 zoom I'd try at least F8 and up to about F16.



Ken
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Old Sep 21, 2006, 3:46 PM   #3
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I'm using a Nikon 18-200mm lens. Since I am just learning to use the camera, I just put the camera in aperture priority mode and started to step the setting taking pictures as I went. I just didn't see a difference in the monitor as I took them. I ended up deleteing the pics to make space, since I did not have a very big card CF card at the time.



Thanks for the reply!
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Old Sep 21, 2006, 5:52 PM   #4
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I suggest you pick up a copy of Bryan Peterson's book "Understanding Exposure". He has several examples of just what you are wanting to do. Plus a weath of other good info.
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Old Sep 22, 2006, 7:43 AM   #5
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One of the advantages of digital photography is that the camera settings are stored into the picture. If you could look at the images you did save and tell us what settings you used that would be a big help.

I have the same problem with the LCD on my DSLR as well. I can use it to gage exposure (to an extent) and composition. But focus is hard to do.

Eric
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Old Sep 22, 2006, 8:19 AM   #6
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I will do that. I need to go by our local bookstore and just look through what they have. I ordered The Digital Photography book by Scott Kelby to kinda get started, but will definitely grab a copy of that one also.

I will see if I still have any of those pictures left. I moved them from the card when I got my larger capacity card, so they are on my HD at home now.

Thanks for the responses!
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Old Sep 22, 2006, 5:02 PM   #7
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Kellam,

I also stepped up to a D200 from the CP8800. It is a big step. I am not that familar with the 18 - 200 lens as I bought the 17 - 35 lens. I think one thing that you will want to do is use around f16 and set the lens on the hyper focal point. You will have to take the lens off of autofocus to do this. I find this helps for landscapes as that is all I shoot. The hyper focal point is shown as an infinity symbol on the lens barrel. You then look through the view finder and half depress the shutter release and if the camera agrees that everthing is in focus the green dot on the bottom far left will be solid. If the camera thinks your full of it then it the green dot will be blinking.

This should help you out. I also shoot up to f22 on occassion. I strongly suggest that you go out and find one shot and vary the f-stop at different zoom settings to find a "sweet spot" for landscape shots. The minimum f-stop I would use is about f8.

Hope this make you have wonderful photos.

Bill

P.S. I find the view screen on the back of the camera only good for determining if I got the frame. I never use it to see if things are in focus. Download the items on the computer. If you do not have your sharpening set in the camera it will make all the shots appear soft also. I shoot in raw and post process my sharpening. ALL shots without sharpening will appear soft out of this camera and may lead you to think they are out of focus.
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Old Sep 24, 2006, 9:36 AM   #8
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Bill,
I'm surprised you find that F22 still yields good shots.
Lenses generally get better as you increase the fstop, but after a point they get worse. F22 is a very small aperture to use on a kit lens.

Eric
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Old Sep 25, 2006, 10:17 AM   #9
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Got my copy of "Understanding Exposure" and just flipped through it. I have not had time to read it yet, but it looks like it is going to be an interesting read.

In addition to the 18-200mm Nikon lens, I alsobought the 50mm 1.4D lens. I have not used it much, but I got it at the recommendation of others on this board for the aperture. So far, I have just been snapping shots and not using the camera for what it was meant for, but I'm still in awe over the quality compared to p&s cameras.



I'm definitely eager to learn more and start getting truely awesome shots.

Thanks for the comments/advice all!

Kelly


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Old Sep 26, 2006, 12:28 AM   #10
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Hi Eric and thanks for the comment. I don't use kit lenses. I use a 17 to 35mm F2.8D ED AF IS. I am using F22 less these days but sometimes when you want that forground item with the Grand Canyon in the back ground and all to be sharp it usually will do it. I suspect that more than f16 or f18 is not really needed but I am still learning on this set up.

Bill
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