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Old Mar 15, 2006, 1:38 AM   #1
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Has anybody else had any problems with the sharpness of their pictures using the D50 with the 18-55 kit lens? I took some pictures at an auto show today and some of them just aren't that clear. It was indoors, but there was a lot of light and I never had any problems with the length of the shutter speed.

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Old Mar 15, 2006, 6:02 AM   #2
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The terms "indoors" and "a lot of light" don't usually belong together. ;-)

What's bright to the human eye is not to a camera's lens.

The 18-55mm kit lens is not very bright, especially if you zoom in much with it (down to a largest available aperture of f/5.6 on it's long end), which would require a *lot* of light to prevent blur without a tripod at anything other than the highest ISO speed settings (and even that may not help enough in many indoor conditions trying to shoot at f5.6).

It's not the lens you want to be using without a flash or tripod in most indoor lighting. ;-) At a minimum, for indoor existing light use, you'll probably want a zoom lens that can maintain f/2.8 throughout the focal range (f/2.8 is 4 times as bright as f/5.6, allowing shutter speeds 4 times as fast for the same lighting and ISO speed).
In some indoor lighting, even f/2.8 may not be good enough (so, a brighter prime is often preferred)

You can see the shutter speeds a camera used by opening an image with many editors, like the free Irfanview (you'll see camera settings under Image, Information, EXIF).

You may want to post a sample or two so that members can see what you're talking about. Using Irfanview you can downsize an image using Image, Resize/Resample so that it's not too big to be posted here. I'd probably make it around 720 pixels wide and save it to a new filename using the File, Save As menu choice with the Retain EXIF box remaining checked at around 85 or 90% quality to make sure the file size isn't too big.

If it's not shutter speeds (the most likely problem), then it could be focus, depth of field, or being caused because most lenses are softer at wide open apertures anyway (and the camera's autoexposure is gong to be shooting at wide open apertures indoors without a flash if you were not using a mode where you set it to something else). Of course, if you tried to use smaller apertutures (higher f/stop numbers), you'd have even worse shutter speed problems.

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Old Mar 15, 2006, 8:28 AM   #3
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Samples of your "unclear" pictures?

(and there shutter/aperture and ISO values please).

FYI - there is trivial control of the "sharpness" in the Menu.
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Old Mar 15, 2006, 8:51 AM   #4
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Samples would help. I've been to lots of car shows, and I must say the lightings are always bad. Posting pics would help. Jim is right, for indoors you need fast lens, that's usually when cheap people like myself would turn to the 50 f1.8.
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Old Mar 15, 2006, 10:59 PM   #5
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Hey, guys. I'm not at home tonight, but I'll probably be able to post some samples sometime tomorrow.

Also, are there any flashes that any of you would reccommend for the D50? What about flashes that aren't made by Nikon? Are any of them worth it?
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Old Mar 16, 2006, 7:38 AM   #6
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I have the SB-600 but I found out that the pop-up flash of the D50 is very good. I use the pop-up flash more than the SB-600. This picture was alsotaken withthe pop-up flash.
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Old Mar 16, 2006, 5:17 PM   #7
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Nice - what lens took that ?
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Old Mar 16, 2006, 8:16 PM   #8
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norm smith wrote:
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Nice - what lens took that ?
Micro-Nikkor 60mm. I have only 2 lenses, this one and the Nikkor 80-400VR for birds. The kit-lens is only use as paper weight. I do not think I shall buy any more lens as these two serve me well. Iused to havea few more Nikkor lenses but given them all to one of my sons. You can have many lenses but you can use only one at a time.:idea:
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Old Mar 17, 2006, 12:20 AM   #9
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Alright, here's an example of my soft shots. On second thought, it just looks like camera shake from a slow shutter. No big deal.
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Old Mar 17, 2006, 6:27 AM   #10
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I don't think it looks bad at all, considering you were shooting at f/3.5 (largest available aperture) on the wide end of the lens. Most lenses are going to be a bit softer at their largest aperture settings (smallest f/stop numbers), and on either extreme of the zoom range, and by staying on the wide end, the lens got more light.

Your shutter speed was at 1/40 second (which is faster than the "rule of thumb" for hand held photos at this focal length, since you were the same angle of view you'd have with a 27mm lens used on a 35mm camera).

Sure, perhaps you may done better with faster shutter speeds and got sharper images (just bump up the ISO speed a bit next time), as the 1/focal "rule of thumb" is just that, a rule of thumb.

But, I'd say "well done".

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