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Old Jun 24, 2006, 1:10 PM   #1
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I have Nikon D70 and since I always shoot with manual (M) setting (never use auto, and very seldom use A, P, or S setting either) I have some wonderings.



Usually when I take a picture I go through following procedure I check for ISO (200-1600), aperture and shutter speed to make a balance in the viewfinder and hit the shutter when I see it is "balanced in the middle". this makes me wonder if there are other things to check for making the exposure even better. like +-EV buttons on the camera, metering and so on. often you dont have time to adjust these



so I am wondering how professional/advance users shoot, what is your typicall work flow with your camera? (doesnt have to be same camera as mine)
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Old Jun 24, 2006, 2:16 PM   #2
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In this forum you can get very detailed opinions from many experienced members. I am still in the beginning stage of Digital photography and my kind of taking pictures...
I use A mode most of the tme when I am stooting. I control my ISO and WB. I don't balance the exposure and I prefer to get the sky little darker. I never bothered to check if the exposure level is in the middle or not. I choose to have it minus or plus. Using a Circular polarizer gives me better color for the 'blue' sky. When I want to cheat I use blue graduate filter to get the color I want as CP can't help if I am not in the right angle to the sun. Adjusting the image optimization in the menu, gives me warmer or cooler fotos. (81A warm filter isn't bad for me either). For fast moving objects I use Shutter priority. I am using an old bounce flash(bought for $5) so, Manual mode is necessary when I need to use flash indoors. I like the tone and color I get from the 'Child' mode in my D50 so, I use it when my 4year old son becomes my model. In the beginning I didn't bother about metering and now a days I do care about it. If I want the woods to be seen properly, I use centerweighted or spot metering. When I am free I take photos in different settings and check them for the details. Getting the right colors I take as a challenge(I still can't get the grass real green most of the times) and I carry my cam whenever we go for outing.
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Old Jun 24, 2006, 6:38 PM   #3
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I typically shoot in Aperature priority. I only use full manual in studio situations and only with a light meter. By shooting in aperature, I control DOF and the amount of light entering the camera. I typically shoot in RAW and almost always use some fill flash to open up shadows and balance the lighting. Since I shoot RAW, there is no need to bother with WB. I shoot at the lowest Iso possible to achieve the shutter speed needed for the situation. There is no right or wrong way to shoot, and as long as you get the results you desire, it doesn't matter what every one else does.
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Old Jun 25, 2006, 7:39 AM   #4
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My Nikon D50 is my first DSLR and its been over 30 years since I used an SLR. I jumped right in, first using the auto mode to get a feel for what the camera can do without needing to worry about various settings. I then started to play with the P and A settings, and these are the two settings I use most.

I use the P setting if I want very good picture but am not concerned about controlling depth of focus very exactly, and I use the A setting when I do, for example when I am taking pics of flowers and want to make sure the background is sufficiently out of focus.

I admit I have a lot to learn about how to take optimal pics with this camera, but I find so far that the P and A settings give me excellant results, without me needing myself to worry about exposure control. I feel as if I indeed have purchased a "point and shoot" camera, because after selection of P vs. A mode (and maybe one or two quick settings) I basically just need to point and shoot for excellant results. Of course on the other hand it is a fully manual DSLR and I have the fine tuning when needed.

I am attaching a photo I took of one of our cats, which I had to take very quickly with little setup time.



/Steve, Denmark
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Old Jun 26, 2006, 11:57 PM   #5
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Cool pic. How did you manage to get the forground out of focus? Often when I try to do that, the subject gets blurred and the forground comes in clear. I don't think I have "nearest subject" selected.
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Old Jun 27, 2006, 5:13 AM   #6
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In situations with a really busy foreground, a large aperature and manual focus is usually the best bet. Af is fooled very easily in situations like you see here.
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Old Jun 27, 2006, 6:34 AM   #7
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I took the pic of the cat with Aperture Priority setting (A), metering mode was multi-pattern and the AF mode was AF-A. The F stop was fixed at 5.6 for good depth of field. I have not learned completely how to use all the various auto focus modes in the Nikon D50 yet, but in this case it was focusing by using only one of the 5 focus fields. If the camera had been set to focus on the nearest object, then the plants in the foreground would have been in focus and the cat would have been blurred. But in this case I made certain that the cat was the object in focus.

Its been a while since I took this picture, so I don't remember how I did this exactly. It could be that all 5 of the camera's focus fields were on the cat's face. But in the event that this is not the case, you can move the camera around until you get the item of interest in focus, where you focus by pushing the shutter button only half way down. You then can lock the focus (in most settings) by maintaining the shutter button in this half down position, and then moving the lens until you have the picture composed like you want it (here, with the cat's face in the center) and then take the shot. All the above took only an instant for me to do, the entire procedure is becoming automatic for me.

I'm no pro photographer, far from it.

The point here is that you don't need to resort to the camera's manual setting to get a shot like this. I made use of the camera's auto-exposure and the autofocus, where for the latter I had to get the focus to activate on the item that should be in focus, and then lock the focus by maintaining pressure on the shutter button.


The Nikon D50: an excellant point and shoot camera, heh heh!


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Old Jun 27, 2006, 8:04 AM   #8
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Thanks for the tips. I wear glasses and have a hard time trusting what I see in the view finder as being in focus most of the time. I just need to keep practicing with situations like the cat until I get it down.
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Old Jun 27, 2006, 2:39 PM   #9
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I wear glasses too, and at my age, my depth of field is getting pretty bad. So I too rather trust the autofocus of the camera to find the sharp setting.

Although the D50 can be set to focus on the nearest object, you still can move the lens about a bit and get the focus on an object that isn't necessarily the nearest. Or experiment with the other focus settings (haven't figured them out myself).

Steve, Denmark
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Old Jun 27, 2006, 5:11 PM   #10
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I use AF almost all the time but, I keep the focus area selection for my self. So, the camera can't be fooled so easily. The Child mode in D50 is good as it keep the track on the moving object.
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