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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    249

    Disenchanted with D80

    I got my D80 and two lens yesterday afternoon. After pouring over the "Quick Start" manual and reading a little from the manual and charging the battery, I thought it was time for a trial run. I shot maybe 40 pictures then and about ten this morning. I uploaded to the HDD and stored some in Photobucket for analysis. I'm not sure what I'm doing here but obviously I'm off somewhere. Most of the shots weren't sharp at all(acceptable but not sharp). There were a few that weren't too bad but not what I expected from this camera. The two lens I got were the kit lens, 18-55 VR and the 55-200 VR. I used both in my testing. I changed the ISO value from the 200 I had initially set and changed it to 400 as I wasn't getting enough speed/aperture I wanted. Most all shots yesterday were at ISO 200. I shot some in Auto and switched to SP later.

    I'm a bit confused about the 11 focas points. There are three at 3:00 and three at 9:00. In Shutter Priority there is a larger triangular box at the 3:00 position just outside the circle. Is that the focus point or the smaller squares? I couldn't find anything in the manual about that but with over 100 pages, I could have over looked it. I'm not too happy about the quality of the photos
    I took yesterday around 5:30pm and the ones this morning. My Canon S5 does better than this. I've enclosed several photos taken yesterday and this morning. The flower shot wasn't bad but not what I expected. I used the 55-200 VR for that shot, standing over it just a few feet away. Tell me I'm doing something wrong and that it's not the camera's fault.







    This one's not bad but still not as sharp as I expected.




    BTW-Settings were at Large/Fine.
    Last edited by ColColt; 05-30-2008 at 10:36 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    2,132
    I'm seeing a combination of motion blur and just a slightly missed focus.

    First, set your camera to shutter priority and try starting at 1/250. You may need more depending how fast he wants to move. You shouldn't need any more than 1/400 or 1/500 though. Your shutter speeds above were 1/160, 1/125, and 1/100 which is borderline enough/not enough. The camera will choose the aperture according to how much light is needed to expose the photo. ISO 100-200 is fine here, I never go above that outdoors unless I'm in heavy cloud cover, in shade, or the sun is setting.

    Second, the camera defaults to 3D autofocus and will select the point for you. I never use this, but maybe some people do. Look in your menu for AF-area mode and change it to Single area and use the center point to be sure you are getting your focus right. You can also change your Center AF Area from Normal to Wide Zone if you need a larger focus point for moving subjects but it will become less accurate at other times.

    As far as the three AF modes controlled on the top of the camera, AF-C would be best for moving subjects but it does allow a picture to be taken if focus can't be achieved. AF-A is automatic but does not allow a shot to be taken unless it has focus. Both of these modes will continually focus on the dog if he moves around, as long as your finger is half-pressed. A problem may occur though if he moves outside your focus area, and the camera is looking at the grass - it will change to focus on the grass, so keep that in mind.

    That should help.

    By the way, the last shot of your dog is great.
    Last edited by Visual Reality; 05-30-2008 at 11:24 AM.
    Nikon D300 | Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 | Nikkor AF-S 70-300mm VR | Nikkor AF 35mm f/2 D | SB-600 | Lowepro Voyager C | Lowepro Slingshot 300 AW

    For Sale:
    Nikkor AF 35mm f/2 D - Like New (FX compatible)

    Wish List
    Nikkor AF-S 17-55 f/2.8
    Nikkor AF-S 70-200 f/4 VRII
    Tokina AF 11-16 f/2.8
    SB-900 (2)
    Umbrellas
    New Tripod

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    485
    I think that the last one of the dog is good, as is the flower. You know, it takes time to learn a camera. Maybe try some more pictures of objects that are stationary versus ones that are moving? When I get a new lens, I test it against things like toys in the house, etc.

    I do think you will enjoy the camera once you make friends with it.
    Leah
    Nikon D90, because I have a nice Mom.
    Nikon 18-105 VR kit lens | Nikon 50mm f/1.8 |
    Nikon 35mm f/1.8G |
    Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 HSM |Nikon 70-300mm f/4-5.6G VR
    SB 600 & SB400

    Canon G9 "borrowed" from my step-father

    flickr

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    God's Country - Australia
    Posts
    10,424
    My Canon S5 does better than this.
    take the emotion out of it and think about that statement.

    Tell me I'm doing something wrong.
    you're doing something wrong.

    and that it's not the camera's fault.
    its not the cameras fault.

    50 shots altogether in less than 24 hrs. hmmm..what were you expecting ? remember that this is a dslr, not a P&S. it needs some adjusting time.
    D800e l V3 l AW1 l 16-35 l 35 l 50 l 85 l 105 l EM1 l 7.5 l 12-40 l 14 l 17 l 25 l 45 l 60 l 75
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    249
    When I took the vast majority of those shots, it was what Kodak use to call "Cloudy, bright, no shadows"...overcast in other words. That's why I had to switch to ISO 400. I have the settings as you mentioned, VR, and the AF mode to AF-A. I tried some manual shots with similar results as mentioned. I've never had a focus problem with any camera I've ever had until now. I decided to read a bit more in the manual to see if maybe I missed something, went outside and was going to try again wondering why the VR of the lens didn't help with the soft photos even if some of the shutter speeds weren't quite fast enough, when I discovered the auto focus wouldn't work and couldn't take anymore shots unless I used manual. I had went back to Auto on the body and lens so, it wasn't that. Perhaps in scrolling the menu I may have set something wrong. I don't know what would affect that but right now, I'm just going to cool it for a while as the frustration meter is climbing. You spend that kind of money on a camera, sharp photos and the ability to even take pictures shouldn't be in the quotient.

    By the way, the last shot of your dog is great.
    Thanks, I needed that.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    2,132
    Actually, no they shouldn't. We take these things as a given nowadays with all of the automation we have, but it still takes a knowledge of the gear to get the most out of it.

    Your main problem seemed to be shutter speeds too slow and you were getting motion blur. Tackle that with "S" mode first and go from there.

    VR won't do anything here though. That helps you keep the image steady, but it won't stop your dog.
    Nikon D300 | Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 | Nikkor AF-S 70-300mm VR | Nikkor AF 35mm f/2 D | SB-600 | Lowepro Voyager C | Lowepro Slingshot 300 AW

    For Sale:
    Nikkor AF 35mm f/2 D - Like New (FX compatible)

    Wish List
    Nikkor AF-S 17-55 f/2.8
    Nikkor AF-S 70-200 f/4 VRII
    Tokina AF 11-16 f/2.8
    SB-900 (2)
    Umbrellas
    New Tripod

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia
    Posts
    3,650
    ColColt what was your f-stop?

    I just looked at the S3 picks you posted these are much better and if this is what you are doing out the box you'll be able to get what you want.
    Last edited by XaiLo; 05-30-2008 at 04:40 PM.
    I thought about who I am... and realized I was an
    unformed, unreconciled imagery, without "GOD"


    NikonD?
    and some other Nikon stuff

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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Oklahoma
    Posts
    530
    ColColt, you are getting some great advice in the above post. I recommend reading the owners manual a little bit at a time and try some things described in there along the way with your camera. Take around 10 to 15 pictures with a particular goal in mind. Kind of follow along in the book the good folks from Nikon provided. Download those few pictures then look at em hard on your monitor and decide what needs to change. Things like saturation, contrast, color, iso ect..
    Do any changes in very small steps till you are satisfied with what you see.
    During your learning of the camera, try not to hurry any test shots. Learn to look at the numbers in your view finder and ask yourself "will this work with this lens" ? You are already very close with the above pictures you posted, so don't be down. Play with the focus settings and within a week or two you'll know what works for you. Cheer up and don't rush things. We'll see plenty of great photos from you.
    Spook
    Canon EOS 50D,7D and some lens and equipment.
    Fuji F200 Exr

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    God's Country - Australia
    Posts
    10,424
    Quote Originally Posted by ColColt View Post
    You spend that kind of money on a camera the ability to even take pictures shouldn't be in the quotient.
    lol colt, i'm gonna give you some tough love here mate cos everyione else is giving he "technical advice" to try and help. you need to learn how to take pictures, the camera does NOT do everything for you, neither is that the intention of a dslr.

    if you're not prepared to put in the time and effort to learn the camera, actually learn how to be a "photographer" and be patient then i would seriously be re-evaluating if your ready for an advanced dslr.

    theres no point sugar coating this. thats life with a dslr. some people pick it up very very quickly, for others the learning curve is a bit longer.
    D800e l V3 l AW1 l 16-35 l 35 l 50 l 85 l 105 l EM1 l 7.5 l 12-40 l 14 l 17 l 25 l 45 l 60 l 75
    flickr

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    249
    In nearly all the shots of him I try to wait until he stops, looks a given way, and take the shot. I gave up trying to get a motion shot as I've discovered the better ones are when he's settled down and sitting or standing. Knowing those shots were taken at a relatively long focal length, I tried using at least 125th second-not always possible and still get a decent (f/8 or higher) aperture. I didn't realy want to use ISO 400 as I favor 200 but, with the lighting conditions I kept getting a "Lo" in the viewfinder and knew I'd have to up the speed. Like any new toy, I wanted to just get the basis down and try to get some shots in yesterday afternoon late before the sun set as I wasn't sure what the weather would be like today. Actually, I spent the least amount of time with this camera as I did any in the past.

    VR won't do anything here though. That helps you keep the image steady, but it won't stop your dog.
    I was looking for it to keep me from shaking at a slower (60-125) shutter speed though, VR. The 125 or higher should have stopped any motion with him which was minimal. I had read where some were getting great shots using down to 30th second with the VR lenses and figured 125 wasn't too shabby and should work fine.

    ColColt what was your f-stop?

    I just looked at the S3 picks you posted these are much better and if this is what you are doing out the box you'll be able to get what you want.
    It seems like anything from wide open to maybe f/5.6 or 7 at the most. The S5 pics were good. In fact, I had one I had a 16x20 made of and it looks better by far than those I've taken so far with the D80-even at that enlargement. I had greater expectations from the D80 than the S5 but so far, one of us ain't living up to reputation.

    I did rather hurry the testing, Spookonthe8ball, as I was anxious as a kid on Christmas morning to see the results. I just figured it couldn't be all that complicated...charge battery, put in memory card and format, set ISO, take some shots in Auto and then switch to Shutter priority and upload those tack sharp pics from that $1000 camera...didn't happen. Most appreciative of the encouragement from everyone though. I know this has to be a great camera or you guys would have a similar or same one. It has to be something I'm doing and I just need to figure out what. I've been shooting 35mm since the mid '70's so, no stranger to cameras but, this one has me a bit puzzled. Now, I have to find out why it's not focusing and why the shutter release won't work now. Then, I'm going to go back over the focusing part of the manual once more.

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