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Benjamin2007
10-02-2008, 11:01 AM
Well its been a long time coming (about 6-8 months in research, planning, saving etc...), but I finally had the opportunity to buy a D80 recently! :D:cool: (about two or three days before my chosen retailer sold out! :eek:, when they received stock of & started selling the D90). I knew that I wouldn't be able to afford to buy the D90 on release, even though I really love the spec's on that body (especially the 12mp CMOS sensor with its potential for high ISO performance!), but I picked the D80 up for about half its original release price (bargain!:D).

So here are a few first shots from the D80 & 50/1.8!

Day 1 of shooting: The kit so far...
40654
(Auto mode)

Day 2 of shooting: Ariella (hiding from a rainy day)
40655
(Aperture priority, f/1.8, something weird happened here, ... the camera set -5.0EV :confused:, so this shot had to be brightened in pp)

Day 3 of shooting: Ariella
40656
(Aperture priority, f/2.5, 1/60sec, ISO200)

Day 4 of shooting: Mrs Macquaries Point, Sydney Harbour
40657
(Manual mode, 1/125sec, f/13, ISO100 (auto ISO400 limit), -0.7EV, pattern metering, all else auto)

40658
(Shot as above, slightly cropped to remove distracting foreground elements)

40659
(Manual mode, 1/40sec, f/18, ISO100 (auto ISO400 limit), -0.7EV, pattern metering, all else auto)


The first things I noticed in comparison to shooting with the Fuji S5700 were:
*the size & weight (not unpleasant, actually the mass was reassuring),
*viewfinder size & brightness (sure I read reviews prior to buying and knew about this, but until you actually experience it in comparison to a compact ultrazoom's viewfinder, you cann't actually appreciate the difference),
*auto-focus points (& controlling their behaviour through custom settings menu choices, and generally the importance of menu settings in controlling how the camera behaves),
*zero shutter lag (compared to the very noticeable lag on the Fuji in comparison),
*difficulty in reading the status LCD read-out (not re brightness but "size of font" display, I'll need my glasses to be able to see/read the display),
*unfamiliarity with which control wheels control which functions and making/selecting choices using them.
Even after reading several reviews, Thom Hogan's Guide and now the D80 owner's manual, truly understanding the idiosyncracies involved with this particular model camera (especially the matrix metering, with its centre-weighted type bias) will take quite some time to get used to and perfect.
But so far what a blast! How much fun can one have with a new toy/tool? :D
Wooohooo! :cool:

Now that I've taken the first step into dSLR photography there is absolutely no turning back (although I'll probably hang onto the Fuji, it was a fun introduction to digital photography, shooting with it over the past year, and I may continue to shoot with it for a while yet, while I learn how to use the D80 to best effect and while I build the "war-chest" with selected lenses etc, but as the axiom goes, there really is no turning back once you've had a dSLR experience! :D)

C&C is always welcome.

regards,

toriaj
10-02-2008, 09:48 PM
Benjamin, I'm so happy for you! I know you've been looking forward to this, and doing what it takes to make it happen for a long time. I'm sure you'll continue turning out awesome shots. Don't worry if it seems like your pictures aren't very good for awhile, or you don't know how to get the camera to do what you want it to do. It took awhile for me to like the shots I was getting, there can definitely be a discouraging learning curve. But based on the shots I've seen from your D80 already, I think it will be quick for you! Again, congrats.

Benjamin2007
10-03-2008, 03:12 AM
Benjamin, I'm so happy for you! I know you've been looking forward to this, and doing what it takes to make it happen for a long time. I'm sure you'll continue turning out awesome shots. Don't worry if it seems like your pictures aren't very good for awhile, or you don't know how to get the camera to do what you want it to do. It took awhile for me to like the shots I was getting, there can definitely be a discouraging learning curve. But based on the shots I've seen from your D80 already, I think it will be quick for you! Again, congrats.

Hi Tori

Thank you very much for your kind words of encouragement! :)
The last several months weren't much fun, but things finally fell into place this week, so taking a punt (actually a big risk) that things would turn out as they did, I went ahead & ordered the camera two weeks ago on the 19SEP08. :D

Re the second photo and the -5.0EV thing, my guess is that:
a) either I did something daft with the control dials without realising I was affecting exposure (shutter speed) & I didn't notice or understand any warning messages or symbols in the view-finder, so the camera compensated by calculating a -5EV adjustment, or
b) since I intentionally dialled in an aperture of f/1.8 and had previously chosen Auto-focus Single servo' (instead of continuous or auto), and that the centre of frame was filled with Ariella's white chest, that the matrix meter freaked and over compensated with the -5EV.

Either way, those sort of problems seemed to happen a lot over the first two days, but since I abandoned the auto settings, developed a basic understanding of how the control dials work, and began shooting manually again things started to turn out ok again. :)

It was great to enjoy the afternoon sun at Mrs Macquaries Point on the 26th, and appreciate the beautiful colours of the grass, trees, rocks, water, yachts etc and to capture that with the D80..., sooo much fun! :D
It's really wonderful to finally have the camera and to be able to explore photography further with it! :cool:

cheers,

DonSchap
10-03-2008, 03:25 AM
Just be careful of marrying it up to a SIGMA 10-20mm f/4-5.6 DC EX HSM lens ... we've had a little trouble along those lines, recently.

Lens stuck! (http://www.dcresource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=40896)

Rooz
10-03-2008, 03:40 AM
congrats Benj. i know how long youve waited and wanted a dslr so am very happy for you to have taken the plunge. :)

toriaj
10-03-2008, 12:13 PM
Re the second photo and the -5.0EV thing, my guess is that:
a) either I did something daft with the control dials without realising I was affecting exposure (shutter speed) & I didn't notice or understand any warning messages or symbols in the view-finder, so the camera compensated by calculating a -5EV adjustment, or
b) since I intentionally dialled in an aperture of f/1.8 and had previously chosen Auto-focus Single servo' (instead of continuous or auto), and that the centre of frame was filled with Ariella's white chest, that the matrix meter freaked and over compensated with the -5EV.


It's really easy to do. What usually happens is that you're in AP or SP and you push the +/- button and turn the scroll wheel (thinking that you're in manual, just changing your aperture.) But since you're not in manual, you just dialed in some exposure compensation. Just an accident, not a big deal. I still make them now ... I'm glad you're having such a great time with your camera. It really makes a difference!

mugsisme
10-03-2008, 01:12 PM
Oh Wow! How exciting. Congrats on the new purchase. Looks like you are enjoying it.

The 5th picture is really nice. I like how the colors just pop out. (OK, I like a lot of saturation; not everyone does.) Did you fix it in PS? the last picture is a little more washed out looking than the one before it.

Did you see Thom Hogan's site? He has a CD on using your camera. You may find it helpful, although the one for the D40 was over 700 pages long. (I never made it all the way through it.)

Keep taking pictures!

aparmley
10-03-2008, 08:26 PM
Congrats on your purchase Ben. Welcome and thanks for sharing those images. I especially liked how you framed the 4th photo using the trees.

enjoy that camera!

TheWengler
10-03-2008, 10:10 PM
Awesome Benjamin! It'll be a challenge shooting with just the 50. I'll force you to be creative. I'm sure you'll get spoiled by the large aperture too.

Benjamin2007
10-04-2008, 11:27 PM
Thanks everyone: Tori, Rooz, Leah, Andy & Lukas for the well wishes :), & Don for the warning (don't worry the Sigma 10-20HSM isn't on my shopping list; Andy I hope NRC did the right thing by you and that the D80 is on its way home again!).

Tori, thanks for the feedback re the control dials/EV thing, it makes sense & you're probably right, no big deal as you say, just a result of my lack of familiarity with the camera, controls, viewfinder display/symbols/warnings etc, hence all part of the learning process. :)

Leah, thanks for the tip re Thom's guide. I have already bought the D80 guide (as per pic1 :)) and read the "To Go" summary, but will have to re-read it, & work my way through the CD, a few times before it all comes together.
Re: photos5&6, I don't have Photoshop anything and don't anticipate buying CS3, it would be overkill for my needs. All posted shots are SOOC (except for pic#2 which was brightened, pic#5 which was slightly cropped, & resizing all of course for posting). All shots reflect camera settings and natural lighting.
I worked my way through all menu options during set-up before shooting, taking Thom's advice in most things, & selected settings that seemed sensible for the type of shooting that I do, so re Image optimisation- I left it on "Normal" (not vivid/more vivid), although I like strong colours, I also don't like oversaturation, preferring a more natural look. The water in pic#5 is the way it looked in the late afternoon sunlight. The difference between it and pic#6 is that pic5 is facing East and pic6 is facing West, into the late afternoon sun, which was just out of frame on the left, and the fact that I was shooting some slower shutter speed (1/10sec) water shots of waves washing over the rocks lining the harbour foreshore, just before looking up, seeing the boat approaching the position of the Harbour bridge, having a second to alter settings (only got to 1/40sec, f/18, ISO100) before having to take the shot if I wanted the composition (due to the boat's speed). Basically it was a "snap" shot... lol ;), i.e. a quick reaction shot to get the composition I wanted before the moment passed. :)

Hey Andy, thanks man! I've been working on ways to create a bit more interest in the land/sea/cityscapes that I shoot and framing is a pretty simple though effective way of doing that. Tried another similar shot to that with the Fuji, of the Fort in the Harbour through a gap in the trees lining the ridge leading down to Mrs Macquaries Chair/Point, it turned out ok, but not good, the leaves from the trees encroached the Fort's image a bit too much, but you do what you can with what you've got (tools & imagination etc) :D

Thanks Lukas, I agree. The 50 will make me think more about composition than a zoom would, that and because its the cheapest way to get into SLR photography were the main reasons I chose it, in addition to the large aperture flexibility which I'm already enjoying, particularly re DoF! :cool:
I think it was something Eric Lund wrote that sparked that idea in me; of course I've thought about lens choices a lot over the last little while, after reading Rex914's guide to lens choices, all Thom's articles on the subject, various "What lens should I buy" threads, observing other people's choices & their results, reading lots of reviews etc... I'll probably pick up a zoom (or three) & a prime macro (maybe one or two other primes) some way down the track. :cool:
(NAS, its a terrible compulsion... lol, ;))

(Well this is the third attempt at responding, hope I don't loose the response before submitting it...., yeh I know, I should work offline in a word.doc & copy it across to the response page, to avoid possible time-out issues, but you don't think of such things after midnight writing the first two or three attempts & bailing out at 3am through exhaustion... lol;)).

cheers,