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illinilarry Registered since 14th Mar 2010Sun 14-Mar-10 02:16 AM
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"Newbie with problems w/ D5000 and zoom lens"


Simpsonville,SC, US
          

I am new to digital photography and was hoping to be able to figure out basics before making a spring training trip later this month. I have a 70-300mm AFS VR lens and all photos are blurry beyond focal length of about 170mm.... I was practicing outside (partly cloudy day) and tried in Autofocus mode on camera and lens w/o success. Lens instructions say that camera should be in AF (C/S) although in
AF camera is in AF-A. Does this make a difference? Tried several different manual modes w/o much success either. Do I have to use a tripod with this lense- won't be very practical in baseball stadium! Any suggestions would be appreciated!

  

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Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: Newbie with problems w/ D5000 and zoom lens
JosephK Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his excellent and frequent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community in the Nikonians spirit.
14th Mar 2010
1
Reply message RE: Newbie with problems w/ D5000 and zoom lens
illinilarry
14th Mar 2010
2
     Reply message RE: Newbie with problems w/ D5000 and zoom lens
Donald Kahn
14th Mar 2010
3
          Reply message RE: Newbie with problems w/ D5000 and zoom lens
illinilarry
15th Mar 2010
4
               Reply message RE: Newbie with problems w/ D5000 and zoom lens
JosephK Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his excellent and frequent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community in the Nikonians spirit.
15th Mar 2010
5
               Reply message RE: Newbie with problems w/ D5000 and zoom lens
Donald Kahn
15th Mar 2010
6
                    Reply message RE: Newbie with problems w/ D5000 and zoom lens
illinilarry
15th Mar 2010
7
                         Reply message RE: Newbie with problems w/ D5000 and zoom lens
Donald Kahn
15th Mar 2010
8
                         Reply message RE: Newbie with problems w/ D5000 and zoom lens
operknockity
15th Mar 2010
9
                              Reply message RE: Newbie with problems w/ D5000 and zoom lens
illinilarry
15th Mar 2010
10
                                   Reply message RE: Newbie with problems w/ D5000 and zoom lens
JosephK Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his excellent and frequent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community in the Nikonians spirit.
16th Mar 2010
11
                                   Reply message RE: Newbie with problems w/ D5000 and zoom lens
Donald Kahn
16th Mar 2010
12
                                        Reply message RE: Newbie with problems w/ D5000 and zoom lens
illinilarry
17th Mar 2010
13
                                             Reply message RE: Newbie with problems w/ D5000 and zoom lens
illinilarry
17th Mar 2010
14
                                                  Reply message RE: Newbie with problems w/ D5000 and zoom lens
JosephK Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his excellent and frequent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community in the Nikonians spirit.
17th Mar 2010
15
                                                  Reply message RE: Newbie with problems w/ D5000 and zoom lens
Donald Kahn
17th Mar 2010
16
Reply message RE: Newbie with problems w/ D5000 and zoom lens
WD4MLA Silver Member
17th Mar 2010
17
Reply message RE: Newbie with problems w/ D5000 and zoom lens
Donald Kahn
18th Mar 2010
18
Reply message RE: Newbie with problems w/ D5000 and zoom lens
illinilarry
18th Mar 2010
19
     Reply message RE: Newbie with problems w/ D5000 and zoom lens
illinilarry
18th Mar 2010
20
     Reply message RE: Newbie with problems w/ D5000 and zoom lens
JosephK Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his excellent and frequent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community in the Nikonians spirit.
18th Mar 2010
22
     Reply message RE: Newbie with problems w/ D5000 and zoom lens
Donald Kahn
19th Mar 2010
23
          Reply message RE: Newbie with problems w/ D5000 and zoom lens
illinilarry
19th Mar 2010
24
               Reply message RE: Newbie with problems w/ D5000 and zoom lens
Donald Kahn
19th Mar 2010
25
               Reply message RE: Newbie with problems w/ D5000 and zoom lens
operknockity
19th Mar 2010
27
     Reply message RE: Newbie with problems w/ D5000 and zoom lens
JosephK Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his excellent and frequent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community in the Nikonians spirit.
18th Mar 2010
21
Reply message RE: Newbie with problems w/ D5000 and zoom lens
WD4MLA Silver Member
19th Mar 2010
26
Reply message RE: Newbie with problems w/ D5000 and zoom lens
TCnBham
21st Mar 2010
28

JosephK Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his excellent and frequent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community in the Nikonians spirit. Nikonian since 17th Apr 2006Sun 14-Mar-10 02:51 AM
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#1. "RE: Newbie with problems w/ D5000 and zoom lens"
In response to Reply # 0


Seattle, WA, US
          

An example photo might help us address the issue.

Blur can come from multiple sources: out of focus, camera movement, subject movement.

Focus problems are usually related to either (1) not enough light for the auto-focus to work, (2) the user not giving the camera enough time to work, or (3) bad choice of focus target (usually low contrast).

Camera movement: you not holding the camera steady. Some folks have rock-steady hands, others do not. Good vs bad holding technique can come into play here. A faster shutter speed can help. VR can help. How much they can help depends on how shaky your hands are.

Subject movement: Your target is moving. A faster shutter speed is usually the fix. VR normally does not help, normally.

The old rule of thumb is to use a shutter speed of 1/L where L is the focal length of your lens. For example, using your 70-300mm at 200mm would suggest a minimum shutter speed of 1/200. Upping your shutter speed can be done with a bigger aperture (smaller number), higher ISO, adding light with a flash. (Some folks suggest using a guide of 1/(1.5 x L) due to the DX sensor.)

---------+---------+---------+
Joseph K
Seattle, WA, USA

  

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illinilarry Registered since 14th Mar 2010Sun 14-Mar-10 03:39 AM
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#2. "RE: Newbie with problems w/ D5000 and zoom lens"
In response to Reply # 1


Simpsonville,SC, US
          

Thanks Joseph,
Here are a couple of examples. Maybe just my hands, but tried also leaning against post, resting elbow of my lens hand on my knee, etc w/o much help. Do these settings help diagnose issue? Tried to upload photo, but size is too great for site.

File Info 1
File: DSC_0032_01.JPG
Date Created: 03/13/2010 6:34:49 PM
File Size: 1.43 MB
Image Size: M (3216 x 2136)
File Info 2
Date Shot: 03/13/2010 18:34:49.50
Image Quality: Jpeg Normal (8-bit) Camera Info
Device: Nikon D5000
Lens: VR 70-300mm F/4.5-5.6G
Focal Length: 300mm
Focus Mode: AF-A
AF-Area Mode: Auto
VR: ON
AF Fine Tune:
Exposure
Aperture: F/5.6
Shutter Speed: 1/60s
Exposure Mode: Shutter Priority
Exposure Comp.: 0EV
Exposure Tuning:
Metering: Matrix
ISO Sensitivity: ISO 200
Flash
Flash Sync Mode: Front Curtain
Flash Mode: Built-in, i-TTL-BL
Flash Exposure Comp.: 0EV
Colored Gel Filter:
Image Settings
White Balance: Auto, 0, 0
Color Space: sRGB
High ISO NR: OFF
Long Exposure NR: OFF
Active D-Lighting: Auto
Image Authentication:
Vignette Control:
Auto Distortion Control: OFF
Picture Control
Picture Control: STANDARD
Base:
Quick Adjust: 0
Sharpening: 3
Contrast: Active D-Lighting
Brightness: Active D-Lighting
Saturation: 0

2nd example:
File Info 1
File: DSC_0006.JPG
Date Created: 03/13/2010 7:58:51 AM
Date Modified: 03/13/2010 7:58:51 AM
File Size: 2.97 MB
Image Size: L (4288 x 2848)
File Info 2
Date Shot: 03/13/2010 07:58:51.00
Image Quality: Jpeg Normal (8-bit)
Device: Nikon D5000
Lens: VR 70-300mm F/4.5-5.6G
Focal Length: 300mm
Focus Mode: AF-A
AF-Area Mode: Auto
VR: ON
AF Fine Tune:
Exposure
Aperture: F/5.6
Shutter Speed: 1/250s
Scene Mode: Auto
Exposure Comp.: 0EV
Exposure Tuning:
Metering: Matrix
ISO Sensitivity: Auto (ISO 450)
Flash
Flash Sync Mode:
Flash Mode:
Flash Exposure Comp.:
Colored Gel Filter:
Image Settings
White Balance: Auto, 0, 0
Color Space: sRGB
High ISO NR: OFF
Long Exposure NR: OFF
Active D-Lighting: Auto
Image Authentication:
Vignette Control:
Auto Distortion Control: OFF
Picture Control
Picture Control: STANDARD
Base:
Quick Adjust: -
Sharpening: Auto
Contrast: Active D-Lighting
Brightness: Active D-Lighting
Saturation: Auto


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Donald Kahn Registered since 16th May 2009Sun 14-Mar-10 01:36 PM
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#3. "RE: Newbie with problems w/ D5000 and zoom lens"
In response to Reply # 2
Sun 14-Mar-10 11:08 PM by Donald Kahn

US
          

Hi Larry

You can resize your photos in most programs, including most of the default Windows viewers. The long side cannot be more than 900, but a lot of programs suggest 800x600 to send to email.

Even without the photos, I would suggest the following problems based upon your data.

1. Picture number 1 was shot at 1/60, which as Joe suggested is too slow for most sports photography.

2. Both pictures were shot at f: 5.6 which at 300mm is wide open for that lens. That means that your depth of field is relatively shallow, even at infinity. Your focus would have to be "dead on" to get a good shot.

In an attempt to narrow the possible causes, why don't you take a few test shots of the same subject matter, but let your ISO get as high as 1600 so that you can keep a shutter speed of near 1/250 and an f stop of f:11. Based upon your data for picture 2, that's what ISO 1600 would net out. Keep in mind that your pictures are going to be noisier, but you should be able to determine the cause of your focus/movement problem.

It also sounds like you are shooting in relatively low light. All cameras have their limitations when it comes to light conditions. An old rule of thumb (for when we forgot our light meters) was that on a bright sunny day, you could start with your ISO speed as your shutter speed and select F:16 as your f stop. In your case, for picture number 2, that would translate to 1/450 at f:16. Clearly, your lighting conditions were much lower to require the equivalent of a 4 stop adjustment. I would estimate that your lighting was "overcast" or very late in the day to require that setting.

Hopefully, with a little experimentation, you can resolve these issues.

Don

.

  

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illinilarry Registered since 14th Mar 2010Mon 15-Mar-10 12:30 AM
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#4. "RE: Newbie with problems w/ D5000 and zoom lens"
In response to Reply # 3


Simpsonville,SC, US
          

Thanks Don,
Tried some of your suggestions this afternoon- outside overcast day and results a little better, but still not satisfactory. I have resized and compressed a couple shots that I'll post.






Set ISO at 1600,f-14 and 1/400 shutter speed at 300mm in first and
ISO at 1600, apperture at f-11 and shutter at 1/320s at 135mm in second. You can see results this time on a light tripod... is it simply my focusing... I am nearsighted and viewing through viewfinder without correction (have fixed diopter adjustment so I can read settings in viewfinder). I have to use my reading glasses when using LCD display... appreciate any other ideas...

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Attachment #1, (jpg file)
Attachment #2, (jpg file)

  

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JosephK Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his excellent and frequent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community in the Nikonians spirit. Nikonian since 17th Apr 2006Mon 15-Mar-10 03:04 AM
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#5. "RE: Newbie with problems w/ D5000 and zoom lens"
In response to Reply # 4


Seattle, WA, US
          

Using these two shots as representative examples, the problem seems to be not camera movement nor subject movement, but simply out of focus.

The EXIF data in both shots says you were in manual focus mode. Was this intentional? (Resting your fingers on the focus ring when you think you are on the zoom ring could explain it.) Also the CSM focus mode switch (bottom front of camera) is fairly easy to move by mistake.

The factory default focus screens are not designed for manual focus, which means that all the focus aids we old film shooters are used to are missing. If you are looking to try manual focus work, check the focus dot on the bottom left of the view finder.

---------+---------+---------+
Joseph K
Seattle, WA, USA

  

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Donald Kahn Registered since 16th May 2009Mon 15-Mar-10 05:59 AM
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#6. "RE: Newbie with problems w/ D5000 and zoom lens"
In response to Reply # 4
Mon 15-Mar-10 06:01 AM by Donald Kahn

US
          

Hi Larry

As Joe correctly observed, your EXIF data shows that both shots were taken in manual focus mode. I think that you're getting close to resolving your problem. Also, picture number 1 could be a hard picture to get your camera to auto-focus on because of the black horse, black background, light wire in front and contrasty fence post. Having just had cataract surgery, I can sympathize with your eyesight problems, but your camera's autofocus capabilities can get you well past those problems. So, keep it at ISO 1600, switch it out of M and into S or C, and let's see some "in focus" shots of those really nice looking horses.

Don

  

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illinilarry Registered since 14th Mar 2010Mon 15-Mar-10 11:29 AM
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#7. "RE: Newbie with problems w/ D5000 and zoom lens"
In response to Reply # 6


Simpsonville,SC, US
          

Joe/Don,
Thank you both for your patience and instructions! I'll try again this evening... I didn't realize AF worked in manual setting (only setting I was able to set shutter speed,aperture and ISO rating)- will try again. I do now see I am able to leave it in AF.
Joe- Camera is a D5000 and doesn't appear to have a CSM switch.
I had such poor results in full AUTO mode and several Scene selections that I tried to manually focus.
Will try again and post results soon. Thanks again.

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Donald Kahn Registered since 16th May 2009Mon 15-Mar-10 12:18 PM
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#8. "RE: Newbie with problems w/ D5000 and zoom lens"
In response to Reply # 7


US
          

Larry

I'm not sure that I completely understood your post. Although I have used my son's D5000 on several occasions, I didn't recall that it didn't have the CSM switch. However, after looking at some detailed pictures of the camera, it would appear that you are right. There should be 2 switches on the left side of your lens. For autofocus and vibration reduction to work they should be set to A (Autofocus) and VR ON. I'm pretty sure that you knew this, but I wasn't sure if you were talking about the "AUTO" selection on the dial on the top right of your camera which has nothing to do with autofocus.

Don

  

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operknockity Registered since 07th Jan 2010Mon 15-Mar-10 07:46 PM
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#9. "RE: Newbie with problems w/ D5000 and zoom lens"
In response to Reply # 7
Mon 15-Mar-10 07:51 PM by operknockity

Los Angeles, US
          

>I had such poor results in full AUTO mode and several Scene
>selections that I tried to manually focus.

Sorry if I'm off base, but as I interpret what you said, I think you may be confusing a couple of things. There is the auto-focus setting and there are auto-exposure settings and the two do not affect each other. The Full AUTO mode and the Scene selections are expose programs and will automatically select a shutter speed and lens aperture based on the light meter readings. The ability to use auto or manual focus is independent of the auto or manual exposure settings.

From what you originally posted, you switched to manual focus without understanding that your exposure settings were not going to let you get a decent exposure with a shutter speed that would be good for a hand-held shot (vs use on a tripod). Nothing to be ashamed of as you are still learning to use the camera. I highly recommend you pick up a copy of Bryan Petersen's book "Understanding Exposure" (http://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Exposure-Photographs-Digital-Updated/dp/0817463003).

A lot of folks new to digital SLRs, especially ones coming from the Point & Shoot world, tend to leave the camera in both auto-focus and auto-exposure modes until they learn the camera. Later on they move off to the various manual exposure modes for better exposure control, especially under demanding lighting conditions. And they'll also switch to manual focus under certain conditions to achieve special effects and or control of the focus point to obtain specific central depth of field.

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illinilarry Registered since 14th Mar 2010Mon 15-Mar-10 09:57 PM
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#10. "RE: Newbie with problems w/ D5000 and zoom lens"
In response to Reply # 9


Simpsonville,SC, US
          

I am getting closer! Today was bright sunny day and I took shots with ISO of 1600 to 2500. Had better results with higher ISO setting and smaller aperture (f20) and shutter speeds of 1/640. Still room for improvement, but seem a little better.






I have been trying to get hang of extreme end of my 70-300mm lens and have better luck here under 200mm.




I will order the book and see what else I can learn! Thanks again

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Attachment #1, (jpg file)
Attachment #2, (jpg file)
Attachment #3, (jpg file)

  

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JosephK Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his excellent and frequent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community in the Nikonians spirit. Nikonian since 17th Apr 2006Tue 16-Mar-10 07:37 AM
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#11. "RE: Newbie with problems w/ D5000 and zoom lens"
In response to Reply # 10
Tue 16-Mar-10 07:46 AM by JosephK

Seattle, WA, US
          

They are better, but not where they should be. Check to make sure your focus point is the one in the center.

In the third shot, the light blue harness should have been a good focus target (lots of contrast) but that did not happen. Are you getting the focus dot lit (bottom left of the view finder) at half press before you finish the shutter press?

Just to make sure the camera is working correctly, try going to AF-S (single), turn on the "beep", and try shooting some objects that are not moving. The camera should beep when it is done focusing. In AF-S mode, it will not take the picture until focus is achieved (using the default settings). (By default, AF-C (continuous focusing) will let you take out-of-focus pictures.)

---------+---------+---------+
Joseph K
Seattle, WA, USA

  

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Donald Kahn Registered since 16th May 2009Tue 16-Mar-10 02:04 PM
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#12. "RE: Newbie with problems w/ D5000 and zoom lens"
In response to Reply # 10
Tue 16-Mar-10 02:06 PM by Donald Kahn

US
          

Hi Larry

I like Joe's suggestion for testing your focus. These shots still aren't what they should be, particularly since your f stop and shutter speed have ruled out some possible causes for the problems with your first couple of shots.

I know that I was the one who suggested stepping up your ISO, but that was only because of your low light situation. Notice how noisy (grainy) pix 1 and 2 appear. On a bright sunny day, like you reported, you should really lower it. ISO 600 would have let you shoot the top two shots at approximately 1/500 at f:12 which would have yielded a better quality image. I know that we're just working on focus, but we may as well put it all together while we're at it.

Also, the EXIF data shows that you are shooting using manual exposure. That's a good way to learn about exposure settings, but you may want to consider S (shutter speed priorty or A (aperture priority) In S, you pick the shutter speed and the camera's light meter picks the f stop. The same thing occurs in A, you pick the f stop and the camera picks the shutter speed. With the type of shots that you're taking, one of these two modes would be better since your subjects are moving and the light conditions change more rapidly than you can manually adjust your settings. It also allows you to concentrate more on your composition and focus.

Let's see some more shots tonight.

Don

  

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illinilarry Registered since 14th Mar 2010Wed 17-Mar-10 02:54 AM
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#13. "RE: Newbie with problems w/ D5000 and zoom lens"
In response to Reply # 12


Simpsonville,SC, US
          

Took shots before I read note about setting ISO ratings lower. I did set both shutter and aperture again, but changed the AF to S rather than C per earlier suggestions. Results about same at 300mm and better at 210mm... attachments below at similar settings. I was watching for green focus dot and thought I was getting it before taking shot although it would come an go occasionally.

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illinilarry Registered since 14th Mar 2010Wed 17-Mar-10 02:56 AM
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#14. "RE: Newbie with problems w/ D5000 and zoom lens"
In response to Reply # 13


Simpsonville,SC, US
          

forgot to upload shots described above








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Attachment #1, (jpg file)
Attachment #2, (jpg file)
Attachment #3, (jpg file)

  

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JosephK Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his excellent and frequent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community in the Nikonians spirit. Nikonian since 17th Apr 2006Wed 17-Mar-10 07:41 AM
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#15. "RE: Newbie with problems w/ D5000 and zoom lens"
In response to Reply # 14
Wed 17-Mar-10 07:56 AM by JosephK

Seattle, WA, US
          

The picture of the dog comes the closest, but none of these three are in focus. In AF-S mode, if the focus dot is not staying lit, then the camera is having problems achieving focus. (While the low contrast black dog is a poor focus target, his collar and the wood should work quite well.)

If you have any other lenses, do you have the same problem with all of them?

Also, try taking some shots with no animals as the black and brown colors are not the best AF targets.

---------+---------+---------+
Joseph K
Seattle, WA, USA

  

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Donald Kahn Registered since 16th May 2009Wed 17-Mar-10 01:02 PM
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#16. "RE: Newbie with problems w/ D5000 and zoom lens"
In response to Reply # 14
Wed 17-Mar-10 01:05 PM by Donald Kahn

US
          

Hi Larry

Once again, I agree with Joe, and I think that you should pick some other subjects to test your focus. When I get a new lens, I coax my wife into opening up her eyes really wide so that I can take some test shots at different f stops and focal lenths. I then put them in View NX or CNX2 and enlarge them to 100% and more to view the sharpness of not only her eyes but of other facial features as well. You can also check the focus point with View NX. If your results are still off with that test, you may want to have your equipment checked.

A word of caution. If I ever posted a picture of my wife with her eyes wide open, I would be sleeping in that crate with your dog.

Don

  

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WD4MLA Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Nov 2002Wed 17-Mar-10 01:50 PM
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#17. "RE: Newbie with problems w/ D5000 and zoom lens"
In response to Reply # 0


Sylva, US
          

Do not give up on this lens, it can produce wonderful photos. Here are a couple critter shots that I took handheld.

The elk was taken at 280mm F11 1/60 ISO 160
http://www.flickr.com/photos/by_jerry_jaynes/2779712510/sizes/l/in/se

The squirrel was taken at 280mm F5.6 1/160 ISO 100
http://www.flickr.com/photos/by_jerry_jaynes/2682903875/sizes/l/in/set-72157603082791638/

Jerry Jaynes
Great Smoky Mountains
of North Carolina

http://www.flickr.com/photos/by_jerry_jaynes/

  

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Donald Kahn Registered since 16th May 2009Thu 18-Mar-10 12:52 PM
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#18. "RE: Newbie with problems w/ D5000 and zoom lens"
In response to Reply # 0
Thu 18-Mar-10 12:53 PM by Donald Kahn

US
          

Hi Larry

I don't want you to give up. Post your question and your photos on the "Nikkor Auto Focus Lenses" forum. You'll get a lot more replies and suggestions.

Don

  

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illinilarry Registered since 14th Mar 2010Thu 18-Mar-10 10:02 PM
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#19. "RE: Newbie with problems w/ D5000 and zoom lens"
In response to Reply # 18


Simpsonville,SC, US
          

>Hi Larry
>
>I don't want you to give up. Post your question and your
>photos on the "Nikkor Auto Focus Lenses" forum.
>You'll get a lot more replies and suggestions.
>
>Don


Don,
I didn't give up and today found problem ! Apparently the Vivitar circular polarizing filter wasn't compatible (or defective) with my lens. Went to local camera shop and swapped lenses, etc. Here are few more shots with the new filter (different brand). I may try w/o any filter to see if better.
Thanks to all for their patience and advice. I look forward to trying some different things this weekend and hopefully less frustation!








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illinilarry Registered since 14th Mar 2010Thu 18-Mar-10 11:43 PM
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#20. "RE: Newbie with problems w/ D5000 and zoom lens"
In response to Reply # 19


Simpsonville,SC, US
          

Now without filter out at all and I think just time to practice and I can leave you all alone!!! Thanks again all.








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JosephK Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his excellent and frequent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community in the Nikonians spirit. Nikonian since 17th Apr 2006Thu 18-Mar-10 11:55 PM
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#22. "RE: Newbie with problems w/ D5000 and zoom lens"
In response to Reply # 20


Seattle, WA, US
          

You beat my other post.

Much better!!!!!

---------+---------+---------+
Joseph K
Seattle, WA, USA

  

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Donald Kahn Registered since 16th May 2009Fri 19-Mar-10 01:27 PM
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#23. "RE: Newbie with problems w/ D5000 and zoom lens"
In response to Reply # 20


US
          

Hi Larry

The filter was definitely an important piece of missing information. I'm not sure why you felf that you should be using a cp for these types of shots.

Your latest round of pix are definitely better, but as I had mentioned in my first post, you're shooting most of your pix at 300mm at f5.6 which is wide open, hence your depth of field is very shallow. Another old rule of thumb was that a lens is sharpest when stopped down two stops. In your case, that would be f 11. If you let your ISO float up to as high as 1600, you will be able to stop down to gain more depth of field and also increase your shutter speed. 1/40 is relatively slow for handheld shots even with VR. I'm also somewhat puzzled by your exposure settings. The light appears to be pretty good in all of your latest shots, so even at ISO 320 your camera should be able to pick a faster shutter speed and smaller aperture. I may be wrong about the light conditions.

Once again, everything is a compromise, and you're right, practice will definitely improve your technique. A good book wouldn't hurt either.

Good luck,

Don

  

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illinilarry Registered since 14th Mar 2010Fri 19-Mar-10 02:29 PM
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#24. "RE: Newbie with problems w/ D5000 and zoom lens"
In response to Reply # 23


Simpsonville,SC, US
          

Thanks Don,

I think in these shots I was in "P" mode and had only chosen the ISO setting- let camera chose the rest. I'll try this weekend in shutter priority and aperture priority with a higher ISO setting and see what I can do.

I had read where I should try to protect my lens with a filter and that CP filter was good for bright days- what do you suggest for filter usage in indoor and outdoor situations?

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Donald Kahn Registered since 16th May 2009Fri 19-Mar-10 03:52 PM
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#25. "RE: Newbie with problems w/ D5000 and zoom lens"
In response to Reply # 24
Sat 20-Mar-10 12:32 PM by Donald Kahn

US
          

Hi Larry

I am not suggesting that you necessarily use a higher ISO, but if there isn't enough light for you to be able to shoot at a high enough shutter speed and the f stop that you need, it's your only other choice. I have programmed my camera to shoot in aperature priority and have my ISO Sensitivity Settings programmed to use ISO 200 with a minimun shutter speed of 1/100. If there isn't enough light at ISO 200 to maintain a shutter speed of at least 1/100, the camera automatically will increase the ISO up to the maximum that I have selected which is ISO 6400. I think that 6400 is too high for your camera, but 1600 should work fine. Read through your owner's manual on this subject.

As for protective filters, I would suggest a UV filter which can be left on the lens at all times, indoors and outdoors. There's no filter factor which means that they do not rob your camera of light. There are many of us, however, who do not believe in using any filters, because it's just one more piece of glass in front of your lens that could degrade your image. I, personally, have UV filters on most of my lenses for protection. Buy a good quality filter if you decide that you want the protection.

Don

Edited to add: I was just corrected on the Nikkor Auto Focus lens forum, by one of our most respected Nikonian authorities on lenses, and he advised that you should purchase clear filters rather than UV filters for protection if you are shooting only digital. I thought that I should pass that along.

  

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operknockity Registered since 07th Jan 2010Fri 19-Mar-10 06:52 PM
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#27. "RE: Newbie with problems w/ D5000 and zoom lens"
In response to Reply # 24


Los Angeles, US
          

>I think in these shots I was in "P" mode and had
>only chosen the ISO setting- let camera chose the rest. I'll
>try this weekend in shutter priority and aperture priority
>with a higher ISO setting and see what I can do.

Seems to me that your still all over the place, though now with different shooting modes. Might I suggest that you stick with a single shooting mode until you get used to how it works and to work out your focus problems. Until then it seems that you are stabbing in the dark and hoping something works, but you might not know what it was that ended up being the one thing that worked.

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JosephK Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his excellent and frequent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community in the Nikonians spirit. Nikonian since 17th Apr 2006Thu 18-Mar-10 11:54 PM
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#21. "RE: Newbie with problems w/ D5000 and zoom lens"
In response to Reply # 19


Seattle, WA, US
          

Yes, the missing piece of info: CP filter!

Just to make sure everything else is good, make sure you do some test shots without the CP filter. (These shots are better, but still not where I would expect them to be.) However, since the 70-300mm VR is an f/5.6 lens, and since you are adding a CP filter which steals lots of light, the camera may have focus problems with this combo due to the lack of light coming in when it is not a bright sunny day.

---------+---------+---------+
Joseph K
Seattle, WA, USA

  

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WD4MLA Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Nov 2002Fri 19-Mar-10 04:14 PM
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#26. "RE: Newbie with problems w/ D5000 and zoom lens"
In response to Reply # 0


Sylva, US
          

Larry, welcome to the Nikonians!

Whether to use a filter for protection or not is a personal choice and usually splits the Nikonians down the middle.

If you decide to use one, I think everyone will agree that you should not use a cheap one. There is a difference in a cheap filter and a quality one. Nikon recommends a NC filter for protection. I use the Nikon NC on my 70-300 VR and have had no problems with it.

Jerry Jaynes
Great Smoky Mountains
of North Carolina

http://www.flickr.com/photos/by_jerry_jaynes/

  

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TCnBham Registered since 10th May 2009Sun 21-Mar-10 06:19 PM
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#28. "RE: Newbie with problems w/ D5000 and zoom lens"
In response to Reply # 0


Birmingham, US
          

The best thing to do is to keep things as simple as possible. First, remove the circular polarizer. CP's are generally task specific filters and should not be used as a "protective" filter. Next, if you are going to use a protective filter (I do), buy one of the multicoated clear filters like Nikon, B+W, or Hoya. They cost more, but are well worth it...that is true for any filter you purchase, including polarizers. The best prices on filters are generally from B&H photo/video, Adorama, Calumet. Your local camera store may not carry the high quality brands mentioned above.

Remove any filters from the lens. Put the camera in Shutter Priority mode, and pick a shutter speed of at least 1/300th for purposes of testing with this lens. The camera will pick the aperture. Set the cameras menu so that the ISO is in "auto" mode, starting with a base ISO of 200 and letting it go up to at least 1600. There is also a setting in the camera that lets you pick a minimum shutter speed before auto ISO starts bumping up the ISO from the base of 200...set that to at least 1/300th for this purpose. Set the autofocus to release the shutter when autofocus is acheived...this will ensure that SOMETHING is in focus before it allows the shutter to fire. Pick single point AF and place the AF point on something in the frame that has high contrast...a fence, a brick wall...something that has a distinct difference between a light object and a darker object, letting the center of the AF "box" in the viewfinder rest on the edge between the lighter and darker part of the AF object/item. Put the lens in AF mode with VR in the "normal" "on" mode. Use good hand holding technique...elbows close to your body, left hand supporting the base of the lens underneath the lens, right hand firmly gripping the camera with index finger on the shutter button. Squeeze the shutter button to the halfway position and wait a moment for the lens to focus and the VR to "settle", then gently press the shutter the remainder of the way to fire the shot.

If you have chosen a good AF target, then something should be in focus within the frame, even if the aperture is at 5.6. If you can find a nice brick wall with distinct mortar joints and darker colored bricks, like red, or brown, you should get an in focus image. Try to avoid shots of moving subjects 'till you've got everything sorted out...even at 1/300th shutter speed, moving subjects will deal you fits.

Cheap filters, like most of the big box stores carry, are about the same as putting a piece of window glass in front of your lens...they are worthless. Look for filters that specifically say MRC, or multicoated...you will generally pay well upwards of $50 for a clear or UV filter of this type, and well over $100 for a circular polarizer of this type.

The 70-300VR lens is an excellent lens. Keep trying and it will all start to come together for you. Read as much material on the relationship between shutter speed/aperture/ISO as you can get your hands on. Once you've got it all in your head, it will become automatic. I've been shooting for over 20 years, and probably only shoot in manual mode 10% of the time...the rest of the time, I'm either in Aperture Priority mode or Shutter Priority mode, depending on what I'm doing. Since I do landscapes most of the time, my preferred mode is Aperture Priority, which is best for static subjects.



Terry Crain

I think a photography class should be a requirement in all educational programs because it makes you see the world rather than just look at it.

  

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