I recently got a D5000 as an excuse to take pics of our new puppy. I am using the stock 18-55mm lens that ships with the camera and have been relatively pleased with the results. However, one of my goals is to get sharp photos indoors during the day and during action (i.e. puppy playing) and with natural lighting, if possible. It’s pretty clear to me that the f/5.6 on the lens I’m using isn’t going to produce the image quality I’m looking for indoors, nor does it allow me to freeze action to the level I’d like unless the conditions are ideal. (translation: bright sunshine outdoors) I was debating what the best solution might be to this – a new/different lens, a quality flash, etc.? I also have the Nikkor 55-200mm f/5.6 lens as well, so if a new lens is the route to go, I’d prefer to find one that can essentially replace both of these. Thoughts/suggestions?
#1. "RE: Advice - Sharper Pictures in Low Light" In response to Reply # 0
a few thoughts:
The longer lens has a smaller F stop so that will require slower shutter speeds or a faster ISO to compensate. The longer lens is also more unwieldly and too long in this situation.
I have found that stopping down a few F stops say to F8 and raising the ISO to about 1000 to keep the shutter speeds fast enough make for a good combo.
F8 will give you decent depth of field which gives the appearance of a much sharper image and lens in general peak at about that F8 in sharpness and contrast.
Use aperture priority for this.
Also, many Nikons at default settings look a little soft to most people so the first thing they do is raise the sharpening level up a couple of notches in the default menus.
I would play with those settings and experiment before buying another lens that prolly won't make any difference if you take at the same settings.
Flash gives you a much different "look" than ambient. Strange as it sounds, the best photos usually happen when you use flash outdoors and ambient indoors. Sounds weird but many people like the warmer "look" of ambient indoor shots.
Bottom line: Take a ton of pics using the myriad settings available and see what "look" you like. But IMO the biting sharpness you are looking for will require the lens to be stopped down a few.