Sun 07-Aug-11 02:49 PM | edited Sun 07-Aug-11 08:05 PM by pjonesCET
Odds are you didn't have the proper aperture setting for the darkness of the scene. Also does this camera have a Auto-focus, VR (Vibration Resistance) Lens?
Were they turned off or on? should be on.
IF camera has Guide Option turn on and answer questions that come up as to what you are doing, and make suggested setting.
IF you can, in really low light, use a Tripod.
If outside make sure Flash doesn't Flash (it doesn't do any good on outside images in the evening. Even shooting ball games inside or out, or some type of play/ dance inside (or out in the evening) Flash is wasted effort unless your within 4-10 foot of the subject, and use it as back fill (where the subject has sun at back to their back).
In the guide menu you answer yes or no to a series of questions. when you answer yes another series of questions come up and some setting to adjust. you keep going through guide menus until your exact situation comes up. Chances are with the elk it moved as you were shooting which would cause a blurry picture. perhaps a wider aperture (allowing more light in) or a faster shutter speed would have captured better.
Sun 07-Aug-11 07:55 PM | edited Sun 07-Aug-11 08:02 PM by jpFoto
Welcome to Nikonians. Don't give up the ship so soon. The Nikkor AF-S 55-300 f/4.5-5.6 VRII is an excellent lens and I have seen some great results with it. Since you said that you went out "last night," I'm going to assume that the light was low so most likely you weren't able to shoot at a fast enough shutter speed. What you thought was poor focus was probably camera shake because of a slow shutter speed. Your lens is what many refer to as "slow" because the maximum aperture is F/4.5 at the wide end (55mm) of the zoom and f/5.6 at the long end (300mm), which just means that you need good lighting to be able to use a fast enough shutter speed to avoid that camera shake. Hopefully, you have gone out during the day and tried some more shots in bright light to reassure yourself. Here's a link to some zoo shots that a friend of mine shot with that lens. He was a beginner at the time. Now, a year later, he does some professional photography.
Thanks. So much to learn - but I think I will be able to get some really nice pics once I figure it all out. I posted a couple of pics from last evening while I was searching for the group of bull elk.
Great composition on a couple of those shots. As I had suspected, you are shooting at too slow of a shutter speed particularly with that lens. Your EXIF data shows that two of your shots of the Elk were at 1/30. Also, your lens has VR, but you have turned it "off."
I would suggest that you set up (turn on) Auto-ISO for this type of outing and let the ISO go as high as 1600 or even 3200 with a miniumum shutter speed of 1/200.
Obviously, there is more to this than you can learn in one thread, so I would also suggest that you read the manual that came either in the box or on a CD with the camera.
Also, I would highly recommend a book by Bryan Peterson entitled "Understanding Exposure." Priceless. Here's a link:
I use Dave's Uploader for my PhotoCart, but ACDsee for my Nikonians Gallery You can resize and save-as at a lower quality for posting pictures to this forum. You probably will be able to do the same thing with Nikon View.
I want to correct something that I had said in my first post. After looking at the EXIF data again, I see that you do, in fact, have AUTO-ISO on. Also, if you were shooting on a tri-pod, then you were correct to turn off the VR. You just ran out of light in a couple of those shots. There's nothing that you can do about that. (Except to spend a lot of money on a faster lens and I am NOT recommending that.)
As for the book, I had recommended it to a young photographer and he later told me that it was the best book that he had ever read on photography and that he was going to buy a couple of Bryan's other books.
This is a great suggestion - I've recommended this book to many others. I think it goes a long way toward explaining the fundamentals of exposure in a very accessible yet thorough manner. When my teenage son started to get very interested in photography, this was the one book I encouraged him to read first.
Sun 14-Aug-11 09:25 PM | edited Sun 14-Aug-11 09:49 PM by jpFoto
I think that you meant to say that your camera's sensor filters UV light as opposed to the lens. I believe that the current recommendations are that if you want to use a protective filter that you should use a very high quality clear glass filter such as the Nikon NC or a similar good quality filter such as the B&W, the Hoya and a few others. Cheap filters can definitely degrade your photos.
Also, if you take a look at the Filters forum, you will see that there are two different camps regarding the use of protective filters. Both have merit.
Either the camera has the UV filtering or the lens. But what I was told was the lens. Doesn't make any difference, though. Anyway my buying a U/V was useless. I was taking pictures on The Blue Ridge Parkway. in the fall was trying to get some decent picture Leaf color. Everything seemed hazy. need to remember how to set F-stops to counter act that.
hmmmmm . . . . I guess I better check out that thread. The ones I got at best buy were rocket fish. I was chatting with a wildlife photographer at the Huckleberry Festival today and he said he just uses a UV filter to protect his lens and only uses a polarizer for water shots. hmmmmm
Good! I was trying to steer you in that direction without coming right out and just telling you to take those filters back. High quality, multi coated, and clear, or nothing.
I have an older lens that I hadn't used for a few years and recently mounted it on one of my cameras, but when I looked at the shots I couldn't believe how bad they were. I took a few more controlled test shots and then removed the filter for a few more test shots. After looking at the photos without the filter, I threw the filter in the garbage. It was too bad because I had really liked those shots.
Tue 16-Aug-11 12:28 AM | edited Tue 16-Aug-11 12:47 AM by jpFoto
I am far from an expert on filters. Why don't you ask a few questions over in the Filter forum. I was just trying to save our new Nikonian from what could possibly have been or could have become a "cheap filter disaster."
You turn the filter for least amount of polarization so the auto focus has the most amount of light and contrast to work with, then rotate the filter for the desired effect. If you lose focus, repeat get focus, change to manual focus, rotate filter.
Though it may initially seem like filter quality won't make a difference, I know someone who had thought his brand new camera was broken because the images of things at a distance were terrible. Turned out that it was just a bad filter. Hope this helps someone. I'm also new to a D5100 and am glad that I chose this model.