Sat 12-Feb-11 10:12 PM | edited Sat 12-Feb-11 11:25 PM by hawaii502160
My daughters wanted to go to the high school basketball game the other night, so I snagged my camera bag on the way out the door. I'd probably snapped about 100 shots outside, of nothing in particular, just to familiarize myself with the camera in the week since I purchased it. I ended up taking about 150 shots at the game. The lighting in the gym was so low, that I had to crank the ISO up to 4000-5000 to keep the shutter speed at 1/320 or better. I was using the 18-105mm kit lense. These shots are without flash, and with no post-processing:
I used the Aperture Priority mode with the picture control set to "standard", but the sharpening bumped to +6, and contrast bumped to +1. I had Active D Lighting set to Auto. These are large JPeg files, with no post-processing. Any comments on my first pics?
Sun 13-Feb-11 12:03 AM | edited Sun 13-Feb-11 12:08 AM by hawaii502160
Any farther on the focal length, and I would have had to have gone even higher on the ISO settings to keep the exposure correct. I need a faster lens for anything like this indoors w/o a flash. I'm looking at the 50mm f/1.4, or maybe the 85mm f/1.4.
Please keep in mind, I'm coming from a D40 where most of my pics were taken using "Programmed Auto" mode. This is my first dabbling into the more "manual" modes. This is probably too much camera for me, but that's how I like it. I will learn to master this thing!
Sun 13-Feb-11 12:16 AM | edited Sun 13-Feb-11 12:17 AM by glennaa11
The 50mm 1.8 and 85mm 1.8 are also good options and a whole lot cheaper than the 1.4s. I like the 85 a lot. Only about $450-500. And of course the 50 1.8 is barely over $100. The greatest lens bargain in the world.
>For the pics I took at the high ISO's are they decent?
They look great! With a little fine tuning on the computer they would look even better. What was noise reduction set to? My first outing with my D7k (the same day I bought it) was a HS football game. I think you did better than me.
>>For the pics I took at the high ISO's are they decent? > >They look great! With a little fine tuning on the computer >they would look even better. What was noise reduction set to? >My first outing with my D7k (the same day I bought it) was a >HS football game. I think you did better than me.
Thank you! I don't have any post-production software other than some very simple programs (red-eye removal, etc). I'm thinking about picking up Lightroom 3, or Nikon Capture NX2...although I'll be totally lost trying to use either one of them!
On the noise reduction, I never touched that setting, so it is whatever is default.
I have not used the 1.4 so I can't really compare them. But my guess is that for the sorts of things you are shooting the 1.8 will be perfectly adequate. If you were a pro trying to sell pictures, etc then maybe you would notice enough difference to justify the price. But for an amateur whose photos aren't critical I think the 1.8s would be fine.
Once you learn Capture NX2 it is not that hard. And the things it can do are frankly amazing without much effort. There are some good books out there to learn the software and some very good video tutorials on YouTube.
Don't be afraid to poke around in VNX2. On the Adjustments tab is where you can fine tune your image. Just try adjusting brightness, contrast, color, sharpness, etc. and you'll start to see what you can do. Keep in mind, with jpegs, if you save the image you can't undo it. If you shoot in raw and save the image you can undo it later. Also, raw will give you more control and a few more adjustment settings than with jpegs.
Those images look really good for having NR set to default (Normal). I found the normal setting tends to make the image soft and mushy. I always shoot with NR set to off.
Sun 13-Feb-11 09:44 PM | edited Sun 13-Feb-11 10:29 PM by hawaii502160
Thanks! I came across a gorgeous sky tonight, and ripped off a few images in RAW...I'll see what I can do with them in NX2! Here's 2 of the few that I took tonight. I played around with them a little in NX2, but I don't think any of the adjustments really made them look any better. Probably not much you can do for sunset pics!
Sun 13-Feb-11 11:37 PM | edited Sun 13-Feb-11 11:38 PM by KnightPhoto
Don, those basketball pics look great! Makes me wonder if I have been doing something wrong with my higher ISO RAW images
I do have a sneaking suspicion that the jpg engine on the D7000 is so good that it is difficult to match the overall smoothness. Anyhow I think your images turned out really well!
The next hole Nikon needs to plug in their lens lineup is an 85mm f1.8 with AF-S. For now we still have the screwdriver focus version. It is a good lens though. I stupidly sold mine about three years back, not one of my better moves
Thank you for the kind words! I didn't do a whole lot of editing to the RAW pics...all the editing would do is change the color of the skyline. The color shift was neat, but it wasn't representative of what the sky actually looked like! I've got 2 more 8gb SD cards on the way. Once I get them, I'll probably start shooting everything in RAW.