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Photography Question 
Nicole Daniel
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/22/2005
 

How to operate the Nikon D70 digital camera


 
  Example
Example
Sport mode, fill flash, ISO 200, shutter 1/30, f/4.8


© Nicole Daniel
Nikon D70 Digital ...

 
 
Can someone explain this to me. I just bought my first digital camera,a Nikon D70 but I am having problems with it. While at the zoo I set it to the sports mode so that I could easily take pictures of moving birds, primates, etc... however the fastest shutter speed it used was 1/125 with my lens at 300mm. So most of my pictures were blurry, also it was handheld. however when I set it on full auto mode I got shutter speeds up to 1/800 on animals that were sitting perfectly still. Those turned out okay though. Why is this?


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7/25/2005 8:10:21 PM

 
Susan L. Vasquez
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/24/2005
  Nicole..I just purchased the D70 recently after shooting with a "point & shoot" cybershot for over 3 years. Bottom line is that using those "auto" settings seems like a waste of time to me. I tried them too, just to see how it did and was very disappointed. Now I shoot everything manual and it is great!! This way you control the shutter, aperature, white bal, etc.

A helpful hint I got from a friend of mine was to set your Autofocus setting to AF-C. This will allow you to have continous focus (like you do on sports setting) but at the same time you will have the ability to change anything else you need to in manual mode. It didn't work 100% of the time ( a few shots came out blurry ) but I had a lot of success with it.

Good luck and have fun with that D70. Experiment in manual, afterall it is digital and whatever doesn't turn out you can just go back and try again! Take several pictures of the same subject and change the settings around...see what works and what doesn't! I really wish I could have answered your question not sure why the auto modes do what they do, I just know manual is the best way to shoot.


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7/25/2005 8:51:22 PM

 
Nicole  Daniel   Thanks Susan. I switched to AF-C, will see how that works. There is so much to learn about this camera I don't know where to start!


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7/25/2005 9:33:53 PM

 
Susan L. Vasquez
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/24/2005
  Isn't that the truth! But it's fun :) And I think in the long run it will make us better photographers as well. My latest swim shots were taken using AF-C and all manual settings. Out of approximately 50 shots only a handful were out of focus. And the few I've posted really amazed me! I just can't say how much I love my new camera. Before I couldn't even get a decent shot of Amber, she'd be gone before I could even get focused.


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7/25/2005 9:43:03 PM

 
Jon Close
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/18/2000
  In the sample submitted, it looks like the camera chose the fastest shutter speed (1/30) it could, at least under fill flash mode (giving balanced exposure to the background and the flash). The monkey is not well lit by ambient light, the ISO is at 200 (minimum) and the aperture was probably wide open at f/4.8.

Some things you can do to get faster shutter speeds:

(a) Raise the ISO setting. At ISO 400 the above shot would have been made at 1/60, and 1/125 at ISO 800. Trade-off is increased digital noise, which can be mitigated somewhat with post-processing.

(b) Shoot in manual and make the flash the main light instead of fill. Assuming the subject was not beyond the range of the flash, set the aperture for maximum and the shutter speed to a motion stopping 1/125 or higher (up to 1/500 maximum flash sync). The near subject would be well lit by the flash and the backgound would go very dark/black. Not a bad thing since this background was a busy/distracting wire cage.

(c) Use a faster (wider aperture) lens. This is the most expensive option.


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7/26/2005 5:53:39 AM

 
Angela K. Wittmer
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/13/2003
  I have had luck shooting in Aperture Priority & letting the camera pick the shutter. I alm still learning the camera too so my thoughts are just play around with it & the wonderful thing is you can erase it if it doesnt work!

Best of luck!

smiles,.................. Angie


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7/26/2005 7:16:01 AM

 
Nicole Daniel
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/22/2005
  Thanks Jon and Angela. I will keep trying all of your great ideas. I have so much to learn about my new camera and photography in general, but I am loving every minute of it.


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7/26/2005 7:34:04 AM

 
Gary Riedel
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/22/2005
 
 
 
I guess my answer is directly opposite to Angela's. Since the moving animals seem to be an issue, why not set the camera at shutter priority, let's say at 1/500, adjust the ISO accordingly and let the camera do the aperature work? Handheld shots should be no problem and the resulting wider aperatue will result in desireable out of focus backgrounds. Those in focus backgrounds can be a surprise when you get home and see so much distracting clutter back there. As everyone else advises, keep trying different things; but don't forget to try my suggestion too. You should get in focus animals and faded backgrounds with this method.


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7/26/2005 7:52:10 AM

 
Laura E. OConnor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/12/2005
  Nicole, I agree that switching to AF-C on the sport mode should solve your problem. Maybe let it do Auto ISO and see what happens. I shot some ocean waves on sport mode this way and got great stop action results. Not great photos, as the composition wasn't great, but obviously that wasn't the D70's fault.

Anyone doing portraits with the D70? If so, which lens and what ISO do you use. I was disappointed to find that 200 was the lowest, but I've used that. I think my main problem is my lighting situation in my home studio, but I just can't seem to get the portraits really crisp and clear. Any suggestions? I'm also a beginner and have a TON to learn. I have used the preset modes, which a Nikon rep recommended and said it sets all settings to the optimum for the situation you're trying to shoot, but you can still go into the menus and customize some settings, unlike Auto or P. I've had a lot of luck with the portrait, closeup and landscape modes. It sets colors and hues to better pick up those in the situation you'll be shooting, too. I'm just delving into the S and A priority modes, and am doing ok, but could definitely use some guidence on portraits.


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7/26/2005 8:06:06 AM

 
Angela K. Wittmer
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/13/2003
  Laura...

I have done some portrait work with the D70, but all outside as I dont have indoor studio yet. The place where I got my camera told me to try Apeture Priority for portraits. Sometimes I also let the camera set both in P mode for me, but I play around alot with it too. Yes I too was disappointed with ISO 200 as the lowest but they told me should not make a difference at all. Portrait mode works good too. I havent had the camera for very long, but I learn more everyday.. good luck!


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7/26/2005 8:27:50 AM

 
Susan L. Vasquez
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/24/2005
 
 
 
I've gotten great portraits as well, but I still say manual is the way to go with this camera.
I have tried all the other settings but end up happiest with the shots that were set up manually.
This may be only in my head, that I've actually had to think about how I want things instead of letting the camera think for me, but I'll post an example.

Laura...wish I had studio lights :) Right now I've only done pet portraits indoors. I have a SB600 that I can set up to remotely go off to help with lighting, but I am still learning how to use it.


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7/26/2005 8:44:39 AM

 
Susan L. Vasquez
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/24/2005
 
 
 
eh..needed to sign in to post the example. here we go ;)


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7/26/2005 8:48:38 AM

 
Laura E. OConnor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/12/2005
  Thanks, Angela. I believe the last set of portraits I did with my hubby and kids was on Apeture Priority. I'm happiest with them, so I think I agree.

Susan, I've never tried it on fully manual, so we'll have to see... I usually don't have time to fool around with it, taking portraits of my two and four year old is challenging enough. I need SOMETHING to do some of the thinking for me! LOL! I have worklights from Lowes with 250 watt garage light bulbs in them - not real studio lights. They work well, though. My challenge is two french doors with 10 window panes in each on a 5th wall in my "studio" that seem to lose light for me. No matter how many lights I light (I've gone up to 1000 watts on halogen worklights) I just can't seem to get a brighter image! I need to cover the doors with a white sheet or curtain, I guess.

I just got my sb800 and an umbrella. I am DYING to work with those, but haven't gotten anyone to sit for me sine I got them! I agree, your manual shot is the best of the three. I'll have to try it all!

There are a couple of D70 books out, has anyone tried or heard anything about them? I was thinking of buying one. They are supposed to be much more in depth on the D70 than the manual. I've read the manual about 10 times cover to cover with my camera in front of me! I can't remember it all without practicing every day, which I can't!

Thanks everyone! Can we keep this D70 thread going to share tips and info??


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7/26/2005 11:06:24 AM

 
Laura E. OConnor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/12/2005
  OK, I lied. "My Clan" and "The Faces I Love" and the shots of my husband and son were actually taken on Manual. (I FORGOT! I started to experiment with this about two months ago and stopped for some reason!) ISO 200, 1/200 shutter at f/5.6. They were a little dark and had to be adjusted a bit in PS. Can anyone recommend different settings that would give me better light results, and still stop those wiggly kids without blur?


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7/26/2005 11:41:53 AM

 
Kathy A. Norwood
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/1/2005
  Laura, I bought a manual that I found at Amazon.com for the Nikon D70. Very in depth but down to earth language. It really helped me to learn my camera better. I also carry a small notebook with me when I purposefully go to shoot pictures. I wrote down little notes like-for shallow dpof use larger aperture, when shooting snow pictures turn off auto exposure and shoot in manual, etc. little things that I can quickly refer to when I am stumped about a shot or I've have a brain dump. My sister is a professional photographer and her best advice is this, when in doubt, use the P mode and turn on your histogram to see if you have a full range across your histogram.
Hope this helps. I love my D70 and will keep it for quite a while.


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7/26/2005 4:36:59 PM

 
Kathy A. Norwood
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/1/2005
  Oops, sorry. I think my response should have been directed to Nichole. Anyway, just some thoughts.


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7/26/2005 4:38:35 PM

 
Nicole Daniel
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/22/2005
  Thanks to everyone! You've given so much good advice I don't know where to start!


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7/27/2005 7:06:23 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
 
 
 
hey Laura,
this is a portrait shot on Sat. with the D-70 set on s-sutter pirority.
useing the sb-800 and 28-80mm nikon lens


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7/27/2005 8:10:33 AM

 
Laura E. OConnor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/12/2005
 
 
 
Beautiful, Debby. Did you use ISO 200?

I played a little yesterday and got better results. I really think it's a lighting issue. I have to cover those darn doors with something white. Too many shadows on that side. I used my sb800 into a black backed/silver lined umbrella and also used natural light (I have HUGE windows all along and up my front wall) I tried a reflector on that side, but my daughter never stayed where I needed her and had all I could do to keep adjusting the slave setup! I need to play with the settings on the sb800 too. I just got it recently and need to see if I can make it brighter for studio bounce use.

I'm now having an issue where the photos look great when I load them on my pc, but when I open them in Windows Photo Editor or PS to Tweak or crop, they look really dark. When I get done making them look "right" and save a copy to the folder, they look too bright and way off color in the folder! Any sugestions on the computer problem anyone???


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7/27/2005 8:26:20 AM

 
Laura E. OConnor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/12/2005
  Beautiful, Debby. Did you use ISO 200?

I played a little yesterday and got better results. I really think it's a lighting issue. I have to cover those darn doors with something white. Too many shadows on that side. I used my sb800 into a black backed/silver lined umbrella and also used natural light (I have HUGE windows all along and up my front wall) I tried a reflector on that side, but my daughter never stayed where I needed her and had all I could do to keep adjusting the slave setup! I need to play with the settings on the sb800 too. I just got it recently and need to see if I can make it brighter for studio bounce use.

I'm now having an issue where the photos look great when I load them on my pc, but when I open them in Windows Photo Editor or PS to Tweak or crop, they look really dark. When I get done making them look "right" and save a copy to the folder, they look too bright and way off color in the folder! Any sugestions on the computer problem anyone???


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7/27/2005 8:28:58 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  LAURA,
I DO BELIVE SO YES,
AS FAR AS THE SB-800 SIMPLY PRESS THE UP AND DOWN BUTTONS ON THE BACK OF YOUR FLASH TO +3 AND THIS WILL BE AT IT'S BRIGHTEST.
AND THAT SOUNDS LIKE A COMPUTER PROBLEM AND I TRULY DO NOT KNOW ENOUGH TO HELP-BUT I LEARN ALOT FROM OTHERS HERE.I ONLY KNOW ENOUGH TO GET BY AND A FEW SIMPLE TRICKS.
BUT I DO WISH YOU THE BEST OF LUCK WITH THAT-HAVE YOU THOUGHT ABOUT POSTING THAT AS A SEPERATE QUESTION HERE-TO ATTRACT THE RIGHT PEOPLE TO ANSWER?
DEBBY


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7/27/2005 8:51:46 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
 
 
 
SATERDAY THERE WAS A STORM OVER HEAD AND THIS IS HOW THE SB-800 DID AT +3
AT 9:00 OR 9:30 PM


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7/27/2005 8:56:31 AM

 
Laura E. OConnor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/12/2005
  Thanks for your help, Debby.

You used Shutter priority...what did you set the shutter speed to?

When the sb800 is set to Remote TTL I can't get to that setting, I'll have to change back to TTL and change it and try again, I guess. BOY is my daughter losing patience with me!!! THANKS! Back to the manuals! LOL!

I just noticed that PC problem last night! It's definitely a new issue. DARN! Yes, I probably will post it as a new question. Thanks again!


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7/27/2005 8:59:08 AM

 
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