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Photography Question 
Desiree C. Preckwinkle
 

Nikkor lovers, G or D lens, does it really matter


"G" or "D" Lens does it really matter in how your pictures turn out? I am having problems with sharpness and clarity. I shoot with a Nikon D70 on it highest settings, and various lenses (All "G" types) Curious if I switch to a more expensive lens, if it will improve my clarity overall?? Sharpness and color? Or is film better?
Desiree


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11/17/2006 8:49:50 PM

 
Bob Fately   Desiree, while there are certainly differences between lenses, the D or G version of Nikkors does not correlate to that. The G versions are simply those that do not have an aperture control ring on the lens. These only work with the newer Nikon bodies, which control aperture via the command dials on the camera.

There are both cheap and high-end G type lenses; usually the price of the lens is an indication of where in the spectrum it should fall.

As for your sharpness and clarity issues - are you sure you are focusing properly? Using a high enough shutter speed to avoid slight blurring due to motion? Perhaps it would help if you mount the camera on a tripod to take some photos and see if that helps. Try different apertures as well, to see if what you are seeing is a function of depth of field - which will increase as you use smaller apertures.


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11/17/2006 10:39:52 PM

 
Desiree C. Preckwinkle  
 
 
Hi Bob, thanks for clearing up the G and D issue. So basically I need to spend more money on a better lens to acheive the sharpness I want. For instance in the picture I posted, can you please let me know if you see anything wrong with it and perhaps give me some pointers. Not as sharp as I want, however don't feel it is out of focus. Thanks.


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11/18/2006 1:02:31 PM

 
Desiree C. Preckwinkle  
 
 
Hi Bob, thanks for clearing up the G and D issue. So basically I need to spend more money on a better lens to acheive the sharpness I want. For instance in the picture I posted, can you please let me know if you see anything wrong with it and perhaps give me some pointers. Not as sharp as I want, however don't feel it is out of focus. Thanks.


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11/18/2006 1:03:28 PM

 
Bob Fately   Well, Desiree, first of all, the picture is sideways!

All kidding aside, though, here's what I can say:
It looks as though you used a wide enough aperture to get a shallow DOF so the foliage in the background is a bit blurred and not too distracting. From the looks of the subject's blond hair strands standing out, it would also seem that the focus is pretty good. The baby's eyes may be a bit unfocused, but it's hard to tell on a computer screen.

Which brings up an important point - no computer monitor has the resolution of a decent printer. Monitors are all about 72-95 ppi, while printers are usually about 300 dpi (give or take 60 dpi). My point is that a printer is capable of resolving about 4 times as much detail, so what something looks like on screen and what it looks like on paper can be quite different when you are inspecting something like sharpness.

There is no way for me to tell what level of sharpening you did (either in-camera or as a last step in post-processing), but that can make a noticeable difference in a print and a much less obvious difference on a screen.

So, again, perhaps your DOF was a bit too shallow to get both mom and baby's hair in sharp focus, but it's hard to say based on a screen view. Still, in general, yes, a better lens might make a difference. You might want to consider using a "prime" lens - that is, one that doesn't zoom to different focal lengths - as these are easier to build and so good quality comes at a lower price. The 50MM lens might be a good one for portraiture - and it's not too expensive at all.

As for the photo - the dapples sunlight effect is a matter of taste - not mine, exactly, as though it looks nifty in real life when seen in a still photo it makes the skin tones to mottled, shadows and highlights and all that. And of course it would be a nicer shot if thebaby were looking more at the viewer/camera - but that's a matter of timing. Or if this is actually you and your baby, then that's a matter of a lot of luck with the self timer!


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11/18/2006 2:51:32 PM

 
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