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Photography Question 
Jan Honaker
 

how to use the aperture


i just bought nikon d80 and can't figure out how to use the aperture.

i set the dial to "A" mode, and turned the sub command dial. the dial brings up all kinds of numbers and I tried the lowest number. I took a pic of some flowers in our backyard and NOTHING. NO BLURRED background.

help please

we are going to alaska on 5/18 and I would like to take some nice pics of our once in a life time trip

also I bought a 70x300 lens so should I leave that lens on all the time or the 18x135 that came with it.

i will be shooting mostly landscape of course.


THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for ANY help before our trip


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4/29/2008 7:52:56 PM

 
Bernard    Hello Jan
With less than three weeks before your trip, you've got a lot of studying to do, I'd suggest typeing apertures settings in the search box above, and read, practice, and read more.
To obtain a background blur
1.Set the Aperture to the lowest number, 2. the farther background distance the from the subject the more blur, 3. the longer the focal length the blur is possible.
by the way' most landscapes are shot using higher aperture numbers.
Have fun on your trip


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4/30/2008 12:05:07 AM

 
Bernard    Hello Jan
With less than three weeks before your trip, you've got a lot of studying to do, I'd suggest typeing apertures settings in the search box above, and read, practice, and read more.
To obtain a background blur
1.Set the Aperture to the lowest number, 2. the farther background distance the from the subject the more blur, 3. the longer the focal length the blur is possible.
by the way' most landscapes are shot using higher aperture numbers.
Have fun on your trip


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4/30/2008 12:06:24 AM

 
Bernard    sorry for the double post.
number 3 should have read: the longer the focal length the MORE blur is possible. also most landscapes are usually shot using a wide angle lens to capture a wider area of the scene.I suggest not limiting yourself to just one lens.


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4/30/2008 2:38:10 AM

 
Sarah G   Don't limit yourself to one lens. You may use one more than the other, but they will both have their own purposes.

I don't have a wide angle yet, but landscapes are best taken with a wide angle.

An excellent book is "Understanding exposure : how to shoot great photographs with a film or digital camera" by Bryan F. Peterson.

Go to your nearest library and pick out some books that look like they might help. I found Peterson's book in my library. I'd go through as many of the lessons I could in the time I had. Practice and learn as much as you can in the SHORT time you've got.

Can't do that, then search this site and use Google. They will get you some quick study stuff.

Just a note. Your camera has a "Depth of Field Preview Button" (See your Manual), that when you push it you can see the effects of the settings BEFORE you take the picture. It will give you the quickest feedback in your learning of DOF.

When you are holding your camera and looking through the viewfinder, if you take the ring finger of your right hand an push down on the button that is located near the lens-mount flange (below and to the right, your right, of the lens), you will see the effects of your aperture setting on the image. Of course, if your settings won't do anything to the image, then no amount of pushing that button will change anything. :)

Make sure you use at least "JPEG fine" and have LOTS of memory. You don't want to run out of room for all the pictures you will be taking.

HAVE A GREAT TRIP!!!!


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4/30/2008 7:07:56 AM

 
Alan N. Marcus   Hi Jan,

First you need to understand that the shutter speed setting and the aperture setting work together. Light reflected by the subject is focused by the lens and caused to play on the surface of the digital recording chip inside the camera. This action is known as the exposure, it happens in brief period of time, a fraction of a second when the shutter opens and closes.

When you press the go button three things are possible. 1. Too much light will play on the chip. An overexposure take place and the picture will be substandard. 2. Too little light will play of the chip. An underexposure results and the picture will be substandard. 3. The chip receives the correct prescribed amount of light energy and the picture is great. Think of the chip as drinking glass. You attempt the fill the glass at the sink by turning on the faucet.

Consider the factors involve. 1. Water pressure, thatís the brightness of the scene. 2. Time the faucet is allowed to flow, thatís shutter speed. 3. Size of the pipe system, thatís aperture. 4. Size of the glass, thatís ISO, the sensitive setting for the chip. Higher ISOís relates to a tiny glass not needing much water (light). Lower ISOís relate to a larger glass, needing lots of water (light energy).

When you set your Nikon to ďAĒ aperture priority, you are telling the camera to lock onto a pipe size (aperture) that you have selected. We select a specific aperture for a reason. Advanced photographers often want personal control over depth-of-field. This is the span fore and aft of the point focused upon that remains in acceptable focus. For landscapes most choose a tiny aperture (pipe size) opening like f/32 Ė f/22 Ė f/16. Note the larger the number the more tiny the aperture (hole in center of lens allowing light into the camera) and the greater the span enveloped by depth-of-field. So when you see pictures with the mountains in sharp focus and the nearby flowers razor-sharp, tiny apertures like f/22 were likely used.

For portraits, one school of thought is to focus on the eyes and use a large aperture (small numbers) like ff/2.8 -f/4 Ė f/5.6. The smaller the number the larger the aperture (pipe size). Weird but no body said itís easy. When using a large aperture, the span of the depth-of-field zone shrinks. Often in portraits, the eyes are hard sharp and the nose and ears are soft. Also the background goes way out of focus so it wonít be a distraction.

Now that you have selected a specify aperture, the cameraís logic measures the light energy coming from the scene. Using itís computer brain it looks at all the four factors and it selects a shutter speed that will work in consort with your aperture selection.

As to the sub-command dial, it is presenting you with choices, it wants you to pick an aperture value. Big numbers for lots of depth-of-field, little numbers for shallow depth-of-field.

As to which lens? Mount the 18mm ~ 135mm. This will be you all purpose lens, especially for landscapes where most choose a wide angle view. Use the 70mm ~ 300mm for wild life and sports and anytime you need extra reach.

This is a link to your camera manual.
http://www.nikonusa.com/pdf/manuals/noprint/D80_noprint.pdf
You need to study Ė study Ė study Ė

Best of luck,
Alan Marcus


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4/30/2008 10:16:30 AM

 
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