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Thread: Any Nikon experts or novices out there?

  1. #1
    dashman's Avatar
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    Any Nikon experts or novices out there?

    OK, I have a Nikon D80 that I am loaning from a friend and may buy from him. I have no idea how to work the darn thing. This thing has so many buttons. I have been reading the manual, but have some pics to take in the morning and am having no luck.

    I am looking to take pics of basketball games. Just want to be able to take action shots that are in focus. It seems to take pics in clusters of 3??

    Can anybody give me a crash course on how to take a decent pic of fast moving people?

    It has a few add-on lenses if that changes things. I am used to the cheap cameras where you point and click and hope for the best.

  2. #2
    Carnivorous plant enthusiast vraev's Avatar
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    I have a D90. Its my first DSLR, but I might say that i have played with it quite a bit. To understand DSLR you need to know the concept of exposure:

    - Exposure layman's bright a picture appears or how clear it determined by:
    = Aperture
    = Shutter speed
    = ISO

    For the lens to project an image on the sensor inside the camera body, the limiting factor is the size of the HOLE that lets in lgiht through the lens. This is represented by F#. They are a bit reverse in their numbering as it represents a fraction, but the order being F2 (bigger aperture) -> F32 (smaller aperture). More light = more exposure...implies Bigger aperture (smaller F number) means you can get a lot more light in through the lens. However, lenses with bigger apertures are expensive and are called FAST lenses. Used for sports etc.

    Next, shutter speed...determines how quickly the camera opens and closes the shutter. This is pretty simple. If you keep the shutter open too long, you will get a lot of light in the sensor. Shown as 1/100 of a second, 1/200....1/800...1/1600) means faster shutter speed but u can imagine...less time the shutter is open= less light incoming = less exposure.

    So shutter speed and aperture go hand in hand. one goes up, the other has to come down. Its about balance. For instance,, if u want to take things with light trails...i.e, some of those artsy waterfall pics where water looks like a continuous line....the trick is to lower shutter, shutter speed is 1 or 2 seconds. So shutter will be open for soo long and anything moving will be recoreded as a motion blur. On the other hand for sports, u want a fast shutter speed to freeze the increase shutter speed...I would go around 1/600 depending on the type of sport. But keep note...since your shutter speed is low...your picture will be dark. This is as I said...lesser light coming in....hence...balance it my increasing aperture...bump up aperture to F2.8 (if u got such a lens). That will balance it.

    Lastly...sometimes...u cannot get correct exposure with another thing can help...ISO. Iso is sensor sensitivity to take in light pixels. If you increase are increasing the that means you can take pictures in some dark places. However, as sensitivity goes up, image NOISE goes up. So I wouldn't go above ISO 800.

    Lastly...there is a factor called depth of field. IMO that is my most important one. You must have seen those amazing macro shots that PYGO posts on this forum. Notice how blurry his backgrounds are? that is depth of field. For PRIME lenses (lenses that are expensive and fixed focal length, they have LOW my macro lens is F2.8) it means that this lens can increase the hole through which light reaches the sensor to a very big size. When a lot of light is coming in....i.e., HIGH aperture = SHALLOW DEPTH OF FIELD...i.e., the plane of focus is very can focus on the single pitcher tooth on a N. bicalcarata for instance...while everything else is out of focus...looking blurry.

    For sports shots, if you are looking for a lens...let me recommend the 24mm or 50mm F2 nikkor lens. Its a <200$ lens that is amazing for the money. Very fast. It is NOT a macro lens, but an amazing potrait lens...which will give some stellar images.

    There...thats ur crash course.

  3. #3
    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    For sports or action photography usually you want to freeze the action. This means faster shutter speeds for the exposure. Usually you need longer lenses or zooms because this allows you to be physically further away from the action and still get "close-up" images. You usually want faster lenses to allow you to shoot higher shutter speeds at lower light levels and/or slower film speeds (ISO).

    You probably want to use "continuous" autofocus - the focus will change with a moving object as long as you hold down the shutter button halfway.

    You may want to shoot in "continuous" mode. This allows you to shoot a sequence of photos quickly. The frames per second in continuous mode depends on length of exposure and how fast the camera can store images on the memory card. The total number of frames in a sequence is also dependent on the camera/software.

    The D80 has a "sports" program mode (icon of a human figure running). This sets the camera to favor faster shutter speeds and use continuous focus. This mode shuts off the autoflash and flash focus assist. Flash photography is often not allowed at sports events as the flash can startle or temporarily blind the players or refs.

    Then again you may want more artistic effects with some motion blur to give an impression of movement and/or speed - use the "S" shutter priority auto mode for this - you choose the shutter speed. If you want to blur the background and/or foreground to isolate the subject - use the "A" aperture priority auto mode - you choose the aperture (thus controlling some degree the depth-of-field - how much background/foreground is in focus). If you are an experienced photographer manual mode gives you control over shutter speed and aperture.

    If you're shooting from the sidelines a 55mm-200mm zoom should be more than adequate though you may need a shorter focal length for the big picture. If you are shooting from the bleachers you'd probably need something much longer depending on what row you are in.
    Grand Hotel... always the same. People come, people go. Nothing ever happens.

  4. #4
    does this rag smell like chloroform to you? boxofrain's Avatar
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    for most cameras are available on line. Have you tried looking for the on line manual?
    "the memories of a man in his old age, are the deeds of a man in his prime"

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