Post Your Photo Gear Questions!

I have been receiving emails, requests on our Facebook Fan Page and plenty of comments on camera gear from our readers during the last couple of weeks. While I will be spending the next few weeks working on a full Nikon 1 V1 Review (see my mini-review here), along with Nikon 1 lenses and other camera + lens reviews, I would like to dedicate some of my time this week to answering questions related to photography gear from our readers. It is a holiday season and many are looking for suggestions on what cameras, lenses and other photo accessories to buy.

It has been a tough year for Nikon and besides a couple of good deals on some cheap lenses like Nikon 55-200mm / Nikon 55-300mm and on the new Nikon 1 system, we did not really see any significant discounts on Nikon gear this week, while Canon has just launched another lens and speedlite instant rebate program. This is very unfortunate for Nikon, because their sales have been severely impacted simply by short supply and unavailability of DSLRs, lenses and accessories. Popular cameras like Nikon D7000, D700 and D3s are nowhere to be found, while some lenses like Nikon 85mm f/1.4G have been hard to find for a while now…

If you have any gear-related questions, please feel free to post them here in the comments section below. I will do my best to respond to your question as soon as I can!

Comments

  1. 1
    ) Mark
    November 29, 2011 at 1:48 am

    Dear Nasim,

    I have been looking at macro ring-lights and I was wondering if you have ever used these and if you have ever looked at the macro LED ringlights vs a macro ring flash like the Nikon SB R1? Obviously the price difference is very good for the LED lights, but I wonder if they are any good?
    Also on the subject of flashes, do you have any reccomendations for a good entry-level home studio flash kit?
    Many thanks,
    Mark.

    • November 29, 2011 at 9:51 am

      Mark, have you seen this article on off-camera flash? In that article there is a detailed list of things I use and recommend. As for a studio setup, check out my How to Photograph Corporate Portraits, specifically the studio section, where I show which background holder and paper to get. That’s my mobile studio setup and it works great for anything.

      As for macro ring-lights, LED versions work differently than flash versions – flash obviously outputs more power and can be a little more flexible in terms of light placement. LED, on the other hand, is constant light and can be used with Live View to get a good understanding of how the image will look when it is captured, which is great. It also produces a softer look than flash, since it is not as harsh and directional as flash. The disadvantage of LED is that it outputs less power than flash, which means that you cannot really use it to freeze motion like you can with flash. If you photograph stationary subjects, LED is better in my opinion. It goes without saying that your camera needs to be on a tripod. With flash, you can do some hand-held shots, but not with LED. Personally, I would get an LED macro ring setup like the Sigma EM-140. There are some cheaper alternatives out there as well…

  2. 2
    ) Pauli
    November 29, 2011 at 5:39 am

    Im also intersted about using flash, just ordered sb-700. Im totally beginner in flashes, how to use them
    to get most out of them and so… Have You done any tutorials of using speedlights? On camera and off camera, Im really willing to learn before chritstmas… hehhe at least littel basics.

    Thank You
    Pauli

    • 3
      ) Pauli
      November 29, 2011 at 5:56 am

      Yes I see You have… stupid me didnt see it.. sorry. Im gonna read that… thanks

    • 5
      ) Davis Chen
      November 29, 2011 at 7:06 am

      Pauli, another good resource for learning about expanding your photography with flash is the Strobist blog (http://strobist.blogspot.com). I suggest checking out their Lighting 101 articles, and the On Assignment articles are very good too because he will show you a photo and then explain how the flashes and exposure were set up to get that effect and the environmental factors that need to be taken into account. You’ll never look at a photograph the same way after reading some of those. The site also has ideas for cheap DIY flash mods, and you can look around on the web for those as well to come up with something that works for your needs.

      • 6
        ) Pauli
        November 29, 2011 at 7:30 am

        Thank You Davis, I will look at that site.

      • November 29, 2011 at 10:09 am

        Agreed, Strobist rocks! I learned a great deal from the man.

    • November 29, 2011 at 9:54 am

      Pauli, no worries, a very limited number of flash photography tips can be found on the top navigation menu of this site. I will be posting a lot more flash photography articles later this month.

      Happy holidays!

  3. 4
    ) Deepa
    November 29, 2011 at 7:05 am

    Hi Nasim,

    I had asked u earlier about whether to go with d7000 or d90. B&H are out of d7000’s, do u know if it is because of the Nikon store flooding or they might be coming out with a newer model? Also, do u think its extremely important to get external flash with it? And what lenses would u recommend?

    • November 29, 2011 at 10:36 am

      Deepa, there will be no D7000 replacement anytime soon. Nikon should release a new full-frame camera at the end of Q1 of 2012 and perhaps a D400 along with that. Obviously, D400 will be a lot more expensive than the D7000.

      I would not buy the D90 at this time and wait till D7000 is available. Check B&H, Adorama, Ritz/Wolf Camera, Amazon and perhaps even local shops regularly and the D7000 should be in stock soon.

      As for accessories and lenses, I have plenty of articles on the subject.

      • 15
        ) Deepa
        November 29, 2011 at 10:49 am

        Thank you Nasim,

        So, if the new camera is gng to be out at the end of Q1, that would drop the prices of d7000 wont it? And the newer model will have more features too right?
        Since its not available now i’ll wait till end of Feb..(its gng to be my b’day gift, im a leap baby!!:))
        I love your work and like a said before if ever u r planning to do a workshop in MI i’m in!!

        • November 29, 2011 at 10:52 am

          Why should it drop the price if the camera being announced is not replacing the D7000? Please re-read my comment above…

          • 17
            ) Deepa
            November 29, 2011 at 10:56 am

            Im sorry there seems to be a lag in my brain function today:/
            Is it ok to go with used/refurbished d7000 from B&H? Or you would strongly suggest going with new?

            • November 29, 2011 at 10:57 am

              No problem. Refurbished is fine, but don’t forget that it does not have the same warranty as a brand new D7000. If budget is not an issue, wait till a new one is available…

            • 19
              ) Deepa
              November 29, 2011 at 11:01 am

              The one that they are gng to release at the end of Q1? I really appreciate all your help.
              Thank you so much!

            • November 29, 2011 at 11:02 am

              No, till D7000 is available – it is currently unavailable at all major resellers.

  4. 7
    ) Sushanth
    November 29, 2011 at 8:13 am

    Hi Nasim,
    I am struggling to decide between 35mm f1.8g and 50mm f1.8g for my Nikon D3100. Already own 18-55 & 55-200 and thinking getting a prime lens for indoor photography. It’s primarily for portraits of my 6 month old and may be some group photos. In future sometime thinking of getting a ultra wide zoom lens for outdoors. What do you suggest between 35 and 50 on my DX? Thank you

    • 11
      ) muhammad iqbal
      November 29, 2011 at 10:27 am

      hello susanth, no offense but i think nasim already had a post in this blog titled “nikon af-s 35mm f1.8 vs afs 50mm f1.4″.
      i believe it will answer 99% of your question :)
      the 35mm will be your dx normal-general purpose-low light light. but if you often do portraiture (narrow angle of view) and prefer better bokeh, the 50mm will serve you well.
      i hope nasim will have similar opinion :)

      regards,

      • November 29, 2011 at 10:39 am

        Thank you Muhammad, that’s exactly what I wanted to say.

    • November 29, 2011 at 10:38 am

      Sushanth, yes, check out the Nikon 35mm f/1.8G vs 50mm f/1.4G article Muhammad pointed out and you will find your answer there. See the comments as well.

      • 25
        ) Sushanth
        November 29, 2011 at 3:29 pm

        Thank you. I might have missed that post. Thanks again.

  5. 21
    ) sade
    November 29, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    Dear Nasim,

    1-I am wondering if you have seen Samyang 35mm f/1.4 and if you have done, what is your impression about it?
    2- Do you think if autofocus is critical for street photography with 35mm lens on a full frame body?
    3-What is your advice about buying this lens for street photography and portrait?
    4- Can we ask questions about photography that are not about photo gears?

    Thanks in advance.

    :)

    • November 29, 2011 at 12:11 pm

      Sade, I have not yet tested the Samyang 35mm f/1.4, but will definitely do that soon (after I post 20+ reviews of all the gear that I have now, LOL). So far from what I have seen, the Samyang lenses are exceptionally good in quality and their price/performance ratio is very good. Yes, autofocus is critical for street photography – if that’s what you want to get the 35mm Samyang for, then skip it.

      And yes, go ahead and ask any question.

      • 23
        ) sade
        November 29, 2011 at 12:19 pm

        Thanks a lot for your fast reply.
        Its always pleasure to check your website.
        My question is that what is your workflow for color management and photo printing.
        Indeed, since this is a complex subjects which can not be answered in a comment post, I do not expect to see the answer soon but I think if some day you have time and you can tell us about your color management and printing workflow, it will be very helpful for me and many others.
        Thanks again and best wishes.

        Javad.

        • November 29, 2011 at 5:26 pm

          Sade, it is indeed rather complex. I own two calibrated wide gamut monitors and I do all of my post-processing there. Default working space is ProphotoRGB and non-destructive editing from Lightroom to Photoshop (when required). Exporting for print depends on who I use, so I go through their requirements. Typically it is JPEG in 90% quality with AdobeRGB color profile, but some have different requirements / standards. So I work it out with the printing company. I only work with professional labs (mostly local, but some remote for album printing). I don’t do any in-house printing, because I don’t do much printing to justify it. For small prints, I have an ink HP printer that I can use…

  6. 24
    ) Jorge Balarin
    November 29, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    Dear Nasim,

    What do you think about the Nikon AF-S 300/4,0D IF-ED ?
    Also I would like to know if this lens can work with a teleconverter.
    Having already the Nikon 28-300 zoom, makes sense to buy the Nikon AF-S 300/4,0D IF-ED ?
    Thank you very much for your advice, Jorge Balarin.

    • November 29, 2011 at 5:29 pm

      Jorge, are you referring to this 300mm f/4? If you are, then it is a phenomenal lens. Just came back from Bosque Del Apache shooting with it and I am amazed by its sharpness with the TC-14E II. I will post some samples later. You cannot even remotely compare it to the 28-300mm zoom you have. It is almost as sharp as the $5K 300mm f/2.8 – that’s how good it is.

      If you are after birds or want to get beautiful portraits, the 300mm f/4 won’t disappoint. I wish it had VR, but then you don’t really need it with fast shutter speeds when photographing birds…

  7. 28
    ) Scott
    November 29, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    Dear Nasim,

    I have been thinking about getting the Nikon 300mm f/2.8G. Would you recommend the previous generation, which seems a bargain right now compared to the new VR II version? How does it (the previous version) work with teleconverters?

    Thank you very much!
    Scott

    • November 30, 2011 at 9:29 am

      Scott, I am assuming that you want to get a used 300mm f/2.8G lens, since the older version is not sold by major retailers anymore. There is practically no difference in optical performance between the older version and the new VR II version, so absolutely – if you can get the older version at a good price, go for it! The older version works the same with all Nikon TCs, including the new TC-20E III…

  8. 29
    ) pradipta datta
    November 29, 2011 at 8:35 pm

    Dear Nasim,

    I got my brand new , much awaited Nikon 10-24mm lens…and as you suggested its’ stunning…. I just need one more support from you. Hope you wont’ mine. Please suggest me which UV filter (Hoya HMC UV Filter is available in India) is better for my lens or does it require to attach UV filter. Will it cause any vignetting or ghost reflection at 10 mm? Please suggest.

    Best Regards,

    Pradipta Datta

    • November 30, 2011 at 9:31 am

      Pradipta, Hoya filters are fine. Just make sure that the filter is multi-coated. On the widest side, it might cause some vignetting, so you might need to take off the filter when shooting wide. Or you can get a thin filter, but then the Nikon cap won’t fit the lens anymore.

  9. 30
    ) Rajesh
    November 30, 2011 at 3:59 am

    Dear Nasim,
    Let me first thank you for posting all these articles. I have learned quite a bit from here (though i might have to spend more time here to cover all the topics). I am a budding photographer, slowly learning the tricks of the trade and expanding my gear. Currently I am in an stage where i would like to try macro photography. But now i am in a pickle whether to go for the AF micro Nikor 105mm f/2.8 or the Sigma 105mm f/2.8G. I am aware the Nikor is more expensive, and if i opt for the Sigma i would be able to accomodate additional polarzing filters for my all lenses too.(thanks again to your article on polarizing effect). But i am too worried about the quality of the sigma 105mm. Although i read some very positive reviews about it in the net, i would be glad if i can get your (highly regarded) opinion as well. Sorry for the lenghty question, Hope to see a reply soon.

    Cheers,
    RJ

    • November 30, 2011 at 9:35 am

      Rajesh, I have not personally used the Sigma 105mm macro, so I can’t really talk about its performance. In general, Nikon glass is typically better than Sigma. Although Sigma has gotten better with their QA, I have seen many cases where Sigma glass has AF issues. I personally do not own a single Sigma lens, primarily because of their occasional manufacturing defects. But again, their QA has gotten better over the years.

      • 58
        ) Rajesh
        December 2, 2011 at 1:09 am

        Dear Nasim, Yeah. I read that the af is bit slow and noisy in sigma and the optics is one of the best in the market. But in your experience did you find the af in all macro lens( including nikor) to be slow? Thats what i read in a couple of sites.

  10. 31
    ) Ravi R
    November 30, 2011 at 4:24 am

    Nasim,

    I am in a dilemma here and fixing redundancy. I have a 70-200 2.8 VR, 18-200 VR and a 70-300 VR. Plus a 28-100 G that came with a Nikon N80. Plus some manual 50mm 1.8 lens.

    I first bought the 18-200 VR and i love it. For what i do which is casual shooting its indispensable for its range and sharpness. So i want to keep that.

    Then, i wanted to own a big one, well at least ONE. So i got a 70-200 VR. But after a year of owning it, i see that i rarely use it and is cumbersome to haul that in a hurry. I often find myself with 18-200 VR on my D70s and the manual 50mm 1.8 on my D300.( Takes time to take a pic being manual but that old lens is very very sharp). Yes i need to get a 50mm 1.4 at some time. But right now i can use it on my Nikon FA as well.

    That being said then i bought the 70-300 VR as it was light, had VR and color and sharpness was excellent. I dont shoot in low light which i know the 70-300 seems to hunt for focus so i am thinking of selling my 70-200 VR. Its hard to sell my 70-200 VR, but i know i am not using it as much as i would like. What would you suggest? Sell the 70-300 or the 70-200 ?

    So i am

    • 32
      ) Muhammad Iqbal
      November 30, 2011 at 8:06 am

      Ravi,
      I wonder how Nasim would suggest on your case :)
      Are you planning to upgrade to full-frame?
      If yes, do not sell anything, as your 18-200 will be rendered useless.
      If no, then go on & sell the 70-300. With your 18-200 in your arsenal, I think you won’t miss the extra 100mm too much :)

      Regards,

      • 42
        ) Ravi R
        November 30, 2011 at 9:57 pm

        HI Muhammad,

        No, i dont plan on any upgrades at this time. I can hardly use the D300 to its fullest potential. I often find myself glancing over Thom Hogans e-book about the D300 and i find so many things that i cant even find in the manual. I am going to stick with my DX for a while.

    • November 30, 2011 at 9:46 am

      Ravi, if I had all three, I would have sold the 18-200mm and the 70-300mm, keeping the 70-200mm. But that’s me. If you find yourself shooting more with the 18-200mm, then keep that lens and get rid of others that you are not using. The 70-300mm lens is typically bought for the reach. 18-200mm for superzoom versatility. 70-200mm for portraits and wildlife. Three different lenses with different needs. Determine what your shooting style is and what make sense for you and make the choice. I cannot provide a guidance for your situation here, because your needs obviously differ from mine.

      • 43
        ) Ravi R
        November 30, 2011 at 10:00 pm

        I basically used the 70-200 VR for a couple of family functions and an air show and that was it. Loved the way the pics came out but other than that its in the bag all the time. The 18-200 is what i take every time i go out with the camera( i just have to take one bag !)..

        But i understand what you mean. I guess i will have to see what it is that i use most and am comfy with and keep that….

        But thanks for taking the time to respond.

    • 39
      ) Donellie Whyte
      November 30, 2011 at 8:01 pm

      The 70-200mm is an exceptional lens. But it all comes do what you are shooting. I am thinking that you want to find the perfect all round lens that will give you maximum usage. The 18-200mm is a good all round lens but its just not sharp enough in some situations. Why not get something like 85mm. But you wont find that one lens that suit all your needs. I was in a similar position as you and then I decided that all the lens I need for my work is 50mm f1.8 and 70-2oomm and maybe something between for lanscape. I would be interested in hearing your price for the 70-200mm.

      • 44
        ) Ravi R
        November 30, 2011 at 10:04 pm

        Yeah…. i even took it out today with my D300 and played with it a little(forgot to take the monopod) and pretty soon was looking for a place to put that thing down… haha..

        Gosh i hate to part with that lens… :) But, i will let you know once i decide soon. No secret here, will look at what these guys are selling on average in e-bay and most probably that will be the price.

  11. November 30, 2011 at 10:41 am

    Hi Nasim,
    You have a great and informative site here. Your review are very helpful and un-biased which I respect very much.
    My question is with owning a D7000 and a 35mm f1.8G lens along with a Sigma 10-2omm and a Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8, I would like to get a longer lens for portraits. My budget is under a $1000 and I would be using it for indoor and out. I know that you do only use Nikon lens, but I am wondering if I should go with a Tamron/Sigma 70-200 or a used Nikon 80-200? Also is the 85mm f/1.8d good for portraits?

    Thanks,
    Royston

    • December 1, 2011 at 5:14 pm

      Royston, have you considered the Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G? It is an exceptionally sharp lens that many photographers use as a macro / portrait lens. The 80-200mm and 85mm f/1.8D are also good, but the 105mm in my opinion would suit your needs better. As for Tamron/Sigma, I have not personally used those, so I cannot recommend yet.

  12. November 30, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    Hi Nasim,
    Greetings from India!

    Thanks for sharing ocean of knowledge at your website.
    How to take sharp pictures article really helped me lots!

  13. 40
    ) Daniel Brind
    November 30, 2011 at 8:08 pm

    Hi Nasim
    I posted a question on facebook but thaught i was better off asking here.I have been into photography for a while and study your tips in great depth thanks for the great info its been a massive help. Im looking atupgrading my camera body currently have a D5100 am enjoying light painting and getting into night/early morning stuff and i enjoy working in low light using only available light.In your opinion what do you think best option D300 or D700 already own a 50mm f/1.4G that i can use on D700 but would obviously need to get another lens for it.I eventuly would like to mabe sell some images when they are good enough.Would D3oo be good enough for what im looking to use for any advice would be greatly appriciated love your work CHEERS.

    • December 1, 2011 at 5:09 pm

      Daniel, if you want a camera now, get the Nikon D700 (in stock right now at B&H) – you won’t regret it. If the rumored D800 is going to have 36 MP, then it won’t be of much use for low-light photography anyway…

      • 56
        ) Daniel Brind
        December 1, 2011 at 6:28 pm

        Thanks Nasim
        I really appriciate it obviously like most price is always a factor and i just wasnt sure if the D300 would be the best choice.After reading your gear reviews and your FX vs DX article and seeing the different pics at the diff ISO settings i was thinking the D700 would be better suited but i guess wanted your opinion.As i said i am only a novice but hope to take it further over the next few years and as you have said try and get the right gear first time instead of wasting money and upgrading later, Again thanks for the great site it has been invaluable hope to send you some pics for your opinion soon also do B&H ship to Australia? Cheers.

        • December 7, 2011 at 12:17 am

          Daniel, I believe they do – try giving them a call at 800.831.2434

  14. 41
    ) Don
    November 30, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    Greetings Nasim,
    I have been looking at buying the 300mm f4 lens after reading your wonderful review of it. I would mostly be using it on a tripod, or monopod, for surfing shots. I’m wondering whether to wait until Nikon upgrades this lens – I’m guessing that it would have VR on a new version when Nikon get around to upgrading it – or to go ahead with purchasing the current version? Is VR actually needed if using this lens with a monopod or a tripod?
    regards, Don

    • December 1, 2011 at 5:04 pm

      Don, I am also anxiously waiting for Nikon to update the 300mm f/4 with VR, but it is not happening. Have been waiting for 3 years now :) I heard rumors of a 80-400mm VR update, but nothing on the 300mm f/4 front.

      As for VR, it all depends on your shutter speed. If you are shooting at shutter speeds faster than the focal length of the lens, then VR is useless. When photographing birds, for example, I rarely use VR, since my shutter speed is in the 1000-1600/sec range. But when the light conditions are poor and the bird is perched and there is not much movement, then VR saves a lot of shots. In your case, I do not think you need VR, since your shots will be freezing surfing action…

      • 57
        ) Donz
        December 1, 2011 at 10:38 pm

        Thank you very much Nasim, this answers my question perfectly.
        Really appreciate your excellent website : )
        Don

  15. 45
    ) Muhammad Iqbal
    December 1, 2011 at 3:39 am

    Nasim,
    Can AF-S 105mm VR f2.8 freeze action too? I mean using it for concert or indoor sport?
    Since I cannot afford the 70-200, in the mean time, I was thinking it’s better buying the 105mm for such purpose, plus I will get those macro things, and light weight too.

    Regards, miq

    • 46
      ) Davis Chen
      December 1, 2011 at 9:48 am

      Freezing action is the result of using a high shutter speed, so the 105mm f/2.8 would give you about the same shutter speeds as the 70-200 f/2.8 in the same lighting conditions. One thing that is hard to predict for indoor events is how much reach you will want or need. The zoom range on the 70-200 will give you more flexibility if you do not have access (or do not want) to move around the venue and allow you to compose your photos in a way that requires little or no cropping. With the 105mm prime, what you see is what you get and you may find yourself cropping out large areas of the shot afterwards to get the composition you like. If you’re fine with that or know that 105mm will be enough reach, and are interested in macro photography then it sounds like the 105mm is a good fit for your needs (and budget). Another thing to consider is AF speed for sports. If you have a camera shop nearby that sells these lenses then maybe you could stop by and try them both yourself to get an idea of AF speed and see if the 105mm is fast enough for you. Just focus on something across the store, put the lens out of focus manually and see how fast it takes to refocus.

      • 48
        ) Muhammad Iqbal
        December 1, 2011 at 10:07 am

        Thanks a lot, Davis. Glad to hear that the 105mm can still freeze the action. I think I also can accept that I still have to move around to find the composition.
        As you’ve pointed out, now goes to the AF speed. Too bad I’m living in a small city with very limited number of camera shop, and none of them has the 105mm, it has to be pre-ordered if I want to buy one.
        Okay, I’ll try Google to find-out the AF comparison then :)

    • December 1, 2011 at 5:00 pm

      Muhammad, Davis already provided a good response to your question, so I won’t add anything to it.

  16. 47
    ) minida28
    December 1, 2011 at 9:52 am

    Dear Nasim or anyone :),
    I’m planning to buy the Nikon AF-S 18-200 DX VR; (72 mm filter size)
    Question:
    If I stack an 72mm UV filter + 72-77mm step-up ring + 77mm Cir-PL on it, will it suffer from vignetting?
    Thanks in advance.

    • 49
      ) Peter
      December 1, 2011 at 1:05 pm

      Try it and see what happens. Digital make experimentaion cost free!

      • 60
        ) Muhammad Iqbal
        December 2, 2011 at 3:24 am

        Peter,
        I’m planning to buy the Tokina 11-16mm in near future, which has 77mm filter size. If it is possible to use the 77mm on both lenses, rather than buying 2 different filter for two different lens, I can save at least 100 dollar. I use that 100 dollar on another accessories.
        I like the Hoya HD series filters, they are strong and (maybe) last forever :)
        In my country, for 72mm or 77mm CPL Hoya HD series, they are priced at around 100 dollar each, which I considered it quite expensive, compared to other filter.

        Regards,

    • December 1, 2011 at 4:58 pm

      Do not stack filters – that’s a bad idea. Not just because it adds to vignetting, but because you have more than 1 glass element that reduces image quality and can potentially add more flare/ghosting. It is not worth using a protective/UV filter on the Nikon 18-200mm lens, in my opinion. I always suggest using protective filters on expensive and hard to clean lenses only.

      • 59
        ) Muhammad Iqbal
        December 2, 2011 at 3:13 am

        Thanks Nasim, I got the idea behind, that I have to remove the UV filter if I want to use the CPL.
        What if I only use the 72mm step-up ring + 77mm CPL, will it add to vignetting at 18mm focal length?

        My plan is, after buying the 18-200, I also want to get the Tokina 11-16mm in near future, which is 77mm in filter size. That’s why I prefer buying only the 77mm CPL filter, so I can use it on both the 18-200 & the 11-16, with the help of additional step-up ring.

        By the way, I used to bring my camera at work and the environment is not really camera-friendly (I’m working at mining company, which is very dusty), and sometimes I also bring it to the workshops, which is oily and full of other contaminants (grease etc), and I find it’s very easy to clean only the filter, if perhaps I found any oil or grease or dust that stick to it.

        Hmmm…., the Nikon 18-200 is still an expensive lens… at least to me :)

        Regards,

        • December 7, 2011 at 12:16 am

          Muhammad, using a step-up ring with a 77mm CPL should not add more vignetting…

          • 107
            ) Muhammad Iqbal
            December 7, 2011 at 6:33 am

            Nasim, thank you for the confirmation… and your time!

            • 141
              ) Stephan
              January 3, 2012 at 3:21 pm

              Unless you are aiming for an artistic effect, you should not use a polarizer on a ultra wide angle lens like the 11-16 Tokina. Google it out to see the actual impact on the image at wide angles. I don’t like it, some do, not me…

              In any case, get the 77mm regardless it’ll fit other “pro” lenses if/when you get one; the step-up ring will block your lens hood, so get a “screw-on” one to add to the CLP… (you can’t turn the a CLP if you have the regular bayonet hood on anyway!)

  17. 61
    ) prasad
    December 2, 2011 at 4:32 am

    hi nasim
    i have a nikon d5000 and a sb700. what settings should i use on the flash gun so that the photos come out nice and what settings do i use on the camera. i shoot in aperture priority mode. i would be covering an engagement shortly. the trial shots came out very very bright. what went wrong

    • 67
      ) Ravi
      December 2, 2011 at 5:55 pm

      Direct flash light on people tends to turn them very white. Have you tried bouncing the flash on the ceiling or some other bright object in the room? Those turn out to be natural. White balance might be off but can be adjusted if you are shooting raw.

      Just my few…

      • 69
        ) prasad
        December 2, 2011 at 11:46 pm

        hi ravi
        thanks for the reply. i did the bounce technique. but here also the photos were sort of overexposed. i would like to know exactly what settings should i use on the flash. shooting raw means that i cannot view the photos using windows photos viewer etc.

        • 70
          ) Ravi R
          December 2, 2011 at 11:57 pm

          Then try flash exp compensation and dial it down by a notch…
          or put the flash in manual and reduce power by half or more (experiment by taking couple shots)
          Try a diffuser on the flash head…

          I use Nikon view which is free to view my pics. If the pics turn out good then i convert them in a batch to JPG so i can go through them easily in windows.

          I have a SB600, but the settings must not be different. Make sure the setting on the flash is AUTO. You should see the following words in the LCD panel of the flash, AUTO, TTL, BL.

          • 71
            ) prasad
            December 3, 2011 at 10:08 am

            hi ravi
            i viewed some videos on youtube. some were very useful. i tried the setting suggested by them. even then i had some problems. finally, i reduced the camera ex posure compensation as well as the one on the flash. the photos seem much better than earlier ones.. however i feel some settings are not available in d5000, esp the auto fp ones. i tried to locate it on the camera but in vain. i have a sigma lens 18-250mm one. i will try the settings with this one also. however, the camera with this lens and the flash becomes very heavy.
            wonder why nasim has replied yet.

            prasad

            • 72
              ) Ravi R
              December 3, 2011 at 12:36 pm

              Prasad,

              Dont worry about FP(Focal Plane) settings in your camera. They are for syncing with high shutter speed. For normal shots with a flash, check the following,

              1) Make sure metering in the camera is set to matrix.
              2) When you mount the flash to the camera and turn both on, make sure its on Auto and you see the words TTL. Read up on your flash manual as to whats the best setting.
              3) Since you said you are using aperture mode, try changing it to shutter priority and see what the max speed your shutter will go. Have it at the max.
              4) Adjust exposure compensation in the camera to negative by two notches.
              5) Try to get a diffuser that attaches to the flash head.
              6) Last but not the least, make sure your white balance is set to “Flash”..

              These are the things i can think of at the moment and it should work. If not,

              I would just put the flash in manual mode and reduce its power by half and experiment by taking couple shots.

          • December 7, 2011 at 12:14 am

            Thanks for your help and responses Ravi!

      • 76
        ) prasad
        December 4, 2011 at 8:09 am

        ravi
        thanks for the reply. i will do as suggested and i hope the photos would turn out to be good.

        prasad

        • 105
          ) Ravi R
          December 7, 2011 at 5:40 am

          Hope so, Prasad. There are no perfect settings. What i said are generic and basic settings. Each situation is different. You just have to try and figure out what gives you the best picture. Then next time another challenge for another situation…

          I noticed your confusion regarding Aperture or Shutter speed. There should be no confusion here. Either you want Aperture mode to control depth of field or Shutter mode to capture action or sharp pictures.

          Since all you want to do is take pictures of people in a gathering I asked you to use shutter speed. Because the faster the shutter speed, the less blurry the picture as you have the Flash to provide you the light. But if you want aperture mode go ahead and use that as you please. You just need a proper exposure no matter what mode you use.

          • 108
            ) prasad
            December 7, 2011 at 7:37 am

            thanks ravi

            i will do as suggested.

          • 109
            ) prasad
            December 8, 2011 at 8:10 am

            hi ravi
            i tried your settings on my camera and shot some photos. the photos came out nicely. however, there was a sort of orangish tinge on them. the walls of my house are of pale yellow in colour. could this be the reason since i used the bounce flash. also some garish shadows formed under the chin. how to ensure that these do not appear. i also used the gels that were supplied with the flash. when i used the green one, the photos still had the orange tinge. when i used the green one, the tinge disappeared but the photos came out slightly dull. am i doing any thing wrong

            • 110
              ) Ravi R
              December 8, 2011 at 9:40 am

              Unfortunately the settings in a camera are finite, but the lighting conditions found in nature are infinite. That’s why you shoot in RAW and adjust such things and get the perfect picture.

              You are not doing anything wrong. Its just the nature of the light. If you don’t like processing your picture then you have to read up on how to set the correct white balance, asking the camera to set the while balance(PRE-SET) by pointing it at a white sheet of paper and telling it that, that sheet of paper is white.

              As for shadows, you cant get everything lit up using one light source. Though placement of the flash in the right location can give better results.

              I don’t know how to give you that definite answer. All i can say is experiment with white balance and placement of flash next time.

        • 143
          ) prasad
          January 12, 2012 at 8:53 am

          hi ravi
          sorry for not replying early. i followed your suggestions and the photos turned out well. in some photos however, the noise was slightly on the higher side. i did not use 180 degree bounce but around say 160 degree. i hope with practice i will gain more experience. can the same settings especially white balance, exp compensation etc be used for daytime photography also?

          prasad

          • 144
            ) Ravi
            January 12, 2012 at 11:24 am

            Prasad,

            Regarding noise with flash
            – Use a low ISO with high shutter speed(Auto FP Sync). If you don’t have FP Sync then at least a 1/250 shutter speed helps.

            Bouncing flash is a trial and error thing. You experiment with the angle etc to get the desired light. Walls or objects will be often of different color. Light takes up the color of the object its being reflected. So you have to adjust the White balance settings accordingly. In fact the best option for you would be to “PRE-SET” the white balance by pointing your camera at a white sheet or use gray cards. Google those things and you will get an idea. Practice “Pre-Set” white balance with a white sheet of paper at home to get an idea how that works.

            Lastly, there are no settings that will be applicable to any given situation. That’s why you are given controls to change it. In daylight photography the WB settings on “Auto” generally yield good results. So people shoot RAW and tweak it in their software for best results. White balance is basically a control point for the camera to understand “what is white here?” and then adjust the colors inside to reproduce other colors in relative to white, correctly. Practice with a gray card or white sheet to understand white balance in different situations.

            If you just want to point and shoot then set everything to Auto/Programmed and take a picture in RAW. Use the Nikon View software to correct it. I think if you start like this you will get a better understanding of this process.

            I am no expert in this and I am learning something every day, but these are my few cents worth.

    • December 7, 2011 at 12:12 am

      Prasad, see some of my articles on flash photography and check out http://www.strobist.blogspot.com for great info on using flashes…

      • 97
        ) prasad
        December 7, 2011 at 12:45 am

        hi nasim
        thanks for the reply. i had already ready your articles on flash photography and even visited the strobist.blogspot.com site. infact i have already gone through most of your articles. what i exactly wanted was the actual\default settings to be used on my nikon 5000 and the sb700 while using sigma 18-2500mm lens. i have also seen your video on youtube, where you were using sb900. some videos recommend using aperture priority mode, some shutter priority mode, some say use manual mode to set up flash etc. all these are a bit confusing for me. of course, i have followed the suggestions of ravi. at the same time i wanted to hear from you about the exact settings to be used to get excellent photos, assuming that other important things would remain same.

  18. 62
    ) Roman
    December 2, 2011 at 5:58 am

    You’ve brought hell upon yourself, Nasim :)

    Greetings again from Lithuania.

    • December 7, 2011 at 12:11 am

      Roman, that’s OK :) Now I need to find some time to clean up my mailbox!

      • 102
        ) Roman
        December 7, 2011 at 2:54 am

        I REALLY hope you have a separate one for your personal needs. I sometimes get a few letters from different clients a day, and it already can be exhausting answering all of them as quickly as possible. Sometimes I kind of wish there were two of me. One would do all the computer work and wear thick glasses, the other one would be all nice looking and shooting everything everywhere.

    • 98
      ) Ravi R
      December 7, 2011 at 2:17 am

      LOL! Aint that the truth? Nasim must have a lot of patience to weed out all our queries. Must be a inherent quality of a good photographer !

      • 103
        ) Roman
        December 7, 2011 at 2:56 am

        True. But we’re not complaining, are we? :)

        • 104
          ) Ravi R
          December 7, 2011 at 3:09 am

          Yes we are, that he isn’t around often ! j/k.

  19. 63
    ) Kike
    December 2, 2011 at 6:08 am

    Hi Nasim,

    Thanks for your time and all posts. As I’ve already said in a previous post, they are really good and usefull!

    I know you dont use Tamron lenses too much but I’m wondering i f you can advise me which lens should I get for my D5100:
    Tamrom 18-270mm PZD Di II or Nikon 55-300mm AF-S ?

    I have a Nikon 18-105mm and 35mm/f1.8 but I’d like to get a telephoto for animal/birds photography .

    Thanks!

    • 73
      ) Arsène
      December 4, 2011 at 4:00 am

      Kike,

      You already have an 18-105mm lens, so I wouldn’t recommend neither Tamron, nor Nikkor, since they are too close to the range of the lens you have.

      Moreover, Nikon AF-S 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR DX ($380) has following weaknesses: it’s a DX only, so is not a solution if you think buying a full-frame camera in a few years. Its autofocus is slow and you need to switch from A to M in order to use the manual focus. This means that you’ll have a hard time shooting birds. You can use it to shoot objects that don’t move, but don’t expect obtaining high-quality shoots of wildlife with those lenses.

      Nikon AF-S 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR ($550) is a bit better, but I still would avoid it for animal and birds photography.

      Instead, Nikon AF-S 300mm f/4 may be a better choice for this sort of shoots, but is a bit more expensive ($1,175) and is much larger and heavier, making it difficult to carry for daily use. The strong points are the image quality, no visible distortion, and a fast autofocus.

      If your intent is to sell your photos of animals and birds, then go with the hugely expensive Nikon 300mm f/2.8 VR II ($6,000) or the less expensive Nikon 300mm f/2.8 VR ($4,900). With its f/2.8 and a nice bokeh, it would be precious for both photos of animals/birds and portrait (on a full-frame camera). It’s also extremely sharp, even wide-open. Of course, it’s very heavy and large too.

      Finally, the Nikon AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II ($2,300) is just as excellent as the Nikon 300mm f/2.8 VR II, but much less expensive and is a zoom. If you don’t want to shoot only animals/birds and you don’t care about the weight of your lenses, this may be a better choice. You can then use with teleconverters to have a better reach for wildlife.

      • December 7, 2011 at 12:09 am

        Arsene, Kike has a D5100 and from his message, he wants to get something very inexpensive, so suggestions on 70-200mm, 300mm f/2.8 are completely out of the budget for him…

        • 100
          ) Kike
          December 7, 2011 at 2:39 am

          Hi Arsene,

          Thanks for your comment.
          Indeed, I’m just started using DLSRs so I think I will buy a FX camera in 10 or 15 years (not earlier, unless I win the lottery :-) ).
          I’m looking for an inexpensive lens with a longer focal length.
          Anyway, I really appreciated your suggestions and comments about these lenses.

          Thnx!

    • December 7, 2011 at 12:08 am

      Kike, if you can, get the Nikon 70-300mm instead of the 55-300mm.

      • 101
        ) Kike
        December 7, 2011 at 2:52 am

        Thnak you Nasim,

        I’ll write my letter to Santa.

  20. 64
    ) Jorge Balarin
    December 2, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    Dear Nasim,
    If you could have only one wide lens to use it in architecture and landscape shots, which of the next will you prefer, regardless of price: Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8, Nikon 16-35 F/4, Nikon 24mm F/1.4 G, or Nikon 24-70 F/2.8.
    Did you try the Tokina 16-28mm f/2.8 ? Some people says it has the same optical quality than the Nikon 14-24mm, and cost half the price.

    Best wishes, Jorge Balarin.

    • December 6, 2011 at 11:55 pm

      Jorge, it depends on whether I am using a full-frame camera or not. For full-frame, the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 for its range and durability. For cropped-sensor, the Nikon 16-35mm f/4 would be my #1 choice. I can use filters with both.

      I have not tried the Tokina 16-28mm yet…

      • 111
        ) Jorge Balarin
        December 8, 2011 at 6:04 pm

        Thank you very much Nassim, your opinion is very valuable for me. I have a doubt, it is 24mm wide enough for landscape and interiors photography ? I like to photograph historic buildings, theaters, subway stations, etc, from outside and inside (my camera is a full frame D700). The 24-70mm f/2.8 is a lens I’m thinking very much about, but I red that has a regular amount of distortion at 24mm; for that reason I started to think in the 14-24mm f/2.8. I red that this last lens has almost no distortion, and I know that on the downside it can not take filters, but even with this last contra, I believed the 14-24 could be superb for interiors (please correct me if I’m wrong).

        The 16-35mm f/4 sounds very good, but as much as some people like this lens, other people didn’t like it. Also I know it has a lot of distortion, and that bothers me, because now I have not the tools to correct that problem properly, and I prefer to invest my money in photographic gear. To finish my list there is the 24mm G f/1.4, and I’m wondering if it is going to be enough to combine this lens with my 50mm f/1.8 G to do the kind of photos I want. So this time I’m going to reformulate my question; if you can buy only TWO wide lenses of my list, wich ones are going to be ? Greetings and best wishes, Jorge Balarin.
        Postdate.
        I’m a mix-martial-arts trainer based in Vienna, Austria, and one photographer that I know told me that the 24-70mm 2.8 zoom is the perfect lens for combat sports. That’s a pro, but my main interest is architecture and landscape.

  21. 65
    ) fadi
    December 2, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    god bless you ,, a very helpful site,

    i have d5100 with 35mm f/1.8G , and wish to get a lens more appropriate for general use, landscape
    for a budget less than 1000$ 16-85 mm f/3.5-5.6G or 24-120mm f/3.5-5.6 or 18-105mm3.5-5.6G and for telephoto 55-200mm or 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6
    which one will be the best investment ( price /performance ) ? do you recommend another choice ?
    read more reviews got more confused
    i read most of your review about lens , best lens are more than 1000$ each at least ( like 24-70mm 24-120mm f4)
    obviously i am new at photography and need expert to decide for me :), appreciate your advice , thank you

    • December 6, 2011 at 11:53 pm

      Fadi, get the 16-85mm for landscapes and 70-300mm for telephoto.

  22. 66
    ) Peter
    December 2, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    I see a strong correlation between bass fishing and photography. Every new season a new fishing lure would be advertised with the promise that the buyer would catch bigger and more bass than the previous season if he bought it. Much the same as new photo”gear” will allow us to take better and better pictures.
    However, one season on a Maine river, I saw a kid with a broken down fishing pole and a worm on the end of a hook hauling in big bass. I was watching him in a guided bass boat with an expensive Shimano reel and a Loomis rod, and a $10 lure, catching nothing. I remember that day!
    This is a true story, I kid you not. I can’t get it out of my memory…maybe that’s why I’ve saved thousands on photo gear!

    • 68
      ) Ravi
      December 2, 2011 at 6:01 pm

      Haha. Peter, well said. I was just trying my Nikon D70s to shoot water drops. You know stick a plastic tape on the flash shoe contact points and it syncs to any shutter speed trick. Anyways it worked and was thinking new ways to do the water drop like oil on water, they don’t mix so must be interesting…etc..

      Anyways coming to your point, i remember when i bought the Nikon D70s was released, it was THE camera ! It was a pro digital SLR. Fastest flash sync speed(even today) etc etc… Rockwell and company were raving about how its the best Digital SLR ever…. So yes i took the bait and got one (don’t regret it even today)…

      And today, Nikon D70s is a beginner camera and not pro anymore. How can that be? All the Pro’s used this camera in 2004 to shoot some amazing pictures and its not pro anymore? Its just like what you said.

      • December 6, 2011 at 11:52 pm

        Ravi, unfortunately, that’s what happens in the camera world! Today it is the best camera in the world, tomorrow it is a piece of junk. Remember Weird Al Yankovic and his “it is obsolete before I take it out of the box” song? :)

        • 99
          ) Ravi R
          December 7, 2011 at 2:20 am

          You are so right about that. Even though i stick with my camera for many years before changing, i am seriously lusting after the D700. Not that i want the greatest,its just that most of the lenses that are coming out seemed to be for FX than DX. Though Nikon recently released some new babies for DX only(35mm and 50mm). I just want to buy a 24-70mm for my D300, but i have read that its sharpness and other qualities shine only on FX. I am not sure. But i guess i will wait and see. :)

    • December 6, 2011 at 11:49 pm

      LOL Peter, nice correlation! :)

  23. 74
    ) Zinnu
    December 4, 2011 at 6:12 am

    Dear Nasim,
    Thank you for the very nice and detailed review of the Nikon D7000. I have been considering to get this camera with the 50mm 1.8G Nikkor lens. However, short supplies at B&H has delayed this and in the mean time, I have been considering other options, mainly the Canon 7D. Given the minimal price difference today between these two bodies and considering the fact that I’m not invested in any brand of lenses yet, can you recommend something? I am a beginner DSLR-er.

    • December 6, 2011 at 11:46 pm

      Zinnu, the D7000 comes and goes at B&H all the time – it is a very popular camera. They have some in stock right now (see here, but if they run out before you buy, then just check back or have them notify you over email when it becomes available.

  24. 75
    ) Clarence Yeung
    December 4, 2011 at 7:19 am

    Zinnu,

    The Nikon D7000 is in stock at B&H. If you want one hurry up and order.

    Clarence

  25. 77
    ) Kathy B.
    December 5, 2011 at 8:50 am

    Photo Gear Question: I have a Nikon D90 and the SB-600 flash.

    When I’m taking pics of my grandchildren who are 23 months and 20 months, I have to be quick! I have my camera set to take up to 4 shots at a time. When I’m using my SB-600….the flash is not as fast as the camera so I will get one pic w/ good exposure and then there will be pics taken w/out flash b/c the flash hasn’t gotten ready when the other pics are taken. Is there any changes I can do to make the speed light flash with every pic I take?????

    Have you had a chance to review the new Nikon SB-910 AF Speedlight ? I was reading that it has “quicker recycle times” which I’m assuming means the flash can keep up with the camera on successive shots.

    I can’t figure out if I just need to make changes w/ in my flash/camera or upgrade my speedlight.

    Thanks for such a great resource! I usually look up something daily!!!

    Love all ya’ll pics!

    Kathy in Florida

    • 78
      ) Davis Chen
      December 5, 2011 at 11:16 am

      For the flash to fire repeatedly in a 4-shot burst, it should only be outputting 1/4 power or less for each frame. From your description, it sounds like the flash is using over half of its power lighting the first frame, then doesn’t have enough power to properly light the following frames until it recharges. To reduce the flash power needed, your camera needs to require less light. The easiest way to do this is to simply increase the ISO on your camera. I find that around ISO 400 works well indoors for me, and newer cameras can easily handle ISO 800 or more with minimal introduction of noise. If you are already at a high ISO setting and don’t want to increase it further, then the only other options are to increase the amount of ambient light, increase the aperture size (smaller f-number), or increase the exposure duration (slower shutter speed, not ideal for moving subjects).

      • 81
        ) Kathy B.
        December 6, 2011 at 9:13 am

        Thanks, Davis Chen!

        Kathy Baxley

    • 79
      ) Arsène
      December 5, 2011 at 11:17 am

      Kathy,

      The time required to charge the speedlight depend on four factors: the speedlight itself, the flash power before recycling, the battery type and the charge of the batteries.

      1. Battery: If you open the SB-600 manual, page 19 or 88 (English version), you see that with Lithium batteries, SB-600 has a minimum recycling time of 4.0 s. This duration drops to 2.5 s. when using Ni-MH 200 mA batteries. Moreover (page 19), with a used battery, the duration will be much higher, sometimes more than 10 seconds. So before buying a new speedlight, first ensure that your batteries are recharged, and if you use something other than Ni-MH, try those ones first. They are quite expensive, but still much less expensive than a new flash.

      2. Situation: If you are firing the flash at the maximum intensity, chances are it will take a long time to recharge. You can do several things to be able to use less flash power at every shoot: point it to a light surface (for example to a white ceiling instead of a dark grey wall), or put it near the subject. For example if you’re shooting the subject at 200mm, instead of keeping the flash on the hot shoe, mount it on a tripod which will be close to the subject (agreed, a risky one if the subject is a child).

      3. Flash: SB-900 manual, page F-21, tells that the minimum recycling time is 4.5 s. for Lithium batteries and 2.3 s. for Ni-MH 2600 mAh. Given that SB-900 maximum power is higher than SB-600’s, it’s perfectly normal to see that the recycling time is better (lower) for SB-600 than for SB-900. At the same power, SB-900 will probably be faster than SB-600.

      Does it worth it? Personally, I wouldn’t spend so much money for a SB-900 just to gain a few tens of seconds of recycle time. You may probably achieve better results by changing/recharging the batteries or moving the flash closer to the subject or rotating it to bounce from a white surface.

      On the other hand, with an SB-900, you’ll be able to achieve much more creative results using both of your flashes at the same time, requiring less power from each flash.

      • 80
        ) Kathy B.
        December 6, 2011 at 8:11 am

        This is great! Thanks soooo much! I will check my batteries……and look for the Ni-MH 200 mA batteries and additionally I did purchase a Westcott 43″ COLLAPSIBLE UMBRELLA FLASH KIT from BH photo/video after watching your video on flash photography. Just got it and haven’t tried it out yet.

        Thanks for sharing your expertise!

        Kathy Baxley
        Florida

      • 82
        ) Kathy B.
        December 6, 2011 at 9:15 am

        Thanks! Arsene!

        Kathy Baxley

    • December 6, 2011 at 11:42 pm

      Kathy, as Davis pointed out, you are probably firing too much flash too quickly. Increasing camera ISO certainly does help, but I would not recommend firing fast like you do anyway. Set your camera to single shot instead of continuous and give your flash a chance to recover and cool off between shots…

  26. 89
    ) Swapnil Ghiware
    December 7, 2011 at 12:07 am

    Hi Nasim,

    Great website! I am a regular visitor to this site.

    I have a D5000, kit lens, and nikon f1.8 lens. I am looking to upgrade my kit lens. I am leaning towards nikon 16-85mm lens but it seems expensive and I not sure if it provides the necessary upgrade other than th extra 2mm on the wide and the telephoto range. Do you have any other suggestions? How about Sigma 17-70mm – it is a faster lens at f2.8 at the wide end.

    Thanks a lot for your time.

    • December 13, 2011 at 11:18 pm

      Swapnil, I do not know much about the Sigma 17-70mm, but the 16-85mm is a great and very sharp lens. Definitely worth the money, in my opinion.

  27. 106
    ) FR
    December 7, 2011 at 6:29 am

    Hi Nasim,

    A few months ago, I bought my first DSLR camera (D700). Lately, I have had the opportunity to really take many pictures and start understanding how it works. I have been using the Aperture Mode (A) a lot and have realized that pictures tend to be a bit overexposed. Personnally, I like my pictures better when I set my camera in Manual Mode (M), choose an aperture and then a speed that will be around two lines from the center. I would not like to postprocess all my pictures, but it is inconvenient not to be able to use the A mode. What is your opinion on this issue? Your pictures look vivid, but not too bright.

    Keep it up! You are doing an awesome job with this website.

    FR

    • 112
      ) Jorge Balarin
      December 9, 2011 at 1:11 pm

      I think I have the same problem with my D700, but even worst, because still I don’t have enough knowledge to shoot in manual mode (I don’t know under wich criteria choose the speed in relation with the aperture, in different shooting conditions). A lot of my photos are coming to bright (I’m shooting with automatic ISO). Fortunately I’m taking my photos always in raw and then I can post process them.

      • December 13, 2011 at 11:17 pm

        Jorge, exposure compensation is your friend! Just dial –0.3 to -0.7 and your exposures should look good for most situations.

    • 114
      ) Steven Parks
      December 13, 2011 at 11:19 am

      I traditionally leave my D700 (and the D90) with an EV about about -0.3. I prefer the results. I also tend to use Aperature Priority mode, only moving to Manual when I think I know better than my light meter..on the D700 that is not very often.

      • 125
        ) Jorge Balarin
        December 14, 2011 at 12:56 pm

        Thank you very much Nassim, I tried and it works !! Best wishes, Jorge.

    • December 13, 2011 at 11:16 pm

      I apologize for a late response. If you find aperture priority mode to be constantly overexposing for your taste, just use exposure compensation and dial a number you are comfortable with. Sometimes I use -0.3 or even -0.7 EV to get the best exposure.

  28. 113
    ) Callum
    December 11, 2011 at 1:08 am

    Hi Nasim,

    I’d be really interested to know how you decide what lens to use in a given situation from your collection – especially how you decide when to use a prime over a zoom.

    For example, I’ve read how much you and Lola love your 50mm f1.4 for general shots and portraits. How does the 50mm range of your 24-70mm f2,8 compare to the prime 50mm? and do you carry most of your lenses with you all the time, or do you take zooms when out hiking and take primes when indoors or not walking so far?

    Thanks as always!

    • December 13, 2011 at 11:15 pm

      Callum, there is no short answer to your question – I should probably write an article on that separately :)

      It all depends on what we are planning to shoot. Sometimes I will only use primes, other times I will pick a zoom. When travelling and shooting landscapes, I prefer to work with zoom lenses, although the 24mm f/1.4G often ends up in my bag. As for 24-70mm @ 50mm and 50mm prime – these are two completely different lenses and the 50mm on both is not the same.

      • 124
        ) Callum
        December 14, 2011 at 4:02 am

        Thanks Nasim! Appreciate you taking the time to read and respond to all our questions!

        I have the 35mm f1.8 DX currently but don’t use it that often so I am wondering whether to keep it or not. I get the feeling I would use the 50mm more and that would then be transferable to a full frame camera if I make the switch in future – that’s a whole other question that I still can’t decide on!!

        • 138
          ) Mark
          December 27, 2011 at 4:58 pm

          My two cents: since the 35/1.8 DX is a “normal” angle of view lens for a DX camera, I use mine all the time and would never, ever part with it, despite having other lenses that cover that focal length. It’s so fast and portable that, combined with the extremely versatile focal length, it works for a myriad of shooting situations!

    • 126
      ) Jorge Balarin
      December 14, 2011 at 2:09 pm

      Callum, I have the Nikon 50mm f/1.4 AF-D; the Nikon 50mm f/1.8 G; and the Nikon 85mm f/1.4 G. I love the quality of those primes, and when I have the time to change lenses, and the space to move backwards and forward, I’m going to take them. But sometimes, when the most important thing is to not lose some precious moments (I realized that in my daughter last birthday), nothing is better than a good quality zoom. Perhaps the 24-70 f/2.8 G has a bokeh not as nice as my primes, but it is very much more versatil, and the right choice for situations when you need to shoot fast (partys, birthdays, journalist situations, etc).

      However, when I’m going to do a portrait session in the woods, with my daughter dressed like a princess, I will take my primes to get that magic touch . So that’s my point, primes and zooms are made for different situations, and really has not very much sense to compare them. Personally, I have not a first class zoom, so I’m going to buy the 24-70mm, that seems to be a very good multipupose zoom. By other side, I could use this zoom to photograph landscapes, because it is very sharp and I don’t care about bokeh while doing this kind of photos (when photographing landscapes normally you use an f/8 aperture for deep of field).

      • 127
        ) Callum
        December 15, 2011 at 12:45 pm

        Hi Jorge,

        Thanks for taking the time to read and reply! That’s a really good explanation for me and it all finally makes sense to me! I’m not sure if it’s worth having the 24-70mm f2.8 on a cropped frame camera but then I guess it’s an investment of sorts – good glass is always good glass!

        Thanks again.
        Callum

        • 128
          ) Jorge Balarin
          December 15, 2011 at 2:20 pm

          You are welcome Callum. I think that when zooms started to be developed, the main idea was to have something more practical and flexible than fix lenses, and not to match their optical qualities. Now zooms have reached a high optical quality (which is ideal), but we must not forget that zooms were created basically looking for flexibility. I will give an extreme example; If you are a war photojournalist, who cares about the super creamy hollywood bokeh ? What you need is fast and precise focus and the possibility of zooming; and what you don’t want is to loose the moment because you were changing lenses.

          About the Nikkor 24-70 f/2.8, I’m going to say that this lens will fit my needs (I have a full frame camera), but I red that for a cropped sensor makes no sense. Perhaps you have better options in the DX camp. It makes me happy to know that my “aficionado” thoughts were usefull for you. Greetings, Jorge.

          • 131
            ) Callum
            December 16, 2011 at 6:03 am

            Another very good explanation Jorge – thanks again!

  29. 115
    ) Steven Parks
    December 13, 2011 at 11:24 am

    Trying to figure out whether to wait for the VR version of the 300mm f4 or to purchase it now. Not being a nature photographer, per se, but wanting the reach of a true 300mm I could not justify the 300mm f2.8. I would prefer VR, especially given the focal length…but not sure when Nikon will address this.
    What are your thoughts, is it better to wait or is the lens ok without the VR.
    I would probably be using it for birds and wildlife, probably with the 1.4x extender…

    Thanks Nasim

    • December 13, 2011 at 11:11 pm

      Steven, I do not think Nikon is planning to release an update to the 300mm f/4 – I know a patent is pending for an updated version of the 80-400mm lens, which we will probably see in 2012. If you are planning to shoot birds in flight with fast shutter speeds, you won’t need VR, so it would probably be safe to get the Nikon 300mm f/4 now.

  30. 116
    ) Vicki
    December 13, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    would really like to know if there is a tablet like ipad out there that you can plug your camera into it and get a live view. I hate the 3 inch screen on back of the camera…is a lap top the only way to go?

    • December 13, 2011 at 11:08 pm

      Vicki, if you shoot JPEG, you can tether your camera to an iPad wirelessly. It would require a camera with an SD slot (like D90/D3100/D5100/D7000/D300s) and you would need to purchase an Eye-Fi card. It works quite well, but pretty darn slow, especially on high resolution JPEG images.

  31. 123
    ) Hooman
    December 14, 2011 at 2:51 am

    Hi Nasim,

    I know for a given focal lent and subject- to- camera distance how changing the aperture affects depth of field but I would like to know why this happens

    thanks

  32. 129
    ) Steven Parks
    December 15, 2011 at 11:06 pm

    Curious as to the expected announcements of the D4 and D800. What I have read suggests that the D800 will be 36+MP, but the D4 only 16.2MP. Curious as it would seem Nikon is moving dramatically away from fighting the MP war and focusing on quality.
    Love my D700 so I doubt I would switch. What have you heard, and what are your thoughts.

  33. 130
    ) Khaled Massalha
    December 16, 2011 at 12:44 am

    Hello Nasim!

    I’ve been using recently 50mm 1.8D with my Nikon D90. photos that I take while the light source is somewhere in front of me (not totally directly from me, but it’s NOT behind my back either) tend to be “whitewashed” in some portions of the frame, while shooting the same frame with AE-S NIKKOR 18-105mm 3.5-5.6G, doesn’t produce this annoying white-washing.

    is it fixable ?

    Thank you!

    • 132
      ) Khaled Massalha
      December 16, 2011 at 11:53 pm

      I think I found the reason, it’s the filter i’m using with the lens: HOYA HMC UV 52mm

      warranty should cover this problem ?

      thank you!

  34. 134
    ) Vicki
    December 19, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    Can you take pictures saved on a mac laptop and move them to a pc for post editing. Since, I already have the pc set up for post editing. Was just interested in a MacAir laptop.

    • 137
      ) Mark
      December 27, 2011 at 4:52 pm

      Hello Vicki,
      I have not worked with Macs. However, I believe the answer is that the image files themselves are almost certainly interchangeable, but the media are not. In other words, I think that if you tried to use some sort of external or portable drive that is formatted for the Mac, the PC would not be able to access the drive. However, if you transfer the files via email, ftp or some other media-independent means, you should not have a problem.

      Mark

  35. 135
    ) Pauli
    December 23, 2011 at 10:30 am

    I just wanna to wish You and Your family a very merry christmas from my family :)

    My 15 year old daughter just got her first dslr d3100 from me and my wife… shes just sooo exited :-)

    From Us to You

    • December 27, 2011 at 8:00 pm

      Thank you Pauli! Happy Holidays to you and your family.

  36. 136
    ) Mark
    December 27, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    Dear Mr. Mansurov,
    I wonder if you would be willing to compare the 28-300 vs the 24-120 as a general purpose lens, if one were forced to choose one or the other. I realize that this is a very subjective question, but I’m confident that your thought process will be instructive. I’m not sure which I would find more valuable — the extra reach of the 28-300 or the constant, relatively wide aperture of the 24-120?

    Thanks,
    Mark

    • December 27, 2011 at 8:00 pm

      Mark, I would pick the 24-120mm over the 28-300mm any time…see my Nikon 24-120mm Review for details. Just like the 18-200mm, the 28-300mm is a jack of all trades and master of none.

  37. 142
    ) Rich
    January 11, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    Nasim,
    Happy New Year!
    A while back you told me that the Nikon 80-200 I had purchased was a “jack of all trades………”
    I would like to secure a wide angle zoom. You have recomended the 16-85 to others. Do you think this is the best way to go. D7000 and landscape are my criteria.
    Thanks
    Rich

  38. 145
    ) Sathinathan
    February 14, 2012 at 11:55 pm

    Hi There,

    i need a help for a specific product. It’s about “Samyang 85mm f/1.4 AE IF UMC Multi Coated Lens (Nikon F Mount)” Does this lens suit for Nikon D7000 body? how good is this combination? can anyone advice me on this?

  39. 146
    ) ray
    March 21, 2012 at 11:14 am

    Hi Nassim!
    Will you be reviewing the 85mm 1.8G any time soon? I’ve seen some sample shots from it over the net, but would wait for your extensive review first before I will decide if I will get one.
    Anyways, your reviews on the Impact C-stand and multi boom was great, I hope you can also review some light modifiers.
    Great articles from your blog contributors, keep it coming.

    Cheers!
    Ray

  40. 147
    ) Роман
    April 6, 2012 at 10:41 am

    Здравствуйте, Назим!

    Я собрался в путешествие в Австралию, и в связи с этим встал вопрос о покупке камеры, поскольку ехать со старой “мыльницей” не очень-то серьезно (фотографией никогда особо не занимался). Проанализировав рынок, нашел для себя подходящими Nikon d5100 и Canon d600. Однако, не могу решиться, что же из них выбрать. Не могли бы Вы подсказать, какой из фотоаппаратов позволит сделать наиболее качественные и “сочные” фото как динамических, так и статических объектов. Качество съемки видео не очень для меня критично.

    Заранее весьма признателен.

  41. 148
    ) Alun
    April 25, 2012 at 3:57 am

    Hi Nasim. Unfortunately as I live in South Africa I am unable to support your site by purchasing my equipment through one of your links. Living in Africa my major interest is wild life photography – I use the D800 with 70-200 F2.8 VRIi with the 1.4 and 1.7 TCs and the 300mm F4 with 1.4 TC for most of my shots – these work perfectly and I get excellent results. I am however also getting into macro photography. I have the 105mm 2.8 micro lens. Do you have a view as to how well this would work with the TC-20E iii converter? Or should I stick with the 1.4 or 1.7? I wouldn’t want to buy the TC-20E only to find IQ is poor with the 105mm? As I’ve mentioned previously equipment in SA is extremely expensive – up to twice the cost in equivalent US $.

    Thanks for a wonderfully informative and interesting site and sorry I cannot support it properly.
    Kind regards
    Alun

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