auto focusing....ing

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by cantthinkofone, Jan 9, 2008.

  1. cantthinkofone macrumors 65816

    cantthinkofone

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2004
    Location:
    Missouri, USA
    #1
    Yes this is another "OmG Im AbOuT tO bUy A sLr" thread.

    I plan on buying a D70 body. i don't have a lot of money to spend. i want maybe two lenses. I would like a nice zoom lens. Nothing crazy. Just a general zoom lens. Correct me if i'm wrong, but the human eye has the field of vision that would be a 30mm on a lens correct? What length is magnification? 17?

    In laymen's terms i want a 1x to about 3x lens. This isn't my job, so quality doesn't have to be drop dead amazing. But zoomed i naturally i would still like the pictures to look good. And be quick enough to take action shots (atv racing, moving cars, animals etc etc) Could i get somthing like that for about $100-$250?

    Then the other lens i would liked to be a fixed lens. I would like this to also be a quick lens, and have 1.8-2.5f. for about the same price. I am still learning the in and outs of camera lenses, and why some are priced so high.

    My last question is about the D70. How fast is the camera capable of auto-focusing, and then taking a picture? Do you hold the button to get it to auto, and then press again to take the shot? Or if im in a hurry can i just bring the camera up snap a picture and it comes out spot free? Or is this where knowing your camera and using the manual focusing come in?
     
  2. onomatopoeia macrumors 6502

    onomatopoeia

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2007
    #2
    Nikon's 50mm 1.8D prime fits the bill at just over $100. It's a very nice little lens.

    The Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5.6 is the first thing that springs to mind. It's more zoom than you want but falls into your price range. I'm sure others will offer more suggestions.
     
  3. djbahdow01 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2004
    Location:
    Northeast, CT
    #3
    The auto focus is pretty good. It is capable of capturing fast movement. I used it to shoot hockey for a little while before I upgraded to the D200.

    As for focusing and what not I would recommend you downloading the D70 manual to find out about all its features. For focusing and shooting, there is a 2 step process. Half press the shutter button to autofocus, then when you want to take a picture you press the button all the way. You can snap a picture, if the camera is set to acquire focus first it could be delayed. The other setting will take right away but might not be in focus.

    Basically it takes practice. The 2 lenses that have been recommended are a good start. Like you have said there are some lenses that are really expensive. The more expensive a lot of the times the better they are. Basically better technology/lenses. Try a 70-300 lens vs a 300mm prime lens, big difference.
     
  4. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2003
    Location:
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    #4
    I don't think it'd be a good idea to get a 50mm fixed lens with a 55-200 zoom - you'll miss way too much. You need to have the ability to go wider for almost any sort of photography you might be doing.

    The zoom that originally came as the D70 kit lens is the 18-70. It's a little over your stated price range, costing about $300; but it's a great lens. If you don't want to spend that much, consider the 18-55 VR lens that's supposed to be available any day now (it's announced; I just don't know if it's in stock anywhere). Since you want to have a prime, get the 50mm f/1.8 or - if you don't mind spending more - the 85mm f/1.8 (since that would give you more reach rather than duplicating a range your zoom covers).

    Lens cost tends to be driven by the quality of materials, the quality of the glass, and economies of scale - at least those are the ones I could think of right away. The 50mm f/1.8 tends to be inexpensive largely because of the latter.
     
  5. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #5
    You probably don't want a "normal" field of view lens for the subjects you want to shoot. Your brain is pretty selective about focusing on the important elements in your field of view, but that's exactly why most "snapshots" don't isolate the subject well in photographs- the field of view is too large to isolate the subject in a noisy environment.


    As far as freezing motion in fast-moving subjects- it really depends a lot on how much ambient light there is. I'd say about the ideal lens for the subjects you want to shoot is the 80-200mm two-ring zoom, which is a gem in terms of pure optical quality- and good used samples abound, but I think it's outside of your price range. If you're shooting in good light, or have good flash, then you can get away with slower lenses, and if you're not hyper-choosy, then the third party manufacturers like Sigma, Tamron and Tokina have some nice f/2.8 offerings.

    The 50mm lenses are at the best price point for a fast lens. On a 1.5x crop factor body, they'll be a very mild telephoto in terms of angle of view.


    It'll focus relatively quickly- though a lot depends on the lens. In general terms, Nikon camera bodies have three focus settings, Manual, Servo and Continuous. Manual focus is just that, Servo is focus, then shoot, and Continuous is just that. That'll be the CSM switch on the bottom of the body to the lens's left. In Servo mode, you half-press the shutter for focus, then fully depress it to take the shot, Same mechanics in Continuous mode, but the camera keeps adjusting focus while the shutter is half-pressed. Most Nikon cameras (I'm not sure about the D70) also have an AF-Lock button that allows the focus function to be linked to that button. Most Nikon bodies can also be set to only take a picture when things are in focus, or to just take the picture regardless- depending on mode. If you pre-focus on a spot, you'll generally get better results with most cameras, though the newer autofocus modules on the later cameras are starting to make that moot.

    Depending on the subject and contrast at the subject, as well as where the lens is in its focal range, you can have almost instant pictures with AF on, or it can take up to about a third of a second. Having a Nikon flash unit, or other infra-red AF-assist light on the body can help, even if not taking flash pictures.

    Personally, the only time I go wider than 70mm outside of the studio is when I'm shooting a land/cityscape, panorama or waterfall. I rarely shoot groups of people though- which is where I'd go for wider in general terms. Trackside with motorcycles, I don't know that I'd want less than 200mm and I'd be much happier with 300mm or 400mm, but I haven't shot quad races, so I don't know what you get in terms of distance or lead-in. Moving cars on a track, same sort of situation- I can always go back a bit at the inside of a turn- but I don't know if I'd be in the same mindset at a drag strip- a lot would depend on front vs side shots and available real estate. I've shot Indy cars trackside with a 35-70mm lens, but only because that's all I had at the time and I was at the track for reasons other than shooting- ideally, I'd have had at least 120mm and preferably 200+.

    Here are some flickr ATV shots with a D70s

    200mm
    http://flickr.com/photo_exif.gne?id=256349710
    http://flickr.com/photo_exif.gne?id=269009982
    http://flickr.com/photo_exif.gne?id=252817455
    http://flickr.com/photo_exif.gne?id=461747829

    180mm
    http://flickr.com/photo_exif.gne?id=319846193

    120mm
    http://flickr.com/photo_exif.gne?id=251949232
    http://flickr.com/photo_exif.gne?id=250719819

    70mm
    http://flickr.com/photo_exif.gne?id=775969929

    55mm
    http://flickr.com/photo_exif.gne?id=154969119

    50mm
    http://flickr.com/photo_exif.gne?id=154969119

    The shorter shots are obviously from quite close in, but it looks like 200mm isn't too bad a focal length for these kinds of shots.
     
  6. cantthinkofone thread starter macrumors 65816

    cantthinkofone

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2004
    Location:
    Missouri, USA
    #6
    http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g67/matt1718/n1303680142_30040326_3972.jpg

    http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g67/matt1718/n1303680142_30040282_1928.jpg

    those are probably the best examples of atv racing i would want to take pictures of.

    the first pictures was shot from about 75 ft away i think, i didn't take it, a friend did. the next picture was probably taken with in 10 ft. if i could get pictures like the second one and in focus and not blurred i would be thrilled.

    thats the best examples i can give. other than that a lens for just general stuff, nature, landscape, animals, stuff like that. nothing profession, just considerably better quality and a P&S camera.
     
  7. djbahdow01 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2004
    Location:
    Northeast, CT
    #7
    Well you could have gotten the 2nd image non blurred if you had a quick enough shutter speed. Also another way would have been panning, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panning_(camera), take a look a little info on it. That is where you follow the action, ie go left to right while keeping the object you want to photograph in the frame.

    You will get decent results with the slower ie f4.0+ basic lenses, but to get the most out of the light you will have in the woods would be best to have an f2.8 lens. People have done pretty well with the "consumer" grade lenses but the semi/pro grade lenses would do you much better.

    As for the D70 being a P&S its not there is still a little knowledge needed as well as a little skill and practice.

    Get to know the camera it will benefit you and your photography.
     
  8. cantthinkofone thread starter macrumors 65816

    cantthinkofone

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2004
    Location:
    Missouri, USA
    #8
    The camera used at that race was a p&s camera. a nice camera for what it was, but it couldn't keep pace with the action. I have played a little bit with panning but it just comes out blurred. A few of us are going riding this weekend so i will try to see if this new cybershot i got for christmas is any better.

    There is a photography company that usually comes to the races and takes very decent pictures. I have been wanting to go talk with them, but its kinda hard when you're the one their taking pictures of :p
     

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