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Thread: Camera Upgrade Question

  1. #41
    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Going on the vf shot, I reckon your Tammy is also focusing fine .. at whatever focal length you set it too(I think 18mm in the shot posted).

    I'd reckon chances are that it'll focus OK for the majority of it's focal length range, but sometimes some lenses do play up at different focal lengths .. usually at the longer end.
    I think the Tammy was the 18-270mm version.

    If and when you get some time too, I'd say give it a quick test(just to see for yourself, more than anything) if vf focusing at longer lengths is accurate too.
    Post results if you like too .. but that would be more so for your 'peace of mind'.

    Note with these superzooms .. the longer you set focal length .. the less sharp they get, even stopped down.
    But at middling focal lengths can be quite good.
    I can't remember the specifics of the Tammy 18-270 .. but if you want portrait shots, a good focal length range to stick too as a max would be in the 85 to 135mm type range(give or take a little).

    The missed Lv focus is basically normal. Obviously not a result you want to get all the time, but seen this many times in my lenses too.
    Reason for it is obvious .. the focus square is much larger so the focus square sees more stuff to focus on.
    Think of it as the camera isn't quite 'intelligent' to know what it is you want .. doesn't even know what's in the scene.
    It just tries to focus on the most obvious thing to focus on .. which may be different to what you want it to focus on.
    It seems to have focused on the wall in the background.

    But I'd say that both lenses focus accuracy isn't an issue .. or at least a major issue .. to worry about.
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    {Nikon} -> 50/1.2 : 500/8(CPU'd) : 105/2.8VR Micro : 180/2.8ais : 105mm f/1.8ais : 24mm/2ais
    {Sigma}; ->10-20/4-5.6 : 50/1.4 : 12-24/4.5-5.6II : 150-600mm|S
    {Tamron}; -> 17-50/2.8 : 28-75/2.8 : 70-200/2.8 : 300/2.8 SP MF : 24-70/2.8VC

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  2. #42
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    Thanks everyone for your input.

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    Hi Guys,

    Well Saturday rolled around and I took some more photos of my daughter in action at Netball. Since the distance was going to vary, I used my Tamron 18-270 and left it in auto mode with single point focus. I always use the view finder as I find the Live view awkward. I did try some test shots using Live View but found I could press down on the shutter and it wouldn't take the photo.

    Anyway, being a fast moving game I tried to keep the focus point on my daughter and being single point helped. I could see the focus changing if people ran past between us etc, but though the view finder, if the focus point was on her, she looked in focus. Mind you, I am looking at a very tiny screen and she's constantly moving so as to how in focus she was is debatable, but what I mean is that at the time of the shots it looked good.

    Here's an example where ViewNX shows the focus point being her body, specifically her arm, yet the photo seems to show things on the sideline meters away more in focus.

    Netball 1.jpg

    The photo below has the following data: shutter speed 1/320 sec, ISO 200, Focal Length 78mm, Maximum Aperture 5, Metering Mode - Pattern, F-Stop - f/9

    DSC_4527.JPG

    This is why I originally started this post as it looks like I focused on the right part (my daughter's arm) and at first glance the postcard sized photo looks ok until you look closer and find the subject is blurry (not one part of my daugher's arm is in focus) and the background seems more in focus.

    I guess I just have to improve my technique to something other than leaving everything on auto and just aiming the focus point on my subject, which I thought a beginner should be doing and letting the camera (since it's on auto) ensure the subject was in focus, and well lit etc.

    TBH, I'm getting a bit over it. I'm starting to feel like I should just accept that these types of photos are going to be the best I can do. Yes, disappointed they're not excellent, but as I said, for looking at the photo on a small screen etc, they look sharp enough. When it comes to fast action stuff, I don't have time to do manual adjustments for each shot. It's always going to be a case of watching the game through the lens and following my daughter and hitting the shutter when she's involved in some action (shooting, running, etc) and just hope the "auto" part of the camera does a decent enough job.


    Example 2

    Focus point is on her hand on the ball.
    Netball 2.jpg

    Actual photo (1/400 sec, f/10, 100mm focal length, ISO-200) shows hand (and all of my daughter) is blurry.

    DSC_4528.JPG

    It would have been a good action shot of her ready to make a play with others running past but she's too blurry for me to keep it.

    Anyway, thanks for all the input over the past few weeks. I just thought the above photos were a perfect example of why the thread was started. Focus point in the right spot but actual focus seems to be elsewhere.

    Ciao.
    Last edited by MadMax1412; 25-05-2019 at 6:22pm.

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    Ausphotography Regular swifty's Avatar
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    Hi Madmax, apologies as I’ve only skimmed through your thread and may have missed if this was already mentioned.
    But could there just be a little misalignment of the AF points on the focusing screen and the actual focus points?
    In your latest Netball shots, both are misfocussed at infinity even though viewNX shows the AF point in the centre on your subject. Going by your test shots, maybe your actual AF point is a little left of the centre when in landscape orientation.
    Next time you have a chance to shoot, just pretend the AF point is a little left of centre in landscape and if you turn counterclockwise for portrait orientation, then pretend the AF point is a little below the centre.
    See if that improves your result.
    This is just a guess based on what you’ve shown but I could be wrong in terms of where the AF point actually is. This will require a bit more testing.
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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Such FF (Front Focusing)! It's enough to make you... well, pull your hair out.

    Why didn't the older cameras have an electronic Micro-AF adjustment?

    Look, there's an OLD AP Thread on this from the time of the Lascaux Cave Paintings.

    Just have a good read of it and the embedded links before you even try to do anything.

    AK was a prime mover in this sort of thing way back then too
    CC, Image editing OK.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ameerat42 View Post
    Such FF (Front Focusing)! It's enough to make you... well, pull your hair out.

    Why didn't the older cameras have an electronic Micro-AF adjustment?

    Look, there's an OLD AP Thread on this from the time of the Lascaux Cave Paintings.

    Just have a good read of it and the embedded links before you even try to do anything.

    AK was a prime mover in this sort of thing way back then too
    I had a read, but I'm not confident in doing any adjustments. I'm worried I'd stuff something up as usually anything I try ends up bad. I'm an Australian version of Frank from "Some Mother's Do 'Ave 'Em" :-)

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    GSH! He was such a wrry. Same as Lucille Ball was in I Love Lucy.

    My main concern is that this being a physical adjustment in the camera body, whether it would affect
    all lenses attached to it. In my camera, changing the micro-AF for one lens doesn't affect any others.

  8. #48
    Ausphotography Regular J.davis's Avatar
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    Just a left field Q here, all the sport shots have the players OOF and the still background sort of OK.
    Try manual settings with a ss of 1/1000, and f8 with auto ISO, no higher than 2000.
    Program your camera to back button focus and I suspect your keeper rate may improve.
    I also think the pictures that you started with are too heavily cropped for the facial features to be sharp. If you want portraits, get closer.
    Regards
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  9. #49
    Ausphotography Regular John King's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ameerat42 View Post

    Why didn't the older cameras have an electronic Micro-AF adjustment?
    Probably to do with processing power and memory requirements, Am.

    Olympus cameras did, from around 2007 onwards. I think my E-30 was the first.
    Regards, john

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Yeah, I mentioned it before, and JD mentioned it again.

    It's not an AF adjustment thing. It's more to do with focus speed and the lens(the fact that it's slow to respond).
    Nikon consumer lenses are similar, in that they respond slowly to AF.

    Backbutton focusing(or AF-On) as mentioned earlier, and use AF-C.
    Maintain focus continuously(using the rear AEL button as the AF-On) no half shutter press required.
    Expose for the shot when you feel confident that you've tracked focus continuously for a short amount of time.
    It's basically all in the timing, and continuous focusing on the subject.

    Good thing using VNX2 too ... it maintains all exif data and shows that you used AF-A mode.

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    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    Yeah, I mentioned it before, and JD mentioned it again.

    It's not an AF adjustment thing. It's more to do with focus speed and the lens(the fact that it's slow to respond).
    Nikon consumer lenses are similar, in that they respond slowly to AF.
    I assume by this you mean the camera hasn't completed focus before firing. My Nikon D90 doesn't fire if it doesn't think it has focus. It doesn't have the setting like the later Nikons that allow you to over-ride this and fire even if focus isn't met.

    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    Backbutton focusing(or AF-On) as mentioned earlier, and use AF-C.
    Maintain focus continuously(using the rear AEL button as the AF-On) no half shutter press required.
    Expose for the shot when you feel confident that you've tracked focus continuously for a short amount of time.
    It's basically all in the timing, and continuous focusing on the subject.
    I'll give it a go this weekend at the next Netball game. I watched the YouTube video in the "Old AP Thread" link in the post above. ATM it feels a bit awkward as I have to twist my hand around a bit more than normal for my thumb to reach the AE-L/EF-L button. Plus, I look through the viewfinder with my left eye and I wear glasses so my knuckle on my thumb now brushes up against the right lens of my glasses.

    Quote Originally Posted by J.davis View Post
    Just a left field Q here, all the sport shots have the players OOF and the still background sort of OK.
    Try manual settings with a ss of 1/1000, and f8 with auto ISO, no higher than 2000.
    Program your camera to back button focus and I suspect your keeper rate may improve.
    I will try to remember this, but that's partly my problem. Having to remember what custom settings to use for different situations. Usually I use the dial settings like "Action" for fast stuff (netball, daughter on go-kart, etc) and portrait for portraits (obviously) and simply the full auto. I've used Aperture settings when I deliberately want to blur out the background in photos where the subject is still and I have time to compose as I've learnt that the smaller F stops (eg F3.5) gives a small DOF then say F18.

    Quote Originally Posted by J.davis View Post
    I also think the pictures that you started with are too heavily cropped for the facial features to be sharp. If you want portraits, get closer.
    I guess I'm over estimating the D90 and my own ability after watching videos such as this Jared Polin one - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxqa_f6LsQI - which shows the face nicely in focus even when shot from a distance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lance B View Post
    Yes, Nikon is releasing a firmware upgrade on the 16th May, 2 days away, that is supposed to give "eye AF".

    I am a Nikon user and have the Nikon Z7 (higher Mp version of the Z6) and associated lenses and think it is a fantastic camera, the IQ results are stunning.
    I saw that Nikon are doing a recall on some Z6 and Z7 cameras based on serial numbers. Not sure if you heard, but here's where I heard it - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=beouuswWGOk

  12. #52
    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadMax1412 View Post
    I assume by this you mean the camera hasn't completed focus before firing. My Nikon D90 doesn't fire if it doesn't think it has focus. It doesn't have the setting like the later Nikons that allow you to over-ride this and fire even if focus isn't met.

    .....
    Firstly back button focusing is technically called AF-On focusing.
    if you use the term BBF, you won't find it in the camera menu or manual .. so best to call it AF-On.
    Reason is, that this is what a dedicated BBF button is called on a camera(eg. D300, and suchlike .. D800 etc).
    They have both the AEL and an AF-On.

    The D90 only has this AEL, which can be set to do AF-On.

    Once you set the camera with AF-On, it defaults to focus priority, so you can shoot even if focus is not confirmed.

    So to get the camera set up the way I described, you need AF-On and AF-C mode for focus.
    It's the AF-C setting that allows this ability shoot even if there is no focus.
    This is called focus priority as a setting.

    So in AF-S and AF-A mode focus priority is focus.
    When set to AF-C mode, focus priority is then set to release.

    You're right, you can't set it manually as a dedicated setting in a D90 .. hence why I suggest to use AF-C mode.
    And with that, your method needs to change to where you track your subject, holding the AF-On button continuously, you see the focus rack in and out constantly as it hits and misses.
    You shoot as needed, and as said you may get a blurry image or two(or three) but you should also get some good ones.
    The focusing speed/accuracy it more likely to be a lens issue, and not the camera per se.

    eg. if you had a semi expensive lens like a Nikon 70-200/4, I reckon your focus hit rate will be much better.
    Same with a Tamron 70-200/2.8 USD type lens .. quite fast and much more accurate than a consumer lens.
    But they're heavy-ish and $1K sized lenses ..


    ps. didn't know that you use your left eye, so can imagine it being awkward to use the AF-On method.
    You could still try to use the normal release method for AF activation, and just set AF to AF-C and use the other tips I mention re focus tracking then pick a moment to shoot a few frames .. etc.
    Personally I can't use the focus with the release method, now so used to AF-On.

    Funnily too, last camera I bought was a D5500(for daughter), and I use it sometimes .. just for a bit of fun.
    It has to be set to normal AF via the release, for her.
    So every time I use it, I do my usual AF-On method, and miss the first set of shots with exposure locked to high heaven.
    Sometimes habits are hard to break out of!

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    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    Firstly back button focusing is technically called AF-On focusing.
    if you use the term BBF, you won't find it in the camera menu or manual .. so best to call it AF-On.
    Sorry, I don't think I explained myself properly. In the YouTube video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WyPv1bLkwqA&t=260s - at the 4:10 mark, he talks about the menu option for AF-C being able to be set to Release, Release+Focus, or Focus. Here he can set it so the Nikon D3S will fire even if it doesn't have focus (Release Priority). What I was saying is I don't have this menu option so my Nikon D90 won't fire unless it has focus. That's the option menu I was talking about. I wasn't looking for any BBF menu option :-)

    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post

    So in AF-S and AF-A mode focus priority is focus.
    When set to AF-C mode, focus priority is then set to release.

    You're right, you can't set it manually as a dedicated setting in a D90 .. hence why I suggest to use AF-C mode.
    Yep, I understand that and have set it to AF-C.

    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    And with that, your method needs to change to where you track your subject, holding the AF-On button continuously, you see the focus rack in and out constantly as it hits and misses.
    You shoot as needed, and as said you may get a blurry image or two(or three) but you should also get some good ones.
    The focusing speed/accuracy it more likely to be a lens issue, and not the camera per se.
    Last weekend, I had my camera set to AF-A which from my understanding means the camera chooses whether it needs AF-C or AF-A. I would zoom in on my daughter with single point focus, half press and then follow her around the court waiting for a good photo op such as her catching the ball etc. As other players went between me and my daughter, the focus would hunt trying to regain focus on the person now between us, but usually the person was only passing through so my daughter would come into view and it would re-focus. In the meantime, I'm still holding the release button down half way. I'll give this BBF method a try on Saturday and see how I go.

    One thing I find annoying is every time I change the selection dial (eg Auto, Portrait, Landscape, etc) the options reset. The AF-C changes back to AF-A, AF-Area Mode changes to auto area, etc.

    Cheers
    Last edited by MadMax1412; 29-05-2019 at 7:44pm.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Ah, OK.
    Maybe that's the issue then .. the shooting mode.

    Try setting to [A] .. Aperture priority.

    Then what you do is use the front dial to set aperture. or just set it to fully open, and leave it there.
    On the Nikon, it'll just stay wide open if you set it that way, on the Tamron, it will vary as you zoom.
    It'll close up zooming in, and open up when zooming out again .. automatically.

    Then try AF-C and single point focus.
    I thought AF-A chooses AF-A or AF-C as the subject is moving or static, but yes it still uses the focus priority mode only., so needs to have focus before allowing exposure.
    So AF-C is the only way you can get release priority.

    Don't worry too much about 'composition' while you're trying to get a handle on it, just stick with central single point focus, and work with the idea that you may crop the images to get an image the way you want.
    Once you've worked out the focusing/accuracy issue, then you experiment with focus point settings.

    But remember, once set to AF-C, the cameras default setting is then release priority.
    If you use the Tammy more(which makes sense) for eg. your daughters netball ... use the zoom to help with composition.

    But important point here is not to use the Auto modes for shooting settings.
    Either [A] aperture, or [S] shutter priority.
    Technically, [S] mode is better for sports/fast action, where you tell camera .. "I just want 1/1000s or faster", but you need to also use AutoISO mode to allow it to do that.
    Otherwise using [A] mode will be identical.

    So maybe also set Auto ISO ... max ISO3200. I have the D300, and ISO3200 is OK for this sensor(same sensor).
    One by the way with this tho, is that instead of ViewNX2, maybe try using ViewNX-D .. it's noise reduction works really well(for a freebie software!)

    ps. I used to set my D300 to ISO6400 max in AutoISO.

    What I'm describing works for me, so it's only a guide for you.
    I didn't know that you use left eye for vf, so this is different, so your style is different.
    Just trying to help you get more comfy, more so with understanding the different settings, more so than an ideal technique for you.
    Your style is different, so you have to work this out, and with what you described, maybe AF-On may not suit.
    But once you understand all the settings, and assistance that the camera offers, then you find your groove(so to speak) on how it works better for you.

    I just had a try using AF-On and using my left eye in vf, and I don't wear glasses or nothing, and it is quite awkward. Maybe I could get used to it a little, and strangely it seems to feel more comfy when I set the camera to portrait orientation!
    But, overall, coming from my normal handling usage, it did feel awkward.

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    Quote Originally Posted by J.davis View Post
    Just a left field Q here, all the sport shots have the players OOF and the still background sort of OK.
    Try manual settings with a ss of 1/1000, and f8 with auto ISO, no higher than 2000.
    Program your camera to back button focus and I suspect your keeper rate may improve.
    I also think the pictures that you started with are too heavily cropped for the facial features to be sharp. If you want portraits, get closer.
    This photo was taken whilst my daughter was stationery. My camera was set as suggested (shutter 1/1000, F8, auto ISO (this photo was 400) Focal length 46mm) and I was using BBF as instructed.

    View NX shows the focus point being the bottom of the uniform where the white part contrasts against the green.

    ViewNX.jpg

    DSC_4656a.jpg

    You can download the NEF file from my Google Drive - https://drive.google.com/open?id=1bU...k_8ZE44bpYUdX-

    I guess I'm disappointed because I expect my D90 to give better images like I see more modern camera give, like in this Youtube video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C372rx80jjE (7:23 mark) - where they show a close up of the shot next to the full length shot. but then again I guess my camera and lens isn't worth $3000+

    Youtube.jpg

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Have to say, the IQ is about what you would expect from the Tamron.
    Focus was about spot on. That is, the focus plane is pretty much right.
    You want focus on your daughters face, but remember that focus works on a plane, it's not really a spot as such.(more accurately DoF works along a plane.. but same difference)

    Very important to note here(I downloaded and checked the image in VNX2 too) .. your upload of the cropped image is magnified more than 100% .. so it's exaggerated the softness of the lens.
    I believe you may have set magnify to 200% and then cropped.
    At 100%(in VNX2) .. don't look too bad.

    So the focus spot on your daughters lower skirt, is close enough to the same plane as is her face .. and therefore her eyes.

    Of note is that these consumer super zooms will render images as you experience. They're never going to be as good as a higher grade of zoom lens.
    The Sony camera you mention at $3K .. is camera body only!
    You haven't taken into account that a lens is still required.

    summary: if you take a $3K Sony camera(that is supposedly that much better than an old 'decrepit' unworthy D90) .. and add to this $3K camera the same Tamron lens you used, you WILL get close to the exact same IQ.

    It all starts at the front, and ends up way down the back there, through the camera sensor and onto your memory card. The important point being the start.
    Feed in better quality, and you'll get better quality all the way through to the end!

    So as you shoot more, and gain more experience, you see more/different ways to do stuff you want to achieve.
    Note how you set the Tamron at 46mm focal length.
    Assuming you're at the sidelines, so can't step in a little(just one step) .. you could have used the Nikon 35, set it to f/2.8(very sharp there, or f/4: supposedly a little bit sharper again), ISO would have adjusted to ISO100, shutter at 1/2000s for those conditions.
    But if you wanted to keep the same framing, because the Nikon 35mm would have given a sharper image, you could have had greater ability to crop more.

    etc. etc.

    ie. there are "many ways to skin a cat" .. it's a matter of building up the experience, or simply asking how to ....

    I have to be honest, I'd be happy to have captured that image of your daughter. It may not be the greatest detailed image you have, and maybe in the future you do get a better camera/lens, and you get better quality images, but at least you have what you have and in reasonable quality.
    The important point I hope to help with is that you don't usually print/view images at 100% pixel view(that is zoomed in all the way).
    Learn to appreciate images for what they are, not the fact that you got that last 0.01% out of the gear that captured them!

    That's basically what I do:
    I use cheap @$$ed gear, trying more so to do more with that, then to spend big $ trying to get that last percent of quality.
    Revelation here tho!! I do spend big $s on gear sometimes, but not 'willy nilly'. eg. I did buy a D800E way back when and that cost me over $3K too, but I didn't buy it because it gave me better IQ.
    I bought it because I wanted something specific from the next camera.
    back then video in cameras wasn't common, and the two specifics I wanted were video and full frame capture(due to most of the lenses I have). D700(much cheaper) didn't have video, and D3s silly price for what I wanted. Would have loved a D3s, but you need to balance common sense with reality.

    Later .. much later, I then got a cheapo ultra wide angle lens, as my primary choice of subject matter was(still is) landcapes.
    I used my APS-C only Sigma 10-20 lens for about a year till I finally decided on which wide angle lens to finally get.
    Nikon 14-24 was a great lens, awesome lens, much better IQ than the Sigma 12-24 of the time, the cheaper model f/4.5-5.6 version. Later Sigma created their 12-24 f/4 lens too. but wasn't an option(around) for me when I finally got mine.
    Again, the Nikon 14-24 was big bucks, even tho I did a lot of photography back then .. still decided that in landscapes absolute detail wasn't as important as the overall image .. ie. the subject was more important than the detail captured of that subject.

    So if I ever displayed the images, the additional cost of the Nikon 14-24 over the 1/3 priced Sigma 12-24(old model) just wasn't 'money well spent'.
    I got better tripod, and more other stuff(left me some money to aim for another semi expensive lens too).

    So sometimes you need to weigh up what are you doing and why.
    ie. what are you spending, and what do you want from it?
    Sometimes a better lens is the best way to go, other times a better camera is the way to go .. and so on and so forth.

    If you want a half decent cheap zoom lens to get high quality images at the short range, I can highly recommend the Tamron 17-50/2.8 lens from ways back.
    There are multiple versions of this lens, second hand they're quite cheap, and IQ is much better than the price would indicate. I estimate between $100-300 for a good one.
    The non VC lens will be cheaper(this is what I have), and the VC lens will be at the higher end. Brand new I think about $500-ish. VC is handy to have for longer shutter times.
    The other nice Tammy lens I can't part with is the 28-75/2.8. One thing that stops me from recommending this lens is that mine backfocuses. Now that I got used to it tho, I work around that if I use it.
    But it's sharp enough at f/2.8, gets sharper at f/4, and why I like it is that it's bokeh is about as good as you see from any lens out there.


    The beauty of owning a D90 Nikon camera(and not a more modern D5xxx) is that your model focuses with AF-D lenses(has a built in af drive) .. so you have more options for AF lenses.

    if you wanted more zoom range lens, I like the 18-105 and 18-140(have both) that Nikon make. Good IQ(not the greatest) and decent zoom range.

    If you really want spectacular image quality worthy of a $3000 spend .. you need to look at some pretty decent lenses.

    last tip: if you're still using ViewNX2, open the NEF there, and just give the image a 2 setting on sharpening.
    If you're using ViewNX-D, make the sharpening settings a little different. A bit convoluted so will explain this only if you wanted it.

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