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Thread: newbie with nikon d3100

  1. #1
    Member aussiegrl's Avatar
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    newbie with nikon d3100

    Ok so i came a cross this forum in a google search and im so glad i did. Ive read through quite alot of topics so far.

    Im a complete noob to photography to be honest, i just dont understnad all the camera talk lol

    Im wanting to photograph a friends newborn baby next week. The settings i have been told to use are
    f/2.8 to f/4.5
    and iso at 100

    I can change the iso but cant for the life of me work out how to change the aperture. The lowest it seems to go is around 4. Which settings should i have this on. M A S P auto, portrait..... im so confused.

    the camera i am using is the new nikon d3100

  2. #2
    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    I suspect that you're using a kit lens. if f/4 is the lowest you can go, then the kit lens may be an f/4-5.6.

    that sounds like a 55-200VR lens, so yes!.. the largest aperture you can then use is f/4.

    for f/2.8 you need a more professional type lens. More profesional doesn't necessarily mean lots of $$$!! Tamron and Sigma make good general purpose lenses for decent money that maintain f/2.8 across their zoom range.

    NOTE: with your f/4-f? lens, you can shoot it at longer focal length(say 200mm) step back.. A LOT! and focus in tight and close. you still get some decent separation and hence background blur.
    At the moment, until you decide to invest in some fast glass, this is about the best you can do.

    NOTE 2: for not much money, you can also get a fast prime lens fixed at either 35mm or 50mm and f/1.8. Nikon's versions of these lenses cost about $200 (give or take) and allow you to get very decent portrait images. (I'd recommend the 35/1.8 for Dx(which is what you have).
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
    {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


  3. #3
    Ausphotography Regular
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    Make sure you do some practice before you try photographing your friend's newborn.

    If you can't get f numbers lower than 4, this will be a limitation of the lens that came with your camera.

    I would suggest using A mode (aperture priority - you choose the aperture and the camera chooses the rest) or one of the scene modes that the D3100 has - there will be one for children and one for portraits from memory.

    As for practice, you need to try photographing something similar - perhaps your own family or other tame humans. Watch for low shutter speeds ( not enough light, or the aperture is too small - ie high f number) which will give blurry photos
    Regards, Rob

    D600, AF-S 35mm f1.8G DX, AF-S 50mm f1.8G, AF-S 24-85mm f3.5-4.5G ED VR, AF-S 70-300mm F4.5-5.6G VR, Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC HSM
    Photos: geeoverbar.smugmug.com Software: CS6, Lightroom 4

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    I'm not familiar with your camera model, but I do know that you dont have to spend big dollars to get what you are after.
    The little 50mm 1.8 is an inexpensive lens which I use with good results (IMO) ...

    http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/5018daf.htm

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    Look on the front of the lens, around the ring which will show the f stop range of the lens .
    While taking the advice of f/2.8 to f/4.5, and iso at 100, I'm also guessing your lens is a kit lens and therefore
    it may not be as sharp at f4 than it would be stopped down to say 5.6 and beyond. That gives you a problem with needing
    either, more light or increasing the ISO.
    Any recent release DSLR should be able to handle ISO 800 without any problems. (I always have the ISO at the lowest possible setting but that's more being an ex film shooter) also try some test shots a few days before use something from the nursery or an old doll,
    That said, think about the baby photos, Using good window light will be the key there. I'd also keep away from any flash at all in this
    setting.
    While I'd agree with Bleywa's suggestion of a prime 50mm having merit, there cheap and good, I would not recommend buying any lens because of what appears to be a one off. Having a plan will avoid purchases that sit on the shelf.
    hope this helps
    Last edited by carrg1954; 05-03-2011 at 1:45pm.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    The OP posted this thread on 24th Feb and hasn't been online since then, so not sure how useful any replies would be to them.
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

    Constructive Critique of my photographs is always appreciated
    Nikon, etc!

    RICK
    My Photography

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    aussiegrl's Avatar
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    thanks for the replies. I have been checking for updates, just havnt been logged in.

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