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photography thread

edited June 2011 in Not Sports Related

just wondered if we had any expertise on here - we seem to have everything else?

Am looking at upgrading my Nikon D70 at work for a D7000, already have an 18-200 vr1 lens, may be able to push them to a new lens possibly a wide angle which we often could use.

The work is mainly for events which are often poorly lit for photography (cheapskates that we are)

Was hoping to improve my non-flash indoor shots, and have a new toy of course.

I know there are advantages with better ISO, megapixels, video feature, etc

I am a complete amateur so any thoughts/advice/recommendations in  as simple language as possible most welcome

Many thanks



  • The key is getting more light into your camera so you want a lens with a wide aperture.  As far as I know (I'm a Canon user - but my son uses Nikon), the best in terms of this that you'll get without paying absolutely silly money in their 50mm fixed lens.  This opens up to f/1.8.  I've seen the results of using this and they are very good indeed.  That said there are two drawbacks that you'll need to be aware of.  1. Opening up the aperture this wide will give you a very narrow depth of focus i.e. not everything in the picture will look sharp - though this could be a bonus if you have ugly people in the background.   2.  The other disadvantage is that there is no zoom on this particular lens so it's more awkward finding the exact spot to take shots from.  That said, there is no finer way to improve, as its amazing how lazy you can get using a lens with a wide range like 18-200.
  • Many thanks, any views on a wide angle lens? (I'm assuming this isn't a stupid question) :)
  • Hi Razil,

    I currently own a Nikon D90, the D7000 is it's successor. I also own the 18-200 VR1 which I rarely use these days, it's a perfectly fine alround lens but wouldn't be classified as fast enough for low light situations. I've got a Sigma 24-70 f2.8 for that now and it's rarely off the body (I'd love the Nikon version but it's way out of my price range).

    From what I have read the D7000 is excellent in low light with the enhanced ISO performance. It's a big upgrade from the D90 and also has lots of features that the D300S had. It's a very good camera by all accounts, although I've not actually seen one myself I am just going from the forums that I am on.

    I'm very much an amateur myself Razil and am sure that there are others much more experienced than me on here who can offer you excellent advice, Blackheath Addick is one for sure, his pictures are fantastic.

    What Stig says above is absolutely spot on as well. I also own the 50mm 1.8 and value for money wise it can't be beaten.
  • I missed the wide angle bit Razil. I also have the Sigma 10-20 which I love as well, gives you a compltely different view of any subject and is great fun. It's not particularly fast for low light (I've only used it outside so far) but I do like it a lot. You're welcome to have a look at my pics on Flickr which are all taken on the D90 with either the 24-70 or 10-20 to get an idea of the lenses.

    Hope this helps.

  • will do thanks
  • +1 to what Stig said.  Absolutely spot on advice.  Wouldnt be without my 50mm f/1.8, best £100 I've ever spent, if that.  Absolutely love to bits my 70-200 f/2.8s though...but that cost silly money.
  • edited June 2011
    Some other thoughts:

    A tripod would allow you to hold the camera more still allowing for slightly slower shutter speeds (though you can't slow them too much as the people you're shooting will still be moving).  This would be fine if all shots are from the same vantage point, but would be a bugger of you are mingling around an event as it would be more trouble than it's worth.  A monopod might help, I don't know though I've never used one myself in such circumstances.

    Be wary of going too high in the ISO.  I know that technology is getting better all the time, and I don't know what you'll be using the photos for but you're bound to get grainy results if you bump it up too high.

    You can get some cheap reflectors for about £30 a shot that will allow you to bounce some light onto your subjects provided you can get them to stand in the right place.

    When you upgrade your camera, avoid buying a kit lens.  They are invariably at the lower end of the spectrum.  Try to get something a little more upmarket - I realise this clashes with my advice to get the 50mm 1.8 which I believe is the cheapest lens that Nikon (Nikkor) do. 

    I know you said you wanted to improve your non-flash photography (and quite right too), but you might find that investing in a flash that can be angled rather than just pointing at the subject helps.  Even just spending a few quid on a plastic diffuser might help diminish the horrible harsh shadows associated with flash photography.

    Finally, and I think this is possibly the best recommendation of all, get yourself a copy of Bryan Peterson's book Understanding Exposure, it will give you a great understanding of the relationship between aperture, ISO and shutter speed and much more besides.
  • Many thanks, any views on a wide angle lens? (I'm assuming this isn't a stupid question) :)
    It's not a silly question, but sorry I don't have an answer.
  • Great advice there Stig. I would give another big thumbs up for Bryan Peterson's book, it's helped me understand everything so much more.

    Just waiting for his new understanding flash photography to come into stock.

  • Just waiting for his new understanding flash photography to come into stock.

    I never know about that - thanks.  Something else to go on the I want list :-)
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  • Razil,

    Go here in person and never look back, well worth a visit if your going to purchase something Nikon.

    THE best Nikon shop in the World.


  • Razil,

    Go here in person and never look back, well worth a visit if your going to purchase something Nikon.

    THE best Nikon shop in the World.


    and also one of the most expensive Rodex........excellent service, but at a price......very friendly though...... 
    I try  not to buy the lastest toys as this can be a drain. but these guys will match most uk prices, and throw in a little extra......
    If you want to get your camera serviced try these guys...... regarded as the best for the pro...... but pricey!. 
  • Hi Ken,

    Fixation is also a wonderfull place to go and Park cameras whilst good in no way have the depth of stock or knowledge of Nikon products that Grays do.

    Due to disaster in Japan all camera/lens prices are on the increase.

  • edited June 2011


    You have been given some good advice on this thread but you ought to be aware of a few other things.

    The 50mm F1.8 D lens has just been discontinued and has now been replaced by the 50mm F1.8 AFS G type lens and is about £200.00.

    Your D70 and the D7000 Nikon camera that you are considering buying are both Nikon DX format, in other words they will crop the image by a factor of 1.5 so the 50mm lens in effect has the same field of view as a 75mm lens not exactly the wide angle lens you are looking for.

    With Nikon DX cameras you have very few DX wide angle lenses to choose from.

    The Nikkor AF-S 12-24mm f/4G IF-ED DX  zoom being one and the other choice is the Nikkor  AF-S 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G IF-ED DX zoom both a bit pricey.

    The Nikon D7000 is a vast improvement over the D70 particularly when it comes to ISO. You can use the D7000 up to ISO 6400 without any problem regarding noise/grain in your photographs putting this camera firmly in the Pro D3/D700 territory regarding ISO speed.

    Hope this helps you.


    Registered Nikon Professional user and founding member of the Nikon owner magazine.

  • Crikey thanks people, some very helpful advice from some very knowledgeable folk, Thanks again - any more advice most welcome.
  • I have a very good friend and a photographer who gives classes on photography and cameras. Give him a ring. I am sure he would be happy to advise.

    His name is Phil Burton of Phil Burton Photography

    Telephone 01986 892214

    Mention David Bingham referred you to him.
  • Hi Rodex,
    I  take your point on Park, just that they traditionally will deal if you get a bundle, for the semi pro..........
    Been four years since I got a lens from Grays, and they do seem to have a better price structure/competitive these days looking at there website prices.
    I could have used your knowledge trying to get a replacement battery for my D1x that fixation  rebuilt for me. I tried all over the Westend and Grays, only place was  Calumet!......
    Must admit that the D700 looks a very good camera, and a considerable saving on the D3, and frankly more in my price range these days!...... Perhaps I can persude Gray to give me a quote on a p/ex on my d1x
  • i have a canon T90.......i'll get my coat!
  • Do you still shoot film?
  • I'm still a bit puzzled about the options for the AFS G type lens, 35mm or 50mm the latter is more like £350 than £200
  • Sponsored links:

  • come on gang, I got the company credit card burning a hole in my pocket, any view on 35mm vs 50mm? 
  • The AF-S 35mm f/1.8G DX Nikkor (about £180.00) will give you a field of view similar to that of a 50mm lens on a FX or film camera.

    This link will help you.

    I would go for the 35mm for a DX camera.



  • edited June 2011

    Assuming that all other features are equal (I'm not sure if this is the case or not) the key question is how wide an angle do you want.  It might be worth looking at the exif data for the shots you take with the 18-200 to get an indication of your needs.   If your shots tend to be at 50mm+ then the 50mm lens may be a better option.  If they are under 50mm, then you'll want the 35mm lens to fit everything in. 

    Similarly if you think about the shots you want to take.  If you're looking to take in the whole scene the 35mm will be better.  If your focusing on details, you might want the bigger lens.  If in doubt though, I'd expect the 35mm to give you more flexibility. 

  • 35mm ordered, I mainly want it for poor light conditions, wide angle will be in budget for next year
  • Let us know how you get on with it.
  • will do and thanks again
  • Anyone know if the Canon EOS 350D Digital SLR Camera is any good? Mrs has been offered one second hand for £130, we're looking to get a decent one with baby on the way.
  • It's a decent amateur starter camera. It's the camera I first started with. Try and pick up the 50mm 1.8 as well (also known as the nifty fifty) as it's a cracking little budget portrait lens, which will be great for the baby.

    As for the price, have a look on ebay and do some comparisons.
  • Cheers, Blackheath. eBay price is about £90, but without case, zoom, memory card so seems a decent deal.

    Just got to check with the Mrs's friend how reliable the guy selling it is now, as friend of a friend selling!!
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