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Crisp Clean Images

edited October 2013 Posted in » Nikon D3100 Forum

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  • edited October 2013
    I have the same issue, however, I have been using Lightroom. I've watched every tutorial on Lightroom and I do not get good results. My photos look bad coming straight from the camera. I shoot in RAW and the settings that I purchased on here so I'm not understanding what I'm doing wrong if anything. Do I need a different lens or is this with the kit lens?
  • edited October 2013
  • edited March 2015
    Hello @moose,
    I have been using my Nikon D3100 camera and now I would like to upgrade. My question is can I just get a much better lens than the one I have been using now? I want to be able to take much better pictures than the ones I've been taking now, and be able to take wider shots and zoom in an out.
    Do you recommend any specific better model or a much better lens I can use?
    Thank you in advanced for your reply!

    Leidy
  • edited March 2015
    Hey Leidy @FashionL - I would definitely upgrade your lens. A newer camera won't produce the types of images you're after. The right lens, matched with the right settings will. I'm assuming you only have the 18-55mm kit lens? What's your budget?
  • edited March 2015
    Hi, thank you for your reply @moose. I actually had purchase a different lens two years ago. I have been using the Nikon 50mm f/1.8G AF-S NIKKOR FX lens, and I want something better than this one. I would like to spend less than $700.
  • @FashionL - To be honest, you should be able to get pretty nice results with the D3100 and 50mm f/1.8. I understand the convenience of a lens that can zoom, however, you won't get as high of a maximum aperture (like f/1.8). Do you mind emailing me some example shots (support "at" cameratips.com) and I can take a look at the image data. After looking at some examples I can either point you towards some settings or a lens that might be better suited. All the best!
  • edited March 2015
    Oh, ok! I do like this lens a lot. I have taken some great shots. I'm not a pro but I have gotten pretty good using it since it's mostly for personal blog shots, but I can't get the same aperture which I really like. Maybe it's me doing something wrong, but I always have to be adjusting the settings specially for background blur, which is how I like most of my shots.
    I will send you a few shots.
    Thank you so much for your tips!
  • edited March 2015
    Hi there.
    I cannot add to Moose's advice, but I have looked at your link and I can tell you that those shots have definitely been heavily 'photoshopped' especially the areas of skin. So don't be too hard on yourself because those shots were not straight out of the photographer's camera 'as is'.
    Regards,
    PBked
  • edited March 2015
    @PBKED, I take you are replying to an old message of two years ago. Yes I know there was a lot of photoshop involved in those shots from that blogger, but thanks for the reply. My question today is a whole different matter. Thank you again.
  • edited March 2015
    Yes, I think a D3100 should be quite capable of getting shots of this sort. The only real advantage newer cameras will have, aside from options you rarely need for this, is higher resolution, and that is hardly necessary unless you need to crop and print large.

    I do notice a couple of things about the shots shown. Along with the pleasant background blur, the indoor shots are very brightly and evenly lit. The outdoor shots, though darker, are brightly exposed. Most of those shots are what would be classified as 'high key' in which the lighting is very shadow free, the background is as light as can be, and the exposure correct only for the subject, allowing the light backgrounds to blow out.

    I am guessing here, but I suspect that the photographer used spot metering, aiming at the model's face, her skin tone being the midpoint equivalent of neutral gray, making sure that no metering input comes from the background at all.

    It is also possible that the photographer used an incident light meter and set the camera manually, as studio photographers often do. In this case, the model would stand still, an incident light meter would be placed in front of her face pointing at the camera, and the reading thus obtained would be used to expose for exactly what light is falling on the subject. You can't do that in the camera.

    If you use aperture priority you can always determine exactly what aperture you're using and let the camera determine shutter speed. Depending on the distance from the subject, you might want a couple of stops below max, because 1.8 might lose focus on part of a face when close. Depth of field depends on distance as well as aperture. This also will determine how backgrounds come out. The more space there is between a subject and background, the more blur.

    If you shoot in Raw mode, you can adjust exposure after the fact.

    I think a good 50mm lens should work quite nicely for this. A longer focal length will give you shallower depth of field, but if you have to stand further away to fit an image into its frame, then some of that advantage is lost. In FX format an 85mm lens is lovely for portraits, but it gets uncomfortably narrow in DX. In some instances, for example indoors, you may find yourself backing into walls.
  • edited March 2015
    @Bruto Thank you so much for all your tips above, they are very helpful. I am still trying to learn this camera,
    so thank you so much!
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