Howdy, Stranger!

If you're just starting out in the world of photography and want to learn how to get the most out of your camera, then this forum is your new secret hangout spot!

Take better photos today with my Nikon D3200 Cheat SheetsCheck 'em out!

Equine Photography

edited June 2016 Posted in » Nikon D3200 Forum
I've got the Nikon D3200 - and absoultley love it! I usually only do horse photography, and it is perfect for that. However, I find the kit lens to not have the quality of zoom that I need. I am only used to the quality of the kit lens, I'm not entirely sure if it's that great, and would be open to other suggestions. What would most people suggest to upgrade too? Zoom and quality are of utmost importance, but I'm only on an apprentices wage so it can't be anything ridiculously expensive!
Any life changing tips on equine photography would also be great.
Thanks so much :)


  • edited June 2016
    When you use the kit lens, what features do you wish it had? If you want a larger aperture (small F number, better control of depth of field, lower ISO in poor light, etc.), then what you need is a faster lens. A faster zoom can get pretty expensive. A faster prime lens such as the 35mm or the 50mm is less expensive, but does not zoom at all. You get a very good, sharp, contrasty picture, but you "zoom with your feet". Keep an eye on the focal lengths you most often use with the kit zoom. If you find yourself always at the long 55mm end, the 50mm will be more appropriate. If you find you need a wider view, the 50mm will be limiting, and the 35mm or even something wider might work best. 35mm is "normal" in perspective for this camera.

    If you find yourself wishing you could zoom in closer, then the next logical step within a small budget might be the 55-200mm zoom lens, which is decently sharp, not terribly fast, but gets you right in there for small money.

    The kit lens is reasonably sharp when focused carefully. There are, of course, other more expensive lenses that are better, but the difference may not be all that great compared to the difference in price. The kit lens has pretty decent optics, and gets much of its economy from cheap and lightweight construction.

    As you work with what you now have, the more you can pinpoint just what it is you wish you had, the easier it will be to find what you need.

    In the mean time, it would be a good idea to experiment with different AF modes, to see if you can improve focusing accuracy (if there is any improvement to be had), and to experiment a bit with exposure and metering as well, to see if there is any improvement possible there. Try different apertures to see what is the best compromise between depth of field, sharpness, and diffraction loss. The kit lens is often happiest around f/8. And finally, don't forget post processing. The D3200 is good, and reasonably sharp, but a little post processing can still help.

    If you're shooting animals against a background that's much lighter or darker than they are, try switching your metering mode to center weighted or even spot. The spot meter meters only what is at the focus point. When spot metering or single point focusing, make sure that the focus point (little red light in viewfinder) is where you want it. It's easy to accidentally move it. The [OK] button recenters it.

    It can help a lot to experiment in non critical situations with different settings. Go out some place, with or without a horse in view, and take the same picture in a dozen different ways. Try different ISO, different aperture, different AF modes, different metering, and so forth, and compare the results. You can erase lots and lots of pictures. You're unlikely to wear the camera out in many a year.

    One final note: Keep track of ISO. If your camera is set to Auto ISO or you're using the Auto exposure mode, it may be running at a high ISO that compromises clarity. When the camera resets ISO it does not tell you except in the post-shot EXIF information. I prefer to leave mine off and adjust it and the other settings individually. If you leave it on, keep an eye on the results.
Sign In or Register to comment.