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 D5100 Cheat SheetsCheck 'em out!

High resolution and lens question

edited October 2016 Posted in » Nikon D5100 Forum

I have a Nikon D5100 camera and I'm going to take some family photos with my camera. I have three lenses: 18-55mm, 55mm, and 55-200mm. What is the best lens (and setting) to use for taking a family shot, and how can I ensure that my camera is set at the highest resolution? I have blown up images in the past and they turned out blurry.

Thank you!


  • edited October 2016
    The highest resolution will be Raw. You can then use a raw file reading program to do any post processing and then save the results to JPG of whatever size you prefer.

    If you are going to shoot JPG, use the highest size option, and also the highest quality.

    If you leave a photograph un-processed, you will see no appreciable difference between Raw and high quality JPG. However, if you need to change exposure, white balance, or color set, Raw is the only way to do it without penalty. And if you crop, the results will generally be better if you crop a raw file first, before conversion to JPG. JPG is a "lossy" compression scheme, and while it is very good, it does lose some information, often re-applying the compression with each save and edit. So the more editing you can do at once, and the more in Raw, the better.

    While you're at it, though, you need also to make sure that you're focusing properly, and for group photos getting enough depth of field. Whichever lens you use, if you need to focus on people at different distances, do not use the widest-open aperture, but stop it down. The kit lenses are often sharper at around f/8 anyway, and at a reasonable distance, the 18-55mm should give you a pretty decent group shot. The 50mm will too, if you can frame the people in it, but when wide open it will give you a very shallow depth of field. That is nice for individual portraits, so as to blur the foreground and background, but not for group portraits, where you need depth of field more. So stop it down. And make sure your focus point is where you want it, and that you are truly focusing on what you want. Multi area focusing can work well in groups but can also sometimes guess wrong.

    If you want to insure that you shoot at a specific aperture, use A mode (aperture priority) or M (manual) and set the aperture you want. Don't let the ISO go too high. Your sharpest results will be at a low ISO. You may have to turn off auto ISO.
Sign In or Register to comment.