Welcome to the Nikon D5100 forum for beginners

edited August 2013 Posted in » Nikon D5100 Forum
Howdy dudes and dudettes! Well, it's pretty simple. If you've got questions about your Nikon D5100, you can start a new discussion and get tons of helpful replies from other D5100 owners all across the world, including yours truly. :)

To get started, go ahead and register an account here at Camera Tips.

To start a new topic or discussion, just click the Ask a New Question button in the upper right hand corner.

To reply to a current topic, just click a thread below and you'll see a Post Comment button towards the bottom of the discussion.

Happy shooting!


  • edited August 2013
    Thank you for this forum.
  • edited June 2013
    Hi Moose. This is a wicked forum. I got a new Nikon D5100 and I'm sure your forum will help me in mastering my skills.
  • edited November 2013
    Hi Moose, just getting started and will receive my camera tomorrow so I have a lot to learn. Thanks for the helpful website.
  • edited September 2014
    What I find is that I have to keep switching lenses when out and about shooting. Is there such a thing as a universal lens with all features? With sand and wind, It's not always good combination. Another question I have is when my husband yells "hurry and take a picture quick", by the time I get my camera and right lens it's too late. Any suggestions?
  • edited September 2014
    What you’re looking for would be a 18-200mm f/1.8 with VR, weather sealing, macro capability, and is very small/light. Unfortunately, it doesn’t exist. If it did, there wouldn’t be a need for interchangeable lens cameras; all cameras would just have that lens permanently mounted on.

    To get back to your issue:
    What lenses do you have?
    Why are you switching lenses?

    If the reason you’re switching lenses all the time is because of focal length, then perhaps super zooms like the following are right for you. They go from wide to tele all in one package:
    Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II; or the
    Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR

    If the reason you’re switching lenses all the time is because of aperture, then perhaps fast zooms like the following are right for you. They cover a smaller focal range, but the constant f/2.8 aperture very often is the difference between a noisy blurry shot and a clean sharp shot:
    Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8G ED
    Nikon Nikkor AF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 G ED-IF DX Zoom
    Sigma 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM

    A lens’s versatility and performance seems to have an inverse relationship. The more versatile it is, the less performance you get out of it. The less versatile it is, the more performance you get out of it. So you need to balance out your needs.

    Alternatively, you can consider point & shoots. Something like the Sony RX3 is really impressive when it comes to image quality and versatility and it fits into your pocket.
  • edited December 2014
    Hi Moose,
    Great forum and lots of useful info.
    I have a Nikon D5100 and the built in flash won't work in fully auto mode. Is it possible that I have locked this, and if so, how can I unlock it?
  • edited March 2015
    With regard to the super zoom issue, I think as @ohyeahar says, there will always be a compromise if you get too much versatility, but if you really need the wide reach it may be worth the compromise. What you need to do first, though, is to decide how often you need the extreme ends of what you have. Do you need the wide 18mm? Perhaps you can get by with less width in normal use and switch on the kit lens for the rare occasions when you go wide.

    The smaller the zoom range, the better for quality. If you can compromise at either end, you may end up gaining. The 18-140mm for example, though a bit pricey when not included in a high end kit, is very sharp and does well throughout its range. If it's really sharp at the high end, a little reach can be traded for cropping.

    With regard to the flash not popping up, check to see if it pops up if you push the flash button on the side. It should always pop up in any mode if you manually actuate it. If it does not then the problem is probably mechanical. In auto mode the camera decides when to open the flash, so it will not always come up. Don't force it if it fails to come up. A bad latch might be easy to fix if it sticks, but hard to fix if it breaks.
  • edited February 2015
    I have a D5100 and I am trying to photograph birds in flight and not sure what auto focus setting and auto focus area to use. Thanks.
  • edited March 2015
    I am happy to join this forum. This is my first post and I hope to get nice answers. I am using a D5100 and I take shots using a flash trigger (Godox DIGPHIONEER 300). The image result is dark, and if I remove the flash trigger the image result will not be bright. What do I do about it?
    Thank you.
  • edited March 2015
    Hi Moose, I am happy to have found you and join the forum. My husband and I recently bought a Nikon D5100 as an anniversary gift for each other. Now we need to learn how to use it. I am planning on purchasing your cheat sheets; we need all the help we can get. Question for you, we live in Northern Alberta and I would like to take pictures of the Northern Lights. What are the best settings and lens to do this? Thanks for your time.
  • edited March 2015
    Hi, I am going to try and get my first picture of the night sky/stars tonight. I have ISO where it needs to be but now I can't change my shutter speed with my dial; it's stuck on lighting exposure. Help?
  • edited March 2015
    What exposure mode are you in? If you're on manual mode, use the rear wheel to change shutter speed, and hold down the exposure control button to use the wheel to change aperture.

    If you're on A mode, only the aperture will be changed and the camera's meter will choose shutter speed. On S mode, only the shutter speed will be changed and the meter will choose aperture. On P mode, the meter chooses both, and the wheel chooses which of the various combinations of speed and aperture will satisfy the meter.

    Other exposure modes will take over various aspects of the camera's operation and will not allow you to set your own aperture and speed. Make sure too that you don't choose a mode that pops up the flash, because that will not only mess up a night time exposure, but will lock the shutter speed at 1/200.

    If you're in P, S, A or M mode, make sure you turn off auto ISO in the menu, or the camera's meter may alter your setting without telling you. In other modes you can choose an ISO manually, but many other options will be grayed out.
  • edited September 2015
    Nice to be part of a wonderful forum!
  • edited November 2015
    Hi Moose! I'm so excited and thankful I stumbled across your forum. Very excited to read all your tips and tricks. I will be ordering my cheat cards soon for my D5100 (I'm a beginner) :) Thanks!
  • edited February 2016
    D5100 shutter will not release in any mode when auto focus selected.

    Works in manual focus with same camera settings.
  • edited February 2016
    I have changed from my 18-55mm to 55-200mm lens, and auto focus works fine with same camera settings.

    The 18-55mm is out of warranty, can it be repaired or do I need to buy a new one?

    Thanks, Gossie
  • After owning my D-5100 for almost 7 years, I figured retirement time is finally when I get serious about learning how to take some decent 'wow' photos! I'm learming so much from your tips, and recently got your cheat cards for all 3 of my lenses (18-55, 55-200, and 55-300)! Thanks so much!
  • Gossie, with regard to auto focus, the default on this camera is probably "focus priority," which means the camera will not fire unless it finds focus when it's in auto mode. Before worrying too much about the lens, make sure you're not accidentally aiming the AF at an unfocusable object. It may be that the longer lens hits simply because the shorter lens is trying to focus on sky or the like. If you're using a single starting point for focus, make sure it's centered, as it's very easy to get it moved by bumping the rear control. Recenter it with the [OK] button. The D5100 may have a menu option to switch priority from focus to shutter, and that is often better when you're using AFC.

    Put the suspect lens back on, and see if you can see it moving at all when you try to focus. If it is moving but not hitting focus, that is likely a setting issue. If its not moving at all, even if you put your hand in front of it, it's a lens issue. Get some alcohol or contact cleaner, and give the electrical terminals on both the camera and lens a cleaning, and wiggle the lens a little just to be sure it's not a contact issue.

    The 18-55 is pretty cheap to replace used. Look at KEH.Com and see how much they get for a first-generation 18-55 VR (I think that became standard on the D5200). The VR s nice, and if the lens otherwise satisfied, it's almost certainly cheaper than getting it fixed.

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