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Thread: I recently got my 1st DSLR !! (nikon D50)

  1. #1
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    Default I recently got my 1st DSLR !! (nikon D50)

    And I could use some tips on begginer settings cause I'm a bit confused with all the settings...

    the camera came with the kit lense 18-55.
    I've added a wide angle Tokina 12-24 ,as well as the Nikon 70-300 VR ! and I have clear and circular polorizing filters for all.

    I've got another trip to Alaska this year as we had such an incredible time last year !!
    were going back to Homer for some Halibut fishing but this time were also doing a full out Bear viewing trip as well {float plane to some park} !!

    I've ordered an extra battery for the D50 {I'll have 2}and I'll have 3 2-gig cards,I'm not sure if that is under doing it ?

    on the Halibut boats,I'll take a guess I'd want to use the wide angle lense for fishing shots {until those whale show up like last year !!}

    and for the Bear the 70-300 I'm hoping will do the trick !

    settings for these lenses in those situations is what I'd be looking for assistance in as well as advice on if 2 batteries and 3 2gig cards would be enough !!

    thanks,

  2. #2
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    I would use more than two batteries and 6 gigs in each week of travel & sightseeing. I suspect I use more than most, but not nearly as much as others, so I have no idea if what you have will be enough. Spare batteries (and memory cards) can be purchased on eBay for very little compared to the manufacturers batteries. But if you are going to be at a place you can charge them every few days the two batteries may be enough for you.

    You can also buy a memory storage device that reads the cards, and stores the files on a built in hard drive. Some of these have built in LCDs so you can use them for playback devices as well. Lower cost devices (under $200) lack the LCD, but are still good for storage while traveling. However, for less money these days you can just buy more memory cards.

    Ideally you would learn what settings do what for exposure and practice for a good long time to get the hang of it all before a big trip like this. But if you don't get a lot of practice time before going, put the camera in P (program) mode and start shooting. I belive the D50 has a histogram setting for the LCD on the back. Use that, and read up on what a histogram does, and how to use it. Basically, it's an after-the-fact light meter, and you want to keep everything in between the left & right sides more or less. If a picture's data is too far to the right on the histogram, use negative exposure compensation, and reshoot it. Do the opposite if the the data is too far to the left. Practice this as it will take some time to get the hang of it, and you don't want exposure issues to delay you much.

    I would tell you to shoot in RAW (NEF for Nikon), but that's probably an overkill for a beginner and just adds too much to learn in too short of time.

    That's a pretty decent set of lenses. I've not used the Nikon ones, but VR is always a good thing on a long lens, and the Tokina is a very good piece.

    One piece of advice for the wide zoom, always try to put something interesting in the foreground, even if the primary interest is in the background. Wide lenses tend to bring out the separation of subject distances, and you want to exploit that.

  3. #3
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    Thanks Jim !!,

    I was looking at those monopods,although I'm not sure if it would be needed on this trip,or if they are just for fast past sports ??

    any suggestions on a highly packable {lightweight} monopod
    that I can mount the D50 and 70-300 lense to ?


    thanks again !

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    I've used monopods and like them, but I hold a somewhat unusual view on what's best in a monopod. You don't have an really heavy lenses, so you don't need a sturdy pod to hold them up while shooting. However, even flimsy monopods increase "hand hold ability" by one or two stops. This means that if you can generally hold a camera and lens combination steady at 1/125 second, with a monopod you should be able to hold it steady at 1/60 or even 1/30. That's a nice advantage, but the VR option built into your 70-300 does even better. Still, VR and a monopod work very well together to further increase stability and hand hold ability.

    Any way, I personally think that for this use cheap/flimsy pod will be as good as any other pod. You really do not need a heavy/sturdy pod to do this job. This is not like using a tripod, where you might benefit greatly from the use of a sturdy one. What you want is something that is light, compact, fast to set up, and durable enough to hold up to your use. Or buy one that can be used as a good walking stick and have it do double duty.

    With all that said, I haven't used a monopod for a while. I bought a very lightweight (but suficiently tall) tripod, that is lighter than the heavy Bogen monopod/walking stick that I have, and while it does not work for a walking stick, I can drop one leg and use it as a monopod, or drop all three and use it as a tripod. And as flimsy as it is, it is still far steadier than a monopod will ever be. That and a remote release, or just using the camera's self timer, can make for great long shutter images at night, or just sharper pictures during the day. If Photography is my primary goal, I take a better and heavier tripod, but if the camera is just an addition to my trip I take a small Velbon Maxi tripod.

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    You should learn about apeture priority, however you want to watch your shutter speeds when using it, and on lower end glass you don't get great d.o.f. control (you've got a lot most of the time) generally speaking I have my camera set on AP f5.6 at all times because in most of my shooting situations shutter speed is important and I want to get the most that I can out of the avalible light
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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