1. Tilly112

    Tilly112

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    Tilly
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    Hey everyone I’m going to my first photography meet, it’s by the coast.. I currently have a Nikon D3400 with the kit lens and a 35mm lens, I’m going to be shooting landscape and some astrophotography, I would also like a lens that could do some street and portrait photography.. I understand that my kit lens is for general use however I don’t get as sharpe photo as I’m hoping for and I can’t seem to figure out why.. I’ve been looking at the Tokina 16-80 f3.5 but I’m not sure it will meet my needs
     
  2. troutfisher

    troutfisher

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    Chris
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    Before you rush off and spend money post some pix so people can have a look and give you some advise,you should get perfectly sharp shots out of the kit you have got unless you are trying to shoot black cats in a coal shed at night, then you might struggle a bit.
     
    Pete B likes this.
  3. Tilly112

    Tilly112

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    Tilly
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    I will post some shortly.. I think my problem is that I’m not focusing correctly so where I want the focus to be I’m getting DOF maybe.. any tips on settings would be great for landscape
     
  4. Tilly112

    Tilly112

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    Tilly
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    Also iv been looking at the sigma 17-70mm.. what do you guys think?
     
  5. JohnX

    JohnX

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    John
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    troutfisher's right, Tilly112, post a few examples of photos you're unhappy with. You might not need a new lens (yet), but perhaps need to hone/practice your technique, etc, using your kit lens.

    Make sure when you post (or link to) your photos that the exif data is intact so the camera settings can be viewed.
     
  6. troutfisher

    troutfisher

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    Chris
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    I suspect looking at your posts that you are in a mode where the camera is selecting the focus points, not a good idea as what you want and what it selects are not always the same.
    Have a read https://camerajabber.com/how-to-set-nikon-d3400-af-modes/
    If that is what is happening then the best lens in the world won,t solve your problem
     
  7. Tilly112

    Tilly112

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    Tilly
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    I will post some later when I’m home (at work) Iv just read through the af mode links very helpful thank you... what kinda focusing mode and area mode is good for landscape and street photography? Iv just looked at my camera and it’s currently set to af-a and single point
     
  8. Tilly112

    Tilly112

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    Tilly
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    Okay so here’s something I took while in Scotland... https://flic.kr/p/2a3hZ6C... I know my aperture is a bit on the small side so that’s one problem
     
  9. toohuge

    toohuge

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    Aperture doesn't immediately shout error - what do not you like about that particular shot OP? And - how /what you think a new lens will achieve?
     
  10. Tilly112

    Tilly112

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    Tilly
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    Its not very sharp I would like it to be better and to be honest I’m not over happy with the picture I did get ones I liked also https://flic.kr/p/2b8KcCZ again it’s not sharpe all the way through I think it maybe because I ran to get this shot.. https://flic.kr/p/2b4phJf I’m happy with this one as her back is the focus.. and again https://flic.kr/p/2b4phxU happyish with this one I do think the flower could be shaper through.. sorry they are edited photos
     
  11. snerkler

    snerkler

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    12,877
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    As others have said, don't go rushing off to buy an new lens until you understand why you are not getting the images that you want. Whilst 'kit lenses' aren't necessarily the sharpest, when stopped down they should still produce very good images. F8-11 is perfect for this kind of lens and shot. Also, do you shoot RAW or jpeg. If jpeg what settings do you use?

    Looking at that image you're never going to get the most fantastic detail due to the poor lighting, don't forget good light is paramount to getting the best detail and sharpness.
     
  12. toohuge

    toohuge

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    I like the portrait of the back, with the structure in the background - I am not sure a different lens would give any advantage, setting for setting. If you went with a longer prime, with faster aperture, then you could lose the background, however, I like the structure in the background.
     
  13. LeeRatters

    LeeRatters

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    Lee
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    Landscapes - A general lens that's pretty sharp is good enough.
    Astro - You'll want something pretty fast/big aperture.
    Street/Portrait - Your 35mm prime would probably be good enough (I'm guessing it's f/1.8-f/2....) for full body/environmental/half body portraits although you might want something a little longer for just headshots.

    You could get a 18-55, 17-70/2.8 of some description or maybe the Sigma 18-35/1.8 - If the latter is sharp enough for you at 35mm & f/1.8 you could trade the 35mm prime for a 50mm prime.

    D3400, 18-35/1.8 & 50/1.8 sounds a nice, simple kit to me :)

    I shoot with the Sony A7 now (previously Canon 5D2) Landscapes are about composition, light, moody clouds, mist, lead in lines, wave/waterfall movement..... A kit lens should be good enough for that as you're shooting around f/8 - f/11 anyway. I don't know what features your camera has, but I shoot somethign like this.....

    Rear LCD - I find I can frame much better looking at the screen than squinting through one eye at the EVF.
    Buy a half decent tripod & use a 2 second timer/remote.
    Focus - As this is an issue you've mentioned, I would suggest AF-S mode & "Single Point" which you can move to where you want it. I click a button, then use the dial to move the focus point. I don't use hyperfocal etc If I have a landscape scene with a lone tree, I focus on that tree! Move your focus point.
    I also shoot using the histogram usually. Gives me a good enough gauge as to whether I want to over/under expose deliberately.
    Also, keep an eye on your shutter speed & don't let it drop too low if handheld.

    Do plenty of reading & understanding BEFORE you do any spending :)
     
    Tilly112 likes this.
  14. snerkler

    snerkler

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    I've just had a look at your images, you have a good eye. I just had a play about with the landscape with the train on the bridge and there's certainly more detail that can be extracted in post processing, and that's just using your already processed jpeg. I would imagine with the RAW file you could extract even more detail.

    Is there a reason that you're shooting at 200 ISO rather than 100? Also, do you understand what hyperlocal distance is with regards to landscape photography? If not it's the place to focus that will give you the maximum depth of field or an image, and will depend on camera, focal length and aperture.

    https://photographylife.com/landscapes/hyperfocal-distance-explained
    http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html
     
  15. Tilly112

    Tilly112

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    Tilly
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    Yes I do agree I do need to understand my camera and lens more, I’m struggling with identifying where I’m going wrong. I have just started shooting raw I was currently editing on an iPad and I’m not sure about the different jpegs.. I think that is a big area of where I’m going wrong I’m not thinking enough about all the different aspects exposure, aperture etc..


    Without the glenfinna viaduct (Harry Potter bridge) it wouldn’t have been as cool.. I think I’m happy with it. Is there any area in all the pictures that I could try such as technics to get sharper cleaner shots or anything you guys would have done?
     
    JackBell likes this.
  16. snerkler

    snerkler

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    RAW files will always appear relatively soft before any processing is done. For general landscapes I would recommend shooting at base ISO (100 on your camera I believe), f8-11 and use the hyperlocal distance, and preferably on a tripod using a shutter release cable/remote shutter. After that it's all about light and composition. Once you have your image post processing can massively enhance images (yet still look natural).

    If after that you're still not happy then look at better lenses. There are so many options though so would depend on how wide you want and what your budget is.
     
  17. toohuge

    toohuge

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    Thank you for the kind words Snerkler - but not I'm not the OP ;)

    I do agree, OP has a good eye and your advice is spot on!
     
  18. snerkler

    snerkler

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    Oops, quoted the wrong post :LOL:
     
  19. Tilly112

    Tilly112

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    Tilly
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    I love my 35mm I just need to figure out its sharpest point.. I’m not familiar with hyperfocal I will do some research.. thank you so much for The compliment means a lot I was a little apprehensive about posting my photos on here so glad you like them. I’m still learning about editing and bringing out the the tones etc I was editing my photos on an iPad with mobile lightroom so no selective tools.. I’m not sure why I had it set at 100 I was with other people and felt a little under pressure. Iv got a good tripod and a shutter release, my main probably is that I rush into the shot even though they live landscape isn’t going anywhere.. I I think research I’m posting my images and getting feedback will benefit me I hope. I feel one limitation is my kit lens doesn’t focus far enough I feel I’m a bit limited by 55 mm sometimes I’d like to pinpoint things in landscape or if I’m wandering around a city.. thank you so much I’m feeling positive
     
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  20. snerkler

    snerkler

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    TBH learning all the technical stuff is great, but if you don't have a good eye in the first place then you're going to struggle to get great images. You have a good platform so learning the technical stuff is only going to enhance what you're doing already.

    I think there's a bit of confusion with terminology as you say your kit lens doesn't focus far enough, but all lenses (at least all lens I'm aware of) focus to infinity, ie in theory you could focus on the furthest galaxy of you could see it ;) What you're referring to is reach (what consumer cameras tend to call zoom). You can get what are called superzoom lenses such as the Tamron 16-300mm which will cover most focal lengths that you should need, however with superzoom they are a jack of all trades and master of none. You should still be able to get some really good landscapes with them though. Generally people start out with two lenses, a short zoom (such as 18-55mm) and telephoto zoom (such as 70-300mm). These focal lengths cover most aspects of photography, and then as you get into it more and find out what you like to shoot you can then look into more specific/specialised lenses or more 'premium' lenses.

    You've mentioned a couple of times that you've "rushed" your shots which is not the best approach to landscape photography tbh. Yes I'm sure we've all done it when you don't have the time, or with a partner that's getting bored etc etc, but if you can take time to consider the landscape, see how the light falls, consider the composition etc etc you will normally find that you get better results. Some people go back to the same location time after time waiting for that perfect light, or dramatic sky.
     
    Tilly112 likes this.
  21. Tilly112

    Tilly112

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    Tilly
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    Your very right and I don’t want all the gear and no idea..

    Sorry I did mean zoom not focus, would the 70-300 be a good choice to single things out also that lens is quite cheap..

    Yes I do think one of my biggest problems when I’m with other people is the rushing as when I’m by myself the shots are a little better and I’m better focus.

    My other question is what else would I need for the seaside meet? I’ve got some filter for my kit lens and the 35mm and they are uv filter and nd filters I have a tripod and shutter release anything else that may support me?
     
  22. snerkler

    snerkler

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    A 70-300mm would certainly give you more reach (be able to zoom in to an area more) if that's what you mean? So for example with your Harry Potter bridge shot if you wanted to 'zoom in' on the train and get a closer picture of this then yes the 70-300mm would help.

    I don't know what seaside meet you're referring to but it sounds to me that you have everything that you need. The only other thing I can think of is that rather than 'plain' ND filters you can get ND graduated filters that help balance the light between sky and foreground. They're not essential, especially with how much you can recover data in post production, plus you can always use bracketing and combine the images to give you a HDR image (beware of making HDR look unnatural). However, I still like to use grad filters, especially for sunsets and sunrises when the sky is very bright compared to the ground.
     
  23. Tilly112

    Tilly112

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    Tilly
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    Is the 70-300 Heavy would I be able to walk around and use it without a tripod? I’m not sure I need a 300 zoom maybe something a little smaller like a 18-105?


    I’m going to jurassic Coast. Lovely I’ll grab some graduates filters, this will help I think with the sky sometimes being washed out. And as we will be catching sunset and sunrise these filters will be handy... thank you so much for all your help
     
  24. snerkler

    snerkler

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    Only you will know how much reach you need, the 18-105mm may be all that you need, or it may still leave you wanting more. Again it's difficult to comment on whether a lens is heavy for someone or not. The 70-300mm AF-P that I have is one of my lightest lenses, but it is noticeably heavier than your 18-55mm. My most used lenses weight between 1.5kg to 1.9kg each, so having a lens that 'only' weighs 600g is a godsend ;)

    The 18-55mm weighs just over 200g I believe, the 18-105mm around 420g, and the 18-140mm around 490g. (both the 18-105mm and 18-140mm are highly regarded I believe). You can get lighter telephoto lenses for DX cameras (which the D3400 is) such as the 55-200mm (300g). Nikon have fairly recently released a couple of DX versions of the 70-300mm, with the VR one 'only' weighing 415g (I would always recommend VR if you have the choice).
     
  25. Tilly112

    Tilly112

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    Tilly
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    Good point I like the idea of having the option of have a wide angle with the 18 and then being able to zoom further with the 105/140 I may give these lens some looking into.. oh okay so not overly heavy and I’m sure I will get use to it I was just a little worried that I wouldn’t be able to walk around and would always need my tripod
     
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  26. LeeRatters

    LeeRatters

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    897
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    Lee
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    If you are shooting landscapes at sunrise & sunset the chances are you will need a tripod anyway ;) Same if you are using ND filters too.

    You could probably get away with 85mm wide square filters (also known as 'P' series filters) - It can be done quite cheaply with the Kood plastic 'kit' - it's not the best kit, but it does the job & isn't a lot of money to invest for something you may/may not use much. Get one hard & one soft filter, either 2 or 3 stops & that should cover the basics.
     
  27. Tilly112

    Tilly112

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    Tilly
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    I have a tripod so sorted in that area iv ordered the Cokin gradual filter kit and some adapters for my lens..
     
  28. Turbo-G

    Turbo-G

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    165
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    Grant
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    Hi just regarding Lightroom mobile - it now does include brushes and selective adjustments, such as graduated and circular filters, as well as spot treatment etc.
     
  29. Tilly112

    Tilly112

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    Tilly
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    Yes
    Duno if you guys can help but I need some help with night portraits

    Here 2 one edited one not

    https://flic.kr/p/2ab5xAA none edited

    https://flic.kr/p/2bgFFuv
    Edited

    As you can see my iso is crazy high and I know my Aperture is not is maximum but at the time I wasn’t thinking (I saw him and had to be quick) and I wondered if I dropped to 1.8 would I still get all of him in focus? I know only his foots in focus that was my aim I’m not not happy with how noisy it is and it’s just doesn’t look as clean as I would like it..

    sorry if this isn’t the place to ask
     
  30. snerkler

    snerkler

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    TBH I don't think the noise is that bad, slightly worse on the edited version but I assume you've added some sharpening which will exaggerate noise. You can minimise this by using the sharpening mask. I'm not sure what you mean by dropping the aperture to f1.8 and still getting him in focus as he's not in focus on those pics. If you mean would you still be able to make out it's a person and see some facial features then my guess would be yes. The beauty of digital is that you can shoot and if you're not happy with DOF then shoot again. Some cameras have DOF preview which helps. Another thing that you can do if DOF is too shallow but you still want the wide aperture to let the light in is to stand a bit further back as this will increase DOF. You can then crop to suit in post. Just remember that the more you crop the more you will see noise.
     
  31. Tilly112

    Tilly112

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    Tilly
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    So on some of the other shots I got of him I could see lots of noise in the background and I wondered if dropping the aperture to 1.8 would get all of him in focus? I know he’s not in focus on this picture as my aim was to get his shoe. Iv never taken pictures of people at night so this is all new to me and I know I have a good lens to get the picture I was looking for some help with settings and techniques
     
  32. snerkler

    snerkler

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    I'm not sure I'm understanding this correctly, you do actually want him all in focus and not just his shoe? This would be tricky at f1.8, but as I mentioned previously you can stand further back which increases the DOF and gives you a better chance. Also, with portraits it's not also necessary to get them all in focus, as long as the eye(s) are in focus then portraits generally look fine, even if other parts aren't in focus. In this shot if you'd focussed on the head rather than the shoe then most likely his while head and most of his body would be in focus, and it wouldn't matter than his foot isn't so much.

    For what it's worth though I kind of like your shot as is it, although appreciate this high not be what you're wanting.
     
  33. Tilly112

    Tilly112

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    51
    Name:
    Tilly
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    Yes
    On this photo his show is my focus however I’m aware that you are drawn to his face due to the light on his face, thinking now I should have dropped is face fully out or had his face as my focus

    I’m gonna try the standing back a little

    Yes I do like the photo, there was just a lot of noise and I wondered if I should get a sharp shot at night
     
    snerkler likes this.
  34. snerkler

    snerkler

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    I wasn't particularly drawn to his face tbh. But if you want to draw attention to things then radial filters in Lightroom are good for this. As I said before, I don't think the noise is that bad, as long as you're not viewing at 1:1.
     

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