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Here's an interesting tutorial site...
...that explains a few things about sensor and image defects..

Http://dpanswers.com/essays.shtml.

The Image defects page does a good job of explaining terms such as noise, CA, banding, etc..

Just thought I'd pass it along...

Comments (10)

As a beginner, I am finding that I know almost nothing about my D40. I am just a mom who happens to have a great camera and wants to learn how to really use it. I have been trying to get some good portrait style pics of my kids and I have read the manual back and forth. I am really hung up on the aperture-priority section. I started screwing with the camera and I changed the aperture-priority in A mode and now I don't know where it started at or how to get it back. I totally feel stupid and was wondering if anyone could offer some help understanding this.

I find that when printing I get fuzzy-ness. I need sharper images. How do I do that?..

Comment #1

To get the help you need with your question, I'd suggest posting again, as a separate thread, on the Beginners forum and/or the Nikon forum. There are a lot of folks that can help you..

Posting as a reply to my thread may not produce the answers you need..

Give it another try. Good luck with your D40...

Comment #2

Okay, how do you post a question. Maybe it is just late and I am tired but I am not seeing where to do that. Can yo help?..

Comment #3

Amy Herron wrote:.

Okay, how do you post a question. Maybe it is just late and I amtired but I am not seeing where to do that. Can yo help?.

It's easy... click on Discussion Forums. You will then see a list of forums. Go to the Nikon D80/D70/D60/D50/D40 forum and click on it. When it brings you to that Nikon forum, click on New Thread. It will then give you the opportunity to post your questions..

Hope that helps...

Comment #4

Amy Herron wrote:.

As a beginner, I am finding that I know almost nothing about my D40.I am just a mom who happens to have a great camera and wants to learnhow to really use it. I have been trying to get some good portraitstyle pics of my kids and I have read the manual back and forth. Iam really hung up on the aperture-priority section. I startedscrewing with the camera and I changed the aperture-priority in Amode and now I don't know where it started at or how to get it back.I totally feel stupid and was wondering if anyone could offer somehelp understanding this. I was trying to bring more sharpness to myphotos. I find that when printing I get fuzzy-ness.

How do I do that?.

You select the exposure mode using the rotating dial on the top. In Aperture-priority mode, you choose the lens opening (aperture) and the camera sets the shutter speed to suit: the narrower the lens opening you choose, the longer the shutter has to be open to let the correct amount of light in. Alternatively, in shutter priority mode, you choose the shutter speed, and the camera sets the lens opening to give the correct exposure..

If your pictures are blurred there are three possible causes:(i) they are out of focus.

(ii) there is blur arising from the fact that your shutter speed is too long and you can't hold the camera steady (camera shake).

(iii) there is blur arising from the fact that your are trying to photograph someone who is not sitting still, so they move during the shot and you will get motion blur..

(i) is probably unlikely as your camera has perfectly good autofocus. Just take care that the camera has focussed on your child, not the wall in the background - there should be a flashing light in the viewfinder to show you which part of the scene has been focussed on..

(ii) seems quite likely. Assuming that you are using the 18-55 kit lens, you want a shutter speed of at least 1/60 sec (at the 18mm wide-angle end) or 1/125 sec at the 55mm (telephoto) end. Much slower than this and you will not be able to hold the camera completely steady. So check and see what short of shutter speed you typically get: if you are using 1/15 sec or 1/30 sec, there is your answer..

To fix this, you can.

- use aperture priority mode, and set the lens to it's widest opening (smallest number), which is in the f/3.5 - f/5.6 region for your lens. if the lens is wide open, the shutter speed will be as fast is it can be for a correct exposure..

- increase the ISO setting. if you have it set to 200 (the minimum for your camera) and the light is poor, you will end up with a long shutter speed, and bluured pics. Try increasing the ISO to, say, 800 or 1600, which will allow you to use a faster shutter speed in low light..

(iii) try and get the subject to sit still! Again, as fast a shutter speed as possible will help..

Best wishesMike..

Comment #5

... your camera should have a 'sports' mode (possibly called an 'action' mode, with a symbol of a running man or somtheing similar) on the top dial; this will bias the settings towards a fast shutter speed..

So....

Set the camera to sports mode.

Set the ISO to 200 if you are in good light outside, but turn it up in poorer light (I use ISO400 on cloudy days, and ISO1600 in a well-lit indoor room without flash).

... and see how you get on. Just keep an eye on that shutter speed!.

Best wishesMike..

Comment #6

Thank you for that information. I can use it. But in addition to all of that...my biggest problem is that when printing my photos, I find that they are not really blurry, they are just not sharp. Like I can see grainy aspects to the edges of their bodies against the black background. This is where I wonder if I have a setting wrong on my camera or if I have a lousy printer. What do you think? I took most of them on ISO 1600 with Softobxes on them.

What do you think about that? And where can I learn more about the aperture Priority. I am clueless about those number you gave me. I still have a lot to learn about focal length and shutter speed. If I understand you correctly though, if I adjust my ISO then my camera should be correcting my aperture priority on it's own? Is that correct?..

Comment #7

Thank you for that information. I can use it. But in addition toall of that...my biggest problem is that when printing my photos, Ifind that they are not really blurry, they are just not sharp. LikeI can see grainy aspects to the edges of their bodies against theblack background. This is where I wonder if I have a setting wrongon my camera or if I have a lousy printer. What do you think? Itook most of them on ISO 1600 with Softobxes on them.

What do you think aboutthat? And where can I learn more about the aperture Priority. I amclueless about those number you gave me. I still have a lot to learnabout focal length and shutter speed. If I understand you correctlythough, if I adjust my ISO then my camera should be correcting myaperture priority on it's own? Is that correct?.

Yes, a high ISO value - for use in low light - will increase noise (which appears as graininess) so the general rule is that you use a value as low as possible consistent with being able to get the shutter speed / aperture you want. How distracting it is depends on how big you make the print: I can get nice 10 x 8 prints at ISO 800 where the noise is visible only if you look very closely. For small (say, 7 x 5 inch) prints it shouldn't be an issue..

If your pictures are not properly sharp the most likely reason is the one I mentioned previously, that the shutter speed is too slow and you are getting slight camera shake. It is unlikely to be a fault of the printer..

Check some of your recent pictures. if you display one on the camera's LCD screen, and then press a button on the camera labelled 'info' (or something similar) it will tell you on the screen what exposure setting you used, i.e. ISO value (200, 400, 800 etc), shutter speed (something like 1/15, 1/30, 1/60 sec etc.), and aperture (something like f/4, f/5.6, f/8, f/11 etc)). If you could do that for a few recent pictures that you found not to be sharp, and post the results here, we should be able to see what the problem is..

Information on basic exposure modes should be in your camera's manual. For more information, try these:.

Http://www.dpreview.com/learn/?/Glossary/Exposure/http://www.bestphotolessons.com/index.php?s=content&p=Lesson2http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials.htm.

Best wishesMike..

Comment #8

Here is tutorial on using your D40. When I was looking into buying a D40, several Nikon forum members recommended it to me..

Http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/d40/users-guide/index.htm..

Comment #9

Amy Herron wrote:.

Thank you for that information. I can use it. But in addition toall of that...my biggest problem is that when printing my photos, Ifind that they are not really blurry, they are just not sharp..

I'll add that dSLRs don't typically "sharpen" pix as much as P&S cameras do. The D40 is intended for beginners and it sharpens more as a default than cameras intended for pros (like the D300 and D3). BUT, sharpening is adjustable. You might like the pix better with the in-camera sharpening raised a bit?.

However, don't overdo the sharpening. It creates "halos" around everything..

A "better" way is to leave the in-camera sharpening at the default and do the sharpening later in post-processing (PP). This allows you to adjust the sharpening differently for each pic..

Charlie DavisNikon 5700, Sony R1, Nikon D300HomePage: http://www.1derful.infoBridge Blog: http://www.here-ugo.com/BridgeBlog/'Experience: Discovering that a claw hammer will bend nails.Epiphany: Discovering that a claw hammer is two tools...'..

Comment #10

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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