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Need Help for Nikon D80

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  • Need Help for Nikon D80

    I would like some help of how I should set up my D80, I use the D80 together with Nikkor 70-300mm VR.

    Thanks for any help!!!

  • #2
    I almost exclusively shoot in either aperture or shutter priority. I'll come back to them later. I only ever use full auto for family and holiday snapshots.

    Always use the lowest possible ISO rating. I try to stick with ISO 100. The higher the ISO setting, the greater the risk of the introduction of grain and noise. (Page 43 of your handbook)

    Shoot in NEF RAW format as it gives much more control in post processing. Depending on which software you use you may need to download a RAW plugin. If you have to use .jpg use Fine as your setting. (Page 34 of your handbook)

    Use AF-C (Continuous servo) for moving subjects. (Page 29 of your handbook)
    Use AF-S (Single servo) for static subjects. (Page 29 of your handbook)

    When shooting aircraft on approach I underexpose by 1/3 of a stop. (Page 89 of your handbook) This is to overcome a tendency to overexpose for the brighter sky.

    Shutter priority.
    I use this to control propellor blur for prop aircraft. I personally like to see a blurred prop as a static prop on a moving aircraft just doesn't look right to me. For this I rarely shoot above 1/300 sec. I will also use shutter priority if the subject is moving fast to avoid focus blur due to camera shake. This requires a bit of a balancing act to get a sharp image as depth of field has to be taken into account when apertures get larger and shutter speeds get faster.
    This link takes you to a blurred prop picture. 1/125sec at f9.0

    This pic shows what happens to the prop if you use a fast shutter speed.
    1/500sec f??

    Aperture priority.
    This mode is for use when you want to maximise depth of field, especially when shooting half head on approach shots of airliners. There is a large distance difference between nose to tail and wing tip to wing tip. A goodly amount of depth of field will give a whole aircraft in focus. This pic shows the use of depth of field. f11 @ 1/250sec (It was a bright sunny day so I got a good shutter speed). Not only is the whole length of the aircraft in focus but also most of the ramp.

    If I am teaching granny to suck eggs here then I apologise. Hopefully this will help you get on the way with your new camera. It would be very easy to go into greater depth but that would only become confusing, and not necessarily the best for you. If its any help, I bought my D80 last September...and I'm still learning about it !

    Enjoy your D80. You have a very good camera and lens there. I Look forward to seeing some of your work here.
    If it 'ain't broken........ Don't try to mend it !


    • #3
      Thanks for your great information! I will try using these setting and see what will come out! I always take images in RAW format but when I edit the pictures and save them as jpeg they loose many details.

      Can I ask you what type of
      Image Optimization do you use in your camera settings?

      Thanks a lot for you help!


      • #4
        Some tips as well :

        AF settings :

        - AF-C
        - manual control of sensor selected (autmatic choice off)
        - dynamic AF on, as it keep trakc of the obeject even if it leaves the selected sensor

        IQ :

        - join can very well use JPG Fine for most situations, RAW is only worht the effort in difficult light situations and JPGs show you your errors more cleary.
        - turn everything from auto to normal (saturation, sharpening, etc.)


        Do not fear to use ISO200 it works easily and has no noise problem. Even 320 works good for me. Better to shoot at ISO 200 at 1/500 and 8.0 then at 1/250 and 5.6 with ISO100.

        Auto-Iso is an option that you should try in difficult light siutations and when you shoot a subject that you need to nail.

        Shooting tips :

        The Sport program should work quite well for your first tries

        - You can also use the P mode, and adjust it too your needs. Either faster shutter or higher aperature. I find this very practical to use. P* is then displayed in the upper display.
        - I do prefer that mode to aperature priority, adjusted two clicks to a higher aperature
        - Shutter priority has been explained to you already

        Lense :

        - set VR to normal and not active


        • #5
          Originally posted by jesmond12
          Can I ask you what type of Image Optimization do you use in your camera settings?
          Thanks a lot for you help!

          I set Image optimisation to normal (default)

          Image sharpening is set to normal and all other settings are left at default.

          I think it was Jid Webb who recently said that you pay a lot of money for the optimisation functions of a DSLR but should not be using them in-camera as a PC's Pentium 4 processor and Adobe Image manipulation software are far more powerful, and useable, tools.

          It all boils down to finding some basics to start with and then practise, practise, practise.

          If you do decide to make any changes, make only one change at a time and make a note of them so you can go back if necessary. Remember though that different circumstances require different settings. Practise and keeping notes will ensure that you don't get lost in the minefield.
          If it 'ain't broken........ Don't try to mend it !