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Thread: Nikon D50 Performance/Photo Quality

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    Default Nikon D50 Performance/Photo Quality

    Hi there,
    I've been using a hand-me-down Nikon D50 with a Tamron LD Di II AF 55-200mm 1:4-5.6 Macro lens for around 10 months now. I've had some success (getting photos on JP) but also a large amount of inconsistency. My photos have gradually improved as I've researched settings and improved techniques etc, but I just wanted to know if there's anything that ex/current D50 or older nikon users would suggest.
    I frequently get over-processed and contrast rejections, I was wondering how I increase contrast without over-processing further (I understand over-processing is over-saturation of colours, but does increasing contrast do this anyway)
    I shoot shutter priority, at 200 iso, mainly 1/400-1/1200.
    My prescreening thread (thanks to dlowwa for a huge amount of time and input) - https://forums.jetphotos.com/showthr...Editing-Advice
    I'll attach some edited examples and I welcome all suggestion and comments on how I could improve
    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Quinn View Post
    Hi there,
    I've been using a hand-me-down Nikon D50 with a Tamron LD Di II AF 55-200mm 1:4-5.6 Macro lens for around 10 months now. I've had some success (getting photos on JP) but also a large amount of inconsistency. My photos have gradually improved as I've researched settings and improved techniques etc, but I just wanted to know if there's anything that ex/current D50 or older nikon users would suggest.
    I frequently get over-processed and contrast rejections, I was wondering how I increase contrast without over-processing further (I understand over-processing is over-saturation of colours, but does increasing contrast do this anyway)
    I shoot shutter priority, at 200 iso, mainly 1/400-1/1200.
    My prescreening thread (thanks to dlowwa for a huge amount of time and input) - https://forums.jetphotos.com/showthr...Editing-Advice
    I'll attach some edited examples and I welcome all suggestion and comments on how I could improve
    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	24187Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	24188Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	24189Click image for larger version. 

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    The overprocessing in your images is actually mostly editing halos. The first thing I'd do is make sure the in-camera 'D-lighting' function is off. If not that, editing settings such as de-haze, clarity, shadow/highlight are also likely culprits. The contrast issues are mostly to do with the conditions you are shooting in, so that can be addressed without worrying about equipment.

    You should be able to get acceptable results from the D50 as long as you realize that such a relatively low pixel count will give you a very low margin for error, due to the fact that you won't be able to crop much, nor be able to hide any flaws by down-sizing from a much higher resolution image. You'll need to maximize your results by getting as close to your subjects as possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dlowwa View Post
    The overprocessing in your images is actually mostly editing halos. The first thing I'd do is make sure the in-camera 'D-lighting' function is off. If not that, editing settings such as de-haze, clarity, shadow/highlight are also likely culprits. The contrast issues are mostly to do with the conditions you are shooting in, so that can be addressed without worrying about equipment.
    I can't find the D-Lighting function in the settings or in the manual? I do use the de-haze a LOT, I do increase shadows, but with highlights and whites, I don't know which does which. Is it best to stick to contrast, exposure and sharpening enhancements? I have learnt to stick to direct sunlight, my last spotting trip was a huge success (in terms of weather for me anyway). I have noticed when looking through the RAW files that the contrast is very low, in comparison to the edited versions, I think if I took a picture with my phone, the contrast would be much more reasonable, seems my RAW photos lack basic contrast (I assume a fix would be in-camera settings tone or saturation? I just hope that if I oversaturate then it is reversible and not end up with 800 unusable photos.)

    Quote Originally Posted by dlowwa View Post
    You should be able to get acceptable results from the D50 as long as you realize that such a relatively low pixel count will give you a very low margin for error, due to the fact that you won't be able to crop much, nor be able to hide any flaws by down-sizing from a much higher resolution image. You'll need to maximize your results by getting as close to your subjects as possible.
    The cameras max resolution is 3002x2000, So the max length of JP photos of is 1920, that means I've over 1000 pixels of excess to work with correct? If I can't get closer then I'd have to look at larger lenses, as I understand it, currently I have frequent issues with softness, is that purely down to hardware (lens quality) or camera settings? Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	24193 This photo that is in the queue now was taken with an Nikon AF-S lens, was there a noticeable improvement from my previous photos? Then becomes a question of AF/AF-S or Nikon/3rd Party... Could the blurryness be fixed in anyway? I use a tripod which is a bit stiff but I've seen better photos with using the tripod.

    Cheers, Adam

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Quinn View Post
    I can't find the D-Lighting function in the settings or in the manual?
    It was just a guess. Not sure if it's even available on that early a model.

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Quinn View Post
    I do use the de-haze a LOT, I do increase shadows, but with highlights and whites
    There's your problem right there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Quinn View Post
    Is it best to stick to contrast, exposure and sharpening enhancements?
    Yup.

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Quinn View Post
    I have noticed when looking through the RAW files that the contrast is very low, in comparison to the edited versions, I think if I took a picture with my phone, the contrast would be much more reasonable, seems my RAW photos lack basic contrast
    Because RAW photos are just that, raw images with zero processing applied. All images from your phone have been processed before you even see them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Quinn View Post
    The cameras max resolution is 3002x2000, So the max length of JP photos of is 1920, that means I've over 1000 pixels of excess to work with correct?
    ~ 1000 for cropping yes, but then you would nothing left for sizing down. Sizing down hides A LOT of flaws. You can make a noisy, blurry 6000pix image look almost perfect if you size it down to 1000. You don't need to size down, but if you're not, as I said, you have little to no margin for error - your images need to pretty much perfect straight out of the camera.

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Quinn View Post
    If I can't get closer then I'd have to look at larger lenses, as I understand it, currently I have frequent issues with softness, is that purely down to hardware (lens quality) or camera settings? Click image for larger version. 

Name:	DSC_0196JP.jpg 
Views:	23 
Size:	730.9 KB 
ID:	24193 This photo that is in the queue now was taken with an Nikon AF-S lens, was there a noticeable improvement from my previous photos?
    Sharpness is ok, but there are other issues.

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Quinn View Post
    Could the blurryness be fixed in anyway? I use a tripod which is a bit stiff but I've seen better photos with using the tripod.
    Unless you manage to hide it as I've mentioned above, blurriness is generally not fixable.

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    With a D50 1200px wide is your friend for up-loading at jp. You need a very perfect shot to make it at 1920. Back in 2005 very few people tried up-loading in 1920.

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    So going forward dlowwa, I'll stick to contrast, exposure and sharpening, stick to 1200px for better quality and hopefully make your life a little bit easier

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    Quote Originally Posted by seahawk View Post
    With a D50 1200px wide is your friend for up-loading at jp. You need a very perfect shot to make it at 1920. Back in 2005 very few people tried up-loading in 1920.
    Ahh that's just what I was looking for, do you know any accounts that have plenty of photos using the d50?

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    Even a bottom of the line DSLR such as a D3500 ($400) will blow D50 out of the water.

    There is only so much you can do in post and upgrading a 15 year old camera will likely make your life considerably simpler.
    While better camera doesn't make anyone a better photographer in this case we are talking about 15 years of gap, and this will likely do more for you than just about anything else.

    I ran with a D70 for over a decade before upgrading myself. I'm guessing hardware is very similar since they are in similar price ranges and a year removed from one another.
    I struggled to get any sort of consistent result that is acceptable now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by StarfuryT View Post
    Even a bottom of the line DSLR such as a D3500 ($400) will blow D50 out of the water.

    There is only so much you can do in post and upgrading a 15 year old camera will likely make your life considerably simpler.
    While better camera doesn't make anyone a better photographer in this case we are talking about 15 years of gap, and this will likely do more for you than just about anything else.

    I ran with a D70 for over a decade before upgrading myself. I'm guessing hardware is very similar since they are in similar price ranges and a year removed from one another.
    I struggled to get any sort of consistent result that is acceptable now.
    I was looking at maybe 7d mk1, 600d, 650d, 700d, I was to switch over to canon just because of the cheaper lenses. AF-S/EF, EF-S and all that but, I mean I'm just glad I was able to get acceptable shots out of the d50

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Quinn View Post
    I was looking at maybe 7d mk1, 600d, 650d, 700d, I was to switch over to canon just because of the cheaper lenses.
    This might be redundant information to you, but if you go for the 80D or even 7DMkII, it'll last you a good few years. The sensor is bigger on these than the models you've listed as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Quinn View Post
    Ahh that's just what I was looking for, do you know any accounts that have plenty of photos using the d50?
    I know one... however I upgraded through the Nikon Line up with the years. Most images up to 08-2008 were shot with a D50 (and mostly a Nikkor 70-300/4.5-5.6 VR) - even my most clicked & decorated images were shot with a D50... (there's even older P&S cameras in my gallery, but remember, back then quality requirements were different)

    What I thought might be a good idea: Change the lens in the first place. Or go look for a used D7000 if you like the body size. And lastly, as suggested, work on your PP skills.

    What I'm sure isn't a good idea, however, is looking at the C range of cameras. ( !!! )
    Last edited by bleuair; 05-08-2019 at 04:00 PM.
    .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Quinn View Post
    I was looking at maybe 7d mk1, 600d, 650d, 700d, I was to switch over to canon just because of the cheaper lenses. AF-S/EF, EF-S and all that but, I mean I'm just glad I was able to get acceptable shots out of the d50
    Canon lenses are not cheaper. Infact I would say Nikon currently has the best affordable lenses for spotting with the new 70-300P. Used lenses are plenty for both brands.

    In Manchester you could look at the followiing cameras:

    https://www.lcegroup.co.uk/Used/Niko...dy_243537.html

    or a used D300

    https://www.wexphotovideo.com/nikon-...-used-1701650/

    or a refurbed D3400 with 18-55 lens

    https://www.wexphotovideo.com/nikon-...-used-1698080/

    and maybe add that lens

    https://www.wexphotovideo.com/nikon-...-lens-1522140/

    And you are good to go.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jvdl View Post
    This might be redundant information to you, but if you go for the 80D or even 7DMkII, it'll last you a good few years. The sensor is bigger on these than the models you've listed as well.
    Well those 2 are way out of my budget. I don't want to be spending more than 350 on a body and a 300mm lens, the 80d is almost twice that budget.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bleuair View Post
    I know one... however I upgraded through the Nikon Line up with the years. Most images up to 08-2008 were shot with a D50 (and mostly a Nikkor 70-300/4.5-5.6 VR) - even my most clicked & decorated images were shot with a D50... (there's even older P&S cameras in my gallery, but remember, back then quality requirements were different)
    I can't find any nikkor 70-300 VR lenses under 250

    Quote Originally Posted by bleuair View Post
    What I thought might be a good idea: Change the lens in the first place. Or go look for a used D7000 if you like the body size. And lastly, as suggested, work on your PP skills.
    I really do like the size of the camera, I've noticed that many of the current cameras are getting smaller, I guess it makes them more travel friendlier but I like having the sturdiness.

    Quote Originally Posted by bleuair View Post
    What I'm sure isn't a good idea, however, is looking at the C range of cameras. ( !!! )
    Do I sense a Nikon Fanboy . Here a spec sheet that I've been using - https://www.dpreview.com/products/co...tDir=ascending using eBay I can get the follow prices for decent condition body only.

    D7000 - 199
    7D - 235
    650D - 215
    700D - 220

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    Quote Originally Posted by seahawk View Post
    Canon lenses are not cheaper. Infact I would say Nikon currently has the best affordable lenses for spotting with the new 70-300P. Used lenses are plenty for both brands.

    In Manchester you could look at the followiing cameras:

    https://www.lcegroup.co.uk/Used/Niko...dy_243537.html

    or a used D300

    https://www.wexphotovideo.com/nikon-...-used-1701650/

    or a refurbed D3400 with 18-55 lens

    https://www.wexphotovideo.com/nikon-...-used-1698080/

    and maybe add that lens

    https://www.wexphotovideo.com/nikon-...-lens-1522140/

    And you are good to go.
    I think that the d300s is a little down compared to the d3400 especially as for 60 it comes with a 18-55mm lens.

    https://www.dpreview.com/products/co...tDir=ascending using eBay I can get the follow prices for decent condition body only.

    D7000 - 199
    D3400 - 200
    7D - 235
    650D - 215
    700D - 220

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    I think the factory refurbed D3400 is a bargain with the lens included. I personally prefer to buy used gear and well known shops, as they have a return policy and the description of the condition is reliable.

    The D300 is interesting because it has the better autofocus (compared to a D3400) and can use older AF-D lenses. But if you do not plan on using those, I think the D3400 with the 55-300 should work just fine. I used the 55-300 on holidays. Steeped down to F8 is is sharp and the biggest editing obstacles is a bit of vignetting correction needed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by seahawk View Post
    I think the factory refurbed D3400 is a bargain with the lens included. I personally prefer to buy used gear and well known shops, as they have a return policy and the description of the condition is reliable.

    The D300 is interesting because it has the better autofocus (compared to a D3400) and can use older AF-D lenses. But if you do not plan on using those, I think the D3400 with the 55-300 should work just fine. I used the 55-300 on holidays. Steeped down to F8 is is sharp and the biggest editing obstacles is a bit of vignetting correction needed.
    I have had a look at lenses actually and for 150 there's a Nikon 55-300mm f4.5-5.6 G AF-S DX VR. Looking at sharpness tests it does come out much stronger than AF and AF-P lenses. Also the future proof of this lens is quite appealing. Using this chart https://www.nikonusa.com/Images/Lear...lity-chart.pdf it's compatible with all Nikon DSLRs, so I could stick with the D50 for a little while then move upwards later on. Here the sharpness tests https://www.the-digital-picture.com/...mp=0&APIComp=0

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    In reality, I think the new P versions are better overall, but the 55-300 is good enough to last you a long time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Quinn View Post
    Do I sense a Nikon Fanboy
    Noo, not at all
    For me the body size and control layout was always the reason to stick with midrange Cams. Plus the capability vs size vs price -ratio is best imho.
    Well the 70-300VR is, despite its age, a good lens especially on Crop sensors! You get what you paid for...
    And if you save a few months, you'd be in the market for a D7200 which is imho the best solution these days if you want size, very capable crop sensor and reasonable price in one body. If you buy cheap now, you'd be back in the market for an upgrade in no time. It's a nature's law (the "gear acquisition syndrome") kicking in soon!
    .

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