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Hello

Discussion in 'Introductions...' started by sagamore, Apr 30, 2017.

  1. sagamore

    sagamore Well-Known Member

    Greetings everyone. I have just joined. I have been taking photographs for over 60 years now. Initially developing and printing my own in B & W. I was delighted when the digital age came along, and I could get rid of my enlarger, and not have to bother with darkrooms, chemicals etc. Have been using a digital camera for a number of years now. My last camera was a Pentax X90 that I found was excellent (and still do). I purchased a 2nd hand Nikon 5100 DSLR a few days ago. Although I can take distance images OK, I am afraid it is a dead loss on close-ps (two feet or so). Initially, I felt that I wasn't using it correctly, although I followed numerous set up presenations on Utube. I don't have a manual, as it is 2nd hand, purchased from a reputable high street camera shop a few days ago with a 6 month guarantee. I had a 31 year career in marine telecommunications, so I am not unfamiliar with electronics, but this camera really has me baffled. Hoping for some help here. This first post is just by way of introuduction. I will highlinght specific problems after browsing the forum a bit more.
    Robert
     
  2. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

  3. AlexMonro

    AlexMonro Old Grand Part Deux

    Hello Robert, welcome to the AP forum!

    Your problem with close up pictures might be because you're trying to focus closer than the minimum focus distance of the lens. You don't say which lens you're using, but most standard lenses have a minimum focus distance of about 3 feet. To get closer than that, you'll need a macro lens, or some accessory such as extension tubes or supplementary close up lenses.

    You should be able to download a manual for the D5100 from the Nikon website.
     
  4. sagamore

    sagamore Well-Known Member

    Thanks,
    Have now downloaded the manual. I seem to be doing everything the manual says. The lens is 18 to 55mm zoom 1:3.5 - 5.6G. I really felt that two feet was not all that close-up, and with a camera of this quality, I could take images from further back, and enlarge them, but they are still poor! I see the shop is open today, so I am taking it back and see what they have to say about it. I have been struggling with this problem since last Wednesday!
    Robert
     
  5. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Dear Robert,

    First extract: BURN THE HERETIC.

    Second extract: That's odd. Does it appear to focus? Or have you considered buying a manual focus lens? My old 50/2 Nikkor focuses down to about 18 inches (as was the norm for "standard" 50mm lenses), and you can buy them for next to nothing.

    Looking forward to seeing some of your pictures.

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  6. Craig20264

    Craig20264 Well-Known Member

    Hi and welcome. I have a D5100 if you've any questions. Focus distance is governed by the lens you are using, not the camera.
     
  7. sagamore

    sagamore Well-Known Member

    Thanks for replies. I took it back to the shop this morning, but didn't really get anywhere. They managed to sort out the focus by altering the shutter speed to 1/125, with the control on top set to "S" then focused it via auto. The focus was then OK, but the colour was all wrong. They said that that was because of the lighting in the shop, but when I got it home, the images were all a dirty yellow, but with the wheel on auto, the colour was fine, but the images fuzzy!. Nowhere near as good, in fact, as my old Pentax X90, that took the image below:
    Robert
    [​IMG]
     
  8. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Dear Robert,

    Sounds like the camera is a lemon... (Sorry!)

    Seriously, I fear you'll need to go back and argue all over again.

    Or just ask for your money back.

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  9. Craig20264

    Craig20264 Well-Known Member

    I'm sceptical. If the 'Dirty Yellow' is not present when the camera is set to Auto, then the sensor is fine. This sounds like an incorrect white balance issue? Just a thought. (I'm also fed up with Windows telling me to spell Sceptical with a K)
     
  10. sagamore

    sagamore Well-Known Member

    I phoned the shop up again, and they told me to adjust the white balance. I found it was set on "shade" so I adjusted it to "sunlight." That improved things a great deal, and the yellow cast has gone, but the sad thing about it, is that the resultant image is still not quite as good as my old Pentax X90. I asked about a refund, and they said OK, provided I bring it in in less than 14 days. That is OK, because I only got it on Wednesday. I rather think I will return it, and stick to the X90. I mainly take close-ups like the image above, and have always though them excellent, but after joining Pixabay last week, I subitted a few images, and the result was they were rejected and I was told the images were full of "noise," and very poor as well! That didn't bother me, as I was offering them free to Creative Commons, so if they didn't want them - no problem. The white parts of the images with the X90 are noticeably whiter than the ones with the Nikon, and the focus is now about the same.
    Robert
     
  11. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    If you wanted to take some pictures with the new camera, and share the RAW or JPGs somehow, and all the settings you used, people might be able to suggest if there's something that could be changed to improve the results. The 5100 is a capable camera, so either it is faulty, or there's a setting or two that might improve the results you're getting.

    But we'll need more detail (like which mode, which settings, etc.)
     
    Craig20264 likes this.
  12. sagamore

    sagamore Well-Known Member

    There is not much to say about the settings. As far as I remember, I used NEF plus Jpeg Fine. White balance on Sunlight. Shutter speed around 1/125. ISO 100. Largest image, It was set on Vivid image, but I reduced it to normal. The images are almost as good as the X90, but the whiite parts are a bit grey. The lens is 18-55mm. It cost £205, and considering the fact that it is not as good as the old Pentax, it was a bad buy. I may persevere for a few more days, but I have no great faith in it.
    Robert
     
  13. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    What you're describing sounds like a mixture of incorrect settings rather than a bad purchase, but it's important to be happy so you need to do whatever is best for you.

    Personally, I would use that camera in Aperture mode, with auto white balance, and I would shoot in RAW (NEF) which will ignore settings like Vivid. Then, I would post-process it in something which understood NEF files, and get the whites to be white. With a RAW file, you're totally in control of how white the whites are.
     
  14. sagamore

    sagamore Well-Known Member

    I only heard about NEF a few days ago. The camera does shoot in NEF and fine Jpeg, but I can't open the NEF files. Adobe Photoshop will not open them. I can convert them to Jpeg using an online coverter, and then manipulate them in Photoshop. I have no idea what "aperture mode" is! The only digital cameras that I have ever had until this one, I just had to point, and press the button, and they worked fine! Although I have been told the image quality of the above picture is "poor," it doesn't appear poor to me. I have written quite a lot of articles, and several books with my digital images in, and even mainstream publishers have never said they were poor quality or shown any sign of rejecting them. Don't really now what to think now. It has only been Pixabay telling me that the images are "unsalvagable and poor," that made me think of getting a new camera. Here is another of my images that Pixabay rejected on technical quality grounds. Looks OK to me though. Taken on my Pentax X90. The photo wasn't planned, the rabbit just appeared in the garden and started eating the birds food, so I took the opportunity of a quick "snap!"
    Robert
    [​IMG]
     
    Andrew Flannigan likes this.
  15. Craig20264

    Craig20264 Well-Known Member

    Are you doing any post processing at all? The RAW file out of the camera will be pretty bland and slightly soft. It will need a certain amount of 'Developing'.
     
  16. sagamore

    sagamore Well-Known Member

    As I said, I can't do anything with them! They will open in the camera, but there is nothing there that will allow me to do anything at all - just the image. Adobe Photoshop just displays a message saying that the file cannot be opened!.
    Robert
     
  17. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    When one buys a preused camera the first thing to do is reset it to factory settings. The shop people should have offered to do that. At factory settings you know where you are before you start your own customerisation. Factory settings are usually quite a good default setup.
    As for the NEF files and PS. It seems that your PS is not sufficiently up to date for the D5100. This is not a too difficult problem. Your version of PS may be updateable to read D5100 NEF files. Open PS and check for update from the Help tab. If your version of PS is too old for that then you still have two options. One is to use Nikon software (downloadable for free from Nikon) to convert your files from NEF to JPEG or TIFF. (If you useTIFF I suggest that you keep your bit depth at 16 bits rather than 8). You can then do further editting within PS (or do all your processing with the Nikon software. The second option is to download Adobe's free DNG converter. This will convert your NEFF files to DNG (without ay loss of image data, but maybe loss of some unimportant meta data.You then can process the DNG files in just about any version of PS.
    You clearly have the problem of an unfamiliar camera, and the difficulty of setting up an unfamiliar workflow that is compatible with your available software. That's daunting. Take it in stages and keep this thread allive. We don't want to seem condescending by telling you stuff that you already know, but we don't know what you already know. Also please copy all original files to a safe place. Once you have sorted out how you want to procede and have got a comfortable workflow then you may want to make a clean sweep in a new clean directory system. That is not as bad as it may seem. You will learn a lot about automatically handling large numbers of files efficiently..
    Can we know what version of PS you are using?
    Its late. I will post a few thoughts about camera setup tomorrow. From what you have told us so far the camera does not seem to be faulty. Lets first of all get it into point and shoot mode producing decent jpegs. (and NEFs for future processing as a sideline).
     
    Craig20264 likes this.
  18. sagamore

    sagamore Well-Known Member

    I did use the factory settings shortly after I got it. My Adobe Photshop is very old. I got it free, years ago when I bought my first digital camera.

    I can manage very well with old cameras where I set the ASA when I put the film in, focus it manually, set the exposure and shutter speed manually, and press the button. Film cameras to me are far superior to digital ones, but I disliked developing and printing, to say nothing of the expense of film, paper, chemicals and darkroom equipment. I went on to digital because of the convenience, and am quite prepared to accept a slightly lower quality in the images. The image below was 35mm colour transparency, and I didn't even have time to set the camera properly, but had to react in a split second, with the reactions of an old wild west gunfighter to get the shot. Perfect it may not be - but it captures the moment of two ships under way in close proximity, and has been widely acclaimed!

    Afraid cameras like the Nikon are far too complicated for me! At the peak of my career in marine telecommunications in late 1992, aboard a brand new passneger liner, I decided on impulse to chuck it all in, and get out of the rat race, and since then have confined all my activities to practical things that don't involve too much learning. I feel that I am better suited to a digital camera where I just need to point it, and push the button. I am very computer literate, and can deal with most problems, but the Nikon is bringing back memories of why I quit the "rat race" in the first place (Something that I have never regretted, incidentally)

    I have taken thousands of photographs over the years, but my main aim has always been to capture images of what I am personally involved in, rather than produce the perfect photograph.

    Robert
    [​IMG]
     
    Andrew Flannigan likes this.
  19. sagamore

    sagamore Well-Known Member

    It is all academic now, as I took it back this morning, and got a full refund. It happened to be the manager who served me. After we had gone through the usual "it works perfectly, you are just not setting it up correctly" routine, I said I still wanted a refund, and he agreed without argument. We had an interesting talk about it, and he actually said that I had been sold the wrong camera for what I wanted. That was to photograph small to medium sized items (up to about two feet long) on a table. I said that the images from the Pentax X90 were far superior to the Nikon D5100, and he agreed that they would be for that sort of thing. He said that what I actually needed was a "bridge camera," but I have decided to stay with my X90 until such a time as it conks out! After the refund, it was like having a great weight lifted off my shoulders, as I can go back to simple, but efficient photography.

    Robert
     
  20. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    A positive result. There's much to be said for not fixing what isn't broken.
     

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