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  #1  
12-05-2010, 09:59 PM
Sossity Sossity is offline
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I have looked at the specs more carefully on this lens that was linked to me;

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...SIN=B00005LEN4

& see that it would be good in low light with 1.8 aperture. Does the f stop spec next to a lens on different websites like amazon or the others represent the lowest f stop that the lens is capable of using?

As I am learning, & I took some low light no flash photos with my nikon d7000 with the kit lens it came with, I noticed the photos are still a bit dark, & I had to resort to the on camera flash. I prefer to not use a flash, & have found on camera flashes a bit harsh or they wash out photos. If I raise the ISO real high, it gets more light but has more graininess, if I lower shutter speed to get more light, I get blur. And I dont want to have to use a tripod for all my photos.

With these observations of my photos so far, & looking at specs of different lenses, I notice my kit lens that came with the nikon d7000 lowest aperture of the kit lens is; f 3.5 & the other aperture is f 5.6, these are bigger then the 50mm nikon lens.

It seems that lowering the f stop would be best for low light or no flash photos, to avoid the blur of a low shutter speed, & graininess of very high ISO's.

I read some online reviews of the 50mm lens I was linked to, & one talked about getting sharper images in low light, with the lower fstops. That seems to go in line with my thought, that something has to adjust or drop for low light, allow light to get in, to avoid grainy high ISO's & blur with low shutter speeds. It seems like it might resolve some of the depth of view issues I mentioned with a zoom lens, where only one part is sharp & everything else is somewhat soft.

Another thing would be using a telephoto adapter on the linked nikon 50mm lens. It would be nice get more zoom & get low fstop low light benefits of the 50mm lens, it would also be alot more portable with my bike rides, as opposed to carrying around 2 lenses on my bike; one for portraits & one for zoom. In one of my other posts, this was mentioned to me to use a telephoto adapter.

could I be linked to a good telephoto adapter for the nikon 50mm lens? to get up to 300mm optical zoom?

This is quite an adventure to me learning these things, & I appreciate the guidance I am getting so far, I am excited to know that I am only scratching the surface of the potential of a DSLR.
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  #2  
12-05-2010, 11:36 PM
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Yes, the lowest aperture f-stop should be the one included in the name of the lens. A Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 has a maximum aperture of 1.8. Not that you should always use the widest aperture, but rather that it's available.

My arthritis is kicking in already, due to temperature dropping, so I have to keep this brief tonight.

Low apertures are good for letting in more light, but low apertures tend to lose some sharpness. Not "out of focus" sharpness, but simple clarity and definition. Prime lenses don't generally suffer this as much. And then certain zooms, like the Nikkor 80-200, are even somewhat immune, which is unusual for a zoom.

Generally speaking, you want to ideally shoot about two stops up from the minimum, for guaranteed sharp images. On the f/1.8 lens, for example, f/4 should be perfectly sharp.

The higher you go, the sharper it gets -- until you hit the point of diffraction. That's when the quality starts to go again. For most lenses, that happens after f/11. Many photographers consider f/8 the ideal sharpness depth, but it can vary on the lens. I have a lens that is perfect at f/7, or a third stop lower than f/8.

Now, if you want more depth, you require lower apertures, and possibly longer focal lengths. You may sacrifice some sharpness quality, but that's why you buy better quality glass!

Other times, you just want a good photo -- you don't get the luxury of perfect sharpness, excellent lighting, minimal grain, etc -- for example outdoor nighttime sports or indoor gym sports. ISO 3200-12800, f/2.8 and grain is to be expected.

Yes, in-camera flashes are relatively cheap and limited compared to "speedlight" hotshoe mounted dedicated flash packs. Of course, those cost a few hundred dollars. For example, the Nikon SB-600: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...SIN=B0002EMY9Y

Your observations on how settings affect one another are correct. Lower shutter means more blur. Higher ISO means more grain. Lower aperture means less depth of field.

The 50mm f/1.8 will give you very sharp images at most focal lengths, especially f/2.8 to f/8. Lower apertures will result in less depth, which can look like a "focus error" by is simply an issue of one object being in focus and the other one is outside the range where focus can be obtained.

To use an inaccurate example, pretend something is 10 feet away, and something else behind it is 15 feet away (5 more behind the 10). At f/8, let's say that both would be "in focus" because the depth of field allowed for anything within a 7-foot range to be in focus (the 10 and 15 are 5 feet apart, and both can be within the focal/depth range). Now at f/1.8, the focal range may be as small as 6 inches. You'll have to pick which item is in focus -- the 10ft or the 15ft distant object. And if you object is thicker than that 6 inches, parts of it might even be out of focus! Remember -- these were pretend numbers, to illustrate the point; I don't have time tonight to look up the actual calculations.

A 2x adapter absorbs two stops of light. In other words, a 50mm f/1.8 is equal to a 100mm f/4 lens. So it's only one stop better than the f/5.6 you're getting on that 18-105 f/3.5-5.6 lens @ 100mm.

The Nikkor 2x adapters are for specific lens models, such as the 80-200, 70-200 and 300mm lenses. So those are out. But "generic" third-party adapters can be pretty decent. I would go for the Kenko models, as Kenko is part of THK (Tokina, Hoya, Kenko). To retain autofocus on AF-S lenses, you'll need the higher-cost AF-S compatible model.

AF-S 2x ($225): http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...SIN=B002C6QG4O
Non-AF-S 2x ($75): http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...SIN=B000BX2QIA

The 50mm f/1.8 Nikkor in your link is an "AF" (not an "AF-S") lens, and can therefore work with the cheaper $75 adapter. However, the 2x will NOT work with your AF-S 18-105 lens. Not that you asked for it to work that way, but something to keep in mind.

You'll also note some negative reviews on the Amazon site, regarding AF abilities with the cheaper $75 2x adapter. Those comments were left by morons -- their camera bodies only work with "G" type lenses, meaning AF-S/AF-I only. Your D7000 body works with older non-G "AF" lenses just fine. So disregard the negative comments. You can use this 2x and the 50mm AF without issue.

I sometimes carry a Nikon D200 in grip-less ode, with a 50mm f/1.8 and a 2x, and that's it. It fits in a tiny shoulder camera bag about the size of a large fannie pack. It's what I carry to conventions and trade shows, at the bottom of a larger "school" backpack (a leftover from college that once again has a purpose). So your plan is sound -- I do it!

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12-06-2010, 03:19 AM
Sossity Sossity is offline
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will the teleconverters linked make as good quality a photo as dedicated zoom lens? or dedicated macro zoom lens like this one?

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...SIN=B0012X43P2

I don't want to be just paying for an expensive magnifier, is that what the converter is doing? as opposed to actually zooming in & bringing a distance object closer? I am not trying to argue, I trust everybody's suggestions to give me the best results along with my own experimenting.

I like the idea of a shorter lower or wider aperture range lens & converter, this would save me lugging around a big bulky fragile lens. But I don't want to do it at a great expense to quality. But I am seriously considering it. I am especially nervous after my camera drop.
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12-06-2010, 03:44 AM
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The beauty of a 2x adapter is that it puts you twice as close to the subject, but at the same time keeping the same minimum distance to focus. For example, if your lens can focus from 10 feet away at 200mm (as my Nikkor 80-200 does), then with a 2x it can now focus at 400mm from 10 feet. That puts you closer to the subject, and can create a macro-like experience. My rare Tamron 28-105 lens has a pretty decent near-macro focus as-is. When I add a 2x adapter, it's almost at the macro level.

Most macro lenses should be 100mm or more.

The reason the 60mm Nikkor macro is popular is because it's about 90mm (almost 100mm) when used on a DX crop-frame body. Full-frame users would be left wanting for more. The D7000 is a crop-frame DX body. My Nikon D3s is a full-frame.

Quote:
I don't want to be just paying for an expensive magnifier, is that what the converter is doing? as opposed to actually zooming in & bringing a distance object closer?
More or less, yes, that's what it is. It doubles the effective length of the lens. To be fair, though, the glass inside a regular lens could also be simply called a "magnifier" in most basic terms. You're just stacking pieces of glass, at various distances, to create magnification (or demagnification for wide angles) of the view in front of you.

Quote:
I am not trying to argue, I trust everybody's suggestions to give me the best results along with my own experimenting.
You're not.
And experimenting, while listening to good advice, is what will get best results.

Quote:
I like the idea of a shorter lower or wider aperture range lens & converter, this would save me lugging around a big bulky fragile lens. But I don't want to do it at a great expense to quality. But I am seriously considering it. I am especially nervous after my camera drop.
The 50mm lens is definitely not fragile. It's smaller and lightweight, too. It almost looks goofy when put on a huge D3s, but I use what works best. The 50mm/100mm combo is one that will work.

Is it best? For your situation, it might be -- it's hard to say "yes, get that" in some cases, and this is one. You could ask 10 people what they think, and get 10 answers. I'd rather not give an answer, and instead give suggestions on how you can make your own decisions, rather than simply listening to others. That's how you get actual wisdom.

What I can say is this: If you handed me a good DSLR (like the D7000), a 50mm lens, a 2x adapter, a bike, and said "go shoot something", I would most definitely come back with good photos at the end of the day. To some extent, that's how my career started. I might want a 12mm or a 200mm, spoiled as I've become with my bag of good glass, but ultimately I could work just fine with that 50/2x combo. There have been times where the only thing I took with me as a 50mm on a D1, D3 or D3s. That's it. Images were great. It's about you more than anything else. Get tools that are good enough, then use them. So far, your tools, or choices of potential tools, are all sounding fine.

You're not asking anything dumb, which is good.

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