Monday, April 6, 2009

What is that camera!?!

I use a Nikon D40 these days. Last year about this time, I had a point and shoot Kodak Easyshare C633. That camera had a little run-in with me, Branch, a snowmobile, a big slope, and the need for Pops and my ornery facebooking brother-in-law to get us out of our predicament. That is a long story that I don't want to relive, but the point is that the LCD screen broke and I had the need for a new camera. I had been wanting a DSLR when I got my point and shoot but it didn't work out then.  So, after the little guy broke, I waited 2 1/2 months for Mother's Day and was so excited that Pops and the Treekids were wanting me to have my camera back!!  So, I decided upon the Nikon D40 after talking with a nice gentleman at a camera store. It is a great camera for a beginner and amateur. Well, that is me!!  So, I have been messing around with it for nearly a year now and I love it. 

At Christmas time, I purchased (with some exciting Christmas Monies!!!) my zoom lens. It is a Nikkon Nikkor Lens. Its letters and numbers are:  AF-S DX VR Zoom - Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6G IF-ED. I do NOT claim to understand what ALL of that means, but I will share what I think! The AF means it has AutoFocus capabilities. The DX means it is for a digital SLR (single lens reflex) camera. VR means that it has vibration reduction, so that all the hand shaking on holding a heavier lens is reduced some. Zoom- Nikkor 55-200mm means that it is a zoom lens!! It has a focal lens from 55 (the longest zoom on the kit lens) to 200 mm (a nice amount of zoom for taking pictures of kids from the other side of the lawn). The aperture is determined by those f-stops... f/4-5.6. Aperture is a complicated bit of information that basically determines how much light is being let into the camera lens. The rest of the letters? No clue. I love this lens, though!! I often have camera and lens envy, though, when I see a reporter for a local newspaper. Ooooo... THOSE are some zoom lenses!!

Anyway, that is the skinny on what I work with when I take pictures. It is a pretty basic beginner/amateur camera. It is pricey, but not so pricey that you couldn't save for a bit and get yourself one, too! Now, I thought I would show you something that would demonstrate a bit about why I love that lens so much!

Here is the comparison of the picture that I actually took at the safari the other day and the cropped image! I posted the cropped image. I wanted to show the eagle not the house! So, because the Nikon D 40 has a fairly decent chip size I can crop and it doesn't get so fuzzy. (Ok, that is a technicality that I don't know if I have right.  The guy at the store said something about the chip that will turn the image into all the pixels and how it has a nice one in the D40... so, that contributes to being able to either take the picture as it is and blow it up to a nice big wall sized photo OR crop it down to a tiny portion of the picture and just show that online... either way, it works.)

On the left is the Straight Out Of Camera Shot. The specs for this photo (if you care and want to know all of this technical jibberish) are:
shutter speed 1/250, aperture f/5.6, focal length 200mm, ISO 200
On the right, is the cropped picture of the same photo to its left. You can see that the fuzziness of the grasses is more pronounced, since it wasn't focusing on the grass, but instead the eagle. If you look closely at the left, you can see that the grasses on that photo are also fuzzy.

We had gone to the safari last year in March and I took a similar photograph with that old Kodak. I scrounged around and found it. The specs for this photo are:
shutter speed 1/1637, aperture f/4.8, focal length 18mm, ISO 140

I cannot crop out the eagle without losing the size of the photo! I have done all things equal. I end up with a tiny bit of a stamp of the photo. Kind of a whole different looking result, don't you think?!?!

Here are two more examples from our last trip to the safari.

I really wanted to be able to take a picture that I could crop and get that tongue! So, I ignored the rest of the body of the giraffe when I was framing the shot. If I centered the head and tongue, I would have more space to work with when I was cropping to get that tongue. I was amazed by the giraffe tongue. That flopping tongue was far more interesting to me, this time, than the length of his neck and the height of the entire beast!!
Giraffe: shutter 1/250, aperture f/5.6, focal length 200mm, ISO 200

Branch was liking this bear with his "huny pot" and I wanted to get a nice shot of him. I zoomed in as far as my lens would allow and new I would have to crop later. So, I just worked with what I had and took my "scissors" to the picture later!
Bear: shutter 1/400, aperture f/7.1, focal length 200mm, ISO 200

Any thoughts or comments? I am learning... tell me what you think! Also, please tell Pops to buy me the super-duper zoom and the macro lens, too!!!


  1. so, you have some of it right. I would caution your readers on the D40 about its auto-focus capabilities. the camera does not have one. you MUST buy a lens that has autofocus in order to use autofocus (that is why I went with a higher model, i had an old lens from my film SLR and it wasnt autofocus). not too much of a biggie but the lenses do tend to be more expensive.

    as for blowing up the picture, that is due to the megapixel #. the higher the megapixel # of a camera, the larger you can make the photo without it pixelating too much. i did read an article once saying that too high of a megapixel # (which means a more expensive camera) isnt really worth it since most people do not enlarge their pictures to a size that would make the greater megapixel # noticeable.

    as for the lens, the larger the number the more it zooms (ie a 300 zooms further than a 200) and the lower the number the closer you can be to an object but it still focus (the 55).

    in case you dont know, ISO helps with light. if you are indoors you can use a higher ISO to increase the light sensitivity of the camera. unfortunately it also gets a lot of noise so it can make your pic look more pixelated/grainy.

    i really need a better lens!!
    youre doing a great job with your photos!

  2. whoopsie, i meant to say (first line)
    you have some of it right, and i have no idea what i am talking about ;)

  3. Regina is such a know-it-all! ;)

    heheheheheheeee =)

    Love your pictures!


Thanks for jumping in and leaving your thoughts!!

I sure like to know who enjoys playing around the treehouse!