February 2014 Night Owl Q&A

 

Tad

Missed your night owl question time slot … but this one did have me thinking before I fell asleep. Looking at the difference between the 50mm 1.8 and 50mm 1.4. I see the physical differences… but … images with the 1.4 appear softer, shoots, with 1.8 seem crisp with more color saturation. Is it easier to edit a softer image after shooting raw? or try to edit in color saturation later? Thanks

I hear this quite often. And the quality of each is dependent on the aperture. The f1.4 version will be soft at f1.4, as will the f1.8 version at f1.8. But, you’d be shooting those apertures for either extreme depth of field effects or you might be shooting in near dark conditions. As you set aperture closer to f4 and beyond on each, you will have more contrast and saturation. Many folks who write to me shoot them wide open all the time and are dissatisfied with the results. I’m a big believer in getting as close to the desired result in camera as possible. If you think one of these two lenses will serve you more favorably, go for it!

 

Richard

When taking landscape photos, do you use auto or manual focus and should one use Aperture or Manual mode? What do you have to consider to get the sharpest image?

I often use autofocus and override when necessary. For landscapes, I’m often in aperture priority, set to f8. For many lenses, this will be the sweet spot of sharpness.

 

Kai

I’ve got to the point where I want to get a more professional (read; expensive) zoom-lens like the Nikon 70-200 2.8, but it has always seemed way out of reach (even second-hand).

Last week I stumbled across an ad with someone selling their Nikon 80-200 2.8 AF-D ED, and pro-zoom suddenly seems within reach!

The 80-200 is a fantastic alternative to its more expensive 70-200 cousins. Another alternative is the newer 70-200 f4, but the f2.8 wide aperture on the 80-200 is more favorable. The 80-200 does lack VR, meaning it will not help you with stabilization. Honestly, though when shooting sports and other action at 1/500th and faster, you will not miss the VR. If you find the price for the 80-200 to be in your range, and the others above your range, my opinion is to go for the 80-200 and come home with some fantastic shots!

 

Lyn

That dreaded question. Do I need to buy a tripod for holiday photography, can I get away without one?

It depends… long exposures of holidays scenes/decorations at night? Yes, tripod. Holiday parties and candids… skip the tripod, be part of the action and festivities and have a great time.

 

Pablo

Hi, I have a Nikon D90 and traveling to South America soon. Only want to take 1 lens. Should it be a 18-105 or a 55-300? Thanks!

Personally, I would find the 55-300 limiting in this situation. You would be unable to get wide angles for scenic locations nor building interiors. Unless you would be photographing surfing and other outdoor sports the entire time, I would bring the 18-105.

 

Michael

Paper or plastic ? I know you have a D2x ( me too ) but as a next camera, D3 or D4 ?

Paper most of the time, unless I need plastic bags for some long term purpose. Either the D3 or D4 are a large step up from the D2x. Many of my viewers shoot with the D3s and aren’t even considering the jump to a D4.

 

Bengt

Hi i have a Canon 550D or in the states T2i and I’m thinking of upgrade to a Canon 7D is it worth it for an almost 5 year old camera? I know the sensor is the same as on my 550D. I know there is the new 70D but i really don’t like it. So would i regret buying a 7D? And if i go for a used one what to lock out for? Bengt from Sweden.

If it’s a camera that you would grab on your way out the door, it’s a good camera for you. The move would be for handling and usability. If you find those lacking in the 550D, then go for the 7D or another body that would give you what you’re looking for.

 

Owen

id you do any startrails on your recent trip? I bet the weather and location were perfect for it, be a shame if you didn’t. Softly lit rock formation foreground, startrails background.

Not yet, but you will see more from me in this regard.

 

Howard

Just in, TMZ reports that Snap will make a “Cameo” in the upcoming “Lego” movie. I believe it!

I’ll be in the movie theater watching it, but not in the movie itself 🙂 If I could be in the movie, though, I would be LEGO Catwoman.

 

Nathan

How are you liking Zenfolio and what membership are you using?

So far I’m loving it. More photos are going up in my gallery on Fridays… just a couple more each week. http://snapchick.zenfolio.com  I have the Premium Business account level.

 

Howard

Are you particular about the water you drink?

Have you encountered snakes on your runs?

Using synthetic oil in your car, is it worth the extra expense?

I do like good water. The tap water in northern Arizona suits me very well. I do see rattlesnakes sometimes out running in the desert. I saw about 15 using my headlamp on a night run once. Everyone has different opinions about synthetic oil. I’ve used it for years and have had good luck so far.

 

Richard

I have 2 Alien Bee’s and want to get a set of wireless triggers. Do really need 2 or would one trigger be enough so that the second light flashes as a slave?

The Facebook crowd provided some good guidance on this. Here’s my poor guidance – I trigger all of mine optically using a manual setting on my shoe flash (or sometimes the popup flash). So, in my case, the trigger is a short burst of light.

 

Scott

im going to memphis tn,to graceland to take a elvis tour sometime in the summer.i will be inside and outside takin pics.i only want to take one camera and one lens.i have a nikon d3000 with the 18-55 kit lens and i have a nikon d3100 with a nikon 35mm 1.8g lens.i dont know. what camera to take with me.

Personally, I would bring the D3100 and both lenses. The 18-55 would be great indoors and out, but in very low light situations, it would be time to switch to the 35mm f1.8G.

 

Matthew

your up late snap, still trying to get my inspiration to use all the expensive camera equipment i purchased

Me too! We need to come up with a project or a challenge to get us inspired!!!

 

Thanks everyone! Let’s do this again next week!!!

February 5, 2014 | 0

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