Just got back to the reflex world - Nikon D3500
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Thread: Just got back to the reflex world - Nikon D3500

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  1. #1
    Member bobo90's Avatar
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    Just got back to the reflex world - Nikon D3500

    Hey all, just bought a new reflex after some years I donít use one
    Itís a Nikon D3500 with its original 18-55 objective, pretty much entry level but it will be fine for the moment
    Anyone uses the same camera? Anything I should be aware of or any preset you recommend?
    Canít wait to shoot some nice watch pics finally



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  2. #2
    Member Slm643's Avatar
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    Re: Just got back to the reflex world - Nikon D3500

    I too just got back into the interchangeable lens format after 10 or 15 years of "advanced point & shoot" cameras.
    I've been watching tutorials on YouTube for about a week or so.. I'm just waiting for the current "monsoon season" to subside here in Michigan! I also just got a 40mm 2.8 macro lens. I can't wait start practicing..

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  3. #3
    Member Sherpat's Avatar
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    Re: Just got back to the reflex world - Nikon D3500

    Hi bobo90 -

    Conrats on the new Nikon! The 3xxx series is known as an excellent entry level DSLR. I recently got back into digital photography myself and purchased a D3300, then just last week got a D5500 (I wanted the swivelling back screen). I think you're gonna be very happy with yours!

    Do yourself a favor. Watch this video from Tony Northrup detailing all the functions of your camera. I watched his D3300 video when I first got mine, and it saved me a lot of time rather than trying to learn from the manual. (This review is for a D3400, but the functions are EXACTLY the same as your D3500. The only difference is that Nikon gave the D3500 slightly less flash power so they could increase the battery life. It's also very slightly smaller and lighter. But otherwise, all the functions and buttons and specs are exactly alike.):


    And if you don't like that one, just type "D3500 tutorial" into search and you'll have your pick of tons of others.

    If you want to shoot nice watch pics it would definitely be to your advantage to get a macro lens (Nikon calls theirs "Micro" for some reason). I have the same lens as Slm643 does, in the post above - the Nikon 40mm Micro f/2.8 - and I love it. It costs around $300 new, but I got mine used for $100 from a reputable camera shop. Look around when it comes to lenses, there are usually lots to choose from. (If you have a lot of money to spend, the Nikon micro 105mm f/2.8 is fantastically popular, and more versative than the 40mm. I can't afford it, though.)

    If you want to know about settings for watch photograpy, I'll just give you a quick rundown of what I do. There are many, many other photographers here who are much better than me, though, so if anyone else chimes in with something different definitely take their word over mine. But here's what I do:

    1. Realize that a watch face is basically a mirror. If you take a picture of a mirror, you will see what the mirror is reflecting - not the mirror itself. So if your camera is pointing at an angle to the watch face, see what is being reflected in the crystal. That will show up in your photo if you're not careful. Put a white (or neutral colored) card next to the watch so THAT'S what's being reflected back. It'll look like just a blank in your photo, so the only thing you will see is the dial. If you are taking the shot head-on (no angle), put a light on the left and right of the face so each reflection cancels out. Here are two examples, using my very reflective Seiko SARB065. One is at an agle, using a white card on the right to block reflections, and the other is straight on with a light on each side point at each other to cancel shadows and reflections (this is the D3300 with that 40mm macro lens):

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    2. In macro shots where I want greater depth of field, I've found I like using "Shutter Priority" mode. By using a much longer shutter speed I can drop the aperture down to f/16 and beyond, and that will put the entire watch in focus. A lot of watch macro shots you see here and elsewhere show a very tiny portion of the picture in focus, with everything around it blurred into bokeh. It's a nice effect, but it you want to get more of the watch sharply defined, you have to use a longer depth of field. And like I say, I've found the best way personally is to go long shutter speeds with tons of light so I can use a tiny aperture. Here's what you need if you want to do the same:

    1. A tripod. You can't hand-hold long shutter speeds, so make sure your camera is attached to something. I have two tripods, a table model and a floor standing one.

    2. A remote shutter release. You don't want to push the button on the camera, because that will cause shake. Don't even do it in Shutter Delay mode because you might slightly misalign the camera, and when shooting macro even a half a millimeter push can ruin your shot.

    3. You need lots of light. I have a small light tent with two spotlights, and also a ring light that mounts to the front of my lens. (The ring light is adjustable. You can make it not only brighter or dimmer, but also turn on only one side of it to create a shadow effect.)

    The good thing is, you can do all this pretty cheaply. I paid 20 dollars for my small tripod, 8 dollars for the shutter release, 40 dollars for my light tent, and 40 dollars for my lens mounted ring light.

    The whole setup looks like this:

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    As far as some other general settings I use on my D3300: I turned off the "Focus Beep", and went to "Back Button Focus". Back button focus is something I've found to be a real advantage, and much easier to use than focusing by pressing the shutter button down halfway. Check any number of videos that explain what it is if you're not sure. Setting it up on the Nikon only takes a second, and you'll be glad you did.

    Finally, I will just add that I was very surprised to learn why all my whites looked grey when I shot pictures in snowy conditions when I first got the camera (we get a lot of snow where I live). Coming from a film background, it really confused me why I couldn't get a "white" white, even after white balancing and checking for correct exposure. Then I saw that my blacks were not coming out black in Low Key shots. It turns out it's for the same reason: DSLR sensors think approx 18% of every picture should be neutral grey, and compensates accordingly. You have to use manual exposure compensation to adjust for that, if you're not in full Manual mode. This is important if you take a watch picture on a pure white or pure black background.

    Watch this video to see what I mean. It's not long, but it made a huge difference to me. It might be relavant to you also:




    I hope this helps! If you have any other questions about that D3500, I'm a relative newbie myself but I'll do my best to answer you.
    Last edited by Sherpat; 1 Week Ago at 15:40.
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    Fiat vox!

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  5. #4
    Member bobo90's Avatar
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    Re: Just got back to the reflex world - Nikon D3500

    Wow thank you for the answer! I watched a couple videos from this guy I like them
    Thank you for the suggestions I will do some more studies and then start practicing!
    Ps your watch pictures are great


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  6. #5
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    Re: Just got back to the reflex world - Nikon D3500

    Quote Originally Posted by bobo90 View Post
    Wow thank you for the answer! I watched a couple videos from this guy I like them
    Thank you for the suggestions I will do some more studies and then start practicing!
    Ps your watch pictures are great


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    Thanks! I hope your practicing goes well - post pictures as you go along!

    :)
    Fiat vox!

  7. #6
    Member SeikoAutomatic_01's Avatar
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    Re: Just got back to the reflex world - Nikon D3500

    Nice camera. l've got 2 Nikon DSLRs, the D7100 and an old D40. You can get a close up lens that mounts to the front of your lens and get some good close up watch photos. l's recommend skipping the cheap $10 close up lenses and get the Canon 250d(available new) or an old Nikon 4t(only available used and hard to find). l have the Nikon 4t and it's awesome. Do you have the 18-55mm AF-P lens? lf so, l think the front filter thread is 55mm. The Nikon 4t is 52mm, so you would need a 55-52mm step down adapter ring. Those can be picked up for less than 10usd. Here are links to the Canon 250d in 52mm and step down ring.

    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...e_up_Lens.html

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/55mm-52mm-S...oAAOSw3utY66LJ

  8. #7
    Member yankeexpress's Avatar
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    Re: Just got back to the reflex world - Nikon D3500

    Just got a DSLR, a Canon 5D-III with 5 lenses, one of which is image stabilized, a gift from a person who completely changed systems to another brand and wanted this beast to get some good use.







    It came with 4 books to teach me how to use it, extra batteries, SD cards and several discs of software, plus a flash unit and a great bag to hold it all.
    Today would be a good day to delete your Facebook account:

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  9. #8
    Member Sherpat's Avatar
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    Re: Just got back to the reflex world - Nikon D3500

    Quote Originally Posted by yankeexpress View Post
    Just got a DSLR, a Canon 5D-III with 5 lenses, one of which is image stabilized, a gift from a person who completely changed systems to another brand and wanted this beast to get some good use
    Fantastic! That's some friend you got - and some camera now, too. Have fun learning about what all it can do, and I'm looking forward to seeing some of your shots with it!
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    Fiat vox!

  10. #9
    Member bobo90's Avatar
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    Re: Just got back to the reflex world - Nikon D3500

    Quote Originally Posted by yankeexpress View Post
    Just got a DSLR, a Canon 5D-III with 5 lenses, one of which is image stabilized, a gift from a person who completely changed systems to another brand and wanted this beast to get some good use.







    It came with 4 books to teach me how to use it, extra batteries, SD cards and several discs of software, plus a flash unit and a great bag to hold it all.
    Amazing, that looks like a terrific camera!


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  11. #10
    Member yankeexpress's Avatar
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    Re: Just got back to the reflex world - Nikon D3500

    Quote Originally Posted by bobo90 View Post
    Amazing, that looks like a terrific camera!
    Thanks! Today a new tripod and CF card reader arrived today from Amazon. Fortunately the Canon also uses SD cards, which my MacBook can read directly, so RAW files can go directly to a huge external drive and Dropbox.

    Been reading the several books about the 5D-III that were gifted with the camera and lenses, so the learning curve is flattened somewhat.

    Hiked up a local mountain that has a firetower on top to get above the treeline and shot some frames using it in Program mode.

    As for shooting watches, I will be needing to set up a lightbox, as well as a place on my property to shoot outdoors in good sunlight.
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