Nikon D40 settings

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  1. #1
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    Nikon D40 settings

    How do I take the best watch photo with my equipment?
    I have a Nikon D40 with 18-55mm lens. I have a tripod also but that's it.
    Can I get a nice photo with this, or would I need to buy another lens?

    What would be the optimal settings with above equipment for a good watch photo? What mode should I use? If I use the Aperture mode, could you recommend some values? What distance should I keep from the watch? Focal length? How much should the ISO setting be at? I have already played around some but not very happy with result.

    What would be a good lens for this kind of photography?
    Any help much appreciated.

  2. #2
    Member audphile1's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon D40 settings

    first decide how to compose a shot. have an idea of what camera angle you would like to use and what part of the watch you want to concentrate the attention on.

    you will need enough ambient light for the exposure. but do not have a direct light on the watch or you will have a glare.
    set camera on the tripod. use aperture mode, set to f8. no flash.
    set the lens on 50 or 55mm focal length. this is where you will have less distortion. play with tripod height, tilt, distance to watch, etc, until you get the composition you want.
    I recommend manually focusing on the watch.
    once all the preparations are done, set the camera to self timer and start it.

    practice. the film on D40 is free
    Last edited by audphile1; May 3rd, 2010 at 01:10.

  3. #3
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    Re: Nikon D40 settings

    Quote Originally Posted by audphile1 View Post
    first decide how to compose a shot. have an idea of what camera angle you would like to use and what part of the watch you want to concentrate the attention on.

    you will need enough ambient light for the exposure. but do not have a direct light on the watch or you will have a glare.
    set camera on the tripod. use aperture mode, set to f8. no flash.
    set the lens on 50 or 55mm focal length. this is where you will have less distortion. play with tripod height, tilt, distance to watch, etc, until you get the composition you want.
    I recommend manually focusing on the watch.
    once all the preparations are done, set the camera to self timer and start it.

    practice. the film on D40 is free
    Thank you very much! This is exactly what i wanted to know. I will try this tomorrow. As you say the film is free, but as a beginner I get so tired after a while, there are so many variables to try. But now it will be easier just knowing about f8 and the focal length. :thanks

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  5. #4
    Member tt1diver's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon D40 settings

    Quote Originally Posted by Seicitori View Post
    Thank you very much! This is exactly what i wanted to know. I will try this tomorrow. As you say the film is free, but as a beginner I get so tired after a while, there are so many variables to try. But now it will be easier just knowing about f8 and the focal length. :thanks
    I would recommend these two books for starters. It helped me a great deal. Have fun!

    Nikon D40/D40x Digital Field Guide by David D. Busch

    The Digital Photography Book by Scott Kelby

  6. #5
    Member audphile1's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon D40 settings

    Quote Originally Posted by Seicitori View Post
    Thank you very much! This is exactly what i wanted to know. I will try this tomorrow. As you say the film is free, but as a beginner I get so tired after a while, there are so many variables to try. But now it will be easier just knowing about f8 and the focal length. :thanks
    oh yeah...almost forgot...
    use lowest ISO. I beleive on Nikon with a standard setting for ISO you get ISO200. use that. don't go higher than 200 or you will have added level of noise.

    Also, visit the Image Gallery forum for some examples on camera angles, perspective, composition, post processing, etc.
    Last edited by audphile1; May 3rd, 2010 at 03:29.

  7. #6
    Member DragonDan's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon D40 settings

    Yeah, those are good settings to start with. If that camera offers mirror lock-up, do that as well. Anything to minimize any possible camera shake. Try some white paper/ foam core board to reduce shadows and keep the available lighting even.

    From there, you can experiment endlessly with settings, composure and lighting.

    For books, I highly recommend "Understanding Exposure" by Bryan Peterson.
    Pink Floyd. Dark side of the moon. Side one, track four.
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  8. #7
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    Re: Nikon D40 settings

    I would recommend these two books for starters. It helped me a great deal. Have fun!

    Nikon D40/D40x Digital Field Guide by David D. Busch

    The Digital Photography Book by Scott Kelby
    Thank you! I will look into that.


    oh yeah...almost forgot...
    use lowest ISO. I beleive on Nikon with a standard setting for ISO you get ISO200. use that. don't go higher than 200 or you will have added level of noise.

    Also, visit the Image Gallery forum for some examples on camera angles, perspective, composition, post processing, etc.
    Yes the lowest ISO on my camera is 200, but mine was set at auto-ISO.
    Camera angles, perspective, compositon, this sounds good, I look into that. But post processing I would rather skip.



    Yeah, those are good settings to start with. If that camera offers mirror lock-up, do that as well. Anything to minimize any possible camera shake. Try some white paper/ foam core board to reduce shadows and keep the available lighting even.

    From there, you can experiment endlessly with settings, composure and lighting.

    For books, I highly recommend "Understanding Exposure" by Bryan Peterson.
    This is very good stuff, thank you so much! Do I need to do the mirror lock-up even I use the self timer?


    How do I use the multiquote function?

  9. #8
    Member audphile1's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon D40 settings

    just concentrate on picture for now. forget post processing. compose, focus and shoot. no flash, manual focus on the part of the watch you want in focus(or the whole watch), f8, tripod, cable/wireless release or self timer, shoot. Enjoy!

  10. #9
    Member DragonDan's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon D40 settings

    Seicitori,
    Whether or not you use the self-timer or just use the shutter, the mirror (normally down so you can use the viewfinder) slaps up to expose the sensor, and then back down. If you use the mirror lock-up (dunno if your cam has a live view function), then the mirror is already up, so it will not introduce any more vibrations.

    Post processing is a must in my eyes. If you shoot .jpg's only, then you are allowing the camera (and by default, the engineers who designed the compression algorithms) to make decisions for you. All cameras shoot 'RAW', but most use in-camera processing and compression to write a .jpg to the card. With my Canon, I shoot RAW and process all the images myself. I make the decisions on white balance, CA adjustments, sharpening, hue/ contrast, exposure touch-ups and so on. There is far more lee-way in post processing with a RAW image than with a .jpg. Of course, I do tend to be a bit of a control-freak when it comes to photography!
    Pink Floyd. Dark side of the moon. Side one, track four.
    Gallet Facebook page:
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/GalletChronographs/

  11. #10
    Member audphile1's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon D40 settings

    Quote Originally Posted by DragonDan View Post
    Seicitori,
    Whether or not you use the self-timer or just use the shutter, the mirror (normally down so you can use the viewfinder) slaps up to expose the sensor, and then back down. If you use the mirror lock-up (dunno if your cam has a live view function), then the mirror is already up, so it will not introduce any more vibrations.

    Post processing is a must in my eyes. If you shoot .jpg's only, then you are allowing the camera (and by default, the engineers who designed the compression algorithms) to make decisions for you. All cameras shoot 'RAW', but most use in-camera processing and compression to write a .jpg to the card. With my Canon, I shoot RAW and process all the images myself. I make the decisions on white balance, CA adjustments, sharpening, hue/ contrast, exposure touch-ups and so on. There is far more lee-way in post processing with a RAW image than with a .jpg. Of course, I do tend to be a bit of a control-freak when it comes to photography!
    I don't think the D40 has a mirror lockup.

    Good point on shooting raw, especially with ambient light you will most likely need to fine tune the color temperature in post processing.

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