Camera advice...

2 comments · save · last comment by Nathaniel T. 6 years ago

Toni Caroline

Toni C.

United Kingdom

84 posts


I have a Nikon D40 with an 18-55mm lens and I really can't get the hang of it. All I really need it for is taking outfit photos for my blog but it just isn't taking good, professional looking images. I tend to shoot on aperture priority and zoom about half way and the photos don't come out looking very sharp.

Is it the camera or the lens?

Should I invest in a new camera? If so which would you recommend for simple street style photography? Or should I just buy myself a new lens and if so which one?

Thank you to anyone who helps! I'm just about ready to throw this camera out of the window!

over 6 years ago

Lucy D

Lucy D.

United Kingdom

574 posts

Don't invest in a new camera. I have the same one (and mostly use the kit lens it came with as well) and after some trial and error at the beginning, I can now take some quite professional looking photos. As the saying goes, a good craftsman never blames his tools ;-)

Which settings you use on your camera will completely depend on what sort of feel you want to achieve with your photos. I like my photos to be bright and airy (here's one I took on holiday of the lovely boyfriend :-p )
so I'll normally shoot on a high ISO (800 usually) and a high aperture (smaller f stop number which lets the camera open its "eye" big and capture lots of light) and adjust the shutter speed accordingly if photos are coming out too dark or too bright. So you would be operating the camera in the M mode which makes everything completely manual. It's a bit daunting operating the camera in complete manual mode at first but you'll soon get comfortable with it. It also really pays to research what all the different terms are because it'll make understanding your camera and not being afraid of it, a lot easier.

Also, and I know this sounds silly, but make sure you have the lens set to auto focus. I spent weeks getting really frustrated with my camera when I first got it (and not reading the instructions properly) because my photos would always come out blurry. It's a little switch normally on the lens itself. Then when you take a photo half press the shutter to allow the lens to focus, and then fully press it to capture the photo.

A bit of light editing never hurts either. I normally play around with the curves in GIMP until I'm happy with the photo and maybe throw in a light ball if it's looking a bit dull.

0 · January 31, 2012

Nathaniel Tan

Nathaniel T.


404 posts

It may probably be the lens. You may find it easier on auto focus, but all lenses have a minimum focus point, also known as the hyperfocal point, stated in scheimpflug's principle. Perhaps a tilt shift lens would do you some justice, as the distance from the centre of the lens to the point of focus pivot point is equal to the focal length over the image plane.

0 · March 28, 2012


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