9/21/2009

Nikon D90 Price Trends

Nikon D90 first available since August 2008, so the price is about 10% drop up to this month. Now you can get price (body only) less than $1,000 and most of the store usually provide free shipping. Some say that the price will slightly drop again during new year. If the price is lower than $800, then I will grasp another one for backup.



Time Period: 9/2008 through 7/2009 
Each tick mark represents one week(source pricescan.com)
Red = High PriceBlue = Average PriceGreen = Low Price


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Exposure Tips - Metering For White




Metering for white

White subjects are a special case, and the cause of the most severe underexposure problems. They’re a special case because the world is full of white objects and backgrounds, and because you might be surprised at just how bright they are. This still life demonstrates this very well. Remember, we want objects to appear in photos as they do in real life, and not reduced to the 18% grey assumed by camera meters. Our first attempt, shot using the camera’s default exposure reading, was a disaster. Indeed, the overall tones are very similar to those of the default black elephant shot, demonstrating how the camera attempts to reduce all tones to the same value. In order to reproduce the whiteness of our subject, we had to increase the exposure value by 2 EV. You’ll have to do the same with snow scenes, for example, or close-ups of wedding dresses.

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9/19/2009

Master Light Tips - D90 CLUB Training



This is tips I got from Digital Camera Magazine - Master Light.


Once you start getting a feel for light, you’ll search out the times of day where the quality of light is generally at its best – at the start and end of the day during the ‘golden hours’. The sun’s rays have to pass through more of the atmosphere during sunrise and sunset. This fi lters out more of the wavelengths at the blue end of the colour spectrum, leaving us to see wavelengths at the warmer end. This is why the light has a ‘colder’ quality at midday, when the sun is directly overhead and passing through a much thinner part of the atmosphere. A sunset tends to produce a richer, warmer image than a sunrise because atmospheric pollution’s built up throughout the day, scattering the light still further. Sunsets and sunrises are probably the most cliched photographic subjects known to man – but don’t resist capturing a truly breathtaking one when the moment presents itself.




Get there early
Many photographers prefer shooting at dawn – that way they’re not fi ghting against falling light levels as they would be at the end of the day. Lakes and rivers also tend to be more still at this time of the day – perfect for capturing refl ections. Early morning light can have more of a sharper, clearer quality than at sunset – and shadows tend to creep on you rather fast at the end of the day. For those of us holding down a day job, it’s unlikely that we can escape work commitments to catch the sunset on a regular basis – but getting up early and getting out before the sun rises can be an option. You need to make sure you’re in position and
ready to start shooting before the sun actually clips the horizon though, as the ‘magic’ light only lasts for a few minutes. Don’t include the sun’s bright orb in your frame when you’re metering – it’s likely to cause severe underexposure in your shot. Instead, take a spot meter reading from a bright area of sky, lock the reading in and recompose with the sun back in the frame. Bracket exposures at +/- 0.5EV around this initial exposure.



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9/18/2009

7 Tips For Capturing Perfect Digital Photo




Tips#1  Understand Your Camera
Always read the instruction manual.
Tips#2  Controlling The Flash
Learn To Use Flash, build-in flash might not be good for serious photography.
Tips#3 Using Marco Mode
It is the ideal setup for closeup picture
Tips#4  Hold The Camera Level

Tips#5  Use Tripod
It is helpful when taking photos in low-light
Tips#6  Know The ISO Settings
Tips#7  Have Enough Memory Cards





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9/12/2009

D90 My Style Setup



My preferred Nikon D90 parameters setup for landscape picture.
I always use it when the light is in good condition. The picture is more outstanding compare to the default setup. That's my thought.


- Active D-lighting = Off
- Sharp 1,2
- Contrast
-1
- Brightness
-1
- Sat
+1, +2
- Hue
0



What's about you? How do you setup your D90?
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4 Tips for Better HDR Photos



One look at flickr or SmugMug and it’s easy to see HDR photos are all the rage.
HDR, an acronym for High Dynamic Range, is a method of processing digital photographs. Three or more digital images are combined to create a composite with a wider range of tones and detail. One image is neutral, one over-exposed, and one under-exposed. The over-exposed image adds details and improved tones in the shadow areas, the under-exposed image doing the same to the highlight areas.
Combining the images is only half the battle. Using software, the combined image must be tone mapped, reducing the contrast and improving it aesthetically and technically for printing. Tone mapping could be considered a black art – getting the level perfect requires patience (and voodoo).
Playing with HDR can be a lot of fun and open up some new visual possibilities for your photographs. It’s easy to get started, if you have a DSLR all you need is HDR software. Photomatix Pro by HDRsoft is the leading application for combining and tone mapping HDR images.
Before you can start processing the images you need to take them. Here are the tips on taking HDR photos:
  • Use a tripod and remote shutter release. The three or more photos you are taking need to be identical as they will be combined. A tripod will allow you to lock your camera in position, and a remote shutter release will cut down possible vibrations or minute changes encountered when using the shutter release button on the camera.
  • Use the lowest ISO setting on your camera.  The images will have less digital noise and be noticeably sharper than high ISO images. Don’t shoot you images at ISO 800. Set your camera at ISO 100 or ISO 200.
  • Go manual. Some photographers advise using the auto-bracketing setting on your camera. Adjusting this setting to -2 and +2 EV will provide you with the three image needed for HDR work. Beware. Depending on how your camera accomplishes this you may be changing the depth of field in the images. For best results shoot in manual mode, and change the shutter speed to over and under-expose the images, not the aperture. If auto-bracketing is available in your camera’s Aperture Priority mode, that can be used instead of manual mode.
  • Shoot in RAW. Don’t shoot JPGs. RAW images, digital negatives, record more data than JPGs. Your final HDR results will be better with RAW files than JPGs that have been processed and compressed by your camera.
After the images are captured it’s time to experiment. Be warned: Processing HDR images can take hours – as you will get deeply involved trying to create the perfect image. Have fun.
resource: journal.phottix.com/category/photography-tips
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5 Easy Tips for Better Photographs


We all want to take better photos. There are some simple things you can do to improve your results. Give these 5 Tips for better photographs a try. A Digital SLR or a point and shoot, these tips can be used by any photographer.
riding the rails collecting rocks
Go high or go low. Don't shoot from the same height.

1. Go high or go low

Change your vantage point.  A series of photographs all shot from shoulder-level are  boring. If you’re shooting children or the family dog get down on their level. If shooting portraits try standing on a chair. Look for a different angle than “dead-on.”

2. Use your flash outdoors

You may think shooting outside means you don’t need to use your flash. Wrong. Using fill flash outside can help reduce shadows and balance difficult lighting conditions. On overcast days flash can help make the colors in your photos “pop” A Phottix Flash Diffuser is a great addition to your gear.
HBWE...Everybody...:O))
Get as close as you can.

3. Get close. Then get closer

Don’t depend on your camera or lens’ zoom capabilities. Zoom with your legs. Get as close as you can to your subject, then get closer. Fill your viewfinder with the subject before taking the photo. Your images will be more detailed and distracting backgrounds will be eliminated.

4. Become one with the light

Photography is all about light. Learn to read it. Before you press the shutter release take a good look at what’s in your viewfinder. Are there distracting shadows? Is something too bright? Try to avoid shooting outside at midday, the light is too harsh. Schedule your shoots for early morning or late afternoon/early evening when sunlight adds lovely tones to your images.

5. Use the Rule of Thirds

Simply: Don’t shoot every photo with the subject dead center. Try to position the subject you are photographing off-center, along the thirds (like a tic-tac-to board). Add some drama to your photos with more foreground or background.
source: "journal.phottix.com/category/photography-tips"
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9/10/2009

Select The Right Filters For Nikon D90


Nikon manufacturers a wide variety of filters for film and digital SLRs.
Achieving accurate White Balance with filters: ND, Circular Polarizer, UV filters have no color bias and will not affect the white balance metering and can be used in Auto White Balance mode (AWB). Color correction filters and graduated filters will affect the white balance setting, using AWB with these filters will result in the camera attempting to correct for the color of the filter.
Metering with filters: Nikon recommends the use of center-weighted metering when using a filter with an exposure factor greater than 1x. For more details, see the manual provided with the filter:
Filters for Color and B&W Photography
Available Circular Polarizing Filters
Filter size
Product #
52mm
2233
58mm
2236
62mm
2252
67mm
2255
72mm
2257
77mm
2260
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Circular Polarizing Filters: By reducing the light reflected from non-metallic surfaces, polarizing filters allow direct shooting through glass windows and reduce the glare from water surfaces and sunlit trees and grass. They are the only filters that darken the sky in color photography without affecting color balances. Nikon circular polarizing filters come in a rotating mount to enable different angles for different degrees of polarization, and effects may be seen in the viewfinder as the filter is rotated. Nikon DSLRs cannot be used with linear polarizing filters due to its affect on AF and exposure metering. Circular and linear polarizing filters do not interfere with the autofocus or auto exposure operation of the Nikon AF SLRs. They may, however, reduce the overall amount of light entering the lens just enough to reduce autofocus function on some slower lenses.
Available Soft focus filters
Filter size
Product #
52mm
4296
62mm
4927
67mm
4928
72mm
4929
77mm
4930
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Nikon NEW Soft Focus Filters: These filters reduce contrast and create a moderate softness and beautiful, blurred contours while amintaining a sharp rendition of the core subject. As the resulting pictures have a natural feel to them, the filters can be widely used for all types of subjects. NOTE: The effects of the filters vary depending on lighting conditions and lens focal lengths. Therefore, shooting numerous test shots is recommended.
Available UV filter
Filter Size
Product #
39mm (L37c)
2369
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Ultraviolet L3&C, L39 Skylight L1BC: While invisible to the naked eye, ultraviolet light can reduce contrast and detail. The colorless UV filters not only produce sharper, non-hazy B&W prints, they correct the blue or violet tints that may occur with color film. The L27C is multilayer coated to further reduce reflection and the L39 is good for B&W prints of mountain or beach scenes. Both may be used as lens protectors. The multilayer coated Skylight L1BC also cuts UV light and is often left on the lens to protect it. The Skylight L1BC may affect color balance due to its slight pink color.
Filters for B&W Photography ( These filters are no longer available from Nikon.)
Yellow Y44, Y48, Y52: Yellow filters absorb both the blue and ultraviolet light, so that skies appear darker in a B&W print. They are particularly useful for heightening contrast. Mild filter Y44 and medium filter Y48 are best suited for portraits and snap shots. Y52 offers the strongest effects and is commonly used for landscape photography.
Orange O56, Red R60: The O56 and R60 offer greater contrast between sky and subjects than Y-series filters. The 056 subtracts green as well as blue and ultraviolet. The R60 subtracts all colors of the spectrum except red and is often used with infrared film for special effects.
Green X0, X1: Green filters subtract red and blue and let through green and yellow. Although both XO and X1 absorb the same amount of blue, the XO absorbs less red than the X1, so its effect is milder. The XO is used for general-purpose shooting, while the X1 is most effective for portraits.
Filters for Color Photography ( These filters are no longer available from Nikon.)
Amber A2, A12: Because they subtract blue, amber filters correct the bluish colorations that sometimes affects daylight film. The mild A2 filter warms scenes shot on cloudy days or in the shade. The deeper colored A12 is used with tungsten film for outdoor shooting in fair weather.
Blue B2, B8, B12: Blue filters subtract red and thus cool down colorations. B2 is a mild filter used with daylight film to remove the reddish tinge from sunrise and sunset shots. The medium-blue B8 corrects color when clear flashbulbs are used with daylight film. B12 is a color conversion filter which naturalizes the red cast produced by photofloods when shooting indoors with daylight film.
Slip-in Circular Polarizing Filters: Designed for use in combination with telephoto lenses equipped with a slip-in filter holder, these filters reduce flare from non-metallic surfaces such as glass and water. Simply turn the rotating ring on the holder to find the most effective position. The filters do not affect autofocus or auto exposure features. They may, however, reduce the overall amount of light entering the lens just enough to reduce autofocus function on some slower lenses.
Image
Neutral Color NC Filters: Available in attachment sizes 39mm, 46mm, 52mm, 62mm, 72mm and 77mm, these neutral-color filters serve as lens protectors. They do not affect color balance. In addition, multilayer coating prevents light reflection inside the glass, thus improving color rendition.
Available Neutral Color filters
Filter size
Product #
52mm
2479
58mm
2483
62mm
2480
67mm
2288
72mm
2481
77mm
2482
Find a local dealer
Graduated Filters: Nikon DSLRs have a DX sensor which is smaller than the 35mm film area. If using graduated filters intended for 35mm film cameras such as Cokin or Lee filter systems, the area of graduation will cover more area with the DSLR as compared to the 35mm film. When using a DSLR the central 2/3 of the filter area will be used. This results in the filter producing an image with less saturated color graduation than a 35mm film camera image.
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D90 Training - What Is Vignetting?


What is vignetting?

All lenses project a circular image of the subject called the "circle of illumination". A camera (film or digital) crops a portion out of the center of the circle with it's image sensor or film. Since the sensor is rectangular it only actually photographs the middle part of the projected image circle.
Some lenses, notably circular image fish-eye lenses, produce a circle which completely fits into a 24x36 (approximate) capture area while other lenses have a very wide circle and can allow image tilt or shift in the frame with no light loss.
Vignette Example
Notice how the corners in this shot are slightly darker than the subjects at the center even
though the sky would have been a constant tone. Slight light falloff in the lens causes vignetting.
Due to the physical properties of light passing through lenses it is impossible to get the same amount of light to the edges of the circle as the center ( the light going to the edges has to travel further, thus falls off more).This light fall off creates a very slight reduction of exposure on the corners of an image. This darkening in the corners is called vignetting.
Because light falls off (decreases) with the square of the distance it travels, light that travels farthest (from the lens to the edge of the circle versus from the lens to the center of the frame) will always be slightly reduced. All lenses exhibit some light fall off towards the edges but wide angle lenses as well as some telephoto zoom lenses are most prone due to their optical design. Further, a lens will generally show the most vignetting at it's widest aperture.
With smaller format cameras (such as DX format D-SLR's) the light fall off is less noticeable because only the center of the circle of illumination is used. With larger format cameras (like 35mm film or FX format camera's) more of the circle is used and there will be more difference between the center of the frame and the edges.

vignetting illustration
The illustration above simulates the circle of illumination of a lens. The rectangles
approximate the capture areas of various formats. Light falloff towards the edges
can be clearly seen. In some situations the corners of the image may be almost black. This is normal.
A second type of vignetting is called Mechanical Vignetting. This is simply vignetting caused by something blocking the light path such as a filters with too thick a mount or stacking several filters together. Also, using the wrong lens hood on a lens can cause mechanical vignetting.

Reducing Vignetting

In most shooting conditions (proper exposure, normal subjects, etc.) light falloff will be minimal. However, at some f/stops, focal lengths and with some lenses it is normal to have more light falloff. If you have vignetting with a particular shot change the lens focal length or aperture (lenses shot "wide open" will have the most vignetting, so stopping down a stop or two can help) until the vignetting is minimized. While vignetting may be easy to see and reproduce in a test situation in real world shooting it is generally invisible.
For those conditions where vignetting is obvious in a photo, View NX will automatically compensate for vignetting and Capture NX2 includes a Vignette Control slider feature to further reduce the visible effect without noticeably changing the overall image.
ImageImage
Before Vignette Control
After Vignette Control
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How To Choose Remote For Your Nikon





Nikon D-SLR cameras can be fired remotely by using one of several Nikon products. Depending on the distance you need to be from the camera you can choose from a wired or wireless remote shutter release.
The D3, D2-series, D1-series, D700, D300, D200 and D100 (with MB-D100) are equipped with a standard Nikon 10-pin terminal for remote control and automatic photography. Supported items listed below include the : MC-22, MC-30, MC-36, MC-21, MC-23, MC-25, MC-35, and ML-3.
Wired and Wireless Releases and cords which can be used with any camera with a 10-pin remote terminal.
Wired Releases
LengthFunction
MC-22 Remote Cord
3.3 ft.Blue, yellow and black terminals used to connect to other triggering devices.Used with special purpose shutter trigger devices allowing banana plug connections.
MC-20 Remote Cord
2.6 ft.Remote firing only; Used to reduce camera shake. Equipped with time-exposure and timer features, emitting a beep once a second while the shutter is open. Can allow for long exposures of up to 9 hours 59 minutes and 59 seconds.
MC-30 Remote Cord
2.6 ft.Remote firing only; Used to reduce camera shake or to keep shutter open during timed exposures.
MC-36 Remote Cord
2.8 ft.Replaces the MC-20 with improved features. Provides Electric Sound Speaker, Shutter Release Active Lamp, Interval Timer, Long Exposure (it can use Interval Timer and Long Exposure simultaneously), Self Timer, TIME Exposure and a Release Hold Mechanism.
MC-21 Extension Cord
9.8 ft.Can be connected to MC-series 20, 22, 23, 25, 30 or 36.
MC-23 Connecting Cord
1.4 ft.Connects two cameras for simultaneous or synchronized shutter release.
MC-25 Adapter Cord
0.7 ft.Ten-pin to two-pin adapter. Allows camera to be used with MW-2 radio control set, MT-2 intervalometer and ML-2 modulite control set.
MC-35 GPS Adapter Cord
1.2 ft.GPS Cable enables the D2X, D2Hs and D200 to be connected with NMEA-0183 protocol-compatible GPS (Global Positioning System) models like GARMIN and MAGELLAN. GPS position information from satellites and time signals synchronous to UTC are recorded within the image data file.
AR-3 Cable Release
.3m
In addition to these electronic products a standard plunger-type cable release can be fitted to the shutter release button on the D100; in this case the MB-D100 would not be required.
This item is essential for slow shutter speeds, this cable release ensure one-hand, vibration-free shutter release operation.
Older cameras such as the Nikon F and F2 will require the Nikon AR-8 adaptor or other third party Leica bell adaptors.
Wireless Remotes
Range
Function
ML-2 Modulite Remote Control Set
328 ft.Infrared remote control. Requires MC-25 adapter
ML-3 Modulite Remote Control Set
26 ft.The ML-3 offers remote control for two separate channels via an infrared LED beam, enabling automatic camera operation from a distance of up to about 26 ft. Auto triggering, delayed shutter release, single and continuous shooting are possible.
The Table below features remotes which can be used with other D-SLR camers
Other RemotesLengthFunctionCompatible Cameras
MC-DC1 Remote Cord
3'Remote firing, reduces camera shake and features a shutter-release button lock for long exposures.D70s, D80
MC-DC2 Remote Cord
Image
3.3'
For use with remote firing with the D90. Will operate through the GP-1 GPS unit while attached to the D90. Lockable shutter release for Bulb mode.
D3X, D3, D700, D300, D90, D5000
ML-L3 Wireless Remote Control
-Infrared remote shutter release for self-portraits or to reduce camera shakeD70, D70s, D80, D60, D50, D40X, D40
These and other Nikon accessories can be purchased through any Nikon Professional dealer or from The Amazon Nikon Mall.
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