Beginner Tips for Shooting with Nikon 35mm f/1.8G

Started Jun 28, 2010 | Discussions thread
ianz28 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,382
Re: Beginner Tips for Shooting with Nikon 35mm f/1.8G

1/8th of a second? Or 1/80th of a second?

I would strongly encourage you to watch your shutter speeds and to keep them at or above 1/40th of a second with the 35mm unless shooting on a tripod.

If you are struggling to keep your shutter speeds up you can set up Auto-ISO and set your minimum shutter speed to around 1/40th or 1/50th of a second. As soon as your camera can't achieve those shutter speeds at the selected aperture it will start increasing the ISO to get to that shutter speed. The D5000 can still capture pretty nice photo's up to ISO 1600. (though you should be careful with this tool as it can be a double edged sword - you lose sharpness, color accuracy, generate additional noise, mess up flash photography, and the tool itself can become a crutch.)

Both those photo's you posted are quite nice. As another poster stated you shouldn't be afraid to get in closer.

Another thing to learn is the "histogram". This is a very useful tool..... one that gives a lot of information about your exposure.

Going hand in hand with the histogram is the button on the top right of the camera, right behind the shutter. This button is the "EV" or exposure value adjustment. + to make your photo's brighter and - (minus) to make your photo's darker. Different scenes may require slight adjustments of your EV to quickly and easily get your histogram/exposure to where you want it. The EV button tells the camera's meter to adjust the exposure depending on the value you set.

On this photo I would have set the EV to +0.7. Reason for this is that there was back lighting and your baby's face is shadowed. The camera metered the scene well.....but, we need to tell the camera that we care more about the brightness of the babies face than the overall brightness of the image. This is a perfect example of a situation where moving in tighter would likely improve the photo.

There are other ways we can manipulate the camera's meter. Utilizing either spot or center weighted priority. Using these metering methods in conjunction with the FV/EV lock (activated with your thumb on the back of the camera) can be very effective and may be something you want to study in the future. For now I'd stick with the histogram and using the EV button on the top of the camera.

Finally, I pretty much only use lenses wide-open when it's absolutely required by the scene or lighting. Every lens I own benefits from stopping down slightly. The 35 f1.8 is no exception and I generally shoot it around f2.8. By all means when your shutter speeds start getting low and your ISO starts climbing up start opening the lens to faster apertures.

 ianz28's gear list:ianz28's gear list
Nikon D200 Nikon D5000 Nikon D7200 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.8D +10 more
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