Struggling with my D300

Started 11 months ago | Questions thread
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LuvMyTravels Junior Member • Posts: 32
Struggling with my D300


This is my first time posting but I've been reading the forums for quite some time and very grateful for all the information that is being shared!

I bought a D300 8 years ago when I traveled to Australia and NZ, finally retiring my trusted and beloved FE2. I wanted a good solid camera that would last me a long time but as my 1st digital camera (ever), it's been a frustrating journey with a steep learning curve and mostly hit and miss. Lately I'm finding the photos that I'm taking are overall blah... plus I hate that it's so damn heavy but that's my own fault.. should've known better before buying it.

The 2 lenses I use most often are (both Nikkor): AF 85mm f1.8 (older model) and a lighter ED 18-35mm AF 3.5-4.5 D. I mostly shoot when I travel so obviously I'm looking for excellent IQ.

I LOVED my FE2 as I got the most beautifully saturated photos (with Velvia 50) and was able to control DOF, aperture, shutter speed, etc with ease. Now I know you can do all these things on a D300 but I'm really struggling with it... AND the colors (esp reds, oranges) are horrifically off. I tried the various settings (Standard, Vivid, Neutral) and found Standard to be the most accurate overall but colors (esp reds, oranges are OFF). Vivid produces hideous skin tone among other things.

The photos I've taken always require extensive photoshopping to get them to look good. I realize that's a given with DP but perhaps not to the extent that I'm having to do it.

My questions are:

1. How can I get beautifully saturated photos with my D300 (similar to what I was getting on my FE2 with Velvia 50) without extensive photoshopping after the fact?

2. Should I ignore the "Vivid" setting altogether? If not, in what cases does that come in handy?

3. Are there any good tutorials out there for this camera? (I'm a hands-on learner so reading the manual doesn't work for me)

4. Are my lenses the culprit or am I simply not using the camera properly? (My guess is the latter)

I'm going to Greece next month and REALLY want to capture some beautiful shots so any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!

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Nikon D300
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