Still Life, 01 March 2010


Hey look…a still life!


Photo Information:

Camera: Nikon D80
Lens: Nikon Nikkor 35mm f/1.8 DX
ISO Equivalency: 1600
Metering: TTL

For those of you who’ve read some of my previous posts, that isn’t a typo in the photo information – I have just recently acquired a new toy. [1] Naturally, one of the first things I needed to do with it was to play around with it, [2] and I have always been interested to see if  DSLR high-ISO settings are any better than their compact brethren. Short version: sorta.

As you can see from the above photo, the noise level isn’t nearly as bad as it could be, but compared to actual film grain? Still no comparison. Mind you, its not bad, just not quite what it could be, either. [3] That said, the camera does appear to be working well, and it sure is nice to have a digital camera whose lens settings I can accurately control. [4][5]



[1]: For totally legitimate business purposes, I assure you. That’s not to say that I won’t play with it when I’m not using it for totally legitimate business purposes.

[2]: Y’know, to put it through its paces and such. Totally not because I just wanted to play with the shiny new toy. Honest.

[3]: This is, of course, a completely aesthetic observation, but a) I started out shooting film, so that’s what I’m used to, and b) I’m entitled to my opinions.

[4]: For those of you who don’t know (or never tried to find out), few compact digital cameras display the focal length setting of the lens when you’re actively shooting. The information may be contained in the file metadata, but this isn’t typically accessible from within the camera while you’re shooting. As for why this is important, well, if you’ve never wanted (or needed) to use a specific lens for a specific shot, you probably won’t appreciate this. [*]

[*]: Also, if you’re mostly shooting with zoom lenses on a DSLR, odds are you probably haven’t noticed much of this, either. What can I say? I learned how to shoot using mostly prime lenses, so I grew accustomed to using (and adapting to) the strengths and limitations of the various prime lenses.

[5]: Oh, okay…the DX sensor means that I can’t read off the focal length setting on my older 35mm lenses, but the crop factor (1.5x, or so TPTB at Nikon say) makes it rather easy to mentally convert the settings (i.e. the 35mm lens listed above is approximately 50mm on a 35mm camera (35 x 1.5 = 52.5))


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