First post, Cedar Waxwings, critique please (large files)

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    Greetings all, longtime TFer, first time farktography poster.

    Decided I wanted to get back into photography, so I bought myself a Nikon D60. Then I decided the kit 18-55mm just wasn’t enough. So I went and got a Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED-IF AF-S VR. This is an AMAZING lens. Well worth the money.

    I have a patch of strawberries behind my house and apparently cedar waxwings love berries.

    I have some work to do on focus, the auto just doesn’t do it, and I’m still working on learning to bracket focuses (if that’s the right term).

    There’s nothing done to these except cropping. No post processing at all. EXIF data is intact, as far as I know. This is what I bought the camera for, so your critiques are welcome and desired.





    Not much to critique there, is there? 🙂 My only complaint with those is that it looks like you shot them at a high ISO and got a bit of noise as a result. It’s especially noticeable in the third photo. I’m guessing you were shooting at a higher ISO because you needed the faster shutter speed to compensate for low light and a twitchy subject. Not much you can do about it in that case, other than buying a faster lens or putting the camera on a tripod and committing to patience! Other than that, I’d say those are quite nicely done! The second one especially shows a good eye for composition. Welcome to farktography!


    Actually, it was shot at ISO 400 and cropped like crazy. For example this is the original of the 2nd one (obviously shrunk down a little):

    I can do some noise reduction. I just decided not to. They look pretty nice printed. Very little noise in the paper version.


    Very nice! I also like the 2nd shot with the crop you showed in the first post. And welcome to Farktography, btw.

    I also have a D60. I just got mine in August and am still in the “learning as I go” process. For lenses I only have the 18-55 kit and the 55-200 f/4-5.6 af-s. My two complaints so far are absolutely the auto focus and noise. I haven’t really complained much as I understand that they are “cheap” lenses, but I’m basically to the point of not using the auto focus at all. It’s often very slow and regardless of which setting I use or even if I set to choose the focal point myself I often have to fight with it to end up where I want it. I’ve also found that shooting nearly anything at iso 800 or higher is going to get you noticeable noise. At first I didn’t know better but now it’s somewhat disappointing. So I’m definitely in the process of saving for a new body and hoping for better results in the future. Of course all of this might be attributable to user error, so take it fwiw.

    But, long story short, thanks for sharing your shots and looking forward to seeing your entries!


    I agree with you 100%, bacon. ISO 1600 and the 3200 equiv are basically unusable in my experience. And I don’t think it’s cheap glass causing the problem. My 70-300mm is a $600 piece of glass. While it’s not a 70-200mm f/2.8G, it’s still a decent lens. The AF searches A LOT. And what’s worse, from time to time it’ll find it’s focus but not lock so it won’t take the shot. So I have to switch to full manual and hope the shot isn’t gone.

    I’m kind of wishing I’d saved up for a new D300 after seeing one at a birthday party yesterday. Or maybe a D3 if I win the lottery.

    The other thing to think about is what it actually looks like printed. I took #3 to Wallyworld and got it printed at 8×10 and there’s almost no noise in the printed version.


    Right, the noise is a product of the camera itself. I wanted to mention it since it came up and we have the same body. I also do completely agree with your statement on print v. digital. Unfortunately almost everything I do is shared digitally. However I have been much more pleased with the results in print.


    i will link to mine since it’s 3008 x 2000 pixels and almost 4MB. that shot went to Sam’s and was printed at 20 x 30 to go on a wall. if you look at it full size it doesn’t look all that good. printed it is really nice. well yeah i forgot to get the two dust spots removed before printing so there is that 🙂 the ASA for that shot was set to 400.

    it was shot with a knoica/minolta maxxun 7D using a konica/minolta kit lens AF DT zoom 18-70mm F3.5-5.6 which is actually an auto focus film lens. i have some of the same problems you have noted using auto focus both with that and even more so with my Tamron AF 70-300 F4-5.6 LD which again was originally made for the minolta auto focus maxxum film cameras. don’t know what the short lens would have been if bought separately but the Tamron was under $200.

    it will come as no surprise that a bright sunny day will greatly enhance the auto focus ability of the lens. one thing i’ve found that also helps is using the center focus spot and not using the multi segment focus. it may mean getting the focus locked by using half shutter release then recomposing before tripping the shutter. doing that has reduced auto focus hunt to an acceptable level.

    my camera body has a temporary AF/MF switch conveniently located under my right thumb which is also useful.


    funny, that…the d60 is the replacement for the d40, but with the d40 i have few of the issues bucky mentioned… the same glass, too. I will add that it took some [a lot!] getting used to, but the AF actually works *opinion warning* better than on comparable canon kit .

    i’ve had the d40 for a year and a half, and am only now starting to get my shots to come out as i imagine them when i hit the release. No matter what camera i might have purchased, i think my results would have been the same. I always said the camera knew more about photography than i did [true], but i’m cathing up. i tend to notice noise issues much more when i crop..

    with the 55-200 i managed to get this one from some distance away (using the AF, i think, because i’m kind of slow with the manual focus) and was really pleased :

    I actually think your shots came out great!

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