December 26, 2006


Bright-eyed, bundled

A couple of people have asked me what sort of camera we are using for all these baby pictures. I will sheepishly admit that I did get a new camera specifically for Elliot purposes. However, I am really a cheapskate about these things, as I will briefly describe.

We got a Nikon D50, which is the second-cheapest Nikon SLR (there is a new cheaper one called the D40 now). Body alone, no lens. The standard zoom lens they sell with these kinds of cameras is not bad, but not great.

Also, I already had a Nikon lens to use: a Nikkor 50mm lens (fixed, not a zoom lens) which, at about $90, is one of the cheaper lenses around. It's also among the sharpest. And it's great indoors, because it gathers a lot of light.

The name of the game in taking nice pictures, at least the ones I want to take, is natural light. To take natural light pictures, you have to be able to gather enough light to take a picture, without using the flash.

Zoom lenses are fun, of course, but there's this weird tradeoff -- zoom lenses only get to be zoom lenses by giving up something. That something is going to be either (a) light sensitivity or (b) mega $$$. (Or color quality, contrast, or sharpness.)

So by going with a simple non-zoom lens, we spent less than $500, and we get to take a lot of indoor natural-light pictures.

(I'm far from a photography buff, but I picked up some basics from this guy, and from, and from a class that I took.)


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