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4.4 Rating
Summer Lyn: Photographing Babies, Toddlers & Kids

Careful planning or just being lucky—both can work in your favor.

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4.5 Rating
A Basic Look at the Basics of Exposure

The relationship between aperture, shutter speed and ISO is the basis of every…

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4.3 Rating
Which NIKKOR Lens Type is Right for Your DSLR?

Learn what the different types of NIKKOR lenses are and which ones will…

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4.6 Rating
Moiré & False Color

The role of the optical low pass filter in D-SLRs.

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4.7 Rating
Yes, I Pan: Pursuing the Bigger Picture

Tony Sweet on creating panoramas

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4.4 Rating
Versatile Views of the World of Wildlife:

Ron Magill field tests the AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR lens

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4.2 Rating
When to Use Graduated Neutral Density Filters

How to use a graduated neutral density filter to decrease extreme light to…

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4.1 Rating
Vibration Reduction

Vibration Reduction (VR) is an image stabilization technology that minimizes blur caused by camera…

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4.6 Rating
How-To Take Great Photos at the Aquarium

Tips for photographing the fish and creatures that live under water

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4.1 Rating
New Directions: The D750 Inspires Creating, and Sharing, New Images

Lindsay Silverman shoots with the D750 DSLR

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4.2 Rating
When You Explore All Angles, Better Pictures Happen

Tom Bol explains how changing perspective can make a better image.

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4.3 Rating
Understanding Auto ISO

Auto ISO can simplify shooting under changing lighting conditions

Beginner

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4.7 Rating
Extra Added Attraction: How to Boost the Reach of Your Nikon 1

Mark Alberhasky on using the FT-1 and NIKKOR lenses on…

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4.7 Rating
High Speed Sync: A Flash Technique To Add a Pro Touch to Your Photographs

Kevin Kubota on auto FP high speed sync flash…

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4.5 Rating
Marketplace: One and Only

Nikon 1 AW1 waterproof, shockproof interchangeable lens camera

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4.1 Rating
Taking Pictures of Fireworks

Learn how to get great fireworks shots this summer.

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4.4 Rating
How to Read Your NIKKOR Lens Barrel

Understanding what all of those markings and designations on your lens really mean.

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How to Take Pictures of Water Using Long Exposures

Getting that "silky" look when photographing moving water isn't…

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3.8 Rating
Shooting the Full Moon with the COOLPIX P900

Using the Moon Scene Mode and 83x zoom of the COOLPIX P900

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Prime Lenses

What is a prime lens? Well, it's a lens that isn't a zoom. A prime lens has a fixed focal length which means…

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4.2 Rating
Using Teleconverters

Teleconverters let you extend your photographic reach

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3.8 Rating
For Images with Impact, Consider the Positive Role of Negative Space

Randy Ziegler discusses negative space in…

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4.5 Rating
Shooting Spectacular Sunrises and Sunsets

Jim Harmer’s tips for photographing at dawn and dusk

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4.1 Rating
Taking Better Photographs of the American West

When you get a chance to visit the open prairies, and photograph ranchers…

Beginner

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4.6 Rating
Lighting Techniques: Light Painting

Using the technique of light painting allows you to add depth and dimension to your…

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4.8 Rating
Create and Publish Your Own Photo Book

A photo book is a great way to share your images with the world.

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4.2 Rating
Photographing Dogs: Capturing Action

Tips for taking better photos of your dog in action.

Beginner

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4.0 Rating
Exposure Choices for Moody Images

Moose Peterson explains how exposure can add to the mood of an image

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4.3 Rating
How to Photograph Lightning

Storm chaser Jim Reed offers valuable tips for making photos of lighning while staying safe.

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4.7 Rating
The Edge: Drum Circle

Mike Corrado on shooting concert photography using remote cameras

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4.0 Rating
Photograph Family and Friends During the Holidays

The holidays are prime picture-taking time. Get some great tips on…

Beginner

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4.3 Rating
Route 66 Road Trip

Tom Bol travels Route 66 with a Df D-SLR

Beginner

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4.5 Rating
10 Tips for Shooting Autumn Foliage

Nature photographer Rod Planck offers tips for shooting colorful fall foliage

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3.9 Rating
Exposure Compensation When Using i-TTL Gets Easier with the D4/D4s

Exposure compensation and flash compensation can be…

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4.0 Rating
ISO Control

For digital photography, ISO refers to the sensitivity of the camera's sensor. The ISO setting is one of…

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3.4 Rating
Setting up the COOLPIX S800c

The COOLPIX S800c offers wireless connectivity, learn how to set it up easily

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4.5 Rating
Using the D810A DSLR for Deep Space and Nebulae Astrophotography

Photographing Nebulae and other celestial objects with…

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4.5 Rating
Capturing or Freezing Motion in Photos

Learn how to freeze the motion in an action scene or capture a blur to show…

Beginner

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3.6 Rating
1 NIKKOR Technology: Retractable Lens Barrel

Retractable lens barrel technology offers ultra-compact lens design.

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4.3 Rating
Live Image Control

Live Image Control lets you preview how certain settings will affect your final image

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Picture Controls Step-by-Step

Utilize Picture Controls in-camera or during post-processing to change the look of your…

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4.3 Rating
Nikon F-Mount

The Nikon F-mount makes a host of lenses available to photographers.

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4.5 Rating
3D Color Matrix Metering II

This system of evaluating light determines the best possible exposure for a particular…

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4.3 Rating
Understanding ISO Sensitivity

Photography is built on the three pillars of exposure: shutter speed, aperture and…

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3.7 Rating
Basics of Exposure and Camera Controls

Ideal class for those who want to go beyond point & shoot photography

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4.3 Rating
Using Variable Neutral Density Filters to Adjust Exposure in DSLR Video

Adjusting exposure with Variable ND filters

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4.2 Rating
Shooting Abstract Photos that Make the Viewer Guess

Sometimes showing just a hint of your subject can be more compelling…

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5.0 Rating
Northern Exposure

Corey Rich documents a first ascent of the Arrigetch Peaks in Alaska's Brooks Range

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Zoom Lens Maximum Aperture: Fixed and Variable Apertures

Zoom lenses are beneficial because they allow for a range of different focal lengths without the need to carry multiple prime (fixed focal length) lenses. This lets the photographer quickly zoom in and capture the shot, then zoom back for another at a wider angle. While this is a wonderful advantage to have, there are optical limitations that should be understood when using a zoom lens.

All lenses have a maximum aperture, or lens opening, used to capture light. On most zoom lenses the maximum aperture will change as you zoom. As you zoom, the optics move to focus at the new zoom setting. These zoom lenses are said to have a "variable" aperture. To achieve the widest possible aperture, you need to be at the widest possible zoom setting.

All NIKKOR lenses list the widest possible aperture on the lens barrel. Zoom lenses that have a variable aperture will show the maximum aperture range. For example, "f/3.5 - f/5.6" will be noted on the lens barrel as 1:3.5-5.6 (below left). The 3.5 and the 5.6, are referring to the maximum aperture the lens can achieve for each end of the zoom range.

Some higher-end lenses can maintain the largest aperture throughout the entire zoom range, so only one number is detailed. (f/2.8, below right).

Fixed aperture lenses utilize more sophisticated lens elements than variable aperture lenses; and are also heavier than variable aperture lenses. As such, these lenses are generally more expensive than variable aperture zooms.

A lens with a wider maximum aperture is described as being "faster" than one with a smaller maximum aperture. At a given ISO (light sensitivity) you can achieve a correct exposure at a faster shutter speed with a wider aperture than with a smaller aperture. Basically, the shutter does not have to stay open as long to let in the same amount of light, so it's faster. Faster shutter speeds stop motion, making it possible to get sharp results when shooting fast moving objects.

Maximum aperture fixed focal length NIKKOR lenses utilize lens elements that are larger than those used in other lenses. The larger the maximum aperture, the more the background can be blurred for a pleasing effect; this effect is referred to as "bokeh" and is used by portrait, nature and sports photographers.

Also, the wider the maximum aperture, the more sophisticated the lens design, and the more expensive it will be. For example, a lens with a maximum aperture of f/2 will cost more than a lens with a maximum aperture of f/4.

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