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Please help extreme newbie


New Member
I just got the D70 with no prior experience of photography.
I am taking pics for ebay auctions. mostly small items like this
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Id like some help on how to get clearer pics (sharper details).
I am currently using 28-80mm nikkor lens and a tripod on self timer to avoid vibration.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Hi Chris,

When photographing small items, it is essential that you avoid vibrations as much as possible. Using your camera on a tripod and tripping the shutter using the selftimer or a remote release is a good starting point.

If your camera has a way to lock up the mirror, use it, I haven't had any experience with the D70 so I cannot comment on this point. If it doesn't have mirror lock-up, check what shutter speed you're using. If your shutter speed is in the region of 1/8, 1/4 or 1/2 second, the vibration of the mirror moving out of the way for your sensor (or film for that matter) to be exposed can cause some minor vibration, which will be clearly visible on the final result. Try to move outdoors or near a window, so you get more light and can use a faster shutter speed.

I suppose the lens you're using is a zoom with a "macro" setting, but this doesn't come close to a real macro lens. Check out the Nikon line of lenses, there are some excellent 55 mm (manual focus), 60 mm (autofocus), 105 mm (both manual and autofocus) lenses, which can be bought second hand for a fraction of the price they used to be sold new. You will be able to get very close to your subject and get sharp results. The only drawback is that depth of field will be very shallow and you will need to focus carelfully, stop down the lens to a working diafragm of f11, f16 or f22 and hence need plenty of light to keep shutter speeds up.

I suggest you do a series of test shots, keeping notes of what you're doing and you'll soon find a combination of focusing distance, f-stop and shutter speed that will get you great results every time.

Hope this helps


Hi! I tried enlarging an Your next taken pic: it seems as problem might be matter of too few pixels, too.

eBayer cfalco 's image of item 6000573325 - double enlargment, from 400 to 800 pixels in Width.

All Your images sort out like they was taken through a Camera of 1.2 or less Mega Pixels only; by that, such small details show not clear enough.
On which resulution and format of image (1504x1000/JPEG ?) Camera is turned on?
You might try checking and increasing them, too.
As well as the program handling images on Your computer, might be reducing sizes.

Though, I fear eBay give You any limit of pixels-dimension when You paste image; maybe You have to select an eBay option when inserting images, there in US?
<center><table border=1><tr><td>
Enlarged image
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(0.8 k)</td></tr></table></center>


Pay attention, whether You are getting a not-enough Macro picture,
with the subject as small in the center and surrounded by the most space as empty,
and You are operating some Electronic Zooming on the image,
like enlarging it and then cutting away all the empty borders,
at the end saving and pasting the center only of the magnified image,
well, this entire experience too, means getting a few-pixels image, as a result.

I am not aware what 28-80mm Nikkor Lens You are using:
- the old 28-80 3,5/5,6 AF-D (Front filter size: 62mm)
with "Macro Setting";
- the newer 3,3/5,6 AF-D G - (Front filter size: 58mm) Minimum Focus Distance 1.1' (35cm)
Magnification 1:3.5

Both them models, as well as the most any brand Zoom Lenses can do a sort of Macro;
but the Magnification they can reach (1:4 about) could not be enogh for Your needs.
Shooting at 1:4 Magnification, means reproducing a st& as 10x15cm standard size;
if Your set/subject is smaller than a common-size st&, then
You have to go beyond: 1:3, 1:2.

However, the Jan's advices remain right, then!
Also shooting Macro through the 28-80mm Zoom Lens,
You should set the diaphgram on f/8 f/11 to get best focusing and sharper details;
though not a Macro Lens and focusing not very closely.

Besides, whether You can not still turn on a Macro Objectiv, You might
increase the Magnification of Your 28-80 Lens by:
- either attaching on its Frontal thread Filter Mounting, an additional clos-up Lens;
You can find any of various dioptric steps: +1, +2, +4, (rare)+10
and You can mount more Lenses together, too;
- or inserting between the Camera and the Rear of the Objectiv, an extension tube;
You can easily find them among various Lengths and even as genuine Nikon ones,
and by low price, too; if not Autofocus though.

Inserting Tube, You can reach great Magnification; light which goes on the Sensor/Film
steps down, yet.
Adding close-up Lens, instead light does NOT step down and Autofocus works properly.

Both ways, Objectiv loses focusing toward infinite.


New Member
Most of my groups of items are about 15cm X 15cm. I would like to get the clearest sharpest pictures possible.

would this lens be the answer to my problems?

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and is this a good price for it?

if there are any other suggestions please advise.

Thanks for your feedback so far, and I look foward to hearing more.


New Member
Im sorry. If that link doesnt work, this is the lens Im looking at

--> Nikon Normal Macro 60mm f/2.8D AF Micro Nikkor Autofocus Lens $ 389.95

thanks again


I also, am often troubling inserting links or images!
I try, this should be the item You found:

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It is a GREAT Lens; beeing "D" version, here in Italy it is quoted 250-300 in EUROS as USED one;
You can sometimes find it by less price, yet. It beeing an Objectiv in production still,
sells by 500 EUROS or less about, as BRAND NEW from shops. (Nikon Italia prices it E.575;
but those are prices which shopkeepers use to apply discount on).

Since the piece You are looking at, I understand it should be NEW,
its price too, seems as affordable.
Also the "Rebate Available $ 40.00" is right as declared by nikonusa on it.

However, shooting at a 15x15cm set, also through the 28-80mm
(setting it on "Macro", by pushing a button and turning the ring)
You should be able to get better results.

But if Yours is one from newer "G" version, it has not the f/stop ring (3.3-4-5.6-8-11-16 ..)
and You must select the diaphragm on f/11 through the Camera body.
On the other (not G) classic version, instead there is a slide which may block the diaphgram
as set on its minimum aperture (to work in "S" mode); and You can not turn the ring, if so.

Any model of 28-80, however You should check if inside the lens, diaphragm works, too:
set the camera on a long expusure time (some seconds or "B"=bulb) and look close at
the frontal-lens; shooting, You should see a round of blades coming from
the border to the center, inside the Objectiv.

If nothing happen, either the diaphragm is not properly selected/set
or there is any problem on the contacts between the Camera body and the Objectiv;
contacts may be cleaned with Lens-cleaning paper.

If diaphragm is ok, try focusing manually, too; Autofocus might misunderstand, in Macro set.
Don't forget, to manually focusing properly, the equipment must be set on "Manual Focus":
there are slides on the Lenses or on the Camera bodies, to do it.
Otherwise, if You simply turn the focus-ring with Your hand, but while the Autofocus System
is still allowed, it AF will be quickly acting as soon as You shoot the picture!
And focus will not which You wanted.