Our resident expert answers your questions and solves your issues. If nobody else can help, ask Chris!
Got a burning Nikon-related question? Whether it’s lens- or body-related, Chris is here with all the answers
How do you go about getting pictures printed online?
Phil Preston, Rugby
Chris says… This is a really simple process and a very cost-effective way of printing out your pictures. There are a number of online photo labs to choose from, and one of the most popular is PhotoBox (www.photobox.co.uk). The process is very simple: you upload your pictures over the internet, pay for them online and then have your prints delivered by mail.
PhotoBox and services like it are fine for everyday holiday snaps and occasional enlargements, but for more precise control over colour and reproduction for important enlargements, we recommend Loxley Colour (www.loxleycolour.com) and WhiteWall (uk.whitewall.com).
The advantage of using an online lab is that you don’t have to invest in a printer of your own and keep it topped up with inks – and as a decent printer can cost hundreds of pounds or dollars, it can therefore save you money.
What is Distortion Control Data?
Les Pitts, via email
Chris says… Distortion control is one of the lesser-known features in newer Nikon digital SLRs. If you’re using a supported Nikon lens, the camera can automatically correct any barrel or pincushion distortion using data supplied by Nikon. It’s a bit like the automatic lens corrections offered by Adobe Camera Raw or DxO Optics Pro, but it’s built into the camera. The distortion is corrected as the image is processed – this means that it’s applied to JPEGs in-camera, but your RAW files will remain uncorrected, and you’ll need to use distortion correction software on your computer to fix these. From time to time, Nikon issues new Distortion Control Data for its D-SLRs, and this is installed in the same way as firmware updates, which we covered in issue 28.
Why does my Nikkor 105mm macro lens only work when the aperture ring is set to f/22?
John Reed, South Shields
Chris says… This is perfectly normal. You’re using an older ‘D-type’ lens, which features an aperture ring, whereas modern Nikon D-SLRs control the lens aperture from the body. These D-type lenses will work on a newer camera, but only when the aperture ring is set to its minimum value. This is why your D90 is giving you an error reading when you move it away from this setting. Simply leave it on f/22 and control the aperture using the camera.
Sigma 150-500mm vs P600 vs D5300 – which is the best telephoto option?
Graham Breadmore, Berkshire
Chris says… Graham has a D5100 with a Nikon 55-300mm, and he’s looking for a lens with a longer reach.
The P600 is one of Nikon’s superzoom CoolPix cameras. It offers an effective focal range of 24-1440mm, but has a much smaller sensor than the D5100, so the quality would be nowhere near as good. Upgrading to the D5300 would offer more megapixels and potential for cropping, but this would also make any camera shake more obvious. There is another alternative: a Nikon 1 body and FT-1 adaptor so that Graham could still use his 55-300mm lens. It would have an effective focal range of 149-810mm, with a decent-sized sensor.
There are online labs for everything from printing your holiday snaps to giant exhibition-style enlargements
You can use older D-type lenses with a modern D-SLR like the D90 – just set the aperture ring to its minimum value
Nikon’s Distortion Control feature can automatically correct distortion in many Nikon lenses