Ask Chris

Our res­i­dent ex­pert an­swers your ques­tions and solves your is­sues. If no­body else can help, ask Chris!

NPhoto - - Contents -

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

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