Our resident expert answers your questions and solves your issues. If nobody else can help, ask Rod!
Can’t choose a lens? Flash causing you problems? Whatever your question, Rod Lawton is the man with the answer!
What is the best telephoto option for my D5100? Claude Mattson, South Africa
Rod says… Claude is torn between the new Tamron 150-600mm lens, the Sigma 150-500mm, a used Nikon 80-400mm lens and a Sigma 70-200mm with 2x convertor.
Many other Nikon owners are in the same situation, faced with a choice between new third-party lenses, used Nikon zooms and shorter fast zooms with a teleconverter. We don’t have enough lab test data to enable us to compare all three of Claude’s options directly, but I can offer some personal observations that might help. First, zooms with the right ‘native’ focal range are usually the best choice; shorter, faster zooms with teleconverters offer light weight and convenience, but the quality will start to suffer, especially with a 2x converter. The new Nikon 80-400mm G lens is good but expensive; if you’re shopping for a used one, what you find is almost certainly going to be the older D-type lens which, I’m afraid, is not one of Nikon’s finest.
I’d say the Tamron 150-600mm looks a good bet, Claude, as you’ll get the right balance of price and features.
Can I convert JPEGs into RAW files? Neil Meredith, Northants
Rod says… Sorry, Neil, but it can’t be done. Your Nikon captures images as RAW data initially, but if the camera is set to produce only JPEG images, it then processes that RAW file using the white balance, Picture Control and other settings you’ve used on the camera, discarding what it considers any ‘redundant’ RAW data. The JPEG contains only a fragment of the original RAW data, and you can no more recover a RAW file from a JPEG image than you can recover the original negative from a print. You could convert your JPEG image into an Adobe DNG file in Photoshop, and DNG is Adobe’s generic RAW file format, but it would only be the illusion of a RAW file – all the extra brightness and colour information that makes RAW files so useful would already be gone.
My D5300’s GPS is not as good as my CoolPix 510’s Wayne Kerry, via email
Rod says… We didn’t notice any GPS issues with the D5300 we had in for review, but a search on the Internet suggests you’re not the only one facing location-finding issues.
The product page for the D5300 on Nikon’s website contains a reference to an A-GPS (Assisted GPS) support file which you can download and install – full instructions are provided on a Nikon support page at http://nikonimglib.com/ agps2/index.html.en. We don’t have a D5300 in the office, so we can’t test out the update right now, but it looks as if it may go some way towards solving GPS issues that you face – if you decide to install it, please let us know how you get on.
Can I get Camera Raw 8.4 and its 10 adjustment panels for Elements 11?
Stan Pearlstein, Cary, NC, USA
Rod says… Sadly not, Stan. The version of Camera Raw that works with Elements is a cut-down version with just three adjustment tabs. The only way to get the full set of tools in Adobe Camera Raw is by upgrading to Photoshop. Also, whenever a new version of Elements or Photoshop is announced, no more updates to Camera Raw will be made available for the old one (occasionally there is some overlap, but this is basically the system). Updates for Elements 11 stop at Adobe Camera Raw 8.0. You can see the full version compatibility list at http://helpx.adobe.com/x-productkb/ global/camera-raw-compatible-applications.html.
The Nikon D5300 comes with built-in GPS for tagging your photos with location data – but Wayne Kerry is not impressed
You can’t convert JPEGs to RAW files. RAW files (right) contain all the data captured by the sensor, but JPEGs (left) have already been processed