Ask Rod

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

NPhoto - - Contents -

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

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