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  DSLR Tips

Nikon D90 Gordon Laing, October 2008
Nikon D90 gallery

The following images were taken with the Nikon D90 using the DX 18-105mm VR kit lens. The D90 was set to Large Fine JPEG mode with Auto White Balance and the default Standard Picture Control, Normal High ISO NR and Active D-Lighting set to the default Auto.

The individual exposure mode, file sizes, shutter speeds, aperture, ISO and lens focal length are listed for each image.

The crops are taken from the original files, reproduced at 100% and saved in Adobe Photoshop CS2 as JPEGs with the default Very High quality preset, while the resized images were made in Photoshop CS2 and saved with the default High quality preset.

The three crops are typically taken from far left, central and far right portions of each image.

Note: You may also wish to view our Canon EOS 450D / XSi Gallery, Canon EOS 40D Gallery, Nikon D80 Gallery and Nikon D300 Gallery for a comparison of detail, noise and optical performance under similar conditions.

Landscape: 4.66MB, Program, 1/320, f9, ISO 100, 18-105mm at 18mm (equivalent to 27mm)

  This first shot was taken with the D90 at its lowest L1.0 sensitivity, equivalent to 100 ISO. The crops are detailed and in-camera processing has eliminated any sign of fringing.

The kit lens can become softer towards the edges though, and the mountain-top highlights are blown, perhaps due to the dynamic range of the L1.0 mode.

You'll also notice all the images here are less vibrant than the D80 due to more refrained image processing that's closer in style to the D300.

Landscape: 6.37MB, Program, 1/320, f9, ISO 200, 18-105mm at 18mm (equivalent to 27mm)

  Our second shot, again with the kit lens zoomed-out to 18mm, was taken with the D90 set to its base sensitivity of 200 ISO.

As you'd hope, the crops remain packed with detail, although by metering for the shadowy tree, some highlights have become saturated.

Live View allowed us to comfortably frame this shot at a very low angle, although a flip-out screen would have made it easier still.

Landscape: 5.14MB, Program, 1/800, f7.1, ISO 200, 18-105mm at 105mm (equivalent to 158mm)

    Here the D90 has been kept at 200 ISO, but the lens zoomed-into its maximum of 105mm. The default AF-A mode recognised the approaching boat and switched itself to continuous focusing to keep it sharp.

As before the crops are very detailed and the D90 has done a good job balancing this particular exposure given the bright hull of the boat.

Portrait: 4.53MB, Aperture Priority, 1/800, f5.6, ISO 200, 18-105mm at 105mm (equivalent to 158mm)

  For this portrait shot we kept the D90 at its base sensitivity of 200 ISO, zoomed the lens into 105mm and opened the aperture to its maximum f5.6 in Aperture Priority.

We used Face Priority mode in Live View to frame this shot and it locked onto the subject without a problem.

The subject is sharp and detailed, although some may have preferred a smaller depth of field - this is however the maximum you'll achieve with this lens under similar conditions.

Macro: 6.89MB, Program, 1/30, f5.6, ISO 400, 18-105mm at 105mm (equivalent to 158mm)

  For this macro shot we increased the sensitivity to 400 ISO and positioned the camera as close as the DX 18-105mm would focus when fully zoomed-in

The increase to 400 ISO hasn't had an adverse effect on noise levels under these well-lit conditions, and the crops show lots of detail, although the lens has become soft in the corners; the crops were taken from the middle area.


Indoor: 5.96MB, Program, 1/30, f3.5, ISO 400, 18-105mm at 18mm (equivalent to 27mm)

  Our first indoor shot was taken with the D90 at 400 ISO. Once again we used Face Priority in Live View to lock onto the subject.

Many cameras underexpose this scene, but the D90 hasn't been fooled. The crops also reveal sharp details without much noise to complain about.

Indoor: 4.96MB, Program, 1/10, f3.5, ISO 800, 18-105mm at 18mm (equivalent to 27mm)

  Our second indoor shot was taken under much dimmer conditions at 800 ISO. This time the D90 arguably underexposed, although there's still lots of detail captured.

Any camera shake due to the 1/10 exposure has been eliminated by the VR lens.

There's an inevitable increase in noise, but as seen in our results pages, the D90 favours visible speckles to smearing through noise reduction, and as such there's plenty of detail in the crops.

Indoor: 5.12MB, Program, 1/50, f3.5, ISO 1600, 18-105mm at 18mm (equivalent to 27mm)

  Our final indoor shot was taken with the sensitivity increased to 1600 ISO. As above, the D90 has underexposed this scene, although at least that's protected the highlight areas from clipping.

The crops reveal a significant increase in visible noise, although the result is still just about usable for smaller prints. The D90 goes on to offer 3200 and 6400 ISO options, but both see a considerable reduction in quality. You can see examples in our High ISO Results pages.

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All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2017 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.

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