Project / Getting to know your camera / The Lens

The camera I have to work with for now is a Nikon D70. So I have started the course now with reading about my cameras settings, the manual and also looking for information over the Internet. First thing I wanted to find out was if  it is a Full Frame camera and what does a full frame camera mean?? I did learn that  my camera was a full frame. And made a comparison of frame sizes from different cameras and would say that it helps me to understanding at least a bit (see picture  below ).

Most common DSLRs use a sensor that’s smaller than the potential image area of a 35mm strip of film—the size of this image area is called the “format” of the camera. 35mm was a standard format for film, and this size is roughly what we mean when we call a camera “full frame.” 

I took one of my pictures to view the property information to see if it stated anything about being a full frame and clicked details of pictures and there I found this.


Camera Maker                           Nikon Corporation

Camera Model                           Nikon D70

F-stop:                                          f/4

Exposure time                           1/60 = Shutter Speed

ISO speed                                     —————–

Exposure bias                            0 step

Focal length                             18mm

Max aperture                             3,6

Metering Mode:                     Pattern

Subject distance                   ———————-

Flash mode                             No flash

Flash Energy                       ———————-

35mm focal length               27      

The focal length is what decides how much I will be able to zoom with my camera and I would personal prefer a camera that I could zoom very much with. The lens I now have is a As-S NIKKOR 18-70MM, and 18-70 would then tell me how much I can zoom and it’s equal to focal length so I can pick between a focal length between 18-70mm.

My first task now accordingly to my study material is to set my camera to it’s standard focal length for this lens and standard would be for a full frame 40-50mm. While I now pick up my camera and have it on auto settings I start to move the zoom and look into the camera and can see the F value keep changing, so that makes me think that F value is focal length also when you look at the pictures properties there is a F-stop value as well as focal length value and those have different numbers. There seems like I can only adjust one of those values and that would be the F- Value and that the focal length will adjust it selves, hmmmm a bit confusing here?!? Ohhh my god, this is so wrong, surely I can adjust the focal length. Need some fresh air and will come back later.

Here is an example of what I see when I look at a pictures properties:

Property                           Value

F- Stop                                   f/22

35mm focal length             105

So I need to makes some notes here.


Aperture With:

Stop Time: Would be the f- stop value

Focal Length:

What is F-Stop, anyway?

F-stop is the focal length divided by the diameter of the lens. For example, a 200mm f/4 lens will be 50mm wide. Get out your ruler and measure it. 200mm/50mm = f/4. That is why f-stop is typically written as F/4, meaning “focal-length over 4” or “focal-length divided by four”.

Where do those numbers come from?
Lenses are marked with a series of f-stops, each one lets in half as much light as the previous one. The light-gathering ability of a lens is determined by its area, and f-stops are determined by diameter. Area is related to diameter squared. The progression of f-stops, 1 – 1.4 – 2 – 2.8 – 4 – 5.6 – 8 – 11 – 16 – 22 – 32, are powers of the square root of 2.

I now have set my camera of what I believe is standard setting for my lens, F- 3,5 and the lens is not zoomed any. I’m taking a test picture with this value and are looking at the pictures properties. Well that seem to be wrong of me (I’m really new to all this). On my cameras lens there are values set, so I turn the ring to value 50 and that should be right. Here is my test picture (See below), a snapshot of my computer.

The information that I get when I view the above picture is.

Camera Information:

Set on Auto

Digital Zoom                               1

F- Stop                                        f/4,5

Exposure Time                         1/ 60 sec= shutter Time

Focal Length                              52mm

Max Aperture                             4,3

35mm focal length                      78

What I wonder now is, whats the different between the values “Focal Length” and “35mm Focal length” since those come up different each time. So depending on which value I look at now I would have set my camera right, since focal length here is 52mm. Will take another picture and set the cameras ring on 35 and see its properties.

The information that I get when I view the above picture is:

Camera Information:

Set on Auto

Digital Zoom                               1

F- Stop                                        f/4,2

Exposure Time                         1/ 60 sec = Shutter Speed

Focal Length                              35

Max Aperture                             4,1

35mm focal length                      52

So would I go after this setting then  it would be correct for my cameras lens standard settings, that should be between 40-50mm. However  I think that the setting of picture no 1 is the correct one, where the focal length says 52mm (it’s slight above, but almost correct) So I go for that. Found this table of 4 categories of lens types and their focal lengths ( See below). Hmmm very useful information I would say :*)). So I have a standard lens since my Nikkor is 18-70mm. But still my lens says “18 ” and according to this table a standard lens is from 35-85, so confused again, need to figure this out. This would mean that my lens is between standard and wide angle.

Lens Type Focal Length
Wide Angle 28mm or lower
Standard Anything from 35mm to 85mm
Telephoto Anything from 100mm to 300mm
Super-Telephoto 300mm or higher

Even this table below here has helped me sort out the concept of various of focal lengths.

Lens Type Focal Length Best Use
Wide Angle 28mm or lower Landscapes and Interiors
Standard Anything from 35mm to 85mm Portraits
Telephoto Anything from 100mm to 300mm Portraits and Sports
Super-Telephoto 300mm or higher Wildlife and Sports

Thought I would try to learn this also by viewing pictures taken with these different lenses, I will start backwards in the table with looking at pictures taken with a Super- Telephoto and found this photographer “Scotch Macaskill” and his website Wild Life Pictures Online.

Need to take one more test shot and view focal length on the pictures properties. Another snapshot of my computer ( See below).

Here are the settings for the above picture.


Camera Maker                           Nikon Corporation

Camera Model                           Nikon D70

F-stop:                                          f/4,5

Exposure time                           1/60= Shutter speed

ISO speed                                     —————–

Exposure bias                            0 step

Focal length                             50mm

Max aperture                             4,3

Metering Mode:                     Pattern

Subject distance                   ———————-

Flash mode                             No flash

Flash Energy                       ———————-

35mm focal length               75   

Here are some notes for me:

Aperture ( Bländare) = F-Numbers

My Nikon D70 have the following F-stop numbers. 27    22     19     16     13     11     9,5     8     6,7     5,6     4,8     4     3,5

Aperture is how much light the camera lets in and it shows as F numbers in your camera.

Zoom in and the max aperture gets smaller. Widest aperture has the lowest F- stop number

Shutter Speed = Exposure Time

Exposure is the amount of light that reaches the camera’s sensor (or film).

If we don’t get enough light we end up with a photo which is dark (underexposed). Too much light and our photo comes out bright (overexposed).

So how do we control exposure? It all comes down to a combination of two basic camera settings – aperture diameter and shutter speed.

Below a Good Video About Shutter speed and Exposure Time

Understand Shutter speed and exposure time
Notes for me// Night Shots! Small aperture / High F- stop number like 16, 22 or more and Longer Exposure Time/ Slow Shutter speed.

Slow shutter speed / Long exposure time

Fast shutter speed / Short exposure time, example if I take picture of a car driving in 200km/h then I will catch a car in the exact instance it could look like it’s not even moving. But using a slower shutter and following the path of the car could create a remarkable sense of speed that is tough to mimic and master.

High shutter speed and freezing water. Shooting water – when shooting water in high speed, you can make the water look frozen. It will take a shutter speed of 1/500 or faster to make this magic Happen. Another option to freeze water, is to use high speed flash photography.

Panning: Panning is a photography technique where your camera follows a moving object at a relatively low shutter speed (1/30 to 1/60 are the usual panning values). The effect that you get is a sharp object against a blurred background.

Shooting Waterfalls – When shooting a waterfall, set your shutter speed to a slow setting to get that silky look.

Shooting Stars – Shooting nightscapes is one of the more interesting ways to utilize the shutter speed control. By setting your shutter at a really low shutter speed (tens of minutes), you can see how the earth movement reflects in the starts positions. If you include both static objects (house, tree) and the sky, you will a wonderful star “line” contrasted by your static object.

Slow shutter speeds are also used to photograph lightnings or other objects at night or in dim environments with a tripod. Landscape photographers intentionally use slow shutter speeds to create a sense of motion on rivers and waterfalls, while keeping everything else in focus.

In summary, high shutter speeds freeze action, while low shutter speeds create an effect of motion.

How shutter speed is measured

Shutter speeds are typically measured in fractions of a second, when they are under a second. For example 1/4 means a quarter of a second, while 1/250 means one two-hundred-and-fiftieth of a second or four milliseconds. Most modern DSLRs can handle shutter speeds of up to 1/4000th of a second, while some can handle much higher speeds of 1/8000th of a second and faster. The longest shutter speed on most DSLRs is typically 30 seconds (without using external remote triggers).

The shutter speed /exposure time on my Nikon D70…..  

From slowest – To fastest setting would be if my understanding if right!!

30 sec = Slowest

15 sec 

8 sec 

4 sec 

2 sec

1 sec                                






1/60 = Fastest

Link to Wikipedia and shutter speed

Link to an alternative setting of very Long exposure time 1/2 sec or more,  even up to 1 hour

Link to a good site about Shutter speed

Link to Sunny 16 Rule

Having a longer shutter speed of a few seconds allows the camera to take in more light to the sensor (or film for the film buffs). This means that the camera can read more “data” from the scene and gather more detail in a low light condition, creating some truly remarkable results as you will see below.

Here are two ways to manually set the shutter speed:
a) By setting the camera to “Shutter Priority” mode, where you set the shutter speed and the camera automatically selects the aperture.
b) By setting the camera to “Manual” mode, where you set both shutter speed and aperture manually.

When you shoot in “Aperture Priority” mode, you set the lens aperture, while the camera automatically sets the shutter speed.“Aperture Priority” The camera calculate the shutter speed for me.

For my Nikon D70 a setting for a night shot would be 30″ sec in shutter speed / Exposure time and F- Stop number would be 27


Focal Length (Bränndvidd) = The lens number

Focal Length is determined of what sort of lens you have. Like I have a Nikkor 18-70mm now and the mm tells what my focal lengths are.

That will due for now I feel as I need to move on to next exercise in the course and I will  get back to this area later.
My reflection of this project:

WOW, I feel as I’m getting somewhere here now!!! Very rewarding indeed and I feel as I have gained a better understanding of my cameras settings, but far way from enough.


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