Nikon D3100 with DX 16-85 VR lens and SB400 - Field Test


ortega

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#1
A totally unscientific look see at what this small/light combination can do for travel.
I wanted to travel light but still keep the benefits of a DSLR so i put together this small and light equipment combination for travel. I also brought along a table pod.

no serious photography just compose and shoot as i was traveling with my family.
I believe that most people will come across this predicament when traveling with family.

This is what i brought along, first the camera body

Nikon's latest and smallest DSLR camera the Nikon D3100
the lens - AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR (5.3x)
the flash - Speedlight SB-400

so, off i went to japan to see what this combination can do
 

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ortega

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#2
just outside shinjuku station early morning with strong back light
(btw all exif data is intact, so look at it if you want the specific settings)

 

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ortega

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#5
more low light hand held shots, this time at shinjuku


1/13s f5.6 ISO800


1/25s f4 ISO800

btw it is the start of winter so the sun sets early around 4:30 - 5pm


1/25s f4 ISO800
 

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ortega

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#7

at Tsukiji Fish Market





the low noise at High ISO came in Handy, so did the VR
one thing i need to say is to switch off the VR until you need it.
 

ortega

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#8
now some nice daytime shots of shibuya


1/400s f8 @ ISO100


1/200s f8 @ ISO100

if you want to shoot the same angle, don't go there in the morning as the sunlight is on the buildings with the foreground in the shadows :(
so i make do with a low angle to fill the foreground with people.
 

ortega

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#11
Indoor Food shots with bounced flash from the SB400


1/60s f8 @ ISO200



the use of the bounced flash allows me to use a low ISO speed with a faster shutter speed and a smaller aperture :)
also notice the nice reflections and light

the SB-400 has made itself to my must buy list, i don't want to bring my SB-800 when a small SB-400 will do.
 

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ortega

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#12
more food shots, this time outdoor (shade) ambient light


1/80s f8 @ ISO400


1/125s f4 @ ISO400 (too little DOF for this shot)
 

ortega

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#13
close-up capability of the lens

while staying at Hilton Tokyo Bay, I noticed that the morning sunlight falling on the rice paper window shade makes a great softbox :)


1/40s f5.6 @ ISO100

this is the battery that supplies power the D3100, it will lasts around a day of shooting (average around 600-700 shots with VR turned on)



 

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ortega

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#14
overall the combination was small and light while still able to get the quality of a DSLR, the video ability was an added bonus
i will upload the full HD video later, (maybe the shibuya crossing)

i usually shoot with my D80 so i missed the controls and bigger viewfinder. One thing i don't like about the D3100 is the lack of control buttons that you get with the bigger cameras.
but i must say that the combination did not let me down on my trip. it was small enough for my 10 year daughter to use too.

Coming up next is more misc shots.

 

ortega

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#15
more indoor low light shots





these are shot through a glass panel



this shot is taken by my 10year old daughter :) (some cropping for a better composition)
only shows how easy to use the camera is
 

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ortega

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#18



another shot with the table pod, it was tough to find a suitable place to place the table pod that gives me the angle of view that i want
so a full height tripod would be better
 

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