Sunday, July 01, 2007


For those of you folks who have been following the epic saga of my relentless, mind-bending (haha!) quest for a digital SLR to replace my old film camera which died, I am pleased to announce the arrival of my Nikon D80:

OK, so maybe I'm still kind of in a state of denial... but don't worry, I'll get over it. :)

So far, it's been doing OK, except that the battery life seems to be surprisingly shorter than expected. A lot shorter than the official figures. I hope it's because the batteries are new and not fully "warmed up" yet (if ever there is such a thing). I also had some trouble setting the flash to second curtain (or rear curtain) mode, which is to fire just before the shutter closes instead of when the shutter first opens. When I set it to second curtain it fires at the second curtain, but it ALSO fires at the first curtain! So, the flash fires TWICE when in second curtain mode! I thought that's weird. Can anyone help me on this? I want the flash to fire only once (as expected) but only on the second curtain.

I thought this would be the end of my journey to DigitalCameraland, but now I realise it's really just the beginning.


wolfdash said...

Dude, I just found out u need to turn the TTL off from the menu to stop it from flashing twice. Go use the manual mode and I think it should be fine....maybe coz I was using the pop up flash...have a go at it.

HL said...

You mean turn the TTL off from the flash menu, or the camera menu? OK, I need to test it out. Coz I think the popup flash was also firing twice.

Sounds complicated... hmmm, I thought TTL was supposed to make things easier. So now I have to override the TTL?

Anyway, on the Canon 400D the 2nd curtain flash works by setting the 2nd curtain mode on the flash itself. The popup is set via the custom function menu.

The Nikon SB800 flash does not have the control for 2nd curtain mode. The manual says to set it via the flash control button on the camera.

Why is the world so complicated? :)

CH said...

hey...i like your canon logo... :p wake up, !! Wake up!! if you want the real CANON, you gotta pay for it!!

But i am not too sure if Canon is really that lasting..i have 2 canon digital cameras, but both throw tantrums and refused to one point or another..and they are all fairly new is 3 years old, and one is barely a year old..hmmm....maybe is the problem of the user...but perhaps the digital slr range for canon is of better quality? neeways, happy shooting away..

Glad you made up your mind and chosen something rather than nothing.. :p

wolfdash said... it confirms it have to set the flash mode to manual in the camera menu. Actually you can also try turning off the TTL mode on ur flash and use the manual mode. That might help too. TTL is like artificial detects the light and also determines amount of light needed. Since when the shutter 1st curtain open there's not enuff light, it'll flash and then after that the 2nd or rear flash will come on....confusing huh? Don't worry, after firing a few thousand shots you'll get use to all the settings like me....haha....hoped that helped.

HL said...

CH: Well, my mom's Canon Powershot suffered a dunk in the river, due to my carelessness, but it revived after a week of drying. Then again, they're more or less the same nowadays. Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Sony, etc. Well, more or less.

Canon and Nikon should just work together and produce the best-of-both-worlds camera at the lowest price. I don't mind being their advisor.

Wolfdash: Thanks for the tech support. So Canon and Nikon have quite different flash and exposure systems?! Oh how I pine for the good ole days of simplicity, when things were either on or off, with just one button. And every camera worked the same way.

Are you saying that the Nikon fires a pre-flash when the 1st curtain opens? But it shouldn't be so, because the subject ends up being exposed by flash twice on the same frame. That is what's confounding me. Or maybe it's just me.

Leo Koo said...

:) go Canon!

but, it's a nice camera, the d80 over there.

HL said...

Nikon, Canon, same same, but different.

wolfdash said...

Hey dude, got me the 55-200mm vr lense d. Haven't gotten to using it yet. but so far some test shots showed that it's results are pretty good. but seriously, the tamron lense is also one heck of a lense. i compared it some shots taken with a d200 with the nikon 18-55mm 2.8f and it doesn't show much diff in quality. but the nikon 2.8 lense is really heavy.....since u r going US r u bringing ur cam over there ah? besides r u free for photoshoot in aug? you're invited too leo.

florence said...

I'm waiting for the "big day" with those cameras. HEHE.

HL said...

Wolfdude: Whoa! Your acquisition campaign is relentless. Does the 55-200 lens creep? Coz my 18-200 creeps like crazy between 35 and 135. It just slides in/out all by itself when the camera is pointed up or down! Small problem, but irritating. My old Sigma 28-200 lens has ZERO creep. Of course I'm bringing the camera along. It's the first thing I'm packing. :P August will be busy month... lemme know.

Florence: You can start practicing now. :) Visualize the scene you want. Hope I'm free that day.

wolfdash said...

hey dude. Didn't find any creep with the 55-200 vr. Well, it's a much lighter lense compared with ur 18-200 vr. It's even lighter that the tamron. will bring it along when i come to kl one of these days when you are also around. Hehe!

HL said...

Good for you. Looks like I'm stuck with a creepy lens. Haha. Maybe it's all that high quality glass in there that makes it heavy and creepy. But then... oh well... nevermind. See you around.

wolfdash said...

Yeah dude. I went a little more crazy with my buying spree....I bought 2 ND8 filters recently (52 & 67mm, guess for which lense? hehe!) for about 300bucks. i better stop visiting camera shops for the next few months man...haha! See u when u come back from US dude.

HL said...

Dude, stop making me envious k. When you get the 70-200 f2.8 VR remember to share ya.

wolfdash said...

Check these out dude! Is it available in US ah?

crazy stuff from tamron man!!!

HL said...

I'm sure they're available everywhere. But I'm not sure where they're cheapest. Singapore?

The 28-300 zoom range is incredible. I think it might be just as good, or better, than the Nikon 18-200. But it still lacks the wide angle on a non-fullframe digital.