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My Nikon D5000 is about to go in the bin.I t used to take great clear sharp photo's but not for months now.I have always used Aperture priority .Have been scouring the web for months getting tips and changing every combination of settings but getting nowhere,9 out of 10 photo's are blurred.I use the lens that came with it and 55 -200mm lens with same results.Any idea's. 

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Hi Oscar No I haven't dropped either lens and I swap lenses all the time.I use Aperture 5.6 most of the time but change if I need to to. 

The last Nikon owner who complained about auto-focus in the forums here had some tissue inside the body, covering up the sensor.  You may have a hardware problem, but try blowing out the area behind the lens with a bulb blower.

I wonder what setting you altered in the menu when it all went wrong?

So eliminate problems one by one.

1. Reset the camera by looking in your manual for your camera.

2. Make sure that:

                          Image quality is Jpeg normal

                          White balance is at auto (by default)

                          Image size is normal

                          ISO is 200

Your camera is now as you bought it.

Go outside and take two photographs and load them onto you computer, are the OK? Hopefully they are, if not you will have to clean the contacts on the camera and lens. Search on google for how to do this and what to use (alcohol based).

Put everything  back together and go outside again and take another two shots and upload to the computer, are they OK? No!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Do you know another Nikon user? Yes, great, go and see them and beg, borrow or steal a Nikon lens and fit it to your camera, go outside and take another two shots and return the lens to the owner (make sure the lens is nice and small, not a 300mm unit. Go home and look at the shots, are they OK? Yes, you need a new lens. No!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! throw the camera in the bin, NO NO NO. I have no idea on how long you have owned the camera, if you live in Europe you have two year warranty. Return the camera to where you bought it and tell them of the problem. Take the photographs test shots to show them, sometimes they can repair the unit on site. If not they can return it to Nikon even if you have to pay for it.

If everything worked when using the different lens you will now have to go through the menu system to set the camera up again.

I need a lot more information about the problem before I suggest anything else

Hi Fred  Went to St.Andrews Aquarium Scotland ant took about 250 photos mostly indoors on varios setting to make sure I got some decent shots,P.S.A and scene mode candlelight as it was ptetty dim inside Aquarium and only about 100 were worth keeping and that was with editing to sharpen and brighten them up as all were dark and not sharp.about 6 were actually normal ie sharp and bright.So I have reset camera to defaults so I will see how it goes today.Camera is still under warranty but Im not so sure the camera is faulty.My wife took the same photo's as me with her Canon and they were bright and sharp ,Watch this space.

Hi Daniel l  Yes I have tried manual focus and that does not work very well,all looks well through the the eyepiece but photo's are blurred even on tripod.

Update-Done the reset and took this photo,as you can see it still is not sharp or bright.


I don't understand what you are expecting.  You took a photo of a back lit crow at 1/125th and f/8 using 200 mm.

The histogram looks pretty good!

Focus looks all right, considering.  You have motion blur but that is to be expected when shooting with a long lens at a shutter speed that is less than 1/<focal length>

David, well, the picture you posted helped out and I will baffle you with science first than hopefully help you out.

Details of the photograph:

Active D-Lighting on

Sharpening 3

Picture control standard

Active D-Lighting = Auto

ISO 200

Colour Space = RGB

Metering Matrix

Exposure Mode = Aperture

f/stop f/8

Shutter speed 1/125

lens length 200mm

Lens 55-200mm

That tells me you will have a bad photograph unless you have had some training.

Active D-Lighting TURN IT OFF. I have not found any person who uses this because it really causes problems with the photos and can and will introduce noise, so please turn it OFF.

The other reason for the photographs not being crisp is your shutter speed and length of the lens. To get the photograph of the crow you would out the lens to 200mm and that left you with a shutter speed of 1/125. A basic rule in photography is that the shutter speed should be 1.5 time the length of the lens, so you set the lens to 200mm so the shutter speed should have been 1/300. How do you achieve that? Well using a lower f/number would have increased the shutter speed, so if you use f/22 the shutter speed will be a lot lower than 1/125 maybe 1/30. I do not know what the lowest f/number is on your lens but that would have done for the crow and would have lifted the shutter speed higher.

Now that you have got the camera working again you can make some other alterations.

1. Set colour space to sRGB, unless you are selling photographs you do not need it.

2. Play with the Picture Control, there are lots of alternatives, use them and see what difference they make to the photograph.

3. White Balance, now set it to cloudy, my camera is always on that setting.

4. In camera sharpening, again this is a setting you have to be happy with, play with it, move the number up and down, look at the differences between photographs and use the number you are happy with.

I suggest you buy a book, Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson ISBN 0-8174-6300-3. It is now on its second edition.

Now I have had a quick play with you photo. I have managed to get some detail back in the crow but with Active rubbish switched on, difficult to overcome.

Any more questions ask away

Thanks Fred for all your suggestions,I have made the changes you gave me so will give it a try next time we are out and about.You have improved the photo bringing out more detail,The Nikon software is pretty good at doing this.I will try it out next time we are out and about.Thanks again for your very detailed reply .

You had a nice silohouette on the crow, you just needed to alter the settings of the camera to get the details of the feathers, you will learn in time.

Apart from what I have told you to alter, only alter one setting at a time, if it does not work, switch it off and alter the next setting.

Whilst you are out, if you see another Nikon user about, hit them on the head, just ask how have you got your camera set? Most people will talk and show you some settings.

If you referred to Nikon Capture NX2, it has just been updated to version 2.3.1, hopefully your update will work, mine did not and I am awaiting Nikon for a reply

Hi Fred  Well I have taken about 200 photos since you your advice and no change,about 90% were useless due to blur and being very dark.As i have tried lots of good advice and getting no where my interest in photography has gone.thanks for all your help.

I have read all the replies here and I don't understand why all your photos are still blurred. Well, one last possibility why all blurred and this is just a shot in the dark: " You probably put your lens to manual and forgot to turn it on back to auto." I have done this a couple of times so it might be possible for you. check it out anyway.


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