Friday, December 23, 2011

Nikon vs. God

So, Nikon is rumored to launch THREE new PRO cameras in 2012, TWO of three in January! I am super excited about upgrading some of our equipment, I check on Nikon Rumors every day :) While looking over the leaked specks for the hundredth time, something intrigued me. First, I’m going to give you some quick background info. The new professional cameras that are coming out have extremely sensitive image sensors, which means they can work in less light. The higher the ISO, the less light is needed to make a picture. When I read that Nikons new camera (along with canons) has a high ISO of over 200,000 I was completely blown away. You will be able to shoot in near darkness!! I was thinking about how far technology has come and how amazing it is… then I started thinking about the human body. How awesome are we? Not because of us, but because of our creator!

When you see an astonishing camera such as the Nikon D4 or Canon 1DX that can take 11 pictures a second in near darkness , you know some extremely smart people had to create and build that complicated piece of equipment, it did not just magically appear one day. When I look at the human eye, I can’t help but think about the creator that created it as well.

As I’m sitting in my living room this evening, I can see just fine. I can read, I can focus on a book that is 6 inches from my face or on a refrigerator magnet in the kitchen. I have no issues looking at my bright computer monitor then glancing over at my beautiful wife. But when I pick up my camera and click off a few shots, all I get is a black LCD. I raise my ISO to 6400 and I get a faint image with plenty of grain. Let’s bump my ISO up to about 100,000… now I get a properly exposed image but at the price of plenty of grain and lose of image quality.

Cameras simply cannot perform anywhere as good as the human eye!!!

God created the human eye out of DIRT a few thousand years ago. There haven’t been retina upgrades, our pupils haven’t gotten any bigger, nothing has changed about our eyes since Adam was made. Scientists have been rolling out brand new $5000 cameras every few years and they have not even got close to touching the quality and efficiency of the human eye.

My camera’s image sensor 4 times bigger than my eyes retina but it can’t gather anywhere near the same amount of light. My camera lens has an aperture 10 times bigger than my pupil, but it cannot let as much light through. My camera has 50 autofocus points, my eye has infinity. I have to adjust my camera for different colors of light, my brain does that automatically. My camera cannot focus in dim light, my eyes focus instantly. Some of my lenses can’t focus closer than 10 feet! Again, my eyes don’t have a problem. Shooting a computer screen and shooting a dark kitchen would require many changes to my camera settings. Guess what, we don’t even have to think about it. Don’t forget to change your camera batteries and fix it when the image sensor goes bad… Our eyes last a lifetime.

Our eyes are infinitely better than the cutting edge technology of today but our eyes were formed from the dust of the ground thousands of years ago.

I do not see how anyone can look at the complexity and efficiency of the human body and say, there is no God.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Choose your lens carefully

Look at these two pictures, can you see the difference? Alright, now can you tell me what lens was used on which? I’ll give you a hint, one is a 14mm and one is an 85mm.

It is pretty easy to notice the difference in these two images. One is much less distorted and has a much less distracting background.

When shooting portraits, it is important to choose the right lens. I personally love doing portraits because I can move, the subject can move, and I can try different angles and lenses and not miss a shot.

Let’s look at this scenario, you are doing outside portraits, and you have your choice between two common kit lenses, the 18-55 and the 55-200. What one should you use?? They both have a maximum aperture or 3.5 and have virtually identical optics inside. The 55-200 is usually the best choice for shooting one or two people outside and here is why.

As you can see above, longer focal lengths give you less distortion and decrease your depth of field, making your background more blurry and less distracting.

With the wider angles, like my 14mm, the person looks pretty strange… I can see the tops of his shoes and sometimes you can see up the subject’s nose… never flattering.Human sight is about like a 50mm lens, so anything wider than that begins to look unnatural.

Sometimes you are in a situation when you must use a wider angle. If you are inside or simply cant separate yourself from the subject, you will have to use a wider angle. If you are photographing many people, you might have to be obnoxiously far away to use a telephoto lens, which means you should use your wide angle. Wide angles are also great for capturing more of the surroundings.

By no means am I saying you should never use a wide angle for portraits. I use mine pretty often. Wider angles are great for shooting down on subjects, like if they are laying down. I also use wide angles when I want to see more of the scenery. Wide angles are great for inside portraits because you cant always get far away from the subject.

Remember those few tips when shooting your next portraits!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Macro Photography

I recently got asked about some of my macro shots and how I go about macro photography.

Anyone who has been around photography for a long time knows that there are MANY ways to shoot macro.

First off macro or micro pretty much means close-up, or life sized.

If you want to get technical, macro lenses are categorized and rated by the ratio of the actual size of the subject vs. the size it is on the image sensor or film. A 1:1 lens is about the best you can get. If you take a picture of a 35mm rectangle with a 1:1 lens at the minimum focusing distance, it will cover the whole frame. If you do the same with a 1:2 lens, it will cover half the frame. Most lenses are about 1:6 which means that a 10mm bug on a 35mm piece of film (or full frame image sensor) covers only 5% of the frame!

Of course, you have seen images that have a ratio much better than1:1, where a fly’s eye may take up the entire frame!! We are going to discuss some methods used to make a 1:1 lens a 4:1 lens or better! Or maybe you just want to make your kit 1:6 lens a 1:1 lens.

The great thing about macro photography is that you can get decent results for basically next to no cost.

The first thing I am going to talk about is the cheapest but also EXTREMELY simple. These handy gadgets are called macro filters or close-up filters. They are simply a filter that screws on the end of your lens. These filters look and act just like a magnifying glass. They come in different strengths from +1 to +4 to just stupid close. The great thing about macro-filters is that you can use them on auto-exposure mode on your camera. You can find a set of 4 with a nifty case for under $20 on e-bay. Some disadvantages are a slight sacrifice in image quality (especially along the edges) and it shortens your depth of field which can make it extremely difficult to get a sharply focused image. Also, you have to make sure that you get the right diameter filter for your lens (which is fine if you only plan on using one lens or lenses with the same filter size.)

The next fun macro toy is an extension tube, which is a…tube… that extends your lens. The difference in this and the macro filter is that an extension tube goes between your lens and your camera body rather than on the end of your lens. There are no optics (glass/lenses) in an extension tube, it just moves your lens farther away from the camera body. Like the macro filter, you can get different sizes or strengths of tubes. The more expensive tubes have electronic contacts that allow autofocus and auto exposure mode to be used. Some tubes cost less than $5 but they are nothing but a piece of metal, which means that you must use manual exposure mode and manually focus. The biggest drawback to the cheap tubes is that they MUST be used with a lens that has an aperture ring (you can change the lens aperture by turning a ring on the lens not just a dial on the camera.) If you put a cheap tube on a lens without an aperture ring, the lens will be stuck at its smaller aperture and render is useless. I like extension tubes because you do not lose any image quality. Some negatives are that they are more expensive than the filters (about $75 for the tubes with electronics) and like the macro filters, they decrease your depth of field.

Last is one of my favorite photography toys, a teleconverter. They (like everything else discussed) come in different “strengths”. You can get a 1.4x a 1.7x or a 2x. These numbers correspond to the amount of focal length added. A 2x teleconverter DOUBLES yours focal length, making a 50mm lens a 100mm or a 70-300mm a 140-600mm!! What is fun about a teleconverter is that it doubles your focal length but still allows you to focus at the same distance. This is fun for telephoto shots along with macro shots. If you have a 50mm lens that can focus at 1 foot, put a teleconverter on your lens and it is a 100mm lens that can focus at 1 foot… awesome :) A teleconverter looks almost like an extension tube because it goes between your camera and lens. Unlike an extension tube, it has glass in it, which means that it can lower your image quality because it magnifies any imperfections your lens may have. Another disadvantage is that it cuts your aperture in half which means that your awesome F/2.8 lens is now a so-so F/5.6 lens. A teleconverter can be found for about $75 also.

Now, let’s take a standard 50mm F/1.8 lens. This has a reproduction ratio of about 1:6. With this 50mm, you can focus at about 1.5 feet. Let’s put a 2x teleconverter on it and make it a 100mm F/3.6. That makes the lens have a 1:3 ratio. Let’s put an extension tube on it, allowing it to focus at .75 feet meaning it’s a 1:1.5. Hmmmm, let’s now add a macro filter and allow our lens to focus at about 4 inches!! A disadvantage of all of this is that your depth of field is going to be stupid small… like, half of a fly can be in focus but the other half completely blurry. Some ways to combat this is stop down your aperture (because that increases your depth of field.) You can also just lean back and forth to focus rather than use autofocus or try to manually turn to focus ring.

Macro is cool because you can do it anywhere, you do not need a busy city or a beautiful country landscape. All you need is a bug, or an eyeball, or a flower… anything God created looks amazing close up :) Buy a cheap set of macro filters and see what you come up with!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Shoot simple and stunning silhouettes

A silhouette is the image of a person or object consisting of the outline and featureless interior, usually being black.

Have you ever tried to take a silhouette picture of a palm tree or a friend jumping against a beautiful sunset and all you get is a blown out white sky?? When I think of a silhouette, I usually think of a beautiful sunset landscape with a tree or two.

Snapping a stunning sunset takes some knowledge of photography and your manual exposure settings. The first thing we must understand is that your goal is to properly expose the sky and to capture its vivid colors. When your camera is on anything but manual exposure mode, your camera usually tries to properly expose the person or the tree, so it allows the shutter to be open longer or the aperture to be bigger, which causes the sky to be blown out and white. What I do first is make sure that my ISO is set around 200 and I usually close my aperture up to increase my depth of field. Start with an aperture of F/5.6 and a shutter speed of 1/200s and see what you get. Too light? Stop down your aperture to F/8 or speed up your shutter to 1/400s. If your subject is moving, speed up your shutter, if you want your subject and the background to be in focus, close up your aperture. If your subject is not completely black, that it is fine, it is very easy to correct with any basic photo editor.

Try getting down low and get the grass in the bottom of the frame your subject off center. With landscapes, you want to have multiple “layers.” A foreground, such as grass, a middleground such as a person or tree, and a background like your sky.

The great things about silhouettes is that you can get gorgeous pictures almost anywhere. Try getting a cityscape or a barn; some power lines or just a tree. Almost everything looks cool when it’s a silhouette. Here are a few examples we took in our own backyard.

I want to see some of your silhouette pictures. Post them here!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Remote flashing

Some of my favorite items in my bag are my speedlights (flashes). When flashes first emerged, they were nothing more than a literal explosion right in front of the subject. A little dangerous… Since then, we have come a long way. Now I can remove my flashes from my camera and fire them remotely. This allows for some amazing shots with minimal effort. With my Nikon sb600 and sb700 I simply switch them to remote mode and start shooting. My on camera pop-up flash actually sends my speedlights instructions on how bright to flash so I can change my exposure settings from my camera without having to walk over to the actual flash. There are many uses for off camera flashes, I will show you a few of my favorite.

Dramatic effect- Place a flash to the side of your subject for a dramatic effect. This is very simple and always produces interesting results.

Stop motion- Set up a flash or two and close up your aperture so you don't catch any ambient light and you can stop pretty much anything in motion.

I took these pictures just for this blog, it took about 15 minutes to set up, shoot, then clean up my mess before my wife found out I used her coffee beans and spilled water everywhere.
For more, look on our Facebook page

Back lighting. Put your flash behind the subject to get a silhouette with a slight "glow" around them.

Along with lighting from the back, you can also light the background with fun (and cheap) gel filters :)

If you are an emerging photographer, you might not have several hundred dollars to spend on flashes, but that is ok, you can still get these amazing shots!! You can buy a flash online for less than $50 and you can buy a remote trigger for less than $5. With these amazing little gadgets, you can fire your flash off camera! Simply mount your flash to the hot shoe, use your camera flash, and get amazing results, all for about $50!

The drawbacks of this method is that ANY flash will fire the flashes! Which means if you try and use this method to shoot a wedding or event, every time ANYONE uses their flash, they will trigger your flash! Also, you have to adjust the flash output on the flash not from your camera.

Experiment with your flash off camera and see what happens!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Really Nikon? A Mirrorless camera?? J1 and V1

Nikon just announced their new mirrorless camera today…Following suite of Sony and a few others. Canon is expected to release theirs soon also. With this sudden outbreak of“advanced” cameras, it got me thinking… why?

It’s not a point and shoot… or an SLR. It’s not for stay at home moms shooting pictures of their 5 year old’s crafts… but it’s not for the professional wedding photographer either. It’s the awkward middle schooler that smells bad and has acne.

The “J1” and “V1”, as they are so cleverly named, are basically a small point a shoot camera, with not so small removable lenses. I like point a shoots because you can put them in your pocket or purse, pull the mount, take a picture, put them back, and be on your way. My DSLR that I used for all our professional work is a little more cumbersome than a point and shoot,but I need to use different lenses and accessories. This camera will not fit in your pocket but it does not produce the results like my DSLR will. It’s just awkward. There is no mirror (hints mirrorless) so you preview the image on an LCD screen rather than through a viewfinder like DSLRs. This means you are sucking up A LOT of battery to keep the image sensor and the LCD powered all of the time rather than just when you take a picture. On the subject of the image sensor, REALLY Nikon?!? Sony’s awkward mirrorless camera at least has the same size image sensor as an APS-C DSLR, which means it does better with higher ISO’s… Nikon, for whatever reason,decided to go with a smaller sensor about 3 times as small as a normal sensor.One good thing is that there IS an adapter for Nikon F mount lenses which means you can use your Nikon lenses on this camera…. But like I said before, the image sensor is smaller so now your 50mm lens is almost a 150mm. (see my image sensor size article.) I havnt figured out who this camera is for yet. Is it just a gimmick?? Who are they targeting?? They went with a simplistic design which means you can not easily change your shutter speed, aperture, or ISO… so it’s not for pros. It’s not for every day shooting because it’s too big and expensive… If you’re going to go through the trouble of attaching lenses and carrying your gear in a bag, why not get a Nikon 5100 which is an excellent camera for just a little bit more money? If you don’t want to spend a lot of money, get a Coolpix camera, it’s portable and not as complicated…

What do you all think? Who is actually going to buy this?!

What makes a camera professional... and expensive?! Is it worth it??

The Nikon D3000 is less than $500.00
The Nikon D3 is more than $5000.00
That is more than 10X more expensive!! What makes a camera worth that much more you ask?!
Well, here is a short and simple list :)

Physically the camera looks and feels different.
-First of all better, cameras are physically bigger, this make them a little easier to manage with bigger lenses and flashes attached. Also, it is easier to hold a bigger camera more steady because your hands have more to hold on to.
-More expensive cameras are usually made of magnesium alloy, this makes them a lot lighter than other metals and stronger than plastic.
-They are weather sealed, which means they can be rained on or snowed on and survive (this DOES NOT mean water proof) Also, it helps protect against dust and dirt.
-There are more buttons, dials, and knobs on full frame camera. This makes it easier and faster to change your settings. You don’t have to go “menu diving” to change your white-balance or ISO for example.
-The LCD screen is bigger and a higher resolution so that you can examine the exposure and composition better.

The sensor and the image processor is what really makes the difference
-The first thing is that nicer cameras are full frame. A bigger sensor doesn’t necessarily mean better pictures, but generally full frame sensors have the following characteristics...
-The image processor is faster, which means that instead of shooting 3FPS (frames per second) you can shoot 9 or even 11 frames per second!
-The sensor has a better dynamic range; which basically translates to images that have more contrast and are sharper.
-Another huge advantage of a nice camera sensor is that you can turn the ISO up higher and shoot in less light without as much noise. A cheaper camera might be able to shoot at an ISO of 1600 where a nicer camera can shoot with an ISO up to 12,800 without losing image quality.
-There are more auto focus points, which means that the camera can focus on things that aren’t directly in the middle of the frame. My first Nikon has 3 auto focus points while the D3 has 51!
-Notice that I said NOTHING about megapixels! There are some point and shoot cameras with nearly 20 megapixels but one of Nikons best cameras has only 12! The reason for this is that the more megapixels, the lower the ISO has to be and the less frames per second. Megapixels are not that important unless you plan on printing your pictures to go on highway billboards!

Is it worth it?

Not everyone needs a $5000.00 camera, honestly, not everyone needs a $500.00 camera either.
If you don’t know how to use all the bells and whistles on an expensive camera and you're not shooting in the rain or near darkness everyday, then you are just fine using an easier to use, cheaper, and smaller camera.
If you are going to shoot on auto all the time, you probably don't even need a DSLR at all.
Just because your cameras lens can be removed does not mean your pictures will be better.
Before purchasing any camera, you need to think about what you will be using it for and do some research. Many point and shoot cameras are much more practical and take just as good of pictures if you plan on shooting in auto all the time.

What lens should I buy?

This is a question that I get asked all the time and I never have a simple or straight forward answer for. I always end up asking more questions than the person asking me!

What is your budget? I’ve bought some old manual lenses for old film cameras for $15.00 and they work great on my new digital cameras as long as I shoot in full manual mode. There are also many lenses that are thousands of dollars. Most new autofocus lenses are a couple hundred dollars; so if you are not planning on spending that much, you might want to save up a little more unless you are comfortable shooting on manual exposure mode and manual focusing.

What will you be using it for? I categorize lenses into 4 categories. Portraits/low light. Sports/wildlife. Wide angle/landscape. All around zoom lenses.

Portrait/Low light. I put portraits and low light lenses in the same category because most people want nice “bokeh” or a blurred background when shooting portraits and a big aperture helps with decreasing your depth of field and giving you nice bokeh. A big aperture also helps in low light because it captures more light than a smaller aperture. Here is an example of a nice blurred background caused by using a big aperture compared to using a much smaller aperture (reminder, a BIGGER number means a SMALLER aperture)

The most popular portrait lens is the 50mm F/1.8. With an aperture of 1.8 this lens has a nice smooth background. I also have an 85mm F/1.4 which has an EXTREMELY shallow depth of field. Remember that the more zoomed in you are, the shallower your depth of field is also.
Drawbacks of big aperture lenses- Neither one of the lenses listed above can zoom, but that is alright for portraits because usually you can move closer to the subject. If you want a nice zoom lens with a big aperture such as F/2.8 be prepared to spend over $1000.00. The Nikon 70-200mm F/2.8 is over $2000.00. That lens is often used for weddings to get nice bokeh without having to get distracting close to the bridal party. You may have noticed that 70-200 does not have that much range, that is because it has such a big aperture. Big aperture lenses don’t cover much focal length so be prepared to switch lenses while shooting weddings.
So if you are looking for a portrait lens or a lens to use in low light. Look at the 50mm F/1.8. It is only around $100.00 for Nikon and Canon and it is great for portraits. Other options are the 35mm and the 85mm both at F/1.8. They are usually around $300.00. Want a lens with a big aperture that can also zoom? Nikon has a 24-70 and a 70-200 both at F/2.8 but they are well over $1000.00! All of these lenses also work great for low light because of their big apertures.

Sports and wildlife lens- These lenses are known for having a large focal length. Most of the time a sports or wildlife lens is anywhere from 200mm to 500mm or bigger. These lenses are used to zoom in far so you do not have to disturb wildlife to walk out onto the playing field. Since the majority of the time you will be outside and since you will already have a shallow depth of field because of the long focal length, you do not need a big aperture. Nikons 70-300 lens has an aperture ranging from F/3.5 to F/5.6. Nikon also has many very large and expensive fixed focal length telephoto lenses such as the 500mm F/4. A cheap telephoto is Nikons 55-200. If you want a little more range and better glass,look at the 70-300.
The drawback of these lenses is that they do not work so well in low light or indoors in general. If you wanted to take a picture with a 300mm lens, you and the subject couldn’t even fit in the same room unless you just wanted a picture of just their eyeball.

Wide angle and landscape- These lenses are the least popular because most zoom lenses are pretty wide and super wide angles are not usually needed. These lenses are used most often for landscape and architecture. These lenses allow you to take a picture of an entire room from the doorway or an entire building from the sidewalk right outside. These lenses are so wide that you sometimes shoot your feet! Most standard kit lenses zoom out to 18mm which is already pretty wide and sufficient for most everyone. There are some super wide lenses such as an 8mm that allow you to see 180 degrees. My favorite is the 14mm F/2.8. This lens has a big aperture and is really wide so I can shoot an entire bridal party from the front row. You usually don’t need a big aperture with a wide angle lens because you want a large depth of field to capture landscape and architecture.
The only drawbacks of this lens are obvious, you don’t use it for a whole lot of things and most kit lenses are plenty wide for the average photographer.

All around zooms- These lenses are the most popular of all lenses. They have a very wide zoom range. Some popular zoom lenses are 18-55 and the 18-105. These lenses are for people who don’t want to bother changing lenses or don’t have time to. I use my 18-270 during weddings to get a variety of shots from very wide angles of the entire bridal party to a close up of the rings. These lenses are convenient and easy.
There is also many drawbacks to these zoom lenses. The most obvious and common is the small aperture. My 18-270 lens can only go as big as F/6.3 at 270mm which is extremely small. I have to use a flash or a very high ISO when shooting indoors. Because of the small aperture, the depth of field is bigger, which means the bokeh is not as good and the background is more distracting for portraits. Another drawback is these lenses usually aren’t as sharp and they have more problems with the glass such as vignetteing and chromatic aberration. For these reasons, they don’t make good portrait lenses and are better suited for outdoor use such as sports or wildlife.
This is a best lens for the common photographer. It has a wide zoom range which means you can survive with only one les. They are also cheaper and more widely available.

Other things to think about-
Some more things to think about are overlap, which means, do you already have a lens covering that focal length?? If you have the 55-200mm I would not get the 70-300mm just for the extra 100mm. You would have about 200mm of overlap. It doesn’t make sense financially or when trying to carry it all around. If you have a 18-55 the 55-200 would be a great choice because there is no overlap. Overlap is ok of you are getting a portrait lens such as the 50mF/1.8. You would use your 18-55 or 18-105 for pretty much everything except portraits.
What about off brand lenses or old manual focus lenses?? I have quite a few off brand lenses. Off brand lenses are almost always cheaper than name brands. My 18-270 is one of my favorite all around zoom lenses but it is a tamron lens. I got this lens because it was sharper and covered more focal length than the Nikon 18-200. My lens is autofocus and has VR just like Nikon’s lenses. Some off-brand lenses do not autofocus, which means you much focus it by turning the focus ring on the lens. Some older lenses (even old Nikons) do not autofocus and some will not even work on cameras unless its exposure mode is set to manual. Since I shoot in manual all the time anyway and I don’t mind manually focusing, off brand lenses are a great value because they are cheaper (sometimes 75% cheaper!) My 14mm lens is made by Samyang (Japanese company; Nikon also makes their lenses in Japan) was about $300.00. I have to shoot on manual exposer (which I do already) and I have to manual focus but Nikon’s 14mm lens is $1700.00… Autofocus is not worth $1400.00to me.
Something to watch out for is a lot of off brand lenses are not as sharp or clear. You really have to do your research and look at reviews to make sure that the lens is good. The 14mm I have is actually sharper than Nikon’s lens but many lenses are not. I have a vivitar 70-210mm that I got for $15.00 and it is extremely blurry. I would never use it for portraits but it is a fun and cheap telephoto lens.
You must also make sure that the lens will fit your camera. Sigma and Tamron are two popular third party lens manufacturers. They make lenses for Nikon, Canon, Sony, Olympus, Pentax, and more. You have to make sure that the lens you are buying is made for your camera brand.

With hundreds of different lenses and hundreds of different brands, it is hard to choose which of the thousands of lenses to buy.

DX? FX? Now even CX?

FX vs. DX (CX at bottom)

Digital SLR cameras are split into two categories, DX and FX.

Those two terms refer to the sensor size of the cameras image sensor.

I am not going to explain why one sensor is better than the other in this article because there are numerous variables to determine which size sensor is really "better." I am simply going to explain the relationship between DX and FX sensors and DX and FX lenses.

A FX camera (or more specifically, the sensor in the camera) is often called a full frame camera or 35mm.
When film was used, the film size was about 35mm so a full frame (or FX) camera sensor is about 35mm.

Most cameras today use an image sensor that is slightly smaller, often called a DX camera.
A DX camera is also called a crop frame or APS sensor.
To most beginning photographers, FX vs. DX will not affect them at all.
It is not until one ventures away from the kit lens that FX and DX matters.

We will start with a picture

A DX sensor is smaller than an FX sensor.
Both DX and FX lenes produce an image just big enough to fill their sensor.

If you put a DX lens on a FX camera, the DX lens will not produce a big enough image to cover the FX sensor.
It would look like this.

If you put an FX lens on a DX camera, the image produced by the lens would be a lot larger than the sensor. The way this affects you is that since the sensor only sees the about 75% of the image produced, the image seems to be more zoomed in than if the same lens was on a FX camera.

Here is a picture showing what a DX and FX sensor would see with a FX lens.
A full frame sensor would see all of the image produced by the lens.
Since the DX sensor is smaller, the image seems more zoomed in.

Here is everything laid on top of each other (just to confuse you)

Pretty much, if you use a DX lens on FX sensor, the lens doesn’t make a big enough image so the corners will be black because there is no image there.
If you use a FX lens on a DX camera, the image will definitely cover the frame. You won’t even be able to tell the lens is a FX lens while looking through the view finder. BUT a 50mm FX lens will look like a 75mm lens because of the “crop factor.” This means the image produced by the FX lens is cropped by the DX sensor. This is useful sometimes because that means a 300mm FX lens on a DX camera looks like a 450mm lens. More zoooooom :)

With Nikon's new V1 and J1 mirrorless camera, there is a new sensor size in the Nikon Market. This sensor is almost 3 times smaller than a full frame camera, 2.7 times to be exact. What that means for you is if you have the new Nikon V1 or J1 with the F mount adapter, your 50mm FX lens will be almost a 150mm!!