#1. "RE: Custom Settings and Shooting Menu Banks (D800)" In response to Reply # 0 Mon 03-Dec-12 08:08 PM by MotoMannequin
Livermore, CA, US
It's just a way of organizing the camera settings, and you use both every time you shoot. I agree it took me a long time to get any idea at all the rationale behind the groupings, and I think the ultimate truth is that it's a haphazard grouping at best.
Off the top of my head, I'd say the shooting menu controls things that affect generating the image, like exposure and converting raw data to viewable jpeg, i.e. ISO settings and Picture Control. The custom settings control how the camera works i.e. what button does what. That doesn't however paint a complete picture and I'm sure anyone could poke plenty of holes in those generalizations.
My approach is that I don't differentiate between them, and always use shooting bank A with custom settings bank A, B with B, etc. and this is how it shakes out for my kind of shooting: A = Landscape B = Wildlife C = Shapshot/Street D = Movies
This is plenty of customization for me, and I don't feel the need to cross bank A with B or C or D.
edited to add: I put the Shooting bank selection and the Custom settings bank selection together in the custom menu so I can easily change selection of both without a lot of menu diving. It would be nice to have a setting which automatically tied them together.
I intend to study my settings someday, but Larry's comments about generalizing the two might offer a methodology to begin to differentiate or optimize in a better way.
Meanwhile what I suggest is keep ALL of your important variables also in MyMenu so that you can keep track of where they are at currently. I.e. things that you change from time to time and that you need to keep an eye on. For me that includes things like Picture Control, ADL, NR, Focus tracking with Lock On, WB, Movie settings, and especially Auto-ISO settings which is always my top setting and instantly recalled by pressing the function button.
#6. "RE: Custom Settings and Shooting Menu Banks (D800)" In response to Reply # 5
The one addition I have to the lists above is "waiter mode". This is the automated mode you use when you need to hand the camera to a waiter or family member for a quick snap. I use the AF-On approach for focus, and its much easier to use the custom bank to change the camera to the shutter release to focus and automated settings for WB, ISO, and focus. Jason O'Dell refers to this as "mother-in-law mode".
#7. "RE: Custom Settings and Shooting Menu Banks (D800)" In response to Reply # 0
On my D200 / D300 I did as most others have reported, matching A,B,C and D definitions on both banks. Mine were set up for General, Macro/tripod, Landscape and Wildlife/action because those are my main interests. I found I was frequently making adjustments to my 4 groups in both banks of settings to compensate for day to day variations in shooting conditions.
When I got the D800 I decided to think a bit more deeply about the reasons for Nikon's design team splitting the settings into two banks. My reasoning was this : Four groups of settings (A,B,C,D) give you 4 different virtual cameras in one. If you could find independent intentions for each of the 2 banks of four, you get a matrix of 16 virtual cameras. (for the non-mathematical people any of the 4 groups in Custom Settings Bank, paired with any of the 4 groups in Shooting Menu gives up to 16 unique combinations) This must have been the intention of the designers - to maximise flexibility - so it stands to reason that they would have grouped all the available choices into logically independent groups.
Looking at lists of the settings you can see this is actually the case.
The Custom Settings Menu relates mostly to things you do with the light that enters your lens, physical camera controls and choices that you make in preparation for the photograph (i.e. before the shutter opens) such as : - method of acquiring focus for different types of subjects - exposure and metering - timers - release mode, mirror delays etc. - flash
Shooting Menu consists largely of choices relating to the processing of image data captured by the sensor during and after exposure, such as : - colour profiles (picture profiles) - ISO sensitivity - Noise reduction - D lighting - White balance - Distortion control and Vignetting - File naming, image quality
Consequently I am experimenting now with banks set up as described below : Custom Setting Menu : A = General Purpose Handheld B = Landscapes C = Wildlife / Action D = Macro
Shooting Menu : A = Normal, Good Light (limited Auto ISO range to maximise IQ) B = Low light, Handheld ( allows high ISO settings, forces faster shutter speed, enables D-lighting to bring out shadow detail, disables LENR) C = Low light, Tripod ( restricts ISO, allows long SS, enables LENR) D = HDR (Just for fun, HDR with Vivid picture profile, high contrast and sharpening)
These settings allow me to match prevailing lighting conditions to any of my favourite shooting genres by making just 2 menu choices before I start shooting. After that, virtually all further adjustments made during shooting are done with the physical controls (buttons and dials).
I am still fine tuning the Auto ISO settings in particular. I hate ISO noise and I also hate the hassle of applying NR in PP - so rather avoid getting noise in the first place.
#10. "RE: Custom Settings and Shooting Menu Banks (D800)" In response to Reply # 0 Wed 12-Dec-12 04:35 AM by jamesvoortman
Two further comments :
1) The really important settings are the ones that cannot be changed in post processing. I only shoot RAW and I post-process using Capture NX2 so things like picture profile, WB and ADL can be changed after the fact, you dont have to gett hem right in the bank setup. LENR, HINR and ISO settings must be selected before pressing the button. If you post-process in Lightroom or Photoshop, be aware that the raw file converter (ACR or others) may not interpret special Nikon features like picture profiles, ADL or custom WB settings, and it may not allow you to change them afterwards so these settings would then also become important in your bank setup. Also, if you shoot jpeg, then WB, ADL etc cannot be changed afterwards and more attention to these settings is required during shooting.
2) Debatable but I find that I want the picture profile settings in custom settings menu and the flash options in Shooting Menu. This way the CSM group could be aligned more closely to subject types and the Shooting menu more closely to lighting/shooting conditions.
#11. "RE: Custom Settings and Shooting Menu Banks (D800)" In response to Reply # 7
Consequently I am experimenting now with banks set up as >described below : >Custom Setting Menu : >A = General Purpose Handheld >B = Landscapes >C = Wildlife / Action >D = Macro > >Shooting Menu : >A = Normal, Good Light (limited Auto ISO range to maximise >IQ) >B = Low light, Handheld ( allows high ISO settings, forces >faster shutter speed, enables D-lighting to bring out shadow >detail, disables LENR) >C = Low light, Tripod ( restricts ISO, allows long SS, enables >LENR) >D = HDR (Just for fun, HDR with Vivid picture profile, high >contrast and sharpening)
Thanks for this post. I wonder whether you would be prepared to post some of the details of each of the "Banks". This would help me (& probably others) a great deal. BTW what does LENR mean? Thanks. Alan
#14. "RE: Custom Settings and Shooting Menu Banks (D800)" In response to Reply # 13
>They stand for Long Exposure Noise Reduction and >High ISO Noise Reduction respectively.
Long exposure noise reduction only kicks in for exposures longer than 30sec I think. It basically takes a 2nd exposure of the same length but with the shutter closed. This gathers noise data from the sensor which can be "subtracted" from the original exposure to eliminate noise caused by pixel variations (which have various causes).
High ISO noise reduction is a default Noise reduction that kicks in for ISO values above 1600 (iirc) even if you set NR to OFF. If shooting in bright light it is not necessary - and lengthens file write times - so turn it off if not needed
In bright light shooting conditions you will get high contrast so Active D lighting (aka ADL) may be a good idea but HINR and LENR and various other bad light settings can be disabled....and so on
I will try to compile a listing of my settings using the settings spreadsheet and post it here but I give no guarantee to its effectiveness. Not sure how to post a spreadsheet here - will try to find out.
If you want to figure it out for yourself then I suggest create a table in a spreadhseet or word processor with 6 columns. column 1 = list all the settings in Shooting Menu Bank Column 2 = make notes about how each one works - the manual provides limited info, you may find one of the specialist books on D800 useful. Column 3 = tick if useful for good light handheld - note preferred settings where a range is available Column 4 = tick if good for low light handheld........and notes Column 5 = tick if good for low light on support (tripod)...notes Column 6 = tick if good for (choose a purpose independent of the others above)
Similar table for Custom Setting Menu
Column 3 = A, Col 4 = B , Col 5 = C, Col 6 = D
You'll figure out a system that works for you - then enjoy testing and fine tuning it.
#16. "RE: Custom Settings and Shooting Menu Banks (D800)" In response to Reply # 14
Long Exposure Noise Reduction turned on activates at exposures of 1 second and longer. The default should be ON because this cannot be easily duplicated in post. The main reason for turning it OFF is cycle time because it subtracts an exposure of equal time to the original exposure. This setting has changed from activating at 8 seconds to 1 second over the last few camera generations with smaller pixels.
Active D Lighting adds value if you shoot JPEGs or process with Nikon software or other programs that recognize the camera settings. ADL does two things - it applies a curve to recover shadows and protect highlights, and it may apply an exposure adjustment. I found in testing the curve is tough to replicate in post, and it can be turned off or changed to a higher level in post with Nikon Capture. The exposure adjustment is baked in and the amount depends on the ADL setting. ADL Low has no adjustment and is harmless. ADL Medium, High ,and Extra High reduce exposure by 0.3 stops for each increment up to a full stop. With Lightroom or other programs that do not honor the camera settings, ADL just adjusts exposure (unless you choose Low). My setting is normally to set it on Low or Off because it does not adjust exposure and retains the ability to make changes in post. And of course, these settings do affect the histogram and embedded JPEG.
High ISO noise reduction can largely be replaced in post with more control so I generally leave it off. High ISO NR softens the image - sometimes more than desired.
#18. "RE: Custom Settings and Shooting Menu Banks (D800)" In response to Reply # 7
Hi James, I know this is a year after your original post, but I was wondering if you ever fine-tuned your shooting menu banks and custom settings banks. My new D800 arrived the other day, just in time for Christmas. I have been spending a bunch of time researching different philosophies for setting up these custom settings. Your approach seems to make a lot of sense and I was wondering how it worked for you. I shoot a lot of wildlife, including birds, landscapes and urban images. Thanks very much. Liz
#19. "RE: Custom Settings and Shooting Menu Banks (D800)" In response to Reply # 0
Cape Coral, US
Hopefully obvious but worth mentioning just in case...
These banks are "live", so if you have a carefully constructed group of settings in (say) Bank C, and you modify it while you are shooting, then go to bank B. Later when you go back to C it contains your last mods.
There's no "working" bank at all, so if you decide to use banks in this way, you need a lot of discipline to always restore them to your preferred settings after use, if you make any changes at all.
I really wish they had a "working" bank, and that you copied A, B C, D into the working set, and only if you copied them back did it modify the saved banks.
#20. "RE: Custom Settings and Shooting Menu Banks (D800)" In response to Reply # 19
Owings Mills, US
What would really be nice is if there was a choice to the "reset-to-default" selection. One that would give you the choice of either resetting to the Nikon default or to the settings in place when you first turned on the camera on that particular day. It would be like the current extended bank setting.
This would help because as other posters have said, you might be making a change or two to suit the conditions but you would like to return to your selected settings. For example, if you have Auto ISO set to 800 but a particular situation requires you to bump it up to 1600, when done with that situation you would be able to return to YOUR previous settings instead of the default settings.
#21. "RE: Custom Settings and Shooting Menu Banks (D800)" In response to Reply # 7
Just reading this post and find it very helpful . . . along with all the later responses. So much value in these forums and I appreciate the time that you each put into crafting replies that further my understanding of photography and more specifically, my camera.
#22. "RE: Custom Settings and Shooting Menu Banks (D800)" In response to Reply # 19 Sat 14-Dec-13 03:58 PM by chroaz
Cave Creek, US
Actually I dedicate my "B" Bank to be a working bank, which I call Ad Hoc - I have the A bank as my default landscape settings; the B bank as Ad Hoc - which is the one I change to whatever a situation requires. It avoids me forgetting what I have done to the other presets to mess them up!. My C bank is for quick JPEG shooting (Eric calls it "waiter" mode) and depending on the camera my D Bank is either HDR or Movies.
When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence. - Ansel Adams
#23. "RE: Custom Settings and Shooting Menu Banks (D800)" In response to Reply # 19
Powder Springs, US
I guess I use My Menu as my working bank. After I set all of my banks up for portraits, flash, landscapes, and movies, I set all my changeable items up in My Menu. I can tell at a glance which might be out of kilter when I'm shooting.
The My Menu items I use most are:
1. Battery levels 2. Auto ISO 3. Flash sync speed 4. AF-On (for waiter mode) 5. Horizon 6. GPS
Scott Chapin Powder Springs, GA, USA Nikonians Team Member
#24. "RE: Custom Settings and Shooting Menu Banks (D800)" In response to Reply # 18 Wed 18-Dec-13 04:46 PM by jamesvoortman
>Hi James, I know this is a year after your original post, but >I was wondering if you ever fine-tuned your shooting menu >banks and custom settings banks.
Thanks for your reminder. I have still not actually condensed everything into a spreadhseet yet. Had a few goes at it but not happy.
I have however settled on a slightly different Menu setup than what I described previously. During the year I acquired a 500 VR lens and have been doing a lot of birding. The latest evolution that is working well for me is the following:
Custom Settings Menu (unchanged) A = General Purpose Handheld B = Landscapes : settings for slow shutter speeds C = Wildlife / Action : settings for fast AF and shutter response D = Macro : settings for MF, flash, delayed release
Shooting Settings Menu A = Good light handheld : biased to SS= 1/(2xfocal length) Auto ISO up to 2000, ADL = ON B = Poor light handheld : biased to SS = 1/FL, Auto ISO up to 6400, ADL = OFF C = Fast Support : various options for fast SS with long lens shooting on tripod (wildlife) D = Slow Support : Options for landscape and macro on tripod, e.g. ISO fixed at 100, LENR = ON etc.
Each time I start shooting in a new location I quickly make bank selections based on the lighting and type of subject using the info button double-click to select banks quickly. After this I tend to leave the menu alone entirely and only make adjustments using manual controls for ISO, PASM, Exposure comp., AF modes, metering modes and the like. The manual controls I use most often are probably : 1) AF-ON 2) Aperture dial in A mode 3) exposure comp. 4) switching auto-ISO on and off and using dials to adjust ISO manually 5) metering mode dial
The only time I go into the menu a lot is when it comes to flash photography with the SB 800, especially remote flash (commander mode). Flash does not play nicely with Auto-ISO so I usually set ISO manually and then sometimes also have to adjust the min/max shutter speeds applicable to the flash.
Some people don't like the complication of the banks - I love the versatility they offer. In fact I would be happy if Nikon gave us 2 x 6 banks instead of 2 x 4. This would enable me to set more genres and add some customisation for flash usage.
#25. "RE: Custom Settings and Shooting Menu Banks (D800)" In response to Reply # 24
Thanks James. I've now had the camera a couple of weeks and have been playing around with the settings. I have set up mine in a very similar manner to yours and it makes a lot of sense. I copied your Custom Settings Menu and then varied your Shooting menu slightly as follows: A = Handheld B = Tripod Nature C = Tripod Macro D = Idiot Mode I use the AF-On button to focus in shooting menu's A-C, so when I give the camera to someone else I switch the focus and shutter to the shutter release in Idiot mode. I am still learning though, and have to remember to make my menu selections before I start shooting so that I try not to reprogram my menus. It takes a bit of getting used to, but I can sure see the advantages. I wish there was someway of saving your menu settings though, so that if you do accidentally change the settings, you can convert back. I have saved mine onto a small SD card that I only use for that purpose, and not for shooting, but it would be handier to do in-camera. I am coming from a D7000, and I never did use the U1 and U2 settings on that camera (not sure why not). Just love the camera so far. I can't believe the detail I am getting even in a 100% crop. Still lots to learn. Thanks again for your suggestions, and have a great Christmas. Liz
#26. "RE: Custom Settings and Shooting Menu Banks (D800)" In response to Reply # 25
ha ha. Just don't tell them it called idiot mode!
I agree on the need to be able to restore customised settings. Easy software change. We already have the two button reset to restore factory defauts....how difficult to provide an option to restore customised "defaults" instead.