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Subject: "D7100 settings for difficult lighting conditions" Previous topic | Next topic
Seragone Silver Member Nikonian since 26th Jun 2012Thu 05-Sep-13 01:13 PM
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"D7100 settings for difficult lighting conditions"


Reston, US
          

Hi all, I am reading Doug Klostermann's ebook on the D7100 and recommend it as it explains why to chose certain settings rather than the user manual that explains how to make the settings.His advice is intuitive in many ways. For instance, he suggests that the shutter release button be set so that it only focuses on the subject when half pressed, allowing exposure to be taken at the time the picture is taken. But his suggestion to use buttons like fn and depth of field to take pix in difficult lighting confuses me. Instead of going over his ideas let me ask you if my approach will work MOST EFFICIENTLY to take pictures of stationary subjects in extremely dark or light settings: set the camera to spot focus, focus the dark or light subject by depressing the shutter half way, use the AE-L/AF-L button (set to exposure only/hold) to determine exposure, recompose and shoot. Doug uses other buttons to do this but I have them set to do other things. I feel my selection of buttons is intuitive given their intended purpose. What do you think?

  

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Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: D7100 settings for difficult lighting conditions
JosephK Silver Member
05th Sep 2013
1
Reply message RE: D7100 settings for difficult lighting conditions
Seragone Silver Member
05th Sep 2013
2
     Reply message RE: D7100 settings for difficult lighting conditions
JosephK Silver Member
07th Sep 2013
3
Reply message RE: D7100 settings for difficult lighting conditions
RLDubbya Silver Member
07th Sep 2013
4
Reply message RE: D7100 settings for difficult lighting conditions
Seragone Silver Member
07th Sep 2013
5
     Reply message RE: D7100 settings for difficult lighting conditions
Seragone Silver Member
07th Sep 2013
6
     Reply message RE: D7100 settings for difficult lighting conditions
JosephK Silver Member
07th Sep 2013
7
     Reply message RE: D7100 settings for difficult lighting conditions
km6xz Moderator
07th Sep 2013
8
     Reply message RE: D7100 settings for difficult lighting conditions
RLDubbya Silver Member
07th Sep 2013
9
          Reply message RE: D7100 settings for difficult lighting conditions
Seragone Silver Member
08th Sep 2013
10

JosephK Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his excellent and frequent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community in the Nikonians spirit. Nikonian since 17th Apr 2006Thu 05-Sep-13 06:08 PM
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#1. "RE: D7100 settings for difficult lighting conditions"
In response to Reply # 0


Seattle, WA, US
          

What you are doing should work quite well. Using the AE-L button to lock the exposure for the recompose is what I do when needed.

Just to clarify the terms, there is "single-point focus" and "spot metering". Sounds like you are probably using both.

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Joseph K
Seattle, WA, USA

D700, D200, D70S, 24-70mm f/2.8, VR 70-200mm f/2.8 II,
50mm f/1.4 D, 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR, 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 DX

  

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Seragone Silver Member Nikonian since 26th Jun 2012Thu 05-Sep-13 06:22 PM
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#2. "RE: D7100 settings for difficult lighting conditions"
In response to Reply # 1


Reston, US
          

Joseph, yes both. I use single-point focus for stationary stuff. I will use spot metering for the difficult-lighting shots. The problem is that the camera allows so many options to do things. The author chose to use one of the programmable buttons to focus and it doesn't make sense to do that given the shutter does this. Yet, his writing style and knowledge gave me a greater understanding on my new camera. Thanks Stephen

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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JosephK Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his excellent and frequent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community in the Nikonians spirit. Nikonian since 17th Apr 2006Sat 07-Sep-13 05:45 AM
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#3. "RE: D7100 settings for difficult lighting conditions"
In response to Reply # 2


Seattle, WA, US
          

Yes, the af-on button. A great feature I use 100% the time with my D200 and D700. Bummer that the D90/D7000 line does not have it as a dedicated button.

With my D70S, needed to make that decision on what the AE-L button does. Given what I might still use that camera for, I went with the exposure lock/hold option.

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Joseph K
Seattle, WA, USA

D700, D200, D70S, 24-70mm f/2.8, VR 70-200mm f/2.8 II,
50mm f/1.4 D, 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR, 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 DX

  

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RLDubbya Silver Member Nikonian since 24th Dec 2011Sat 07-Sep-13 02:16 PM
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#4. "RE: D7100 settings for difficult lighting conditions"
In response to Reply # 0


US
          

>let me ask you if my approach will work MOST
>EFFICIENTLY to take pictures of stationary subjects in
>extremely dark or light settings: set the camera to spot
>focus,

Assuming you mean single point focus

>focus the dark or light subject by depressing the
>shutter half way,

OK. So, assume that you want to use the center focus point because you're in dim light, and the center focus point is more accurate (which is a fact). So, you lock focus on the subject with the center point, and the subject is not where you want it to appear in the final composition.


>use the AE-L/AF-L button (set to exposure
>only/hold) to determine exposure,

OK, exposure is set


>recompose and shoot.

You recompose to have the subject framed as desired.

You press the shutter release button, the camera refocuses, and your subject is now out of focus, and you take an out of focus picture.


> I feel my selection of buttons is intuitive given
>their intended purpose. What do you think?

Unless I'm missing something in your description (which is possible), I don't think it will work. The whole point of disengaging focus from the shutter release is to enable focus to be locked prior to recomposing and not have it change when you (perhaps significantly) recompose your shot.

  

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Seragone Silver Member Nikonian since 26th Jun 2012Sat 07-Sep-13 02:48 PM
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#5. "RE: D7100 settings for difficult lighting conditions"
In response to Reply # 4


Reston, US
          

RL, I am sure I am confusing everyone by miss-using terms so let me try to use the correct ones now.For very dark or very bright still subjects I set the camera to single point autofocus and spot metering. The AE-L/AF-L button is set to AE-L hold. Thus the shutter focuses and the AE-L/AF-L button measures exposure. I place the subject under the active focus point (I usually prefer to use the center one) then half press the shutter to focus the subject. I continue to half press the shutter and press the AE-L/AF-L button to lock and hold exposure. I recompose the shot and press the shutter all the way to take the picture. I could set the AE-L/AF-L button to focus and lock exposure but I like the idea of having the camera measure exposure when the picture is re-composed. So, doesn't the image stayed focussed and exposed this way? I hope I explained this properly this time. I know there are other ways to meet the objective of properly photographing very bright or very dark subjects so I encourage comments on better ways to do this. I think Stan's suggestions are intended to set up the camera to take pictures in a variety of settings--moving and still. But I cannot do this yet. I find it okay to separate settings for moving and still subjects, particularly, as I said before, there are many changes to be made when going from still subjects (my normal settings) to moving ones. I appreciate your patience with me. Thanks, Stephen

  

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Seragone Silver Member Nikonian since 26th Jun 2012Sat 07-Sep-13 02:55 PM
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#6. "RE: D7100 settings for difficult lighting conditions"
In response to Reply # 5


Reston, US
          

Just to make clear the one sentence in the above message that reads, "... Liking the camera to measure exposure when..." I want this to happen when taking pictures that are NOT of subjects that are very dark or light, pictures that are more the norms then the exceptions. The settings discussed in the previous message are for the exceptional conditions of very dark or bright subjects. S

  

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JosephK Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his excellent and frequent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community in the Nikonians spirit. Nikonian since 17th Apr 2006Sat 07-Sep-13 09:07 PM
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#7. "RE: D7100 settings for difficult lighting conditions"
In response to Reply # 5


Seattle, WA, US
          

In AF-single focus mode, as long as you maintain the half press on the shutter release, the focus will remain locked (using the default settings).

Sounds like you have a good technique for dealing with the less-easy shooting conditions. The higher-end bodies do make this a little easier with separate buttons to handle all the individual aspects of the job, but you have a button setup and technique that works well for your camera body.

Since my D70S does not have a separate af-on button, I chose to configure the camera the same way you have yours.

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Joseph K
Seattle, WA, USA

D700, D200, D70S, 24-70mm f/2.8, VR 70-200mm f/2.8 II,
50mm f/1.4 D, 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR, 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 DX

  

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km6xz Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Portraits and Urban Photography Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009Sat 07-Sep-13 10:53 PM
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#8. "RE: D7100 settings for difficult lighting conditions"
In response to Reply # 7
Sat 07-Sep-13 11:16 PM by km6xz

St Petersburg, RU
          

I think that staying in auto mode like Aperture priority will disappoint you in a very dark or very bright subject. Metering on a very dark subject is going to blow out the highlights in most cases.
You need to visualize what the meter tells you and it does not tell you. Matrix exposure works best in general scenes but spot metering on a very dark subject will cause the subject to be overexposed. The meter does not see the world like we do, it assumes the target will be properly exposed if it is mid point between full black and full white, which turns out to be about 18% grey. The is the visual center point of full white and full black.
The camera will assume you want that dark object grey, not black, so the sensitivity of the camera is increased to give a middle grey of that very dark object which means the highlights, being boosted the same degree will be over exposed.
There are many times when we have to override the very smart camera. The same goes for very bright subjects such as a snow field in bright sunlight. The camera assumes you want the snow to middle grey, like dirty snow and underexposes the field, which buries shadows in black, and increases shadow noise.
How to fix that? You can guess by how much a grey snow field is underexposed and purposely set in positive exposure compensation that tells the camera metering to intentionally over expose by about 2 stops.
To make the dark object appear really dark, you must add negative exposure compensation to underexpose the image to make it look realistically black.
It is easiest to use full manual exposure mode.

If you post some images with meta data intact, we can make suggestions on how to get it like you really intend. It all sounds complicated but it is not. You will progress very fast if you study the fundamentals of light, dark and exposure, without and reference to a particular camera. A classic book that was written for film but updated regularly is "Understanding Exposure" by Bryan Peterson. He writes in a very accessible, breezy, optimistic way and is a fun read with no math. After that, every setting effecting exposure will make sense on every camera you pick up.
Full disclaimer, I have never read it but I did read a sample chapter on Amazon. I did read his "Perfect Picture" however and it was very effective in teaching the fundamentals of composition and training the eye. I get it to my GF and she, overnight, was getting better more compelling images than me after years of shooting with film.
Good luck and have fun!
----------------------
Stan
St Petersburg Russia

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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RLDubbya Silver Member Nikonian since 24th Dec 2011Sat 07-Sep-13 10:57 PM
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#9. "RE: D7100 settings for difficult lighting conditions"
In response to Reply # 5


US
          

> I continue to half press the
>shutter and press the AE-L/AF-L button to lock and hold
>exposure.

Stephen, I think that's what I was missing, sorry for the confusion.

I'm unable to keep the shutter-release half-pressed consistently - I always end up either releasing the shutter and taking a picture of my foot, or being too gentle and having to re-press. So I've learned that when I recompose, I need to take my finger off the button.

Sorry for the confusion.

You're right - your method should be fine.

  

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Seragone Silver Member Nikonian since 26th Jun 2012Sun 08-Sep-13 12:22 PM
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#10. "RE: D7100 settings for difficult lighting conditions"
In response to Reply # 9


Reston, US
          

Thanks all for your comments. I will start today to search out dark and bright scenes and experiment as Stan has suggested. I will travel north and south and east and west. I will search my basement and attic. If all else fails I will buy postcards! S

  

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