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D200 Custom Settings Spreadsheet version 1.5

ClevaTreva

UK
11 posts

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"RE: Thank you"

ClevaTreva Registered since 12th Jan 2008
Mon 24-Mar-08 11:00 PM

I thought I would update my earlier post as I have had some time playing with this now.

So, ignore what i said! LOL

This seems to be the easiest way to do HDR with the D200 (the D300 will work much the same way, but I think it is missing the BKT button and the menu options have different numbers):

HDRI shooting really isn't suited to moving subjects (with the exception of water or other flowing fluids) and is best used for Landscapes. I have started off with the Custom Settings spreadsheet (v1.5) from Nikonians.org and Shooting Menu C and Custom Settings Menu (CSM) C.

The D200 really helps to make shooting HDRI sets easy. I use the bracket-burst mode. Having already set the bracketing as you want, you switch it on with the BKT button and flicking the main control dial.

Here's the technique I use for HDR shooting with my D200 from a tripod or with the camera resting on some other stable surface. It can be used with or without the need a remote shutter release (I find it easier with the timer remote):

1. Rather than setting the image quality to NEF & JPEG (which takes up more space on the storage card), I use NEF compressed.
2. I also set bracketing program to EA Only (Custom Setting e5).
3. Press and hold the BKT button and rotate the main command dial to set the number of exposures. I would suggest either 5 or preferably 7. The choice of number of shots depends on the EV steps chosen.
4. Set the EV increments by pressing and holding the BKT and rotating the sub-command dial. Choose either 0.7 or 1EV. HDRI enthusiasts say you need a 4EV spread to make HDRI work, and that 3 shots with 2EV steps will do. It will, IF you get the Master exposure right (you often don't have time) AND there is nothing lost in those relatively large EV steps. I prefer 1EV steps. I have had to throw away too many sets where the 3 shot/2EV combo failed. I don't throw away many with 1EV steps. However, you may not have time to set the Master exposure correctly. I tend to leave it to the camera and widen the range in the shots. 5 shots at 1EV is still only 4EV range. 7 shots at 1EV stretches this to 6EV, whereas 7 shots at 0.7Ev gives only 4Ev again. So, 7 shots at 1EV it is, and you can afford to discard an image or two.
5. Set the drive-mode as required. I have mine set to S, but it will be slightly faster in CH mode.
6. If you find it easier (I do), switch the shutter AF (CSM a6) to AF-ON and use the AF-ON button to focus on your main subject for the HDR (I don't use infinity and often the subject is often not in the centre of the shot and I can't be bothered to move the AF point just for one frame). If you do this, frame the shot for focal length and point the camera to have the subject in the AF point and press the AF-ON button to focus. If you are in AF-S mode (I am), you will need to have a2 (AF-S Mode Priority) set to Release, so then the AF-ON button becomes an AF-Lock/Hold button. If in AF-C mode, set A1 (AF-C Mode Priority) to FPS Rate for the same effect.
7. Compose the shot properly, setting the camera to Aperture Mode and select the ISO. As your camera will be on a tripod, you might as well have this set to 100 (the Nikonians.org default) to reduce the noise.
8. Use the Interval Timer and set a time sufficient for all the shots to fire off (the timer will terminate after all the shots have been taken anyway, so a long time like 10 minutes is a safe bet). A remote timer control is a good idea. Other than Nikon brand, most of the others are made by Yong Nuo (also branded Phottix, Micnova and Aputure) and should cost about $49 delivered. You don’t need to set anything in the D200 menu this way, and you don’t need to access the menu to set the timer off. The remote can also act as a normal remote as well. If you are using the D200’s Timer menu, highlight Start and select On. Press Enter and it will start firing the shots (after a short delay) using the bracket program (you must have switched this on first!). The number of shots and interval value are ignored when bracketing mode is set. The number of shots in the bracket program is used instead and the interval timer is terminated once the set has been taken.

Note that once you've set up the Interval Timer once, it will remain set up that way and you don't need to reprogram it. It will retain those settings until you change them. This is nice if you're going around taking several HDRI sets. You simply can reuse the same. All you have to do each time is to go to the Interval Timer and hit the Go/Enter button.

Now all you need is some HDR software. Whilst Photoshop CS3 will do it, it isn’t great. I use Artizen HDR. Inexpensive and recommended by many, the support is great and it has an impressive range of features, including some great filters (like Orton) and superb Tone Mappers.

This is a hot, active topic! D200 Custom Settings Spreadsheet version 1.5 [View all] , crashmeister Silver Member , Mon 01-Sep-08 05:53 PM
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