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Aperture priority mode?

Drbee

Naperville, US
5927 posts

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"RE: Aperture priority mode? "

Drbee Silver Member Nikonian since 05th Aug 2004
Tue 13-Mar-12 02:35 AM

I think one of the pitfalls of a modern camera is that an emerging photographer often thinks the sophistication of the automation precludes other thinking.

When I bought my first auto body (film) my progression of features started with the amazing "P" mode and matrix metering, then I discovered program-shift and found that with the spin of the dial I could quickly select either the shutter speed or the aperture that I desired for the situation and the camera did the rest.

Later I discovered spot metering and got stuck in a spot-metering mode because that particular camera didn't have a good compensation for back-lighted subjects. It did have a very good auto daylight fill strobe integration and that became my next big capitalization on auto-exposure.

As my awareness of strobe integration improved the move to aperture priority was natural but then often I needed the exposure system to be "more reliable" than the emerging matrix system - hence I adopted again the Nikon classic CW metering.

While my kids were becoming more involved in school activities and sports, "S" mode started creeping into my photographic vocabulary. A stint with aerial photography (pre VR) strengthened my hold on "S".

As my business travel increased and I found that I could nominally reserve one early morning or late evening during a weeks travel for photography I began reverting to manual mode and spot metering for those early/late lighting problems.

With my high-ISO capable D700, I now sometimes control shooting parameters with ISO. Manual mode is still with me. For easy automation, I still prefer aperture preferred auto exposure because I still tend to treat depth of field as a preferred exposure parameter. I still like CW metering for things I consider critical and often dial in my exposure compensation before making a lot of other decisions.

OTOH in difficult and continuous varying lighting that often follows along with tour based travel photography, I like autoISO and aperture preferred exposure. This is mostly with a VR lens and I can often tolerate slower shutter speeds. I shoot in RAW so I can squeeze out or tailor more effectively the dynamic range in the final image.

So for me, aperture priority is in the bag, but it is only one of several aspects of setting and designing what I want for a proper exposure.

BTW, in those difficult travel situations if I'm using my X100, I often use full Auto mode (programmed in X100 talk), autoISO and spot metering with RAW files. I know the camera is fairly strongly biased toward the f/2 aperture its lens and it's a good f/2. The exposure control naturally fits my style and since the results at f/2 are quite acceptable and I'm frequently in poorly lighted museums, historic building, dark streets, evening situations all that works out very well.

Aperture is a tool, if I were shooting military airshows as often as I'd like, I would likely be much more attuned to "S" with the necessary exposure compensation.

Best Regards,
Roger



This is a hot, active topic! Aperture priority mode? [View all] , Omaha , Mon 12-Mar-12 10:46 PM
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