Good Morning- For nearly thirty years I have used F3s, and F4s. I use Norman lighting and fill with others. I now have a D200 and I am flummoxed. I have read the manual front to back several times. I have studied the spreadsheet but remain nearly clueless. I set the thing on auto everything and did shoot a few successful portraits outdoors but attribute the positive results to luck as much as anything. Is there someone here much practiced in D as well as 200 with whom I might converse by email. Or perhaps a smaller group with whom I can discuss some of the problems I am having regarding manual settings and forced results capturing what I used to capture with the F3-4 and RB pretty automatically both in the studio and outdoors? Sure would appreciate some direction here. Feel pretty dumb right about now but don't see any point in owning this thing if it just remains a paper weight. Thanks in advance. Lar
If I were you I would start a new thread for each of your queries which would be quickly addressed. Your D200 is not so very different from your old bodies. Exposure and apertures are just the same. To keep it famimilar use centre weighted metering and manual exposure. you should be on familiar ground there. The next step is settings. Iso is as per film. Choose the speed you want. White balance can be set to auto and adjusted later if you shoot NEF which opens up a whole load of questions. If you shoot jpeg make sure that you select the appropriate white balance. Daylight will be just like film and you could use filters if that suits. Then there are the custom settings. Using a combination will give you a particular look much in the same way as Velvia was different to Astia.
As I said the easiest way is to have particular questions addressed individually as there is too much to be addressed in one post.
Your main problem will be familiarity rather than a paper weight it will all become clear
Always look on the bright side of life de dum de dum........... :) :) :) Dave C Scottish Nikonian My Gallery
Hi Lar, I had the same questions with my D200etc... There are various websites where you can study the various settings. I highly recommend the following where you can print out the settings and how to get to these settings and check off what you have done in these changes. When you get mixed up on these just re-set the camera (see reset settings button) and i the camera goes back to the default settings. :
Look online for Ken Rockwell.com he does have some interesting ideas on this that he has there much info on Nikons. I dont think there is any one setting that is perfect. There are four menu banks that can be set on your camera and you can put 4 different sets of settings in each bank.Then you just have to remember to switch the camera to a particular bank for that particular type of photographs you are doing for that day etc. With all of this info it is good to Reset to change back to basics often and re-do the settings so you are sure of what you want to accomplish. On these four menu banks you can store as many as four different settings. I have mine set as: menu bank # 1) = Landscape; #2 Portrait; #3 sport; #4 point shoot where you don’t have time for changes. In each bank you can have four different stes of settings for the D200. Good Luck armand (sage24)
Perhaps I'm the only one having issues opening this file...I'm highly confident that it's going to answer several of the questions I have.
I am able to download the zip file...I extract it...I see the excel file on the desktop (using the PC (instead of my beloved mac b/c of the ZIP file)...I open, and Excel crashes. It doesn't appear that the file is too large, could you post a link straight to the excel file?
I love this freaking camera! Today was my first full day using it and it's a beauty!
I found the spreadsheet useful and I'm pleased that time was taken to produce it! Good Work! I don't understand, however, why it's necessary to obtain a NEF plus a jpeg of the same image when one could always take the raw image and turn it (or a copy) into a jpeg.
>I found the spreadsheet useful and I'm pleased that time was >taken to produce it! Good Work! I don't understand, however, >why it's necessary to obtain a NEF plus a jpeg of the same >image when one could always take the raw image and turn it (or >a copy) into a jpeg.
Your question probably deserves it's own thread. Briefly, many photographers like the ability to have a "quick and dirty" version of their images, perhaps for loading up onto a website for them or their customers to view, while still having the RAW version available when they need to do any significant post-processing.
This spreadsheet is primarily a convenient way of recording your Custom and Shooting Menu settings for your D200. The version posted in this thread has the additional benefit of containing one possible set of "starter" settings, which many members have adopted and then adjusted to their own needs.
Using the spreadsheet involves printing it out or viewing it on a computer, and having it in front of you whilst you go through the Custom and Shooting Menus on the camera.
>This spreadsheet is primarily a convenient way of recording >your Custom and Shooting Menu settings for your D200. The >version posted in this thread has the additional benefit of >containing one possible set of "starter" settings, >which many members have adopted and then adjusted to their own >needs. > >Using the spreadsheet involves printing it out or viewing it >on a computer, and having it in front of you whilst you go >through the Custom and Shooting Menus on the camera.
I have to ask: Since there is 4 shooting modes and 4 custom modes, does that give me 16 combinations? Or is say, Shooting Mode B some how connected to only Custom mode B?
>Thanks for the great info. I just joined the digital world >with a D200 and this is very helpful!! >Ed
I have just done the same thing and upgraded from a D50 was really struggling with a few issues today but the sheet has really helped me out and with just a few amendments it already feels like a different camera, many thanks
the spreadsheets has been tremendously helpful for me to learn my D200. However, over the time of trial and errors, I find personally I have some settings that I convert to my liking.
when you set up your custom settings A, B, C, D (each with unique name) can you somehow "lock" those settings in , just like locking in the .. (forgot the name, don't have camera on hand) custom menu selection?
I find myself deviate from my settings as I shoot and encounter different situation. By the end of the shoot I would have to get the spread sheets out and re-confirm my original set-ups.
No you can't lock in the settings in either Shooting Banks or Custom settings Banks. Any time you change them, they're changed, that's it. Options to reload them are:
Manually - ie go through and manually reset to your starting point.
Menu Reset the Bank to Nikon's defaults and adjust from there.
Reload a saved set of settings using Nikon Capture Camera Control - this lets you load and save settings between your pc/laptop and the camera and once setup is by far the quickest method if more than a couple of settings need changing. It will allow you to reload all Shooting and Custom banks in one go - ideal for making sure you have the same settings on two D200s if you have them.
Sun 02-Mar-08 10:05 PM | edited Tue 04-Mar-08 10:48 AM by ClevaTreva
I have just moved from a Sony A100 to the D200, so this was a great timesaver.
I really like doing landscape and architectural HDRI shots, which is why I bought the camera.
There appear to be 3 ways to do it. The simplest is to select your Landscape Menu C's (Shooting and Custom), with a couple of changes:
Image Quality: NEF - there is no need to waste space on the jpeg, as you will need to do the HDR merge on RAW files (or at least you ought to).
Custom Settings (some of these are my preference and I could be wrong in making these choices) Menu:
d4 Shooting Speed 4fps AND either: e8 Auto Bracket Selection - Preset Value Select (allows yo to switch bracketing on or off with the command dial) OR f4 FUNC button to Bracketing burst
I check the composition hand held. If it looks OK, I mount it on the tripod, focus on the subject (often off center). Of course, as there is no AF Lock Hold function (darn) - I have to switch off AF after it is focused. Then compose and lock the camera down.
I have my D200 set to 7 exposures at 1EV (with the above settings, esp e8, hold BKT down and rotate the sub-command dial to set these). The camera set to Aperture Priority, ISO 100, and usually F16. If the camera auto exposure is spot on, I can usually dispose of the first and last shot and keep five. However, more often than not the camera gets the 'Master' shot wrong by up to 1EV, so I have the first and last shots as safeties.
Method 1: Select drive mode. Hold the FUNC button down and press and hold the shutter the shutter. Rapid fire exposure bracket ensues.
Method 2: With or without a remote, you do much as above, but use the BKT and Command Dial to switch on Bracketing and then use the remote in drive mode. It will pause after the series has been taken. You don't need to asign the FUNC button (f4) this way.
Method 3: You can also use the Interval Timer to trigger the series if the camera is set to bracketing mode as described above in method 2. The Interval timer ignores the settings for number of shots and interval, instead it uses the number of bracket shots and fires them off as quickly as it can, stopping after it has fired off a sequence. The same settings as for the remote, but you must set the Interval Timer and set it off. This option is beter than 1 or 2 if you don't have a remote because you don't touch the camera whilst it is firing.
Those seem to be the options. Unless you know better
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.
Thanks for the time and effort to those who have put together such a wonderful reference file. This is my first digital camera ( D200) after years of saying "film will always give you the best picture". Okay , so my "dots of confusion" have gone wild! I'm now in the digital world and having fun and wondering why it took me so long. Enjoying all the posts.
Your White Balance is off. Did you use the pop-up flash or another? The pop-up flash has an ideal range and if your subject is outside of this it won't be correctly illuminated.
As you have just bought the camera, I would experiment, as you appear to be doing. If you shoot RAW, you can alter the White Balance later. Given how cheap memory cards are now, I don't bother shooting JPEG's. The RAW file includes a jpeg that you can extract if you need to, so shooting RAW & JPEG might also be considered a waste.
You will quickly find that, if shooting a lot indoors, you will move to other forms of lighting. Note also that if you have large areas of uniform colour, you will need to keep the ISO down to 100 or 200 to avoid digital noise.
I have only had mine for a couple of months, but found the digital handbook from bythom.com to be invaluable.
I used the popup flash. The WB was set on auto, just as the spreadsheet said. I really wasn't concerned about the lighting, noise, ISO or anything other than just testing. But I was puzzled by the greyish cast. If this is supposed to be a point and shoot setting, why isn't it like a p&s camera?
I don't use it in a point and shoot mode that much. I think that the settings are best for outdoors work, in moderately good weather, in normal daylight hours.
Having spent as much as money you have no doubt spent, you need to start to get used to the camera settings. I keep mine set at 100ASA and F11 in A mode, with my Sigma 10-20mm lens on.
Anyway, if you have the A bank set per the spreadsheet, you are taking the shots in RAW(NEF) and JPEG, you can adjust the white balance quite easily on the NEF files. You also have it set to Aperture mode. Just press the WB button on top and dial in the flash setting.
The White Balance used on Auto can vary from 3500K to 8000K. Set to flash it is fixed at 5400K. The blue tinge indicates the camera has selected too low a figure. Once the WB is set to Flash in the top LCD, you can vary this by +/-3. Going negative sets the WB higher, and the opposite, going positive, sets the WB lower.
Craig, Thanks so much for putting the sheet together and for formatting it as a pdf file. I've had my D200 for nearly two years and I'm still discovering new tricks and techniques to improve my shooting. As a 30+ year film shooter, I'm enjoying the creative freedom that digital shooting affords, but I wish we didn't have to re-mortgage the house in order to keep up with the latest technology! Thanks again for your excellent work and for sharing it with your fellow Nikonians. Regards, John bigbear1
Oops, I think I put my question in the wrong place and can't see how to get rid of the last one, so here it is:
Maybe this was already answered. If so, sorry. My question is about using the color space Adobe RGB which is shown for all of the banks. I used Adobe RGB for a long time, but all of my jpeg images looked washed out. When I switched to sRGB, the jpeg's look much better, better color. And if I understood Winston Hall correctly, using sRGB doesn't make any difference if you are also shooting RAW. In the last class I took, I think he suggested always using sRGB as the color space for just that reason; color in jpeg's is better and it doesn't have any effect on the NEF file. Thanks.
If I use ADOBE RGB, they look washed out in Photoshop. But what I was really wanting to know is this. Is there any point in using the Adobe RGB color space in the camera? If using the sRGB color space in the camera improves the look of the colors in the jpeg's and has no effect on the NEF file, why not just use sRGB all the time? All of the local professional and non-professional photo labs where I live want the files to be sRGB jpeg's (or tiff's). I thought using the sRGB color space in the camera would affect the RAW file, but, apparently it doesn't so I now use sRGB. When I recently went on a vacation and took 8000 photos, I really don't have time to fix all of them and I found the sRGB space does improve the color of the jpeg's.
OK. I asked because older versions didn't support Adobe RGB jpegs by default.
Is your computer screen colour calibrated?
Did you know that the LCD on the D200 doesn't display Adobe RGB images correctly, so you can't trust it?
Did you know that if you have some of the picture enhancement options set as per the factory default it causes the D200 to revert to sRGB anyway?
I would have a read of Thom Hogan's guide on this subject. The sRGB space is quite limited.
Many/most web browsers can't display the Adobe RGB colour space! Firefox can, but you have to enable it. To convert from one to the other, you need to use the save to web option in Photoshop. I use the adobe option (when I rarely don't shoot in RAW), but have changed the settings per Thom's suggestion. They look much better then.
I have them at Sharpening +2 (Thom suggests +1) Tone Normal (0), NOT Auto Color Mode 1 or 2 (for 2 you must use Adobe RGB) Saturation Normal (0). Going up from that looks really vivid, great on cloudy days! Hue is up to you. I leave mine at 0.
>Did you know that the LCD on the D200 doesn't display Adobe >RGB images correctly, so you can't trust it? Hmm, no but I wouldn't trust it for accurate color representation because of the size anyway...
>Did you know that if you have some of the picture enhancement >options set as per the factory default it causes the D200 to >revert to sRGB anyway? I'm not sure what you mean, but I don't use the factory default settings.
>I would have a read of Thom Hogan's guide on this subject. The >sRGB space is quite limited. But my original question was: If you use sRGB as the camera color space, it doesn't affect the NEF file anyway so why not just keep it set to sRGB and if you want to have the images commercially printed, that's what most labs want. That's just my personal opinion.
>I have them at Sharpening +2 (Thom suggests +1) >Tone Normal (0), NOT Auto >Color Mode 1 or 2 (for 2 you must use Adobe RGB) >Saturation Normal (0). Going up from that looks really vivid, >great on cloudy days! >Hue is up to you. I leave mine at 0.
For travel photos, I set my sharpening to +1, tone comp to + more contrast, color mode 3, and saturation to + enhanced.
I think I have really strayed from my original question which was, why not leave the color space to sRGB in the camera. Works for me. Thanks for your information. Must stop..too much information is frying my brain!
Thank you for the custom settings. They're a fantastic resource. I have a question about using the landscape shooting menu. I recently stated using the D200 landscape preset for Lightroom 2.0. The colors now seem a bit oversaturated and garish. Have you or others had a similar experience?
No, you are not required to set them to the same letters. This allows for 16 different combinations. However, for practical reasons, setting them both to the same tends to make the most sense for most of us. Plus, the spreadsheet assumes the two will match since that is the way it is setup.
That said, the spreadsheet is just a set of guidelines or a good starting point. Experiment with the settings and see what needs to be tweaked to match your shooting style.
---------+---------+---------+ Joseph K Seattle, WA, USA
Thank you to everyone who contributed to the spreadsheet!
It certainly helped me to learn my menu system inside and out, lol. I've had my d200 for a year now and while I'm quite comfortable with the controls on the body, I haven't delved too deeply into the menus other than adjusting sharpness, and using my on-board flash as commander. I've now created all four "profiles" mostly according to the guidelines (A is more personalized for me shooting in Manual as I choose)
Can't say THANK YOU enough. Just picked up a used D200 (finally) and have been doing a lot of reading and getting more confused - like for every two steps forward I was getting knocked back one. I was gaining knowledge but at a very slow pace and at 57 years I don't absorb the information as fast.
This matrix is a real brain saver. I shoot mostly landscapes and sports.
I've been using a Pentax istDL but have been dying to get a Nikon digital. I use to have a Nikon F3 and FE but traded those in when buying the D200.
I am the main photographer for a website that covers Columbus Ohio High School sports : www.columbuscityleague.com . I also have albums on webshots.com under DogmanJimH.
Photographic composition is the strongest way of seeing. ... Edward Weston "It is easy to take a photograph, but it is harder to make a masterpiece in photography than in any other art medium." Ansel Adams
I picked up a used D200 from a wedding photographer who had already upgraded to the D300. The D200 was his backup. It's an awesome camera. I used it over the holidays to take some awesome pictures--sometime by luck as I didn't modify enough of the settings when taking different shots. I'd even say a lot of the pictures were by luck.
Last weekend, a friend came to visit with her baby. I grabbed the camera and no matter what I did, I couldn't take a decent picture--with flash, without, changed metering, changed mode. Nada.
I didn't know that you can actually save different settings to different Banks (A,B,C,D). When I read Ken Rockwell's review and user's guide, he didn't mention anything about the different banks for different settings
>I picked up a used D200 from a wedding photographer who had >already upgraded to the D300. The D200 was his backup. It's >an awesome camera. I used it over the holidays to take some >awesome pictures--sometime by luck as I didn't modify enough >of the settings when taking different shots. I'd even say a >lot of the pictures were by luck. > >Last weekend, a friend came to visit with her baby. I grabbed >the camera and no matter what I did, I couldn't take a decent >picture--with flash, without, changed metering, changed mode. >Nada.
More details would help, in what way were the pictures poor?
> >I didn't know that you can actually save different settings to >different Banks (A,B,C,D). When I read Ken Rockwell's review >and user's guide, he didn't mention anything about the >different banks for different settings
I had the camera on Program mode. I'd taken beautiful pictures on program mode before with and without the built-in flash; with and without the SB-600. I must admit, the lighting wasn't that great. We were watching the Giants-Eagles game in a room that's not well lit. Nonetheless, I'd taken pictures with my D40 before in that room in P-mode. Anyway, the D200 just would not meter correctly. It kept giving me a low shutter speed which resulted in blur even with the flash. I tried turning the dial and the shutter speed would not budge. I had a "Sigma 28-70mmm 1:2.8 EX DG D" lens attached. That lens is "2.8" throughout its range. After my friends left, I tried a similar picture on the D40---PERFECT. I tried again on the D200, that time on M-Mode and it was much better. I thought to myself, there's a lot I need to learn about the D200. In hindsight, I must have changed some settings without realizing it.
By the way, Rockwell mentioned the banks briefly. Somehow, it didn't stick until I saw them in this format. I took all my pictures on Bank A, I think. If I had changed to bank B, I wouldn't have known. It would have been by accident because using different banks never entered my mind.
My original point is that this spreadsheet is AWESOME.
Thanks for the updates to the custom settings. Just stopped in to say goodbye to all. With Nikonians new policy of no more free basic memberships I will be leaving. I already am a "paying" member of several other groups. These are hard economic times and buying one more membership is not reasonable. Since forum contributions go both ways, I think eliminating the free basic membership is anything but win-win! Sad day for Nikon users.
Good afternoon, right-hander of Brazil! I am a new user of the D200, am programming the camera with this Spreadsheet version 1,5, sera that in the part of landscapes I will have improvement, therefore I find the photos of D 200 in this part of landscapes, find my images short while dark, is more good when I place +03 and or + 0,7 or + 1,0, there they clareiam, but the times are very brilhosas… obliged….aeroramon
I see the Attachment #1 on your post but when I download it - it looks like some notes about the various versions but does not seem to be "the" spreadsheet itself. Where is the link to the version 1.5 spreadsheet? Thanks, Larry
To anyone who shoots wildlife photography, which of the 4 settings do you use and do you make any modifications? I understand it's probably not ideal to use Sports or Landscape, and Portrait probably isn't perfect either, so I've been using P&S for all my wildlife shots... and I just wanted to see if any wildlife shooters do the same.
------------------------------------------------------------ I don't suffer from NAS, I suffer from lack of money.
First, thank you so much for this spreadsheet. It has really given me a better insight to the operation of my D-200. Now for my question about color space. I recently got an Eye 1 monitor calibrator. The setting for the calibration is sRGB. Your settings are Adobe RGB. Could you briefly explain one vs. the other? Second, shooting in Adobe RGB, when I open a photo in photoshop, it gives me a warning box saying the color space does not match my workspace color, do I want to convert to the workspace color. Do you have thoughts on whether I should convert or not? I do not know if I can save my Eye 1 color calibration to Adobe RGB or not. Thanks again for the great spreadsheet. Daniel
I have built my image banks according to the spreadsheets and the results have been great. Thank you! However, when I switch off the "P" shooting mode on my D200 to the "S" or "A" (shutter or aperture priority), it seems that trying to turn the dials to change either of these does not work.
Also, is there a way to select shooting with no image bank if you have all 4 programmed? Thanks much in advance!
Thanks to everyone for all the good work on this spreadsheet. For someone who went from an F4, then to point and shoots for years, the D200 has been a mystery. The matrix makes it understandable, and I now appreciate the camera for what it really is--a great camera for the price!
Thank you for his guide! Huge help for all the confusing settings on my D200. I saw a Huge difference from the previous (mostly default settings). I was able to take action shots at 400mm under stadium lights and still get some sharp edges, good color, with very little noise.
I have several shots at 400mm at 1/160 and they are still quite clear. Thanks again!!