Thanks very much for the advice. I succeeded in setting up for HDR, using the Fn button as the start point, choosing Aperture priority mode, selecting the number of exposures and the size of the exposure steps (I selected 1.0) And it worked fine (with Photomatic Essentials version) and I am delighted with the results and the prospects it opens up.
However, I have two more problems. The manual says that to turn off the bracketing option you simple have to set the number of exposures required to zero. But when I do that and press the shutter for single shots, the shutter remains in bracketing mode and fires off seven times. So I cannot find how to get it back to normal, pre-HDR mode.
The second problem is in changing the size of the exposure compensation for the seven shots. I had no trouble at the beginning in pressing on Fnc and rotating the front button to get the largest available on the D700 (1.0). But after that initial success, when I try to adjust it to a lower figure by pressing Fn and turning the front wheel to change it, nothing happens.
So at the moment I can only shoot bracketed! Doubtless I have set something wrongly somewhere. Any suggestions gratefully received. Incidentally, the camera has not been overworked: I bought it three years ago and the number of shutter releases is still only about 1600.
Yep once you get done with the HDR be sure to roll it back to 0. I had gone out one weekend and shot a bluebonnet field and the next weekend had a paying gig and I was shooting and could not figure out why some photos looked great others under exposed and others over exposed. I finally realized I had left it in the HDR mode. You can roll it past 0 to another set of numbers so be sure you keep it on 0 then stop. All while holding down the FN button.
James, to get the camera back to shooting only 1 exposure for 1 push of the shutter release, set the Release mode dial back to S. You have it in either CL or CH mode.
Your camera seems confused. Can you do a two finger reset? Press the QUAL and +/- buttons (green dot) together for 2 seconds. That should turn off bracketing by setting the number of exposures to zero. It will reset a few other things as well. See pages 196 and 197 in your manual.