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  • 1. Nikon D700 ®Digital Field Guide
  • 2. Nikon D700®Digital Field Guide J. Dennis Thomas
  • 3. Nikon® D700 Digital Field GuidePublished byWiley Publishing, Inc.10475 Crosspoint BoulevardIndianapolis, IN 46256www.wiley.comCopyright © 2009 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Indianapolis, IndianaPublished simultaneously in CanadaISBN: 978-0-470-41320-3Manufactured in the United States of America10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in anyform or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning or otherwise,except as permitted under Sections 107 or 108 of the 1976 United States Copyright Act, withouteither the prior written permission of the Publisher, or authorization through payment of theappropriate per-copy fee to the Copyright Clearance Center, 222 Rosewood Drive, Danvers, MA01923, (978) 750-8400, fax (978) 646-8600. Requests to the Publisher for permission should beaddressed to the Permissions Department, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ07030, (201) 748-6011, fax (201) 748-6008, or online at http://www.wiley.com/go/permissions.LIMIT OF LIABILITY/DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTY: THE PUBLISHER AND THE AUTHOR MAKE NOREPRESENTATIONS OR WARRANTIES WITH RESPECT TO THE ACCURACY OR COMPLETENESSOF THE CONTENTS OF THIS WORK AND SPECIFICALLY DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES, INCLUDINGWITHOUT LIMITATION WARRANTIES OF FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. NO WAR-RANTY MAY BE CREATED OR EXTENDED BY SALES OR PROMOTIONAL MATERIALS. THEADVICE AND STRATEGIES CONTAINED HEREIN MAY NOT BE SUITABLE FOR EVERY SITUATION.THIS WORK IS SOLD WITH THE UNDERSTANDING THAT THE PUBLISHER IS NOT ENGAGED INRENDERING LEGAL, ACCOUNTING, OR OTHER PROFESSIONAL SERVICES. IF PROFESSIONALASSISTANCE IS REQUIRED, THE SERVICES OF A COMPETENT PROFESSIONAL PERSON SHOULDBE SOUGHT. NEITHER THE PUBLISHER NOR THE AUTHOR SHALL BE LIABLE FOR DAMAGESARISING HEREFROM. THE FACT THAT AN ORGANIZATION OR WEB SITE IS REFERRED TO INTHIS WORK AS A CITATION AND/OR A POTENTIAL SOURCE OF FURTHER INFORMATION DOESNOT MEAN THAT THE AUTHOR OR THE PUBLISHER ENDORSES THE INFORMATION THE ORGA-NIZATION OF WEB SITE MAY PROVIDE OR RECOMMENDATIONS IT MAY MAKE. FURTHER, READ-ERS SHOULD BE AWARE THAT INTERNET WEB SITES LISTED IN THIS WORK MAY HAVECHANGED OR DISAPPEARED BETWEEN WHEN THIS WORK WAS WRITTEN AND WHEN IT ISREAD.For general information on our other products and services or to obtain technical support, pleasecontact our Customer Care Department within the U.S. at (800) 762-2974, outside the U.S. at (317)572-3993, or fax (317) 572-4002.Wiley also publishes its books in a variety of electronic formats. Some content that appears in printmay not be available in electronic books.Library of Congress Control Number: 2008940370Trademarks: Wiley and the Wiley Publishing logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of JohnWiley & Sons, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the United States and/or other countries, and may not beused without written permission. Nikon is a registered trademark of Nikon Corporation. All othertrademarks are the property of their respective owners. Wiley Publishing, Inc. is not associatedwith any product or vendor mentioned in this book.
  • 4. About the AuthorJ. Dennis Thomas is a freelance photographer based out of Austin, Texas. He’s been usinga camera for fun and profit for almost 25 years. Schooled in photography first in high schoolthen at Austin College, he has won numerous awards for both his film and digital photogra-phy. Denny has a passion for teaching others about photography and teaches black-and-white film photography to middle school students as well as lighting and digital photographyseminars in Austin. He enjoys all types of photography and his photographic subjects arediverse, from weddings and studio portraits to concerts and extreme sports events. He haswritten six highly successful Digital Field Guides for Wiley Publishing and has another in theworks. His work has been featured in numerous galleries, magazines, and newspapers inthe central Texas area and beyond.
  • 5. CreditsAcquisitions Editor Vice President and Executive GroupCourtney Allen Publisher Richard SwadleyProject EditorJama Carter Vice President and Executive Publisher Barry PruettTechnical EditorMichael Corrado Project Coordinator Erin SmithCopy EditorLauren Kennedy Graphics and Production Specialists Andrea HornbergerEditorial Manager Jennifer MayberryRobyn B. Siesky Christin SwinfordBusiness Manager Quality Control TechnicianAmy Knies John GreenoughSenior Marketing Manager ProofreadingSandy Smith Linda Quigley Indexing Galen Schroeder
  • 6. AcknowledgmentsThanks to Courtney, Cricket, Jama, and Laura at Wiley. Thanks to Robert at Precision Camerain Austin for always getting me the camera as soon as it arrives. A special thanks to every-one who appears in my photos, without you the images would have no subject.
  • 7. Contents at a GlanceAcknowledgments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . viiIntroduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .xixPart I: Using the Nikon D700 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1Chapter 1: Exploring the Nikon D700 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3Chapter 2: Nikon D700 Essentials . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31Chapter 3: Setting Up the Nikon D700 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35Part II: Capturing Great Images with the Nikon D700  . . . . . . . . . . 113Chapter 4: Selecting and Using Lenses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115Chapter 5: Essential Photography Concepts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 141Chapter 6: Working with Light . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 159Chapter 7: Advanced Shooting Techniques . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 191Chapter 8: Viewing and In-Camera Editing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 225Part III: Appendixes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 235Appendix A: Accessories . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 237Appendix B: D700 Specifications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 243Appendix C: Online Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 249Glossary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 251Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 257
  • 8. ContentsAcknowledgments vii Shooting Info Display 24 Chapter 2: Nikon D700Part I: Using the Essentials 31Nikon D700 1Chapter 1: Exploring the NikonD700 3 Exposure Modes 31 Programmed Auto 32 Aperture Priority 33 Shutter Priority 34 Manual 35 Metering Modes 36D700 FX-format CMOS Sensor 3 Matrix 36 From analog to digital 4 Center-weighted 38 CMOS versus CCD 4 Spot 39 CCD 4 Focus Modes 39 CMOS 4 How the D700 autofocus Pixels 5 works 39 Micro-lenses 5 Phase detection 40 Interpreting color 5 Contrast detection 40Key Components of the D700 5 Continuous 40 Top of the camera 6 Single 41 Back of the camera 8 Manual 41 Front of the camera 11 Autofocus Area Modes 41 Right front 12 Single-area AF 42 Left front 13 Dynamic-area AF 42 Sides and bottom of camera 14 9 points 43 Right side 14 21 points 43 Left side 15 51 points 43 Bottom 15 51 points (3D-tracking) 43Viewfinder Display 16 Auto-area AF 43Control Panel 20
  • 9. ISO Sensitivity 44 Playback Menu 65 Auto ISO 44 Delete 66 Noise reduction 45 Playback folder 67 Long exposure NR 46 Hide image 67 High ISO NR 46 Display mode 67White Balance 47 Image review 68 What is Kelvin? 47 After delete 68 White balance settings 48 Rotate tall 69Picture Controls 51 Slide show 69 Original Picture Controls 51 Print set (DPOF) 69 Optional Picture Controls 52 Shooting Menu 70 Custom Picture Controls 52 Shooting menu bank 70JPEG 57 Reset shooting menu 72TIFF 59 Active folder 72Image Size 59 File naming 73Image Quality 59 Image quality 73NEF (RAW) 60 Image size 74 Type of compression 60 Image area 74 Bit depth 61 JPEG compression 75Live View 63 NEF (RAW) recording 75 White balance 76Chapter 3: Setting Up Using standard WBthe Nikon D700 65 settings 76 Choosing a color temperature 77 Preset white balance 78 Set Picture Control 80 Manage Picture Control 81 Color space 82 Active D-Lighting 82 Vignette control 83 Long exp. NR 84 High ISO NR 84 ISO sensitivity settings 85 Live view 85 Multiple exposure 85 Interval timer shooting 86 Custom Settings Menu 87 Custom setting bank 87 Reset custom settings 87 CSM a – Autofocus 87 a1 – AF-C priority selection 87 a2 – AF-S priority selection 88
  • 10. a3 – Dynamic AF area 88 d11 – Battery order 94 a4 – Focus tracking with CSM e – Bracketing/flash 95 lock-on 89 e1 – Flash sync speed 95 a5 – AF activation 89 e2 – Flash shutter speed 95 a6 – AF point illumination 89 e3 – Flash cntrl for a7 – Focus point built-in flash 95 wrap-around 89 e4 – Modeling flash 96 a8 – AF point selection 89 e5 – Auto bracketing set 96 a9 – Built-in AF-assist e6 – Auto bracketing illuminator 89 (Mode M) 96 a10 – AF-ON for MB-D10 90 e7 – Bracketing order 96CSM b – Metering/exposure 90 CSM f – Controls 96 b1 – ISO sensitivity step f1 – Switch 96 value 90 f2 – Multi selector center b2 – EV steps for exposure button 97 cntrl. 91 f3 – Multi selector 98 b3 – Exp comp/fine tune 91 f4 – Photo info/playback 98 b4 – Easy exposure f5 – Assign FUNC. button 98 compensation 91 f6 – Assign preview b5 – Center-weighted area 91 button 100 b6 – Fine tune optimal f7 – Assign AE-L/AF-L exposure 91 button 100CSM c – Timers/AE lock 92 f8 – Shutter spd & c1 – Shutter-release aperture lock 100 button AE-L 92 f9 – Customize c2 – Auto meter-off delay 92 command dials 100 c3 – Self-timer delay 92 f10 – Release button c4 – Monitor off delay 92 to use dial 101CSM d – Shooting/display 92 f11 – No memory card? 101 d1 – Beep 92 f12 – Reverse indicators 101 d2 – Viewfinder grid Setup Menu 101 display 92 Format memory card 102 d3 – Screen tips 93 LCD brightness 102 d4 – CL mode shooting Clean image sensor 102 speed 93 Lock mirror up for cleaning 103 d5 – Max. continuous Video mode 103 release 93 HDMI 103 d6 – File number World time 103 sequence 93 Language 103 d7 – Shooting info display 94 Image comment 104 d8 – LCD illumination 94 Auto image rotation 104 d9 – Exposure delay mode 94 Dust off ref photo 104 d10 – MB-D10 battery Battery info 104 type 94 Wireless transmitter 105
  • 11. Image authentication 105 Third-Party Lenses 135 Copyright information 105 Sigma 135 Save/load settings 105 Tamron 136 GPS 105 Tokina 137 Virtual horizon 106 Lens Accessories 137 Non-CPU lens data 106 Teleconverters 137 AF fine tune 107 Extension tubes 138 Firmware version 108 Filters 138Retouch Menu 108My Menu 109 Chapter 5: EssentialQuick Settings Display 110 Photography Concepts 141Part II: Capturing GreatImages with the NikonD700 113Chapter 4: Selecting andUsing Lenses 115Wide-Angle and Ultrawide Lenses 116 When to use a wide-angle lens 119 Understanding limitations 119 Exposure 141Mid-Range or Standard Zoom Shutter speed 142 Lenses 120 Using fast shutter speeds 142Telephoto Lenses 123 Using slow shutter speeds 143Special Purpose Lenses 126 ISO 145 Perspective Control lenses 126 Aperture 146 Macro (Micro-NIKKOR) Understanding Depth of Field 146 lenses 128 Exposure Compensation 148 Fisheye lenses 129 Histograms 149Using VR Lenses 130 Bracketing 154Using DX Lenses 131 White Balance bracketing 157
  • 12. Chapter 6: Working Flash Exposure Compensation 168with Light 159 Fill flash 168 Bounce flash 170 Nikon Creative Lighting System Basics 171 Understanding the Creative Lighting System 172 Speedlights 173 SB-900 Speedlight 173 SB-800 Speedlight 174 SB-600 Speedlight 174 SB-400 Speedlight 175 SU-800 Wireless Speedlight commander 175 R1/R1C1 Macro flash 176 Using the Built-In Speedlight 177 Studio Strobes 178 Continuous Lighting 181 Incandescent and halogen 182 Fluorescent 183 HMI 184 Light Modifiers 184 Umbrellas 184Natural Light 159 Softboxes 185D700 Flash Basics 160 Diffusion panels 186 Achieving proper exposures 161 Other light modifiers 187 Guide Number 161 Aperture 162 Chapter 7: Advanced Distance 162 Shooting Techniques 191 GN / Distance = Aperture 162 Flash exposure modes 162 i-TTL 162 Manual 163 Auto 163 Auto Aperture 163 Guide Number distance priority 163 Repeating flash 163 Flash sync modes 164 Action and Sports Photography 191 Sync speed 164 Techniques 193 Front-curtain sync 165 Action and sports Red-eye reduction 165 photography tips 196 Slow sync 166 Rear-curtain sync 167
  • 13. Architectural Photography 196 Retouch Menu Options 228 Perspective 197 D-Lighting 228 Architectural photography Red-eye correction 228 tips 199 Trim 229Concert Photography 200 Monochrome 229 Techniques 201 Filter effects 231 Concert photography tips 204 Color balance 231Macro Photography 205 Image overlay 232 Macro lens alternatives 206 Side-by-side comparison 233 Macro photography tips 207Night Photography 208 Techniques 208 Part III: Appendixes 235 Night photography tips 209 Appendix A: Accessories 237Portrait Photography 210 Studio considerations 211 Portrait lighting patterns 212 Posing and composition considerations 214 Indoor 217 Outdoor 218 Portrait photography tips 219Product and Still-Life Photography 219 Considerations 219 Product and still-life MB-D10 Battery Grip 237 photography tips 221 WT-4a Wireless Transmitter 238Wildlife Photography 221 ML-3 Modulite Remote Considerations 222 Control Set 239 Wildlife photography tips 224 MC-36 Multi-Function Remote Cord 239Chapter 8: Viewing and Tripods 239In-Camera Editing 225 When to use a tripod 240 Which tripod is right for you? 241 Camera Bags and Cases 241 Appendix B: D700 Specifications 243Viewing Your Images 225The Retouch menu 226
  • 14. Appendix C: Online Photo Sharing and Critiquing Sites 250Resources 249 Flickr.com 250 Photoworkshop.com 250 ShotAddict.com 250 Online Photography Magazines 250 Communication Arts 250 Digital Photographer 250 Digital Photo Pro 250 Outdoor Photographer 250 Photo District News 250 Popular PhotographyInformational Web Sites 249 & Imaging 250 Nikonusa.com 249 Shutterbug 250 Nikon School 249 Glossary 251 Nikonians.org 249 Photo.net 250 Index 257
  • 15. IntroductionWelcome to the Nikon D700 Digital Field Guide. This guide is a handy reference book to getyou started using your new camera and help you understand the different features andfunctions that this amazing camera offers.It is aimed at a wide variety of readers, from beginners to advanced amateurs. Some of youare familiar with many of the concepts, while others of you may be new to digital photogra-phy with a digital single lens reflex (dSLR) or new to photography altogether. You’ll findsections to help you, regardless of your level.With its many different buttons and features, the D700 can be daunting. My goal is toexplain these settings and features as clearly as possible as you learn the layout of the D700and how to use the features out in the field.About the D700The D700 is the little brother to the D3, which came on the market August 2007. The D3was Nikon’s first camera with a 24 × 36mm full-frame sensor (which Nikon dubs FX).Unfortunately the $5,000 price tag was a bit beyond what most casual photographers couldafford. Nikon addressed the need for a more affordable FX camera with a more compactbody, and announced the D700 on July 1, 2008. The D700 is essentially a D3 within thebody of a D300.The D700’s FX sensor is identical to the D3’s 12.1 megapixel CMOS sensor. One of theadvantages of having a larger FX sensor is that you have larger pixels that collect light moreeffectively; this enables you to use higher ISO settings without digital noise.Another advantage is that the D700’s FX sensor allows you to use your lenses without wor-rying about the pesky “crop factor” that plagues the DX camera lines. Indeed, a 28mm lensis once again a wide-angle lens on the D700. For those of you who started with a DX cam-era and purchased DX-only lenses such as Nikon’s AF-S 17-55mm f/2.8, no worries. Nikonhas built in a feature that allows the D700 to crop down to a DX-sized image; this way youcan use your DX lenses effectively on the D700 camera body, albeit the sensor resolution isreduced from 12.1 megapixels to 5.1 megapixels. The D700 is compatible with almost allthe Nikon lenses ever made. Nikon lenses are world renowned for their quality and durabil-ity. You can use hundreds of different lenses on the D700, and any new lens Nikon releaseswill be compatible.
  • 16. xx IntroductionThe D700 is also compatible with Nikon’s proprietary Creative Lighting System. The D700has a built-in flash with a wireless commander mode so, unlike the D3 without a pop-upflash, the D700 can control a number of off-camera Speedlights wirelessly for the ultimatecontrol of your lighting. You can use the D700 with a number of Nikon’s Speedlights, fromthe new flagship flash, the SB-900, on down to the SB-800, SB-600, SB-400, or the macrolighting kit, the R1C1.As with all Nikon professional cameras, the D700 boasts a sturdy magnesium-framed bodythat is augmented by weather-sealing gaskets made to keep dust, dirt, and moisture fromgetting inside the camera body and damaging the internal components. The D700’s ruggedyet compact camera body can withstand the abuse of any demanding photographer andshould last for years to come.Although the D700 is relatively affordable, Nikon hasn’t stripped down any of its features assome other camera manufacturers are known to do. The D700 sports the same impressiveMulti-CAM 3500FX 51-point autofocus (AF) system as the D3, the D3’s EXPEED imagingprocessor, and a 14-bit analog-to-digital converter, as well as 16-bit image processing. Likethe D3 and the D300, the D700 is also equipped with the versatile Live View function,which allows you to compose your images on the amazing high-resolution, 922,000-pixel,3-inch LCD screen — a handy feature for framing subjects that may be difficult when you’relooking through the viewfinder.All in all, as you’ve gathered by now, the D700 is an impressive, durable camera in a com-pact body that offers many features you previously could only find in the substantially moreexpensive D3, and that will be sure to last for many years to come.
  • 17. Using the P A R TNikon D700 I ✦ ✦ ✦ ✦ In This Part Chapter 1 Exploring the Nikon D700 Chapter 2 Nikon D700 Essentials Chapter 3 Setting Up the Nikon D700 ✦ ✦ ✦ ✦
  • 18. Exploring theNikon D700 ✦ 1 C H A P T E R ✦ ✦ ✦T he Nikon D700 is considered one of Nikon’s pro-level performance camera models and, therefore, has manymore buttons, dials, and knobs than most consumer and mid-level cameras. This makes it faster and easier to access the con- In This Chapter D700 FX-format CMOS sensortrols that are used most, especially for advanced or professionalphotographers. To use the same functions in consumer cam- Key components of the D700eras such as the D60 and D90, you need to navigate the menufunctions, which can cost precious time when you are in the Viewfinder displaymidst of shooting. Instead of pressing the Multi-selector tentimes to find the correct option in the menu system, you simply Control panelpress one button and rotate a dial — it’s quick and easy Shooting info displayWith its many buttons and dials, the D700 can be daunting,especially if you are upgrading from a consumer camera, are ✦ ✦ ✦ ✦new to photography in general, or are switching camerabrands. This chapter helps you become familiar with theD700’s various features, as well as the LCD control panel andviewfinder displays.D700 FX-formatCMOS SensorThe FX-format CMOS (Complimentary Metal Oxide Semi-conductor) sensor is arguably the most important part of thecamera and the main reason why many photographers buythe D700. For quite a few years, Nikon has been using APS-Csized sensors (which they call DX-format) in all their cameras.They are about 24mm × 16mm and because they are muchsmaller than a standard frame of 35mm film, lenses are sub-ject to a “crop factor.” This causes the lenses to perform differ-ently than they have on film cameras. Finally Nikon releasedthe D3, their first “full-frame,” or FX, dSLR, meaning that thesensor is the same size as a standard frame of 35mm film.This allows lenses to perform exactly as they had with film
  • 19. 4 Part I ✦ Using the Nikon D700cameras, giving you the same angle of view. consumer level D90. Although CMOS andUnfortunately, the D3 was a bit expensive, CCD sensors do the same job, they do it dif-out of the price range for most amateurs. ferently and each type of sensor has its ownSurprisingly, not long after the launch of the strengths and weaknesses.D3, Nikon released a dSLR that is essentiallya D3 in a D300-sized body at nearly half the CCDprice. This amazing 36 × 24mm, 12 mega- The name Charge Coupled Device refers topixel CMOS sensor gives almost no noise, how the sensor moves the electrical chargeseven at ISO settings up to 6400. created by the photons that the pixels have For more information on DX sen- collected. The CCD sensor moves these sors and lenses, see Chapter 4. electrical charges from the first row of pixels to a shift register (a digital circuit that allows the charges to be shifted down the line) andFrom analog to digital from there, the signal is amplified so the A/D converter can read it. The sensor thenBelieve it or not, digital image sensors are repeats the processes with each row of pix-actually analog devices that capture light els until every row of pixels on the sensorjust like emulsion on a piece of film. When has been processed. This is a pretty precisethe shutter is opened, light from the scene method of transfer, but in digital terms it’sthat you’re photographing, whether it be quite slow. It requires a large amount ofsunlight or flash, travels through the lens power, relatively speaking, so it uses moreand is projected (hopefully in focus) onto of the camera battery, which equals fewerthe sensor. Each sensor has millions of pix- shots per charge. CCD sensors have a higherels, which act as a receptacle that collects signal to noise ratio; which makes them lessindividual photons of light. A photon is a prone to high ISO noise than CMOS sensorsquantum particle of light, which is a form of and enables them to provide a higher imageelectromagnetic radiation. The more pho- quality.tons the pixel collects, the brighter the areais; conversely, if the pixel doesn’t collect alot of photons, the area is dark. CMOS Just like a CCD sensor, a CMOS sensor hasEach pixel has a photodiode that converts millions of pixels and photodiodes. Thethese photons into minute electrical charges main difference between the CMOS andthat the Analog/Digital (A/D) converter CCD sensor is that each pixel has its ownreads. The A/D converter renders this ana- amplifier and it converts the charge to volt-log data into digital data that can be utilized age on the spot. It’s much more efficient toby Nikon’s EXPEED imaging processor. transfer voltage than it is to transfer a charge; therefore, CMOS sensors use less power than CCDs. Multiple channels of sensor dataCMOS versus CCD can also be sent out at the same time, soAbout half of Nikon’s dSLRs use Charge the CMOS sensor can send the data to theCoupled Device (CCD) sensors, although A/D converter much faster. CMOS chips areNikon appears to be moving away from this also cheaper to manufacture than CCDs.technology by putting a CMOS sensor in the
  • 20. Chapter 1 ✦ Exploring the Nikon D700 5Pixels pattern. (Dr. Bryce Bayer was a scientist at Kodak who developed this pattern.) TheThe more pixels the sensor has, the higher Bayer pattern lays the filters out in an arraythe resolution of the sensor. However, pack- that consists of 50 percent green, 25 per-ing more pixels onto a sensor means that cent blue, and 25 percent red. The greenalthough the resolution is higher, each pixel filters are luminance (brightness) sensitivebecomes less effective at gathering light elements and the red and blue filters arebecause its much smaller. A larger pixel is chrominance (color) sensitive elements.more effective at gathering photons; there- Twice as many green filters are used to sim-fore you get a wider dynamic range and a ulate human eyesight given our eyes arebetter signal-to-noise ratio, which means more sensitive to green than to red or blue.less inherent noise and the ability to achievea higher ISO sensitivity. The camera determines the colors in the image by a process called demosaicing. InOne of the reasons that Nikon chose to use demosaicing, the camera interpolates thea lower resolution sensor on their full-frame red, green, and blue data for each pixel bysensor than their competitors do is to keep using information from adjacent pixels.the pixel size larger, thereby allowing better Interpolation is a mathematical process inlow-light capability. The D700 and D3 sen- which sets of known data are used to deter-sor has a pixel size of 8.5 microns, which is mine new data points. (I like to call it anthe largest pixel pitch of any digital sensor educated guess.)on the market at this time.Micro-lensesIn addition to having larger pixels to gather Key Componentsmore light, camera manufacturers placemicro-lenses over the pixels. These micro- of the D700lenses collect the light and focus them onto If you’ve used a Nikon dSLR before, youthe photodiode much the same way the should be pretty familiar with the basic but-camera lens focuses the image onto the tons and switches that you need to do thesensor. By making the micro-lenses larger, basic settings. In this section, I cover theNikon has decreased the gaps between the camera from all sides and break down thepixels, increasing the effective light gather- layout so that you know what everything oning ability of each one. the surface of the camera does. Although you can access many features withInterpreting color just the push of a button, oftentimes youThe light-sensitive pixels on the sensor only can change the same setting using menumeasure the brightness in relation to how options. The great thing about the buttons,many photons it has gathered, so the basic however, is that they give you speedy accessimage captured is, in effect, black and white. to important settings — settings you will useTo determine color information, the pixels often. Missing shots because you are search-are covered with red, green, or blue colored ing through the menu options can get irritat-filters. These filters are arranged in a Bayer ing fast, which is one of the key reasons
  • 21. 6 Part I ✦ Using the Nikon D700most people upgrade from a consumer is turned on. When you push themodel camera to a professional-grade cam- spring-loaded switch all the way toera like the D700. the right, the top-panel LCD illumi- nator turns on. This enables you to For information about specific view your settings when in a dimly menus and their functions, see lit environment. The LCD illumina- Chapter 3. tor turns off automatically after a few seconds or when the shutter is released. In Custom Settings menuTop of the camera (CSM) f1, you can also specify thatThe most important buttons are on the top this switch be used to display theof the D700. This is where you’ll find the Shooting info display on the rearbuttons for the settings you’ll tend to change LCD screen.most frequently. I’ve also included is a brief ✦ Exposure mode button. This but-description of some of the features you will ton is used in conjunction with thefind on the top of the lens in this section. Main Command dial and allowsAlthough your lens may vary, most of the you to change among the differentfeatures are quite similar from lens to lens. exposure modes. You can choose Programmed Auto (P), Shutter ✦ Shutter Release button. In my Priority (S), Aperture Priority (A), opinion, this is the most important or Manual (M) modes. This button button on the camera. Halfway also doubles as a format button pressing this button activates the when you press it down in con- camera’s autofocusing and light junction with the Delete button. meter. When you fully depress this Pressing and holding down these button, the shutter is released and two buttons simultaneously allows a photograph is taken. When the you to format your CompactFlash camera is set to CL or Ch, pressing (CF) card without entering the and holding this button takes a Setup menu. sequence of photos. When the ✦ Exposure Compensation button. camera has been idle and has Pressing this button in conjunction “gone to sleep,” lightly pressing the with spinning the Main Command Shutter Release button wakes the dial allows you to modify the expo- camera up. When the image review sure that is set by the D700’s light is on, lightly pressing the Shutter meter or the exposure you set in Release button turns off the LCD Manual exposure mode. Turning the control panel and prepares the Main Command dial to the right camera for another shot. decreases exposure, while turning ✦ On/Off switch/LCD illuminator. the dial to the left increases the This switch turns on the camera. exposure. This button also doubles It’s concentric with the Shutter as the camera reset button when Release button. You push the used in conjunction with the Quality switch all the way to the left to turn button. Pressing these buttons at the camera off. When the switch is the same time restores the camera in the center position, the camera to the factory default settings.
  • 22. Chapter 1 ✦ Exploring the Nikon D700 7✦ LCD control panel. This displays quality of the JPEG if you are shoot- many of the main camera settings. ing that format. You can choose I cover this panel in detail later in from RAW, TIFF, JPEG, or RAW + this chapter. JPEG. Your JPEGs are saved at Fine, Normal, or Basic quality. Rotating✦ Focal plane mark. The focal plane the Sub-command dial while press- mark shows you where the plane ing this button allows you to change of the CMOS image sensor is inside the size of the image when the the camera. The sensor isn’t exactly camera is set to save in TIFF, JPEG, where the mark is; the sensor is or RAW + JPEG. Rotating the Sub- directly behind the lens opening. command dial when the camera is When doing certain types of pho- set to save RAW files has no effect. tography, particularly macro pho- tography using a bellows lens, you For more information on image need to measure the length of the quality and size settings, see bellows from the front element of Chapter 2. the lens to the focal plane. This is where the focal plane mark comes ✦ ISO button. Press this button and in handy. rotate the Main Command dial to change the ISO sensitivity. The✦ Hot shoe. You attach an accessory higher the ISO setting, the less light flash to the camera body here. The needed to make an exposure. The hot shoe has an electronic contact ISO value is displayed on the LCD that tells the flash to fire when the control panel while the ISO button shutter is released. There are also a is pressed. The ISO value is also dis- number of other electronic contacts played in the viewfinder. To learn that allow the camera to communi- more about ISO, see Chapter 2. cate with the flash to enable the automated features of a dedicated ✦ White Balance button. Press flash unit such as the SB-600. this button and rotate the Main Command dial to choose from one✦ Release Mode dial. Rotating this of the predefined white balance dial changes the release mode of (WB) settings such as Daylight, the camera. You can choose from Incandescent, or Fluorescent. You Single shot, Continuous Low mode, can also choose to set your own Continuous High mode, Live View, WB (PRE) or choose a specific color Self-timer, and Mirror up. To rotate temperature (K). White balance the dial, you must press the is used to compensate for the Release Mode dial lock release. effect that different colored light✦ Release Mode dial lock release. sources have on your photos. This button locks the Release Mode Adjusting the WB gives your images dial to prevent it from accidentally a natural look. When the D700 is being changed. set to a predefined WB, holding✦ Quality button. Press this button the button and rotating the Sub- and rotate the Main Command dial command dial allows you to adjust to change the file format that your the WB by making it cooler (right) camera is saving in as well as the or warmer (left). For more on white balance settings, see Chapter 2.
  • 23. 8 Part I ✦ Using the Nikon D700 ✦ Focus ring. Rotating the focus ring ✦ Focus distance scale. This displays enables you to manually focus the the approximate distance from the lens. With some lenses, such as the camera to the subject. high-end Nikkor AF-S lenses, you can manually adjust the focus at any time. On other lenses, typically older Back of the camera and non-Nikon lenses and con- The buttons that mainly control playback sumer-level AF-S lenses, you must and menu options are on the back of the switch the lens to Manual focus to camera, although there are a few that con- disable the focusing mechanism. trol some of the shooting functions. Most of ✦ Zoom ring. Rotating the zoom ring the buttons have more than one function — enables you to change the focal a lot of them are used in conjunction with length of the lens. Prime lenses do the Main Command dial or the Multi- not have a zoom ring. selector. You will also find several key fea- tures, including the all-important viewfinder For more information on lenses, see Chapter 4. and LCD screen. Zoom ring Focus ring Focus distance scale Exposure mode button On/Off switch/LCD illuminator Release Mode dial lock release Shutter Release button Exposure Compensation Quality button button White Balance button Focal plane mark Release Mode dial ISO button Hot shoe LCD control panelImage courtesy of Nikon, Inc.1.1 Top of the camera controls
  • 24. Chapter 1 ✦ Exploring the Nikon D700 9✦ LCD screen. This is the most obvi- ✦ Diopter adjustment control. Just ous feature on the back of the to the right of the viewfinder is the camera. Nikon’s 3-inch, 920,000- Diopter adjustment control. Use dot liquid crystal display (LCD) this control to adjust the viewfinder screen is, so far, the highest resolu- lens to suit your individual vision tion LCD on the market today (the differences (not everyone’s eyesight D3 and D300 share this feature). is the same). To adjust this, look The LCD screen is where you through the viewfinder; if the view- review your images after shooting, finder display, focus points, and AF or compose them using Live View. area brackets aren’t quite sharp, The menus are also displayed here. pull out the button and turn the Diopter adjustment control until✦ Viewfinder. This is what you look everything appears in focus. When through to compose your photo- you are satisfied with the results, graphs (unless you’re using Live be sure to push the button back in. View). Light coming through the lens is reflected from a mirror up ✦ Metering Mode dial. You use this to a pentaprism that reflects the dial to choose the metering mode: image through the viewfinder to Matrix, Center-weighted, or Spot your eye, enabling you to see metering. This dial is concentric exactly what you’re shooting (as with the Auto-Exposure/Autofocus opposed to a rangefinder camera, lock (AE-L/AF-L) button. which gives you an approximate ✦ AE-L/AF-L button. The AE-L/AF-L view). Around the viewfinder is a button is used to lock the Auto- rubber eyepiece that serves to give Exposure (AE) and Autofocus (AF). you a softer place to rest your eye This button can be customized to and to block any extra light from perform several different functions entering the viewfinder as you in CSM f7. compose and shoot your images. Looking in the viewfinder you will ✦ AF-ON button. The Autofocus On also see a control panel; more on button activates the AF mechanism this later in the chapter. without your having to press the Shutter Release button. When in✦ Eyepiece shutter lever. Flipping Single Focus mode, the AF-ON but- this lever closed closes a shutter ton also locks in the focus until the over the viewfinder. You can use button is released. this option when you are shooting without looking directly in the ✦ Main Command dial. You use this viewfinder (for example, with timed dial to change a variety of settings exposures on a tripod or when depending on which button you you’re using Live View). This stops are using in conjunction with it. By light from entering into the view- default, it is used to change the finder and fooling the camera’s shutter speed when you’re in exposure meter, causing it to S and M mode. It can also be underexpose. You must also close used with the ISO, QUAL, and this lever to remove the eyepiece. WB buttons.
  • 25. 10 Part I ✦ Using the Nikon D700✦ Multi-selector. The Multi-selector ✦ Delete button. When reviewing is another button that serves a few your pictures, if you find some that different purposes. When the D700 you don’t want to keep, you can is in Playback mode, you use the delete them by pressing this button, Multi-selector to scroll through the marked with a trashcan icon. To photographs you’ve taken, and you prevent the accidental deletion of can also use it to view image infor- images, the camera displays a dia- mation such as histograms and log box asking you to confirm that shooting settings. When the camera you want to erase the picture. Press is in Shooting mode, you can use the Delete button a second time to the Multi-selector to change the permanently erase the image. active focus point when the camera ✦ Menu button. Press this button to is in Single-point or Dynamic-area access the D700 menu options. AF mode. There are a number of different✦ Focus selector lock. You can menus including Playback, Shooting, use this switch to lock the active Custom Settings, and Retouch. Use focus point so it’s not accidentally the Multi-selector to choose the changed if the Multi-selector is menu you want to view. pushed. Slide the switch to the ✦ Protect/Help button. The Protect L position to lock the focus point. button has the icon of a key on it.✦ AF Area Mode selector. You use The primary use of the Protect but- this three-position switch to choose ton is to lock the image to prevent among focus modes: Single-area AF, it from being deleted. You can only Dynamic-area AF, or Auto-area AF. access this function when the cam- era is in Playback mode. When✦ Info button. Press this button once viewing the image you want to pro- to view the Shooting info display, tect, simply press this button. A which displays the current camera small key icon will be displayed in settings. Press this button twice to the upper-right-hand corner of enter the Quick Settings Display, images that are protected. Pressing which allows you to quickly change the Shutter Release button lightly a few options such as Noise brings you back to default shooting Reduction, Picture Controls, and mode. When you’re viewing the color space. menu options, pressing this button✦ CF card access lamp. This lamp displays a help screen that explains lights up to let you know that data the functions of that particular is being transferred between the menu option. camera and the CF card. Under no ✦ Thumbnail/Zoom out button. In circumstance should you remove Playback mode, pressing this but- the CF card while this lamp is lit. ton allows you to go from full-✦ Playback button. Pressing this frame playback (or viewing the button displays the most recently whole image) to viewing thumb- taken photograph. You can also nails. You can view thumbnails view other pictures by pressing the either four images or nine images Multi-selector left and right. on a page.
  • 26. Chapter 1 ✦ Exploring the Nikon D700 11 ✦ Zoom in button. When reviewing ✦ OK button. When you’re in the your images, you can press the Menu mode, press this button Zoom in button to get a closer look to select the menu item that is at the details of your image. This is a highlighted. handy feature for checking the sharp- ness and focus of your shot. When you’re zoomed in, use the Multi- Front of the camera selector to navigate around within The front of the D700 (lens facing you) is the image. To view your other where you find the buttons to quickly adjust images at the same zoom ratio, the flash settings as well as some camera rotate the Main Command dial. To return to full-frame playback, press focusing options, and with certain lenses the Zoom out button. You may have you will find buttons that control focusing to press the Zoom out button multi- and Vibration Reduction (VR). ple times depending on how much you have zoomed in. Viewfinder Diopter adjustment control Eyepiece shutter lever Metering Mode dial Delete button AE-L/AF-L button AF-ON button Playback Main button Command dial Menu button CF card door Multi-selector Protect/Help Multi-selector button center buttonThumbnail/Zoom Focus selector out button lock Zoom in button AF Area Mode selector OK button LCD screen CF card access lamp Info buttonImage courtesy of Nikon, Inc.1.2 Back of the camera controls
  • 27. 12 Part I ✦ Using the Nikon D700Right front ✦ Flash pop-up button. Press this button to open and activate theThe right front of the camera has the follow- built-in flash.ing controls: ✦ Flash mode button. Pressing this ✦ Built-in flash. This option is a button and rotating the Main handy feature that allows you to Command dial on the rear of the take sharp pictures in low-light situ- camera allows you to choose a ations. Although it’s not as versatile flash mode. You can choose from as one of the external Nikon among Front-Curtain Sync, Red-Eye Speedlights, such as the SB-800 or Reduction, Red-Eye Reduction with SB-600, you can use the built-in Slow sync, Slow Sync, and Rear- flash very effectively and it is great Curtain Sync. Pressing the Flash for snapshots. However, I don’t rec- mode button and rotating the Sub- ommend using this without first command dial, located just below getting a pop-up flash diffuser. The the Shutter Release button, enables best feature of the built-in flash is you to adjust the Flash Exposure you can also use it as a com- Compensation (FEC). FEC allows mander unit to trigger Nikon CLS- you to adjust the flash output to compatible Speedlights wirelessly make the flash brighter or dimmer for off-camera use. depending on your needs. For more on using flash, see Chapter 6. Built-in flash Flash pop-up button Flash mode button Flash sync terminal cover 10-pin remote terminal cover Lens release button Focus mode selectorImage courtesy of Nikon, Inc.1.3 Right front camera controls
  • 28. Chapter 1 ✦ Exploring the Nikon D700 13 ✦ Flash sync terminal cover. is in Auto-area AF mode, or when Underneath this rubber cover is the in Dynamic- or Single-area AF and flash sync terminal. This terminal, the focus point is set to the center also known as PC sync, allows you position. This illuminator also to connect a PC cord to trigger an shines when the Speedlight is set external flash or studio strobe. to Red-Eye Reduction mode. The light shines on the subject, causing ✦ 10-pin remote terminal cover. the pupils to contract, which Underneath this rubber cover is the reduces the red-eye effect. When 10-pin remote terminal. This termi- the self-timer is activated, this light nal allows the camera to be con- blinks to count down the timer. It’s nected to a variety of accessories. recommended that you remove Some of these include the Nikon your lens hood when using this MC-30 remote shutter release cord feature because the hood can block and Global Positioning System the light reducing the effectiveness. (GPS) devices. ✦ Sub-command dial. You use this ✦ Lens Release button. This button dial, by default, to change the aper- disengages the locking mechanism ture setting when in Aperture of the lens, allowing the lens to be Priority and Manual exposure rotated and removed from the lens mode. You also use it to change mount. JPEG file size when used with the ✦ Focus Mode selector. This three- QUAL button and to fine-tune way switch is used to choose which white balance when used with the focus mode the camera operates WB button. When you use the Sub- in: Single AF (AF-S), Continuous AF command dial in conjunction with (AF-C), or Manual (M) focus. Keep the Flash mode button, you can in mind that your lens may also adjust the Flash Exposure have a focus mode switch and that Compensation (FEC) it must be in the A or M/A position ✦ Depth-of-field preview button. to work with the AF-S or AF-C While using the camera’s default modes. settings, pressing this button stops down the aperture of the lens so youLeft front can preview how much of the sub-The left front of the camera has the follow- ject is in focus (the depth of field).ing controls: The image in the viewfinder gets darker as the aperture decreases. ✦ AF-assist illuminator. This is an You can also customize the Depth- LED that shines on the subject to of-field preview button in CSM f6 or help the camera to focus when the in the Quick Settings Display. lighting is dim. The AF-assist illumi- nator only lights when it’s in Single For more information on aper- tures, see Chapter 5. Focus mode and when the camera
  • 29. 14 Part I ✦ Using the Nikon D700 AF-assist illuminator Sub-command dial Depth-of-field preview button Function buttonImage courtesy of Nikon, Inc.1.4 Left front camera controls ✦ Function button. You can custom- use if you would like to view your images ize the Function (Fn) button to per- straight from the camera as a slide show on form different functions depending your television. Or you may have a high- on user preference. You can use it definition (HD) monitor in your studio and to set exposure, flash, WB bracket- use the Live View function along with ing, flash value (FV) lock, and a Camera Control Pro 2 to view your images number of other settings. You can in HD before you even release the shutter. set the Function button in CSM f4. You can also attach an AC adaptor for those long studio shoots that require plenty of For more information on the CSM, see Chapter 3. juice without worrying about the batteries giving out on you. The output terminals areSides and bottom ✦ Standard video out. You use this connection, officially calledof camera Standard video output, to connectThe sides and bottom of the camera have the camera to a standard TV or VCR for viewing your images on-screen.places for connecting and inserting things The D700 is connected with thesuch as cables, batteries, and memory cards. EG-D100 video cable that is sup- plied with the camera.Right side ✦ HDMI out. You use the HDMI (High-The D700’s various output terminals are on Definition Multimedia Interface)the right side of the camera (with the lens output terminal to connect the cam-facing you). These are the connections you era to an HD television (HDTV). The
  • 30. Chapter 1 ✦ Exploring the Nikon D700 15 camera is connected with an Left side optional Type A HDMI cable that The CF card slot cover is on the left side of you can purchase at an electronics the camera (with the lens facing you). Slide store. this cover back and the door springs open. ✦ DC power in. This AC adapter input Insert the CF card with label side facing connection allows you to plug the toward the back of the camera. Press the D700 into a standard electrical out- card firmly in until the grey button pops out. let using the Nikon EH-5 or EH-5a To eject the card, firmly press the grey but- AC adapter. This allows you to ton until the CF card is loose. operate the camera without drain- ing your batteries. The AC adapter is available separately from Nikon. Bottom The bottom of the camera has a few fea- ✦ USB 2.0 port. This is where the USB tures that are quite important: cable plugs in to attach the camera to your computer to transfer images ✦ Battery chamber cover. This cov- straight from the camera. You can ers the chamber that holds the also use the USB cable to connect EN-EL3e battery that is supplied the camera to the computer when with your D700. you’re using Nikon’s optional Camera Control Pro 2 software. ✦ Tripod socket. This is where you attach a tripod or monopod to help steady your camera. HDMI out Standard video out USB 2.0 port DC power inImage courtesy of Nikon, Inc.1.5 The D700’s output terminals
  • 31. 16 Part I ✦ Using the Nikon D700Battery chamber cover MB-D10 contact cover Tripod socketImage courtesy of Nikon, Inc.1.6 The bottom of the D700 ✦ MB-D10 contact cover. This rubber ✦ Framing grid. When this option is cover is used to protect the contact turned on in CSM d2, you will see a points for the optional MB-D10 grid displayed in the viewing area. Multi-power Battery Grip that This helps with composition. Use attaches to the bottom of the cam- the grid to help line up elements of era. The MB-D10 allows you to use your composition to ensure that a variety of battery types as well as things are straight (or not). to control the camera when hold- ✦ AF-area brackets. These brackets ing it in the vertical position. give you a rough estimate of where the group of 51 AF points is located. Anything in the frame outside of thisViewfinder Display bracket cannot be locked into focus. Switching to DX mode gives youWhen looking through the viewfinder, you wider range of AF coverage due tosee a lot of useful information about the the reduced frame size.photo you are setting up. Most of the infor- ✦ 12mm reference circle. Thesemation is also displayed in the LCD control curves located at the top and bot-panel screen on the top of the camera, but it tom of the AF-area brackets giveis less handy on top when you are compos- you an idea of how much of aning a shot. Here is a complete list of the infor- area of the frame is used formation you get from the viewfinder display. Center-weighted metering. The curves show you an area of 12mm,
  • 32. Chapter 1 ✦ Exploring the Nikon D700 17 which is the default circle size for only shown full time when the center-weighted metering. Note D700 is in the Single- or Dynamic- that although you can change the area AF setting. When the camera is size of the area for center-weighted set to Auto-area AF and Single metering (CSM b12), this display Focus, the focus point isn’t shown does not change. until you half-press the Shutter Release button and focus is ✦ Focus points. The first thing you achieved. When the D700 is in are likely to notice when looking Auto-area AF and set to Continuous through the viewfinder is a small Focus mode, the focus point is not rectangle near the center of the displayed at all. frame. This is your active focus point. Note that the focus point is Framing grid 12mm reference circle AF area brackets Focus pointsShutterspeed lockindicator Aperture Flash exposure lock compensation indicator indicator Exposure Exposure mode compensation indicator Auto- Flash ready exposure lock indicator indicator Focus indicator Thousands indicatorMetering mode display Battery Exposures remaining indicator Flash value ISO sensitivity lock indicator Flash sync indicator Auto ISO indicator Shutter speed indicator Electronic analog exposure display F-stop indicator Aperture/f-stop display1.7 Viewfinder display. Note that this figure displays all possible focus points. Only theactive focus points will be visible in actual shooting conditions.
  • 33. 18 Part I ✦ Using the Nikon D700A black bar with LCD readouts on it appears ✦ FV lock indicator. When the FVbelow the image portion of the viewfinder. lock indicator is on, it means youNot only do you find your shooting informa- have locked in the flash exposuretion here, but also depending on the settings value. The flash value can only beyou’ve selected, other useful indicators appear locked when the Function (oras well. From left to right these items are Preview or AE-L/AF-L) button has been set to do this. ✦ Focus indicator. This green dot ✦ Shutter speed lock indicator. This and arrows lets you know if the indicates that your shutter speed camera detects that the scene is in has been locked to prevent acci- focus. When the camera attempts dental changes. You can lock your to autofocus, the arrows located to shutter speed in CSM f8. either side of the dot blink. The left arrow or the right arrow may blink ✦ Flash sync indicator. This indicator simultaneously or one at a time, is displayed as an X. This comes on depending on where the camera when you set your camera to the is trying to focus. When focus is flash sync speed limit that is set in achieved, the green dot lights up; if CSM e1. This is only available when the camera is unable to lock focus, in Shutter Priority or Manual mode. both arrows blink. When you are To set the camera to the preset focusing manually, you can use the sync speed, dial the shutter speed arrows as a guide to find focus. down one setting past the longest When the arrow on the left is lit, shutter time, which is 30 seconds your focus is falling between the in S and bulb in M. camera and the subject. If the ✦ Shutter speed display. This shows arrow on the right is lit, the focus is how long your shutter is set to stay falling behind the subject. If the open. Rotating the Main Command camera is unable to detect enough dial when in S or M mode can contrast to determine if the subject change the shutter speed. is in focus, both arrows blink. ✦ Aperture lockindicator. This indi- ✦ Metering mode display. This dis- cates that your aperture has been play shows which metering mode locked to prevent accidental you are in: Spot, Center-weighted, changes. You can lock this aperture or Matrix. setting in CSM f8. ✦ AE lock indicator. This tells you ✦ Aperture/f-stop display. This that the auto-exposure meter is shows what your current lens locked. Depending on your settings, opening setting is. You adjust aper- the AE-L/AF-L button may be ture by rotating the Sub-command pressed or the shutter is half- dial when in M or A mode. pressed. When this is locked you can recompose the image while ✦ Exposure mode display. This tells maintaining the correct exposure you which exposure mode you are for the subject. currently using: P, S, A, or M.
  • 34. Chapter 1 ✦ Exploring the Nikon D700 19✦ Electronic analog exposure dis- ✦ Auto ISO indicator. This is dis- play. Although Nikon gives this fea- played when the Auto ISO setting is ture a long and confusing name, in activated to let you know that the simpler terms, this is your light camera is controlling the ISO set- meter. When the bars are in the tings. You can turn on Auto ISO in center, you are at the proper set- the ISO sensitivity settings located tings to get a good exposure; when in the Shooting menu. the bars are to the left, you are ✦ ISO sensitivity display. This tells overexposed; and when the bars you what the ISO sensitivity is cur- are to the right, you are underex- rently set to. posing your image. You can reverse this in CSM f12. This feature is ✦ Exposures remaining. This set of especially handy when using numbers lets you know how many Manual exposure. This display also more exposures can fit on the CF doubles as the virtual horizon indi- card. The actual number of expo- cator. When the camera is tilted to sures may vary according to file the right, the bars are displayed on information and compression. the left. When the camera is tilted When you half-press the Shutter to the left, the bars are displayed Release button, the display changes on the right. When the camera is to show how many exposures can level, a single bar appears directly fit in the camera’s buffer before the under the zero. buffer is full and the frame rate slows down. The buffer is in-camera RAM✦ FEC indicator. When this is dis- that stores your image data while played, your Flash Exposure the data is being written to the Compensation is on. You adjust memory card. This also shows the FEC by pressing the Flash mode WB preset recording information as button and rotating the Sub- well as your exposure compensation command dial. values.✦ Exposure compensation indica- ✦ Thousands indicator. This lets you tor. When this appears in the view- know that there are more than finder, your camera has exposure 1,000 exposures remaining on your compensation activated. You adjust memory card. exposure compensation by press- ing the Exposure Compensation ✦ Flash ready indicator. When this is button and rotating the Main displayed the flash, whether it is Command dial. the built-in flash or an external Speedlight attached to the hot✦ Battery indicator. When this icon shoe, is fully charged and ready to appears, your battery is low; if it fire at full power. is blinking, your battery is dead and the Shutter Release button is disabled.
  • 35. 20 Part I ✦ Using the Nikon D700 • WB preset number. When theControl Panel WB is set to one of the preset numbers, pressing the WB but-The monochrome control panel on top of ton displays the preset numberthe camera displays some of the same that is currently being used.shooting information that appears in theviewfinder, but there are also some settings • Bracketing sequence. Whenthat are only displayed here. This LCD con- the D700 auto-bracketingtrol panel allows you to view and change feature is activated, pressingthe settings without looking through the the Function button displays theviewfinder. The settings are as follows: number of shots left in the bracketing sequence. This ✦ Shutter speed. By default this set includes WB, exposure, and of numbers shows you the shutter flash bracketing. speed setting. This set of numbers • Interval timer number. When also shows a myriad of other set- the camera is set to use the tings depending on which buttons interval timer for time-lapse are being pressed. photography, this displays the • Exposure compensation value. number of shots remaining in When you press the Exposure the current interval. Compensation button and • Focal length (non-CPU lenses). rotate the Sub-command dial, When the camera’s Function the exposure value (EV) com- button is set to choose a non- pensation number is displayed. CPU lens number when the • FEC value. Pressing the Flash Function button is pressed, the mode button and rotating the focal length of the non-CPU lens Sub-command dial displays the is displayed. You must enter the FEC value. lens data in the Setup menu. • ISO. The ISO sensitivity appears ✦ Shutter speed lock indicator. This when you press the ISO button. lets you know that your shutter Rotating the Main Command speed is locked to prevent acciden- dial changes the sensitivity. tal changes. The shutter speed can be locked in CSM f8. • WB fine-tuning. Pressing the WB button and rotating the ✦ Flexible program indicator. Sub-command dial fine-tunes This asterisk appears next to the the white balance setting. A is Exposure mode when you’re in P, warmer, and B is cooler. or Programmed Auto, mode. It lets you know that you have changed • Color temperature. When the the default auto-exposure set by WB is set to K, the panel dis- the camera to better suit your cre- plays the color temperature in ative needs. the Kelvin scale when you press the WB button. ✦ Exposure mode. This tells you which exposure mode you are For more information on white currently using: P, S, A, or M. balance and Kelvin, see Chapter 2.
  • 36. Chapter 1 ✦ Exploring the Nikon D700 21 ✦ Flash mode. These icons denote Flexible program mode is discussed more in depth in Chapter 2. which flash mode you are using. The flash modes include Red-Eye✦ Image size. When you’re shooting Reduction, Red-Eye with Slow sync, JPEG, TIFF, or RAW + JPEG files, this Slow Sync, and Rear-Curtain Sync. tells you whether you are recording To change the flash sync mode, Large, Medium, or Small files. This press the Flash mode button and display is turned off when shooting rotate the Main command dial. RAW files. ✦ Multiple exposure indicator. This✦ Image quality. This displays the icon informs you that the camera is type of file format you are record- set to record multiple exposures. ing. You can shoot RAW, TIFF, or Set multiple exposures in the JPEG. When shooting JPEG or RAW Shooting menu. + JPEG, it displays the compression ✦ F-stop/Aperture number. At quality: FINE, NORM, or BASIC. default settings, this displays the✦ WB fine-tuning indicator. When aperture at which the camera is set. the white balance fine-tuning fea- This indicator also displays other ture is activated, these two arrows settings as follows: are displayed. You can fine-tune • Auto-bracketing compensa- WB by pressing the WB button and tion increments. The exposure rotating the Sub-command dial. bracketing can be adjusted to✦ WB setting. This shows you which over- and underexpose in 1/3- white balance setting is currently stop increments. When the selected. Function button is set to Auto- bracketing, the number of EV✦ Exposures remaining. By default, stops is displayed in this area. this displays the number of expo- The choices are 0.3, 0.7, or 1.0 sures remaining on your CF card. EV. The WB auto-bracketing can When you half-press the Shutter also be adjusted; the settings Release button to focus, the display are 1, 2, or 3. changes to show the number of shots remaining in the camera’s • Number of shots per interval. buffer. In preset WB, the icon PRE When the D700 is set to Interval appears when the camera is ready Timer shooting, the number of to set a custom WB. When using frames shot in the interval is Camera Control Pro 2 to shoot displayed here. tethered to a computer, this • Maximum aperture (non-CPU appears as PC. lenses). When the non-CPU✦ Thousands indicator. A K appears lens data is activated, the maxi- when the number of remaining mum aperture of the specified exposures exceeds 1,000. This is lens appears here. not to be confused with the K that ✦ F-stop indicator. This icon, which may appear in the WB area, which appears as a right triangle, appears is used to denote the Kelvin when a non-CPU lens is attached temperature. to the camera.
  • 37. 22 Part I ✦ Using the Nikon D700 ✦ FEC indicator. When this is dis- preset sync speed, dial the shutter played, your FEC is on. Adjust the speed down one setting past the FEC by pressing the Flash mode longest shutter time, which is 30 button and rotating the Sub- seconds in S and bulb in M. command dial. ✦ Auto ISO indicator. This is dis- ✦ Exposure compensation indica- played when the Automatic ISO tor. When this appears in the setting is activated to let you know control panel, your camera has that the camera is controlling the exposure compensation activated. ISO settings. You can activate Auto This will affect your exposure. ISO in the Shooting menu. Adjust the exposure compensation ✦ Clock indicator. When this appears by pressing the exposure compen- in the control panel, the camera’s sation and rotating the Main internal clock needs to be set. You Command dial. can find the Clock settings in the ✦ Flash sync indicator. This indicator Setup menu. is displayed as an X. This comes on ✦ MB-D10 battery indicator. When when you set your camera to the the MB-D10 battery grip is attached sync speed that is set in CSM e1. and the camera is using the battery This is only available when in S or installed in the grip, this icon is M mode. To set the camera to the displayed.Shutter speed lock indicator Shutter speed/multi-function display Flexible program indicator Multiple exposure indicator Exposure Flash mode mode F-stop indicator F-stop/ Image Aperture size numberImage quality WB setting WB fine-tuning Exposures remaining indicator Thousands indicator1.8 The LCD control panel display 1
  • 38. Chapter 1 ✦ Exploring the Nikon D700 23 ✦ Battery indicator. This display the bars are to the right, you are shows the charge remaining on the underexposing your image. This is active battery. When this indicator displayed when the camera is set is blinking, the battery is dead and to M mode. When it is in P, S, or A the shutter is disabled. mode, this is only displayed when the current settings will cause an ✦ Interval timer indicator. When the under- or overexposure. camera’s Interval Timer option is turned on, this appears in the con- ✦ Beep indicator. This informs you trol panel. You set the Interval that the camera will beep when the timer in the Shooting menu. self-timer is activated or when the camera achieves focus when in ✦ Electronic analog exposure dis- Single Focus mode. play. This is your light meter. When the bars are in the center, you are ✦ GPS connection indicator. This icon at the proper settings to get a good appears in the LCD control panel exposure; when the bars are to the when a GPS system is connected to left, you are overexposed; when the D700’s 10-pin connector. Exposure compensation Flash exposure compensation indicator indicator Auto ISO indicator Color temperature indicator Flash sync indicator Auto-bracketing indicator Aperture lock indicator Auto ISO GPS connection indicator indicatorElectronic Clock indicator Battery indicatoranalogexposure Interval timerdisplay indicator MB-D10 battery indicator Beep indicator1.9 The LCD control panel display 2
  • 39. 24 Part I ✦ Using the Nikon D700 ✦ Auto-bracketing indicator. When The Shooting info display definitely comes in Auto-Exposure or flash bracket- in handy when shooting on a tripod, but ing, this appears on the control other than that, I don’t find myself using it panel; when using WB bracketing, very often. I just find it easier to glance at a WB icon also appears above the the LCD control panel to find what I need. A icon. You set auto-bracketing in drawback to this display is that it depletes CSM e5. your batteries faster because the display is ✦ Aperture lock indicator. This shown on the large three-inch LCD screen. informs you that your aperture set- ting is locked to prevent accidental That being said, the Shooting info display does changes. You can lock the aperture show quite a wealth of information. It shows in CSM f8 everything that is available in the viewfinder display, the control panel, and a few other ✦ Color temperature indicator. things that aren’t found anywhere else. When this indicator is shown, the WB is set to Kelvin. Here’s a complete rundown of everything that appears on the Shooting info display:Shooting Info ✦ Exposure mode display. This tells you which exposure mode you areDisplay currently using: P, S, A, or M. ✦ Flexible program indicator. This isThe Shooting info display is shown on the an asterisk that appears next to theback LCD screen when you press the Info exposure mode when in P mode.button found underneath the AF-area mode This lets you know that you haveselector (where the CF card door latch used changed the default auto-exposureto be for you D200/300 users). set by the camera to better suit your creative needs. ISO ISO S S N N L L + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + RAW + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + RAW + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + FINE WB AUTO + + + + + + + + + FINE WB AUTO + + + + + + + + + SHOOT A ISO NR ON OFF sRGB Pv SHOOT A ISO NR ON OFF sRGB Pv CUSTOM A NR OFF SD AE L AF L AE AF Fn Lv CUSTOM A NR OFF SD AE L AF L AE AF Fn Lv1.10 The Shooting info display automatically changes from light to dark depending on thebrightness of the ambient light, or you can set it manually in CSM d7.
  • 40. Chapter 1 ✦ Exploring the Nikon D700 25✦ Shutter speed lock indicator. This • Bracketing sequence. When lets you know that your shutter the D700 auto-bracketing speed is locked to prevent acciden- feature is activated, pressing tal changes. The shutter speed can the Function button displays the be locked in CSM f8. number of shots left in the✦ Shutter speed. By default, this set bracketing sequence. This of numbers shows you the shutter includes WB, exposure, and speed setting. This set of numbers flash bracketing. also shows a myriad of other set- • Interval timer number. When tings depending on which buttons the camera is set to use the you press. interval timer for time-lapse • EV value. When pressing the photography, this displays the Exposure Compensation button number of shots remaining in and rotating the Sub-command the current interval. dial, the EV compensation num- • Focal length (non-CPU lenses). ber is displayed. When the camera’s Function • FEC value. Pressing the Flash button is set to choose non-CPU mode button and rotating the lens numbers when the Sub-command dial displays the Function button is pressed, the FEC value. focal length of the non-CPU lens is displayed. You must enter the • ISO. The ISO sensitivity appears lens data in the Setup menu. when you press the ISO button. Rotating the Main Command ✦ Color temperature indicator. dial changes the sensitivity. When this indicator is shown, the WB is set to Kelvin. • WB fine-tuning. Pressing the WB button and rotating the ✦ f-stop indicator. This icon, which Sub-command dial fine-tunes appears as a right triangle, appears the white balance setting. A is when a non-CPU lens is attached warmer, and B is cooler. to the camera. • Color temperature. When the ✦ Aperture lock indicator. This lets WB is set to K, the panel dis- you know that your aperture is plays the color temperature in locked to prevent accidental the Kelvin scale when you press changes. The shutter speed can the WB button. be locked in CSM f8. • WB preset number. When the ✦ F-stop/Aperture number. At WB is set to one of the preset default settings, this displays the numbers, pressing the WB but- aperture at which the camera is set. ton displays the preset number This indicator also displays other that is currently being used. settings as follows:
  • 41. 26 Part I ✦ Using the Nikon D700 • Auto-bracketing compensa- ✦ MB-D10 battery indicator. This tion increments. The exposure shows the remaining charge on the bracketing can be adjusted to battery that is being used in the over- and underexpose in 1/3- MB-D10 grip (if attached). This also stop increments. When the displays the type of battery that is Function button is set to Auto- installed in the grip. bracketing, the number of EV ✦ Thousands indicator. A K appears stops is displayed in this area. when the number of remaining The choices are 0.3, 0.7, or 1.0 exposures exceeds 1,000. This is EV. The WB auto-bracketing can not to be confused with the K also be adjusted; the settings that may appear in the WB area, are 1, 2, or 3. which is used to denote the Kelvin • Number of shots per interval. temperature. When the D700 is set to Interval ✦ Exposures remaining. This number Timer shooting, the number of indicates the approximate amount frames shot in the interval is of exposures you can store on your displayed here. CF card. This display also shows the • Maximum aperture (non-CPU lens number of the saved Non-CPU lenses). When the non-CPU lens when that option is set to a lens data is activated, the maxi- function button. mum aperture of the specified ✦ AF-area mode display. This icon lens appears here. shows you which AF-area mode✦ Electronic analog exposure dis- you are in. For more information on play. This is your light meter. When AF-area modes, see Chapter 2. the bars are in the center, you are ✦ WB setting. This displays the icon at the proper settings to get a good of the current WB setting. When exposure; when the bars are to the fine-tuning has been applied to the left, you are overexposed; when default setting, two small arrows the bars are to the right, you are appear beneath the WB icon to underexposing your image. This is remind you. displayed when the camera is set to M mode. When in P, S, or A ✦ Image quality. This tells you the type mode, this is only displayed when and quality of file that is being written the current settings will cause an to your CF card as you take photos. under- or overexposure. The options are RAW, RAW+JPEG, JPEG, and TIFF. Change this by press-✦ Camera battery indicator. This dis- ing the QUAL button and rotating the plays how much of a charge is left in Main Command dial. the EN-EL3e battery in the camera. ✦ Image size. This tells you the reso- lution size of the file when saving to JPEG or TIFF: Large (L), Medium (M), or Small (S). Change this setting by pressing the QUAL button and rotat- ing the Sub-command dial.
  • 42. Chapter 1 ✦ Exploring the Nikon D700 27 ✦ Vignette control indicator. This ✦ Flash sync indicator. This indicator icon is displayed when the option is displayed as an X. This comes on vignette control is turned on. when you set your camera to the Additionally, next to the icon is the sync speed that is set in CSM e1. amount of vignette control being This is only available when in applied: High (H), Normal (N), or Shutter Priority or Manual mode. To Low (L). set the camera to the preset sync speed, dial the shutter speed down ✦ Release mode indicator. This one setting past the longest shutter informs you of the release mode time, which is 30 seconds in S and that’s currently selected for the bulb in M. camera: Single or Continuous. When the camera is set to Continuous shooting, the maxi- mum frame rate is also displayed.Shutter speed lock indicator Shutter speed/multi-function display Flexible program indicator Aperture lock indicator Exposure Color temperature mode Flash indicator F-stop/ sync Aperture indicator F-stop indicator number ISO B 5fps N L TTL L COMMENT EL3e FP AUTO WB AUTO 3D SHOOT A ISO NR OFF OFF AdobeRGB Pv CUSTOM A NR ON SD AE L AF L AE Fn BKT WB setting Exposures remaining Image quality AF area mode display Thousands indicator Image size Electronic analog MB-D10 battery indicator exposure display Vignette control indicator Camera battery indicator Release mode indicator1.11 The Shooting info display 1
  • 43. 28 Part I ✦ Using the Nikon D700✦ ISO sensitivity display. This shows ✦ Multiple exposure indicator. This your ISO setting. ISO Auto appears icon informs you that the camera is when the Automatic ISO setting is set to record multiple exposures. activated to let you know that the Set multiple exposures in the camera is controlling the ISO set- Shooting menu. tings. You can activate Auto ISO in ✦ Interval timer indicator. When the the Shooting menu. camera’s Interval Timer option is✦ Exposure compensation indica- turned on, this appears in the con- tor. When this appears in the LCD trol panel. Set the interval timer in control panel, your camera has the Shooting menu. exposure compensation activated. ✦ Copyright information indicator. This will affect your exposure. This icon appears when the Adjust the exposure compensation optional copyright information has by pressing the exposure compen- been entered and activated. You sation and rotating the Main can find copyright information in Command dial. the Setup menu.✦ FEC indicator. When this is dis- ✦ Image comment indicator. This played, your Flash Exposure icon is shown when the image Compensation is on. Adjust the FEC comment option is enabled. You by pressing the Flash mode button can add an image comment in the and rotating the Sub-command dial. Setup menu.✦ Auto-bracketing indicator. When in The following items on the Shooting Menu Auto-Exposure or flash bracketing, Display can be accessed and changed by this appears on the control panel; entering the Quick Settings Display. You can when using WB bracketing, a WB icon also appears above the icon. enter the Quick Settings Display by pressing You set auto-bracketing in CSM e5. the Info button while the Shooting Menu Display appears on the rear LCD. For more✦ GPS connection indicator. This information on the Quick Settings Display, icon appears in the LCD control see Chapter 3. panel when a GPS system is connected to the D700’s 10-pin ✦ Active D-Lighting indicator. This connector. icon alerts you to the status of the✦ Metering mode display. This dis- Active D-Lighting option. The set- play shows which metering mode tings are Auto, High (H), Normal you are in: Spot, Center-weighted, (N), Low (L), and Off. or Matrix. ✦ Color space indicator. This tells✦ Beep indicator. This informs you you the color space that you are that the camera will beep when the saving your files in: Adobe RGB or self-timer is activated or when the sRGB. For more information on camera achieves focus when in color space, see Chapter 3. Single Focus mode.
  • 44. Chapter 1 ✦ Exploring the Nikon D700 29 ✦ Preview button assignment. This ✦ Picture Control indicator. This icon tells you which custom function is shows which Picture Control set- assigned the Depth-of-field preview ting is activated. For more informa- button. tion on Picture Controls, see Chapter 2. ✦ Function button assignment. This tells you what custom function is ✦ Long exposure noise reduction assigned to the FUNC. button. indicator. This lets you know if Long Exposure NR is activated. ✦ AE-L/AF-L button assignment. This tells you what custom function is assigned to the AE-L / AF-L button. Flash exposure compensationFlash mode indicator indicator Interval timer indicator Auto- bracketing Multiple exposure Clock indicator indicator indicator Metering mode ISO sensitivity display GPS display Exposure connection compensation indicator indicator Beep indicator ISO B 5fps N L TTL L COMMENT EL3e FP AUTO WB AUTO 3D SHOOT A ISO NR OFF OFF AdobeRGB Pv CUSTOM A NR ON SD AE L AF L AE Fn BKT Custom Settings Picture AE-L/AF-L button bank control assignment Shooting menu indicator Function button assignment bank FV lock Preview button assignment High ISO noise indicator reduction indicator Image comment Color space indicator indicatorActive D-Lighting Long exposure noise Copyright information indicatorindicator reduction indicator1.12 The Shooting info display 2
  • 45. 30 Part I ✦ Using the Nikon D700✦ Custom Settings bank. This item ✦ Flash mode indicator. This area lets you know which Custom shows you the flash mode the Settings bank you’re using: A, B, C, camera is using. This option is or D. For more information on shown only when the built-in flash Custom Settings banks, see is raised or an accessory Speedlight Chapter 3. is attached. When an accessory Speedlight is attached, an icon is✦ Shooting menu bank. This item lets displayed in the top-right corner of you know which Shooting menu this box. Additionally, this option bank you’re using: A, B, C, or D. For shows you if the Speedlight is in more information on Shooting Through-the-Lens mode (TTL), menu banks, see Chapter 3. Repeating flash mode (RPT),✦ High ISO noise reduction. This Commander mode (CMD), and lets you know if the High ISO NR High Speed FP Sync mode (FP). is activated. The options are HIGH, For more detailed information NORM (Normal), LOW, or OFF. on flash modes and Speedlights, see Chapter 6.✦ FV lock indicator. This icon is shown when the FV lock is acti- ✦ Clock indicator. This icon flashes vated. FV lock can be assigned to when the cameras internal clock is the Preview, FUNC., or AE-L/AF-L not set. You can set the clock in the button. Setup menu.
  • 46. Nikon D700Essentials ✦ 2 C H A P T E R ✦ ✦ ✦W hen you familiarize yourself with the basic layout of the D700 and all the various dials, switches,and buttons, you should find it much easier to navigate to andadjust the settings that allow you to control and fine-tune the In This Chapter Exposure modesway you capture images with your camera. In this chapter, I Metering modescover some of the most commonly changed settings of thecamera such as the exposure modes, metering, autofocus Focus modes(AF) settings, white balance, and ISO. All these settings com- Autofocus area modesbined create your image and you can tweak and adjust themto reflect your artistic vision or to simply be sure that you cre- ISO sensitivityate the best possible images in complex scenes. White balanceExposure settings include the exposure modes that decidehow the camera chooses the aperture and shutter speed and Picture Controlsthe metering modes that decide how the camera gathers thelighting information so that the camera can choose the appro- JPEGpriate settings based on the exposure mode. In this chapter,you also learn more about ISO, which also plays into expo- TIFFsure, and exposure compensation. Exposure compensationallows you to fine-tune the exposure to suit your needs or to Image sizeachieve the proper exposure in situations where your lightmeter may be fooled. Image qualityIn this chapter, I also explain the autofocus modes, which NEF (RAW)decide which areas of the viewfinder are given preferencewhen the camera is deciding what to focus on. Discussions of Live Viewwhite balance, Picture Controls, and Live View round out thechapter. ✦ ✦ ✦ ✦Exposure ModesUnlike some of Nikon’s entry-level digital single lens reflex(dSLR) cameras such as the D60, the D700 has no Scenemodes. Scene modes are settings that are tailored for specificshooting scenarios like sports, landscapes, or portraits. With a
  • 47. 32 Part I ✦ Using the Nikon D700camera of this level, you are expected to increases the shutter speed as light levelsknow a little more about exposure settings increase. For example, when you’re using afor different types of photography rather 24-70mm f/2.8 zoom lens, the camerathan relying on the camera’s scene modes; keeps the aperture wide open until the shut-the D700 has four exposure modes: ter speed reaches about 1/40 second (justProgrammed Auto, Aperture Priority, Shutter above minimum shutter speed to avoidPriority, and Manual. They are all you need camera shake). Upon reaching 1/40 second,to achieve the correct exposure. the camera adjusts the aperture to increase depth of field.The D700 has four exposure modes to workwith that allow you the ultimate in control. The exposure settings selected by the cam-To switch among them, simply press the era are displayed in both the LCD controlMode button located next to the Shutter panel and the viewfinder display. AlthoughRelease button and rotate the Main the camera chooses what it thinks are theCommand dial until the desired exposure optimal settings, the camera does not knowmode appears in the control panel or in the what your specific needs are. You mayviewfinder display. decide that your hands are not steady enough to shoot at the shutter speed the camera has selected or you may want aProgrammed Auto wider or smaller aperture for selective focus.Programmed Auto mode, or P, is a fully Fortunately, you aren’t stuck with the cam-automatic mode that’s best for shooting era’s exposure choice. You can engage whatsnapshots and scenes where you’re not is known as flexible program. Flexible pro-concerned about controlling the settings. gram allows you to deviate from the cam- era’s selected aperture and shutter speedWhen the camera is in Programmed Auto when you are in P mode. You can automati-mode, it decides all the exposure settings cally engage this feature by simply rotatingfor you based on a set of algorithms. The the Main Command dial until the desiredcamera attempts to select a shutter speed shutter speed or aperture is achieved. Thisthat allows you to shoot handheld without allows you to choose a wider aperture/suffering from camera shake while also faster shutter speed when you rotate theadjusting your aperture so that you get good dial to the right, or a smaller aperture/slowerdepth of field to ensure everything is in shutter speed when you rotate the dial tofocus. When the camera body is coupled the left. With flexible program, you canwith a lens that has a CPU built in (all Nikon maintain the metered exposure while stillAF lenses have a CPU), the camera automat- having some control over the shutter speedically knows what focal length and aperture and aperture settings.range the lens has. The camera then usesthis lens information to decide what the A quick example of using flexible programoptimal settings should be. would be if the camera has set the shutter speed at 1/60 second with an aperture ofThis exposure mode chooses the widest f/8, you’re shooting a portrait, and you wantaperture possible until the optimal shutter a wider aperture to throw the backgroundspeed for the specific lens is reached. Then out of focus. By rotating the Main Commandthe camera chooses a smaller f-stop and dial to the right, you can open the aperture
  • 48. Chapter 2 ✦ Nikon D700 Essentials 33up to f/4, which causes the shutter speed toincrease to 1/125 second. This is what is In Programmed Auto mode, if there is not enough light toknown as an equivalent exposure, meaning make a proper exposure, theyou get the same exact exposure but the camera displays Lo in place ofsettings are different. the shutter speed setting.When flexible program is on, an asteriskappears next to the P on the LCD control Aperture Prioritypanel. Rotate the Main Command dial until Aperture Priority mode, or A, is a semiauto-the asterisk disappears to return to the matic mode. In this mode, you decide whichdefault Programmed Auto settings. aperture to use and the camera sets the Programmed Auto mode is not shutter speed for the best exposure based available when you’re using on your selection. Situations where you may non-CPU lenses. When you’re in want to select the aperture include when P mode with a non-CPU lens you’re shooting a portrait and want a large attached, the camera automati- cally selects Aperture Priority aperture (small f-stop number) to blur out mode. The P continues to appear the background by minimizing depth of on the LCD control panel, but the field, and when you’re shooting a landscape A for Aperture Priority appears in and want a small aperture (large f-stop the viewfinder display. number) to ensure the entire scene is in focus by increasing the depth of field.2.1 For this image, I used a wide aperture of f/2.8 to blur out the distracting elements ofthe background, drawing the eye to the most important part of the image.
  • 49. 34 Part I ✦ Using the Nikon D700Choosing the aperture to control depth of Shutter Priority mode is generally used forfield is one of the most important aspects of shooting moving subjects or action scenes.photography and allows you to selectively Choosing a fast shutter speed allows you tocontrol which areas of your image, from fore- freeze the action of a fast moving subject. Aground to background, are in sharp focus good example would be if you were shoot-and which areas are allowed to blur. ing a horse race. Horses move extremelyControlling depth of field enables you to fast, so you’d need to be sure to use a fastdraw the viewer’s eye to a specific part of the shutter speed of about 1/1000 second toimage, which can make your images more freeze the motion of the horse and preventdynamic and interesting to the viewer. blur. This would allow you to capture most of the crisp details of the subject. In Aperture Priority mode, if there is not enough light to There are also times when you may want to make a proper exposure, the camera displays Lo in place of use a slow shutter speed, and you can use the shutter speed setting. this mode for that as well. When you’re shooting scenes at night, a long exposure is often preferable and choosing your shutterShutter Priority speed can allow you to introduce many cre- ative effects into your photography. I oftenShutter Priority mode, or S, is another semi- like to shoot city skylines at night and moreautomatic mode. In this mode, you choose often than not the skyline is located near athe shutter speed and the camera sets the river. Selecting a slow shutter speed of aboutaperture.2.2 For this image I used a fast shutter speed to freeze the subject and the water drops,which also suggests action.
  • 50. Chapter 2 ✦ Nikon D700 Essentials 35two to four seconds gives moving bodies ofwater a nice glass-like appearance that I find In Shutter Priority mode, if thereappealing. Be sure to bring along your favor- is not enough light to make a proper exposure, the cameraite tripod for support. displays Lo in place of the aper- ture setting.Even when you’re shooting action, you’ll havetimes when you may want to use a slowershutter speed. Panning along with a moving Manualsubject at a slower shutter speed allows youto blur the background while keeping the When in the Manual mode, or M, you setsubject in relatively sharp focus. The blur of both the aperture and shutter speed set-the background is extremely effective in por- tings. You can estimate the exposure, use atraying motion in a still photograph. I use this handheld light meter, or use the D700’stechnique extensively when shooting motor- electronic analog exposure display to deter-sports. Using a shutter speed that is too high mine the exposure needed.(fast) when shooting race cars causes the For more info on the electronicvehicle to look as if it’s parked on the track analog exposure display, seebecause it may potentially freeze the motion Chapter 1.of the wheels. Selecting a relatively slowshutter speed of about 1/320 second and You’re probably wondering why you’d usepanning along with the car allows me to cap- Manual exposure when you have the otherture some blur in the tires, showing rotation modes. There are a few situations where youso that the viewer can see that the car was may want to set the exposure manually:actually moving.2.3 For this image I used a relatively slow shutter speed and panning to show movement.
  • 51. 36 Part I ✦ Using the Nikon D700✦ When wanting complete control over exposure. Most times the Metering Modes camera decides the optimal expo- The D700 has three metering modes, Matrix sure based on technical algorithms metering, Center-weighted metering, and and an internal database of image information. Oftentimes, what the Spot metering, to help you get the best camera decides is optimal is not exposure for your image. You can change necessarily what is optimal in your the modes by using the Metering Mode dial mind. You may want to underex- directly to the right of the viewfinder. pose to make your image dark and foreboding, or you may want to Metering modes determine how the cam- overexpose a bit to make the colors era’s light sensor collects and processes the pop (making colors bright and con- information used to determine exposure. trasty). If your camera is set to M, Each of these modes is useful for different you can choose the settings and types of lighting situations. place your image in whatever tonal range you want without having to fool with exposure compensation Matrix settings. The default metering system that Nikon✦ When using studio flash. When cameras use is a proprietary system called you’re using studio strobes or 3D Color Matrix Metering II, or Matrix meter- external non-dedicated flash units, ing for short. Matrix metering reads a wide you don’t use the camera’s meter- area of the frame and sets the exposure ing system. When using external based on the brightness, contrast, color, and strobes, you’ll need a flash meter composition. Then the camera runs the data or manual calculation to determine through sophisticated algorithms and deter- the proper exposure. Using the mines the proper exposure for the scene. Manual exposure mode, you can When using a Nikkor D- or G-type lens, the quickly set the aperture and shutter camera also takes the focusing distance into speed to the proper exposure; just consideration. be sure not to set the shutter speed above the rated sync speed of For more info on lenses and lens 1/250 second. specifications, see Chapter 4.✦ When using non-CPU lenses. When you’re using older non-CPU The D700 has a 1,005-pixel RGB (red, green, lenses, the camera is automatically blue) sensor that measures the intensity of set to Aperture Priority with the the light and the color of a scene. The cam- camera choosing the shutter speed. era then compares the information to infor- Switching to Manual allows you to mation from 30,000 images stored in its select both the shutter speed and database. The D700 determines the expo- aperture while using the camera’s sure settings based on the findings from the analog light meter that appears in comparison. Simplified, it works like this: the viewfinder display. You’re photographing a portrait outdoors, and the sensor detects that the light in the
  • 52. Chapter 2 ✦ Nikon D700 Essentials 37center of the frame is much dimmer than is that on G-type lens there is nothe edges. The camera takes this informa- aperture ring. When using thetion along with the focus distance and com- Matrix metering method, the cam-pares it to the ones in the database. The era decides the exposure settingimages in the database with similar light mostly based on the brightness andand color patterns and subject distance tell contrast of the overall scene andthe camera that this must be a close-up por- the colors of the subject matter astrait with flesh tones in the center and sky in well as other data from the scene.the background. From this information, the It also takes into account the dis- tance of the subject and whichcamera decides to expose primarily for the focus point is used, as well as thecenter of the frame although the background lens focal length to further decidemay be over- or underexposed. The RGB which areas of the image aresensor also takes note on the quantity of the important to getting the propercolors and uses that information. exposure. For example, if you’re using a wide-angle lens with a dis- tant subject with a bright area at the top of the frame, the meter will take this into consideration when setting the exposure so that the sky and clouds don’t lose critical detail. ✦ Color Matrix Metering II. This type of metering is used when a non-D- or G-type CPU lens is attached to the camera. Most AF lenses made from about 1986 to the early to mid-90s fit into this category. The Matrix metering recognizes this andImage courtesy of Nikon, Inc. the camera uses only brightness,2.4 The D700’s 1,005-pixel RGB sensor subject color, and focus information to determine the right exposure.The Matrix meter of the D700 will perform ✦ Color Matrix Metering. This type ofseveral ways, automatically, based on the metering is engaged when a non-type of Nikon lens that is used. CPU lens is attached to the camera and when the focal length and max- ✦ 3D Color Matrix Metering II. As imum aperture are specified using I mentioned earlier, this is the the non-CPU data in the D700 default metering system that the Setup Menu. The exposure is then camera employs when a G- or calculated solely on the brightness D-type lens is attached to the of the scene and the subject color. If camera. Most lenses made since a non-CPU lens is attached and no the early to mid-90s are these lens information is entered, the types of lenses. The only difference camera’s meter defaults to Center- between the G- and D-type lenses weighted metering.
  • 53. 38 Part I ✦ Using the Nikon D700Matrix metering is suitable for use with most setting. I’m not sure why the Average optionsubjects especially when you’re in a particu- is included in the Center-weighted menularly tricky or complex lighting situation. because it is not center-weighted at all, but IGiven the large amount of image data in the digress. Averaging meters were one of theMatrix metering database, the camera can first types of meters used in SLR camerasmake a fairly accurate assessment about and although they worked okay in evenwhat type of image you are shooting and moderately tricky lighting situations, youadjust the exposure accordingly. For exam- had to know when to use your exposureple, with an image with a high amount of compensation or your image would comecontrast and brightness across the top of the out flat and, well, average. An example offrame, the camera will try to expose for the this would be a snowy landscape — thescene so that the highlights retain detail. averaging meter takes a look at all that whitePaired with Nikon’s Active D-Lighting, your and wants to make it an 18 percent gray,exposures will have good dynamic range causing the snow to look dingy. You wouldthroughout the entire image. have to know to adjust your exposure compensation +1 or 2 stops. Unless you’re For more information on Active photographing something that is uniform in D-Lighting, see Chapter 3. color and has very little contrast, I advise staying away from using the Average option.Center-weighted On the other hand, true Center-weightedWhen the camera’s metering mode is metering is a very useful option. It worksswitched to Center-weighted, the meter takes great when shooting photos where youa light reading of the whole scene, but bases know the main subject will be in the middlethe exposure settings mostly on the light fall- of the frame. This metering mode is usefuling on the center of the scene. The camera when photographing a dark subject againstdetermines about 75 percent of the exposure a bright background, or a light subjectfrom a circular pattern in the center of the against a dark background. It works espe-frame and 25 percent from the area around cially well for portraits where you want tothe center. preserve the background detail while expos- ing correctly for the subject.The D700 incorporates a variable Center-weighted meter so you can adjust the size With Center-weighted metering, you can getof the center-weighted area based on the consistent results without worrying aboutscene you are trying to meter. By default, the adjustments in exposure settings thatthe circular pattern is 12mm in diameter, can sometimes happen when using Matrixbut you can choose to make the circle big- metering.ger or smaller depending on the subject.Your choices are 8, 12, 15, or 20mm and are You can change the center- weighted circle diameter infound in Custom Settings menu (CSM) b5. CSM b5, which I explain in moreThere is also a setting for Average. When set detail in Chapter 3.to Average, the camera takes a reading ofthe full frame and decides on an average
  • 54. Chapter 2 ✦ Nikon D700 Essentials 39 distinct way for different types of shootingSpot conditions, from sports to portraits to still-lifeIn Spot metering mode, the camera does photographs. You can customize these modesjust that: meters only a spot. This spot is to tailor them exactly to your specific shootingonly 4mm in diameter and only accounts for needs. To change the AF mode, simply flip1.5 percent of the entire frame. The spot is the switch that’s located near the base of thelinked to the active focus point, which is lens (labeled with an M, S, and C).good, so you can focus and meter your sub-ject at the same time, instead of meteringthe subject, pressing AE-L (Auto Exposure How the D700 autofocusLock), and then recomposing the photo. TheD700 has 51 focus points so it’s like having works51 spot meters to choose from throughout The D700 has inherited the Multi-CAMthe scene. 3500FX AF module from its bigger brother, the D3. This AF module is Nikon’s newestChoose Spot metering when the subject is and most sophisticated AF system to date. Itthe only thing in the frame that you want features an impressive 51 focus points, 15the camera to expose for. You select the of which have cross-type sensors and 36 ofspot meter to meter a precise area of light which are horizontal sensors. The 15 cross-within the scene. This is not necessarily tied type sensors are located in the central focusto the subject. For example, when you are points and the remaining 36 horizontal sen-photographing a subject on a completely sors are positioned with 18 sensors locatedwhite or black background, you need not be on either side of the central 15 points.concerned with preserving detail in thebackground; therefore, exposing just for the Simplified, the Multi-CAM 3500FX AF workssubject works out perfectly. One example by reading contrast values from a sensorwhere this mode works well is concert pho- inside the camera’s viewing system. As Itography where the musician or singer is lit mentioned earlier, the D700 employs twoby a bright spotlight. You can capture every different sensor types, cross and horizontal.detail of the subject and just let the shadow As you may have guessed, cross-type sensorsareas go black. are shaped like a cross while horizontal sen- sors are shaped like a horizontal line. You When you use a non-CPU lens can think of them like plus and minus signs. with Spot metering, the center Cross-type sensors are able to read the con- spot is automatically selected. trast in two directions, horizontally and verti- cally. Horizontal sensors can only interpret contrast in one direction. (When the cameraFocus Modes is positioned in portrait orientation, the hori- zontal sensors are positioned vertically.)The Nikon D700 has three different focusmodes, two of which are AF modes: Cross-type sensors can evaluate for focusContinuous (C), Single (S), and Manual (M). much more accurately than horizontal sen-Each of these modes is useful in its own sors, but horizontal sensors can do it a bit
  • 55. 40 Part I ✦ Using the Nikon D700more quickly (provided that the contrast is Contrast detectionrunning in the right direction). Cross-type Contrast detect focus is only used by thesensors require more light to work properly D700 in Live View mode in the Tripod modeso horizontal sensors are also included in setting. This is the same method that smallerthe array to speed up the AF, especially in compact digital cameras use to focus.low-light situations. Contrast detect focus is slower and uses the image sensor itself to determine whetherPhase detection the subject is in focus. It is a relatively simpleThe D700’s AF system works by using phase operation in which the sensor detects thedetection, which employs a sensor in the contrast between different subjects in thecamera’s body. Phase detection is achieved scene. The camera does this by movingby using a beam splitter to divert light that is the lens elements until sufficient contrast iscoming from the lens to two optical prisms achieved between the pixels that lie underthat send the light as two separate images the selected focus point. With contrastto the D700’s AF sensor. This creates a type detection, a greater area of the frame can beof rangefinder where the base is the same focused upon.as the diameter or aperture of lens. Thelarger the length of the base, the easier it isfor the rangefinder to determine whether Continuousthe two images are “in phase” or in focus. When the camera is set to Continuous AFThis is why lenses with wider apertures (AF-C), the camera continues to focus asfocus faster than lenses with smaller maxi- long as the shutter is pressed halfway (or themum apertures. This is also why the AF usu- Autofocus-On [AF-ON] button is pressed). Ifally can’t work with slower lenses coupled the subject moves, the camera activateswith a teleconverter, which reduces the Predictive Focus Tracking. With Predictiveeffective aperture of the lens. The base Focus Tracking on, the camera will track thelength of the rangefinder images is simply subject to maintain focus and will attempttoo small to allow the AF system to deter- to predict where the subject will be whenmine the proper focusing distance. The AF the shutter is released. When in AF-C mode,sensor reads the contrast or phase differ- the camera fires when the Shutter Releaseence between the two images that are being button is fully depressed, whether or not theprojected on it. This is the primary way that subject is in focus. This custom AF setting isthe D700 AF system works. This is also the known as Release Priority. If you want to besame method that is used to autofocus sure that the camera is in focus before thewhile using the camera in handheld Live shutter is released, you can change the set-View mode. This type of focus is also referred ting to Focus Priority. When the Focus Priorityto as SIR-TTL, or Secondary Image option is selected, the camera will continueRegistration-Through the Lens, given the AF to focus while the Shutter Release button issensor relies on a secondary image, as pressed but the shutter will be released onlyopposed to the primary image, that is pro- when the subject is in focus. This may causejected into the viewfinder from the reflex your frame rate to slow down. A third optionmirror.
  • 56. Chapter 2 ✦ Nikon D700 Essentials 41is Release + Focus. In this mode, you can subject appears sharp as you look throughtake a picture whether or not the camera is the viewfinder. You can use the manualin focus but the camera slows down the focus setting when shooting still-life photo-frame rate when there is low contrast or little graphs or other nonmoving subjects, whenlight to allow the camera more time between you want total control of the focus, or sim-shots to achieve focus. You can choose ply when you are using a non-AF lens. Youbetween Focus, Release, or Release + Focus may want to note that the camera shutterPriority in CSM a1. This is the AF-C mode you will release regardless of whether the scenewant to use when shooting sports or any is in focus or not.subject that may be moving erratically. When using the manual focus setting, the D700 offers a bit of assistance in the way ofSingle an electronic rangefinder.In Single AF, or AF-S mode (not to beconfused with the lens designation), thecamera focuses when the Shutter Releasebutton is pressed halfway. When the camera Autofocus Areaachieves focus, the focus locks. The focusremains locked until the shutter is released Modesor the Shutter Release button is no longer The D700 has three different AF area modespressed. By default, the camera does not to choose from: Single-point AF, Dynamic-fire unless focus has been achieved (Focus area AF, and Auto-area AF. Each one isPriority), but you can change this to Release useful in different situations and can bePriority in CSM a2. This allows you to take a modified to suit your needs for differentphoto whether the camera has achieved shooting situations.focus or not. I recommend sticking withFocus Priority for the AF-S, single servo mode Selecting between the AF area modes is quiteand using Release Priority for AF-C, continu- easy; you simply flip the AF Area Mode selec-ous servo. The AF-S mode is the best mode tor that lies right below the Multi-selector onto use when shooting portraits, landscapes, the rear of the camera. This switch is easy toor other photos where the subject is rela-tively static.Using this mode helps ensure that you have Auto-area AFfewer out-of-focus images. Dynamic-area AF Single-area AFManualWhen set to the Manual (M) mode, theD700 AF system is off. You achieve focus byrotating the focus ring of the lens until the 2.5 The D700’s AF Area Mode switch
  • 57. 42 Part I ✦ Using the Nikon D700find even when your eye is up to the view- By default, Single-area AF allows you tofinder, allowing you to quickly switch between choose from any one of the 51 AF areamodes as needed on the fly. points. Sometimes selecting from this many points can slow you down; this is why theAs discussed earlier in the chapter, the D700 D700 also allows you to change the num-employs an astounding 51 separate AF ber of selectable points to a more widelypoints. The 51 AF points can be used indi- spaced array of 11 focus points. Anyonevidually in Single-area AF mode or they can who has used a D200 will be immediatelybe set to use in groups of 9, 21, or 51 when familiar with the 11-point pattern. You canin Dynamic-area AF mode. choose between 51 points and 11 points in CSM a8.The D700 can also be set to employ3D-tracking, which enables the camera to Switching from 51 points to 11 points canautomatically switch focus points and main- speed up your shooting process when usingtain sharp focus on a moving subject as it Single-area AF mode. I often use 11 pointscrosses the frame. 3D-tracking is made pos- when shooting portraits; this allows me tosible by the camera recognizing color and move the focus point to the eye in less thanlight information and using it to track the half of the button pushes it takes whensubject. using 51 points.Nikon’s Scene Recognition System uses the1,005-pixel RGB sensor to recognize color Dynamic-area AFand lighting patterns in order to determine Dynamic-area AF mode also allows you tothe type of scene that you are photograph- select the AF point manually, but unlikeing. This enables the AF to work faster than Single-area AF, the remaining unselectedin previous Nikon dSLRs, and it also helps points remain active; this way if the subjectthe D700 achieve more accurate exposure happens to move out of the selected focusand white balance. area, the camera’s highly sophisticated auto- focus system can track it throughout theSingle-area AF frame. You can set the Dynamic-area AF to function with 9, 21, or 51 points in CSM a3.Single-point AF area mode is the easiestmode to use when you’re shooting slow- When you set the focus mode to AF-S ormoving or completely still subjects. You can Single AF (discussed earlier in the chapter),use the Multi-selector up, down, left, right, the mode operates exactly the same as ifor diagonally to choose one of the AF points. you were using Single-area AF. To takeThe camera only focuses on the subject if it advantage of Dynamic-area AF, the camerais in the selected AF area. Once the point is must be set to the AF-C, or Continuous AF,selected, in can be locked by rotating the AF mode.Area Mode selector switch on the outsideof the Multi-selector to the L position. The For more information on theselected AF point is displayed in the view- Custom Settings Menu, see Chapter 3.finder.
  • 58. Chapter 2 ✦ Nikon D700 Essentials 439 points 51 points (3D-tracking)When your D700 is set to the 9-point option, This mode has all 51 AF points active. Youyou can select any one of the camera’s 51 select the primary AF point, but if the sub-AF points to be the primary focus point. If ject moves, the camera uses 3D-tracking toyour subject moves out of the selected automatically select a new primary AF point.point, the AF system uses the eight AF points 3D-tracking is accomplished by the cameraimmediately surrounding the selected point using distance and color information fromto achieve focus. This is the best setting to the area immediately surrounding the focususe when you want to focus on erratically point. The camera uses this information tomoving subjects with greater accuracy. determine what the subject is, and if the subject moves, the camera selects a new21 points focus point. This mode works very well for subjects moving unpredictably; however,As with the 9-point area AF mode, you can you need to be sure that the subject and theselect the primary focus point from any one background aren’t similar in coloring. Whenof the 51 points. The camera then uses photographing a subject that is coloredinformation from the surrounding 20 points close to the background, the camera mayif the subject moves away from the selected lock focus on the wrong area, so use thisfocus area. The 21-point area gives you a mode carefully.little more leeway with moving subjectsbecause the active AF areas are in a largerpattern. This mode is good for shooting sub-jects that are moving somewhat quickly or Auto-area AFerratically especially when dealing with Auto-area AF is exactly what it sounds like:insufficient contrast. The camera automatically determines the subject and chooses one or more AF points to lock focus. Due to the D700’s Scene51 points Recognition System, when it is used with aThe 51-point area AF mode gives you the Nikkor D- or G-type lenses, the camera iswidest area of active focus points. You can able to recognize human subjects. Thisselect the primary focus point the same way means that the camera has a better chanceyou do with the 9-point and 21-point of focusing where you want it than acciden-options. The camera then keeps the sur- tally focusing on the background whenrounding 50 points active in case the sub- shooting a portrait. Normally, I tend not toject leaves the selected focus area. This is use a fully automatic setting such as this,the best mode to use when the subject is but I’ve found that it works reasonably wellvery unpredictable and moving around the and recommend using it when you’re shoot-frame quite a bit. ing candid photos. When the camera is set to Single AF mode, the active AF points light When using Dynamic-area AF with 21 or 51 points you may up in the viewfinder for about one second notice that AF takes a little when the camera attains focus; when in longer to work given the D700’s Continuous AF mode, no AF points appear processor has to sample more in the viewfinder. points.
  • 59. 44 Part I ✦ Using the Nikon D700 The D700 has a native ISO range of 200 to If you’re really curious about 6400. In addition to these standard ISO set- knowing which AF point was tings, the D700 also offers some settings selected, you can view the AF that extend the available range of the ISO so point while reviewing the image on your LCD. To do this go you can shoot in very bright or very dark sit- to the Playback Menu, select uations. These are labeled as H (high speed) Display mode and check Focus and L (low speed). By default the H and L point under Basic photo info. Be options are set in 1/3-stop adjustments up sure to highlight Done and press to H1. The options are as follows: OK to lock in the setting. When the image is played back, the active focus points will be over- ✦ H0.3, H0.7, H1.0, and H2.0. These layed. settings are equivalent to approxi- mately ISO 12,800, and 25,600. ✦ L0.3, L0.7, and L1.0. These settingsISO Sensitivity are equivalent to approximately ISO 150, 125, and 100.ISO, which stands for International Organiza- You can also set the ISO by going into thetion for Standardization, is the rating for the Shooting menu and choosing the ISO sensi-speed of film, or in digital terms, the sensi- tivity settings option.tivity of the sensor. The ISO numbers arestandardized, which allows you to be sure When CSM b1 is set to half step,that when you shoot at ISO 100, you get the you have the option of selectingsame exposure no matter what camera you H0.5 or L0.5.are using. Using the H and L settings will not produce optimal results.The ISO for your camera determines how Using the L setting can result insensitive the image sensor is to the light that images that are slightly lower inis reaching it through the lens opening. contrast, and using the H settingIncreasing or reducing the ISO affects the can cause your images to haveexposure by allowing you to use faster shut- increased amounts of digital noise.ter speeds or smaller apertures (raising theISO), or use slower shutter speeds or widerapertures (lowering the ISO). Auto ISOYou can set the ISO very quickly on the The D700 also offers a feature where theD700 by pressing and holding the ISO but- camera adjusts the ISO automatically forton and rotating the Main Command dial you when there isn’t enough light to make auntil the desired setting appears in the LCD proper exposure. Auto ISO is meant to freecontrol panel. As with other settings for con- you up from making decisions about whentrolling exposure, the ISO can be set in 1/3-, to raise the ISO. You can set the Auto ISO in1/2-, or 1-stop increments. You can choose the Shooting menu under the ISO sensitivitythe ISO increments in CSM b1. settings option.
  • 60. Chapter 2 ✦ Nikon D700 Essentials 45By default, when Auto ISO is on, the camera set it all the way up to H2. If youchooses an ISO setting from 200 up to 3200 need your images to have lesswhenever the shutter speed falls below 1/30 noise, you can choose a lower ISO;second. Basically what this means is that the choices are 400, 800, 1600,when Auto ISO is turned on, if you manually 3200, 6400, H1, and H2.change the ISO, the camera cannot be set toa lower ISO than what the Auto ISO was set ✦ Minimum shutter speed. This set-to in the Shooting menu. So, if you set it to ting determines when the cameraISO 800, then when you are shooting, Auto adjusts the ISO to a higher level. At the default, the camera bumps upISO will not lower the ISO below 800. the ISO when the shutter speed falls below 1/30 second. If you’re usingYou can also limit how high the ISO can be a longer lens or you’re photograph-set so you can keep control of the noise ing moving subjects, you may needcreated when a higher ISO is used (although a faster shutter speed. In that casethe amount of overall noise generated by you can set the minimum shutterthe D700 is much lower than any of the speed up to 1/4000. On the otherpreceding camera models with the excep- hand, if you’re not concerned abouttion of the D3). camera shake, or if you’re using a tripod, you can set a shutter speedOn the opposite end of the spectrum, if you as slow as one second.manually set the ISO to 400, the Auto ISOfunction will not allow the ISO to go lower The minimum shutter speed isthan ISO 400, no matter how bright the only taken into account whenscene is. So when using the Auto ISO fea- using Programmed Auto or Shutter Priority modes.ture, be sure to set your ISO to 200 to ensurethat you can get the full range of ISO set-tings and avoid overexposing your images. Noise reductionUsing Auto ISO can yield questionable results Since the inception of digital cameras,because you can’t be certain what ISO adjust- they’ve been plagued with what is known asments the camera will make. So if you’re noise. Noise, simply put, is randomly col-going to use it, be sure to set it to conditions ored dots that appear in your image. It’s isthat you deem acceptable to ensure your basically caused by extraneous electronsimages will not be blurry or noisy. that are produced when your image is being recorded. When light strikes the image sen-Be sure to set the following options in the sor in your D700, electrons are produced.Shooting menu/ISO sensitivity settings: These electrons create an analog signal that is converted into a digital image by the ✦ Maximum sensitivity. Choose an Analog to Digital (A/D) converter in your ISO setting that allows you to get camera (yes, digital cameras start with an an acceptable amount of noise in analog signal). There are two specific causes your image. If you’re not concerned of noise. The first is heat generated or ther- about noisy images, then you can mal noise. While the shutter is open and
  • 61. 46 Part I ✦ Using the Nikon D700your camera is recording an image, the sen- Long exposure NRsor starts to generate a small amount of When this setting is turned on, the cameraheat. This heat can free electrons from the runs a noise reduction algorithm to any shotsensor, which in turn contaminate the elec- taken with a long exposure (one second ortrons that have been created as a result of more). Basically, how this works is that thethe light striking the photocells on your sen- camera takes another exposure, this timesor. This contamination shows up as noise. with the shutter closed, and compares the noise from this dark image to the originalThe second cause of digital noise is known as one. The camera then applies the NR. Thehigh ISO noise. Background electrical noise noise reduction takes about the sameexists in any type of electronic device. For the amount of time to process as the length ofmost part, it’s very miniscule and you never the shutter speed; therefore expect doublenotice it. Cranking up the ISO amplifies the the time it takes to make one exposure.signals (photons of light) your sensor is While the camera is applying NR, the LCDreceiving. Unfortunately, as these signals are control panel blinks a message that saysamplified so is the background electrical “Job nr.” You cannot take additional imagesnoise. The higher your ISO, the more the until this process is finished. If you switchbackground noise is amplified until it shows the camera off before the NR is finished, noup as randomly colored specks. noise reduction is applied.Digital noise is composed of two different You can turn Long exposure NR on or off byelements, chrominance and luminance. accessing it in the Shooting menu or theChrominance refers to the colored specks Quick Settings Display.and luminance refers mainly to the size andshape of the noise. High ISO NRFortunately with every new camera released, When this option is turned on, any imagethe technology gets better and better, and shot at ISO 2000 or higher is run throughthe D700 is no exception. The D700 has the noise reduction algorithm.one of the highest signal-to-noise ratios ofany camera on the market; thus you can This feature works by reducing the coloringshoot at ISO 6400 and not worry about in the chrominance of the noise and combin-excessive noise. In previous cameras, shoot- ing that with a bit of softening of the imageing at ISO 6400 produced a very noisy image to reduce the luminance noise. You can setthat was not suitable for large prints. how aggressively this effect is applied by choosing the High, Normal, or Low settings.Although it’s very low in noise, noise doesexist and starts appearing in images taken You may also want to be aware that Highwith the D700 when you’re shooting above ISO NR slows down the processing of yourISO 1600 or using long exposure times. For images; therefore the capacity of the bufferthis reason, most camera manufacturers have can be reduced, causing your frame ratebuilt-in noise reduction (NR) features. The to slow down when you’re in ContinuousD700 has two types of NR: Long exposure NR shooting mode.and High ISO NR. Each one approaches thenoise differently to help reduce it.
  • 62. Chapter 2 ✦ Nikon D700 Essentials 47When the High ISO NR is set to “off,” the this is what you base your settings on; hencecamera will still apply NR to images shot at the term white balance. The white balanceH0.3 and higher, although the amount of can be changed in the Shooting menu or byNR is less than when the camera is set to pressing the WB button on the top of thethe Low setting with NR on. camera and rotating the Main Command dial. When shooting in NEF (RAW), no actual noise reduction is The term color temperature may sound applied to the image. strange to you. “How can a color have a temperature?” you might think. Once youFor the most part, I choose not to use either know about the Kelvin scale, things make aof these in-camera NR features. In my opin- little more sense.ion, even at the lowest setting, the camera isvery aggressive in the NR, and for that rea-son, there is a loss of detail. For most peo-ple, this is a minor quibble and not very What is Kelvin?noticeable; but for me, I’d rather keep all Kelvin is a temperature scale, normally usedthe available detail in my images and apply in the fields of physics and astronomy,noise reduction in post-processing. This where absolute zero (0 K) denotes theway I can decide how much to reduce the absence of all heat energy. The concept ischrominance and luminance rather than let- based on a mythical object called a blackting the camera do it. The camera doesn’t body radiator. Theoretically, as this blackknow whether you’re going to print the body radiator is heated, it starts to glow. Asimage at a large size or just display it on- it is heated to a certain temperature, it glowsscreen. I say it’s better to be safe than sorry. a specific color. It is akin to heating a bar of iron with a torch. As the iron gets hotter it You can apply NR in Capture NX turns red, then yellow, and then eventually or NX 2, or by using Photoshop’s white before it reaches its melting point Adobe Camera Raw or some other image-editing software. (although the theoretical black body does not have a melting point). The concept of Kelvin and color temperatureWhite Balance is tricky as it is the opposite of what you likely think of as “warm” and “cool” colors.Light, whether it is from sunlight, a light For example, on the Kelvin scale, red is thebulb, fluorescent light, or a flash, all has its lowest temperature, increasing throughown specific color. This color is measured orange, yellow, white, and to shades of blue,using the Kelvin scale. This measurement is which are the highest temperatures. Humansalso known as color temperature. The white tend to perceive reds, oranges, and yellowsbalance (WB) allows you to adjust the cam- as warmer and white and bluish colors asera so that your images can look natural no colder. However, physically speaking, thematter what the light source. Given white is opposite is true as defined by the Kelvinthe color that is most dramatically affected scale.by the color temperature of the light source,
  • 63. 48 Part I ✦ Using the Nikon D700 Fluorescent. Use this settingWhite balance settings when the lighting is comingNow that you know a little about the Kelvin from a fluorescent-type lamp.scale, you can begin to explore the white You can also adjust for differentbalance settings. The reason that white bal- types of fluorescent lamps,ance is so important is it helps ensure that including high-pressure sodiumyour images have a natural look. When deal- and mercury vapor lamps. Toing with different lighting sources, the color make this adjustment, go to thetemperature of the source can have a dras- Shooting menu and choosetic effect on the coloring of the subject. For White Balance, then fluores-example, a standard light bulb casts a very cent. From there, use the Multi- selector to choose one of theyellow light; if the color temperature of the seven types of lamps.light bulb is not compensated for by intro-ducing a bluish cast, the subject can look Direct sunlight. Use this settingoverly yellow and not quite right. outdoors in the sunlight. Flash. Use this setting whenIn order to adjust for the colorcast of the using the built-in Speedlight, alight source, the camera introduces a color- hot-shoe Speedlight, or externalcast of the complete opposite color temper- strobes.ature. For example, to combat the greencolor of a fluorescent lamp, the camera Cloudy. Use this setting underintroduces a slight magenta cast to neutral- overcast skies.ize the green. Shade. Use this setting when you are in the shade of trees orThe D700 has nine white balance settings: a building or even under an overhang or a bridge — any Auto. This setting is best for place where the sun is out but most circumstances. The camera is being blocked. takes a reading of the ambient light and makes an automatic Choose color temp. This set- adjustment. This setting also ting allows you to adjust the works well when you’re using a white balance to a particular Nikon CLS compatible Speedlight color temperature that corre- because the color temperature is sponds to the Kelvin scale. You calculated to match the flash can set it between 2500K (red) output. I recommend using this to 10,000K (blue). setting as opposed to the Flash Preset manual. This setting WB setting. allows you to choose a neutral Incandescent. Use this setting object to measure for the white when the lighting is from a balance. It’s best to choose an standard household light bulb. object that is either white or light gray. There are some
  • 64. Chapter 2 ✦ Nikon D700 Essentials 49 accessories that you can use to set the white balance. One By keeping your digital camera accessory is a gray card, which set to the Auto WB setting, you is fairly inexpensive. Simply put can reduce the amount of images taken with incorrect color tem- the gray card in the scene and peratures. In most lighting situa- balance off of it. Another acces- tions, the Auto WB setting is very sory is the Expodisc. This accurate. You may discover that attaches to the front of your your camera’s capability to eval- lens like a filter; you then point uate the correct white balance is the lens at the light source and more accurate than setting white set your WB. This setting (PRE) balance manually. is best used under difficult lighting situations, such as Figures 2.6 to 2.12 show the difference that when there are two different white balance settings can make to your light sources lighting the scene image. This particular image was shot under (mixed lighting). I usually use incandescent lighting. this setting when photograph- ing with my studio strobes.2.6 Auto, 2850K 2.7 Incandescent, 2850K
  • 65. 50 Part I ✦ Using the Nikon D7002.8 Fluorescent, 3800K 2.10 Daylight, 5500K2.9 Flash, 5500K 2.11 Cloudy, 6500K
  • 66. Chapter 2 ✦ Nikon D700 Essentials 51 Picture Controls can also be saved to the CompactFlash (CF) card and imported into Nikon’s image-editing software, Capture NX, Capture NX 2, or View NX. You can then apply the settings to RAW images or even to images taken with other camera models. You can also save and share these Picture Control files with other Nikon users, either by importing them to Nikon software or loading them directly to another camera. The D700 comes with four standard Picture Controls already loaded on the camera, and you can custom modify up to nine Picture Control settings in camera. Nikon also offers Custom Picture Controls that are available for download on the Nikon Web site (http:// nikonimglib.com/opc/). At the time of this writing, Nikon only offers five Custom Picture Controls. Three of the Picture Controls offer the same color mode settings that are avail- able on D2XS cameras; they are called the2.12 Shade, 7500K D2XMODE1, D2XMODE2, and D2XMODE3. The other two Picture Controls available for download are Portrait and Landscape.Picture ControlsWith the release of the D3 and the D300,Nikon introduced their Picture Control Original Picture ControlsSystem. The D700 has also been equipped Right out of the box the D700 comes withwith this handy option. This feature allows four Picture Controls installed:you to quickly adjust your image settings,including sharpening, contrast, brightness, ✦ SD. This is the Standard setting. This applies slight sharpening and asaturation and hue based on your shooting small boost of contrast and satura-needs. Another fantastic thing about the tion. This is the recommended set-Picture Control System is that you can set it ting for most shooting situations.to emulate the color modes from otherNikon cameras (specifically, as of this writ- ✦ NL. This is the Neutral setting. Thising, the D2XS). This is great for photogra- setting applies a small amount ofphers who shoot more than one camera sharpening and no other modifica-and do batch processing to their images. It tions to the image. This setting isallows both cameras to record the images preferable if you do extensive post-the same so global image correction can be processing to your images.applied without worrying about differencesin color, tone, saturation, and sharpening.
  • 67. 52 Part I ✦ Using the Nikon D700 ✦ VI. This is the Vivid setting. This ✦ D2X. There are three different D2X setting gives your images a fair Picture Controls: Modes I, II, and III. amount of sharpening, and the The D2X Picture Controls simulate contrast and saturation is boosted the three color modes used by the highly, resulting in brightly colored D2X and D2XS cameras. This allows images. This setting is recom- you to obtain consistent image mended for printing directly from results when using different cam- the camera or CF card as well as for eras. D2X Mode I is similar to PT shooting landscapes. Personally, I Picture Control and is best for por- feel that this mode is a little too traits, D2X Mode II is comparable to saturated and often results in the NL Picture Control, and D2X unnatural color tones. This mode is Mode III is close to the VI Picture not ideal for portrait situations, as Control setting. skin tones are not typically repro- duced with accuracy. ✦ MC. This is the Monochrome set- Custom Picture Controls ting. As the name implies, this All the Original Picture Controls can be cus- option makes the images mono- tomized to fit your personal preferences. chrome. This doesn’t simply mean You can adjust the settings to your liking, black and white; you can also sim- giving the images more sharpening and less ulate photo filters and toned contrast or a myriad of other options. images such as sepia, cyanotype, and more. The settings for sharpen- Although you can adjust the ing, contrast, and brightness can Original Picture Controls, you also be adjusted. cannot save over them, so there is no need to worry about losing them.Optional Picture Controls There are a few different customizations toThese Picture Controls are available for choose from:download from Nikon’s Web site (http://nikonimglib.com/opc/): ✦ Quick adjust. This option works with SD, VI, PT, and LS. It exagger- ✦ PT. This is the setting for Portraits. ates or de-emphasizes the effect of It gives you just a small amount of the Picture Control in use. Quick sharpening, which gives the skin a adjust can be set from ±2. smoother appearance. The colors are muted just a bit to help with ✦ Sharpness. This controls the appar- achieving realistic skin tones. ent sharpness of your images. You can adjust this setting from 0 to 9, ✦ LS. This is the Landscape setting. with 9 being the highest level of Obviously, this setting is for shoot- sharpness. You can also set this to ing landscapes and natural vistas. It Auto (A) to allow the camera’s appears to me that this is exactly imaging processor to decide how the same as the Vivid Picture much sharpening to apply. Control.
  • 68. Chapter 2 ✦ Nikon D700 Essentials 53✦ Contrast. This setting controls the • Yellow. Adds a low level of con- amount of contrast your images are trast. It causes the sky to appear given. In photos of scenes with slightly darker than normal and high contrast (sunny days), you anything yellow to appear may want adjust the contrast lighter. It is also used to optimize down; in low contrast scenes, you contrast for brighter skin tones. may want to add some contrast by • Orange. Adds a medium adjusting the settings up. You can amount of contrast. The sky will set this from ±3 or to A. appear darker, giving greater✦ Brightness. This adds or subtracts separation between the clouds. from the overall brightness of your Orange objects appear light grey. image. You can choose 0 (default) • Red. Adds a great amount of + or –. contrast, drastically darkening✦ Saturation. This setting controls the sky while allowing the clouds how vivid or bright the colors in to remain white. Red objects your images are. You can set this appear lighter than normal. between ±3 or to A. This option is • Green. Darkens the sky and not available in the MC setting. lightens any green plant life. The Brightness and Saturation This color filter can be used for option is unavailable when Active portraits as it softens skin tones. D-Lighting is turned on. ✦ Toning. Toning adds a color tint to your monochrome (black-and-✦ Hue. This setting controls how your white) images. Toning options are colors look. You can choose ±3. Positive numbers make the reds • B&W. The black-and-white look more orange, the blues look option simulates the traditional more purple, and the greens look black-and-white film prints more blue. Choosing a negative done in a darkroom. The cam- number causes the reds to look era records the image in black, more purple, the greens to look white, and shades of gray. This more yellow, and the blues to look mode is suitable when the color more green. This setting is not of the subject is not important. available in the MC Picture Control You can use it for artistic pur- setting. I highly recommend leaving poses or, as with the sepia this in the default setting of 0. mode, to give your image on antique or vintage look.✦ Filter Effects. This setting is only available when you set your D700 • Sepia. The sepia color option to MC. The monochrome filters duplicates a photographic toning approximate the types of filters process that is done in a tradi- traditionally used with black-and- tional darkroom using silver- white film. These filters increase based black-and-white prints. contrast and create special effects. Sepia toning a photographic The options are image requires replacing the
  • 69. 54 Part I ✦ Using the Nikon D700 silver in the emulsion of the • Color toning. You can also photo paper with a different silver choose to add colors to your compound, thus changing the monochrome images. Although color, or tone, of the photograph. this is similar to the Sepia and Antique photographs were gener- Cyanotype toning options, this ally treated to this type of toning; type of toning isn’t based on tra- therefore the sepia color option ditional photographic processes. gives the image an antique look. It is simply adding a colorcast to The images have a reddish- a black-and-white image. There brown look to them. You may are seven different color options want to use this option when you can choose from: red, yel- trying to convey a feeling of low, green, blue-green, blue, antiquity or nostalgia to your purple-blue, and red-purple. As photograph. This option works with Sepia and Cyanotype, you well with portraits as well as still- can adjust the saturation of life and architecture images. You these toning colors. can also adjust the saturation of the toning from 1 to 7, with 4 being the default and the middle ground. • Cyanotype. The cyanotype is another old photographic print- ing process; in fact it’s one of the oldest. When the image is exposed to the light, the chemi- cals that make up the cyanotype turn a deep blue color. This method was used to create the first blueprints and was later adapted to photography. The images taken while in this set- ting are in shades of cyan. Because cyan is considered to a cool color, this mode is also referred to as cool. You can use this mode to make very interest- ing and artistic images. You can also adjust the saturation of the toning from 1 to 7, with 4 being the default setting. 2.13 Black and White
  • 70. Chapter 2 ✦ Nikon D700 Essentials 552.14 Sepia 2.16 Green toning To customize an Original Picture Control, follow these steps: 1. Go to the Set Picture Control option in the Shooting Menu. Press the Multi-selector right. 2. Choose the Picture Control you want to adjust. For small adjust- ments choose the NL or SD option. To make larger changes to color and sharpness, choose the VI mode. To make adjustments to monochrome images, choose MC. Press the Multi-selector right. 3. Press the Multi-selector up or down to highlight the setting you want to adjust (sharpening, con- trast, brightness, and so on). When the setting is highlighted, press the Multi-selector left or right to adjust the settings. Repeat this step until you’ve adjusted the set-2.15 Cyanotype tings to your preferences.
  • 71. 56 Part I ✦ Using the Nikon D700 4. Press OK to save the settings. 8. When the Rename Menu appears, press the Zoom in button and To return the Picture Control to press the Multi-selector left or the default setting, go to the right to move the cursor to any of Set Picture Control option in the 19 spaces in the name area the Shooting Menu, choose the Picture Control you want to of the dialog box. New Picture reset, and press the delete but- Controls are automatically named ton. A dialog box appears ask- with the Original Picture Control ing for confirmation; select Yes name and a two digit number (for to return to default or No to con- example, STANDARD _02 or tinue to use the Picture Control VIVID_03). with the current settings. 9. Press the Multi-selector (without When the Original Picture Control pressing the Zoom) to select let- settings have been altered, an ters in the keyboard area of the asterisk is displayed with the dialog box. Press the Multi-selector Picture Control setting (SD*, VI*, and so on). center button to set the selected letter and press the Delete buttonTo save a Custom Picture Control, follow to erase the selected letter in thethese steps: Name area. Once you have typed in the name you want, press OK to 1. Go to the Manage Picture Control save it. The Custom Picture Control option in the Shooting Menu. is then saved to the Picture Control Press the Multi-selector right. menu and can be accessed through the Set Picture Control option in 2. Press the Multi-selector up or the Shooting menu. down to select Save/edit. Press the Multi-selector right. To return the Picture Control to the default setting, go to the 3. Choose the Picture Control to Manage Picture Control option edit. Press the multi-selector right. in the Shooting Menu, use the Multi-selector to select Save/ 4. Press the Multi-selector up or edit and to choose the Picture down to highlight the setting you Control you want to reset, and want to adjust (sharpening, con- press the delete button. A dialog trast, brightness, and so on). box appears asking for confir- When the setting is highlighted, mation; select Yes to return to press the Multi-selector left or right default or No to continue to use the Picture Control with the cur- to adjust the settings. Repeat this rent settings. step until you’ve adjusted the set- tings to your preferences. Your Custom Picture Controls can be 5. Press OK to save the settings. renamed or deleted at any time by using the Manage Picture Control option in the 7. Use the Multi-selector to high- light the Custom Picture Control Shooting menu. You can also save the you want to save to. You can store Custom Picture Control to your memory up to nine Custom Picture Controls; card so that you can import the file to they are labeled C-1 through C-9. Capture NX, Capture NX 2, or View NX. Press the Multi-selector right.
  • 72. Chapter 2 ✦ Nikon D700 Essentials 57To save a Custom Picture Control to the 2. Press the Multi-selector up ormemory card, follow these steps: down to highlight the Load/save option. Press the Multi-selector 1. Go to the Manage Picture Control right. option in the Shooting menu. 3. Press the Multi-selector up or Press the Multi-selector right. down to highlight the Copy to 2. Press the Multi-selector up or camera option. Press the Multi- down to highlight the Load/save selector right. option. Press the Multi-selector 4. Select the Picture Control to copy. right. Press OK or the Multi-selector right 3. Press the multi-selector up or to confirm. down to highlight the Copy to 5. The camera then displays the card option. Press the Multi- Picture Control settings. Press OK. selector right. The camera automatically displays 4. Press the Multi-selector up or the Save As menu. down to select the Custom 6. Select an empty slot to save to Picture Control to copy. Press (C-1 through C-9). the Multi-selector right. 7. Rename the file if necessary. 5. Select a destination on the Press OK. memory card to copy the Picture Control file to. Each CF card has 99 slots in which to store Picture Control files. JPEG 6. Once you’ve chosen the destina- tion, press the Multi-selector right. JPEG, which stands for Joint Photographic A message will appear that the file Export Group, is a method of compressing is then stored to your CF card. photographic files and also the name of the file format that supports this type of com-After you’ve copied your Custom Picture pression. The JPEG is the most commonControl file to your card, you can then import type of file used to save images on digitalthe file to the Nikon software by mounting the cameras. Due to the small size of the fileCF card to your computer by your usual means that is created and the relatively good image(card reader or USB camera connection). See quality it produces, JPEG has become thethe software user’s manual for instructions on default file format for most digital cameras.importing to the specific program. The JPEG compression format came intoYou can also upload Picture Controls that being because of the immense file sizes thatare saved to a CF card to your camera: digital images produce. Photographic files contain millions upon millions of separate 1. Go to the Manage Picture Control colors and each individual color is assigned option in the Shooting menu. a number, which causes the files to contain Press the Multi-selector right. vast amounts of data, therefore making the
  • 73. 58 Part I ✦ Using the Nikon D700file size quite large. In the early days of digi- the DCT. Quantizing is basically the processtal imaging, the huge file sizes and relatively of rounding off the numbers. This is wheresmall storage capacity of computers made it the file compression comes in. How muchalmost impossible for most people to store the file is compressed is dependent on theimages. Less than ten years ago, your stan- quantization matrix. The quantization matrixdard laptop hard drive was only about 5GB. defines how much the information is com-For people to efficiently store images, a file pressed by dividing the coefficients by athat could be compressed without losing quantizing factor. The larger the number oftoo much of the image data during recon- the quantizing factor, the higher the qualitystruction was needed. Enter the Joint (therefore, the less compression). This isPhotographic Export Group. This group of basically what is going on in Photoshop whenexperts came in and designed what we now you save as a JPEG and the program asks youaffectionately know as the JPEG. to set the quality; you are simply defining the quantizing factor.JPEG compression is a very complicatedprocess involving many mathematical equa- Once the numbers are quantized, they aretions, but it can be explained quite simply. run through a binary encoder that convertsThe first thing the JPEG process does is the numbers to the ones and zeros ourbreak down the image into 8 by 8 pixel computers love so well. You now have ablocks. The RGB color information in each 8 compressed file that is on average aboutby 8 block is then treated to a color space one-fourth of the size of an uncompressedtransform where the RGB values are changed file.to represent luminance and chrominancevalues. The luminance value describes the The one important consideration with JPEGbrightness of the color while the chromi- compression is that it is what’s known as anance value describes the hue. lossy compression. When the quantizing is put in effect, rounding off the numbers nec-Once the luminance and chrominance val- essarily loses information. For the most part,ues have been established, the data is run this loss of information is imperceptible tothrough what is known as the Discrete the human eye. A bigger issue to considerCosine Transform, or DCT for short. This is with JPEGs comes from what is known asthe basis of the compression algorithm. generation loss. Every time a JPEG is openedBasically what the DCT does is take the and resaved, a small amount of detail is lost.information about the 8 by 8 block of pixels After multiple openings and savings, theand assign it an average number because, image’s quality starts to deteriorate, as lessfor the most part, the changes in the lumi- and less information is available. Eventuallynance and chrominance values will not be the image may start to look pixilated orvery drastic in such a small part of the jagged (this is known as a JPEG artifact).image. Obviously, this can be a problem, but the JPEG would have to be opened and resavedThe next step in the process is quantizing the many hundreds of times before you’ll noticecoefficient numbers that were derived from a drop in image quality as long you save atthe luminance and chrominance values by high-quality settings.
  • 74. Chapter 2 ✦ Nikon D700 Essentials 59 at a large size, then you definitely want toTIFF record large JPEGs. If you’re going to print at a smaller size (8 × 10 or 5 × 7), you can getTIFF, or Tagged Image File Format, is another away with recording at the Medium or Smallfile format that is used primarily for digital setting. Image size is expressed in pixelimages. When you save to TIFF, the camera dimensions. When set to FX format, the largeapplies no compression and there is no loss of JPEG setting records your images at 4256 ×image data when you open and close the files. 2832 pixels; this gives you a file that is equiv-TIFF files, being uncompressed, are very large. alent to 12 megapixels. Medium size givesWith the D700, which has a high-resolution you an image of 3184 × 2120 pixels, which issensor, the Large size TIFF file can sometimes in effect the same as a 6.7 megapixel cam-be up to 40MB. An uncompressed RAW file era. The small size gives you a dimension ofwill typically be less than half of this size. Using 2128 × 1416 pixels, which gives you about aTIFF as your storage format can have some 3 megapixel image. Additionally, the D700detrimental effects for shooting. First, these can record images in the DX format size,huge file sizes will fill up the cameras buffer, which gives you an even smaller file size andresulting in slower continuous shooting lower resolution. A large size JPEG in DX isspeeds. Second, you fill your flash cards a lot 2784 × 1848, a medium one is 2080 × 1384,more quickly; a standard 4GB CF card can only and a small one is 1392 × 920. These set-store about 110 Large TIFFS. Using the same tings give you a resolution of about 5 mega-card, you can fit about twice that many pixels, 2.8 megapixels, and 1.2 megapixels,uncompressed RAW files or almost six times respectively.as many Large JPEGS. You can quickly change the image size byI find shooting TIFF files is the least effective pressing the QUAL button and rotating theway to go. The huge file sizes notwithstand- Sub-command dial on the front of the cam-ing, you’re better off to shoot RAW. In the era. You can also change the image size innext section, I’ll go over some of the advan- the Shooting menu by selecting the imagetages of using RAW files. The only time I can size menu option.imagine needing to shoot a TIFF is if I amgoing to upload a file straight from my cam- You can only change image sizeera to an art director. when using the JPEG or TIFF file format. RAW files are recorded only at the largest size.Image SizeWhen saving to JPEG or TIFF format, the D700 Image Qualityallows you to choose an image size. Reducingthe image size is like reducing the resolution For JPEGs, other than the size setting, whichon your camera; it allows you to fit more changes the pixel dimension, you have theimages on your card. The size you choose Quality setting, which is the setting thatdepends on what your output is going to be. decides how much of a compression ratio isIf you know you will be printing your images applied to your JPEG image. Your choices
  • 75. 60 Part I ✦ Using the Nikon D700are Fine, Normal, and Basic. JPEG Fine files Capturing your images in RAW allows you toare compressed to approximately 1:4, be more flexible when post-processing yourNormal are compressed to about 1:8, and images and generally gives you more con-Basic are compressed to about 1:16. To trol over the quality of the images.change the image quality setting, simplypress the QUAL button and rotate the Main The D700 offers a few options for savingCommand dial. Doing this scrolls you NEF (RAW) files. They include compressionthrough all the file-type options available and bit depth. Like JPEGs, RAW files can beincluding RAW, TIFF, Fine (JPEG), Normal compressed to save space so that you can(JPEG), and Basic (JPEG). You will also be fit more images on your CF card. You canable to shoot RAW and JPEG simultaneously also choose to save the RAW file with morewith all of the JPEG compression options bit depth, which can give you more avail-available (RAW + Fine, RAW + Normal, or able colors in your image file.RAW + Basic. Type of compressionNEF (RAW) Under the NEF (RAW) recording option in the Shooting menu, you can choose theNikon’s RAW files are referred to as NEF in type of compression you wish to apply toNikon literature. NEF stands for Nikon the NEF (RAW) file or you can choose noneElectronic File. RAW files contain all the at all. Keep in mind that with the D700 youimage data acquired by the camera’s sen- can save a NEF file at 12 bits or 14 bits,sor. When a JPEG is created, the camera which will affect the number of files you canapplies different settings to the image, such capture.as WB, sharpness, noise reduction, and soon. When the JPEG is saved, the rest of the You have three different options:unused image data is discarded to help ✦ Lossless compressed. Unlike JPEGreduce file size. With a RAW file, this image compression, this algorithm losesdata is saved so it can be used more exten- no data information when the filesively in post-processing. In some ways the is closed and stored. When the fileRAW file is like a digital negative, in which is opened, the algorithm reversesthe RAW files are used in the same way as a the compression scheme and thetraditional photographic negative; that is, exact same data that was savedyou take the RAW information and process is retrieved. This is the camera’sit to create your final image. default setting for storing RAW files. You will get a file size that isAlthough some of the same settings are approximately 15 to 40 percent oftagged to the RAW file (WB, sharpening, satu- the size of an uncompressed RAWration, and so on), these settings aren’t fixed file. You can fit about 200 of theseand applied as in the JPEG file. This way files (often more) on a 4GB CF cardwhen you import the RAW into your favorite in Compressed NEF (RAW) 12-bitRAW converter you can make changes to capture.these settings with no detrimental effects.
  • 76. Chapter 2 ✦ Nikon D700 Essentials 61✦ Compressed. Similar to JPEG com- pression, with this algorithm some Bit depth of the image data is lost when Simply put, bit depth is how many separate these types of files are compressed. colors your sensor can record. The term bit The complex algorithms they use to depth is derived from digital terminology. A create these files actually run two bit is the smallest unit of data; it is expressed different compression schemes to in digital language as either a 1 or a 0. Most the same file. Given that our eyes digital images saved as JPEG or TIFF are perceive changes in the darker recorded in 8 bits or 1 byte per channel areas of images more than in the (each primary color being a separate color: lighter areas, the image data for the red, green, and blue [RGB]), resulting in a shadow areas are compressed 24-bit image. For each 8 bits there are 256 using a lossless compression while possible colors; multiply this by 3 channels the mid-tones and lighter are com- and you get over 16 million different colors, pressed using a lossy method. This which is enough information to create a compression scheme has very little realistic looking digital image. By default the impact on the image data and D700 records its RAW files using a bit depth allows you be sure that you retain all your shadow detail. Using this of 12 bits per channel, giving you a 36-bit compression scheme, your file size image. What this means is that your sensor will be about 30 to 60 percent of can recognize far more shades of color, the size of an uncompressed file. which gives you a smoother gradation in You can fit about 276 of these files tones, allowing the color transitions to be on a 4GB CF card in Compressed much smoother. In addition to the 12-bit NEF (RAW) 12-bit capture. setting, the D700 also offers the option of recording your NEF (RAW) files at 14 bits per✦ Uncompressed. Using this setting, channel, which gives you even more color the RAW file isn’t compressed at all. information to deal with when processing I don’t see any distinct advantage your images. to using this setting over lossless compressed. There are a couple of All this comes with a cost: the higher the bit disadvantages to recording uncom- pressed RAW files, though. Due to depth, the more information contained in the larger file size, the camera buf- the file. This makes your files bigger, espe- fer fills more quickly, slowing down cially when the camera is shooting 14-bit your continuous shooting rate and NEF (RAW) files. When shooting at 14 bits, your files take up a bit more space the camera has much more image data than compressed files. I’m not con- to contend with, so your top frame rate is vinced that there is any real differ- reduced by just a bit. ence between compressed and uncompressed RAW files. In my I find that for most applications, shooting opinion, using the lossless com- NEF (RAW) files at 12 bits is more than pressed RAW file is the way to go. enough color information. I only switch to 14 bits when shooting portraits, especially when the portraits are low-key. This helps me get much smoother transitions from the shadow areas to the highlights.
  • 77. 62 Part I ✦ Using the Nikon D700 The Nikon D700 uses a 14-bit A/D converter, so its theoretical maximum dynamic range is 14 stops. High bit depth really only helps minimize image posterization because actual dynamic range is limited by noise levels. A high bit-depth image does not necessarily mean that the image contains more colors; it just means it has the capacity to store more color data. If a digital camera has a high precision A/D converter, it does not necessarily mean it can record a greater dynamic range. In reality, the dynamic range of a digital camera does not even come close to the A/D converter’s theoretical maximum; 5 to 9 stops is generally all you can expect from the camera due to imaging sensor limitations. RAW vs. JPEG This issue has caused quite a controversy in the digital-imaging world, with some people saying that RAW is the only way to go to have more flexibility in processing images, and others saying if you get it right in camera then you don’t need to use RAW images. For what it’s worth, both factions are right in their own way. Choosing between RAW and JPEG basically comes down to the final output or what you’re using the images for. Remember that you don’t have to choose one file format and stick with it. You can change the settings to suit your needs as you see fit, or you can even choose to record both RAW and JPEG simultaneously. Some reasons to shoot JPEGs include ✦ Small file size. JPEGs are much smaller in size than RAW files; therefore you can fit many more of them on your CF card and later on your hard drive. If space limitations are a problem, shooting JPEG will allow you to get more images in less space. ✦ Printing straight from the camera. Some people like to print their images straight from the camera or CF card. RAW files can’t be printed without first being converted to JPEG. ✦ Continuous shooting. Given JPEG files are smaller than RAW files, they don’t fill up the camera’s buffer as quickly, allowing you longer bursts without the frame rate slowing down. ✦ Less post-processing. If you’re confident in your ability to get the image exactly as you want it at capture, you can save yourself time by not having to process the image in a RAW converter and save straight to JPEG. ✦ Snapshot quality. If you’re just shooting snapshots of family events or if you only plan to post your images on the Internet, saving as JPEG will be fine. Some reasons to shoot RAW files include ✦ 16-bit images. The D700 can capture RAW images in 12 or 14 bits. When converting the file using a RAW converter such as Adobe Camera RAW (ACR) or Capture NX or Capture NX 2, you can save your images with 16-bit color information. When the information is written to JPEG in camera, the JPEG is saved as an 8-bit file. This gives you the option of working with more colors in post-processing. This can be extremely helpful when you’re trying to save an under- or overexposed image.
  • 78. Chapter 2 ✦ Nikon D700 Essentials 63 ✦ White Balance. Although the WB that the camera was set to is tagged in the RAW file, it isn’t fixed in the image data. Oftentimes, the camera can record a WB that isn’t quite correct. This isn’t always noticeable by looking at the image on the LCD screen. Changing the WB on a JPEG image can cause posterization and usually doesn’t yield the best results. Because you have the RAW image data on hand, changing the WB settings doesn’t degrade the image at all. ✦ Sharpening and Saturation. As with WB, these settings are tagged in the RAW file but not applied to the actual image data. You can add sharpening and sat- uration (or other options, depending on your software). ✦ Image Quality. Since the RAW file is an unfinished file, it allows you the flexi- bility to make many changes in the details of the image without any degrada- tion to the quality of the image.Live View using the Hand-held option more frequently than I expected, it’s kind of tricky to get it toLive View is one of the newest innovations in work properly and can take some practice todSLR technology. It allows you to use the LCD get comfortable using it.screen as a viewfinder. This can be very help- To operate the camera in Hand-held Liveful when you are taking pictures where the View mode:camera is set up as a remote or when shoot-ing at an awkward angle. For example, at a 1. Turn the release mode dial to Lvconcert you could hold the camera over your (Live View). Be sure that the Livehead and use the screen to frame the shot. View mode is set to Hand-held. You will find this setting in theThere are two Live View options: Hand-held Shooting menu under Live View.and Tripod. Obviously, the Hand-held modeis for when you are shooting the camera 2. Press the Shutter Release buttonwhile handholding it. When the camera is in to raise the mirror. The LCD thenthis mode, the camera functions more like a displays what the lens is seeing.point-and-shoot camera. When the camera 3. Use the LCD to frame your subject.is in Hand-held mode, the camera uses 4. Once your subject is framed,phase detection focus which is discussed press the Shutter Release buttonearlier in the chapter (this is the normal way halfway or press the AF-ON but-the D700 determines the focus for the cam- ton. The camera’s mirror then flipsera). There are some differences, though. In down, interrupting the Live View. Iforder for the camera to focus, the mirror the button is released, the mirrormust flip down, temporarily interrupting the flips back up and Live View returnsLive View preview. You must also press the without taking a picture.Shutter Release button multiple times toactually fire the shutter and get an exposure. 5. To take the picture, press the Shutter Release button fully.I must admit, although I have found myself
  • 79. 64 Part I ✦ Using the Nikon D700The Tripod mode is used when shooting still 5. Press the AF-ON button to focus.subjects while the camera is mounted to a The camera will not focus by pressingstationary object (tripod). Tripod mode func- the Shutter Release button halfway.tions a bit differently than Hand-held mode. 6. Press the Shutter Release buttonWhen the camera’s Live View is set to Tripod fully. The mirror flips up and themode, the focusing is obtained by the con- image is displayed on the LCDtrast detection method. This is the same monitor.method that compact point-and-shoot digi-tal cameras use to determine focus. This 7. Check the image on the LCD monitor. You can use the Zoom inmethod works by reading data directly from button to view the image closer tothe imaging sensor. The camera adjusts the ensure that it’s in focus. Use thelens until the sensor detects the greatest Multi-selector to scroll around toamount of contrast under the selected focus areas that aren’t in view when thepoint in the image. This method takes image is zoomed in. Press OK tolonger to achieve proper focus; hence the exit zoom. You can also press theshutter lag (delay) that occurs with most AF-ON button to refocus, and youpoint-and-shoot cameras. Some of the ben- can use the Multi-selector toefits of using Tripod mode Live View is that change AF points (as long as youyou can move your focus point anywhere in are not zoomed in).the image frame as opposed to the limited 8. Press the Shutter Release buttonarea of the 51-point AF sensor area. You can to take the picture.also zoom into the image to check the focus.This a great advantage in studio photogra- Keep these details in mind when you’rephy where focusing accuracy is more impor- shooting in the Live View Tripod mode:tant than focusing speed. ✦ HDMI. If the camera is connected For more on phase and contrast detection focus, see the section to an HDTV, the LCD monitor is earlier in this chapter on how switched off and the TV can be the D700 autofocus works. used to preview the image. ✦ Shooting info. You can turn off theTo use Live View in Tripod mode: shooting information that is nor- mally displayed on the image by 1. Attach the camera to a tripod or pressing the INFO button. set the camera on a stable object. ✦ Monitor brightness. You can 2. Turn the Release Mode dial to Lv adjust the brightness of the LCD (Live View). monitor by pressing the Play button 3. Use the viewfinder to frame the and using the Multi-selector up and subject. down buttons. 4. Press the Multi-selector button to ✦ Remote release. If using an navigate the AF point to the area of optional remote release cable, you the frame that you want to focus can activate the AF by pressing the on. Be sure to choose a spot that has button halfway for more than a adequate contrast or the camera will second. If you fully depress the but- not be able to achieve focus. ton without activating the AF, your image may be blurry.
  • 80. Setting Up theNikon D700 ✦ 3 C H A P T E R ✦ ✦ ✦I n the first few chapters of this book, I covered how to change the main settings of your D700. In this chapter,I go more in depth into the menu options. Here you cancustom-tailor the D700 options to fit your shooting style, to In This Chapter Playback menuhelp refine your workflow, or to make adjustments to refine Shooting menuthe camera settings to fit different shooting scenarios. Custom Settings menuThe D700 is one of the most customizable cameras on themarket. You can assign a number of buttons to the functions Setup menuyou find yourself using a lot. Using the My Menu feature, you Retouch menucan create your own personal list of menu options so that youdon’t have to scroll through all the menu options to get to My Menuthose you access most frequently. Quick Settings DisplaySome of these options are the same as the ones you canaccess and adjust by pushing a button and/or rotating a com- ✦ ✦ ✦ ✦mand dial. However, most are to change things that you don’tneed to change very often or quickly.You access the menus by pressing the Menu button on theback of the camera. Use the Multi-selector to scroll throughthe toolbar on the right side of the LCD screen. When thedesired menu is highlighted in yellow, press the OK button orMulti-selector right to enter the menu. Pressing the Menu but-ton again or tapping the Shutter Release button exits theMenu mode screen and readies the camera for shooting.Playback MenuYou manage the images stored on your CompactFlash (CF)card in the Playback menu. The Playback menu is also whereyou control how the images are displayed and what imageinformation is displayed during review. Nine options are avail-able from the Playback menu; I explain them in the followingsections.
  • 81. 66 Part I ✦ Using the Nikon D700 PLAYBACK MENU 2. Use the Multi-selector left or right to choose the image. You can also Delete use the Zoom in button to review Playback folder ND700 the image close up before deleting. Hide image Press the Multi-selector up or down Display mode to highlight the image you want to Image review OFF delete, press the center Multi- After delete selector button to set the image for Rotate tall OFF deletion; more than one image can Slide show be selected. When the image is selected for deletion, a small trash- can icon appears in the right-hand corner of the LCD screen. PLAYBACK MENU 3. Press the OK button to erase the Playback folder ND700 selected images. The camera will Hide image ask you for confirmation before Display mode deleting the images. Image review OFF After delete 4. Select Yes, and then press the OK button to delete them. To cancel Rotate tall OFF the deletion, highlight No (default), Slide show and then press the OK button. Print set (DPOF)3.1 The Playback menu: the top image Deleteshows the first eight options; the bottom Selectedimage is scrolled to show the last option,Print set (DPOF). 100-191 100-192 100-193DeleteThis option allows you to delete selected 100-194 100-195 100-196images from your memory card or to deleteall of the images at once. Set Zoom OK OKTo delete selected images, follow these steps: 3.2 Selecting images to delete 1. Press the Multi-selector right, high- light Selected (default), and press the Multi-selector to the right again. The camera displays an image selection screen. You can now select the image you want to delete.
  • 82. Chapter 3 ✦ Setting Up the Nikon D700 67To delete all images, follow these steps: ✦ Current. This option displays images only from the folder that 1. Use the Multi-selector to high- the camera is currently saving to. light All, and then press the OK This feature is useful when you button. The camera will ask you for have multiple folders from different confirmation before deleting the sessions. Using this setting allows images. you to preview only the most cur- rent images. You can change the 2. Select Yes, and then press the OK current folder using the Active button to delete them. To cancel folder option in the Shooting deletion, highlight No (default), menu. and then press the OK button.Playback folder Hide image This option is used to hide images so thatThe Nikon D700 automatically creates fold- they can’t be viewed during playback. Wheners to store your images in. The main folder the images are hidden, they are also pro-that the camera creates is called DCIM, and tected from being deleted. To select imageswithin this folder, the camera creates a sub- to be hidden, press the Multi-selector right,folder to store the images. The first subfolder highlight Select/set (default), and thenthe camera creates is called 100ND700. press the Multi-selector right. Use theAfter shooting 999 images, the camera Multi-selector to highlight the thumbnailautomatically creates another folder called images you wish to hide. Then press the OK101ND700, and so on. Use this menu to button.choose which folder or folders to displayimages from. Keep in mind that if you have To allow the hidden images to be displayed,used the CF card in another camera and highlight Deselect all. The camera then askshave not formatted it, additional folders you for confirmation before revealing theappear on the card (ND200, ND90, and so images. Select Yes and then press the OKon). You have three choices: button to display during playback. To cancel and continue hiding the images, highlight ✦ ND700. This is the default setting. The camera only plays back images No (default) and then press the OK button. from folders that the D700 created, ignoring folders from other cam- eras that may be on the CF card. Display mode ✦ All. This option plays back images Quite a bit of image information is available from all folders that are on the CF for you to see when you review images. The card whether the D700 created Display mode settings allow you to custom- them or not. ize the information that appears when you’re reviewing the images that are stored
  • 83. 68 Part I ✦ Using the Nikon D700on your CF card. Enter the Display mode ✦ Data. This option allows you tomenu by pressing the Multi-selector right. review the shooting data (metering,Then use the Multi-selector to highlight the exposure, lens focal length, and sooption you wish to set. When the option is on).highlighted, press the Multi-selector right orthe OK button to set the display feature. The Generally, the only setting that I use is the RGBfeature is set when a check mark appears in Histogram. This allows me to view the histo-the box to the left of the setting. Be sure to grams and the highlight detail all at once.scroll up to Done and press the OK buttonto set the feature. If you don’t do this step,the info will not appear in the display. Image review This option allows you to choose whetherThe Display mode options are the image appears on the LCD screen imme- diately after the image is taken. When this ✦ Highlights. When this option is acti- option is turned off (the default), you can vated, any highlights that are blown view the image by pressing the Playback out will blink. If this happens, you button. Most of the time, when you take a may want to apply some exposure picture you want the image to automatically compensation or adjust your expo- be displayed. This allows you a chance to sure to be sure to capture highlight preview the image, and check the exposure, detail. You can also view the high- framing, and sharpness. However, there are light information in each separate color channel (RGB) by pressing the times when you may not want the images thumbnail button and pressing the to be displayed. For example, when shoot- Multi-selector left or right. ing sports at rapid frame rate, you may not need to check every shot. Turning this option ✦ Focus point. When this option is off also serves to conserve battery power set, the focus point that was used given the LCD is the biggest drain on your is overlaid on the image you are battery. I often turn off Image review when reviewing. No focus point will be shooting weddings to deter people from displayed if the camera did not asking to see the shots. (You could miss achieve focus or if Continuous some good shots while the bridesmaids are Autofocus (AF-C) was used in con- looking at the images on your LCD.) junction with Auto-area AF. ✦ RGB Histogram. When this option is turned on, you can view the sep- After delete arate histograms for the red, green, and blue channels along with a This allows you to choose which image is standard luminance histogram. The displayed after you have deleted an image highlights are also displayed in this during playback. option and as with the standard highlights option, you can choose The options are to view the highlights in each separate channel by pressing the ✦ Show next. This is the default setting. thumbnail button and pressing the The next image taken is displayed Multi-selector left or right. after the selected image is deleted. If the image deleted is the last image, the previous image is displayed.
  • 84. Chapter 3 ✦ Setting Up the Nikon D700 69 ✦ Show previous. After the selected image is deleted, the one taken Slide show before it is displayed. If the first This allows you to display a slide show of image is deleted, the following images from the current active folder. You image is displayed. can use this setting to review the images ✦ Continue as before. This option that you have shot without having to use allows you to continue in the order the Multi-selector. This is also a good way to that you were browsing the images. show friends or clients your images. You can If you were scrolling through them even connect the camera to a standard or as they were shot, the next image high-definition (HD) TV to view the slide is displayed (Show next). If you show on a big screen. You can choose an were scrolling through them in interval of 2, 3, 5, or 10 seconds. reverse order, the previous image is shown (Show previous). While the slide show is in progress, you can use the Multi-selector to skip forward or back (left or right), and view shooting infoRotate tall or histograms (up or down). You can also press the Menu button to return to theThe D700 has a built-in sensor that can tell Playback menu, press the Playback buttonwhether the camera was rotated while the to end the slide show, or press the Shutterimage was taken. This setting rotates images Release button lightly to return to thethat are shot in portrait orientation so they Shooting mode.display upright on the LCD screen. I usuallyturn this option off because the portrait ori- Pressing the OK button while the slide showentation image appears substantially smaller is in progress pauses the slide show andwhen displayed upright on the LCD screen. offers you the option to restart the slide show, change the frame rate, or exit theThe options are slide show. Use the Multi-selector up and ✦ On. The camera automatically down to make your selection, and then rotates the image to be viewed press the OK button. while holding the camera in the standard upright position. When this option is turned on (and the Print set (DPOF) Auto image rotation setting is set to DPOF stands for Digital Print Order Format. On in the Setup menu), the camera This option allows you to select images to orientation is recorded for use in print directly from the camera. This can be image-editing software. used with PictBridge-compatible printers or ✦ Off (default). When the auto- DPOF-compatible devices such as a photo rotating function is turned off, kiosk at your local photo printing shop. This images taken in portrait orientation is a pretty handy feature if you don’t have a are displayed on the LCD screen printer at home and want to get some prints sideways, in landscape orientation. made quickly, or if you do have a printer and want to print your photos without downloading them to your computer.
  • 85. 70 Part I ✦ Using the Nikon D700To create a print set, follow these steps: • Date imprint. Press the Multi- selector right to set the Date 1. Use the Multi-selector to choose imprint option. A small check the Print set (DPOF) option, and appears in the box next to the then press the Multi-selector menu option. When this option right to enter the menu. is set, the date the image was 2. Use the Multi-selector to high- taken appears on the print light Select/set, then press the 5. If you choose to set the imprint Multi-selector right to view options, be sure to return to the thumbnails. Press the Zoom in Done option and press the OK button to view a larger preview of button to complete the print set. the selected image. 3. Use the Multi-selector right or left to highlight an image to print. When you’ve highlighted the Shooting Menu desired image, press the Protect The shooting controls that you find yourself (key) button and Multi-selector up using most often have dedicated buttons to to set the image and choose the access them. These are controls such as ISO, number of prints you want. You QUAL, and WB. You can also set these features can choose from 1 to 99. The num- in the Shooting menu. There are also other ber of prints and a small printer settings here that you will use quite often, icon appears on the thumbnail. Continue this procedure until you such as Picture Controls, Active D-Lighting, have selected all of the images that and Noise Reduction. you want to print. Press the Protect button and the Multi-selector down to reduce the number of prints and Shooting menu bank to remove it from the print set. You The Shooting menu bank allows you to store can also set the image to be different combinations of settings for use printed by pressing the Multi- during different shooting scenarios. If you selector center button while the shoot a variety of subjects and you change thumbnail is highlighted. your settings depending on the subject, you 4. Press the OK button. A menu can save your shooting settings so you can appears with three options: pull up the settings quickly rather than changing them all separately. For example, • Done (default). Press the OK when you shoot landscapes, you may want button to save and print the images as they are. to shoot RAW images at 14-bit, with your white balance set to Daylight, and the • Data imprint. Press the Multi- Picture Control set to Vivid; but when you selector right to set the Data shoot portraits, you like to shoot Large JPEG imprint option. A small check images, with the white balance set to Auto, appears in the box next to the and Picture Control set to Standard. You can menu option. When this option is save these groups of settings to separate set, the shutter speed and aper- banks and recall them when shooting that ture setting appear on the print.
  • 86. Chapter 3 ✦ Setting Up the Nikon D700 71particular type of subject. This can save you The Shooting menu banks store onlya lot of time because you don’t have to Shooting settings such as image quality,change your settings every time you change Picture Controls, Noise Reduction settings,your subject matter. and others. Be careful not to confuse the Shooting menu bank with the Custom Settings bank, which stores any changes SHOOTING MENU made to the Custom Settings menu. (I cover Shooting menu bank B this later in the chapter.) Reset shooting menu Active folder 102 Each Shooting menu bank operates sepa- rately from the other three, so any changes File naming JDT you make while in Bank A will not have any Image quality RAW+B effect on Banks B, C, and D. One thing you Image size need to remember is that any changes you Image area make while in a particular shooting bank JPEG compression will be saved. If you are shooting in Bank B and you change the Noise Reduction set- ting, that setting will be saved until you SHOOTING MENU change back. The Shooting menu bank does NEF (RAW) recording not reset when you turn the camera off. So White balance PRE if you modify certain settings, be sure to Set Picture Control SD change them back after you’re finished Manage Picture Control shooting or you may find yourself using the Color space Adobe wrong settings. Active D-Lighting OFF Vignette control OFF You can rename each of the four available Long exp. NR OFF banks — A, B, C, and D —with a custom des- ignation so you can easily remember which bank is for what subject. To rename the SHOOTING MENU bank, follow these steps: Active D-Lighting OFF 1. Press the Menu button and use Vignette control OFF the Multi-selector to select the Long exp. NR OFF Shooting menu. High ISO NR OFF 2. Select Shooting menu bank from ISO sensitivity settings the list of options. Live view Multiple exposure OFF 3. Use the Multi-selector to scroll down to the Rename option. Interval timer shooting OFF 4. Use the Multi-selector to choose the bank to rename. Using the3.3 The Shooting menu is shown here inthree sections so you can see all the Multi-selector, choose from A, B, C,available options. or D. Press the Multi-selector right. This brings up the text entry screen.
  • 87. 72 Part I ✦ Using the Nikon D700 This screen allows you to choose Shooting menu bank up to 20 characters to name your Shooting menu bank. > ? @ ABCDE FG H I J KL 5. Enter the text. Using the Multi- M N O P Q R S T U V WXY Z [ selector, you can scroll around ] _a bcdef gh i jk lm within the set of letters, numbers, n o p q r s t u v wxy z { } and punctuation marks. There are several buttons you can use to Po r t ________________ _ ___ r a i t maneuver in the text entry screen. + Cursor Input OK OK • Use the Multi-selector center button to insert the letter that is highlighted. 3.4 Text entry screen • Press the Thumbnail/Zoom out button and use the Multi- selector left or right to move Reset shooting menu the cursor within the text box. Choosing this menu option resets the cur- You can use it to add spaces or rent Shooting menu bank (A, B, C, or D) to to overwrite another character. the camera default settings. Only use this option if you want to start from scratch so to • To erase a character you have speak. This option resets all of the Shooting inserted, move the cursor over values, including file naming, color space, the top of the character and press the Delete button (trash- and any exposure fine-tuning you may have can). set, so reset with caution. 6. Once you’ve entered your text, press the OK button to save the Active folder changes. As I discussed earlier, the D700 automati-The only way to know which Shooting menu cally creates folders in which to store yourbank you’re using is to check the Quick images. The camera creates a folder namedSettings menu (QSM). You can also change ND700, and then stores the images in sub-which bank you’re using in the QSM. This set- folders starting with folder 100. You canting appears on the LCD control panel of the choose to change the folder that the cameraD200 and D300 and it’s one of the features is saving to from 100 up to 999. You canthat I wish they would have kept on the D700 use this option to separate different subjectbecause it’s much quicker to glance at the into different folders. When I shoot Sportstop panel than it is to use the QSM. Car Club of America (SCCA) races, there are different groups of cars. I use a different Remember the text entry screen: folder for each group to make it easier to You will use it for various func- sort through the images later. If there are tions, including changing the five groups, I start out using folder 101, then filename, naming Custom Picture Controls, and Custom Shooting folder 102 for the second group, and so on. menu banks. If you are on a road trip, you could save your
  • 88. Chapter 3 ✦ Setting Up the Nikon D700 73images from each destination to a separate (DSC_0123.jpg) when you’re using thefolder. These are just a couple of different sRGB color space. When you’re using theexamples of how you can use this feature. Adobe RGB color space, the filenames start with _DSC followed by a four-digit numberWhen selecting the active folder, you can and the file extension (_DSC0123.jpg).choose a new folder number or you canselect a folder that has already been cre- This menu option allows you to customizeated. When you format your CF card, all pre- the filename by replacing the DSC prefixexisting folders are deleted, and the camera with any three letters of your choice. Forcreates a folder with whatever number the example, I customized mine so that the file-active folder is set to. So if you set it to folder name reads JDT_0123.jpg.105, when the card is formatted, the camerawill create folder 105ND700; it does not To customize the filename, follow thesestart from the beginning with folder 100. If steps:you want to start with folder 100, you needto be sure to change the active folder back 1. Highlight the File naming optionto 100 and then format your card. in the Shooting menu. Press the Multi-selector right to enter theTo change the Active folder setting, follow menu. The menu shows a previewthese steps: of the filename (sRGB: DSC_1234 / Adobe RGB: _DSC1234). 1. Go to the Shooting menu. Using 2. Press the Multi-selector right to the Multi-selector, choose Active enter a new prefix within the text folder and then press the Multi- entry screen. You will notice that selector center button to view this text entry screen doesn’t have options. lowercase letters or any punctua- 2. Select New folder number tion marks. This is because the file- (default) to start a new folder. naming convention only allows for Press the Multi-selector right. Use files to be named using capital let- the Multi-selector up and down to ters and the numbers 0 through 9. change the numbers and left or 3. Use the Multi-selector to choose right to change place in the num- the letters and/or numbers. Press ber sequence. the OK button when you finish. 3. Press the OK button or the Multi- selector center button to save changes. Image quality This menu option allows you to change the image quality of the file. You can chooseFile naming from these options:When image files are created, the D700automatically assigns a filename. The default ✦ NEF (RAW) + JPEG fine. Thisfilenames start with DSC_ followed by a option saves two copies of thefour-digit number and the file extension same image, one in RAW and one in JPEG with 1:4 ratio compression.
  • 89. 74 Part I ✦ Using the Nikon D700 ✦ NEF (RAW) + JPEG normal. This The choices are option saves two copies of the same image, one in RAW and one ✦ Large. This setting gives you a full in JPEG with 1:8 ratio compression. resolution image of 4256 × 2832 pixels or 12 megapixels in FX ✦ NEF (RAW) + JPEG basic. This mode. In DX mode the image size option saves two copies of the is 2784 × 1848 or 5 megapixels same image, one in RAW and one in JPEG with 1:16 ratio ✦ Medium. This setting gives you a compression. resolution of 3184 × 2120 pixels or 6.7 megapixels in FX mode. In DX ✦ NEF (RAW). This option saves the mode the image size is 2080 × images in RAW format. 1384 or 2.8 megapixels. ✦ TIFF (RGB). This option saves the ✦ Small. This setting gives your images in TIFF format. images a resolution of 2128 × 1416 ✦ JPEG fine. This option saves pixels or 3 megapixels in FX mode. the images in JPEG with 1:4 In DX mode the image size is compression. 1392 × 920 or 1.2 megapixels. ✦ JPEG normal. This option saves For more detailed information the images in JPEG with 1:8 on image size, see Chapter 2 compression. You can also change the image ✦ JPEG basic. This option saves size for JPEG and TIFF by press- the images in JPEG with 1:16 ing the QUAL button and rotat- compression. ing the Sub-command dial. The settings are shown on the LCDYou can also change these settings by press- control panel on the top of theing the QUAL button and rotating the Main camera.Command dial to choose the file type andcompression setting. You can view this set-ting on the LCD control panel on the top of Image areathe camera. Some, if not most, of you have probably switched over from a Nikon DX-format dSLR For more detailed information on image quality, compression, such as the D300 or D80. This means you and file formats, see Chapter 2. have likely invested some money in DX lenses. Nikon enables you to use these DX lenses on the D700 by allowing you toImage size switch between FX and DX formats. You have two choices:This allows you to choose the size of theTIFF and JPEG files. The image sizes vary ✦ Auto DX crop. This enables thedepending on whether you are in FX (full- camera to instantly recognize whenframe) or DX mode. Change the image size a Nikkor DX lens is attached anddepending on the intended output of the automatically switch into DX mode.file. You should be aware that this is
  • 90. Chapter 3 ✦ Setting Up the Nikon D700 75 only guaranteed to work with than others. The Nikon manual Nikkor DX lenses. With most third- claims that a large fine JPEG file party DX lenses, the camera proba- size is compressing to an approxi- bly won’t recognize that the lens is mate 5.7MB file. I have done some DX. I know firsthand that the D700 testing and even with Size Priority didn’t recognize the Tokina selected, my file sizes range any- 12-24mm f/4 DX lens when I where between 2MB and 5MB. attached it to the camera. You can ✦ Optimal Quality. This option pro- turn this option on or off. If you vides the best compression algo- have Nikkor DX lenses that you rithm. The file sizes vary with the want to use along with your FX information contained in the scene lenses, you probably want to keep recorded. Use this mode when this option on. If you’re using third- image quality is a priority. With this party DX lenses, you can safely turn mode I’ve found that my image this off. If you have both third-party sizes are more uniform, fluctuating and Nikkor lenses, then I suggest between 5MB to 7MB. turning this on (just be sure to switch to DX when using non- When I contacted Nikon about this twist in Nikon lenses). the way that these functions are supposed ✦ Choose image area. This allows to work, they assured me that it’s normal. you to manually choose between FX and DX. This option is pretty self-explanatory. Select FX format NEF (RAW) recording (36 × 24) for a full-frame sensor This option is for setting the amount of com- size or DX format (24 × 16) for an APS-C sensor size. pression applied to RAW files. This menu is also where you choose the bit depth of the For more detailed information on RAW file. using DX lenses, see Chapter 4 Use the Type sub-menu (accessed from the RAW recording menu) to choose the com-JPEG compression pression. The options areThis menu allows you to set the amount of ✦ Lossless compressed. This is thecompression applied to the images when default setting. The RAW files arethey’re recorded in the JPEG file format. compressed, reducing the file size from 20 percent to 40 percent withThe options are no apparent loss of image quality. ✦ Size Priority. With this option the ✦ Compressed. The RAW file is com- JPEG images are compressed to a pressed by 40 percent to 55 per- relatively uniform size. Image qual- cent. There is some file information ity can vary depending on the lost. amount of image information in ✦ Uncompressed. The RAW file is the scene you photographed. To saved to the card exactly as it was keep the file sizes similar, some recorded. There is no compression. images must be compressed more The file sizes can be very large.
  • 91. 76 Part I ✦ Using the Nikon D700Use the NEF (RAW) bit depth sub-menu to White balancechoose the bit depth of the RAW file. Youhave two options: Direct sunlight G ✦ 12 bit. This records the RAW file with 12 bits of color information. B A A–B A3 ✦ 14 bit. This records the RAW file G–M G2 with 14 bits of color information. The file size is significantly larger, M but there is much more color infor- Adjust OK OK mation for smoother color transi- tions in your images. 3.5 The WB fine-tuning grid For more detailed information RAW on compression and bit a new screen that gives you the option to depth, see Chapter 2. fine-tune the standard setting. Displayed on this screen is a grid that allows you to adjust the color tint of the WB setting selected. TheWhite balance horizontal axis of the grid allows you toYou can change the white balance (WB) adjust the color from amber to blue, makingoptions using this menu option. Changing the image warmer or cooler, while the verti-the WB settings through this menu option cal axis of the grid allows you to change theallows you to fine-tune your settings with tint by adding a magenta or green cast tomore precision and gives you a few more the image. Using the Multi-selector, you canoptions than you get when using the dedi- choose a setting from 1 to 6 in either direc-cated WB button located on the top of the tion; additionally, you can add points alongcamera. You can select a WB setting from the horizontal and vertical axes simultane-the standard settings (Auto, Incandescent, ously. For example, you can add 4 points ofFluorescent, Direct sunlight, Flash, Cloudy, amber to give it a warmer tone and also addShade) or you can choose to set the WB 2 points of green, shifting the amber toneaccording to color temperature by selecting a more toward yellow.Kelvin temperature; you can choose between2500K to 10,000K. A third option is to select Choosing the fluorescent setting brings upfrom a preset WB that you have set. some additional menu options: You can choose between seven different non- For detailed information on incandescent lighting types. This is handy if white balance settings and color you know what specific type of fixture is temperature, see Chapter 2. being used. For example, I was shooting a night football game recently. I had the cam-Using standard WB settings era set to Auto WB, but I was getting veryTo select one of the standard WB settings, different colors from shot to shot and nonechoose the White balance option from the of them were looking right. Because I wasn’tShooting menu, then use the Multi-selector shooting RAW, I needed to get more consis-button to highlight the preferred setting, and tent shots. I knew that most outdoor sport-then press the Multi-selector right or the ing arenas used mercury vapor lights to lightMulti-selector center button. This brings up
  • 92. Chapter 3 ✦ Setting Up the Nikon D700 77the field at night. I selected the fluorescentWB setting from the Shooting menu and Sunlight and daylight are quitechose the #7 option: High temp. Mercury different color temperatures. Sunlight is light directly from thevapor. I took a few shots and noticed I was sun and is about 5500K. Daylightstill getting a sickly greenish cast, so I went is the combination of sunlightback to the fine-tuning option and added 2 and skylight and has a colorpoints of magenta to cancel out the green temperature of about 6300K.color cast. This gave me an accurate andconsistent color. Choosing a color temperature Using the K white balance option, you canThere are seven lighting-type settings: choose a specific color temperature, assum- ing that you know the actual color tempera- ✦ Sodium-vapor. These types of lights often found in streetlights ture. Some light bulbs and fluorescent lamps and parking lots. They emit a dis- are calibrated to put out light at a specific tinct deep yellow color. color temperature; for example full-spectrum light bulbs burn at a color temperature of ✦ Warm-white fluorescent. These 5000K. types of lights give a white light with a bit of an amber cast to add As with the other settings, you get the option some warmth to the scene. They of fine-tuning the setting using the grid. burn at around 3000K, similar to an incandescent bulb. Color Temperatures in the Kelvin Scale ✦ White fluorescent. These lights cast a very neutral white light at around 5200K. 10,000 North Light (Blue Sky) ✦ Cool white fluorescent. As the name suggests, these types of 9,000 lights are a bit cooler than a white 8,000 fluorescent lamp and have a color temperature of 4200K. 7,000 Overcast Daylight ✦ Day white fluorescent. These lights approximate sunlight at 6,000 about 5500K. 5,000 Noon Daylight, Direct Sun ✦ Daylight fluorescent. These types Electronic Flash Bulbs of lights give you about the same 4,000 color as daylight. This lamp burns at about 6300K. 3,000 Household Light Bulbs Early Sunrise ✦ High temp. mercury-vapor. These Tungsten Light 2,000 lights vary in temperature depend- Candlelight ing on the manufacturer and usu- 1,000 ally run between 4200K and 5200K. 3.6 The Kelvin color temperature scale
  • 93. 78 Part I ✦ Using the Nikon D700Preset white balance 3. Release the WB button for aPreset white balance allows you to make moment, and then press and hold it until the LCD controland store up to five custom WB settings. panel shows a blinking PRE.You can use this option when shooting in This will stay displayed for aboutmixed lighting: for example in a room with six seconds.an incandescent light bulb and sunlightcoming in through the window, or when the 4. Looking through the viewfinder,camera’s auto white balance isn’t quite get- frame the reference object. Pressting the correct color. the Shutter Release button as if you were taking a photo.You can set a custom white balance two 5. If the camera was successful inways: direct measurement, which is when recording the WB, GOOD flashesyou take a reading from a neutral-colored in the control panel. If the scene isobject (a gray card works the best for this) too dark or too bright, the cameraunder the light source; or copy from an may not be able to set the WB; inexisting photograph, which allows you to this case, No Gd flashes on the LCDchoose a WB setting directly from an image control panel. You may need tothat is stored on your memory card. change your settings to adjust the exposure settings on your camera.The camera can store up to five presets that If the result was unsuccessful,are labeled d-0 through d-4. When taking a repeat Steps 2 through 5 until youdirect measurement, the camera automati- obtain results that are acceptablecally stores the preset image to d-0, so if you to you.want to save a previous measurement, besure to copy it over to one of the presets d-1 If you plan on using this preset to take pic-through d-4 before taking another measure- tures right away, be sure that your presetment. I cover saving these presets later in WB is set to d-0. Do this by pressing the WBthis section. button and rotating the Sub-command dial until d-0 is displayed on the LCD control panel.Direct measurementTo take a direct measurement and save it to If you want to save the current preset WBd-0 (default), follow these steps: setting for future use, you’ll need to copy the setting to another preset (d-1 through 1. Place a neutral object (preferably d-4). If you don’t save this, the next time a gray card) under the light source you want to balance for. you make a preset, the d-0 slot will be over- written. 2. Press the WB button located on the top left of the camera body To save a preset, follow these steps: and rotate the Main Command dial until the PRE in displayed 1. Press the menu button. Use the on the LCD control panel. Multi-selector to choose White bal- ance from the Shooting menu.
  • 94. Chapter 3 ✦ Setting Up the Nikon D700 79 2. Select Preset manual from the 5. Enter your text and press the OK White balance menu. Press the button to save the comment. Multi-selector button right to view the preset choices. Copy white balance from existing 3. Use the Multi-selector to high- photograph light one of the four available As I mentioned before, you can also copy presets: d-1, d-2, d-3, or d-4. the white balance setting from any photo Press the Multi-selector center but- saved on the CF card that’s inserted into ton. This brings up a menu. your camera. Follow these steps: 4. Use the Multi-selector to high- If you have particular settings light Copy d-0. Press the OK but- that you like, you may consider ton to copy the setting. saving the images on a small 256MB CF card. This way, youThe D700 also allows you to add a comment always have your favorite WBto any of the presets. You can use this to presets saved and don’t acci-remember the details of your WB setting. For dentally erase them from theexample, if you have a set of photographic camera.lights in your studio, you can set the WB forthese particular lights and enter “photo lights” 1. Press the Menu button. Use theinto the comment section. You can enter up Multi-selector to choose White bal-to 36 characters (including spaces). ance from the Shooting menu. 2. Select Preset manual from theTo enter a comment on a WB preset, follow White balance menu. Press thethese steps: Multi-selector button right to view the preset choices. 1. Press the Menu button. Use the Multi-selector to choose White bal- 3. Use the Multi-selector to high- light one of the four available ance from the Shooting menu. presets: d-1, d-2, d-3, or d-4. 2. Select Preset manual from the Press the Multi-selector center but- White balance menu. Press the ton. This brings up a menu. Note Multi-selector button right to view that d-0 is not available for this the preset choices. option. 3. Use the Multi-selector to high- 4. Use the Multi-selector to high- light one of the presets you can light Select image. The LCD screen choose from d-0 through d-4. displays thumbnails of the images Press the Multi-selector center saved to your CF card. This is simi- button. The preset menu is lar to the Delete and DPOF thumb- displayed. nail display. Use the Multi-selector 4. Use the Multi-selector to high- directional buttons to scroll through light Edit comment. Press the the images. You can zoom in on Multi-selector right. This brings up the highlighted image by pressing the text entry screen I discussed the Zoom in button. earlier in the chapter.
  • 95. 80 Part I ✦ Using the Nikon D700 5. Press the Multi-selector center ✦ Neutral (NL). This setting applies a button to set the image to the small amount of sharpening and selected preset (d-1, d-2, and so no other modifications to the on). Press the OK button to save image. This setting is preferable the setting. This brings up the fine- if you often do extensive post- tuning graph. Adjust the colors if processing to your images. necessary. Press the OK button to ✦ Vivid (VI). This setting gives your save changes. images a fair amount of sharpen- ing. The contrast and saturation areOnce you have your presets in order, you boosted dramatically, resulting incan quickly choose between them by fol- brightly colored images. This settinglowing these easy steps: is recommended for printing directly from the camera or CF card 1. Press the WB button located on as well as for shooting landscapes. top of the camera. Personally, I feel that this mode is a 2. Rotate the Main Command dial little too saturated and often results until PRE appears on the LCD in unnatural color tones. This mode control panel. is not recommended for portrait situations, as skin tones are not 3. Continue to press the WB button reproduced well. and rotate the Sub-command dial. The top right of the LCD con- ✦ Monochrome (MC). As the name trol panel displays the preset implies, this setting makes the option from d-0 through d-4. images monochrome. This doesn’t simply mean black and white; you can also simulate photo filters andSet Picture Control toned images such as sepia, cyano- type, and more.Nikon has included Picture Controls in theD700. These controls allow you to choose You can adjust all the standard Nikon Picturehow the images are processed and you can Controls to suit your specific needs or tastes.also use them in Nikon’s image-editing soft- In the color modes — SD, NL, and VI — youware Nikon View and Nikon Capture NX or can adjust the sharpening, contrast, bright-NX 2. These Picture Controls allow you to ness, hue, and saturation. In MC mode, youget the same results when you use different can adjust the filter effects and toning. Aftercameras that are compatible with the Nikon you have adjusted the Nikon PicturePicture Control System. Controls, you can save them for later use. You can do this in the Manage PictureFour standard Nikon Picture Controls are Control option described in the next sec-available in the D700: tion. ✦ Standard (SD). This setting applies For detailed information on slight sharpening and a small boost customizing and saving Picture of contrast and saturation. It is the Controls, see Chapter 2. recommended setting for most shooting situations.
  • 96. Chapter 3 ✦ Setting Up the Nikon D700 81 ✦ Load/save. This menu allows you When saving to NEF, the Picture to upload Custom Picture Controls Controls are imbedded into the to your camera from your memory metadata. Only Nikon’s software card, delete any Picture Controls can use these settings. When opening RAW files using a third- saved to your memory, or save a party program, such as Adobe Custom Picture Control to your Camera RAW in Photoshop, the memory card to export to Nikon Picture Controls are not used. View or Capture NX or NX 2, or to another camera that is compatible with Nikon Picture Control.Manage Picture Control For detailed information onThis menu is where you can edit, save, and creating and managing Picturerename your Custom Picture Controls. There Controls, see Chapter 2.are four menu options: The D700 also allows you to view a grid ✦ Save/edit. In this menu, you graph that shows you how each of the choose a Picture Control, make Picture Controls relate to each other in terms adjustments to it, and then save it. of contrast and saturation. Each Picture You can rename the Picture Control Control is displayed on the graph repre- to help you remember what adjust- sented by a square icon with the letter of ments you made or to remind you the Picture Control it corresponds to. Custom of what you are using the Custom Picture Controls are denoted by the number Picture Control for. For example, I of the custom slot it has been saved to. have one named ultra-VIVID, which Standard Picture Controls that have been has the contrast, sharpening, and modified are displayed with an asterisk next saturation boosted as high as it can to the letter. Picture Controls that have been go. I sometimes use this setting set with one or more auto settings are dis- when I want crazy, oversaturated, played in green with lines extending from unrealistic-looking images for abstract shots or light trails. the icon to show you that the settings will change depending on the images. ✦ Rename. This menu allows you to rename any of your Custom Picture To view the Picture Control grid, select the Controls. You cannot, however, Picture Control option from the Shooting rename the standard Nikon Picture menu. Press the OK button and the Picture Controls. Control list is displayed. Press the Thumbnail/ ✦ Delete. This menu gives you the Zoom out button to view the grid. Once the option of erasing any Custom Picture Control grid is displayed, you can Picture Controls you have saved. use the Multi-selector to scroll though the This menu only includes controls different Picture Control settings. Once you you have saved or may have down- have highlighted a setting, you can press the loaded from an outside source. The Multi-selector right to adjust the settings standard Nikon Picture Controls or press the OK button to set the Picture cannot be deleted.
  • 97. 82 Part I ✦ Using the Nikon D700Control. Press the Menu button to exit back This leads to the question of which colorto the Shooting menu or tap the Shutter space you should use. As I mentioned ear-Release button to ready the camera for lier, the color space you use depends onshooting. what the final output of your images is going to be. If you take pictures, download them straight to your computer, and typically only SD Standard view them on your monitor or upload them S :SD for viewing on the Web, then sRGB will be 1 P :PT fine. The sRGB color space is also useful N :NL 2 :C-2 when printing directly from the camera or Contrast L V :VI memory card with no post-processing. V M* M* :MC* L :LS N S 1 :C-1 If you are going to have your photos printed professionally or you intend to do a bit of Saturation post-processing to your images, using the List Adjust OK OK Adobe RGB color space is recommended. This allows you to have subtler control over3.7 The picture control grid the colors than is possible using a narrower color space like sRGB.Color space For the most part, I capture my images using the Adobe RGB color space. I then do myColor space simply describes the range of post-processing and make a decision on thecolors, also known as the gamut, that a output. Anything that I know I will be postingdevice can reproduce. You have two choices to the Web I convert to sRGB; anything des-of color spaces with the D700: sRGB and tined for my printer, I save as Adobe RGB. IAdobe RGB. The color space you choose usually end up with two identical imagesdepends on what the final output of your saved with two different color spaces.images will be. Because most Web browsers don’t recognize ✦ sRGB. This is a narrow color space, the Adobe RGB color space, any images meaning that it deals with fewer saved as Adobe RGB and posted on the colors and also less-saturated col- Internet will usually appear dull and flat. ors than the larger Adobe RGB color space. The sRGB color space is designed to mimic the colors that Active D-Lighting can be reproduced on most low- Active D-Lighting is a setting that is designed end monitors. to help ensure that you retain highlight and ✦ Adobe RGB. This color space has a shadow detail when shooting in a high- much broader color spectrum than contrast situation, such as shooting a picture is available with sRGB. The Adobe in direct bright sunlight, which can cause gamut was designed for dealing dark shadows and bright highlight areas. with the color spectrum that can be Active D-Lighting basically tells your camera reproduced with most high-end to underexpose the image a bit; this under- printing equipment. exposure helps keep the highlights from becoming blown out and losing detail. The
  • 98. Chapter 3 ✦ Setting Up the Nikon D700 83D700 also uses a subtle adjustment to avoid In my experience, using Active D-Lighting onlosing any detail in the shadow area that the both the D300 and the D700 works, but it’sunderexposure may cause. very subtle in the changes that it makes. For general shooting, I recommend setting Active Active D-Lighting is a separate D-Lighting to Auto and forgetting it. I prefer to and different setting than the shoot in RAW, and although the settings are D-Lighting option found in the Retouch menu. For more infor- saved to the metadata for use with Nikon mation on standard D-Lighting, software, I’d rather do the adjustment myself see Chapter 8. in Photoshop, so I turn this feature off.Using Active D-Lighting changes all the When using Active D-Lighting, the cameraPicture Control brightness and contrast set- takes some extra time to process the images,tings to Auto; adjusting the brightness and and your buffer will fill up quicker whencontrast is how Active D-Lighting keeps you’re shooting continuously, so expectdetail in the shadow areas. shorter burst rates.Active D-Lighting has five settings, which arepretty self-explanatory. These settings are Vignette controlAuto, High, Normal, Low, and Off. The Auto Some lenses, especially wide-angle lens,setting is a new option for Active D-Lighting have a tendency to vignette, or darken, nearthat was introduced with the D700. the edges of the frame. This problem is more common on cameras with FX sensors3.8 A wide-angle shot with pronounced vignetting
  • 99. 84 Part I ✦ Using the Nikon D7003.9 A wide-angle shot with the Vignette control set to Highthan it is with DX cameras. The problem isdue to the extremely oblique angle at which Long exp. NRthe light enters the lens. Vignetting is more This menu option allows you to turn onpronounced with wide apertures; therefore, noise reduction (NR) for exposures of onereducing the aperture size also reduces the second or longer. When this option is on,amount of vignetting that occurs. after taking a long exposure photo, the cam- era runs a noise-reduction algorithm, whichAlthough you can correct vignetting in post- reduces the amount of noise in your image,processing, Nikon has included a Vignette giving you a smoother result.control feature that lightens up the edges tomake the exposure more uniform. High ISO NRThere are four Vignette control options: This menu option allows you to choose howHigh, Normal, Low, and Off. I have tried this much NR is applied to images that are takenfeature numerous times and I feel that it at ISO 2000 or higher. There are fourdoesn’t work as evenly as it should and still settings:tends to leave a vignette even on the Highsetting. I tend to leave this option off given ✦ High. This setting applies a fairlythere are much better ways to control aggressive NR. A fair amount ofvignetting using image-editing software. image detail can be lost when you use this setting.
  • 100. Chapter 3 ✦ Setting Up the Nikon D700 85 ✦ Normal. This is the default setting. ✦ Tripod. You use this option when Some image detail may be lost the camera is attached to a tripod for when you use this setting. shooting nonmoving subjects. When the option is activated, the camera ✦ Low. A small amount of NR is uses contrast-detection to focus on applied when you select this the subject. The camera analyzes the option. Most of the image detail data directly from the image sensor is preserved when you use this to determine the proper focus. This setting. method takes a little longer to ✦ Off. When you choose this setting, achieve focus; therefore, it is unsuit- no NR is applied to images taken able for moving subjects. between ISO 100 (L 0.1) and 6400; however, a very small amount of You can also set the Release mode for shoot- NR is applied to images shot at H ing (Single, Continuous Low, or Continuous 0.3 and above. High) through the Release mode sub-menu. For more information on usingISO sensitivity settings Live View, see Chapter 2.This menu option allows you to set the ISO.This is the same as pressing the ISO button Multiple exposureand rotating the Main Command dial. Youalso use this menu to set the Auto ISO This menu option allows you to record mul-parameters. tiple exposures in one image. You can record from two to ten shots in a single image. This For more information on ISO is an easy way to get off-the-wall multiple settings and noise reduction, images without using image-editing soft- see Chapter 2. ware like Photoshop. To use this feature, follow these steps:Live viewThis is where you can change the settings 1. Select Multiple exposure fromfor the Live View feature of the D700. There the Shooting menu, and thenare two settings: press the Multi-selector right. 2. Select the Number of shots menu ✦ Hand held. This is the default set- option, and then press the Multi- ting. You use it when you are hold- selector right. ing the camera. When set to this option, the camera uses a phase- 3. Press the Multi-selector up or detection focus, which is the same down to set the number of shots. focus it uses when you’re shooting Press the OK button when the normally (looking through the number of shots selected is correct. viewfinder). The image in the view- 4. Select the Auto gain option, and finder is blacked out when the then press the Multi-selector camera is focusing. right.
  • 101. 86 Part I ✦ Using the Nikon D700 5. Set the gain, and then press the power supply to be sure that your camera OK button. Using Auto gain battery doesn’t die in the middle of your enables the camera to adjust the shooting. At the very least you should use exposure according to the number an MB-D10 with an extra battery. of images in the multiple expo- sures. This is the recommended After you record your series of images, you setting for most applications. can use image-editing software to combine Setting the gain to Off does not the images and create an animated GIF file. adjust the exposure values and can result in an overexposed image. You can set these options: The Gain-off setting is recom- mended only in low-light situa- ✦ Starting time. You can set the tions. When the desired setting is camera to start three seconds after chosen, press the OK button. the settings have been completed 6. Use the Multi-selector to highlight (Now) or to start photographing at Done, then press the OK button. a predetermined time in the future. This step is very important. If you do ✦ Interval. This determines how not select Done, the camera will not much time is elapsed between be in Multiple exposure mode. each shot. You can set Hours, 7. Take your pictures. Once the Minutes, and Seconds. selected amount of images has ✦ Number of intervals. This sets how been taken, the camera exits many times you want photos to be Multiple exposure mode and shot. returns to the default shooting set- ting. To do additional multiple ✦ Shots per interval. This sets how exposures, repeat the steps. many shots are taken at each interval. ✦ On or Off. This starts or stops the camera from shooting with the cur-Interval timer shooting rent settings.This menu option allows you to set the cam-era’s time-lapse photography option. Thisallows you to set your camera to shoot a Interval timer shootingspecified number of shots at specified inter- Choose start timevals throughout a set period of time. You Nowcan use this interesting feature to record the Start timeslow movements of plants or animals, suchas a flower opening or a snail crawling.Another option is to set up your camera 00: 00:0100"with a wide-angle lens and record the move- 001 x 1 = 0001ment of the sun or moon across the sky. Move Set 08:48Naturally you’ll need a tripod to do this 3.10 The Interval timing menu screentype of photography and it’s highly recom-mended that you use Nikon’s EH-5a AC
  • 102. Chapter 3 ✦ Setting Up the Nikon D700 87Custom Settings You can also select the Rename option in the Custom setting bank menu to add aMenu descriptive name to your Custom setting bank to help you remember what it is to beThe Custom Settings menu (CSM) is where used for.you really start customizing your D700 toshoot to your personal preferences. You can The active Custom setting bank is shown inalso choose four banks in which to store the Shooting info display on the main LCDyour settings for different shooting situa- screen when you press the Info button. Youtions, similar to the Shooting menu banks. can quickly switch between Custom SettingsBasically this is where you make the camera banks by using the Quick Settings Display.“yours.” There are dozens of options thatyou can turn off or on to make shootingeasier for you. The CSM is probably the most Reset custom settingspowerful menu in the camera. Use this option to restore the camera default settings for the active Custom shooting bank. So if the Custom setting bank is set to CUSTOM SETTING MENU A, all the settings in bank A will return to camera default. C Custom setting blank A R Reset custom settings a Autofocus CSM a – Autofocus b Metering/exposure The CSM sub-menu a controls how the cam- c Timers/AE lock era performs its autofocus (AF) functions. d Shooting/display Because focus is a very critical operation, this is a very important menu. You have 16 e Bracketing/flash OK options to choose from. f Controls a1 – AF-C priority selection3.11 The Custom Settings menu (CSM) This chooses how the camera AF functions when in Continuous Autofocus (AF-C) mode. You can choose from three modes:Custom setting bankLike the Shooting menu banks, this option ✦ Release. This is the default setting.allows you to save your custom settings to It allows the camera to take afour banks for easy recall. Simply select a photo whenever you press thebank — A, B, C, or D — and then change Shutter Release button regardlessany of the custom settings to the option of of whether the camera hasyour choice. The changed settings are stored achieved focus or not. This settinguntil you choose to reset custom settings is best for fast action shots or for(described in the next section). when it’s imperative to get the shot whether it’s in sharp focus or not.
  • 103. 88 Part I ✦ Using the Nikon D700 a Autofocus ✦ Focus. This allows the camera to take photos only when the camera a1 AF-C priority selection achieves focus and the focus indi- a2 AF-S priority selection cator (green dot in the lower-left a3 Dynamic AF area 3D corner of the viewfinder) is lit. This a4 Focus tracking with lock-on AF is the best setting for slow moving a5 AF activation ON subjects, where you want to be a6 AF point illumination AUTO absolutely sure that your subject a7 Focus point wrap-around ON will be in focus. a8 AF point selection AF51 a2 – AF-S priority selection This sets how the camera AF functions when a Autofocus in Single-Servo Autofocus (AF-S) mode. You a9 Built-in AF-assist illuminator ON can choose from these two settings. a10 AF-ON for MB-D10 AE b1 ISO sensitivity step value 1/3 ✦ Release. This is the default setting. It allows the camera to take a b2 EV steps for exposure cntrl. 1/3 photo whenever you press the b3 Exp comp/fine tune 1/3 Shutter Release button, regardless b4 Easy exposure compensation OFF of whether the camera has b5 Center-weighted area 12 achieved focus or not. b6 Fine tune optimal exposure ✦ Focus. This allows the camera to take photos only when the camera3.12 CSM a shown in two images so all achieves focus and the focus indi-options are visible cator (green dot in the lower-left corner of the viewfinder) is displayed. ✦ Release + focus. This allows the camera to take pictures when the subject is not in focus, but slows a3 – Dynamic AF area the frame rate to allow the camera This allows you to set how many focus more time to focus on the subject. points to use when using Dynamic-area AF. You can use this for action shots Choose the amount of focus points by deter- when you want to be sure that the mining how much your subject may move. subject is in focus and the frame You can choose from four options — 9, 21, rate is not important. You wouldn’t or 51 points, or 51 points with 3D-Tracking. want to use this option when attempting to take sequential shots For more information on Dynamic- at a high frame rate. area AF, see Chapter 2.
  • 104. Chapter 3 ✦ Setting Up the Nikon D700 89a4 – Focus tracking with lock-on a6 – AF point illuminationWhen you’re photographing in busy environ- This menu option allows you to choosements, things can often cross your path, whether the active AF point is highlighted inresulting in the camera refocusing on the red momentarily in the viewfinder whenwrong subject. Focus tracking with lock-on focus is achieved. When the viewfinder gridallows the camera to hold focus for a time is turned on, the grid is also highlighted inbefore switching to a different focus point. red. When choosing Auto, which is theThis helps stop the camera from switching default, the focus point is lit only to estab-focus to an unwanted subject passing through lish contrast from the background when it isyour field of view. dark. When this option is set to On, the active AF point is highlighted, even whenYou can choose Long, Normal, or Short delay the background is bright. When this optiontimes. You can also set the Focus tracking with is set to Off, the active AF point is not high-lock-on to Off, which allows your camera to lighted in red; it appears in black.quickly maintain focus on a rapidly movingsubject. Normal is the default setting. a7 – Focus point wrap-around When using the Multi-selector to choosea5 – AF activation your AF point, this setting allows you to con-By default, you activate the camera’s AF sys- tinue pressing the Multi-selector in the sametem by half-pressing the Shutter Release but- direction and wrap around to the oppositeton or by pressing the Autofocus-On (AF-ON) side or stop at the edge of the focus pointbutton. This option allows you to set the frame (no wrap).D700 so that the AF is activated only whenyou’re pressing the AF-ON button. If the cam- a8 – AF point selectionera is set to AF-ON, half-pressing the shutteronly activates the camera’s metering system. This menu option allows you to choose theThis is a personal preference, but I like to use number of available focus points for you tothe Shutter Release button to engage the AF. choose from when using AF. You can set 51You can choose from these settings: points, which allows you to choose all of the D700’s available focus points. You can ✦ Shutter/AF-ON. This allows you to also set it to 11 points, which allows you to engage the camera’s AF system choose from only 11 focus points similar to either by half-pressing the Shutter the D200. Use the 11-point option to select Release button or by using the your focus points much more quickly than AF-ON button (either on the cam- using 51 points. The 51-point option allows era body or on the MB-D10 grip). you to more accurately choose where in the frame the camera will focus on. ✦ AF-ON only. With this option turned on, the camera’s AF system is activated only when you press a9 – Built-in AF-assist illuminator this button. Half-pressing the The AF-assist illuminator lights up when Shutter Release button only acti- there isn’t enough light for the camera to vates the D700 metering system. focus properly. In certain instances, you may
  • 105. 90 Part I ✦ Using the Nikon D700want to turn this option off, such as when ✦ Same as Func. button. This setsshooting faraway subjects in dim settings the MB-D10 AF-ON button to the(concerts or plays). When set to On, the same settings as the camera’sAF-assist illuminator lights up in a low-light Function button. The Function but-situation only when in AF-S mode and Auto- ton is set in CSM f5.area AF is chosen. When in Single-point AFor Dynamic-area AF mode, the center AFpoint must be active. CSM b – Metering/ exposureWhen set to Off, the AF-assist illuminatordoes not light at all. This is where you change the settings that control exposure and metering. These set- tings allow you to adjust the exposure, ISO,a10 – AF-ON for MB-D10 and exposure compensation adjustmentThis menu option allows you to assign a increments. Setting the increments to 1/3specific function to the AF-ON button on stops allows you to fine-tune the settingsthe optional MB-D10 battery grip. You can with more accuracy than setting them tochoose from: 1/2 or 1 full stop. There are six options to choose from. ✦ AF-ON. This is the default setting. Pressing this button activates the camera’s AF. b Metering/exposure ✦ AE/AF Lock. This locks the cam- a9 Built-in AF-assist illuminator ON era’s focus and exposure while the a10 AF-ON for MB-D10 AE button is pressed. b1 ISO sensitivity step value 1/3 ✦ AE Lock only. This only locks the b2 EV steps for exposure cntrl. 1/3 exposure while the button is b3 Exp comp/fine tune 1/3 pressed. b4 Easy exposure compensation OFF ✦ AE Lock (Reset on release). This b5 Center-weighted area 12 locks the exposure. The exposure b6 Fine tune optimal exposure remains locked until you press the button again, the shutter is 3.13 The CSM b menu, which follows released, or you turn off the cam- the CSM a menu directly era’s exposure meter. ✦ AE Lock (hold). The exposure is locked when you press the button b1 – ISO sensitivity step value and remains locked until you press This is where you control whether the ISO the button again or until the expo- is set in 1/3-, 1/2-, or 1-stop increments. sure meter turns off. Setting the ISO using smaller increments ✦ AF Lock only. This locks the focus allows you to fine-tune your sensitivity with until the button is released. more precision, allowing you more control over keeping high ISO noise to a minimum.
  • 106. Chapter 3 ✦ Setting Up the Nikon D700 91b2 – EV steps for exposure cntrl. the camera off or the camera’s exposureThis determines how the shutter speed, meter turns off. If you’ve ever accidentallyaperture, and auto-bracketing increments left exposure compensation adjusted andare set. The choices here are also 1/3, 1/2, ended up with incorrectly exposed imagesor 1 stop. Choosing a smaller increment the next time you used your camera, youprovides a much less drastic change in expo- will appreciate this helpful feature.sure and allows you to get a more exact When set to Off, exposure compensation isexposure in critical situations. applied normally by pressing the Exposure Compensation button and rotating the Mainb3 – Exp comp/fine tune Command dial.This allows you to choose whether the expo-sure compensation is set in 1/3-, 1/2-, or b5 – Center-weighted area1-stop increments. Again, choosing a lower This menu allows you to choose the size ofincrement setting allows you to fine-tune your Center-weighted metering area. Youthe exposure more precisely. can choose from four sizes: 8, 12, 15, or 20mm. You also have the option of settingb4 – Easy exposure compensation the meter to Average.By default, to set the exposure compensa-tion, you must first press the Exposure Value Choose the spot size depending how much(EV) button and use the Main Command of the center of the frame you want thedial to add or subtract from the selected camera to meter for. The camera determinesexposure. If you tend to use exposure com- the exposure by basing 75 percent of thepensation frequently, you can save yourself exposure on the circle.time by using Easy exposure compensation.When this function is set to On, it’s not nec- For more information on Center- weighted metering, see Chapter 2.essary to press the EV button to adjust theexposure compensation. Simply rotate theMain Command dial when in Aperture b6 – Fine tune optimal exposurePriority mode or the Sub-command dial If your camera’s metering system consistentlywhen in Programmed Auto or Shutter over- or underexposes your images, you canPriority mode to adjust the exposure com- adjust it to apply a small amount of exposurepensation. The exposure compensation is compensation for every shot. You can apply athen applied until you rotate the appropri- different amount of exposure fine-tuning forate command dial until the exposure com- each of the metering modes: Matrix, Center-pensation indicator disappears from the weighted, and Spot metering.LCD control panel. You can set the EV ±1 stop in 1/6 stopIf you choose to use Easy exposure com- increments.pensation, probably the best setting to useis the On (Auto reset) setting. This allows When Fine tune optimal exposure is on, there is no warning indica-you to adjust your exposure compensation tor that tells you that exposurewhile shooting, but returns the exposure compensation is being applied.compensation to default (0) when you turn
  • 107. 92 Part I ✦ Using the Nikon D700CSM c – Timers/AE lock some time to get yourself into the frame. You can also use the self-timer to reduceThis small sub-menu controls the D700’s the camera shake that happens when youvarious timers and also the Auto-Exposure press the Shutter Release button on longlock setting. There are four options to choose exposures. You can set the delay at 2, 5, 10,from. or 20 seconds. c Timers/AE lock c4 – Monitor off delay This menu option controls how long the c1 Shutter-release button AE-L ON LCD screen remains on when no buttons c2 Auto meter-off delay 6s are being pushed. Because the LCD screen c3 Self-timer delay 2s is the main source of power consumption c4 Monitor off delay for any digital camera, choosing a shorter d1 Beep OFF delay time is usually preferable. You can set d2 Viewfinder grid display ON the monitor to turn off after 10 or 12 sec- d3 Screen tips OFF onds, or 1, 5, or 10 minutes. d4 CL mode shooting speed 43.14 CSM c menu options CSM d – Shooting/ displayc1 – Shutter-release button AE-L CSM submenu d is where you make changesWhen this option is set to default (Off), the to some of the minor shooting and displaycamera only locks exposure when you press details. You have 11 options to choose from.the AE-L/AF-L button. When the option isset to On, the auto-exposure settings are d1 – Beeplocked when you half-press the camera’s When this option is on, the camera emits aShutter Release button. beep when the self-timer is counting down or when the AF locks in Single Focus mode.c2 – Auto meter-off delay You can choose High, Low, or Off. For mostThe menu option determines how long the photographers, this option is the first thingcamera’s exposure meter is active before they turn off when they take the camera outturning off when no other actions are being of the box. Although the beep can be kindperformed. You can choose 4, 6, 8, 16, or 30 of useful when in self-timer mode, it’s aseconds; or 1, 5, 10, or 30 minutes. You can pretty annoying option, especially if you arealso specify for the meter to remain on at all photographing in a relatively quiet area.times while the camera is on (no limit). d2 – Viewfinder grid displayc3 – Self-timer delay This handy option displays a grid in theThis menu option puts a delay on when the viewfinder (or in the LCD screen when inshutter is released after you press the Live View) to assist you with composition ofShutter Release button. This is handy when the photograph.you want to do a self-portrait and you need
  • 108. Chapter 3 ✦ Setting Up the Nikon D700 93 d Shooting/display moving action. This is a handy option to use when you don’t necessarily need the high- c1 Shutter-release button AE-L ON est frame rate such as when you’re shooting c2 Auto meter-off delay 6s action that isn’t moving very fast, but also c3 Self-timer delay 2s isn’t moving slow. I have this set to 4 fps, c4 Monitor off delay which is half of the frame rate I get when d1 Beep OFF using the MB-D10 with AA batteries. d2 Viewfinder grid display ON d3 Screen tips OFF The maximum continuous frame rate without the optional MB-D10 d4 CL mode shooting speed 4 battery grip is 5 fps. d Shooting/display d5 – Max. continuous release d5 Max. continuous release 100 This menu option sets the maximum num- ber of images that can be captured in a d6 File number sequence ON single burst when the camera is set to d7 Shooting info display AUTO Continuous shooting mode. You can set this d8 LCD illumination OFF anywhere from 1 to 100. Setting this option d9 Exposure delay mode OFF doesn’t necessarily mean that your camera d10 MB-D10 battery type Ni-MH is going to capture 100 frames at the full d11 Battery order D700 frame rate speed. When shooting continu- e1 Flash sync speed 1/320* ously, especially at a high frame rate, the camera’s buffer can get full and cause the3.15 CSM d shown in two images so all frame rate to slow down or even stop whileoptions are visible the buffer transfers data to the CF card. How fast the buffer fills up depends on the image size, compression, and the speed of your CFd3 – Screen tips card. With the D700’s large file sizes, I find itWhen this menu option is turned on, the cam- beneficial to use a faster card to achieve theera displays descriptions of the menu options maximum frame rate for extended periods.available when using the Quick SettingsDisplay. The menu options in the display are d6 – File number sequencepretty self-evident so I have this option turned The D700 names files by sequentially num-off. If you’re unsure of any menu option, press- bering them. This menu option controls howing the Protect/Help button displays a screen the sequence is handled. When set to Off,that describes the function. the file numbers reset to 0001 when a new folder is created, a new memory card isd4 – CL mode shooting speed inserted, or the existing memory card is for-This menu option allows you to set the max- matted. When set to On, the camera contin-imum frame rate in the Continuous Low ues to count up from the last number untilmode. You can set the frame rate between the file number reaches 9999. The camera1 and 7 frames per second (fps). This set- then returns to 0001 and counts up fromting limits your burst rate for shooting slower there. When this is set to Reset, the camera
  • 109. 94 Part I ✦ Using the Nikon D700starts at 0001 when the current folder is d10 – MB-D10 battery typeempty. If the current folder has images, the When using the optional MB-D10 batterycamera starts at one number higher than pack with AA batteries, use this option tothe last image in the folder. specify what type of batteries are being used to ensure optimal performance. Your choicesd7 – Shooting info display areThis controls how the Shooting info displayon the LCD screen is colored. When set to ✦ LR6 (AA alkaline). These are yourAuto (default), the camera automatically standard everyday AA batteries. I don’t recommend using themsets it to White on Black or Black on White because they don’t last very longto maintain contrast with the background. for the D700.The setting is automatically determined bythe amount of light coming in through the ✦ HR6 (AA Ni-Mh). These are yourlens. You can also choose for the informa- standard Nickel Metal Hydride re-tion to be displayed consistently no matter chargeable batteries available athow dark or light the scene is. You can most electronics stores. I recom-choose B (black lettering on a light back- mend buying several sets of these.ground) or W (white lettering on a dark If you do buy these batteries, bebackground). sure to buy the ones that are rated at least 2500 MaH for longer bat- tery life.d8 – LCD illumination ✦ FR6 (AA Lithium). These lightweightWhen this option is set to Off (default), the batteries are non-rechargeable, butLCD control panel (and on a Speedlight if last up to seven times longer thanattached) is lit only when the power switch standard alkaline batteries. Theseis turned all the way to the right, engaging batteries cost about as much as athe momentary switch. When set to On, the good set of rechargeable batteries.LCD control panel is lit as long as the cam-era’s exposure meter is active, which can be ✦ ZR6 (AA Ni-Mn). These are Nickelquite a drain on the batteries (especially for Manganese batteries. These batter-the Speedlight). ies are similar to standard Alkaline batteries but have a higher charge density, which allows them to lastd9 – Exposure delay mode longer. These are the types of bat-Turning this option on causes the shutter to teries that are usually advertised foropen about 1 second after you press the use with digital cameras.Shutter Release button and the reflex mirrorhas been raised. This option is for shooting d11 – Battery orderlong exposures with a tripod where camera You use this option to set the order in whichshake from pressing the Shutter Release the batteries are used when the optionalbutton and mirror slap vibration can cause MB-D10 battery grip is attached. Choosethe image to be blurry. MB-D10 to use the battery grip first, or
  • 110. Chapter 3 ✦ Setting Up the Nikon D700 95choose D700 to use the camera battery first. e1 – Flash sync speedIf you’re using the MB-D10 with AA batteries This is where you determine what shutteror an EN-EL4 battery to achieve a faster speed your camera uses to sync with theframe rate of 8 fps, you need to be sure that Speedlight. You can set the sync speedthe battery order is set to use MB-D10 first. between 1/60 and 1/250 second. WhenIf you’re using AA batteries in the MB-D10 using an optional SB-900, SB-800 or SB-600,only as a backup, set this option to use the you can also set the sync to 1/250 (Auto FP)camera battery first. or 1/320 (Auto FP); this allows you to use faster shutter speeds up to 1/8000 to main- tain wider apertures in bright situations ifCSM e – Bracketing/ needed.flash For more information on syncThis sub-menu is where you set the controls speed and Auto FP, see Chapter 6.for the built-in Speedlight. Some of theseoptions also affect external Speedlights. e2 – Flash shutter speedThis menu is also where the controls for This option lets you decide the slowest shut-Bracketing images are located. There are ter speed that is allowed when you do flashseven choices. photography using Front-Curtain Sync or Red-Eye Reduction mode when the camera is in Programmed Auto or Aperture Priority e Bracketing/flash exposure mode. You can choose from 1/60 d5 Max. continuous release 100 second all the way down to 30 seconds. d6 File number sequence ON d7 Shooting info display AUTO When the camera is set to Shutter Priority or d8 LCD illumination OFF the flash is set to any combination of Slow d9 Exposure delay mode OFF Sync, this setting is ignored. d10 MB-D10 battery type Ni-MH d11 Battery order D700 e3 – Flash cntrl for built-in flash e1 Flash sync speed 1/320* This sub-menu has other sub-menus nested within it. Essentially, this option controls how your built-in flash operates. The four e Bracketing/flash submenus are e2 Flash shutter speed 1/60 e3 Flash cntrl for built-in flash TTL ✦ TTL. This is the fully auto flash e4 Modeling flash OFF mode. You can make minor adjust- e5 Auto bracketing set AE ments using FEC. e6 Auto bracketing (Mode M) ✦ Manual. You choose the power e7 Bracketing order – + output in this mode. You can f1 switch choose from Full power all the way f2 Multi selector center button down to 1/128 power. ✦ Repeating flash. This mode fires a3.16 CSM e menu options specified number of flashes.
  • 111. 96 Part I ✦ Using the Nikon D700 ✦ Commander mode. Use this mode ✦ Flash/speed/aperture. The camera to control a number of off-camera varies the shutter speed, aperture, Creative Lighting System (CLS) and flash output (when set to AE + compatible Speedlights. flash), or the shutter speed and aperture (when set to AE only). For more information on flash photography, see Chapter 6 or ✦ Flash/aperture. The camera varies pick up a copy of the Nikon the aperture and flash level (when Creative Lighting System Digital set to AE + flash) or the aperture Field Guide (Wiley, 2007). only (when set to AE only). ✦ Flash only. The camera varies thee4 – Modeling flash flash level only (when set to AE +When using the built-in flash or an optional flash).SB-600, SB-800, or SB-900 Speedlight,pressing the Depth-of-field preview button e7 – Bracketing orderfires a series of low-power flashes that allow This determines the sequence in which theyou to preview what the effect of the flash is bracketed exposures are taken. When set togoing to be on your subject. When using default (N), the camera first takes theCLS and Advanced Wireless Lighting with metered exposure, next the underexpo-multiple Speedlights, pressing the button sures, and then the overexposures. Whencauses all the Speedlights to emit a model- this option is set to (- ➪ +), the cameraing flash. You can set this to On or Off. starts with the lowest exposure increasing the exposure as the sequence progresses.e5 – Auto bracketing setThis menu option allows you to choose howthe camera brackets when Auto-bracketing CSM f – Controlsis turned on. You can choose for the camera This sub-menu allows you to customizeto bracket AE and flash, AE only, Flash only, some of the functions of the different but-or WB bracketing. WB bracketing is not avail- tons and dials of your D700. There are tenable when the image quality is set to record options to choose from.RAW images. f1 – Switche6 – Auto bracketing (Mode M) You can rotate the On/Off button past theThis determines which settings the camera On setting that acts as a momentary switch.changes to adjust the exposure when using You can use this option to light up the LCDAuto-bracketing in Manual mode. The options control panel (LCD backlight) or you canare: light up the LCD control panel and display the info screen on the rear LCD screen ✦ Flash/speed. The camera varies the (Both). shutter speed and flash output (when set to AE + flash), or the shut- ter speed only (when set to AE only).
  • 112. Chapter 3 ✦ Setting Up the Nikon D700 97 f Controls Shooting mode In Shooting mode, the options are as e2 Flash shutter speed 1/60 follows: e3 Flash cntrl for built-in flash TTL e4 Modeling flash OFF ✦ Select center focus point. This e5 Auto bracketing set AE allows you to automatically select e6 Auto bracketing (Mode M) the center focus point by pressing e7 Bracketing order – + the center button of the Multi- f1 switch selector. f2 Multi selector center button ✦ Highlight selected focus point. This causes the active focus point to light up in the viewfinder when f Controls you press the center button of the f3 Multi selector OFF Multi-selector. f4 Photo info/playback ON ✦ Not used. The center button has f5 Assign FUNC. button no effect when in Shooting mode. f6 Assign preview button f7 Assign AE-L/AF-L button Playback mode f8 Shutter spd & aperture lock In Playback mode, the options are as f9 Customize command dials follows: f10 Release button to use dial OFF ✦ Thumbnail on/off. This allows you to switch between full-frame f Controls Playback and Thumbnail view by pressing the center button of the f5 Assign FUNC. button Multi-selector. f6 Assign preview button f7 Assign AE-L/AF-L button ✦ View histogram. This option dis- plays the histogram of the current f8 Shutter spd & aperture lock image selected when you press the f9 Customize command dials center button of the Multi-selector. f10 Release button to use dial OFF f11No memory card? OK ✦ Zoom on/off. Pressing the center f12 Reverse indicators +o– button of the Multi-selector allows you to automatically zoom in to the selected image to check focus. You3.17 The CSM f menu options can choose Low, Medium, or High magnification.f2 – Multi selector center button ✦ Choose folder. Pressing the center button of the Multi-selector dis-This allows you to set specific options for plays the list of folders currently onpressing the center button of the Multi- the flash card. You can then chooseselector. The options vary depending on a folder to play back images from.whether the camera is in Shooting orPlayback mode.
  • 113. 98 Part I ✦ Using the Nikon D700f3 – Multi selector and then recompose the shot with- out altering the flash exposure. ThisThis allows you to set the Multi-selector to function is cancelled when youturn on the exposure meter when pressed. select a function for Fn. button +By default, the meter will not turn on when command dials. If you choose thisthe Multi-selector is pressed in Shooting setting for button press only, themode. function for Fn. button + command dials will be deactivated.f4 – Photo info/playback ✦ AE/AF Lock. The focus and expo-When in Playback mode, the left and right sure locks when you press andbuttons on the Multi-selector scroll through hold the button.the images while the up and down buttons ✦ AE Lock only. The exposure locksdisplay additional information such as histo- when you press and hold the but-grams and shooting info. Using this option ton. Focus continues to functionallows you to reverse the way these buttons normally.function. ✦ AE Lock (reset on release). The exposure locks when you pressf5 – Assign FUNC. button the button. The exposure remainsThis button chooses what functions the locked until the shutter is released,Function button performs when you press it. the Function button is pressedBe aware that not all options are available again, or the exposure meter turnsdepending on which particular setting you off. This function is cancelled whenchoose. You can choose from two Function you select a function for Fn. buttonbutton options: Fn. button press and Fn. + command dials. If you choosebutton + command dials. You can also this setting for button press only,access this setting using the Quick Settings the function for Fn. button + com-menu. The options are mand dials will be deactivated. ✦ AE Lock (hold). The exposure locks ✦ Preview. If you want to use the until you press the button a second Depth-of-field preview button for time or turn off the exposure another function, you can reassign meter. it to this button. This option closes down the aperture so you can see ✦ AF Lock only. The focus locks in real time what effect the aper- while you press and hold the but- ture will have on the image’s depth ton. The AE continues as normal. of field. This function is cancelled ✦ Flash off. With this option, the when you select a function for Fn. built-in flash (if popped up) or an button + command dials. If you additional Speedlight will not fire choose this setting for button press when the shutter is released as only, the function for FN. button + long as the Function button is command dials will be deactivated. pressed. This allows you to quickly ✦ FV lock. The camera fires a pre-flash take available light photos without to determine the proper flash expo- having to turn of the flash. This is sure value and locks the setting, quite handy, especially when allowing you to meter the subject shooting weddings and events.
  • 114. Chapter 3 ✦ Setting Up the Nikon D700 99✦ Bracketing burst. The camera fires dials. If you choose this setting for a burst of shots when you press button press only, the function and hold the Shutter Release but- for Fn. button + dials will be ton while in Single shot mode deactivated. when Auto-bracketing is turned on. ✦ + NEF (RAW). Pressing the The number of shots fired depends Function button when this is acti- on the Auto-bracketing settings. vated and the camera is set to When in Continuous shooting record JPEGs allows the camera to mode, the camera continues to run simultaneously record a RAW file through the bracketing sequence as and a JPEG. Pressing the button long as you hold the Shutter again allows the camera to return Release button. to recording only JPEGs. This func-✦ Matrix metering. This allows you tion is cancelled when you select a to automatically use Matrix meter- function for Fn. button + command ing no matter what the Metering dials. If you choose this setting for Mode dial is set to. button press only, the function for Fn. button + dials will be✦ Center-weighted. This allows you deactivated. to automatically use Center- weighted metering no matter what ✦ Virtual horizon. When this option the Metering Mode dial is set to. is selected, pressing the Function button switches the electronic ana-✦ Spot metering. This allows you to log exposure display in the view- automatically use Spot metering no finder and on the LCD control matter what the Metering Mode panel to act as a level. When the dial is set to. camera is tilted to the right, the✦ Access top item in My Menu. This bars are displayed to the left of the brings up the top item set in the 0; when the camera is tilted left, My menu option. You can use this the camera displays bars to the to quickly access your most used right. When the camera is level, a menu option. This function is can- single bar at the 0 position appears. celled when you select a function This feature is useful when you for Fn. button + command dials. If want to be sure the horizon is you choose this setting for button straight and the camera is perfectly press only, the function for Fn. level. This function is cancelled button + command dials will be when you select a function for Fn. deactivated. button + command dials. If you choose this setting for button press✦ Live View. This automatically turns only, the function for Fn. button + on the Live View LCD screen pre- command dials will be deactivated. view, though this option will not work when the camera’s Release ✦ None. This is the default setting. Mode dial is set to Live View or No function is performed when the Mirror up mode (Mup). This func- button is pressed. tion is cancelled when you select a function for Fn. button + command
  • 115. 100 Part I ✦ Using the Nikon D700A second subset in this menu is Func. + dials. series. Rotating the Main CommandThis allows you to use the Function button in dial allows you to change the EVcombination with the Main Command or increments to 0.3, 0.7, or 1.0 stops.Sub-command dial to perform certain func- ✦ Dynamic AF-area. This allows youtions. The options are to choose the number of focus points when using Dynamic-area ✦ Choose image area. Press the AF mode by pressing the Function Function button and rotate either button and rotating either the Main command dial to choose between Command or Sub-command dial. FX and DX settings. Note that the camera must be in ✦ Shutter spd and aperture lock. AF-C and Dynamic-area AF mode. Press the Function button and ✦ None. No functions are performed. rotate the Main command dial to lock the shutter speed when in Shutter Priority or Manual mode. f6 – Assign preview button Press the Function button and This allows you to assign a function to the rotate the Sub-command dial when Depth-of-field preview button. The choices using Aperture Priority or Manual are exactly the same as that of the Function mode. To unlock it, press the button. Function button and rotate the appropriate dial again. You can use this setting to be sure you don’t f7 – Assign AE-L/AF-L button accidentally change your settings in This allows you to assign a function to the a situation where you need a spe- AE-L/AF-L button. The choices are exactly cific setting, such as when you’re the same as that of the Function button with photographing a sporting event the addition of an AF-ON setting. where you need a fast aperture or a portrait where you might want to f8 – Shutter spd & aperture lock keep the aperture wide open. This option allows you to lock your exposure ✦ 1 step spd / aperture. When the settings to avoid accidentally changing them; Function button is pressed, the you can lock the shutter speed when using aperture and shutter speed are Shutter Priority mode, the aperture when changed in 1-stop intervals. using Aperture Priority mode. When in Manual ✦ Choose non-CPU lens number. mode, you can lock the aperture only, the Press the Function button and shutter speed only, or both simultaneously. rotate the Main Command dial to When using Programmed Auto mode, this choose one of your presets for a feature is disabled. non-CPU lens. ✦ Auto-bracketing. This is the default f9 – Customize command dials setting. Pressing and holding the This menu allows you to control how the Function button and rotating the Main Command and Sub-command dials Main Command dial changes function. The options are the number of shots in the bracketing
  • 116. Chapter 3 ✦ Setting Up the Nikon D700 101 ✦ Reverse rotation. This causes the corresponding button and rotate the com- settings to be controlled in reverse mand dial to make changes. This setting of what is normal. For example, by allows you to press and release the button, default, rotating the Sub-command make changes using the command dials, dial right makes your aperture and then press the button again to set. smaller. By reversing the dials, you get a larger aperture when rotating the dial to the right. f11 – No memory card? This setting controls whether the shutter will ✦ Change main/sub. This switches release when no memory card is present in functions of the Main Command the camera. When set to Enable release, the dial to the front and the Sub- shutter fires and the image is displayed in command dial to the rear of the the LCD screen and will be temporarily camera. saved. When set to Release locked, the shut- ✦ Aperture setting. This allows you ter will not fire. If you happen to be using to change the aperture only using Camera Control Pro 2 shooting tethered the aperture ring of the lens. Note directly to your computer, the camera shut- that most newer lenses have elec- ter will release no matter what this option is tronically controlled apertures set to. (Nikkor G lenses) and do not have an aperture ring. When used with a lens without an aperture ring, the f12 – Reverse indicators Sub-command dial controls the This allows you to reverse the indicators on aperture by default. the electronic light meter displayed in the viewfinder and on the LCD control panel on ✦ Menus and playback. This allows you to use the command dials to the top of the camera. For some, the default scroll the menus and images in setting showing the overexposure on the much the same fashion the Multi- left and the underexposure on the right is selector is used. In Playback mode, counterintuitive. Reversing these makes the Main Command dial is used to more sense to some people (including me). scroll through the preview images This option also reverses the display for the and the Sub-command dial is used Auto-bracketing feature. to view the shooting information and/or histograms. When in Menu mode, the Main Command dial functions the same as the Multi- Setup Menu selector up and down and the Sub- command dial operates the same This menu contains a smattering of options, as the Multi-selector left and right. most of which aren’t changed very fre- quently. Some of these settings include the time and date and the video mode. A couplef10 – Release button to use dial other options are the Clean image sensorWhen changing the Shooting mode, and Battery info, which you may want toexposure compensation, Flash mode, WB, access from time to time. There are 20 dif-QUAL, or ISO, you must press and hold the ferent options.
  • 117. 102 Part I ✦ Using the Nikon D700 SETUP MENU every time you download the images to your computer (just be sure all of the files are Format memory card successfully transferred before formatting). LCD brightness -1 Formatting the card helps protect against Clean image sensor corrupt data. Simply erasing the images Lock mirror up for cleaning leaves the data on the card and allows it to Video mode NTSC be overwritten; sometimes this older data HDMI AUTO can corrupt the new data as it is being writ- World time ten. Formatting the card gives your camera a Language En blank slate on which to write. You can also format the card using the much SETUP MENU more convenient two-button method (press- Image comment OFF ing and holding the Delete and Mode but- Auto image rotation ON tons simultaneously). Dust off ref photo Battery info Wireless transmitter LCD brightness Image authentication OFF This menu sets the brightness of your LCD Copyright information ON screen. You may want to make it brighter Save/load settings when viewing images in bright sunlight or make it dimmer when viewing images indoors or to save battery power. You can SETUP MENU adjust the LCD ±3 levels. The menu shows a graph with 10 bars from black to gray on to Image authentication OFF white. The optimal setting is where you can Copyright information ON see a distinct change in color tone in each of Save/load settings the 10 bars. If the last two bars on the right GPS blend together, your LCD is too bright; if the Virtual horizon last to bars on the left side blend together, Non-CPU lens data No. 1 your LCD is too dark. AF fine tune Firmware version Clean image sensor3.18 The Setup Menu shown in three This great new feature was released withimages so all options are visible the D300 and added to the D700. Even the higher-end D3 doesn’t have this capability. With this feature, the camera uses ultrasonicFormat memory card vibration to knock any dust off the filter inThis allows you to completely erase every- front of the sensor. This helps keep most ofthing on your CF card. Formatting your the dust off of your sensor but is not goingmemory card erases all of the data on the to keep it absolutely dust free forever. Youcard. It’s a good idea to format your card may have to have the sensor professionally cleaned periodically.
  • 118. Chapter 3 ✦ Setting Up the Nikon D700 103You can choose Clean now, which cleansthe image sensor immediately, or you have Video modefour separate options for cleaning that you There are two options in this menu: NTSCaccess in the Clean at startup/shutdown (National Television System Committee)option. They include and PAL (Phase Alternating Line). Without getting into too many specifics, these are ✦ Clean at startup. The camera goes types of standards for the resolution of tele- through the cleaning process visions. All of North America, including immediately upon turning the cam- Canada and Mexico, use the NTSC standard, era on. This may delay your startup while most of Europe and Asia use the PAL time a little bit. standard. Check your television owner’s ✦ Clean at shutdown. The camera manual for the specific setting if you plan to cleans the sensor when you switch view your images on a TV directly from the the camera off. This is my preferred camera. setting because it doesn’t interfere with the startup time. ✦ Clean at startup and shutdown. HDMI The camera cleans the image sen- The D700 has an HDMI (High-Definition sor when you turn it on and also Multimedia Interface) output that allows when it is powered down. you to connect your camera to an HD TV to review your images. There are five settings: ✦ Cleaning off. This disables the dust 480p, 576p, 720p, 1080i, and Auto. The reduction function when the cam- era is turned on and off. You can Auto feature automatically selects the appro- still use the Clean now option priate setting for your TV. Before plugging when this is set. your camera in to an HD TV I recommend reading your TV’s owner’s manual for spe- cific settings. When the camera is attachedLock mirror up to an HDMI device, the LCD screen on the camera is automatically disabled.for cleaningThis locks up the mirror to allow access tothe image sensor for inspection or for addi- World timetional cleaning. The sensor is also powered This is where you set the camera’s internaldown to reduce any static charge that may clock. You also select a time zone, chooseattract dust. Although some people prefer to the date display options, and turn theclean their own sensors, I recommend tak- daylight-saving time options on or off.ing your camera to an authorized Nikon ser-vice center for any sensor cleaning. Anydamage caused to the sensor by improper Languageself-cleaning will not be covered by warranty This is where you set the language that theand can lead to a very expensive repair bill. menus and dialog boxes display.
  • 119. 104 Part I ✦ Using the Nikon D700Image comment photo when using a CPU lens. It’s recom- mended to use at least a 50mm lens, andYou can use this feature to attach a com- when using a zoom lens to zoom all the wayment to the images taken by your D700. in to the longest focal length.You can enter the text using the InputComment menu. You can view the com-ments in Nikon’s Capture NX, Capture NX 2, Battery infoor View NX software or in the photo info on This handy little menu allows you to viewthe camera. Setting the Attach comment information about your batteries. It showsoption applies the comment to all images you the current charge of the battery as ataken until this setting is disabled. Comments percentage and how many shots have beenyou may want to attach include copyright taken using that battery since the last charge.information or your name, or even the loca- This menu also shows the remaining charg-tion where the photos were taken. ing life of your battery before it is no longer able to hold a charge. I find myself accessingAuto image rotation this menu quite a bit to keep a real-time watch on my camera’s power levels. Most ofThis tells the camera to record the orienta- these info options only work with EN-EL3etion of the camera when the photo is shot or EN-EL4/EN-EL4a batteries. AA batteries(portrait or landscape). This allows the cannot provide the camera with data. Thecamera and also image-editing software to menu options are as follows:show the photo in the proper orientation soyou don’t have to take the time in post- ✦ Bat. meter. This tells you the per-processing to rotate images shot in portrait centage of remaining battery lifeorientation. from 100% to 0%. When the MB-D10 is attached and loaded with AA batteries, a percentage isDust off ref photo not shown but there is a battery indicator that shows full, 50%, andThis option allows you to take a Dust off ref- 0% power levels.erence photo that shows any dust or debristhat may be stuck to your sensor. Capture ✦ Pic. meter. This tells you howNX or NX 2 then uses the image to auto- many shutter actuations the batterymatically retouch any subsequent photos has had since its last charge. Thiswhere the specks appear. option is not displayed for the MB-D10 when you’re using AATo use this feature either select Start or batteries.Clean sensor and then start. Next you will ✦ Calibration. This option is only dis-be instructed by a dialog box to take a photo played when an EN-EL4 or EN-EL4aof a bright featureless white object that is battery is inserted into the MB-D10.about 10 centimeters from the lens. The This tells you when to recalibratecamera automatically sets the focus to infin- the battery so that the remainingity. You can only take a Dust off reference charge can be shown more accurately.
  • 120. Chapter 3 ✦ Setting Up the Nikon D700 105 ✦ Charging life. This is a gauge that be detected using Nikon’s optional Image goes from 0 to 4 that tells you how Authentication Software. Police and govern- much working life you have left in ment agencies usually use this option to your battery given Li-Ion batteries verify that an image hasn’t been manipu- have a finite life. This option is not lated and, therefore, can be used as evi- shown for AA batteries. When dence in court. shooting outside in temperatures below 41º F (5º C), this gauge may temporarily show that the battery Copyright information life has lost some of its charging life. The battery will show normal when This is a great feature that allows you to brought back to normal operating imbed your name and copyright information temperature of about 68º F. directly into the EXIF (Exchangeable Image File Format) data of the image as it is being recorded. Enter the information using the Battery info text entry screen. You can turn this option on or off without losing the actual informa- D700 MB-D10 tion. You may want to turn this option off Bat. meter 92% when doing “work for hire,” where you get Pic. meter 9 paid to take the photos but relinquish all copyright and ownership to the person who Charging life 0 (0-4) hired you. NEW ! OK Done Save/load settings This allows you to save the current camera3.19 The Battery info display shown with settings to a CF card. You can then store thisMB-D10 and AA batteries CF card somewhere or transfer the file to your computer. You can also load these set- tings back to your camera in case of an acci-Wireless transmitter dental reset or load them onto a secondThis option is used to change settings of the D700 to duplicate the settings quickly.optional WT-4 wireless transmitter. You can-not access this menu option when the WT-4is not attached. See the WT-4 wireless trans- GPSmitter for more information. This menu is used to adjust the settings of an optional GPS (Global Positioning System) unit, which can be used to record longitudeImage authentication and latitude to the images EXIF data. TheThis allows you to embed information to GPS is connected to the camera’s 10-pinyour images while they are being captured. remote terminal using an optional MC-35Any subsequent altering of the images can GPS adapter.
  • 121. 106 Part I ✦ Using the Nikon D700 information about the lens isn’t entered, itVirtual horizon won’t show in the EXIF data. Second, whenVirtual horizon is a new feature that a non-CPU lens is attached to the camera,appeared with the D700 and was simulta- the metering mode automatically defaultsneously added to the D3 via a firmware to Center-weighted. Entering the lens dataupdate. This view is similar to a heads-up enables you to use Color Matrix meteringdisplay in a fighter plane that allows you to (3D Color Matrix Metering II requires a D- orsee whether your camera is level or not. The G-type CPU lens). Third, entering the lensfeature uses a sensor inside the camera to data allows the Auto zoom feature to workdetermine whether it’s level or not. When with the SB-600, SB-800, or SB-900. Finally,the camera is completely level, the Virtual you also need to enter the lens data for thehorizon is displayed in green. If you shoot a SB-800 or SB-900 flash to function properlylot of landscapes and your tripod doesn’t using the Auto Aperture setting.have a level, you’re in luck: This is the per-fect tool for you. You can view the Virtual To set the lens data when using a non-CPUhorizon display directly overlaid on the Live lens, follow these steps:View screen by pressing the Info buttontwice when using Live View mode. 1. Use the Multi-selector to select non-CPU lens data from the Setup menu, and then press theNon-CPU lens data Multi-selector right.Non-CPU lenses are manual focus lenses 2. Use the Multi-selector left or rightthat don’t have a CPU chip built in so that button to select a lens numberthe lens and camera can communicate data from 1 to 9 to set the informa-back and forth. This menu option enables tion. Press the Multi-selector downyou to enter focal length and aperture data button.for up to nine different lenses. 3. Select the focal length of your non-CPU lens. You can use a lensThere are different features within the cam- from as wide as 6mm to as long asera that require focal length and aperture 4000mm. Press the Multi-selectorinformation to function properly. First off, if down. Virtual horizon Virtual horizon3.20 The Virtual horizon display
  • 122. Chapter 3 ✦ Setting Up the Nikon D700 107 4. Choose the maximum aperture of 5. Once it’s adjusted, press the OK your lens. You can choose from button. f/1.2 to f/22. 6. Set the Default. This should be set 5. Use the Multi-selector to high- to 0. Press the OK button. light Done, and then press the OK button to save the lens data. The saved value stores separate tuning values for each individ- ual lens. This is the value that will be applied when the specificAF fine tune lens is attached and the AF fineThis option allows you to adjust the AF to fit tune is turned on.a specific lens. Lenses are manufactured to When the AF fine tune is on andtight specifications, but sometimes lens ele- a lens without a stored value isments can shift a few microns due to impact attached, the camera will useor general wear and tear. These small abnor- the default setting. This is why Imalities can cause the lens to shift its plane recommend setting the default to 0 until you can determineof focus behind or in front of the imaging whether the lens needs fine-sensor. I would say that this is usually a rare tuning or not.occurrence, but it’s a possibility. Each CPU lens you fine-tune is saved intoYou can now fine-tune the camera’s AF to the menu. To view them, select List Savedcorrect for any focusing problems. This fea- Values. From there you can assign a numberture can save you the time and hassle of to the saved values from 0 to 99 (althoughsending your lens in for calibration. Another the camera only stores 12 lens values). I’mgood thing about this feature: If you’re using not sure what the reasoning is behind thisa CPU lens, the camera remembers the fine- odd numbering system. Possibly you couldtuning for that specific lens and adjusts it for use the number to denote what lens you’reyou automatically. using; for example, use the number 50 for a 50mm lens, the number 85 for an 85mmHere’s a brief rundown on how to adjust the lens, and so on.AF fine-tuning: The best thing to do when attempting to 1. Using the Multi-selector, choose fine-tune your lenses is to set them up one AF fine tune from the Setup by one and do a series of test shots. You menu and press the OK button. need to do your test shots in a controlled 2. Turn AF fine tune On by selecting manner so there are no variables to throw AF fine tine (On/Off) in the menu, off your findings. Highlight On, and then press the OK button. The first thing to do is to get an AF test chart. 3. Highlight Saved value and press You can find these on the Internet or you the OK button. can send me an e-mail through my Web site (http://deadsailorproductions.com) and I 4. Use the Multi-selector up and can send you one that you can print out. An down to adjust the plane of AF test chart has a spot in the center that focus. You’ll have to use a little you focus on and a series of lines or marks guesswork. Determine if the cam- set at different intervals. Assuming you focus era is focusing behind the subject on the right spot, the test chart can tell you or in front of it and, if so, how far?
  • 123. 108 Part I ✦ Using the Nikon D700whether your lens is spot on, back focusing, Next, you can make some large adjustmentsor front focusing. The test chart needs to be to the AF fine-tuning (+5, -5, +10, -10, +15,lit well for maximum contrast. Not only do –15, +20, –20), taking a shot at each set-you need the contrast for focus, but also it ting. Be sure to defocus and refocus aftermakes it much easier to interpret the test adjusting the settings to ensure accuratechart. Using bright continuous lighting is results. Compare these images and decidebest, but flash can work as well. Lighting which setting brings the focus closest to thefrom the front is usually best. selected focus point. After comparing them you may want to do a little more fine-tuning,Next, set your camera Picture Control to ND, to –7 or +13, for example.(Neutral). Ensure that all in-camera sharp-ening is turned off and contrast adjustments This can be a tedious and time-consumingare at zero. This is to be sure that you are project. That being said, most lenses areseeing actual lens sharpness, not sharpness already spot on and it probably isn’t neces-created by post-processing. sary to run a test like this on your lens unless it is extremely noticeable that the lens isLay the AF test chart on a flat surface. This is consistently out of focus.important: There must be no bumps or highspots on the chart or your results won’t beaccurate. Mount the camera on a tripod and Firmware versionadjust the tripod head so that the camera is This menu option displays which firmwareat a 45-degree angle. Be sure that the cam- version your camera is currently operatingera lens is just about at the minimum focus under. Firmware is a computer program thatdistance to ensure the narrowest depth of is embedded in the camera that tells it howfield. Set the camera to Single-servo AF to function. Camera manufacturers routinelymode and use Single-area AF and use the update the firmware to correct for any bugscenter AF point. Focus on the spot at the or to make improvements on the camera’scenter of the AF test chart. Be sure not to functions. Nikon posts firmware updates onchange the focus point or move the tripod its Web site at www.nikonusa.com.while making your tests. Set the camera toAperture Priority and open the aperture toits widest setting to achieve a narrow depthof field. (This makes it easier to figure outwhere the focus is falling — in the front or Retouch Menuthe back.) Use a Nikon MC-30 remote con- The Retouch menu allows you to maketrol release or the self-timer to be sure there changes and corrections to your imagesis no blur from camera shake. The first image using imaging-editing software. As a mattershould be shot with no AF fine-tuning. of fact, you don’t even need to download your images. You can make all of the changesLook at the test chart. Decide whether the in-camera using the LCD screen (or hookedcamera is focusing where it needs to be or if up to a TV if you prefer).it’s focusing behind or in front of where itneeds to be.
  • 124. Chapter 3 ✦ Setting Up the Nikon D700 109The options include D-Lighting, Red-eye cor- 4. Use the Multi-selector to positionrection, Trim, Monochrome, Color effects, where you want the menu itemColor balance, and Image overlay. to appear, and press the OK but- ton to save the order. The Retouch menu is discussed at length in Chapter 8. 5. Repeat Steps 2 to 4 until you have added all the menu items you want.My Menu MY MENUThis is a great new menu option that was Set Picture Control SDintroduced with the D300. It is much better Battery infothan the Recent Settings menu in the D200. d11 Battery order D700(You can also choose the replace the My e3 Flash cntrl for built-in flash TTLMenu tab with the Recent Settings tab.) The Commander mode CMy Menu option allows you to create yourown customized menu by choosing the ISO sensitivity auto control OFFoptions. You can also set the different menu Active D-Lighting OFFoptions to whatever order you want. This a9 Built-in AF-assist illuminator ONallows you to have all the settings youchange the most right at your fingertips,without your having to search through all MY MENUthe menus and sub-menus. For example, I f6 Assign preview buttonhave the My Menu option set to display all Choose image area FXof the menu options I frequently use, includ- Virtual horizoning Set Picture Control, Battery info, CSM e3, Live viewand Active D-Lighting among a few others. Vignette control OFFThis saves me an untold amount of time Image review OFFbecause I don’t have to go through a lot of Display modedifferent menus. Add itemsTo set up your custom My Menu, followthese steps: MY MENU 1. Select My Menu, and press the Live view OK button. Vignette control OFF Image review OFF 2. Select Add items, and press the Display mode OK button. Add items 3. Use the Multi-selector to navigate Remove items through the menus to add spe- Rank items cific menu options, and press the Choose tab OK button. 3.21 This figure shows the My Menu options I have set on my camera.
  • 125. 110 Part I ✦ Using the Nikon D700To reorder the items in My Menu, follow 3. Select Recent settings and pressthese steps: the OK button or the Multi-selector right to change the setting. 1. Select My Menu, and press the 4. Press the menu button or tap the OK button. Shutter Release button to exit. 2. Select Rank items, and press the OK button. This brings up a list of all the menu options that you have saved to the My Menu. Quick Settings 3. Use the Multi-selector to highlight the menu option you want to Display move, and press the OK button. The Quick Settings Display, believe it or not, 4. Using the Multi-selector, move is inherited from Nikon’s entry-level camera, the yellow line to where you the D60. It allows you access to several of want to move the selected item. the most commonly changed menu items. Press the OK button to set the To access the Quick Settings Display, press option. Repeat this step until you the Info button. This displays the Shooting have moved all of the menu info screen on the rear LCD. While the shoot- options that you want. ing info is displayed press the Info button 5. Press the menu button or tap the again. This grays out the shooting info and Shutter Release button to exit. highlights the settings shown at the bottom of the Shooting info screen. Use the Multi-To delete options from My Menu, simply selector directional buttons to highlight thepress the Delete button when the option is setting you want to change then press thehighlighted. The camera will ask for confir- OK button. This takes you straight to themation that you indeed want to delete the specific menu option. The Quick Settingssetting. Press the Delete button again to Display options areconfirm or press the Menu button to exitwithout deleting the menu option. ✦ Shooting menu bank ✦ Custom Settings bankAs I mentioned earlier, you can replace theMy Menu option with the Recent Settings ✦ High ISO Noise Reductionoption. The Recent Settings menu stores the ✦ Long exposure Noise Reductionlast 20 settings you have adjusted. To switch ✦ Active D-Lightingfrom My Menu to Recent Settings: ✦ Picture Control 1. Select My Menu from the Menu ✦ Color space tab. Press the OK button to view My Menu. ✦ Assign AE-L/AF-L button 2. Use the Multi-selector to scroll ✦ Assign Preview button down to the Choose tab menu ✦ Assign Function button option, and press the OK button.
  • 126. Chapter 3 ✦ Setting Up the Nikon D700 111 Active Assign Preview D-Lighting button High ISO Noise Reduction Color space ISO 5 fps c + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + RAW + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + WB + + + + + + + + +Shooting menu bank SHOOT B ISO NR OFF OFF Adobe RGB PvCustom Settings CUSTOM A NR OFF SD AE L AF L AE Fn menu bank Picture Control Assign Function button Long exposure Assign Noise Reduction AE-L/AF-L button3.22 The Quick Settings Display
  • 127. Capturing P A R TGreat Images with the II Nikon D700 ✦ ✦ In This Part ✦ ✦ Chapter 4 Selecting and Using Lenses Chapter 5 Essential Photography Concepts Chapter 6 Working with Light Chapter 7 Advanced Shooting Techniques Chapter 8 Viewing and In-Camera Editing ✦ ✦ ✦ ✦
  • 128. Selecting andUsing Lenses ✦ 4 C H A P T E R ✦ ✦ ✦T he lens that you put on your camera is almost as impor- tant as the camera body itself, and some may arguethat the lens is more important than the camera itself. Thereare many different types of lenses, from ultrawide-angle In This Chapter Wide-angle and ultrawide lenseslenses to super-telephoto lenses. The lens that you usedepends on the subject you’re photographing as well as how Mid-range or standard zoom lensesyou want your image to be perceived. Telephoto lensesThe build and optical quality of a lens can have a seriousimpact on your image quality. Lower-quality lenses often have Special purpose lensesundesirable characteristics that will show up in your images.Often low-priced lenses will have problems such as softness, Using VR lenseslack of contrast, chromatic aberration, and vignetting (darken-ing of the edges). Chromatic aberration is characterized by Using DX lensesfringing on the edges of certain areas of the image, particu-larly in areas of high contrast. This is caused by the inability of Third-party lensesthe lens to focus all wavelengths of light on the same opticalaxis. In order to take full advantage of your D700, I recom- Lens accessoriesmend buying the best lenses that you can afford. ✦ ✦ ✦ ✦One of the great things about photography is that throughyour lens choice you can show things in a way that the humaneye can’t perceive. The human eye is basically a fixed focallength lens. We can only see a certain set angular distance.This is called our field of view (or angle of view). Our eyeshave about the same field of view as a 50mm lens on anFX-format Nikon dSLR camera. Changing the focal length ofyour lens, whether by switching lenses or zooming, changesthe field of view, allowing the camera to “see” more or less ofthe scene you are photographing. In the following sections, Idiscuss the different types of lenses and how they can influ-ence the subjects that you’re photographing.
  • 129. 116 Part II ✦ Capturing Great Images with the Nikon D700Wide-Angle and there are lens elements built into the lens to correct the distortion that is common withUltrawide Lenses wide-angle lenses; this way, the lines near the edges of the frame appear straight.Wide-angle lenses, as the name implies, Fisheye lenses, which are also a type ofprovide a very wide angle of view of the wide-angle lens, are curvilinear; the lensscene you are photographing. Wide-angle elements are not corrected, resulting inlenses are great for photographing a variety severe optical distortion. I discuss fisheyeof subjects, but they are really excellent for lenses in more depth later in the chapter.subjects such as landscapes and group por-traits, where you need to capture a wide In recent years, lens technology has grownarea of view. by leaps and bounds, making high-quality ultra-wide lenses affordable. In the past,The focal length range of wide-angle lenses ultra-wide lenses were rare, prohibitivelystarts out at 12mm (ultrawide) and extends expensive, and out of the reach of mostto about 35mm (wide-angle). Most of the amateur photographers. These days, it’s verymore common wide-angle lenses on the easy to find a relatively inexpensive ultra-market today are zoom lenses although wide lens. Ultra-wide lenses usually run inthere are quite a few prime lenses available. focal length from about 12mm to 20mm.Wide-angle lenses are generally rectilinear Most wide-angle zoom lenses run the gamut(also known as aspherical), meaning that from ultra-wide to wide angle. Some of the ones that work with the D700 includeImage courtesy of Nikon, Inc.4.1 Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8
  • 130. Chapter 4 ✦ Selecting and Using Lenses 117✦ Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8. This is is worth the tradeoff in image Nikon’s newest ultra-wide zoom sharpness. I sharpen a bit in post- and probably the best on the mar- processing and everything looks fine. ket. This lens gives you a field of ✦ Nikkor 17-35mm f/2.8. This is a view of 114 degrees at 14mm to great standard (meaning not ultra- 84 degrees at 24mm. It also gives wide) wide-angle lens that is very you excellent image sharpness versatile. It’s sharp, it’s fast, and it’s from corner to corner at all aper- quiet. The 17-35mm is a work- tures. It has a fast constant aperture horse of a lens. This lens is pretty and is great for low-light shooting. popular, so finding one used at a It is a truly spectacular lens. decent price is nearly impossible.✦ Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6. This If you’re willing to give up a few third-party lens is currently the wid- millimeters and AF-S, the Nikkor est FX-compatible lens available. 20-35mm f/2.8D is a great, afford- It’s also one of my favorite lenses. able alternative. The field of view is an incredible 122 degrees at 12mm. There are a Of course, Nikon and other manufacturers couple of drawbacks to this lens. make wide-angle prime lenses as well. First, it’s not nearly as fast as the Today’s wide-angle zoom lenses are just as Nikon 14-24mm. At more than a sharp (if not sharper in the case of the stop slower at 12mm and 2 stops 14-24mm) as the prime lenses. I find that a slower at 24mm, you really need to wide-angle zoom gives you more bang for crank up the ISO in low light (not your buck, but prime lenses are more afford- really a problem with the D700). able, smaller, and lighter. The standard This lens is also lacking in sharp- wide-angle primes are 14, 20, 24, 28, 30, ness when it’s wide open and it and 35mm. All of these prime lenses are isn’t really completely sharp until sharp and come in apertures of at least f/2.8 you get to f/11. Personally, I think or faster. the extreme wideness of this lens Deciphering Nikon’s Lens Codes When shopping for lenses, you may notice all sorts of letter designations in the lens name. For example, the kit lens is the Nikkor 24-120mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED AF-S VR. So, what do all those letters mean? Here’s a simple list to help you decipher them: ✦ AI/AIS. These are auto-indexing lenses that automatically adjust the aperture diaphragm down when the Shutter button is pressed. All lenses made after 1977 are AI lenses. They are all manual focus lenses. ✦ E. These lenses were Nikon’s budget series lenses, made to go with the lower-end film cameras the EM, FG, and FG-20. Although these lenses are compact and are often constructed with plastic parts, some of theses lenses, especially the 50mm f/1.8, are of quite good quality. These lenses are also manual focus only. Continued
  • 131. 118 Part II ✦ Capturing Great Images with the Nikon D700 Continued ✦ D. Lenses with this designation convey distance information to the camera to aid in metering for exposure and flash. ✦ G. These are newer lenses that lack a manually adjustable aperture ring. You must set the aperture on the camera body. ✦ AF, AF-D, AF-I, and AF-S. All of these denote that the lens is an autofocus lens. The AF-D represents a distance encoder for distance information, the AF-I is for internal focusing motor type, and the AF-S is for an internal Silent Wave Motor. ✦ DX. This lets you know the lens was optimized for use with Nikon’s DX-format sensor (all Nikon dSLRs, with the exception of the D700 and D3). These lenses can be used on the D700 (or D3) when set to DX-format mode. This effec- tively decreases your image resolution to 5.1 megapixels. ✦ VR. This code denotes the lens is equipped with Nikon’s Vibration Reduction image stabilization system. ✦ ED. This indicates the glass in the lens is Nikon’s Extra-low Dispersion glass, which means the lens is less prone to lens flare and chromatic aberrations. ✦ Micro-NIKKOR. Even though they are labeled as micro, these are Nikon’s macro lenses. ✦ IF. IF stands for internal focus. The focusing mechanism is inside the lens, so the lens doesn’t change length and the front of the lens doesn’t rotate when focusing. This feature is useful when you don’t want the front of the lens ele- ment to move; for example, when you use a polarizing filter. The internal focus mechanism also allows for faster focusing. ✦ DC. DC stands for Defocus Control. Nikon only offers a couple of lenses with this designation. These lenses make the out-of-focus areas in the image appear softer by using special lens elements to add spherical aberration. The parts of the image that are in focus aren’t affected. Currently the only Nikon lenses with this feature are the 135mm and the 105mm f/2. Both of these are considered portrait lenses. ✦ CRC. CRC stands for Close Range Correction. Lenses that have this feature have floating elements inside that allow the images to retain sharpness when focusing at close distances.
  • 132. Chapter 4 ✦ Selecting and Using Lenses 119 ✦ Handholding. At shorter focalWhen to use a lengths, it’s possible to hold thewide-angle lens camera steadier than at longer shutter speeds (remember theYou can use wide-angle lenses for a broad reciprocal rule for focal length?).variety of subjects, and they are great for At 14mm, it’s entirely possible tocreating dynamic images with interesting hand hold your camera at 1/15results. Once you get used to “seeing” the without worrying about cameraworld through a wide-angle lens, you’ll find shake.that your images will start to be more cre-ative and you’ll look at your subjects differ- ✦ Environmental portraits. Althoughently. There are many different considerations using a wide-angle lens isn’t theto think about when you use a wide-angle best choice for standard close-up portraits, wide-angle lenses worklens. Here a few examples: great for environmental portraits ✦ More depth of field. Wide-angle where you want to show a person lenses allow you to get more of the in his or her surroundings. scene in focus than you can when you’re using a mid-range or tele- photo lens at the same aperture Understanding and distance from the subject. limitations ✦ Wider field of view. Wide-angle Wide-angle lenses are very distinctive when lenses allow you to fit more of it comes to the way they portray your your subject into your images. The images, and they also have some limitations shorter the focal length, the more that you may not find in lenses with longer you can fit in. This can be especially focal lengths. There are also some pitfalls beneficial when you’re shooting that you need to be aware of when using landscape photos where you want wide-angle lenses: to fit an immense scene into your photo or when you’re shooting a ✦ Soft corners. The most common large group of people. problem that wide-angle lenses, ✦ Perspective distortion. Using especially zooms, have is they wide-angle lenses causes things soften the images in the corners. that are closer to the lens to look This is most prevalent at wide aper- disproportionately larger than tures such as f/2.8 and f/4 and the things that are farther away. You corners usually sharpen up by f/8 can use this to your advantage if (depending on the lens). This prob- you want the subject to stand out lem is greatest in lower-priced in the frame. lenses.
  • 133. 120 Part II ✦ Capturing Great Images with the Nikon D700 ✦ Vignetting. This is the darkening ✦ Barrel Distortion. Wide-angle of the corners in the image. This lenses, even rectilinear lenses, are occurs because the light that is often plagued with this specific type needed to capture such a wide of distortion that causes straight angle of view must come from a lines outside of the image center to very oblique angle. When the light appear to bend outward (similar to comes in at such an angle, the a barrel). This can be unwanted aperture is effectively smaller. when doing architectural photogra- The aperture opening no longer phy. Fortunately Photoshop and appears as a circle, but as a cat’s other image-editing software allow eye shape. Stopping down the you to fix this problem relatively aperture reduces this effect and easily. reducing the aperture by 3 stops fully eliminates the vignetting. ✦ Perspective distortion. Perspective distortion is a double-edged sword: Mid-Range or It can make your images look very interesting or make them look terri- Standard Zoom ble. One of the reasons that a wide-angle lens isn’t recommended Lenses for close-up portraits is that it dis- Mid-range, or standard, zoom lenses fall in torts the face, making the nose the middle of the focal-length scale. Zoom look too big and the ears too small. lenses of this type usually start at a moder- This can make for a very unflatter- ately wide angle of around 24-28mm and ing portrait. zoom in to a short telephoto of about 70mm.4.2 An environmental portrait shot at 12mm
  • 134. Chapter 4 ✦ Selecting and Using Lenses 121These lenses work great for most general and fast-focusing Silent Wavephotography applications and can be used Motor, and Nikon’s new Nanosuccessfully for everything from architectural Crystal Coat to help deal with flareto portrait photography. Basically, this type of and ghosting. This lens is top-notchlens covers the most useful focal lengths and all around and is worth everywill probably spend the most time on your penny of the price tag.camera. For this reason, I recommend buying ✦ Nikkor 28-70mm f/2.8. This lensthe best quality lens you can afford. has essentially been replaced by the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8. This lensSome of the options for mid-range lenses is an excellent option and a moreinclude affordable choice to those who need a fast pro lens. You can usu- ✦ Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8. This is ally find this lens used for just over Nikon’s newest addition to its stan- half the price of a new 24-70mm. dard zoom line. It is a professional This lens is extremely sharp and lens; it has a fast aperture of f/2.8 has the fast and quiet Silent Wave over the whole zoom range and is Motor. It’s a bit bulkier than the extremely sharp at all focal lengths 24-70mm, but weighs about the and apertures. The build quality of same. If you’re looking for a bar- this lens is excellent as most of gain on a fast pro lens, I recom- Nikon’s pro lenses are. The mend checking out one of these. 24-70mm has Nikon’s super-quietImage courtesy of Nikon, Inc.4.3 Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8
  • 135. 122 Part II ✦ Capturing Great Images with the Nikon D700 ✦ Nikkor 24-120mm f/3.5-5.6 VR. ✦ Nikkor 24-85mm f/2.8-4D. This is This is the kit lens option that is a nice lightweight option. This lens available with the D700. This lens is based on Nikon’s older designs, covers a very wide range of focal but is still listed on their current lengths, but it doesn’t have a fast roster. This lens is small, light, and constant aperture. To make up for also has the added benefit of a this, Nikon has added Vibration macro setting that allows you to Reduction (VR) to this lens to help get a decent 1:2 reproduction ratio. when you’re shooting in low-light Although this lens lacks VR and the situations. When lens manufacturers extra reach of the 24-120mm, I rec- opt to go the route of these extreme ommend looking into it as an focal lengths, they have to make everyday walking-around lens. some concessions that usually come It’s faster and sharper than the in the form of image quality. That 24-120mm and the macro function being said, if you need a lightweight, allows it to truly be a great all- versatile lens for just walking around around lens. and shooting, this lens is perfectly suited for that. As usual, the VR sys- There are also some good third-party lens tem works like a charm and is great options from Sigma and Tamron in this for shooting still objects in low-light focal length range. I recommend doing some conditions that typically call for research on the Internet to find the best lens slower shutter speeds. for the best deal.Image courtesy of Nikon, Inc.4.4 The D700 with 24-120mm kit lens
  • 136. Chapter 4 ✦ Selecting and Using Lenses 123The only prime lens that fits into this of the wide-angle variety. Because every-category is the 50mm. This is considered thing in the photo is so far away with a tele-a normal lens on FX-format (35mm-sized) photo lens, the lens tends to compress thesensors and film cameras given it approxi- image. Compression causes the backgroundmates the normal field of view that human to look too close to the foreground. Ofeyes can see. There are two different lenses course, you can use this effect creatively. Forof this focal length on Nikon’s current list, example, compression can flatten out thethe 50mm f/1.8 and the 50mm f/1.4. Both features of a model, resulting in a pleasingof these lenses are fast and perfect for low- effect. Compression is another reason whylight photography. They are great lenses to photographers often use a telephoto lensuse as an ultra-lightweight walking-around for portrait photography.lens. They aren’t the most versatile lenses,but they can get the job done and donewell. They are two of the sharpest lensesavailable, especially at the price range. The50mm f/1.8 is a great deal; you can usuallyfind it for about $100 new and even lessthan that used.Telephoto LensesTelephoto lenses are lenses with very longfocal lengths that are used to get closer todistant subjects. They provide a very narrowfield of view and are handy when you’retrying to focus on the details of a subject.Telephoto lenses have a much shallowerdepth of field than wide-angle and mid-range lenses and you can use them effec-tively to blur out background details toisolate the subject.Telephoto lenses are commonly used forsports and wildlife photography. The shal-low depth of field makes them one of the 4.5 Portrait shot with a telephoto lenstop choices for photographing portraits, aswell. A standard telephoto zoom lens usually has a range of about 70-200mm. If you want toAs with wide-angle lenses, telephoto lenses zoom in close to a subject that is very faralso have their quirks, such as perspective away, you may need an even longer lens.distortion. As you may have guessed, tele- These super-telephoto lenses can act likephoto perspective distortion is the opposite telescopes, really bringing the subject in
  • 137. 124 Part II ✦ Capturing Great Images with the Nikon D700close. They range from about 300mm up to ✦ Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR.about 800mm. Almost all super-telephoto This is a high-power, VR image sta-lenses are prime lenses, and they are very bilization zoom lens that gives youheavy, bulky, and expensive to buy. A lot of quite a bit of reach. Its versatilethese lenses are a little slower than your nor- zoom range makes it especiallymal telephoto zoom lens, usually having a useful for wildlife photographymaximum aperture of about f/4 or smaller. where the subject is far away. As with most lenses with a very broadSome of the most common telephoto lenses focal length range, you make con-include cessions with fast apertures and a moderately lower image quality ✦ Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 VR. This is when compared to the 70-200mm Nikon’s top-of-the-line standard or 80-200mm f/2.8 lenses. telephoto lens. The VR makes this lens useful when photographing When using a camera with a high-resolution far-off subjects, handheld. This is a sensor, such as the D700, you need to spend great lens for sports, portraits, and the extra money on quality lenses to be sure wildlife photography. your images look as good as they can; oth- erwise, you may as well be shooting with ✦ Nikkor 80-200 mm f/2.8D. This is a lower-resolution camera. Budget priced a great affordable alternative to the lenses such as the Nikkor 70-300mm f/4- 70-200mm VR lens. This lens is 5.6 will show a lower image quality due to sharp with a fast constant f/2.8 the lower quality of the lens elements. aperture.Image courtesy of Nikon, Inc.4.6 Nikkor 300mm f/2.8 VR
  • 138. Chapter 4 ✦ Selecting and Using Lenses 125That being said, Nikon offers many high- The only difference seems to be that thequality telephoto zoom lenses, and the most 80-200mm focuses a little slower than theexpensive one is not necessarily going to be 70-200mm with the VR off.the best one for the job. I have owned boththe nearly $2,000 Nikkor 70-200 f/2.8G AF-S When I’m using a telephoto lens of this size,VR and the just under $1,000 Nikkor I’m usually at a racetrack photographing cars80-200mm f/2.8D. I ended up reselling the or at a concert or other sporting event, somore expensive lens because the image the quiet AF isn’t important. As for the VR,quality was about the same as the other for my needs, I haven’t been convinced itlens. The bells and whistles, such as the VR works well enough to justify the extraand the Silent Wave Motor, aren’t necessar- money. The moral is, don’t be too budget-ily worth the extra money, depending on minded when buying a lens, but also don’twhere and what you shoot. When I com- be taken in by added features you may notpared the two, they were nearly identical. need. Zoom versus Prime Lenses A little more than a decade ago, zoom versus prime would have been a very hotly debated topic. In the past, zoom lenses had a very bad rap for good reason. They were heavy, badly designed, and slow. However, with the advent of new, more pre- cise lens manufacturing technology — and new lightweight composites — zoom lenses today are almost if not as good as prime lenses. One of the main advantages of the zoom lens is its versatility. You can attach one lens to your camera and use it in a wide variety of situations. Gone is the need for con- stantly changing out lenses, which is a very nice feature because every time you take the lens off of your camera, the sensor is vulnerable to dust and debris. Although today’s zoom lenses can be just as sharp as a prime lens, you do have to pay for this quality. A $150 zoom lens is not going to give you nearly the same quality as a $1,500 zoom lens. These days you can easily find a fast zoom lens, one with an aperture of at least f/2.8. However, because you can easily change the ISO on a digital camera and the noise created from using a high ISO is lessening, a fast zoom lens is not a complete necessity. I prefer a zoom lens with a wider aperture — not so much for the speed of the lens, but for the option of being able to achieve a shallower depth of field, which is very important in shooting portraits. Before zoom lenses were available, the only option a photographer had was using a prime lens. Because each lens is fixed at a certain focal length, such as 50mm, when the photographer wants to change the angle of view, he has to either physically move farther away from or closer to the subject or swap out the lens with one that has a focal length more suited to the range. Continued
  • 139. 126 Part II ✦ Capturing Great Images with the Nikon D700 Continued Prime lenses still offer some advantages over zoom lenses. For example, prime lenses don’t require as many lens elements as zoom lenses do, and this means prime lenses are almost always sharper than zoom lenses. The differences in optical quality are not as noticeable as they were in the past, but with digital camera resolutions getting higher, the differences are definitely becoming more noticeable. The most important features of the prime lens are that they can have a faster maxi- mum aperture, they are far lighter, and they cost much less. The standard prime lenses aren’t very long, so the maximum aperture can be faster than with zoom lenses. Standard primes also require fewer lens elements and moving parts, so the weight can be kept down considerably. And because there are fewer elements, the overall cost of production is less; therefore you pay less.Special Purpose the image. The result is that the bottom of the building looks big and the top of theLenses building looks small, which can cause the building in the image to appear as if it is tip-Nikon has a few options when it comes to ping over. The only way too avoid this prob-lenses that are designed specifically to han- lem is to keep the cameras lens on axis, ordle a certain task. Nikon’s special purpose on the same plane as the front of the build-lenses are the Perspective Control (PC) and ing. Given buildings are usually pretty tall,Micro-NIKKOR (macro) lenses. They even keeping the camera on axis to the buildinghave a lens that combines both of these fea- front usually only allows you to get the bot-tures! These lenses, especially the PC lenses, tom of the structure in the frame. The PCaren’t typically designed for everyday use lens allows you to shift the lens elements upand are pretty specific in their applications. to capture the whole structure while keep- ing the camera and lens on axis with the building, thus ridding the image of converg-Perspective Control ing lines.lenses Nikon’s early PC lenses provide a shift andPC lenses are designed to control apparent allow you to rotate the lens to adjust thedistortion and to maximize depth of field shift where you need it, but their newestthroughout the subject area. One of the lenses also provide another movementmost common uses for PC lenses is archi- called a tilt. These lenses are also known astectural photography. Shooting tall buildings tilt-shift lenses. Tilt allows you to change thewith a standard lens usually requires tilting plane of focus to achieve sharp focus withthe camera lens up to fit the whole building multiple subjects that lie at different dis-in the frame. Tilting the lens up causes per- tances, without having to resort to using aspective distortion and converging lines in smaller aperture. These lenses are used not
  • 140. Chapter 4 ✦ Selecting and Using Lenses 127only for architectural photography but also Some of the most common PC lenses includefor serious product photography: They enableyou to keep the whole product in sharp focus ✦ Nikkor PC-E 24mm f/3.5D. This iswhile still allowing you to use a relatively a wide-angle lens that is perfectlywide aperture. suited for architecture and interior shots of buildings. It provides tilt,Recently, Nikon has seriously ramped up shift, and rotation.their PC lens arsenal and they have four tilt- ✦ Nikkor PC-E 45mm f/2.8D. Thisshift PC lenses in their current lineup. These lens has a normal focal length lenslenses are expensive: All of them retail at that you can use for a wide varietywell over $1,000. All the current lenses with of applications, from architecture tothe exception of one are designated what nature photography and products.Nikon terms PC-E. The E designation speci- It provides tilt, shift, and rotation.fies that these lenses have an electromag- ✦ Nikkor PC-E 85mm f/2.8D. This is anetic diaphragm that allows you to control medium telephoto focal length lensthe aperture from the camera (D3, D700, that also has macro capability forand D300 cameras only). With other PC close-up shots. This lens is bestlenses (with a PC designation, not PC-E), suited for taking photos of smallyou must control the aperture manually products where attention to detail isgiven that the shifting of the lens prevents important. It provides tilt, shift, andthe standard Auto-Indexing feature from rotation. Nikon also offers a non-PC-functioning properly. E version of this lens that lacks the electromagnetic aperture control.Image courtesy of Nikon, Inc.4.7 Nikkor PC-E 24mm f/3.5D
  • 141. 128 Part II ✦ Capturing Great Images with the Nikon D700You can still find Nikon’s older PC lenses Macro lenses come in a variety of differentused and available for much less than the focal lengths, and the most common isnewer versions. As I mentioned before, the 60mm. Some macro lenses have substan-older PC lenses offer a somewhat more lim- tially longer focal lengths, which allow moreited functionality given they only provide distance between the lens and the subject.shift and rotation, but if you’re seriously into This comes in handy when the subjectarchitectural photography, you may want to needs to be lit with an additional lightgive one of these lenses a look. Some of source. A lens that is very close to the sub-your options include the 28mm f/3.5 and ject while focusing can get in the way of thethe 35mm f/2.8. Both are wide-angle lenses, light source, casting a shadow.and you can find them used for relativelyreasonable prices. When buying a macro lens, you’ll want to consider a few things: How often are you Due to the nature of the mechan- going to use the lens? Can you use it for ics of these lenses, all Nikon PC other purposes? Do you need AF? Because shift lenses are manual focus only. newer dedicated macro lenses can be pricey, you may want to consider some cheaper alternatives.Macro (Micro-NIKKOR) The first thing you should know is that it’slenses not absolutely necessary to have an AF lens.A macro lens is a special-purpose lens used When shooting very close up, the depth ofin macro and close-up photography. It focus is very small, so all you need to do isallows you to have a closer focusing dis- move slightly closer or farther away totance than regular lenses, which in turn achieve focus. This makes an AF lens a bitallows you get more magnification of your unnecessary. You can find plenty of oldersubject, revealing small details that would Nikon manual focus (MF) macro lenses thatotherwise be lost. True macro lenses offer a are very inexpensive, and the good thingmagnification ratio of 1:1; that is, the image is the lens quality and sharpness are stillprojected onto the sensor through the lens superb.is the exact same size as the actual object Some other manufacturers alsobeing photographed. Some lower-priced make very good quality MFmacro lenses offer a 1:2 magnification ratio, macro lenses. The lens I use is awhich is half the size of the original object. 50mm f/4 Macro-Takumar made for early Pentax screw-mountOne major concern with a macro lens is the camera bodies. I bought this lens for next to nothing, and I founddepth of field. When focusing at such a close an inexpensive adapter thatdistance, the depth of field becomes very allows it to fit the Nikon F-mount.shallow; so often it is advisable to use a The great thing about this lens issmall aperture to maximize your depth of that it’s super-sharp and allowsfield and ensure everything is in focus. Of me to focus close enough to get a 4:1 magnification ratio, whichcourse, as with any downside, there’s an is 4X life size.upside: You can also use the shallow depthof field creatively. For example, you can useit to isolate a detail in the subject.
  • 142. Chapter 4 ✦ Selecting and Using Lenses 129 ✦ 200mm f/4. This telephoto macro lens provides a longer working dis- tance, which can be beneficial when you’re photographing small animals or insects. This is a good lens for nature and wildlife photog- raphy and gives you a true 1:1 macro shot. Fisheye lenses4.8 A shot taken with a 50mm macro lenswith a magnification ratio of 4:1, or 4X the Fisheye lenses are ultra-wide-angle lensesoriginal size. that aren’t corrected for distortion like stan- dard rectilinear wide-angle lenses. These lenses are what is known as curvilinear,Nikon currently offers three different focal meaning that straight lines in your image,length macro lenses under the Micro- especially near the edge of the frame, willNIKKOR designation: be curved. Fisheye lenses have extreme bar- rel distortion, but that is what makes them ✦ 60mm f/2.8. Nikon offers two ver- fisheye lenses. sions of this lens, one with a stan- dard AF drive and one with an AF-S Fisheye lenses cover a full 180-degree field version with the Silent Wave Motor. of view, allowing you to see everything that The AF-S version also has the Nikon is immediately to the left and right of you in new Nano Crystal Coat lens coating the frame. Special care has to be taken so to help eliminate ghosting and that you don’t get your feet in the frame as flare. so often happens when you’re using a lens ✦ 105mm f/2.8 VR. This is a great with a field of view this extreme. lens that not only allows you to focus extremely close but also Fisheye lenses aren’t made for everyday enables you to back off and still get shooting, but with their extreme perspective a nice close-up shot. This lens is distortion, you can achieve interesting, and equipped with VR. This can be sometimes wacky, results. You can also “de- invaluable with macro photography fish” or correct for the extreme fisheye using because it allows you to hand hold software, such as Photoshop, Capture NX or at slower shutter speeds, a neces- NX2, and DxO Optics. The end result of de- sity when stopping down to main- fishing your image is that you get a reduced tain a good depth of field. This lens field of view. This is akin to using a rectilin- also can double as a very impres- ear wide-angle lens. sive portrait lens.
  • 143. 130 Part II ✦ Capturing Great Images with the Nikon D7004.9 An image taken with a Zenitar 16mm fisheye lensThere are two types of fisheye lenses avail-able, circular and full-frame. A circular fish- Using VR Lenseseye projects a complete 180-degree hemi- Nikon has an impressive list of lenses thatspherical image onto the frame, resulting in a offer Vibration Reduction (VR). This technol-circular image surrounded by black in the rest ogy is used to combat image blur caused byof the frame. A full-frame fisheye completely camera shake, especially when you’re hand-covers the frame with an image. Nikon’s holding the camera at long focal lengths.16mm fisheye is a full-frame fisheye lens The VR function works by detecting thewhile the 10.5mm DX Nikkor fisheye is a full- motion of the lens and shifting the internalframe fisheye on a DX-format dSLR and proj- lens elements. This allows you to shoot upects circular fisheye on an FX-format camera. to 3 stops slower than you would normally.Sigma also makes a series of fisheye lenses If you’re an old hand at photography, youthat are both circular and full-frame. There are probably know this rule of thumb: To get aa couple of Russian companies that also man- reasonably sharp photo when handholdingufacture high-quality but affordable MF fisheye the camera, you should use a shutter speedlenses. AF is not truly a necessity on fisheye that corresponds to the reciprocal of thelenses given their extreme depth of field and lens’s focal length. In simpler terms, whenshort focusing distance. Zenitar makes a shooting at a 200mm zoom setting, your16mm f/2.8 full-frame fisheye that functions shutter speed should be at least 1/200 sec-well with the D700. Peleng makes an 8mm ond. When shooting with a wider setting,circular fisheye that also works with the D700. such as 28mm, you can safely hand hold atBoth lenses are fairly soft wide open, but the around 1/30 second. Of course, this is just aimages are sharp when you stop them down guideline; some people are naturally steadierto 5.6. You can find these lenses on eBay for than others and can get sharp shots at slowerreasonable prices. speeds. With the VR enabled, you should be
  • 144. Chapter 4 ✦ Selecting and Using Lenses 1314.10 The NIKKOR 70-200 f/2.8 ED-IF AFS with VRable to get a reasonably sharp image at a While VR is a great advancement in lens200mm setting with a shutter speed of around technology, few things can replace a good1/30 second. exposure and a solid monopod or tripod for a sharp image.Although the VR feature is good for provid-ing some extra latitude when you’re shoot-ing with low light, it’s not made to replace afast shutter speed. To get a good, sharp Using DX Lensesphoto when shooting action, you need to For those of you who have updated from ahave a fast shutter speed to freeze the previous Nikon dSLR, you may own one (oraction. No matter how good the VR is, noth- several) DX NIKKOR lenses. Have no fear:ing can freeze a moving subject but a fast You can still use these lenses on your D700.shutter speed. The camera recognizes when the Nikon DX lens is attached and automatically sets theAnother thing to consider with the VR feature image area from FX to DX. The DX imageis that the lens’s motion sensor may over- area can also be set manually through thecompensate when you’re panning, causing Shooting menu.the image to actually be blurrier. So, in situa-tions where you need to pan with the sub- The DX image applies what is knownject, you may need to switch off the VR. The as a 1.5X crop factor. Crop factor is aVR function also slows down the AF a bit, so ratio that describes the size of a cam-when catching the action is very important, era’s imaging area as compared toyou may want to keep this in mind. However, another format; in the case of SLRNikon’s newest lenses have been updated cameras, the reference format is 35mmwith VR II, which Nikon claims can tell the film.difference between panning motion and reg- Photographers use lenses of a certainular side-to-side camera movement. focal length to provide a specific field of view. The field of view, also called
  • 145. 132 Part II ✦ Capturing Great Images with the Nikon D700 the angle of view, is the amount of sensors, they called them DX-format the scene that is captured in the image lenses. The focal length of these lenses and is usually described in degrees. was shortened to fill the gap to allow For example, when you use a 16mm true super-wide-angle lenses. These lens on a 35mm camera, it captures DX-format lenses were also rede- the scene almost 180 degrees hori- signed to cast a smaller image inside zontally. Conversely, when you use a the camera so that the lenses could 300mm focal length, the field of view actually be made smaller and use less is reduced to a mere 6.5 degrees hori- glass than conventional lenses. The zontally, which is a very small part of byproduct of designing a lens to proj- the scene. The field of view was con- ect an image circle to a smaller sensor sistent from camera to camera because is that these same lenses can’t be used all SLRs used 35mm film, which had with 35mm film cameras because the an image area of 24 x 36mm. image won’t completely fill an area the size of the film sensor. With the advent of dSLRs and because the sensors were more expensive to There is an upside to this crop factor. Lenses manufacture, the sensor was made with longer focal lengths now provide a bit smaller than a frame of 35mm film to of extra reach. A lens set at 200mm provides keep costs down. This sensor size was the same amount of coverage as a 300mm called APS-C, or in Nikon terms, the lens, which can be a great advantage for DX format. The lenses that are used sports and wildlife photography or when with DX-format dSLRs have the same focal length they’ve always had, but you simply can’t get close enough to your because the sensor doesn’t have the subject. same amount of area as the film, the field of view is effectively decreased. When using non-Nikon DX lenses, the Auto DX crop feature This causes the lens to provide the does NOT work. This feature only field of view of a longer focal lens works with Nikkor DX lenses, when compared to 35mm film images. Of course with the full-frame or The byproduct of using DX lenses on the FX-format sensor of the D700, you D700 is that when you’re shooting in DX don’t need to worry about crop factor unless you intentionally switch to DX mode, the camera’s effective sensor resolu- crop image area. tion is reduced to 5.1 megapixels. Early on, when dSLRs were first intro- When using DX lenses, you still duced, all lenses were based on benefit from the larger pixel pitch 35mm-format film. The crop factor of the sensor, which enables you effectively reduced the coverage of to get lower noise from high ISO these lenses, causing ultrawide-angle images and better overall image lenses to act like wide-angles, wide- quality. angle lenses like standard lenses, standard lenses like short telephotos, Lately DX lenses have been a pretty widely and so on. Because Nikon created debated topic among D700 users. Some peo- specific lenses for dSLRs with digital ple are of the opinion that you’re “wasting”
  • 146. Chapter 4 ✦ Selecting and Using Lenses 1334.11 This image shows the difference in the field of view between FX and DX at a 40mmsetting.your D700 by not taking advantage of the FX ✦ Wider AF point coverage. Thesensor. I’m of the opinion that you should use wider frame allows most of thewhatever setting gets the shot. I’m sure that edges to be outside of where the AFmost of the people who buy the D700 are points lie. Using a DX lens (or simplydoing so to take advantage of the full-frame switching to DX mode) allows moresensor, but for those who aren’t as concerned of the frame to be covered by thewith the FX aspect, here are a few reasons 51-point AF system. This can bewhy you may want to consider using DX lenses extremely helpful when you’re pho-on your FX camera: tographing subjects that are moving erratically across the frame. ✦ Portability. DX lenses are almost ✦ Wider zoom range. Because DX always smaller and lighter than FX lenses are smaller, they are capable lenses. Since they cast a smaller of achieving wider zoom ranges image circle the lens elements are than FX lenses. The 18-200mm DX necessarily not as large. This can be compares to a 27-300mm lens a great feature when traveling and when crop factor is figured in. The you’re limited to the amount of only current NIKKOR lens that accessories that you can carry. Nikon offers that has a wide zoom range is the 24-120mm, which
  • 147. 134 Part II ✦ Capturing Great Images with the Nikon D700 doesn’t even come close to offering chromatic aberrations (CA) and the same type of range (although moiré patterns (a wavy pattern that Tamron offers an FX 28-300mm). appears in scenes with repetitive patterns). DX lenses are designed✦ Affordability. All of Nikon’s newest to better control these problems. standard NIKKOR lenses are pro Although Nikon’s brand-new FX lenses. These lenses are very expen- lenses also control these problems, sive. If you are looking for a lower- most of the FX lenses available are priced lens with excellent image relics from the age of film photog- quality and don’t mind using the raphy and don’t offer the optimal D700 in DX crop mode, you may image quality when used with a want to check into buying a DX lens. digital sensor. This isn’t to say the✦ Optimized for digital sensors. All older designed lenses don’t work of Nikon’s DX lenses were designed great with dSLRs, they do, they just from the ground up with the digital weren’t designed to deal with the sensor in mind. Digital sensors are specific imaging problems that digi- more prone to showing things like tal sensors have. Using FX Lenses in DX Crop Mode One interesting technique that is possible with an FX-format camera such as the D700 is using an FX lens in DX crop mode. This crops into the image area and gives you a narrower field of view. This applies the same 1.5X crop factor that is present on such APS-C sensor dSLRs like the D300. This gives your lens a field of view that is equiva- lent to the focal length of your lens multiplied by 1.5. The main advantage of this technique is that it gives you extra “reach” by zooming into the image area. Of course, you can achieve the same result in post-processing by cropping the image, but for me, it’s preferable to frame the subject and shoot in real time than to go back to the image and crop later. I find that switching back and forth between FX and DX modes is similar to having two lenses on my camera at once. Using my 28-70mm lens, I can get wide-angle to short telephoto coverage in FX and an equivalent normal to medium telephoto (42-105mm) when I switch to the DX crop mode. Similarly, when I use my 80-200mm lens, I can get the same coverage as a 120-300mm f/2.8 without using a teleconverter and los- ing a stop of light. I have found myself using this technique so frequently (much to my surprise) that I have programmed the AE-L / AF-L button (Custom Setting Menu, CSM, f7) to allow me to switch between the two formats effortlessly. The only qualm that I have about using DX mode with the D700 is that the FX part of the viewfinder is not grayed out when the camera is in DX mode. The D3 does this to make it easier to compose when in DX mode. The D700 only provides you with a black rectangle that shows you the approximate image area of the DX frame.
  • 148. Chapter 4 ✦ Selecting and Using Lenses 135 quiet AF. Sigma lenses have won many awardsThird-Party Lenses and are considered a viable and affordable alternative to Nikon’s offerings.Nikon is by no means the only manufacturerof lenses that fit the D700. There are quite a Sigma makes a multitude of different lenses;few different companies that make lenses here are a couple of my personal favorites:that work flawlessly with Nikon cameras. Inthe past, third-party lenses had a bad repu- ✦ 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 HSM. So far,tation of being, at best, cheap knock-offs of this is the absolute widest full-the original manufacturers’ lenses. This is frame rectilinear lens available onnot the case anymore as a lot of third-party the market. This is one of the mostlens makers have stepped up to the plate fun lenses that I own. It gives youand started releasing lenses that rival some an extreme 122-degree angle ofof the originals (usually at half the price). view. It’s definitely not for everyday use (unless you’re a professionalAlthough you can’t beat Nikon’s professional landscape photographer) due tolenses, there are many excellent third-party the extreme angles and crazy per-lens choices available. The three most prom- spective distortion you get. Theinent third-party lens manufacturers are crazy perspective is what I loveSigma, Tokina, and Tamron. Each company about this lens though. It does havemakes lenses that cover the entire zoom its drawbacks, however. The cor-range. ners are quite soft, especially wide open, and aren’t much better when stopped down. I usually have toSigma sharpen in post-processing a bit, which makes the images very good.Sigma is a company that has been around It’s not a fast lens, but at this focalfor more than 40 years and was the first lens length, it’s entirely possible to handmanufacturer to make a wide-angle zoom hold the camera at fairly long shut-lens. They make good lenses with a great ter speeds; and if you need somebuild quality. speed, crank up your ISOs — the D700 can handle it. If you’re look-Unlike some companies, about two-thirds of ing for a super-sharp fast lens, youSigma’s lenses are designed around the might want to pass this one up, butFX-format (35mm-sized sensors) and opti- for what I do, I find that this lens ismized for use with digital sensors. I’d say that perfect.Sigma had one eye to the future when design- ✦ 17-35mm f/2.8-4 DG HSM. I ini-ing these lenses, knowing that FX-format sen- tially bought this lens to use as asors would indeed be coming. The Sigma faster alternative to the Nikkorlenses are also available with what they call 18-55mm that came with the D60.HSM, or Hyper-Sonic Motor. This is an AF I expected to sell it once I sold themotor that is built inside the lens and oper- D60. However, I found it was suchates in a similar fashion to Nikon’s AF-S or a solid performer that I couldn’t getSilent Wave Motor. It allows very fast and rid of it. It’s reasonably sharp, has
  • 149. 136 Part II ✦ Capturing Great Images with the Nikon D700 an acceptably fast aperture, and is they do make a few full-frame lenses that are super-quiet and light. I generally designated Di, or Digitally Integrated, to bet- use it as a walking-around lens. It’s ter suit the needs of digital sensors. The one perfect for photojournalism-type thing that Tamron offers is FX super-zooms shots and street photography. This that cover a wide range of focal lengths. lens is not to be confused with the Tamron is currently the only manufacturer to original version that lacks the digi- offer a wide-angle to super-telephoto lens of tally integrated (DG) designation. 28-300mm with Vibration Compensation DG lenses are designed for use (VC) that can be compared to Nikon’s VR. with digital sensors. The original Here are a couple good options: lens suffered from very soft images; the DG version is better. ✦ Tamron 28-300 f/3.5-6.3 Di XR VC. This is pretty much a cover-all lens. For an FX camera, it covers all the focal lengths you’re likely to need. Of course, with this huge zoom range, you make concessions with quality. It’s a pretty good per- former when it comes to image sharpness, but you will definitely need some additional sharpening in post-processing (or you can add sharpness in a Custom Picture Control). The lens also has some barrel distortion at 28mm, but it’s gone by the 50mm setting. At 100- 300mm, you see pronounced pin- cushion distortion. Again, you can fix all this in post-processing. This lens is by no means fast with a vari- able aperture, but the VC can help with that. The main problem is that at longer focal lengths, the camera tends to hunt for focus due to the light fall-off. If you’re looking for an4.12 The Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 all-in-one lens and you don’t mind a few quirks, then this lens isn’t too bad — especially for its low price.Tamron ✦ Tamron 200-500mm f/5-6.3 DiTamron is another lens manufacturer that LD. This a super-telephoto lenshas been making lenses for the Nikon with a pretty good zoom range. TheF-mount for some time. Tamron’s offerings 200-500mm makes a perfect lensare somewhat slimmer for FX cameras, but for wildlife or sports photographers
  • 150. Chapter 4 ✦ Selecting and Using Lenses 137 (as long as you have ample light). around. To be fair, this lens isn’t considered For the most part, I’ve found this to be a “pro” grade lens and I only paid $200 lens almost excellent. It’s relatively for it, but for not much more than $200, you sharp and has good contrast — a can get a Sigma 17-35mm that’s faster and great performer for a lens in this better all around. price range. The only major prob- lem with it is that it tends to have While I have had limited exposure to them, a lot of CA in the corners of the Tokina’s DX lenses are reputed to be some of frame. (CA is generally more the best. You’ll find many reviews of Tokina noticeable in the corners.) If you’re lenses on the Internet, and if you’re consider- shooting sports or wildlife profes- ing buying a Tokina, do some research. sionally, you may want to use one of Nikon’s pro super-telephoto primes, but for most general applications, this lens performs extremely well. Lens Accessories Many types of accessories are available for your lenses. Some are as simple as a lensTokina cap that keeps the dust off of your lens andTokina manufactures mostly DX lenses at this protects it from scratches. Others are moretime, but that’s likely to change in the near important, such as a lens hood that blocksfuture with full-frame cameras being pro- light from the front element of the lens,duced by more manufacturers. That being helping to reduce ghosting and flare whilesaid, Tokina does offer a few FX lenses. also supplying a modicum of protection forCurrently, Tokina offers a 100mm f/2.8 your lens.macro, an 80-400mm super-zoom, a Other accessories can allow you to do things28-70mm and 28-80mm f/2.8, and a wide- with your lens that aren’t normally possible,angle 19-35mm f/3.5-4.5. I’ve only used two such as making the focusing distance closerTokina lenses in my career, the 12-24mm f/4 and extending the range. This isn’t meant toDX, and the 19-35mm f/3.4-4.5. I’ve had be a comprehensive guide to all of the lensmixed luck with Tokina. I loved the 12-24mm accessories available, but a short list to letlens on my D200 and D300. It was very sharp you know about some of the most usefulwith little CA — an excellent lens. On the accessories out there.other hand, the Tokina 19-35mm was a com-plete disappointment. The build quality wasabysmal: The first day I had it one of thescrews from the switch on the side fell out. A Teleconverterscouple of days later, the rubber grip on the In some cases, you may need a lens that haszoom ring came loose and would slide all a longer focal length than the lenses youaround. The images I shot were plagued with own. You may want a 600mm lens to reallymassive CA and lots of flare, and they were get close up to a faraway subject, but youunbelievably soft and lacked contrast all don’t necessarily want to spend the money
  • 151. 138 Part II ✦ Capturing Great Images with the Nikon D700on an expensive 600mm prime lens. Not all teleconverters work withFortunately, Nikon, as well as some other all lenses and some lenses can-lens manufacturers, offer teleconverters. A not work with a teleconverter atteleconverter attaches to your camera all. Additionally, some telecon-between the lens and the camera body and verters can cause damage toextends the focal length, giving you extra the lens or camera if they’re used improperly. Check with azoom and magnification. There are different reputable camera shop beforesizes of teleconverters: Nikon offers a 1.4X, a using a teleconverter.1.7X, and 2X. Some other manufacturersoffer different sizes, including and up to 3X. Extension tubesThere are some drawbacks to using telecon-verters. With the extended range you gain in Extension tubes also attach between thefocal length, you lose some light. The tele- camera body and the lens, similar to a tele-converter effectively makes your lens any- converter, but they function completely dif-where from 1 to 3 stops slower than normal. ferently. While the teleconverter allows youThe 1.4X teleconverter causes you to lose 1 to increase the focal length of your lens, anstop of light, while using a 3X model causes extension tube simply moves the lens far-you to lose a very noticeable 3 stops of light. ther from the image sensor. Extension tubesThis will cause your f/2.8 lens to function give you a closer focusing distance so yourwith an effective f/8 aperture. While this lens can get more magnification of themay not be a problem during a bright sunny subject, making it possible to take macroday, in a low-light condition, you may run photos with a regular lens and giving youinto some problems. increased magnification when used with a macro lens.Additionally, the AF systems on most cam-eras need a specific amount of light to func- As with teleconverters, when you add antion. Attaching a teleconverter to a lens with extension tube, you effectively reduce youra maximum aperture of less than f/2.8 can maximum aperture and lose some light.cause the AF function to not work properly Unlike teleconverters, extension tubes haveor to not work at all. Within Nikon’s autofo- no optical elements in them; they are sim-cus system, the threshold for the AF sensor ply open tubes. Additionally, extension tubesis f/5.6. are offered in both AF and MF options.Finally, with the inclusion of additional lenselements and the longer focal length, tele- Filtersconverters cause you to lose some sharp- In the days before Photoshop, when pho-ness in your image. The higher-priced tographers needed to add a special effect toteleconverters, like the ones offered by their photographs, they often would add aNikon, give you sharper overall images than filter to the lens. Filters provide a wide rangethe lower-priced teleconverters offered by of effects; some add a color tint to thethird-party manufacturers. Teleconvertersare available in both AF and MF versions.
  • 152. Chapter 4 ✦ Selecting and Using Lenses 139photograph while others neutralize a color for use with digital cameras arecast. (For example, you might use a filter to usually the best bet. I use acompensate for the color of a tungsten light Rodenstock HR Digital Multi-coatedbulb.) Other filters block certain wavelengths UV filter on most of my lenses.of light or add a special effect, such as a star ✦ ND (neutral density) filters. This ispattern in the highlight areas of a photo- another commonly used filter. NDgraph. You can now replicate many tradi- filters reduce the amount of lighttional photo filters using Photoshop or some that reaches the sensor withoutother image-editing software. However, you changing the color. They’re usedcannot replicate a few filters with software, to prevent blown-out highlightssuch as the following: caused by extremely bright lighting conditions, such as when you’re at For more info on color casts and a beach with white sand on a white balance, see Chapter 2. bright sunny day. You can also use these filters to achieve a slower ✦ UV (ultraviolet) filters. This is by shutter speed when you need a far the most common filter found long exposure, there is too much on camera lenses these days. UV light on the subject, and reducing filters block UV light, resulting in a the ISO is out of the question. And sharper image. These filters can you can use these filters to increase also reduce the effect of atmo- the shutter speed and use a wider spheric haze in landscape photos aperture to achieve a shallow of distant subjects. Most people depth of field. ND filters normally also use these filters to protect the come in three versions: ND-2, front element of the lens from get- which absorbs 1 stop of light; ting scratched or damaged. To be ND-4, which absorbs 2 stops of fair, there are those people who light; and ND-8, which absorbs 3 doubt the validity of using these fil- stops of light. You can also find an ters because, at lower elevations, ND-400 filter, which effectively UV light is not abundant enough to reduces the amount of light by 9 adversely affect the image. In addi- stops. tion, the sensors on dSLR cameras usually already have some sort of ✦ Graduated ND filters. These filters UV filter built in. Some people also are similar to standard ND filters claim that putting a lower-quality except that the ND coating of the glass filter on an expensive lens filters is faded out, covering only lessens the quality of the images. I about half of the filter. These filters have a UV filter on almost all of my are used mostly for landscape pho- lenses at all times (mostly for pro- tography, to even out the exposure tection). Ultimately, the decision is between the sky and the land (or yours. When selecting a UV filter for water) area. your lens, I recommend buying the ✦ Polarizing filters. When light is best one you can afford. Filters that reflected off any surface, it tends are multi-coated and designated to scatter randomly, and the
  • 153. 140 Part II ✦ Capturing Great Images with the Nikon D700 polarizing filter takes these random on ultra-wide-angle lenses can scattered light rays and makes cause uneven results due to the them directional, thereby reducing change of the angle of the sun over or even eliminating the glare from the entire image area. For the best reflective surfaces. Polarizing filters effect, use a lens of 28mm or lon- are almost invaluable when photo- ger. It is important to note that as graphing landscapes; they can cut there are two types of polarizing fil- down the atmospheric haze and ters, linear and circular, if your cam- add contrast and increased satura- era has Through-the-Lens metering tion to the image. The effect of a and/or autofocus, as almost all do polarizer on skies is most evident; it today, you will need a circular increases the contrast between the polarizer. clouds and the sky. Many people ✦ IR (infrared) filters. These filters also use the polarizer as a type of block almost the entire visible light ND filter because it reduces the spectrum, allowing only IR light, exposure by 1/2 to 1 stop of light. which is invisible to the naked eye, Polarizing filters are mounted on a to pass through to the sensor. The rotating ring that allows you to resulting images are very ethereal, rotate the filter to achieve the dreamlike, and often surreal. In IR maximum effect of the filter. photography, the skies are very Polarization works the best when dark and vegetation glows a ghostly your subject is at a 90-degree angle white. Because almost all of the to the sun (side lit). When photo- light is being blocked, IR photogra- graphing a subject where the sun is phy requires long shutter speeds 180 degrees to your subject (front and a tripod. lit), the polarizing filter will have almost no effect. When composing There are many more types of filters avail- your image, rotate the filter ele- able (warming filters, cooling filters, star fil- ment until you see maximum ters, and so forth). A quick search on the contrast; this should be easily Web will yield many more results. noticeable. Using polarizing filters
  • 154. EssentialPhotographyConcepts ✦ 5 C H A P T E R ✦ ✦ ✦ In This ChapterF Exposure or some of you, this chapter contains well-known con- Understanding depth cepts, while for others, it is a good refresher. Some of of fieldthis information may even be brand-new if you are just step-ping into the world of dSLR photography. If you are an Exposure compensationadvanced user, you may choose to skip this chapter, althoughyou may discover some new information or something you ✦ ✦ ✦ ✦may have forgotten. This chapter covers information on expo-sure, the effects aperture has on depth of field, and some tipsand hints on how to use histograms, bracketing, and expo-sure compensation.ExposureThe exposure is the basis of photography. In basic terms,exposure is the amount of light that falls on your sensor (orfilm). Note that the term exposure doesn’t necessarily meanthe amount of light that’s needed to expose your image prop-erly. There are good exposures and bad exposures. Whetheran exposure is good or bad also depends on the subject andthe photographer’s artistic vision. Underexposures and over-exposures are usually considered “bad,” unless the effect ithas on the image is good — then it falls into the good expo-sure category. Basically, it boils down to the fact there is nosuch thing as a bad exposure so long as the exposure worksfor the image in question.An exposure is made of three elements that are all interre-lated. Each depends on the others to create a good exposure.If one of the elements changes, the others must increase ordecrease proportionally.
  • 155. 142 Part II ✦ Capturing Great Images with the Nikon D700The following are the elements you need to Using fast shutter speedsconsider: Any shutter speed from about 1/500 to 1/8000 second is a fast shutter speed, mean- ✦ Shutter speed. The shutter speed ing that the time your sensor is exposed to determines the length of time the the light is very brief. To achieve a fast shutter sensor is exposed to light. speed (while still getting a proper exposure), ✦ ISO sensitivity. The ISO setting you you will need a lot of light. To get this light, choose influences your camera’s you will need to open up your aperture or sensitivity to light. raise your ISO setting to make the most of ✦ Aperture/f-stop. The aperture, or the available light. First and foremost, the f-stop, controls how much light reason to use a fast shutter speed is to stop reaches the sensor of your camera. the motion of fast moving objects. A fast Each camera has an adjustable shutter speed shows you a moment frozen opening on the lens. As you change in time. One of the cool things about high- the aperture (the opening), you speed photography is that it allows you to allow more or less light to reach see things your eyes can’t detect. the sensor. Sports photos are a prime candidate for fast shutter speeds. It doesn’t matter what sportShutter speed you’re photographing; there is usually fastShutter speed is the amount of time light movement involved, and using a slow toentering from the lens is allowed to expose moderate shutter speed is going to intro-the image sensor. Obviously, if the shutter is duce blur into your image (although youopen longer, more light can reach the sen- can use this creatively, as I discuss later).sor. The shutter speed can also affect the Freezing the motion often gives a sense ofsharpness of your images. When using a action to the image.longer focal length lens, a faster shutter The next most useful application of a fastspeed is required to counteract camera shutter speed is to prevent blur from camerashake, which can cause blur. When taking shake. As most of you know, longer lensesphotographs in low light, a slow shutter tend to accentuate any shaking that is causedspeed is often required, which can also by handholding the camera. This can causecause blur from camera shake or fast mov- your images to look blurry even though youring subjects. focus was spot on. The cure for camera shakeD700 shutter speeds appear as whole num- is to use a fast shutter speed. The rule ofbers on the displays but they are actually thumb is that you want to use a shutterfractions of a second. The D700 shutter speed that has a reciprocal that’s near to thespeeds range from a very long 30 seconds focal length of the lens (1/60 second for ato an extremely short 1/8000 second (fast 50mm lens, 1/100 second for a 105mm lens,enough to freeze almost any type of action). and so on). When using extremely long tele-As with aperture settings, you can use shutter photo lenses, especially at 200mm and lon-speeds creatively to make your images more ger, the camera shake is magnified evendynamic or even ethereal, as you will see.
  • 156. Chapter 5 ✦ Essential Photography Concepts 1435.1 In this image, a fast shutter speed of 1/3200 second freezes the motion of theskateboarder in mid-air.greater. At 1/200 second using a 200mm, ✦ Show action. Just as you can use ayou’re going to have to be pretty steady to fast shutter speed to catch action,get a sharp shot (without Vibration Reduction, you can use a slow one to show it.or VR), or crank up that shutter speed. Using The best way is to pan, or movea faster shutter speed may also free you up your lens, in the same direction asfrom needing a tripod. the subject is moving. When you do this properly, the subject will be in sharp focus, but the backgroundUsing slow shutter speeds will have motion blur, giving theThe real creative stuff starts when you slow still photo the illusion of move-the shutter speed down. You can create ment. The shutter speed you usemany cool effects simply by doing a long depends on how fast the subject isexposure. You can show action with pan- actually moving. For fast movingning and motion blur, and can make inter- subjects such as racecars or motor-esting light trails. You can shoot fireworks cycles, you can get away with usingand much more. Here’s how to do some of a shutter speed up to 1/320 sec-these effects: ond. For slower moving subjects
  • 157. 144 Part II ✦ Capturing Great Images with the Nikon D7005.2 This panning shot was taken at 1/60 second, allowing the wheels and the backgroundto blur out to give a sense of speed to the shot. like football or soccer players, you about 4 seconds and an aperture can use a much slower shutter between f/8 and f/11 is generally speed. A little bit of experimenta- recommended for fireworks tion is usually in order to figure out photography. exactly what shutter speed works ✦ Blur water. This is a very common for your shot. technique that has grown in popu- ✦ Create light trails. Using an extra- larity, especially since the advent of long shutter speed can cause mov- digital photography. Using a slow ing light sources to create trails in shutter speed gives the moving your image. For the most part, it’s water a glassy and ethereal look best to use a tripod in this situa- that is quite interesting. This is also tion, but sometimes holding the a situation where you’d want to camera in your hand can result in use a tripod. some pretty interesting effects. There are a few pitfalls that you may come ✦ Capture fireworks. Setting your across when doing long exposures; long camera up on a tripod and opening exposure noise and camera shake are the the shutter up for a few seconds allows you to capture fireworks most common. in full bloom. Using a shutter of
  • 158. Chapter 5 ✦ Essential Photography Concepts 1455.3 Using a shutter speed of 1/2 second allowed me to capture lighttrails to add some interest to this shot. ISO The ISO (International Organization for Standardization) setting is how you can determine how sensitive your camera is to light. The higher the ISO number, the less light you need to take a photograph, mean- ing the more sensitive the sensor is to light. For example, you might choose an ISO of 200 on a bright, sunny day when you are photographing outside because you have plenty of light. However, on a dark, cloudy day, you want to consider an ISO of 400 or higher to make sure your camera captures all the available light. This allows you to use a faster shutter speed should it be appropri- ate for the subject you are photographing. It is helpful to know that each ISO setting is twice as sensitive to light as the previous setting. For example, at ISO 400, your cam- era is twice as sensitive to light as it is at ISO 200. This means it needs only half the light at ISO 400 that it needs at ISO 200 to achieve the same exposure.5.4 A shutter speed of 8 seconds allowedthe water to blur.
  • 159. 146 Part II ✦ Capturing Great Images with the Nikon D700Additionally, the D700 allows you to adjust ✦ Smaller f-stop numbers equalthe ISO in 1/3-stop increments (100, 125, wider apertures. A small f-stop160, 200, and so on), which enables you to such as f/2.8, for example, opensfine-tune your ISO to reduce the noise inher- the lens so more light reaches theent with higher ISO settings. sensor. If you have a wide aperture (opening), the amount of time the shutter needs to stay open to let light into the camera decreases. ✦ Larger f-stop numbers equal nar- rower apertures. A large f-stop such as f/11, for example, closes the lens so less light reaches the sensor. If you have a narrow aper- ture (opening), the amount of time the shutter needs to stay open to let light into the camera increases. Deciding what aperture to use depends on what kind of photo you are going to take. If you need a fast shutter speed to freeze action, and you don’t want to raise the ISO, you can use a wide aperture to let more available light in to the sensor. Conversely, if the scene is very bright, you may want to use a small aperture to avoid overexposure.5.5 This image shows digital noise resultingfrom using a high ISO. Notice that the noise Understandingis more prevalent in the darker areas of theimage. Depth of Field Depth of field is the distance range in a pho- tograph in which all included portions of anAperture image are acceptably sharp. It is heavilyAperture is the size of the opening in the lens affected by aperture, but how far your cam-that determines the amount of light that era is from the subject can also have anreaches the image sensor. The aperture is effect. Here’s how it works.controlled by a metal diaphragm that oper- When you focus your lens on a certain point,ates in a similar fashion to the iris of your eye. everything that lies on the horizontal plane ofAperture is expressed as f-stop numbers, that same distance is also in focus. This meanssuch as f/2.8, f/5.6, and f/8. A few important everything in front of the point and everythingthings to know about aperture include behind it is technically not in focus. Because our eyes aren’t acute enough to discern the
  • 160. Chapter 5 ✦ Essential Photography Concepts 147minor blur that occurs directly in front of and the circle of confusion is larger, resulting indirectly behind the point of focus, it still decreased depth of field and a softer, moreappears sharp. This is known as the zone of blurred background (and foreground). Whenacceptable sharpness, or depth of field. the aperture is closed down, the circle of confusion is smaller, resulting in increasedThis zone of acceptable sharpness is based depth of field and causing everything in theon the circle of confusion. The circle of con- image to appear sharp.fusion simplified is the largest blurred circlethat is perceived by the human eye as There are two types of depth of field:acceptably sharp. ✦ Shallow depth of field. This results A few factors go into determin- in an image where the subject is in ing the size of the circle of sharp focus, but the background has confusion, such as visual acuity, a soft blur. You likely have seen it viewing distance, and enlarge- used frequently in portraits. Using a ment size. wide aperture, such as f/2.8, resultsCircles of confusion are formed by light pass- in a subject that is sharp with a softer background. Using a shallowing through the body of a lens. Changing the depth of field is a great way to getsize of the circle of confusion is as easy as rid of distracting elements in theopening up or closing down your aperture. background of an image.Therefore, when you open up the aperture,5.6 An image with a shallow depth of field has only the main subject in focus.
  • 161. 148 Part II ✦ Capturing Great Images with the Nikon D7005.7 An image with a deep depth of field has most of the image in focus. ✦ Deep depth of field. This results in small apertures. Conversely, when the sub- an image that is reasonably sharp ject you are focusing on is farther away, the from the foreground to the back- depth of field is increased. ground. Using a narrow aperture, such as f/11, is ideal to keep pho- tographs of landscapes or groups in focus throughout. Exposure Remember, to enlarge your depth of field, you want a large Compensation f-stop number; to shrink your Your camera’s meter may not always be com- depth of field, you want a small pletely accurate. There are a lot of variables in f-stop number. most scenes, and large bright or dark areasSubject distance also plays an important can trick the meter into thinking a scene ispart when considering depth of field. When brighter or darker than it really is, causing thefocusing on a subject that is close to the image to be over- or underexposed. Exposurelens, the depth of field is reduced. This compensation is a feature of the D700 thatexplains why when you’re doing macro pho- allows you to fine-tune the amount of expo-tography, the depth of field is extremely sure to vary from what is set by the camera’sshallow, even when you’re using relatively exposure meter. Although you can usually
  • 162. Chapter 5 ✦ Essential Photography Concepts 149adjust the exposure of the image in your the bracketed images with different expo-image-editing software (especially if you shoot sures to create one image using post-RAW), it’s best to get the exposure right in the processing software.camera to be sure that you have the highestimage quality. If after taking the photograph,you review it and it’s too dark or too light, you Histogramscan adjust the exposure compensation and The easiest way to determine if you need toretake the picture to get a better exposure. adjust the exposure compensation is to sim-Exposure Compensation is adjusted in EV ply preview your image. If it looks too dark,(Exposure Value), 1 EV is equal to 1 stop of add some exposure compensation; if it’s toolight. You adjust exposure compensation by bright, adjust the exposure compensationpressing the Exposure Compensation button, down. This, however, is not the most accu-next to the Shutter Release button, and rotat- rate method of determining how muching the Main Command dial to the left for exposure compensation to use. To accu-more exposure (+EV) or to the right for less rately determine how much exposure com-exposure (–EV). Depending on your settings, pensation to add or subtract, look at thethe exposure compensation is adjusted in histogram. A histogram is a visual represen-1/3, 1/2, or 1 stop of light. You can change tation of the tonal values in your image.this setting in the Custom Settings menus Think of it as a bar graph that charts the(CSM b3). lights, darks, and mid-tones in your picture.You can adjust the exposure compensation The histogram charts a tonal range of aboutup to +5 EV and down to –5 EV, which is a 5 stops, which is about the limit of what thelarge range of 10 stops. To remind you that D700’s sensor can record. This range is bro-exposure compensation has been set, the ken down into 256 separate brightness lev-exposure compensation indicator is dis- els from 0 (absolute black) to 255 (absoluteplayed on the top LCD control panel and the white), with 128 coming in at middle or 18viewfinder display. It also appears on the percent gray. The more pixels there are atrear LCD screen when the shooting info is any given brightness value, the higher thebeing displayed. bar. If there are no bars, then the image has no pixels in that brightness range. Be sure to reset the exposure compensation to 0 after you’re done to avoid unwanted over- The D700 offers four separate histogram or underexposure. views, the luminance histogram, which shows the brightness levels of the entireThere are a few different ways to get the image, and three separate histograms forexact exposure that you want. You can use each color channel — red, green, and blue.the histogram to determine whether youneed to add or subtract from your exposure; The most useful histogram for determiningyou can also use bracketing to take a num- if your exposure needs adjusting is the lumi-ber of exposures and choose from the one nance histogram. To display the luminancethat you think is best; or you can combine histogram, simply press the Multi-selector
  • 163. 150 Part II ✦ Capturing Great Images with the Nikon D700 shadows low midtones high midtones highlights5.8 A representation of the tonal range of a histogramup while viewing the image on the LCD. This 4. Use the Multi-selector to high-displays a thumbnail of the current image, light menu option f2 Multi-the shooting info, and a small luminance selector center button. Presshistogram. You can also view a larger ver- OK or the Multi-selector right.sion of the luminance histogram directly 5. Choose Playback mode from theoverlaid on the current image. You can set menu options by pressing thethis up in the CSM f2 assigning this function Multi-selector down. Press OK orto the Multi-selector center button when in the Multi-selector right.Playback mode. 6. Choose Playback mode from the menu options. Press the Multi-To view the luminance histogram using the selector right to view options.Multi-selector center button, follow thesesteps: 7. Select View histograms. Press OK or the Multi-selector center button 1. Press the Menu button. to save the setting. 2. Use the Multi-selector to select Once you’ve followed these steps, press the the Custom Settings Menu (CSM). Playback button to view an image, and press 3. Use the Multi-selector to high- the Multi-selector center button to view the light CSM f, Controls. Press OK or histogram. the Multi-selector right to view CSM f options.
  • 164. Chapter 5 ✦ Essential Photography Concepts 1515.9 An example of a histogram from an 5.10 An example of a histogram from anoverexposed image (no highlight detail). underexposed image (no shadow detail).Notice the spikes at the far right of the Notice the spikes at the far left of the graph.graph. for most average types of images. As withIdeally, you want to expose your subject so almost everything in photography, there arethat it falls right about in the middle of the exceptions to the rule. If you take a photo oftonal range, which is why your camera’s a dark subject on a dark background (a low-meter exposes for 18 percent gray. If your key image), then naturally your histogramhistogram graph has most of the informa- will have most of the tones bunched up ontion bunched up on the left side, then your the left side of the graph. Conversely, whenimage is probably underexposed; if it’s you take a photograph of a light subject onbunched up on the right side, then your a light background (a high-key image), theimage is probably overexposed. Ideally, with histogram will have most of the tonesmost average subjects that aren’t bright bunched up to the right.white or extremely dark, you want to try toget your histogram to look sort of like a bell The most important thing to remember iscurve, with most of the tones in the middle that there is no such thing as a perfect histo-range, tapering off as they get to the dark gram. A histogram is just a factual represen-and light ends of the graph. But, this is only tation of the tones in the image. The other
  • 165. 152 Part II ✦ Capturing Great Images with the Nikon D700important thing to remember is thatalthough it’s okay for the graph to be nearone side or the other, you usually don’t wantyour histogram to have spikes bumping upagainst the edge of the graph; this indicatesyour image has blown-out highlights (com-pletely white, with no detail) or blocked-upshadow areas (completely black, with nodetail).Now that you know a little bit about histo-grams, you can use them to adjust exposurecompensation. Here is a good set of steps tofollow when using the histogram as a toolto evaluate your photos: 1. After taking your picture, review its histogram on the LCD. To view the histogram in the image pre- view, press the Playback button to view the image. Press the Multi- selector up, and the histogram appears directly to the right of the image preview. 5.11 An example of a histogram from a properly exposed image. Notice that the 2. Look at the histogram. An exam- graph does not spike against the edge on ple of an ideal histogram can be the left or the right, but tapers off. seen in figure 5.11. 3. Adjust the exposure compensa- When photographing brightly colored sub- tion. To move the tones to the right jects, it may sometimes be necessary to to capture more highlight detail, add a little exposure compen- refer to the RGB histograms. Sometimes it’s sation by pressing the Exposure possible to overexpose an image only in Compensation button and rotating one single color channel, even though the the Main Command dial to the left. rest of the image looks to be properly To move the tones to the left, press exposed. To view the separate RGB histo- the Exposure Compensation button grams, you need to set the display mode in and rotate the Main Command dial the Playback menu. to the left. 4. Retake the photograph if neces- sary. After taking another picture, review the histogram again. If needed, adjust the exposure com- pensation more until you achieve the desired exposure.
  • 166. Chapter 5 ✦ Essential Photography Concepts 1535.12 An example of a histogram from a low- 5.13 An example of a histogram from akey image. high-key image.To view RGB histograms: 5. When the option is set, use the Multi-selector to scroll up to the 1. Press the Menu button. Done option. If you fail to select Done, the setting will not be saved. 2. Use the Multi-selector to select the Playback menu. It’s possible for any one of the color chan- 3. Use the Multi-selector to high- nels to become overexposed, or blow out, light Display mode. Press the OK as some photographers call it, although the button or the Multi-selector right to most commonly blown-out channel is the view the menu options. red channel. Digital camera sensors seem to 4. Use the Multi-selector to scroll be more prone to overexposing the red down to Menu option Detailed channel because these sensors are gener- photo info RGB histogram. ally more sensitive to red colors. When one Pressing the Multi-selector right of these color channels is overexposed, the sets the option to on. This is con- histogram is similar to the luminance histo- firmed by a small check mark in a gram of a typical overexposed image. box next to the option.
  • 167. 154 Part II ✦ Capturing Great Images with the Nikon D700Typically, the best way to deal with an image 5. Choose Auto-bracketing from thethat has an overexposed color channel is to FUNC. button + dials optionsreduce exposure by using exposure com- menu.pensation. Although this a quick fix, reduc- 6. Press the OK button. The Functioning the exposure can also introduce blocked button is now assigned to be usedup shadows; you can deal with this by for auto-bracketing.shooting RAW or, to a lesser extent, by usingActive D-Lighting. Ideally, adding a bit of fill You can assign Auto-bracketinglight to the shadow areas with a reflector or to the Preview button. To setflash is the way to go. Auto-bracketing to the Preview button, use CSM f6. The D700 offers a few different types ofBracketing bracketing:Another way to ensure that you get theproper exposure is to bracket your expo- ✦ Auto-exposure and flash. Thissures. Bracketing is a photographic tech- bracketing option varies both thenique in which you vary the exposure of exposure compensation and theyour subject over three or more frames. By flash output.doing this, you are able to get the proper ✦ Auto-exposure only. This bracket-exposure in difficult lighting situations ing option varies the exposurewhere your camera’s meter can be fooled. compensation.Bracketing is usually done with at least one ✦ Flash only. This bracketing optionexposure under and one exposure over the adjusts the flash output.metered exposure. ✦ White Balance bracketing. WhiteYou can bracket your images manually or you Balance bracketing takes an imagecan choose to use the D700’s auto-bracketing and saves multiple copies of thefunction. To use the auto-bracketing function, same image with small adjust-you must set the Function button to Auto- ments to the white balance (WB).bracketing. To do this, follow these steps: This ensures that you get the proper WB. This option cannot be 1. Press the Menu button. used when shooting RAW files. 2. Use the Multi-selector to enter the To set the exposure or WB bracketing: CSM. Scroll down to CSM f / Controls. Press the Multi-selector right 1. Press the Menu button to display 3. Scroll down to CSM f5, Assign menu options. Use the Multi- FUNC. button. Press the Multi- selector to enter the CSM. selector right to choose the FUNC. 2. Scroll down to CSM. Press the button options. Multi-selector right. 4. Use the Multi-selector button to 3. Use the Multi-selector up or choose the FUNC. button + dials down to highlight CSM e5 (Auto- option. Press the Multi-selector right. bracketing set). Press the Multi- selector right to display options.
  • 168. Chapter 5 ✦ Essential Photography Concepts 155 4. Use the Multi-selector to high- images are underexposed. As with light the type of bracketing you the other settings, the increments want. This can be AE only, Flash, can be adjusted from 0.3, 0.7, or WB, and so on. Press the OK but- 1.0 EV. ton or Multi-selector right to set. Now that you understand all your options,Once auto-bracketing is set to the Function to activate Auto-bracketing, follow thesebutton, you can choose from a number of steps:different options: 1. Press and hold the Function but- ✦ Choose 3, 5, 7, or 9 frames. This ton. Look at the LCD control panel option gives you more variations of on the top of the camera. If Auto- the exposure or WB. bracketing is off, the LCD displays 0FF, meaning you are not bracket- ✦ Vary the exposure increments ing any frames. from 0.3, 0.7, and 1.0 stops. Choosing a higher exposure incre- 2. While still holding the Function ment gives you a wider variation button, rotate the Main than choosing a lower increment. Command dial to the right to For example, choosing a 5-frame choose the number of frames to bracket at 0.3 EV gives you a series bracket. Choose from 3, 5, 7, or 9 of exposures where your images shots. Rotate the dial to the left to range only ± 2/3 stop over and choose +2, +3, –2, or –3 (two under the original exposure. The frames over or under or three series of exposure compensation frames over or under). will range as follows: –0.7, –0.3, 0, 3. With the Function button still +0.3, +0.7. Choosing a 5-frame pressed, rotate the Sub-command bracket at 1.0 EV gives a much dial to choose the exposure com- wider series of exposures. This pensation increments. Choose gives you a 5 stop range: 2 stops from 0.3, 0.7, or 1.0 EV. over, 2 stops under, plus the origi- nal exposure. The range of expo- Once you have chosen your settings, release sure compensation is as follows: the Function button and shoot the photos. –2.0, –1.0, 0, +1.0, +2.0. Shoot the specified number of images for ✦ Choose two frames under- or your bracket set. You can choose to shoot overexposed, or three frames them one at a time using the Single shoot- over- or underexposed. When you ing mode, or you can press and hold the choose to only overexpose or only shutter until the bracket set is completed underexpose your bracketed shots, using Continuous shooting mode. choosing +2 frames gives you one image shot at normal exposure and In CSM e7 you can change the order in one shot overexposed; choosing which the bracketed images are taken. At +3 frames gives you two shots the default setting, the camera first takes the overexposed and one normal expo- metered exposure, then follows with the sure. Conversely, choosing –2 or –3 underexposed images, and then finishes up frames gives you the same range as with the overexposed images. You can also the overexposures except the
  • 169. 156 Part II ✦ Capturing Great Images with the Nikon D700choose to have the camera begin with theunderexposures with the metered exposureand finish up with the overexposures. Thisgives you a series of images that run fromdarkest to lightest. You must go back into the Auto- bracketing menu and change the setting to 0FF to disable Auto- bracketing; otherwise the cam- era will continue to bracket all of your images whether you 5.14 An image bracketed at –2 EV want it to or not.In addition to helping ensure that you got thecorrect exposure, you can also use differentelements from the exposures and combinethem using image-editing software to get afinal image that has a wider tonal range thanis possible for your image sensor to capture.This technique is known as HDR, or HighDynamic Range. You can use a few differentprograms to create an HDR image. PhotoshopCreative Suite 3 (CS3), as well asCS2, has atool called Merge to HDR that enables you to 5.15 An image bracketed at –1 EVselect two or more images (using three tofive images is recommended) and automati-cally merges the separate images for you.Although HDR is a very good tool for gettingmore tonal range in your images, be carefulnot to overuse it. In recent years, photogra-phers have had the tendency to take thistechnology too far, creating unrealistic, overlyprocessed looking images. Although somephotographers like this look, I find it tacky,kind of like a velvet Elvis painting.The following is a sequence of bracketed 5.16 An image bracketed at 0 EVimages. The auto-bracketing was set to AEonly, 5 frames, and the EV increment wasset to 1 to show the broad range of expo-sures you can get with bracketing.
  • 170. Chapter 5 ✦ Essential Photography Concepts 157 White Balance bracketing When using WB bracketing, the setup is the same, but there’s some different terminol- ogy and some different effects happening. WB bracketing gives you a shot with a stan- dard WB and also gives you shots that are cooler (blue) or warmer (amber).5.17 An image bracketed at +1 EV Holding down the Function button (or whichever button you have selected for WB bracketing) and rotating the Main Command dial to the right (from the default setting of 0 frames) allows you to choose how many frames to bracket. You can choose 3, 5, 7, or 9 frames. This option gives you a series of images that range from amber to blue. Rotating the Main Command dial to the left (from the default setting) allows you to choose the option of shooting two or three images of either amber or blue. For exam- ple, A2 gives you two images, one warmer5.18 An image bracketed at +2 EV than the next. You can choose from A2, B2, A3, or B3. Instead of setting the EV increments with the Sub-command dial as you would for exposure compensation, for the WB option, you adjust the WB increments. The options are 1, 2, or 3. The higher numbers give you a more pronounced change in the WB. Each number increases the color change about 5 Mired (Micro Reciprocal Degrees), so that 1 gives you a change of 5 Mired between images, 2 gives you a change of 10 Mired,5.19 Five images merged to HDR and 3 gives you a difference of 15 Mired.
  • 171. 158 Part II ✦ Capturing Great Images with the Nikon D700The Mired system was developed to deal the Mired number of a specific color tem-with the inconsistencies of the Kelvin color perature, you simply divide 1,000,000 bytemperature system because color tempera- the color temperature (M = 106 / K). Forture produces a greater change in the color example, for Daylight (5000 K) you takeof the light at the lower temperatures than it 1,000,000 and divide by 5000. Your answerdoes at higher temperatures. To figure out is 200, the Mired of daylight.
  • 172. Working withLight ✦ 6 C H A P T E R ✦ ✦ ✦T he most important factor in photography is light; with- out it, your camera is rendered useless. You need lightto make the exposure that results in an image. Whether thelight is recorded to silver halide emulsion on a piece of film or In This Chapter Natural lightto the CMOS sensor on your D700, you can’t make a photo- D700 flash basicsgraph without it. Nikon Creative LightingNot only is light necessary to make an exposure, but it also System basicshas different qualities that can impact the outcome of your Using the built-inimage. Light can be soft and diffuse, or it can be hard and Speedlightdirectional. Light can also have an impact on the color of yourimages; different light sources emit light at different tempera- Studio strobestures, which changes the color cast of the image. Continuous lightingWhen there is not enough light to capture the image you’reafter, or if the available light isn’t suitable for your needs, Light modifiersyou can employ alternative sources of light, such as flash, toachieve the effect you’re after. ✦ ✦ ✦ ✦The ability to control light is a crucial step toward being ableto make images that look exactly how you want them to. Inthis chapter, I explain some of the different types of light andhow to modify them to suit your needs.Natural LightThough it is by far the easiest type of light to find, natural lightis sometimes the most difficult to work with because it comesfrom the sun, is often unpredictable, and can change fromminute to minute. A lot of times I hear people say, “Wow, it’ssuch a nice, sunny day; what a perfect day to take pictures,”but unfortunately this is not often the case. A bright day whenthe sun is high in the sky presents many obstacles.
  • 173. 160 Part II ✦ Capturing Great Images with the Nikon D700First, you have serious contrast issues on a ✦ Use a modifier. Use a reflector tosun-drenched day. Oftentimes, the digital reduce the shadows or a diffusionsensor doesn’t have the latitude to capture panel to block the direct sun fromthe whole scene effectively. For example, it your subject.is nearly impossible to capture detail in theshadows of your subject while keeping thehighlights from blowing out or going com-pletely white.Fortunately, if you want to use natural light,it isn’t necessary to stand in direct sunlightat noon. You can get desirable lightingeffects when working with natural light inmany ways. Here are a few examples: ✦ Use fill flash. You can use the flash as a secondary light source (not as your main light) to fill in the shad- ows and reduce contrast. ✦ Try window lighting. Believe it or not, one of the best ways to use natural light is to go indoors. Seating your model next to a window pro- vides a beautiful soft light that is very flattering. A lot of professional food photographers use window light. It can be used to light almost any subject softly and evenly. ✦ Find some shade. The shade of a 6.1 A food shot, using natural light from a tree or the overhang of an awning or window porch can block the bright sunlight while still giving you plenty of diffuse light with which to light your subject. D700 Flash Basics ✦ Take advantage of the clouds. A A major advantage of the Nikon D700 is the cloudy day softens the light, allow- fact that it has a built-in flash for quick use ing you to take portraits outside without worrying about harsh shad- in low-light situations. Even better is the ows and too much contrast. Even if fact that Nikon has additional flashes called it’s only partly cloudy, you can wait Speedlights, which are much more powerful for a cloud to pass over the sun and versatile than the smaller built-in flash. before taking your shot.
  • 174. Chapter 6 ✦ Working with Light 161Nikon Speedlights are dedicated flash units, of these elements is changed, another onemeaning they are built specifically for use must be changed proportionally to keep thewith the Nikon camera system and offer exposure consistent. The following sectionsmuch more functionality than a non-dedi- cover each element one by one and how tocated flash. A non-dedicated flash is a flash put them together.made by a third-party manufacturer; theflashes usually don’t offer fully automated Guide Numberflash features. There are, however, some The first component in the equation fornon-Nikon flashes that use Nikon’s i-TTL determining proper flash exposure is theflash metering system. The i-TTL system Guide Number (GN), which is a numericallows the flash to operate automatically, value that represents the amount of lightusually resulting in a perfect exposure with- emitted by the flash. You can find the GN forout your having to do any calculations. your specific Speedlight in the owner’s man- ual. The GN changes with the ISO sensitivityAchieving proper to which your camera is set; for example, the GN for a Speedlight at ISO 400 is greaterexposures than the GN for the same Speedlight whenIf you are new to using an external Speedlight it’s set to ISO 100 (because of the increasedflash, exposure can seem confusing when sensitivity of the sensor). The GN also differsyou first attempt to use it. There are a lot of depending on the zoom setting of thesettings you need to know, and there are Speedlight. The owner’s manual has a tabledifferent formulas you can use to get the that breaks down the GNs according to theright exposure. Once you understand the flash output setting and the zoom rangenumbers and where to plug them in, using selected on the Speedlight.the Speedlight becomes quite easy. If you plan to do a lot of manual flash exposures, I suggest mak-If you are using your Speedlight in the i-TTL ing a copy of the GN table frommode, the calculations you would otherwise the owner’s manual and keep itdo manually are done for you, but it’s always in your camera bag with thegood to know how to achieve the same flash.results if you don’t have the technology to If you have access to a flashrely on and to understand how to work with meter, you can determine thethe numbers. When you know these calcu- GN of your Speedlight at anylations, you can use any flash and get excel- setting by placing the meter 10lent results. feet away and firing the flash. Next, take the aperture reading from the flash meter and multi-Three main components go into making a ply by ten. This is the correct GNproperly exposed flash photograph: Guide for your flash.Number (GN), aperture, and distance. If one
  • 175. 162 Part II ✦ Capturing Great Images with the Nikon D700Aperture ✦ A × D = GN. If you already have the right exposure, you can take yourThe second component in the flash expo- aperture setting and multiply it bysure equation is the aperture setting. As you the distance of the flash from thealready know, the wider the aperture, the subject to determine the approxi-more light that falls on the sensor. Using a mate GN of the flash.wider aperture allows you to use a lowerpower setting (such as 1/4 when in Manualmode) on your flash, or if you’re using theautomatic i-TTL mode, the camera fires the Flash exposure modesflash using less power. Flashes have different modes that determine how they receive the information on how to set the exposure. Be aware that, dependingDistance on the Speedlight or flash you are using,The third component in the flash exposure some flash modes may not be available.equation is the distance from the light sourceto the subject. The closer the light is to yoursubject, the more light falls on it. Conversely, i-TTLthe farther away the light source is, the less The D700 determines the proper flash expo-illumination your subject receives. This is sure automatically by using Nikon’s proprie-important because if you set your Speedlight tary i-TTL system. The camera gets most ofto a certain output, you can still achieve a the metering information from monitor pre-proper exposure by moving the Speedlight flashes emitted from the Speedlight. Thesecloser or farther away as needed. preflashes are emitted almost simultane- ously with the main flash so it looks as if the flash has only fired once. The camera alsoGN / Distance = Aperture uses data from the lens, such as distanceHere’s where the GN, aperture, and distance information and f-stop values, to help deter-all come together. The basic formula allows mine the proper flash exposure.you to take the GN and divide it by the dis-tance to determine the aperture at which Additionally, two separate types of i-TTLyou need to shoot. You can change this flash metering are available for the D700:equation to find out what you want to know Standard i-TTL flash and i-TTL Balanced Fill-specifically: Flash (BL). With Standard i-TTL flash, the camera determines the exposure for the ✦ GN / D = A. If you know the GN of subject only, and does not take the back- the flash and the distance of the ground lighting into account. With i-TTL BL flash from the subject, you can mode, the camera attempts to balance the determine the aperture to use to light from the flash with the ambient light to achieve the proper exposure. produce a more natural-looking image. ✦ A / GN = D. If you know the aper- ture you want to use and the GN of When using the D700’s built-in flash, the the flash, you can determine the default mode is the i-TTL BL mode. To switch distance to place your flash from the flash to Standard i-TTL, the camera must the subject. be switched to Spot metering.
  • 176. Chapter 6 ✦ Working with Light 163The Standard i-TTL and i-TTL BL flash modes decide what aperture is best suited for theare available with Nikon’s current Speedlight subject you are photographing, and the flashlineup, including the SB-900, SB-800, SB-600, determines how much light to add to theSB-400, and the R1C1 Macro flash kit. exposure.Manual Guide Number distance priorityWhen you set your Speedlight (either the In the Guide Number distance priority modebuilt-in or accessory flash) to full Manual available with the SB-800 and SB-900, themode, you must adjust the settings yourself. flash controls the output according to aper-The best way to figure out the settings is by ture and subject distance. You manuallyusing a handheld flash meter or by using the enter the distance and f-stop value into theGN / D = A formula I discussed previously. flash unit, and then select the f-stop with the camera. The flash output remains theAuto same if you change the aperture. You can use this mode when you know the distanceWith Speedlights that offer the Auto mode from the camera to the subject.(sometimes referred to as Non-TTL AutoFlash), such as the SB-900 and SB-800, you Changing the aperture or thedecide the exposure setting. These flashes distance to the subject afterusually have a sensor on the front of them entering the setting on the flashthat detects the light reflected back from the can cause improper exposures.subject. When the flash determines enoughlight has been produced to make the expo- Repeating flashsure, it automatically stops the flash tube When in Repeating flash mode, the flash firesfrom emitting any more light. repeatedly like a strobe light during a single exposure. You must manually determine theWhen using this mode, you need to be proper flash output you need to light youraware of the limitations of the flash you are subject using the formula to get the correctusing. If the flash doesn’t have a high GN or aperture (GN / D = A), and then you decidethe subject is too far away, you may need to the frequency (Hz) and the number of timesopen the aperture. Conversely, if the flash is you want the flash to fire. The slower thetoo powerful or the subject is very close, you shutter speed, the more flashes you are ablemay need to stop the aperture down a bit. to capture. For this reason, I recommend only using this mode in low-light situations When using Auto mode with a non-Nikon flash, be sure not to because the ambient light tends to overex- set the D700’s shutter speed pose the image. Use this mode to create a above the rated sync speed, multiple exposure–type image. which is 1/250 second. If you do, you will have an incom- To determine the correct shutter speed, use pletely exposed image. this simple formula: Shutter speed = num- ber of flashes per frame / Hz. For example, ifAuto Aperture you want the flash to fire ten times with aSome flashes, such as the SB-900 and frequency of 40 Hz (40 times per second),SB-800, also offer what is called an Auto divide 10 by 40, which gives you .25 or 1/4Aperture Flash mode. In this mode, you second.
  • 177. 164 Part II ✦ Capturing Great Images with the Nikon D700Flash sync modes you’re using a studio strobe or a third-party flash, this is a concern you should consider.Flash sync modes control how the flashoperates in conjunction with your D700. Limited sync speeds exist because of theThese modes work with both the built-in way shutters in modern cameras work. AsSpeedlight and accessory Speedlights, such you already know, the shutter controls theas the SB-900, SB-800, SB-600, and so on. amount of time the light is allowed to reachThese modes allow you to choose when the the imaging sensor. All dSLR cameras haveflash fires, either at the beginning of the what is called a focal plane shutter. Thisexposure or at the end, and they also allow term stems from the fact that the shutter isyou to keep the shutter open for longer peri- located directly in front of the focal plane,ods, enabling you to capture more ambient which is essentially on the sensor. The focallight in low-light situations. plane shutter has two shutter curtains that travel vertically in front of the sensor to con-Sync speed trol the time the light can enter through the lens. At slower shutter speeds, the front cur-Before getting into the different sync modes, tain covering the sensor moves away, expos-you need to understand sync speed. The ing the sensor to light for a set amount ofsync speed is the fastest shutter speed that time. When the exposure has been made,can be used while achieving a full flash the second curtain then moves in to blockexposure. This means if you set your shutter the light, thus ending the exposure.speed at a speed faster than the rated syncspeed of the camera, you don’t get a full To achieve a faster shutter speed, the sec-exposure and end up with a partially under- ond curtain of the shutter starts closingexposed image. With the D700, you can’t before the first curtain has exposed the sen-actually set the shutter speed above the sor completely. This means the sensor israted sync speed of 1/250 (unless you’re actually exposed by a slit that travels theusing Auto FP High-Speed Sync; more on length of the sensor. This allows your cam-that later) when using a dedicated flash era to have extremely fast shutter speeds,because the camera won’t let you; so no but limits the flash sync speed because theneed to worry about having partially black entire sensor must be exposed to the flashimages when using a Speedlight. But if at once to achieve a full exposure. Auto FP High-Speed Sync Although the D700 has a top-rated sync speed of 1/250, Nikon has built in a convenient option in Custom Settings menu e1 (CSMe1) that allows you to use flash at shutter speeds faster than the rated sync speed. This is called Auto FP High-Speed Sync (the FP stands for focal plane, as in the shutter). Setting CSMe1 to Auto FP allows you to shoot the built-in flash at 1/320 second and other compatible Speedlights (SB-900, SB-800, and SB-600) to a maximum of 1/8000. Earlier I discussed that the sensor must be fully exposed to receive the full flash exposure and that’s limited to 1/250, so how on earth does Auto FP flash work?
  • 178. Chapter 6 ✦ Working with Light 165 It’s pretty simple actually: Instead of firing one single pop, the flash fires multiple times as the shutter curtain travels across the focal plane of the sensor (hence the Auto FP). The only drawback is that your flash power, or GN, is diminished, so you may need to take this into consideration when doing Manual flash calculations. Auto FP is a useful feature. It’s mainly used when shooting in brightly lit scenes using fill flash. An example would be shooting a portrait outdoors at high noon; of course the light is very contrasty and you want to use fill flash, but you also require a wide aperture to blur out the background. At the sync speed 1/250, ISO200, your aperture needs to be at f/16. If you open your aperture to f/4, you will then need a shutter speed of 1/8000. This is possible using Auto FP. to have an effect on the image. When you The D700 built-in flash only slow down the shutter speed substantially, it does Auto FP up to1/320. allows the ambient light to be recorded to the sensor, causing what is known as ghosting.Front-curtain sync Ghosting is a partial exposure that is usuallyFront-curtain sync is the default sync mode fairly transparent-looking on the image.for your camera whether you are usingthe built-in flash, one of Nikon’s dedicated Ghosting causes a trail to appear in front ofSpeedlights, or a third-party accessory flash. the subject because the flash freezes the ini-With Front-curtain sync, the flash is fired as tial movement of the subject. Because thesoon as the shutter’s front curtain has fully subject is still moving, the ambient lightopened. This mode works well with most records it as a blur that appears in front ofgeneral flash applications. the subject, creating the illusion that it’s moving backward. To counteract this prob-One thing worth mentioning about Front- lem, you can use a Rear-curtain sync setting,curtain sync is that although it works well which I explain later in this section.when you’re using relatively fast shutterspeeds, when the shutter is slowed down Red-eye reduction(also known as dragging the shutter when We’ve all seen red-eye in a picture at onedoing flash photography), especially when time or another — that unholy red glareyou’re photographing moving subjects, your emanating from the subject’s eyes that isimages have an unnatural-looking blur in caused by light reflecting off the retina.front of them. Ambient light recording the Fortunately, the D700 offers a Red-Eyemoving subject creates this. Reduction flash mode. When this mode is activated, the camera fires some preflashesWhen doing flash photography at slow speeds, (when using an accessory Speedlight) oryour camera is actually recording two expo- turns on the AF-assist illuminator (whensures, the flash exposure and the ambient using the built-in flash), which cause thelight. When you’re using a fast shutter speed, pupils of the subject’s eyes to contract. Thisthe ambient light usually isn’t bright enough stops the light from the flash from reflecting
  • 179. 166 Part II ✦ Capturing Great Images with the Nikon D7006.2 A shot using Front-curtain sync with a shutter speed of 1 second.Notice that the flash freezes the hand during the beginning of theexposure and the trail caused by the ambient exposure appears inthe front, causing the hand to look like its moving backward.off of the retina and reduces or eliminatesthe red-eye effect. This mode is useful whentaking portraits or snapshots of people orpets when there is little light available.Slow syncSometimes when using a flash at night,especially when the background is very dark,the subject is lit but appears to be in a blackhole. Slow Sync mode helps take care ofthis problem. In Slow Sync mode, the cam-era allows you to set a longer shutter speed(up to 30 seconds) to capture the ambientlight of the background. Your subject andthe background are lit, so you can achieve amore natural-looking photograph. Slow sync can be used in con- junction with Red-Eye Reduction for night portraits. 6.3 A picture taken with standard flash at night. Notice the dark background and the bright subject.
  • 180. Chapter 6 ✦ Working with Light 167 When using Slow sync, be sure the subject stays still for the whole exposure to avoid ghost- ing, which is a blurring of the image caused by motion during long exposures. Of course, you can use ghosting creatively. Rear-curtain sync When using Rear-curtain sync, the camera fires the flash just before the rear curtain of the shutter starts moving. This mode is use- ful when taking flash photographs of mov- ing subjects. Rear-curtain sync allows you to more accurately portray the motion of the subject by causing a motion blur trail behind the subject rather in front of it, as is the case with Front-curtain sync. Rear-curtain sync is used in conjunction with Slow sync.6.4 A picture taken using Slow Sync mode.Notice how the subject and background aremore evenly exposed.6.5 A picture taken using Rear-curtain sync flash
  • 181. 168 Part II ✦ Capturing Great Images with the Nikon D700Flash Exposure Flash Exposure Compensation (FEC) allows you to manually adjust the flash outputCompensation while still retaining TTL readings so yourWhen you’re photographing subjects using flash exposure is at least in the ballpark.flash, whether you’re using an external With the D700, you can vary the output ofSpeedlight or your D700’s built-in flash, your built-in flash’s TTL setting (or your ownthere may be times when the flash causes manual setting) from –3 Exposure Valueyour principal subject to appear too light or (EV) to +1 EV. This means if your flash expo-too dark. This usually occurs in difficult light- sure is too bright, you can adjust it down toing situations, especially when you’re using 3 full stops under the original setting. Or, ifTTL metering, and your camera’s meter can the image seems underexposed or too dark,get fooled into thinking the subject needs you can adjust it to be brighter by 1 full stop.more or less light than it actually does. This Additionally, the D700 allows you to fine-can happen when the background is very tune how much exposure compensation isbright or very dark, or when the subject applied by letting you set the FEC incremen-is off in the distance or very small in the tally in either 1/3, 1/2, or 1 stop of light.frame.6.6 A series of images using Flash Exposure CompensationFill flash You also may want to use fill flash when your subject is backlit (lit from behind).Fill flash is a handy flash technique that allows When the subject is backlit, the camera’syou to use your Speedlight as a secondary meter automatically tries to expose for thelight source to fill in the shadows rather than bright part of the image that is behind youras the main light source, hence the term fill subject. This results in a properly exposedflash. Fill flash is used mainly in outdoor pho- background while your subject is underex-tography when the sun is very bright, creating posed and dark. However, if you use thedeep shadows and bright highlights that result spot meter to obtain the proper exposurein an image with very high contrast and a wide on your subject, the background will betonal range. Using fill flash allows you to overexposed and blown out. The ideal thingreduce the contrast of the image by filling in is to use fill flash to provide an amount ofthe dark shadows, thus allowing you to see light on your subject that is equal to themore detail in the image. ambient light of the background. This brings
  • 182. Chapter 6 ✦ Working with Light 169sufficient detail to both the subject and 3. Use FEC to reduce the flash out-the background, resulting in a properly and put. Setting the Flash Exposureevenly exposed image. Compensation down 1/3 to 2/3 stops allows the flash exposure toAll of Nikon’s dSLR cameras offer i-TTL BL be less noticeable while filling in(Nikon calls this Balanced Fill-Flash) or, in the shadows or lighting your backlitlaymen’s terms, automatic fill flash, with subject. This makes your imagesboth the built-in flash and the detachable look more natural, as if a flashSpeedlights, the SB-900, SB-800, SB-600, didn’t light them, which is theand SB-400. When using a Speedlight, the ultimate goal when attempting fillcamera automatically sets the flash to do fill flash.flash (as long as you’re not in Spot metering The actual amount of FECmode). This is a very handy feature because needed varies with the intensityit allows you to concentrate on composition of the ambient light source. Useand not worry about your flash settings. If your LCD to preview the imageyou decide that you don’t want to use the and adjust the amount of FEC as needed.i-TTL BL option, you can set the camera’smetering mode to Spot metering, or if youare using an SB-900, SB-800, or SB-600,simply press the Speedlight’s Mode button.Of course, if you don’t own an additionali-TTL dedicated Speedlight or you’d rathercontrol your flash manually, you can still dofill flash. It’s actually a pretty simple processthat can vastly improve your images whenyou use it in the right situations.To execute a manual fill flash: 1. Use the camera’s light meter to determine the proper exposure for the background or ambient light. A typical exposure for a sunny day is 1/250 at f/16 with an ISO of 200. Be sure not to set the shutter speed higher than the rated sync speed of 1/250. 2. Determine the flash exposure. Using the GN / D = A formula, find the setting that you need to prop- erly expose the subject with the 6.7 A picture taken without fill flash flash.
  • 183. 170 Part II ✦ Capturing Great Images with the Nikon D700 adjust the angle of the flash head appropri- ately. Consider the height of the ceiling or distance from the surface you intend to bounce the light from to the subject. Unfortunately, not all ceilings are useful for bouncing flash. For example, the ceiling in my studio is corrugated metal with iron crossbeams. If I attempted to bounce flash from a ceiling like that, it would make little or no difference to the image because the light won’t reflect evenly and will scatter in all different directions. In a situation where the ceiling is not usable, you can position the subject next to a wall and swivel the flash head in the direction of the wall and bounce it from there. To bounce the flash at the correct angle, remember the angle of incidence equals the angle of reflection. You want to aim the flash head at such an angle that the flash isn’t going to bounce in behind the subject so it is poorly lit. You6.8 A picture taken with fill flash want to be sure that the light is bounced so that it falls onto your subject. When the sub- ject is very close to you, you need to haveBounce flash your flash head positioned at a more obtuseOne of the easiest ways to improve your angle than when the subject is farther away.flash pictures, especially snapshots, is to use I recommend positioning the subject at leastbounce flash. Bounce flash is a technique in 10 feet away and setting the angle of thewhich the light from the flash unit is bounced flash head at 45 degrees for a typical heightoff of the ceiling or off of a wall onto the ceiling of about 8 to 10 feet.subject to diffuse the light, resulting in amore evenly lit image. To do this, your flash An important pitfall to be aware of whenmust have a head that swivels and tilts. Most bouncing flash is that the reflected light picksflashes made within the last ten years have up and transmits the color of the surfacethis feature, but some may not. from which it is bounced. This means if you bounce light off a red surface, your subjectWhen you attempt bounce flash, you want to will have a reddish tint to it. The best approachget as much light from the flash onto your is to avoid bouncing light off of surfaces thatsubject as you can. To do this, you need to are brightly colored, and stick with bouncingfirst look at the placement of the subject and light from a neutral-colored surface. White
  • 184. Chapter 6 ✦ Working with Light 171surfaces tend to work the best because theyreflect more light and don’t add any color.Neutral gray surfaces also work well, althoughyou can lose a little light due to lessenedreflectivity and the darker color.Unfortunately, you can’t do bounce flashwith the D700’s built-in flash; you need anexternal Speedlight such as an SB-900,SB-800, SB-600, or SB-400. 6.10 A picture taken with bounced flash Nikon Creative Lighting System Basics Nikon introduced the Creative Lighting System (CLS) in 2004. In simple terms, it is a system designed to enable you to take6.9 A picture taken with straight flash Nikon Speedlights off of the camera and attach them to stands. This allows you to position the Speedlights wherever you want and control the direction of light to make the subject appear exactly how you want. The Nikon CLS enables you to achieve
  • 185. 172 Part II ✦ Capturing Great Images with the Nikon D700creative lighting scenarios similar to what Firing the commander tells the otheryou would achieve with expensive and Speedlights in the system when and at whatmuch larger studio strobes. You can do it power to fire. The D700’s built-in flash canwirelessly with the benefit of full i-TTL meter- act as a commander. Using an SB-800 oring. To take advantage of the Nikon CLS, you SB-900 Speedlight or an SU-800 Commanderneed the D700 and at least one SB-900, as a master allows you to control three sep-SB-800, or SB-600 Speedlight. With the CLS, arate groups of remote flashes and givesthere is no more mucking about with huge you an extended range. Using the built-inpower packs and heavy strobe heads on Speedlight as a commander, you can onlyheavy-duty stands, with cables and wires control two groups of external Speedlightsrunning all over the place. and have a limited range on how far the camera can be from the remote flashes.The Nikon CLS is not a lighting system inand of itself, but is comprised of many dif- This is how CLS works in a nutshell:ferent pieces you can add to your system asyou see fit (or your budget allows). The first 1. The commander unit sends outand foremost piece of the equation is your instructions to the remote groupscamera. to fire a series of monitor pre- flashes to determine the expo- sure level. The camera’s i-TTLUnderstanding the metering sensor reads the pre- flashes from all of the remoteCreative Lighting System groups and also takes a reading ofThe Nikon CLS is basically a communication the ambient light.system that allows the camera, the com- 2. The camera tells the commandermander, and the remote units to share infor- unit the proper exposure read-mation regarding exposure. ings for each group of remote Speedlights. When the shutterA commander, which is also called a master, is released, the commander, viais the flash that controls external Speedlights. pulse modulation, relays the infor-Remote units, which are sometimes referred mation to each group of remoteto as slaves, are the external flash units the Speedlights.commander controls remotely. Communica- 3. The remote units fire at the out-tions between the commander and the put specified by the camera’sremote units are accomplished by using i-TTL meter, and the shutterpulse modulation. Pulse modulation is a term closes.that means the commanding Speedlight firesrapid bursts of light in a specific order. The All these calculations happen in a fraction ofpulses of light are used to convey informa- a second as soon as you press the Shuttertion to the remote group, which interpret the Release button. It appears to the naked eyebursts of light as coded information. as if the flash just fires once. There is no waiting for the camera and the Speedlights to do the calculations.
  • 186. Chapter 6 ✦ Working with Light 173Given the ease of use and the portability of them, adding more power, a greater range,the Nikon CLS, I highly recommend purchas- and a more intuitive user interface. You caning at least one (if not two) SB-900, SB-800 use the SB-900 as an on-camera flash, aor SB-600 Speedlights to add to your setup. commander flash that can control up toWith this system, you can produce almost three groups of external Speedlights on fourany type of lighting pattern you want. It can channels, or a remote flash that you controldefinitely get you on the road to creating from the D700 built-in flash, another SB-900,more professional-looking images. SB-800, or an SU-800 Wireless Commander. The SB-900 automatically detects whether For a definitive and in-depth look it’s attached to an FX- or DX-format camera, into the Nikon CLS, read the ensuring you get the maximum efficiency. Nikon Creative Lighting System Digital Field Guide (Wiley, 2007).SpeedlightsSpeedlights are Nikon’s line of flashes. Theyare amazing accessories to add to your kit,and you can control most of them wirelessly.Currently, Nikon offers four shoe-mountedflashes — the SB-900, SB-800, SB-600,SB-400 — along with two macro lightingring flash setups — the R1 or R1C1 thatinclude two SB-R200 Speedlights. You canalso purchase SB-R200s for the R1 kits andthe SU-800 Wireless Commander unit. Allcurrent Nikon Speedlights are part of theNikon CLS.This is not meant to be a definitive guide tothe Nikon Speedlight system, but a quickoverview of some of the flashes Nikon hasto offer and their major features. Image courtesy of Nikon, Inc. The SB-400 cannot be used as a wireless remote. 6.11 The SB-900 mounted on a D700SB-900 Speedlight Another new feature the SB-900 offers is aThe SB-900 Speedlight is Nikon’s newest choice of three different lighting distributionand most powerful Speedlight. This flash options: Standard for normal photos, Center-takes all the features of Nikon’s previous weighted for portrait photography, and Evenflagship flash, the SB-800, and expands on for evenly illuminating large groups or inte- rior shots.
  • 187. 174 Part II ✦ Capturing Great Images with the Nikon D700The SB-900 can also automatically identifythe supplied color filters to ensure properwhite balance when using the filters.The SB-900 has a wider range of coveragethan the SB-800, covering from 17-200mmin FX mode or 12-200mm in DX mode. Withthe built-in wide-angle flash diffuser, youcan get coverage from 12-17mm in FX modeor 8-11mm in DX mode.The SB-900 has a GN of 183 at ISO 200 andthe 200mm zoom setting and can be usedto light subjects as far as 70 feet away.SB-800 SpeedlightThe SB-800 can be used not only as a flashbut also as a commander to control up tothree groups of external Speedlights on fourchannels. You can also set the SB-800 to Image courtesy of Nikon, Inc.work as a remote flash for off-camera appli- 6.12 The SB-800cations. The SB-800 has a built-in AF-assistIlluminator to assist in achieving focus inlow light. The SB-800 has a powerful GN of SB-600 Speedlight184 at ISO 200 and can be used to photo- The SB-600 Speedlight is the SB-900 orgraph subjects as far as 66 feet away. SB-800’s little brother. This flash has fewer features than its bigger sibling but has every-The SB-800 offers a wide variety of flash thing you need. You can use it on the cameramodes: as well as off-camera by setting it as a remote. Like the SB-900 and SB-800, the SB-600 ✦ i-TTL and i-TTL Balanced Fill-Flash also has a built-in AF-assist Illuminator. The (i-TTL BL) SB-600 cannot, however, be used as a com- ✦ Auto Aperture Flash mander to control off-camera flash units. The SB-600 has an impressive GN of 138 at ISO ✦ Non-TTL Auto Flash 200, which, although it gives about 1 stop ✦ Distance Priority Manual Flash less light than the SB-800, is more than enough for most subjects. ✦ Manual Flash ✦ Repeating Flash
  • 188. Chapter 6 ✦ Working with Light 175 Image courtesy of Nikon, Inc. 6.14 The SB-400 holding the camera vertically. For such a small flash, the SB-400 has a decent GN of 98 at ISO 200. The SB-400 does not work wire- lessly with the Nikon CLS. ItImage courtesy of Nikon, Inc. only works when connected to the camera hot shoe or an off-6.13 The SB-600 camera hot-shoe cord.The SB-600 only has the two most impor- SU-800 Wireless Speedlighttant flash modes: commander ✦ i-TTL/i-TTL BL The SU-800 is a wireless Speedlight com- mander that uses infrared technology to ✦ Manual communicate wirelessly with off-camera Speedlights. It can control up to three groupsSB-400 Speedlight of Speedlights on four different channels.The SB-400 is Nikon’s entry-level Speedlight. The built-in flash on the D700 can controlIt can only be used in the i-TTL/i-TTL BL two groups on four channels, so dependingmode. One nice feature is the horizontally on the type of photography, you may nottilting flash head that allows you to do need to use one of these on the D700bounce flash. Unfortunately, this only works unless you have to have an extra group ofwhen the camera is in the horizontal posi- flashes or you want to take advantage of thetion, unless you bounce off a wall when invisible infrared preflashes.
  • 189. 176 Part II ✦ Capturing Great Images with the Nikon D700 R1/R1C1 Macro flash The R1C1 kit comes with an SU-800 wire- less commander, which is the only differ- ence between it and the R1. The R1 set consists of a ring that attaches to the lens and SB-R200 Speedlights that attach to the ring. Ring lights are used in close-up and macro photography to provide a light that is direct or on-axis to the subject. This achieves a nice, even lighting, which can be difficult to do when the lens is close to the subject. Unlike a regular ring flash, you can move the SB-R200 Speedlights around the ring to provide different lighting patterns.Image courtesy of Nikon, Inc.6.15 The SU-800Image courtesy of Nikon, Inc.6.16 The R1C1 mounted on the D200
  • 190. Chapter 6 ✦ Working with Light 177 the Flash mode button located just below the Flash pop-up button. Rotating the Main Command dial while pressing the Flash mode button changes the mode. The selected mode appears in the LCD control panel. You can also apply exposure compensation by pressing the Flash mode button and rotating the Sub-command dial. One of the best features of the built-in Speedlight is that you can use it to wirelesslyImage courtesy of Nikon, Inc. control remote units using the CLS. To take6.17 An SB-R200 advantage of this feature, you need at least one SB-600, SB-800, SB-900, or SB-R200. Follow these steps to use the built-inUsing the Built-In Speedlight in Commander mode:Speedlight 1. Press the Menu button and use the Multi-selector to navigate toThe D700’s built-in Speedlight is a handy the Custom Settings menu.little flash that’s great for taking casualsnapshots. Although it lacks the versatility 2. Use the Multi-selector to high-of the bigger external flashes, the built-in light CSM e Bracketing/flash, andSpeedlight is always there when you need it then press the Multi-selectorand requires no extra batteries because it is right to enter the CSM e menu.the camera’s battery powers it. Activate it by 3. Use the Multi-selector to high-pressing the flash pop-up button on the top light CSM e3 Flash cntrl for built-left of the camera (as you would hold it for in flash, and then press theshooting) near the built-in Speedlight. Multi-selector right to view flash control options.The built-in Speedlight is set to i-TTL mode 4. Press the Multi-selector up orby default (i-TTL appears as TTL in the down to choose Commandermenu), although you can choose to set it to mode, and then press the Multi-Manual mode (you set the output). You can selector right to view settings.also set it to Repeating flash (RPT) orCommander mode, which allows you to use 5. Press the Multi-selector up orit to control up to two separate groups of down to choose a flash mode forremote Speedlights. the built-in flash. You can choose M, TTL, or --. The last option (--)You can also use it with all the sync modes allows the flash to control the remotes without adding additionalyour camera offers: Front-curtain sync, exposure.Rear-curtain sync, Slow Sync, and Red-EyeReduction. To change the sync mode, press
  • 191. 178 Part II ✦ Capturing Great Images with the Nikon D700 6. Press the Multi-selector right to accessories. Sometimes, there is no other highlight the exposure compen- option than to use a studio strobe, espe- sation setting. Use the Multi- cially when lighting large subjects or when selector up or down to apply you need specific accessories to modify the exposure compensation if desired. light in a certain way. A studio strobe has a If the built-in flash is set to -- this much higher GN than a shoe-mounted option is not available. Speedlight, which means more power. 7. Use the Multi-selector to set the Studio strobes run on AC power instead of mode for Group A. You can batteries, which means faster recycle times choose TTL, AA, M, or --. Press the between flashes. Also, many different acces- Mutli-selector right to highlight sories and light modifiers are available for exposure compensation. Press the studio strobes. Multi-selector up or down to apply exposure compensation if desired. There are two different types of studio Repeat this process for Group B. strobes: standard pack and monolights. Standard pack and head strobes have a sepa- 8. Use the Multi-selector to high- light the Channel setting. You can rate power pack and flash heads that are choose from channels 1 to 4. These controlled centrally from the power pack. channels can be changed if you Monolights are flash heads that have a power are shooting in the same area as pack built in and you adjust them individually another photographer using CLS. at each head. Monolights tend to be lower in If you are both on the same chan- power than standard strobes, but they are nel, you will trigger each other’s more portable and less expensive. Speedlights. If you use CLS alone, it makes no difference which channel One of the downsides to using studio you choose. strobes is that you lose the advantage of i-TTL flash metering. Studio strobes are fired 9. Press the OK button. If this button using a PC sync cord which runs from the is not pressed, no changes are PC sync terminal of the camera (or another applied. triggering device) to the strobe, which onlyWhen attempting to use wireless CLS, be sure tells the flash when to fire, not at what out-that your remote Speedlights are set to the put level. You must calculate all the strobeproper Groups and Channel. If the remotes settings. Of course, there are flash meters,aren’t properly set, they will not fire. which are designed to read the output of the strobe to give you a reading of the proper exposure. And you can always use the handy GN / D = A formula to determineStudio Strobes the proper exposure.Although the Nikon CLS allows you com- One of the plus sides of using studio strobesplete wireless control over lighting, it can be is the continuous modeling light. Becausesomewhat limited. The Speedlights are the strobes are only lit for a fraction of a sec-small, versatile, and portable, but they are ond, studio strobes are equipped with alimited in range, power, and options for constant light source (called a modeling
  • 192. Chapter 6 ✦ Working with Light 179 Firing Your Studio Strobes Wirelessly You can’t use studio lighting setups completely wirelessly because you have to plug the lights in for power, and in the case of standard studio strobes, you have to not only plug in the power pack but also connect the flash heads to the power pack. For the most part, studio strobes are fired via a sync cord, which connects to the PC sync terminal on the D700, or via a hot-shoe sync device such as the Wein Safe-Sync. This is the easiest and most affordable way of firing your studio flashes. Most monolights have a built-in optical sensor that allows the flash to be triggered by another flash. Most standard studio strobe power packs can also be fitted with an optical sensor. This allows you some freedom from the wires that connect your camera to the main flash unit. More and more photographers these days use radio triggers. Radio triggers use a radio signal to fire the strobes when the shutter is released. Unlike the optical sensor, the radio trigger is not limited to “seeing” another flash to make it fire. Radio triggers can also fire from long distances and can even work from behind walls and around corners. Radio triggers have two parts: the transmitter and the receiver. The transmit- ter is attached to the camera and tells the receiver, which is connected to the strobe, to fire when the Shutter Release button is pressed. Some newer radio units are trans- ceivers, meaning they’re able to function as a transmitter or a receiver (not at the same time, of course) but you still need at least two of them to operate. Radio trig- gers work very well and free you from being directly attached to your lights, but they can be very expensive. There are a few different manufacturers but the most well known is Pocket Wizard. Pocket Wizard transceivers are fairly pricey, but they are built well and extremely reliable. Recently, there has been a proliferation of radio transmit- ters and receivers on eBay that are priced very low. I can’t attest to how well they work, but a lot of folks on the Internet seem to like them. At around $30 for a kit with one receiver and one transmitter, you won’t be losing much if it doesn’t work well. Currently, I use the Smith Victor RTK4 radio triggers that I bought from Smith Victor for around $80. I chose this set because I am familiar with the Smith Victor product line and own a few Smith Victor monolights. The Smith Victor RTK4 radio triggers work well; I feel confident recommending them.light) that allows you to see what effect thestrobe is going to have on the subject, The SB-900, SB-800, SB-600, SB-R200, and built-in flash canalthough the modeling light isn’t necessarily be used with the camera’s mod-consistent with the actual light output of the eling light feature that uses aflash tube. burst of low power flashes to show where the shadows fall.When looking for a studio lighting setup, This, however, isn’t a continuousyou have thousands of different options. light. The modeling light feature can be set in CSM e4, whichThere are a lot of reputable manufacturers allows the modeling light to beoffering a lot of different types of lights. Your shown when the Depth-of-fieldonly limit really is the amount of money you preview button is pressed and awant to spend. compatible Speedlight is attached or the built-in flash is up.
  • 193. 180 Part II ✦ Capturing Great Images with the Nikon D700Standard studio strobes are the most pow- A more economical approach is to useerful and most expensive option. With the monolights. Most of the manufacturers thatstandard strobes, you can usually attach up make standard strobes also make mono-to six flash heads to the power pack, which lights. Although they are lower in powerprovides a lot of lighting options. Of course, than strobes that are powered by a powerone power pack and two lights cost about pack, they are also far more portable$1,000 to start, not including stands, lighting because they are lighter and smaller in size.modifiers (which I cover later in this chap- You can outfit monolights with the sameter), and other accessories. If you opt for light modifiers as the bigger strobe units. Istudio strobes, reputable manufacturers recommend going this route when purchas-include Speedotron, Dyna-lite, and Profoto. ing lights for a small or home studio setup. Flash Alternatives There is a growing movement of amateur photographers who are using non-dedicated hot-shoe flashes to light their subjects. This movement is based on getting the flash off of the camera to create more professional-looking images (such as those you get when using studio lights), but is also centered on not spending a lot of money to achieve these results. Basically, what these folks, called Strobists, are saying is that you don’t need big expensive studio lights or expensive dedicated flashes to achieve great images that look like they were lit by a professional. Small hot-shoe flashes are extremely portable and are powered by inexpensive AA batteries. You can find older-model flashes that don’t have all of the bells and whis- tles of the newer models at reasonable prices. To get started with off-camera flash, you need a flash with two things: a PC sync ter- minal and a manual output power setting. If your flash doesn’t have a PC sync termi- nal, you can buy a hot-shoe adaptor that has one on it. This adaptor slides onto the shoe of your flash and has a PC terminal on it that syncs with your flash. The best flashes to use for this are the older Nikon Speedlights from the mid-1980s to the mid-90s: the SB-24, SB-25, SB-26, and SB-28 Speedlights. These flashes are avail- able at a fraction of the cost of the newer i-TTL SB-800 or SB-600. Unfortunately, with a greater number of people using the Strobist technique, the prices have increased a bit. Given the number of people now using small hot-shoe flashes off-camera, manufac- turers are making accessories to attach these flashes to stands and other accessories to allow light modifiers to be added to them. To learn more about the Strobist technique and find many tricks and tips, go to http:// strobist.blogspot.com/.
  • 194. Chapter 6 ✦ Working with Light 181You can get a complete setup with two Continuous lights are an affordable alterna-200-watt-second (ws) monolights (that’s tive to using studio strobes. Because the400ws of combined power) with stands, light is constant and consistent, the learningumbrellas, and a carrying case for around curve is also less steep. With strobes, you$500; that’s only a little more than you need to experiment with the exposure orwould pay for a 400ws power pack alone. use a flash meter. With continuous lights, you can use the D700’s Matrix meter to yieldWhen equipping your home or small studio excellent results.with studio lighting, I recommend startingout with at least two strobes. With this setup, As with other lighting systems, there are ayou can pretty easily light almost any sub- lot of continuous light options. Here are aject. A three-light setup is ideal for most few of the more common ones:small home studios, with two lights for light-ing the subject and one light for illuminating ✦ Incandescent. Incandescent, orthe background. tungsten, lights are the most com- mon type of lights. Thomas EdisonFor those of you with a more limited bud- invented this type of light: Your typ-get, you can still achieve some excellent ical light bulb is a tungsten lamp.results using a single strobe head, especially With tungsten lamps, an electricalwhen going for moody low-key lighting. The current runs through a tungsten fil-late Dean Collins was a skilled photographer ament, heating it and causing it toand a master at lighting who could light emit light. This type of continuous lighting is the source of the namesome amazing scenes with just one strobe. I “hot lights.”highly encourage anyone who is interestedin photographic lighting to view some of his ✦ Halogen. Halogen lights, which areinstructional videos. much brighter than typical tungsten lights, are actually very similar. They are considered a type of incandes- cent light. Halogen lights alsoContinuous Lighting employ a tungsten filament, but include a halogen vapor in the gasContinuous lighting is just what it sounds inside the lamp. The color tempera-like: a light source that is constant. It is by ture of halogen lamps is higherfar the easiest type of lighting to work with. than the color temperature of stan-Unlike natural lighting, continuous lighting dard tungsten lamps.is consistent and predictable. Even when ✦ Fluorescent. Fluorescent lighting,using a strobe with modeling lights, you which most of you are familiarsometimes have to estimate what the final with, is everywhere these days. It islighting will look like. Continuous lighting is in the majority of office buildings,“what you see is what you get.” You can see stores, and even in your ownthe actual effects the lighting has on your house. In a fluorescent lamp, elec-subjects, and can modify and change the trical energy changes a smalllighting before you even press the Shutter amount of mercury into a gas. TheRelease button.
  • 195. 182 Part II ✦ Capturing Great Images with the Nikon D700 electrons collide with the mercury Second, although incandescent lights appear gas atoms, causing them to release to be very bright to you and your subject, photons, which, in turn, causes the they actually produce less light than a stan- phosphor coating inside the lamp dard flash unit. For example, a 200-watt to glow. Because this reaction tungsten light and a 200-watt-second strobe doesn’t create much heat, fluores- use the same amount of electricity per sec- cent lamps are much cooler and ond, so they should be equally bright, right? more energy efficient than tungsten Wrong. Because the flash discharges all 200 and halogen lamps. These lights watts of energy in a fraction of a second, the are commonly used in TV lighting. flash is actually much, much brighter. Why ✦ HMI. HMI, or Hydrargyrum does this matter? Because when you need a Medium-Arc Iodide, lamps are fast shutter speed or a small aperture, the probably the most expensive type strobe can give you more light in a shorter of continuous lighting. The motion time. An SB-600 gives you about 30 watt- picture industry uses this type seconds of light at full power. To get an because of its consistent color tem- equivalent amount of light at the maximum perature and the fact that it runs sync speed of 1/250 second from a tung- cooler than a tungsten lamp with sten light, you would need a 7500-watt the same power rating. These lamp! Of course, if your subject is static, you lamps operate by releasing an arc don’t need to use a fast shutter speed; in of electricity in an atmosphere of this case, you can use one 30-watt light bulb mercury vapor and halogenides. for a 1-second exposure or a 60-watt lamp for a 1/2-second exposure.Incandescent and Other disadvantages of using incandescenthalogen lights includeAlthough incandescent and halogen lights ✦ Color temperature inconsistency.make it easier to see what you’re photo- The color temperature of the lampsgraphing and cost less, there are quite a few changes as your household currentdrawbacks to using these lights for serious varies and as the lamps get morephotography work. First, they are hot. When and more use. The color tempera-a model has to sit under lamps for any ture may be inconsistent fromlength of time, he will get hot and start to manufacturer to manufacturer andsweat. This is also a problem with food pho- may even vary within the sametography. It can cause your food to change types of bulbs.consistency or even to sweat; for example, ✦ Light modifiers are more expen-cheese that has been refrigerated. On the sive. Because most continuousother hand, it can help keep hot food look- lights are hot, modifiers such asing fresh and hot. softboxes need to be made to withstand the heat; this makes them more expensive than the standard equipment intended to be used for strobes.
  • 196. Chapter 6 ✦ Working with Light 183 ✦ Short lamp life. Incandescent the light for a softer look. The kits can be lights tend to have a shorter life relatively inexpensive, with two lights, two than flash tubes, so you’ll have to stands, and two umbrellas for around $100. replace them more often. Or you can buy much more elaborate setups ranging in price up to $2,000. I’veAlthough incandescent lights have quite a searched the Internet for these kits and havefew disadvantages, they are by far the most found the best deals are on eBay.affordable type of lights you can buy. Manyphotographers who are starting out useinexpensive work lights they can buy at any Fluorescenthardware store for less than $10. These Fluorescent lights have a lot of advantageslights use a standard light bulb and often over incandescent lights; they run at muchhave a reflector to direct the light; they also lower temperatures and use much less elec-come with a clamp you can use to attach tricity than standard incandescent lights.them to a stand or anything else you have Fluorescent lights are also a much softerhandy that might be stable. light source than incandescent lights.Halogen work lamps, also readily available In the past, fluorescent lights weren’t con-at any hardware store, offer a higher light sidered viable for photographic applicationsoutput than a standard light, generally because they cast a sickly green light on thespeaking. The downside is they are very hot, subject. Today, most fluorescent lamps forand the larger lights can be a bit unwieldy. use in photography are color corrected toYou also may have to come up with some match both daylight and incandescent lights.creative ways to get the lights in the position Also, given white balance is adjustable inyou want them. Some halogen work lamps the camera or in Photoshop with RAW files,come complete with a tripod stand. If you using fluorescents has become much easiercan afford it, I’d recommend buying these; because you don’t have to worry aboutthey’re easier to set up and less of an aggra- color-correcting filters and special films.vation in the long run. The single halogenwork lamps that are usually designed to sit These days, because more people are usingon a table or some other support are readily fluorescent lights, light modifiers are moreavailable for less than $20; the double halo- readily available. They allow you to controlgen work lamps with two 500-watt lights the light to make it softer or harder andand a 6-foot tripod stand are usually avail- directional or diffused.able for less than $40. Fluorescent light kits are readily availableIf you’re really serious about lighting with through most photography stores andhot lights, you may want to invest in a pho- online. These kits are a little more expensivetographic hot-light kit. These kits are widely than the incandescent light kits — an aver-available from any photography or video age kit with two light stands, reflectors, andstore. They usually come with lights, light bulbs costs about $160. Fluorescent kitsstands, and sometimes with light modifiers aren’t usually equipped with umbrellas orsuch as umbrellas or softboxes for diffusing softboxes because the light is already fairly
  • 197. 184 Part II ✦ Capturing Great Images with the Nikon D700soft. You can buy these kinds of accessories you need it, give it the quality the imageand there are kits available that come with calls for, and even add color or texture tosoftboxes and umbrellas, although they cost the image.significantly more.Unfortunately, there aren’t many low-cost Umbrellasalternatives to buying a fluorescent light kit. The most common type of light modifier isThe only real option is to use the clamp light the umbrella. Photographic umbrellas areI mentioned in the section about incandes- coated with a material to maximize reflectiv-cent light and fit it with a fluorescent bulb ity. They are used to diffuse and soften thethat has a standard bulb base on it. These light emitted from the light source, whethertypes of fluorescent bulbs are readily avail- it’s continuous or strobe lighting. There areable at any store that sells light bulbs. three types of umbrellas to choose from: ✦ Standard. The most common typeHMI of umbrella has a black outsideThis type of continuous light is primarily with the inside coated with aused in the motion picture industry. HMI reflective material that is usuallylamps burn extremely bright and are much silver or gold in color. Standardmore efficient than standard incandescent, umbrellas are designed so youhalogen, or fluorescent lights. The light emit- point the light source into theted is equal in color temperature to that of umbrella and bounce the lightdaylight. onto the subject, resulting in a non-directional soft light source.Although I include them here for general ✦ Shoot-through. Some umbrellasinformation, these kits are usually too cost- are manufactured out of a one-prohibitive for use in average still-photography piece translucent silvery nylon thatapplications. A one-light kit with a 24-watt enables you to shoot through thelight can start at more than $1,000. An 18,000- umbrella like a softbox. You canwatt kit can cost more than $30,000! also use shoot-through umbrellas to bounce the light as I previously mentioned. ✦ Convertible. This umbrella has aLight Modifiers silver or gold lining on the insideLight modifiers do exactly what their name and a removable black cover on the outside. You can use convert-says they do: They modify light. When you ible umbrellas to bounce light or asset up a photographic shot, in essence, you a shoot-through when you removeare building a scene using light. For some the outside covering.images, you may want a hard light that isvery directional; for others, a soft, diffused Photographic umbrellas come in variouslight works better. Light modifiers allow you sizes, usually ranging from 27 inches all theto control the light so you can direct it where way up to 121/2 feet. The size you use
  • 198. Chapter 6 ✦ Working with Light 185depends on the size of the subject and thedegree of coverage you want. For standardheadshots, portraits, and small to mediumproducts, umbrellas ranging from 27 inchesto about 40 inches supply plenty of coverage.For full-length portraits and larger products, a60- to 72-inch umbrella is generally recom-mended. If you’re photographing groups ofpeople or especially large products, you’llneed to go beyond the 72-inch umbrella.The larger the umbrella is, the softer thelight falling on the subject from the lightsource. It is also the case that the larger theumbrella is, the less light you have falling onyour subject. Generally, the small to mediumumbrellas lose about a stop and a half to 2stops of light. Larger umbrellas generallylose 2 or more stops of light because thelight is being spread out over a larger area.Smaller umbrellas tend to have a much moredirectional light than larger umbrellas. Withall umbrellas, the closer your umbrella is tothe subject, the more diffuse the light is.Choosing the right umbrella is a matter ofpersonal preference. Features to keep in 6.18 A Speedlight with a standard umbrellamind when choosing your umbrella includethe type, size, and portability. You also wantto consider how they work with your light Softboxessource. For example, regular and convertible Softboxes, as with umbrellas, are used toumbrellas return more light to the subject diffuse and soften the light of a strobe orwhen light is bounced from them, which continuous light to create a more pleasingcan be advantageous, especially if you are light source. Softboxes range in size fromusing a Speedlight, which has less power small, 6-inch boxes that you mount directlythan a studio strobe. Also, the less energy onto the flash head, to large boxes that usu-the Speedlight has to output, the more bat- ally mount directly to a studio strobe.tery power you save. On the other hand,shoot-through umbrellas lose more light The reason you may want to invest in a soft-through the back when bouncing, but they box rather than an umbrella for your studioare generally more affordable than convert- is that it provides a more consistent andible umbrellas. controllable light than an umbrella does.
  • 199. 186 Part II ✦ Capturing Great Images with the Nikon D700Softboxes are closed around the light source,thereby preventing unwanted light frombouncing back onto your subject. With thediffusion material, there is less of a chanceof creating hotspots on your subject. Ahotspot is an overly bright spot usuallycaused by bright or uneven lighting.Softboxes are generally made for use withstudio strobes and monolights, although spe-cial heat-resistant softboxes are made for usewith hot lights. Softboxes attach to the lightsource with a device called a speedring.Speedrings are specific to the type of lights towhich they are meant to attach. If you areusing a standard hot-shoe flash as your lightsource, some companies, such as Chimera(www.chimeralighting.com), manufacture atype of speedring that mounts directly to thelight stand and allows you to attach one or 6.19 A softboxmore Speedlights to the light stand, as well.You mount the speedring to the stand, attachthe softbox to the speedring, attach the Diffusion panelsSpeedlight with the flash head pointed intothe softbox, and you’re ready to go. A diffusion panel is basically a frame made out of PVC pipe with reflective nylon stretchedSoftboxes are available in a multitude of over it. Diffusion panels function similarly toshapes and sizes, ranging from squares and a softboxes, but you have a little more con-rectangles to ovals and octagons. Most pho- trol over the quality of the light.tographers use the standard square or rect-angular softboxes. However, some prefer to Diffusion panels are usually about 6 feet talluse oval or octagonal softboxes because and have a base that allows them to standthey mimic umbrellas and give a more without a light stand. You place the diffu-pleasing round shape to the catchlights in sion panel in front of the subject. You thenthe subject’s eyes. This is mostly a matter of place your light source behind the diffusionpersonal preference. I usually use a medium- panel. You can move the light closer to thesized, rectangular softbox. diffusion panel for more directional light or farther away for a softer, more even light.As with umbrellas, the size of the softbox For a full-length portrait or a larger subject,you need depends on the subject you are you can place two or more lights behind thephotographing. You can take most softboxes panel, achieving greater coverage with yourapart and fold them up, and most of them lights.come with a storage bag that you can use totransport them.
  • 200. Chapter 6 ✦ Working with Light 1876.20 A diffusion panelYou can use a diffusion panel as a reflector, diffuse the light by effectively increasing thebouncing the light from your light source on size of the light source, thereby reducingto the subject. You can purchase diffusion contrast. In addition to softboxes and such,panels at most major camera stores at a other types of light modifiers, such as barnfraction of the price of a good softbox. You doors and snoots, are worth considering.can disassemble the PVC frame easily and They are also used to control the directionpack it away into a small bag for storage or of the light to make it appear stronger or totransport to and from location. focus it on a specific area of the subject. The following list includes some of the more If you’re feeling crafty, you can common tools photographers use to direct make a diffusion panel from the light from the light source: items easily found in your local hardware and fabric stores. Numerous sites on the Internet ✦ Parabolic reflectors. Most light offer advice on how to construct sources come equipped with a par- one. abolic reflector. They usually range from 6 to 10 inches in circumfer- ence although you can buy largerOther light modifiers ones. Without a reflector, the light from the bare bulb, whether it’sThere are many different types of light mod- a flash tube or an incandescent,ifiers. The main types — umbrellas, soft- scatters and lacks direction, resultingboxes, and diffusion panels — serve to
  • 201. 188 Part II ✦ Capturing Great Images with the Nikon D700 in the loss of usable light. The reflec- trol the spread of light. They run tor focuses the light into a more from a 5-degree grid to a 60-degree specific area, actually increasing the grid. The 5-degree grid has very amount of usable light by 1 or 2 small holes and is deep so the light stops. Parabolic reflectors are com- is focused down to a small bright monly used in conjunction with spot. The higher the degree of the other light modifiers, including grid spot, the more spread out the umbrellas, barn doors, and grids. spot becomes. Grids fit inside of the When you use an umbrella, you’ll reflector, just in front of the lamp or always use a reflector to direct the flash tube. They are great to use as light into the umbrella, which dif- hair lights and to add a spot of light fuses the light. Using only a reflector on the background to help the sub- gives the light a very hard quality ject stand out. that results in a lot of contrast. ✦ Snoots. A snoot creates a spotlight-✦ Barn doors. Barn doors are used to like effect similar to the grid. A control the direction of light and to snoot is shaped like a funnel and it block stray light from entering the kind of works that way, too, funnel- lens, which can result in lens flare. ing light into a specific area of the Blocking the light is also known as scene. The snoot usually has a flagging. Barn doors are normally brighter spot effect than a grid attached to the reflector and come does. The snoot fits directly over in two types — 4-leaf and 2-leaf. the flash head. Barn doors consist of panels that ✦ Reflector. This type of reflector are attached to hinges, which allow doesn’t directly modify the light you to open and close the doors to coming from the light source, but it let light out or keep it in. Typically, is used to reflect light onto the sub- barn doors are used when you ject. Reflectors are usually white or want a hard light source to shine silver, although some can be gold. on a specific area of the subject but Professional reflectors are usually you don’t want any stray light strik- round or oval disks with wire ing other parts of the subject or the frames that can be easily folded up camera lens. to a smaller size. You can make✦ Grids. Grids, also known as grid your own reflector by using white spots or honeycombs, are used foam board available at any art to create a light similar to a spot- supply store and at some photogra- light. A grid is a round disc with a phy stores. You can use the white honeycomb-shaped screen inside of board alone or cover it with silver it. When the light shines through it, or gold foil. In a pinch, almost any- it is focused to a particular degree, thing white or silver, such as a lid giving you a tight circle of light with from a Styrofoam cooler or even a a distinct fall-off at the edges. There white T-shirt, will work. are different types of grids that con-
  • 202. Chapter 6 ✦ Working with Light 189✦ Gobos. A gobo can be anything A common technique in film noir– that “goes between” the light type photography is to place vene- source and the subject or back- tian blinds between a light and the ground, often to create a pattern background to simulate sunlight or simulate a specific light source, shining through the blinds of the such as a window. It is usually office window of a private eye. You attached to a stand and placed a can make gobos or purchase them few feet in front of the light source. from a photographic supply house.
  • 203. AdvancedShootingTechniques ✦ 7 C H A P T E R ✦ ✦ ✦ In This ChapterI Action and sports photography n this chapter, I provide in-depth details of different types of photography with example images of each. These details Architecturalinclude information about what lenses and accessories were photographyused and why I used them, as well as any problems I encoun-tered and what I did to resolve or work around them. Concert photographyMany of the images represent different techniques that you Macro photographycan use to create dynamic and interesting images of yourown. This isn’t meant to be an all-inclusive how-to photogra- Night photographyphy guide, but a collection of tricks, tips, and techniques that Ihave learned by working in the field and also working with Portrait photographyother photographers. Product photography Wildlife photographyAction and Sports ✦ ✦ ✦ ✦PhotographyAlthough the high frame rate of 5 frames per second (fps) — 8with the optional battery grip — of the D700 comes in handywhen you’re shooting action and sports, often the bestapproach with shooting action is to get familiar with themovement of the subject, learn when the action is at its peak,and then take your shot.You can employ a number of different techniques to decreasemotion blur on your subject. The most commonly used tech-nique is panning. Panning is following the moving subjectwith your camera lens. With this method, it is as if the subjectis not moving at all because your camera is moving with it atthe same speed. When panning is done correctly, the subject
  • 204. 192 Part II ✦ Capturing Great Images with the Nikon D700should be in sharp focus while the motion panning shots with shutter speeds slowerblurs the background. This effect is great for than this gives you a higher number ofshowing the illusion of motion in a still pho- images where the subject is blurred.tograph. While panning, you can sometimesuse a slower shutter speed to exaggerate For shots like this one, I generally usethe effect of the background blur. Panning Center-weighted metering and Shuttercan be a very difficult technique to master Priority mode. I set the autofocus (AF) toand requires a lot of practice. Continuous AF (AF-C) and I use Single-point AF at the center point. When you’re photo-For figure 7.1 I used a monopod and I graphing at the racetrack, even when you’repanned along with this formula car that was down in the “hot” areas of the track, youblazing by me on a straightaway at about need a long telephoto lens. For this shot, I150 miles per hour. I used a relatively slow was using a Nikkor 80-20mm f/2.8 with ashutter speed of 1/100 second to get the 1.4X teleconverter to get some extra reach.background to turn into a complete blur.Generally when doing this type of work, I Consider using a monopod, which is a one-legged support,would use a shutter speed of about 1/320 when trying the panning tech-second, which creates less blur but provides nique. Monopods help keep themore consistent results. Attempting to do camera steady while giving you more freedom of movement than a tripod.7.1 An example of panning with a slow shutter speed to show motion in an action shot
  • 205. Chapter 7 ✦ Advanced Shooting Techniques 193Techniques this reason, it’s almost a necessity to use a flash to separate the rider from the back-Using flash for action and sports photogra- ground. Shooting without a flash gives youphy is not always necessary or advisable. an image where the rider blends in with theSometimes you are so far away from the foliage.action, your flash won’t be effective, or youare in a situation where flash is not allowed. For this shot, I used a three flash setup: oneIn these cases, just make sure you have a SB-900 on-camera as a commander flashfast enough shutter speed to freeze the and two SB-800s off-camera mounted onmotion. You can either use a wider aperture light stands. I positioned the SB-800 left, inor higher ISO setting to be sure you get the between the takeoff and the landing, andproper shutter speed. aimed up to where the rider would be in the air. I placed a second SB-800 on the oppo-That being said, sometimes you can use site side of the jump directly across from theflash to make your action photos more first SB-800 and in the same fashion. If youdynamic. When you use flash in conjunction look closely to the left of the jump, you canwith a slower shutter speed and pan with see it as a bright spot in the background.your subject, you can create amazing imagesin which the backgrounds blur and bleed Initially I had the SB-900 set up tointo a sharply frozen subject. Commander mode using the Advanced Wireless Lighting of the Creative LightingAnother technique you can use is to adjust System (CLS) to control the off-camerathe Flash Exposure Compensation (FEC) up SB-800s, with each one set to a differenta couple of stops to overexpose your sub- group in Through-the-Lens (TTL) mode. Iject while adjusting the exposure to a set- found that the CLS was creating a shutterting that underexposes the background. This lag due to the Speedlight communications,makes your subject seem to “pop” out of and I was missing the peak of the action. It’sthe image and gives your background deep absolutely necessary to have perfect timingsaturated colors. on these types of shots or you miss the zenith of the trick.For figure 7.2, I was at the 9th Street dirtjumps in Austin, Texas, which is a world- To counteract this problem, I went anotherfamous spot that attracts BMX riders of all route. I realized that to get the shutter toskill levels, from amateur to professional. At release immediately, I needed to use theany given time, you can usually find a skilled Speedlights in full Manual mode (M). Usingrider pulling some sick tricks. It’s difficult to the GN / D = A formula, I estimated theshoot at 9th Street. The jumps are under the proper settings (1/2 power for the SB-800cover of trees so the light is fairly dim and across the way and 1/4 power for the oneyou’re generally shooting up into the canopy camera left). I then switched the SB-800s toof the trees. The background is very mottled, SU-4 mode; this allows another flash tobecause extreme bright spots of sky show trigger the Speedlights instantly. I set thethrough the dark leafy tree branches. For SB-900 to M and dialed in the power to
  • 206. 194 Part II ✦ Capturing Great Images with the Nikon D700 I set the AF to AF-C and Dynamic-area AF to –9 points. This allowed me to keep the rider continuously in focus as I panned along with him, and the other points around the selected AF point kept the focus on him if he left the selected focus point. I used an ultra-wide Sigma 12-24mm lens to give the image some perspective distor- tion, adding an interesting effect. Using this ultra-wide lens makes it look like I’m stand- ing farther away from the action than I really am; the rider was actually only a couple of feet from my lens. Lens choice can have a great effect on the impact of your image. Wide-angle lenses can add some great flare to your photos, but you need to be extremely careful when getting this close to the action. I’ve had a few riders and bikes crash into my Speedlights and it can be an expensive fix. Luckily I haven’t had anyone crash into my camera or lens.7.2 Using flash to get the subject to “pop” Being a BMX rider myself and a 9th Street local, I have an “in” with the riders, but if you just1/16. I didn’t want the on-camera Speedlight show up and start snappingto contribute much to the exposure; I just away, some people might getwanted it to trigger the remote flashes. This angry. It’s always best to ask your subjects if they mind beingsolved my shutter lag problem, allowing me photographed before snappingto catch the jump at the peak. photos of them. If you are plan- ning on setting up flashes, youAs far as camera settings, I wanted to use a must ask first. Some peopleslow shutter speed to let some of the ambi- don’t like the flashes; it canent light in given it was dusk and very dark distract or even momentarily blind them, leading to disas-under the trees (this technique is known as trous results.dragging the shutter or shutter drag). If Iused a faster shutter speed, the rider would If you’re planning on publishinglook as though he were flying through a your images, you will want to getblack hole. A slower shutter speed also your subject to sign a release form. I recommend carrying someallowed me to capture some motion blur as of these in your camera bag.I panned along with the rider. I set the cam- Sample release forms can beera to M and the exposure settings at 1/40 found on the Internet.at f/5 ISO 200.
  • 207. Chapter 7 ✦ Advanced Shooting Techniques 195For figure 7.3, I used flash to light Darin on I used two flashes to achieve this shot: thehis skateboard, but I also kept the back- D700 built-in flash as a commander and anground in mind when choosing my settings. SB-800 as a remote. I set the built-in flashAlthough it was nearing dusk, there was still to Commander in Custom Settings menuenough light in the sky to give it a normal (CSM) e3; I set the mode to “--“ so that thedull-blue appearance. I was looking to get a Commander wouldn’t add any exposure;very dynamic image and I wanted to under- and I set Group A (the built-in flash can con-expose the background to make the skies trol two groups of remotes, Group A and/ormore punchy and to give the image a darker Group B) to TTL. Next I set the SB-800 tonighttime appearance. function as a remote on Group A and used the AS-19 Speedlight stand to hold it. I posi-I first set my camera to spot meter. I then tioned the SB-800 on the lip of the ramp,aimed the lens at the brightest spot in the near the center off to the left of the camera.sky, which was just over the horizon. I took I used the built-in wide-angle diffuser tothe reading, then I subtracted two stops from soften the light just a bit and to give flash ait, and I had the exposure I was looking for, little more coverage.which was 1/60. This is a relatively slow shut-ter speed for action shots, but I wasn’t wor-ried because I was using a Speedlight. Theshort duration of the flash is often enough tofreeze your subject in motion.7.3 Overexposing the subject and underexposing the background can have interestingresults.
  • 208. 196 Part II ✦ Capturing Great Images with the Nikon D700The first couple of shots I took with straightTTL weren’t quite bright enough to make Darin Action and sportsreally stand out, so I adjusted the FEC in the photography tipsCommander mode menu to +2 exposure ✦ Practice panning. Panning can bevalue (EV). This gave me just the amount of a difficult technique to master, butlight that I was looking for, overexposing my practice makes perfect. The moresubject a bit. time you spend practicing it, the better you (and your images) willWhen setting up for this shot, I knew I wanted get.an extreme perspective distortion to give theimage more impact. Initially I started out with ✦ Pay attention to your surround- ings. Often when concentrating ona 16mm f/2.8 fisheye lens by Zenitar. Although getting the shot, you can forget thatthe fisheye effect was good, I felt that I wanted there are things going on aroundto go wider and I didn’t want that much barrel you. When photographing sportingdistortion. I selected the Sigma 12-24mm lens events, be sure to remember thatand set it to its widest setting of 12mm (the there may be balls flying around orwidest lens ever made for an FX camera). To athletes on the move. It’s better toget the extreme perspective distortion I was miss a shot than it is to get hurt inlooking for, I had to get really close. I put my the process of trying to get it.lens very near to the coping and hoped thatDarin wouldn’t slip, sending the skateboard ✦ Know the sport. In order to beinto my camera (and face). When I took this able to effectively capture a defini- tive shot, you need to be familiarshot, that skateboard wheel was literally 6 with the sport, its rules, and theinches in front of my lens. ebb and flow of the action. You’ll be able to get better shots if youAs I was taking the shot, I panned with Darin can predict where the action willjust a bit to add a small amount of motion peak rather than simply hope youblur to the background. will luck into one.When looking for action scenes to shoot, Itend to gravitate toward the more excitingand edgy events. You may find you favormore low-key action events, but regardless Architecturalof what appeals to you, just keep your eyesopen. Nearly everywhere you look, some Photographykind of action is taking place. Buildings and structures surround us, and many architects pour their hearts and souls into designing buildings that are interesting to the casual observer. This may be why architectural photography is so popular.
  • 209. Chapter 7 ✦ Advanced Shooting Techniques 197 Copyright and Permission In most places, you don’t need permission to photograph a building as long as it’s a place to which the public has free access. If you are on private property, you should definitely request permission to photograph before you start. If you are inside a build- ing, it is generally a good idea to ask permission before photographing, as well. Due to recent tightening of security policies, a lot of photographers have been approached by security and/or police, so it’s a good idea to check the local laws in the city where you are photographing to know what rights you have as a photographer. For the most part, copyright laws allow photography of any building on “permanent public display.” Although the architect of the structure may own the copyright of the design, it usually does not carry over to photographs of the building. There are excep- tions to this, so again, check local laws, especially if you plan on selling your images.Perspective For more information on Per- spective Control lenses, seeDespite the fact that buildings are such famil- Chapter 4iar, everyday sights, photographing them canbe technically challenging and difficult — Nikon has made Perspective Control (PC)especially when you’re taking pictures of lenses for many years, but the early modelslarge or extremely tall buildings. A number of didn’t allow for tilts, only shifts. The lens Idifferent problems can arise, the main one used to photograph figures 7.4 and 7.5 is abeing perspective distortion. Perspective dis- Nikkor 28mm f/3.5 PC. It is completelytortion is when the closest part of the subject manual, including the focusing and apertureappears irregularly large and the farthest part control. Due to the lens design, the apertureof the subject appears abnormally small. must be opened up to focus and closedThink about standing at the bottom of a sky- down before you press the Shutter Releasescraper and looking straight up to the top. button.Professional architectural photographers Perspective distortion occurs when you tiltuse view cameras with swings and tilts that the lens to an upward angle to fit both theallow them to adjust the film plane and lens top and the bottom of the building into theto correct for the distortion. Nikon has three frame. When the camera is tilted this way,special purpose lenses that deal with per- the image sensor is no longer on the samespective control in a similar fashion as view plane as the building, causing the lines tocameras, by allowing the lens to shift and converge. Shifting the lens up allows you totilt. The wide-angle PC-E Nikkor 24mm capture the top of the building while keep-f/3.5D is the most useful one for architec- ing the sensor plane parallel with the build-tural photography. ing. Instead of tilting the lens up, you shift the lens up.
  • 210. 198 Part II ✦ Capturing Great Images with the Nikon D7007.4 Using a standard 28mm lens to photograph this building gives it the illusion that it’stipping over.7.5 Using a 28mm shift lens to photograph this building allowed me to control theperspective distortion, making the building appear straight.
  • 211. Chapter 7 ✦ Advanced Shooting Techniques 199For figure 7.6, perspective distortion wasn’t was 1/320 at f/5.6 ISO 500. I used Matrixmuch of a problem. Because the building metering and Single AF mode using a singlewasn’t very tall and I could get some good AF point. I used the Vivid Picture Control todistance from it, I was able to photograph it give the image some interesting vibrancy inwith a standard 12-24mm wide-angle lens the colors.without any problems.I chose to use a long exposure to capture Architecturalthe ambient light of the building and sky.The sky is a deep reddish-orange color from photography tipsthe light pollution in downtown Austin, ✦ Shoot from a distance. When tak-which is a block away. For this shot, I used ing pictures of tall buildings andLive View and manually focused the lens. I skyscrapers, try not to take yourused a small aperture of f/16 to maximize photograph too close to the basethe depth of field and to increase my shutter of the building. The perspective dis-speed, which was 30 seconds long. Of tortion can make the structure lookcourse, I also used a tripod. abnormal. ✦ Avoid backlighting. If the buildingFor figure 7.7, I went the opposite direction you are photographing is backlit,of the previous architectural images. I spe- you will lose detail in the structurecifically introduced perspective distortion to and the background will appeargive the photo a wacky flavor, just like the too bright. Try to take your pictureTexas town of Luckenbach. For this shot I when the sun is shining on theused a Sigma 12-24mm ultra-wide lens part of the building you want tozoomed to the 24mm setting. The exposure photograph.7.6 The Long Center for Performing Arts in Austin, Texas
  • 212. 200 Part II ✦ Capturing Great Images with the Nikon D7007.7 The U.S. Post Office in Luckenbach, Texas ✦ Be aware of lens distortion. reason why many photographers do this Different lenses can introduce dis- type of photography. However, sometimes tortion. Wide-angle lenses often to get the shot, you have to fight a crowd or suffer from barrel distortion; this get drinks spilled on your camera. Of course, can cause the straight lines of the if you’re someone who likes to get into the structure that are near the edge of fray, this is great fun. the frame to appear bowed out. Either avoid placing straight lines I strongly suggest that you invest near the edge of the frame or be in good earplugs if you plan sure to correct for the distortion in to do much of this type of post-processing. photography. A good way to get started with concert pho- tography is to find out when your favoriteConcert Photography band or performer is playing and bring your camera. Smaller clubs are usually betterDoing concert photography can be both dif- places to take good up-close photos, simplyficult and extremely rewarding, especially if because you are more likely to have closeryou’re a music fan. Getting that quintessen- access to the stage. Most local bands, per-tial shot of your favorite performer is the formers, and regional touring acts don’t mind
  • 213. Chapter 7 ✦ Advanced Shooting Techniques 201having their photos taken. Offer to e-mailthem some images to use on their Web site.This is beneficial for both them and you, aslots of people will see your photos. Some venues or performers do not allow flash photography at all. In this situation, just try to use the lowest ISO you can while still maintaining a fast enough shutter speed.TechniquesWith most concert photography, the lightingcomes from the stage lights. If you’re shoot-ing at a larger venue or concert, typically thestage lighting is all you need, and you canget amazing images using low ISO settings.The stage lighting engineers are paid tomake the performers look good; you essen-tially piggy-back off their expertise, andfocus on the composition. For image 7.8,the Supersuckers were playing at a fairly 7.8 Ron Heathman, lead guitarist for thelarge venue, but the lighting wasn’t the best Supersuckersor the brightest. I had to crank up the ISO to3200. With previous cameras I’ve owned,this would have rendered the shots barely For these types of lighting situations, I useusable, but not with the D700. At ISO 3200, Spot metering to set