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Aperture Help....or really really stupid newbie questions!!!!
Okay, let me preface my questions by saying that I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer when it comes to understanding aperture...hence my posting in the beginner's section rather than anywhere else and I have no doubt everyone else has figured out what clearly I have not. That being said, I understand the general concept of aperture, smaller numbers, larger opening, shallower depth of field, larger numbers, smaller opening, deeper depth of field, I have that pretty much down. But I'm currently reading "Understanding Exposure" by Bryan Peterson and a number of questions have occured which I would love to ask Bryan, but obviously can't, hence my posting here..

1) if my lens (an 18-200mm zoom) has an aperture range of 3.5 to 5.6, then how am I supposed to step down to say f/22 for extreme depth of field?.

2) I note the infinity symbol on the lens, but I seem to be limited to a maximum of 5.6 when I zoom all the way out, how do I dial in the infinity? or at least a higher f/#.

3)if I set the camera (a D300) to shutter priority, then technically aperture should be set by the camera, but unless I'm missing something, aperture can ony be set by actually physically zooming in and out, which is when I see the aperture number change in the viewfinder..

4) I assume a fixed focal length lens, such as the 50mm 1.8 I have, would in fact allow the camera to select an appropriate aperture, which can't happen with variable aperture zooms?.

Apologies in advance for not knowing this stuff, but I'm trying to get my head around what Bryan is saying do in the book and my (seemingly) lack of such functionality on my lens...which I suspect is a lack of functionality in me!.

Regards.

Alan..

Comments (12)

The maximum aperture of your zoom lens will physically vary from the brighter short end to darker long end (f3.5-f6.3 etc). you can still dial in your f22 if the lens designers allow you to go that far. Support your camera if the combination of low shutter speed and high ISO will not permit a sufficiently fast shutter speed to get a correct exposure.As far as I am aware, an infinity mark is used for focusing..

John.Please visit me at:http://www.pbase.com/johnfr/backtothebridgehttp://www.pbase.com/johnfr/digital_dartmoor..

Comment #1

Alan Schenk wrote:.

1) if my lens (an 18-200mm zoom) has an aperture range of 3.5 to 5.6,then how am I supposed to step down to say f/22 for extreme depth offield?.

3.5-5.6 isn't your range, but rather the maximums (numberically minimum) at the extremes of your zoom..

Ie, at 18mm, your max aperture is 3.5, and at 200mm, your max aperture is 5.6your minimum at any focal length is probably around F22.

2) I note the infinity symbol on the lens, but I seem to be limitedto a maximum of 5.6 when I zoom all the way out, how do I dial in theinfinity? or at least a higher f/#.

See point #1.

3)if I set the camera (a D300) to shutter priority, then technicallyaperture should be set by the camera, but unless I'm missingsomething, aperture can ony be set by actually physically zooming inand out, which is when I see the aperture number change in theviewfinder..

Whatever shutter speed your selecting apparantly wants a max aperture for the given amount of light, so as you zoom in and out, you're seeing the camera select the max F-stop possible for the given light & focal length....point at something very bright and you'll see the f-stop change..

4) I assume a fixed focal length lens, such as the 50mm 1.8 I have,would in fact allow the camera to select an appropriate aperture,which can't happen with variable aperture zooms?.

Again, 1.8 is just the max (wide open).

Since the lens doesn't have any other focal length than 50mm, it lists only the max aperture for 50mm....yet it can still go down to F22 or whatever...

Comment #2

Ondarock wrote:.

Alan Schenk wrote:.

1) if my lens (an 18-200mm zoom) has an aperture range of 3.5 to 5.6,then how am I supposed to step down to say f/22 for extreme depth offield?.

3.5-5.6 isn't your range, but rather the maximums (numbericallyminimum) at the extremes of your zoom..

Ie, at 18mm, your max aperture is 3.5, and at 200mm, your maxaperture is 5.6your minimum at any focal length is probably around F22.

Aah, the light bulb is coming on, flickering anyway. So, these represent the widest aperture possible for a given length, this I now understand. But what I'm not getting, is how therefore do I dial in F22? Is this something on the lens or something on the camera?.

Regards..

Comment #3

If you have the camera on shutter priority, you set the shutter speed and the camera checks the available light and sets the aperture. This doesn't happen until you half press the shutter release..

If you switch to aperture priority, you set the aperture (normally by turning either the finger wheel or the thumb wheel) and the camera sets the shutter speed..

If all else fails you could always try RTFM.Chris R..

Comment #4

Chris R-UK wrote:.

If you have the camera on shutter priority, you set the shutter speedand the camera checks the available light and sets the aperture.This doesn't happen until you half press the shutter release..

If you switch to aperture priority, you set the aperture (normally byturning either the finger wheel or the thumb wheel) and the camerasets the shutter speed..

If all else fails you could always try RTFM.Chris R.

Absolutely agree about RTFM...and have moved the thumb wheel when in A mode, but the max aperture goes to 5.6 and then into "Lo"....?..

Comment #5

I am not familiar with the D300 so you will have to read the manual (or post on the Nikon D300 forum).Chris R..

Comment #6

I have a Nikon d50. I think the "lo" means your underexposed at the aperature you've selected When you get this, check the exposure display. It should show underexposure. Increase ISO, decrease shutter speed, use flash or any combination and the "lo" will change to display your aperature fstop...

Comment #7

MaryGierth wrote:.

I have a Nikon d50. I think the "lo" means your underexposed at theaperature you've selected When you get this, check the exposuredisplay. It should show underexposure. Increase ISO, decreaseshutter speed, use flash or any combination and the "lo" will changeto display your aperature fstop..

Thanks Mary.

I had a read of the manual again and it appears that (of course) I missed something particularly relevant, which is the finger dial (sub-dial) on the D300 controls aperture in A and M mode. I'm at work, so will try this when I get home and will no doubt be posting a short and rather sheepish update tomorrow!..

Comment #8

Chris R-UK wrote:.

If you have the camera on shutter priority, you set the shutter speedand the camera checks the available light and sets the aperture.This doesn't happen until you half press the shutter release..

If you switch to aperture priority, you set the aperture (normally byturning either the finger wheel or the thumb wheel) and the camerasets the shutter speed..

If all else fails you could always try RTFM.Chris R.

Looks like you were correct Chris about the finger dial. Thanks for the taking the time to respond. Hopefully I will validate my manual reading tonight and will be able to get to grips with aperture at last. Thanks for responding and advising to RTFM...usually works doesn't it!..

Comment #9

Looks like you were correct Chris about the finger dial. Thanks forthe taking the time to respond. Hopefully I will validate my manualreading tonight and will be able to get to grips with aperture atlast. Thanks for responding and advising to RTFM...usually worksdoesn't it!.

Yep, if the D300 is anything like the D200 (which it may not be) the front wheel controls shutter speed (in Shutter Priority or Manual) and the rear wheel controls aperture (in Aperture Priiority or Manual)..

Though it may be vice versa as you can switch them around if you like via the menu, I did - so I've forgotten what the default is..

No modern Nikon lens will have the aperture changed on the lens, they will all be done via the camera body. I'd avoid f/22 though as diffraction will kick in there..

Alex.

Http://alexandjustine.smugmug.com/..

Comment #10

A couple of tips also with the 50mm f/1.8:.

[1] make sure you lock the aperture ring to f/22 on the lens with a little switch with a orange mark on it BEFORE attaching to the body, or you will get the -ERR- message in the top LCD (that's the D200 message anyway). Then you change aperture with the wheel as normal on the body (and will notice that it allows you to go down to 1.8)..

[2] this lens is known to be a bit tight so twist it firmly until it clicks onto the mount, maybe a bit more pressure needed than with the 18-200VR..

Enjoy your new camera as much as I did (and do) with the D200!.

Alex.

Http://alexandjustine.smugmug.com/..

Comment #11

Alex Leach wrote:.

A couple of tips also with the 50mm f/1.8:.

[1] make sure you lock the aperture ring to f/22 on the lens with alittle switch with a orange mark on it BEFORE attaching to the body,or you will get the -ERR- message in the top LCD (that's the D200message anyway). Then you change aperture with the wheel as normalon the body (and will notice that it allows you to go down to 1.8)..

[2] this lens is known to be a bit tight so twist it firmly until itclicks onto the mount, maybe a bit more pressure needed than with the18-200VR..

Enjoy your new camera as much as I did (and do) with the D200!.

Alex.

Thanks Alex, I've always found your posts to be instructive and helpful. Didn't know about the aperture ring lock, so I'll check on that before mounting...

Comment #12

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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