Modern Classic SLRs Series :
Nikon F5 Series SLR models
Various Exposure Control Modes - Part II

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Those days, Shutter Speed Priority with a Nikon was not entirely too friendly to use. Nikon first enabled its camera to perform this automation was back in the seventies. However, the automation was not entirely electronic but rather, the Company designed a device called EE-Aperture Control Unit specifically for the MECHANICAL Nikon F2 series models. The problem was actually from the design of the older versions of MF-Nikkor lenses. When the Ai-S* Nikkor was introduced, it enabled Nikon first SLR that can actually offered body integrated Shutter Priority AE, the Nikon FA (1983). Since then, other models followed. When the first generation AF-Nikkor appeared, all AF-Nikkor carry basic lens configuration to enable any Nikon SLR to provide Shutter Priority AE, if it has. It doesn't change even apply to modern AF-Nikkor lenses. So, if you require this automated mode, you ought to have a minimum specification of an Ai-S to perform Shutter Priority AE. * Nikon E-Series (1979) carried the shutter indexing post specification first, while the Nikon FG (1982) has enabled Programmed AE with E-Series or Ai-Nikkor when set the aperture to minimum value.


Shutter-Priority Auto
Exposure Mode

: Image courtesy of Mr. Harry Eggens®. Harry is a professional photographer and has an excellent on-line portfolio at Image copyright © 2005. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

This auto exposure mode lets you choose shutter speeds manually via the command dial. Use a fast shutter speed to stop action, or create motion effects by choosing a slower shutter speed. The Nikon F5's microcomputer automatically selects the correct aperture to match the selected shutter speed. This mode is available with lenses having a built-in CPU ( i.e., AF-S, AF-I, AF and Ai-P-type Nikkor lenses). As Shutter Priority AE is a frequent used mode for pros that engaging in action-based, wild life photography and most often, this mode is work hand in hand with the focus tracking speed and/or frame advance rate - where most people judge its performance against others. For quite a while, the AF burst rate and its 8 fps focus tracking of the Nikon F5 is rated top in its class and many pros have realized the Nikon F5's strength again until it forced Canon replied the F5's aggression with the current model of Canon EOS-1v in 2001.

blurry flights.jpg
Regardless using these for action, travel or for scenic photography, slow shutter speeds can generate a sense of movement, portraying graphical motion. The two illustrating images (top & left) represent two extremes in applied visual imageries.

Credit: Image courtesy of Mr. Nick Kalathas® from Pennsylvania. Nick portfolio is at Nature Moment which contains many excellent nature/wildlife images. Image copyright © 2005. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

LCD and viewfinder indication in "S" mode. Rotate the Main-Command Dial to select the desired shutter speed from 30 to 1/8000 sec. While pressing MODE button, rotate Main-Command Dial until icon-sSML.gif appears in the top LCD panel and S in the viewfinder. Make sure to set lens to its minimum aperture position (largest f-number). in 1/3 steps. Aperture is controlled within the range of the lens in use and indicated in 1/3 EV steps.

LCD-S.gif LCD-Sbar.gif   * This operation can be performed only with lenses having a built-in CPU. * If meter and LCD readout have turned off, turn on again by lightly pressing shutter release button. * If "bulb" is set on the camera, selecting the Shutter Priority Auto mode will cause to blink - a warning that the "bulb" setting cannot be used in Shutter-Priority mode.
The selected shutter speed can be locked using the lock function to avoid accidental changes of settings. To lock the shutter speed, rotate the Main-Command Dial while pressing the button . appears in the top LCD panel and in the viewfinder above the shutter speed indications. To release the lock, rotate Main-Command Dial while pressing the button again, or select another exposure mode. and disappear.


Aperture-Priority Auto
Exposure Mode


<<--- Credit: Image courtesy of Mr. Sergio Pessolano®. Sergio's personal portfolio is available at where you can access many of his other creative travel photographic works. Image copyright © 2005. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

To MOST Nikon users, seemingly Aperture Priority AE is the default mode for any Nikon SLRs that capable of providing AE mode..This is not surprising as one can trace back to the first Nikon electronic SLR, (a non-Ai Nikkormat/Nikomat EL(1972), followed by the winder-capable EL-W (1976), the Ai-capable EL2 (1977), Nikon FE (1977/78), Nikon EM (1979), FG20 (1982), FE2 (1983) and even Nikon's 3rd generation professional body of Nikon F3 (1980) were all essentially an aperture-priority-based SLR camera. The long development history which directly relates to development of Nikkor lenses has also ended with this AE mode has the widest range of lens-compatibility with the MF-Nikkor optic. So, the F5's aperture priority AE mode can actually operates with virtually all the Ai-type NIkkor lenses. This depth of field mode is very easy to understand and operate. Naturally, unlike those days you turn around the aperture ring, you have to operate the F5 via the Iens' aperture ring or Sub-Command Dial. When used with any optical system such as a Reflex-Nikkor lenses, microscope, telescope, bellows, etc., the Nikon F5's microcomputer will automatically select the correct shutter speed to match the aperture you set.

This is the recommended mode when depth of field is your prime consideration. For less distinct backgrounds, as in portraiture, simply select a larger aperture to obtain a shallow depth of field. For overall sharp, clear pictures, as in scenic photography, use smaller apertures. (See the lens compatibility chart section) LCD and viewfinder indication in "A" mode Set lens to desired f-number by rotating Sub-Command Dial or lens aperture ring. Shutter speed is controlled virtually steplessly from 30 to 1/8000 sec. and indicated in 1/3 EV steps. To operate: While pressing MODE button, rotate Main-Command Dial until con-aSML.gif appears in the top LCD panel and "A" in the viewfinder. This popular AE mode is NOT possible when using the 6X High-Magnification Finder DW-31 & Waist Level Finder DW-30 with the Nikon F5. Spot meter should be used instead. This remains as a small weakness in the Nikon F5 because spot meter requires a great deal of experience from the user to get an optimum exposure.

LCD-A.gif LCD-Abar.gif * Aperture can also be set by rotating the lens aperture ring. In this case, blinks in the viewfinder and top LCD panel, and aperture can be confirmed only through the aperture direct readout In the viewfinder. * To select minimum aperture with the lens aperture ring, make sure to also set aperture to minimum with Sub-Command Dial; the reason being that when the lens' aperture ring is set to its minimum, aperture set with Sub-Command Dial will be effective. If meter and LCD readout have turned off, turn on again by lightly pressing shutter release button.
The selected aperture can be loaded using the lock function to avoid accidental change of settings. To lock aperture, rotate Sub-Command Dial while pressing the button. appears in the top LCD panel and in the viewfinder above the aperture indications. To release the lock, rotate Sub-Command Dial while pressing the button again, or select another exposure mode and disappear.

NOTE: With lenses having no CPU, blinks instead of aperture value in the LCD panel and viewfinder. Set the aperture manually with lens' aperture ring. With Ai type lenses including Al-modified Nikkor lenses: Confirm aperture value on lens barrel. With lenses having fixed aperture, such as Reflex Nikkor lenses: Aperture cannot be changed. With lenses having NO auto diaphragm such as PC Nikkor lenses: Switch to Manual exposure mode. Next, aperture can be set NOT to change by rotating Sub-Command Dial using Custom Setting #22. Set aperture by rotating the lens' aperture ring in this case.

| previous | NEXT | 2/4 Manual Exposure Control, various supplementary functions for the AE modes

Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV

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The Camera - Background, Issues & Summary
Basic Features | Focusing | Metering Systems | Exposure Control | Reliability Issues | Nikkor lens Compatibility

Landscapes, scenic..many photographers prefer this easy to operate aperture priority mode for depth-of-field control.

Credit: Image courtesy of Sandra Bartosha® Sandra's online portfolio can be accessed at bartosha-photography. Image copyright © 2005. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

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Index Page
  Special Application lenses:
Micro-Nikkor Lenses - 50mm~55mm -60mm 85mm -105mm 200mm Micro-Zoom 70-180mm
Perspective Control (PC) - 28mm 35mm PC-Micro 85mm
Dedicated Lenses for Nikon F3AF: AF 80mm f/2.8 | AF 200mm f/3.5 EDIF
Depth of Field Control (DC): 105mm 135mm
Medical Nikkor: 120mm 200mm
Reflex-Nikkor Lenses - 500mm 1000mm 2000mm
Others: Noct Nikkor | OP-Nikkor | UV Nikkor 55mm 105mm | Focusing Units | Bellows-Nikkor 105mm 135mm
Nikon Series E Lenses: 28mm35mm50mm100mm135mm | E-Series Zoom lenses: 36~72mm75~150mm70~210mm

MF Zoom-Nikkor Lenses: 25~50mm | 28~45mm | 28~50mm | 28~85mm | 35~70mm | 36~72mm E | 35~85mm | 35~105mm | 35~135mm | 35~200mm | 43~86mm | 50~135mm | 50~300mm | 70~210mm E | 75~150mm E | 80~200mm | 85~250mm | 100~300mm | 180~600mm | 200~400mm | 200~600mm | 360~1200mm | 1200~1700mm

Tele-Converters: TC-1 | TC-2 | TC-200 | TC-201 | TC-300 | TC-301 | TC-14 | TC-14A | TC-14B | TC-14C | TC-14E | TC-16 | TC-16A | TC-20E

Recommended links to understand more technical details related to the Nikkor F-mount and production Serial Number: by: my friend, Rick Oleson by: Hansen, Lars Holst

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W A R N I N G: The new G-SERIES Nikkor lenses have removed the conventional aperture ring on the lense barrel, they CANNOT adjust aperture(s) when operating in manual exposure control even with certain earlier MF/AF Nikon SLR camera models. But they are FULLY COMPATIBLE with the Nikon F5 featured here in all usable metering systems and/or exposure modes. Please refer to your local distributor for compatibility issue(s).

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A resource dedicated to my children, Alvin Foo & Esther Foo- one day, BOTH might need to use all these information for his/her Nikon F5A camera.

Volunteered Maintainer(s) for the Nikon F5 Message Board: Tony Davies-Patrick, UK; Rick Oleson, US; Koh Kho King, Malaysia.

Credit: Mr. Chuck Hester, US for his text re-editing skill for this site; Our staff, HowKiat® who created the 3D-Nikon F5 logo. Mr. Lew Chee Wai of YL camera for lending his F5 for me to take some shots appeared in this site. All those nice folks who have contributed their images, in particular Mr. Mike Long, Edwin leong, Palmi Einarsson, Sergio Pessolano, Fred Kamphues, Harry Eggens, Curtis Forrester, Nick (Natures Moments), Sandra Bartocha; fellow countrymen, Vincent Thian, Koh Kho King, Philip Chong, CY Leow etc. and contributions from a few nice folks from Photo Malaysia Forum. Disclaimers & acknowledgments: Certain content and images appeared in this site were either scanned from official marketing leaflets, brochures published by Nikon and/or contribution from surfers who claimed originality of their own work for public publishing in this website, where majority of the extracted information are used basing on educational merits. The creator of this site will not be responsible for any discrepancies that may arise from any possible dispute except rectifying them after verification from respective source. Neither Nikon or its associates has granted any permission(s) in using their public information nor has any interest in the creation of this site. "Nikon", "Nikkormat", "Nippon Kokagu KK" "Silent Wave", "Focus Tracking Lock-on", "Nikkor" & other applicable technical/business terms are registered trade name(s) of Nikon Corporation Inc., Japan. Site made with an Apple G5 IMac.