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

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In the Manual Exposure mode, both shutter speed and aperture will be set manually to achieve the desired effect (over or under exposure). Use fast shutter speeds to stop the action, slower speeds to create motion effects or fuzzy outlines. On the other hand, you can set large or small aperture to get specific depth of field effect - where all these can be achieved via either Shutter Or Aperture Priority Mode. So, WHY would anyone wants to use Manual Exposure Control ? Basically, when operates in auto modes, if you want to fine-tune exposure control, you can use a few features in an auto camera but other than the convenient AE Lock function, the remaining ways would require the photographer to set or press a few settings to achieve a desired results. In Manual exposure control, the operation is actually faster in the F5's new way of thumb wheels control to make minor adjustment on exposure. NEXT, for a scene with light levels constantly changes or if you have well prepared to setup and accept an exposure reading, for an instance, shooting stills photography or copy works indoor etc.) where you don't require to adjust exposure again, manual mode is a better way, just blast off without worrying the auto sensor will keep changing the exposures while you shoot. Lastly, for a selective few, it can be very personal. To some, those who thinks the entire image-making process is manhandled rather than using automation... it can also be a little things called "satisfaction" (ego, if you like to refer it negatively). Okay, whatever the reasons, as long as there is a auto-exposure camera, seemingly the Manual Control Mode is a must-have feature - if not, it will easily be categorized as an idiot-proof camera (Oohs, errr .... sorry to hurt some of the dedicated Nikon EM users with this remarks...).

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Manual Exposure Control

<<--- Credit: Image courtesy of Palmi Einarsson® from Iceland. The image is part of a series extracted from his on-line portfolio. His creative works are supplemented by an excellent web design. Image copyright © 2005. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.


So, if you like to do-it-yourself, Manual exposure mode also lets you control depth of field, either by softening the background so the main subject of the picture stands out, or by creating overall uniform sharpness. Set the shutter speed with the Main-Command Dial and the aperture with the Sub-Command Dial or lens' aperture ring.
A shutter speed of up to 30 min. can be set through Custom Settings #19. LCD and viewfinder indication in M mode Adjust aperture and/or shutter speed referring to the Electronic Analogue Display in the viewfinder LCD. The Electronic Analogue range is +2 EV to -2 EV, in increments of 1/3 EV. To operate Manual Exposure control: While pressing MODE button, rotate Main-Command Dial until icon-Msml.gif appears in the top LCD panel and electronic analog exposure display in the viewfinder. Remove finger from MODE button, set shutter speed by rotating the Main-Command Dial.

LCD-M.gif LCD-Mbar.gif
To achieve a specific creative effect (e.g., intentional blur, intentional under- or overexposure), disregard the LCD and modify the recommended exposure settings.



<<< Copyright-free images collection © 2004 .


icon-lockMDM.gif The selected shutter speed/aperture can be locked using the lock function to avoid accidental changes of settings, To lock the shutter speed/aperture, rotate the Main/Sub-Command Dial while pressing the button. appears in the top LCD panel and in the viewfinder above the shutter speed/aperture indications. To release the lock, rotate Main-Command Dial while pressing the button again, or select another exposure mode. and disappear. Lock function operates only with lenses having a CPU, when the lens is set and locked at its minimum aperture.
NOTE: With lenses having no CPU, blinks instead of the lenses having aperture value in the LCD panel and viewfinder. Set aperture manually with the lens' aperture ring. With lenses having fixed aperture, such as Reflex-Nikkor lenses: Aperture cannot be changed; adjust exposure by changing the shutter speed. With lenses having no auto diaphragm such as PC-Nikkor lenses: Lens is stopped down when a smaller aperture (larger f-number) is selected. Focus manually with the lens set at maximum aperture. Exposure compensation with AF Micro-Nikkor lens When an AF Micro lens is attached to the F5 camera body and exposure is measured with a separate exposure meter, compensation is not necessary when selecting aperture with the Sub-Command Dial. However, exposure compensation indicated in lens' manual is required when selecting aperture with lens aperture ring.

As mentioned earlier, when experience grows, it is always easier to shoot with auto exposure modes. However, in some shooting situations where you realize you may have to adjust exposure to counter limitation of auto exposure reading. MOST auto exposure camera provides a few ways for photographers to fine-tune the auto modes. The early AE cameras have exposure compensation dial (EL-series) or one-touch button (EM, FG etc.); at later stage, a more convenient AE Lock (FE, FE2 etc.) was introduced. When AF cameras surfaced, the AE Lock was combined with AF-Lock. With the Nikon F5, all these functions are provided into one package. Sections below outline their respective ways in setting up and their individual purpose used during the shooting:-

a) AE/AF Lock
b) Exposure Compensation
c) Auto Exposure Bracketing
d) Multiple Exposures

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.

AE-L (Auto Exposure Lock)

Locates at the rear section of the top control panel. Although personally, I would still think the previous location set on the Nikon F4 is more logical (it separates into two buttons of AE and AF Lock but the oversized hand grip make it difficult to operate). As the F5 has a better human engineering but Nikon strangely moves the 2-in-1 AF-/AE button to the new location. However, it is still considered okay because it is still considered quite easily "reachable" with the thumb. Well, if Nikon felt the dual buttons on the Nikon F4 could confused the users (why would they designed that in the first place..), the dual buttons of AF-ON and AE/AF-L buttons are also being arranged side-by-side, in either way, it would need orientation why the photographer's eyes are still leeching on the viewfinder eyepiece. Logical huh ? Guess not... but an experienced F5 user may soon get used to it with the rough location of it even without having to remove the eyes from the viewfinder while attending focusing.

When you press the AE-L/AF-L button will simultaneously lock both exposure and focus and the F5 memorizes the metered exposure value with focus lock. This function can be used with both Single Area AF or Dynamic AF operation, and with all metering systems used for automatic exposure control functions. This is great for situations where you want to change the composition or put creative, emphasis on a specific part of the picture with Centre-Weighted or Spot Metering. Frankly, compared to other modes in exposure adjustments, the AE-Lock should be the preferred method because exposure compensation can be quite tricky to use largely because it requires experience to determine the right amount of compensation for any given scene. The AE-Lock is more straight forward method except you have to take note to avoid shifting in focus extensively may affect exposure slightly. Note: Only Auto exposure can be locked by pressing the AE-/AF-L button through Custom Settings #21.


<<<--- Credit: Image courtesy of Mr. Mike Long®. The image is part of a series extracted from his "Beautiful France Series" showcased in his on-line portfolio at Pbase where you can access his other creative works. Image copyright © 2005. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

* Using Single Servo AF, when Single Area AF mode and Spot Metering are selected, correct exposure can be achieved by choosing a focus area which corresponds to your picture composition.
* Aperture in Aperture-Priority Auto and shutter speed in Shutter-Priority Auto can be changed ever while pressing the AE-L/AF-L button.
* You cannot change the metering system while pressing the AE-L~AF-L button.
* To lock only focus in Single Servo AF, lightly press the shutter release button and recompose.
* Pressing the AE-L/AF-L button locks exposure only in manual focus mode.

About AE Lock In the auto exposure mode, when you want to control exposure based on the brightness of a specific area within the scene, use AE lock. With the F5, pressing the AE-L/AF-L button locks both exposure and focus, but it can be changed to lock only exposure (or focus) using the Custom Setting, Center-Weighted or Spot Metering is recommended when using AE lock. The AE-L/AF-L button can be shifted to provide other functions via custom settings: i.e.:

AE-L/AF-L button can be set to lock only focus or exposure by using Custom Setting #21
AE-L/AF-L button can be set to lock camera~s controlled shutter speed and aperture instead of detected exposure value using Custom Setting #5.
Autofocus can be deactivated and lens does not start focusing when the shutter release button is lightly pressed using Custom Setting

Exposure Compensation

Locates conveniently just next to the shutter release button - one way of another it also shows Nikon concludes users would use this feature more than any other features for Auto exposure adjustment. However, exposure compensation in the Nikon F5 is differed from conventional way of DIAL-design (as in the Nikon F4) via the use of exposure compensation button with the Main Command Dial.

You can compensate exposure within a generous range of ±5 EV in 1/3 EV increments. While pressing the exposure compensation button, rotate the Main-Command Dial to set the desired compensation value. The dial is graduated in a 1/3 EV increments. minus values indicate underexposures and plus values indicate overexposures. Because the exposure compensation mark and value appear in the viewfinder as well as the top deck LCD panel, you can set the, compensation value with your eye on your subject through the viewfinder. The ±5 EV compensation is quite useful in many actual picture taking situations such as highly contrasty scenes. For those who still remember the Olympus way of Highlight and Shadow function will understand what I meant However, the exposure meter scale does not shown in its top LCD pane so, one has to peep inside the finder to see the scale adjustments. Naturally, you can also make adjustment manually when operates in Manual Exposure control.

Exposure compensation is a photographic technique that enables you to vary the final exposure settings from those measured by the camera's light meter. Nikon's 3D Color Matrix Metering employs methods of exposure calculation that automatically apply exposure compensation, depending upon scene brightness, contrast, focused subject's distance and color distribution of the entire frame. As a result, your subject, whether it is centered in the viewfinder or not, is given corrected exposure in most lighting situations. Nikon warns it is not recommend using any manually or automatically applied exposure compensation when using 3D Color Matrix Metering. If you identify an extreme condition under which Matrix may have some difficulty, such as a severely backlit scene or one with extremes of contrast, we recommend using your camera's other built-in meters, Center-Weighted or Spot.

<<<--- A typical highlight-dominated pictorial scene such as this would require certain levels of exposure compensation when Center-weighted or spot metering is selected.

Credit: Oohs.. NO credit required, because she is my daughter, Esther foo. Compared with her picture at 8. She has groen up a lot since then huh ?Copyright-free images collection © 2005 .

To use or not to use is a matter of personal preference. The Nikon F5 has improved the scales to very broad range of 5 f-stops (over & under adjustment). Frankly, I am not against the use of this feature as Nikon 's 3D Matrix should also acceptable of delivering acceptable results. I remembered the Olympus pioneered one-touch HIGHLIGHT / SHADOW compensation was the best design thus far to handle high contrasty scenes and even its very innovative multi-spots meters design was less assuring for such applications. Anyway, as the Nikon F5 targeted users are maninly the pros and/or serious amateurs; naturally, you don't try to educate a pros how to make exposure adjustment, huh? so, that probably is the main reasons why Nikon still sticks back to a conventional way, except increase its working range for users to make adjustment one his own. Anyway, Nikon still offers the unassuring photographers with its Auto Exposure Bracketing (discussed below), so, don't worry the 1/1000th chances that you will be making exposure error with all it has to offer in this great, modern optical imaging tool, okay ? If you still often do, it is very unforgiving ..

icon-expcomp.gif   Ultimately, only you know what the subject or a part of it requires in terms of exposure measurement. That's why the F5 camera incorporates three meters plus a variety of exposure compensation systems. The photographer's creativity is always the final deciding and controlling factor. To use the various exposure compensation functions, please refer to the following:

* Using AE-L/AF-L (Auto Exposure/Autofocus Lock) button
* To obtain meter reading for a particular subject In Manual exposure mode
* Using exposure compensation button -Auto Exposure/Flash Exposure Bracketing Results will vary, depending on conditions, so you will want to experiment with each method.

Those mechanical camera days, we often used varying the film speed setting as one old method as compensation during manual exposure control, the Nikon F5 can apply exposure compensation even if it is in manual mode (refer to Page 6 of the User's Manual Section). To modify exposure control (from the ISO standard), use the exposure compensation button. Compensation can be applied tom -5 EV to +5 EV in 1/3 steps. After taking your photo, be sure to reset the control to "0" to resume normal operation. Note: Auto Exposure/Flash Exposure Bracketing is also set, exposure compensation will be combined compensation values.

| previous | NEXT | 3/4 a life-saving feature for some, Auto Exposure Bracketing & Multiple Exposures

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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.

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