Modern Classic SLRs Series :
Nikon F2AS Photomic w/DP-12 Prism
Instruction Manual - Part IIa

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Depth-of-Field Preview Button

As most Nikkor lenses are operated at full aperture for ease of focusing, visualization of the depth of field at the shooting aperture may be difficult. Thus, the camera's depth-of-field preview button often can come in handy.

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The depth-of-fleld preview button lets you check (or "preview") the zone of sharpness at any time before (or after) shooting. Simply by depressing the button, the lens is stopped down to the preselected aperture to allow you to see how much background and foreground is in or out of focus.

Note: The depth of field preview button is also used in stopped down Exposure Measurement in many of the manual focus Nikon SLRs.

Depth-of-Field Indicators

Depth of field can be read directly from the distance scale in meters or feet with the aid of the color-coded depth-of-fleld indicators engraved on the lens barrel. Each pair of colored lines on either side of the central distance scale index line corresponds to f/numbers of the same color on the aperture scale.

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For example, f/16 on the aperture ring of the 50 mm f/1.4 lens is blue. With the lens prefocused at 17 feet (5 m), the numbers on the distance scale opposite the blue lines show that the depth of field extends from 9 feet (2.7 m) to infinity (OO).

To find the depth of field at a particular aperture, first focus the lens on the subject while looking through the viewfinder. Then check the numbers on the distance scale to determine the zone of focus for the aperture in use. (Check Here for an Illustration)

Exposure Measurement:

The exposure meter of the F2AS Photomic finder utilizes Nikon's through-the-lens center-weighted exposure measurement at full aperture.

The meter reads the light over the entire focusing screen but favors the central 12mm-diameter area, while taking the entire area into consideration. This allows you to make precise readings of the selected subject area, and results in more balanced overall exposures.

Determining Exposure

The finder has three LED exposure indicators visible within the view field ("
+" for overexposure, "O" for correct exposure, and "-" for underexposure); thus, the metering system is capable of providing easy-to-read exposure information in five steps, and even at extremely low-light levels. Additionally, the selected shutter speed and lens aperture settings are visible for maximum ease of operation for setting the desired exposure.

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To determine the correct exposure with the Nikon F2AS: Switch ON the meter by moving the film-advance lever to the 20° standoff position; with this action, one of the LED indicators will light, indicating overexposure, correct exposure or underexposure. If the plus (+) indicator lights, increase the shutter speed or decrease the aperture until the center (°) indicator just comes on and the (+) turns off; if the minus ( - ) indicator is lit, decrease the shutter speed or increase the aperture until the center indicator lights.

< --- Mill Bridge, 2000 (23k Jpeg) Copyright © 2000. Chuck Hester ®

When two LEDs light simultaneously (i.e., "+" and a, or "-" and "O"), the exposure setting is within 1- stop of correct exposure; thus, be sure to adjust the aperture setting slowly to get only the correct "center" exposure.

Exposure Control

The amount of light reaching the film plane is determined by a combination of the lens aperture and the shutter speed. Since the two are interrelated, different combinations will give the same exposure. A 1-step change in the shutter speed, or a 1-stop change in the aperture setting, will either halve or double the exposure.

When two LED's light simultaneously (i.e., + and o, or - and o), the exposure setting is within 1-stop of correct exposure; thus, be sure to adjust the aperture setting slowly to get only the correct "center" (o) exposure.

For example, a shutter speed of 1/125 second passes twice as much light as a setting of 1/250 second, and only half as much light as a speed of 1/60 second; for an aperture setting of f/11, twice as much light as f/16, and half as much as f/8, is passed. This feature characterizes the operation throughout the available range of shutter speeds and aperture settings. With this in mind, it's easy to see that if a correct exposure for a scene is 1/125 at f/11, then 1/60 at f/16 or 1/250 at f/8 will be equally acceptable.

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The best combination for your needs will depend on the results desired. Use fast shutter speeds to freeze motion, or use slow speeds to produce deliberate and creative blur. Small apertures give greater depth of field, while large apertures restrict sharp focus to the main subject. The creative selection of both speeds and apertures will greatly enhance your photography.

<< --- Mirage at Airshow, 1987 (37k Jpeg) Copyright © 2000. CYLeow ® Photo Editor of the Star newspaper. Hosted by: Malaysian Internet Resources


Shutter speed (sec.)






Aperture (f/number)






More info is available at a | separate section | on the topic "Exposure" and its relation to Shutter Speed and Aperture.

Metering Range

If the center "correct exposure" LED fails to illuminate, even after all possible lens-aperture/shutter-speed combinations have been tried, then the available light is too bright or too dim for the meter's range. To correct this situation, several measures may be taken, as follows: Switch to a new film (either higher or lower ASA) that more closely matches the available light; mount a neutral density filter on the lens to decrease the light reaching the film plane; or use artificial lighting (i.e., an electronic flash unit) to increase subject illumination. Remember, too, that the lens in use can greatly influence suitability for bright or dim shooting. For example, a 50mm f/1.4 lens (with ASA 100 film) couples from EV - 2 (f/1.4 at 8 seconds) to EV 17 (f/8 at 1/2000 second) for excellent low-light performance; on the other hand, a 200mm f/4 lens proves more usable at bright-light levels, coupling (with ASA 100 film) from EV 1 (f/4 at 8 seconds) to EV 20 (f/22 at 1/2000). Thus, choose the lens carefully to match the existing lighting conditions.

| Previous | NEXT | 5 / 11 Low-Light Metering, Time Exposures, Eyepiece Shutter, High-Contrast scenes, Stopped-Down Exposure Measurement, Exposure Compensation Adjustment

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Copyright © 2000. leofoo ®. MIR Web Development Team.

In memory of my friend Com. Augusto Staut, Brazil, 1971-2000.

Credit: Chuck Hester, US for his patience, encouragement and help to setup the various content in this site; Robert Johnson for some of his original images on the F2H-MD appeared in this site; my ex-staff, KiaSu for his superb 3-D logo appeared in this Nikon F2 site; Marc Vorgers from Holland who generously provide me with some of his images of F2AS; MCLau®, who has so much time with me to re-edit the content in this site and not to mention buying a Nikon Coolpix 990 just for this site. Keat Photo, Kuala Lumpur for providing their Nikon F2A to take some images for this site; again, Mr Edward Ngoh the great camera collector who provides us his collection of F2AS with MD-2; for their images on the Speed Magny film backs; Sean Cranor for his image on Nikon F2 25th Anniversary Model; Ted Wengelaar®, Holland for his continuous flow of input on some of the early Nikon bodies; CYLeow ® , photo editor of the Star newspaper, Malaysia for some of his images used in this site. Ms Rissa Chan, Sales manager from Shriro Malaysia who has helped to provide some of the very useful input. HiuraShinsaku®, Nikomat ML, Japan for some of his images on various F2 models; my staff, Wati, Maisa, Mai and my nephew, EEWyn®, who volunteered and helping me did so many of the film scanning works. Contributing photographers or resellers: Jen Siow, Foo KokKin, Arthur Teng, Mark Fallander, John Ishii, Ed Hassel, YoonKi Kim, Jean-Louis, M.Dugentas (Dell, Mr "Arsenall" and a few images mailed in from surfers with no appropriate reference to their origin. Dedicated to KU Yeo, just to express our mutual regrets over the outcome of a recent corporate event. Made with a PowerMac, broadcast with a Redhat Linux powered server.

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