Manual Exposure Guidelines

KnockKnockKnockKnock Posts: 394Member
edited December 2014 in Nikon DSLR cameras
Picked this up from another thread. I love it when I read stuff like this. Something solid and fixed from the days before digital.
iso 100, f8 and 1 second ..thats for standard street scenes and skylines
Reminds me of this:

Are there other guidelines, one-liners, experienced photographers can contribute, or nod their heads in agreement over?

Standard ocean daylight.
Std dimly lit restaurant.
Std fireworks.

Etc. ?

D7100, D60, 35mm f/1.8 DX, 50mm f/1.4, 18-105mm DX, 18-55mm VR II, Sony RX-100 ii


  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,373Member
    Classic: "f8 and be there."
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,217Member
    edited December 2014
    Fireworks .....100 or 200 iso 5.6 widest lens you have , Tripod and leave the shutter open as long as you want say 20 sec
    P mode is probably best for restaurants with auto iso ..what I use for discos.
    My standard matra is ...

    Forget manual computers are here.
    forget RAW JPEG at +9 every time
    Forget fine basic is fine
    forget primes buy zooms
    Auto iso 200-6400 F8 FP 1/320 min 1/30 NR max tape up the wheels and just shoot.
    Flash on camera with a flash flipper ...
    Dont use hamerhead flash guns
    Invest in glass Nikon Glass

    For many of you this is exactly the opposite of what you do and believe but there it is .I get just as bored listening to people banging on about RAW and Primes as you do with JPEG and Zooms...Test dont assume.

    Please feel free to ignore what I say and continue to post as if I had not contributed ( ha ha )
    If you do post stay civil.Well I know you will this is Nikon Rumors
    Post edited by Pistnbroke on
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited December 2014

    Forget manual
    Agree most of the time

    But do use Manual (and dont forget to turn off AUTO ISO)
    Product photography, where you are not changing the set up and want all the items to have exactly the same exposure

    Shoot RAW
    as Pistnbroke says "Computers are here"
    conversion to basic jpeg can be done quickly and automatically when you import
    but if you shoot jpeg basic, you cannot convert to RAW or jpeg fine; the information is lost for ever

    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • kenadamskenadams Posts: 222Member

    forget RAW JPEG at +9 every time
    "Throw away the negatives, the 9x13 prints from your local super market are fine... "

  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,373Member
    With the current generation bodies ISO seems fine from 64 to 100 up to 1600, 3200 or even 6400 (depending upon model and your personal preference). Thus, ISO can be allowed to "float" with a minimum shutter speed set to whatever you are able to hand hold with the lenses you typically use. Then you can set the mode to A and set your f-stop according to how you prefer to shoot (f1.4 for those who like shooting wide open and f5.6 or f8 for those who want sharpness with depth of field. Sports shooters may want to set mode to S and 250th, 320th or 500th of a second to stop motion depending upon the sport. Set autofocus to auto. With your camera set up like this as your default setting you should be able to pick it up, hold it to your eye and get the shot at a moments notice without making any decision other than composition. Of course, this is best for travel or sports or snapshots.

    I am suggesting setting your camera up to a default combination which best suits the type of photography you expect to be doing before you go out to shoot. If you want to change while shooting you always can but with a default combination suited to the task at hand should not miss shots while fiddling with controls.

    My personal preference is to shoot on A since I am mostly concerned with obtaining the depth of field I want for that composition (sometimes shallow at f1.4 and sometimes deep at f11) and the maximum level of sharpness from the lens I am using (f8 for most non-pro zooms and f4 or 5.6 for most primes). I use auto ISO but tend to keep the range very low (such as from 100 to 400) to keep good dynamic range. I keep an eye on the shutter speed my camera selects and when it drops below 125th of a second I take two or three shots of the same thing to improve the chance one will be in sharp focus. When shutter speed drops below 1/30th of a second it is time to get out the tripod or lean against a tree (for me, maybe not for you). I usually set exposure compensation to -0.3 and often adjust it from +1 to -2 depending upon the scene. I want to do as little as possible before each shot so I can concentrate on the moment and think about what I am trying to capture.

    Studio is different. Here I will use manual to set the f-stop and shutter speed and ISO I want and then adjust the lighting to get the proper exposure. You can have total control over the light in the studio so that can be your adjusted variable whether it be speedlights, monolights, or continuous lighting.
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,217Member
    Nice post donald ..of course you can pre set most of what you want as you have A S U1 U2 and P which is why I have the thumb wheels taped up so nothing moves and you can concentrate on the pics.
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    I'm surprised no one has mentioned the "sunny 16" rule. On a sunny day in full sun, set your f-stop to f/16 and your shutter speed to 1 over your ISO (or nearest click) For example, f/16 @ 1/100th (or 1/125) for ISO 100. Of course you can follow the exposure triangle; for every click open on the aperture you click up the speed. These are all equiv to sunny 16 (assume ISO 100):
    F/16 1/125
    F/8 1/500
    F/4 1/2000
    F/2 1/8000
    F/1.4 1/16000
    F/1 1/32000

    You can see why we quickly "run out of shutter speed" with wider apertures.

  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,217Member
    I think the diffraction has killed everyting over F8 ( go on say it with jpeg basic at +9 you could not tell ha ha )
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,217Member
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    edited December 2014
    I think the diffraction has killed everyting over F8 ( go on say it with jpeg basic at +9 you could not tell ha ha )
    No need, you just did :-)
    But seriously, it's not like the pics go to crap the minute you click on f/11... Besides, my subjects look better with a bit of blur, especially on the beach. It's not like I have models falling all over me like @PitchBlack :((
    Post edited by Ironheart on
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,373Member
    edited December 2014
    Pistenbroke: yes, very smart to set up A, S, P, U1 and U2 to the defaults you use for the type of photography you mostly do so you can get real close with just one click of the wheel. But, you are a brave man (or shoot a limited number of styles and know exactly how you would shoot them) to tape up your wheels!
    Post edited by donaldejose on
  • Nikonsince1974Nikonsince1974 Posts: 78Member
    edited December 2014

    There is always the BSD (Bright Sunny Day) rule, which is 1/ASA @ f/16
    1/ASA @ f/11 for shots of the moon
    Shoot the palm of a Caucasian man and open up a stop has always worked too. The average Caucasian hand is Zone VI in Ansel Adams' Zone system. So since meters try to expose everything for 18% gray (Zone V) just open up a stop and you are golden

    Post edited by Nikonsince1974 on
    Nikon F2S w/ MD-2, FE-2 w/ MD-12, Nikkormat FT3, Nikonos V, F4S, D700

    16mm f/2.8 Fisheye AIS, 18mm f/3.5 AIS, 24mm f/2.8 AIS, 28mm f/2.8 AI, 28mm f/3.5 and 35mm f/2.8 UW-Nikkors, 35mm f/2.8 AIS, 50mm f/1.4 non-AI (AI’d), 55mm f/2.8 AIS Micro w/ PK-13, 85mm f/1.4 AIS, 80-200 f/4 AIS, 105mm f/1.8 AIS, 180mm f/2.8 ED AIS, 300mm f/2.8 ED-IF AIS, 600mm f/4 ED-IF AIS, TC14B and TC300.

    Hasselblad 500CM with PM90 prism finder and A12/A16 backs, 40mm f/4 CF, 60mm f/3.5 CF, 80mm f/2.8 C, 150mm f/4 C and 250mm f/5.6 C lenses
  • PapermanPaperman Posts: 469Member
    Fireworks .....100 or 200 iso 5.6 widest lens you have , Tripod and leave the shutter open as long as you want say 20 sec

    Not with the fireworks over here or what I have seen so far !... ( Yours may be different :) ) Anything over 5-8 seconds at f8 will blow highlights not only of fireworks but also of whatever lit foreground/background there is. ( Sometimes 3-4 seconds ( f8) is all it takes to blow those sparkly white ones they throw once in a while.


    Shooting LANDSCAPES & stills - ( me ) only manual . All one needs to watch is the brightest spot in the frame and not to blow it. It can be a tiny snowy mountain peak or a cloud. It usually has the same light value most of the time during a shoot out... The foreground / background does not matter. Fiddling with exposure compensation , relying on Auto gets one nowhere - just loss of time - as with the smallest change in frame, the camera will read a different exposure.

    Well you were the one asking for some disagreement ... :) Here you go !
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,217Member
    edited December 2014
    donaldejose...I have two problems ..if I dont tape up the wheels they get knocked and I dont notice I dont chimp. What you can do is tape up the wheels but turn the vertical grip off which disables its wheels then if you must turn on the grip and use the wheels on that . second my wife has her fingers everywhere when she works and neither of us can see the controls without our glasses so her camera is on f8 24/7 except P for discos .Yes we only shoot weddings 1500 pics in 6 hrs for the two of us is quite normal.Another trick is to take a strip of plastic 4mmx35mm from a water bottle and insert it across the wheel (push it into the ends of the slot the wheel is housed in ) .this stops it being moved but you can pull it out with your finger nail if you must adjust.

    fireworks here in uk often in rural areas so its "black" house hotels etc.
    Post edited by Pistnbroke on
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited December 2014
    Fireworks .....100 or 200 iso 5.6 widest lens you have , Tripod and leave the shutter open as long as you want say 20 sec
    D800 16-35 @19mm 8sec @f8 ISO 400
    Yes I used a one of those three leggy things

    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,381Moderator
    edited December 2014
    @PitchBlack: I have highlight protection on my D750. It's ok, but I think it is only for shots where you HAVE to get it right first time. I prefer to blow the highlights just because highlights that flash on the .jpeg on the back screen are not a good indication of the raw's highlights (IME) and I always get better results ETTR-ing (E-ing TTR?) to the max.
    Post edited by spraynpray on
    Always learning.
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