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Thread: P setting - Nikon

  1. #1
    Member Brendo09's Avatar
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    P setting - Nikon

    I've read a few things here and there and decided that setting my camera to P(rofessional Settings?) was the way to go.

    This setting gives you preset Shutter Speed and F stops for whatever subject you put in your viewfinder, which you can adjust via the rear toggle wheel thingo (aperture more open, shutter faster and vice versa) to get 'the same' shot based on your ISO setting.

    On the whole, it's worked alright, and I have been able to adjust the settings once the focus is locked to change the speeds or F stops to make difference shots of the same image.

    However, every now and then I get a black frame, or a very small smudge of what I'm looking at in the frame, and that's even when I don't make any alterations, just put it into P, lock it and shoot.

    Is it due to shooting form the shade through sunlight into shade again? Or is it something more practical with the settings that I've missed or messed up?

    (note - when I say frame I mean the image taken, if this is the wrong terminology, please let me know).

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    The black frame is easy to picture, but could you possibly post an image of such a "small smudge" frame?

    I shifted your thread to the Nikon forum.

    Oh, and what model Nikon camera is it?
    Last edited by ameerat42; 05-01-2016 at 7:34pm.
    CC, Image editing OK.

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    It's a Nikon D5200 with the kit 15-55 and 55-300 lenses.

    [IMG][/IMG]

    [IMG][/IMG]

    [IMG][/IMG]

    The F stops increased from top to bottom. It's a lousy shot, but it illustrates my issue.

    Am I whirling the wheel too much?

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Unless I'm missing something outlandishly obvious, I don't understand the "small smudge" bit.
    The last picture looks like a fairly normal, if slightly under-exposed image.

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    The middle photo has a hint of colour on the button edge of it, then it fades from a little bit of colour to solid black.
    D5200 D7100 Limited talent, but lots of enthusiasm.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    99% of the time I think I have full understanding of how the camera works, and what settings I need(ed).

    100% of the time, I can never get my head around what [P]rogram mode is and does .. and except for one or two moments of silliness(ie. testing) I've never used it.
    I can't understand what it is that it tries to achieve, and so I avoid it.

    Looking at the exif in the images, I'd recommend that you avoid it too.
    It's chosen f/14 and or f/10, 1/4000s!! () and ISO6400 in what basically amounts to daylight conditions.

    Best professional mode to use is usually [A]perture priority mode. Set Auto ISO to on if in doubt about metering and keep in mind only the one variable to concern about .. aperture!

    If you need a mode whereby shutter speed is critical, use [S]hutter priority mode.
    eg. if you're shooting a scene that requires a minimum shutter speed of say 1/500 regardless of light levels, then [S] mode is the one to use here.

    But I, and many others!! .... have found that [A] mode seems to be the best mode to use in general.
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    I think your right about the iso. I missed that I needed to set it in p mode and so it was locked through the settings at 6400 (also the max I've set it at).

    I'll try then again with better iso settings 100 - 400 and see what happens.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    P mode is very confusing to fully understand!

    I've tried, but my little pea brain just doesn't geddit!
    .. it almost makes sense(and sort of acts like a pseudo [S]hutter speed alternative with weird and inexplicable quirks.

    eg. if you rotate the command wheel(main dial on a two dial camera) it changes shutter speed to certain values based on available aperture.
    so in this example, I have an f/2.8 lens, and I can get a neutral exposure at 1/80s.
    If I 'increase' shutter speed(ie. make it faster/shorter), I get nothing. Lens is at max f/2.8 and therefore (without auto ISO) I can't get any more shutter speed.
    But I can decrease shutter speed(increase exposure time) say to 1/40s by rotating command dial to do so, but it also changes aperture to suit the same exposure as before.
    ie. 1/80s and f/2.8 in the initial metering test, rotate the command wheel to slow down exposure to 1/40s and aperture is automagically now slowed down to f/4(or so).

    And the (or so) is where my head spins when trying to use [P]rogram mode.

    One minute it's f/3.2 next minute it's f/4, or whatever it thinks is best. Problem with this is simple .. cameras don't really think! They are in reality quite stupid in that respect, whereas humans are much better at it. Cameras are good at instantly working out how to do maths or calculations only. But in [P] mode, it seems as tho the camera is trying to think of a series of variables to use.
    How does it know what the scene is(it doesn't!) .. it can see a scene, but it really doesn't know what that scene is.

    again as an example of how 'dumb' the camera is. In the above example, lets say the camera is pointed at a landscape scene(or macro scene) .. you generally need more aperture in those scenes, not the f/2.8 that the camera chose. Obviously the camera can't see the scene properly to determine that, whereas we humans can distinguish that situation.
    If I then step in front of the lens(in that same scene) the scene in effect has become a portrait situation now(with my ugly mug ruining a nice landscape or macro scene )
    But the camera is adamant .. that those settings must be maintained at all costs!

    So think of the camera as a symbiotic partnership of two vastly different creatures.
    YOU(the brains) that can decipher the scene correctly, and CAMERA(the calculator) that quickly compensates the one(or two) variables that you didn't deliberately set up!
    You being the smarter (or more creative of the two) set one or two variables yourself. As said before, [A] mode is a fave among many .. I think the most used camera mode.
    Let the camera decide what to set shutter speed and ISO should be based on what exposure standard you're after!.

    Another good way to shoot is to use Manual mode BUT!!!!! using Auto ISO to help. I use that sometimes, because the operator(me) isn't as effective in handholding the camera as steady as it should be, and the focal length compensator section of the Auto ISO mode reminds him of his lack of ability
    So to keep a minimum shutter speed and a specific aperture value .. [M] mode is best. But I can't be bothered trying to keep up in (very) rapidly changing light conditions with altering values again to maintain exposure! Try changing 10 stops of exposure in a split second like the camera can! No one can .. it's impossible. But if you don't, you risk missing a fleeting moment.
    This is where the calculator ... oops! I mean camera ... can!

    But, I recommend that you dump [P] mode and just use [A] mode and allow the camera to set shutter speed. Or use [M] mode and auto ISO to capture correct exposure, in a nano second so a shot isn't missed.
    But in using this method, it assumes you have a good understanding of the cameras metering ability.
    (note that spot or centre weighted are usually better, only because you can get more accuracy in metering a scene).

    hope that helps.

    ps. metering seems to be the main sticking point for many new to photography, and metering is probably the most crucial part of photography .. equal to composition or 'seeing'.
    If you need help with metering, just ask .. it's easier to understand than most folks think.

  9. #9
    Still in the Circle of Confusion Cage's Avatar
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    Or Google the 'Sunny Sixteen Rule' to learn the basic equation that makes all cameras tick.
    Cheers
    Kev

    D600 : D7200 and too much stuff to list

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    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    99% of the time I think I have full understanding of how the camera works, and what settings I need(ed).

    100% of the time, I can never get my head around what [P]rogram mode is and does .. and except for one or two moments of silliness(ie. testing) I've never used it.
    I can't understand what it is that it tries to achieve, and so I avoid it.

    Looking at the exif in the images, I'd recommend that you avoid it too.
    It's chosen f/14 and or f/10, 1/4000s!! () and ISO6400 in what basically amounts to daylight conditions.

    Best professional mode to use is usually [A]perture priority mode. Set Auto ISO to on if in doubt about metering and keep in mind only the one variable to concern about .. aperture!

    If you need a mode whereby shutter speed is critical, use [S]hutter priority mode.
    eg. if you're shooting a scene that requires a minimum shutter speed of say 1/500 regardless of light levels, then [S] mode is the one to use here.

    But I, and many others!! .... have found that [A] mode seems to be the best mode to use in general.
    I agree Arthurking83, I've never gotten my head around "P" mode (not that I've tried real hard). I use Aperture mode 99% of the time unless I want to deliberately set the shutter speed. I do find it best using Auto mode when using the external flash.
    cheers

    Steve


    Don't take life too seriously - its only temporary

  11. #11
    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Actually! on the (very) few times I've used flash .. is when I deliberately start off using Manual mode.
    Set shutter speed, and appropriate aperture and maybe AutoISO too .. and flash for whatever reason(usually fill/dynamic range boost/etc) .. and just shoot.
    Nikon's CLS usually works well in these conditions.

  12. #12
    “He who thinks little, errs much…” L.DV One Click's Avatar
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    What did I learn today?
    The Sunny 16 rule, thanks arthurking83

  13. #13
    Ausphotography Regular John King's Avatar
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    Gidday Brendo

    'P' mode stands for 'Program' mode. This means that when you change the aperture or shutter speed, the camera will automatically change the other exposure parameter to ensure correct exposure. At least, that's the theory. Unfortunately, it takes no account of all sorts of things, and you can run into parameters that the camera cannot meaningfully compensate for using this method.

    A friend had this problem just last week when using electronic shutter on his Olympus. The electronic shutter cannot work at less than 1/8th second, so whenever he hit this point, the camera would naturally underexpose. He thought his camera was faulty - it wasn't - just a 'faulty' operator ... .

    I agree with Arthur and others to use A mode (Aperture priority).

    Aperture is usually the single most important member of the exposure triangle (ISO, Aperture, Shutter speed). Shooting birds/bees in flight, sports, etc, the shutter speed becomes more important.

    Set the aperture for the depth of field (DoF) that you want to achieve. Set the ISO as low as you can for the light level (this minimises noise and maximises the dynamic range (DR)). The shutter speed will be set by the camera. Make sure that this does not drop too low for either hand holding (introduces camera blur) or below what is required to freeze motion (motion blur).

    Learn how to use the metering modes of your camera (usually matrix, centre-weighted average and spot), and the auto focus modes (AF).

    Buy Bryan Peterson's excellent, simple, short and cheap "Understanding Exposure". It is very easy to understand, and it is crucial to your success in photography that you understand exactly what he is talking about.

    Hope this helps a bit.
    Regards, john

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    Hmm - I have never felt the need to use Program Mode on any of my cameras. These days I mostly shoot Manual mode, or if I am feeling a bit lazy I will use Aperture priority. Mind you I mostly shoot with a tripod, so I take time to set things up.
    I use spot metering almost exclusively, and with the AF-ON when applicable.
    Last edited by NRandall; 04-03-2016 at 11:08pm.
    Main Body D800E plus a bunch of other Nikon stuff
    "The eye sees what it wants to see and the camera sees the rest" Nick

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