Shutter Speeds and Apertures
Next up is our shutter speed dial. This is pretty simple and obvious. You just turn it to the shutter speeds that you want. But there's number of things going on, and let's take a closer look at this. So you can just turn the dial. It rotates freely in all directions. There are no stops. There are half stops, and this is quite different than most cameras. Most cameras on the market have third stops, but because they're doing it with a dial, it's a little bit harder to get all those little notches in there, you might say, and so they've stuck with the half stop systems. And so we do have half stops in there. The flash is at 1/80th of a second. That is indicating the maximum shutter speed that you can use with a standard, on-camera flash system there. If you are using studio equipment, you might have to go to a slower shutter speed, depending on the power and type of lights that you are using. So we have our half shutter speeds going on down around to our slowest shutter speeds, which ar...
e gonna go down to eight seconds. And so you can choose any in-between one in there that you want. We then get to Bulb, which is anything from one second to 125 seconds. Now the way that Bulb works is the shutter will stay open as long as the shutter release is pressed. So when yo press down on the shutter release, like this. The shutter curtain will open. The sensor is exposed for as long as you want it. And then when you release your finger off of it, it closes the shutter. And so this is a good system for nighttime photography, potentially star shots, and a variety of other shots. Now there is a closely relate other one and it's the time exposure, and this will work if you use one of the self-timer modes. And so if you don't have a cable release, and so if you were using the Bulb, it's bad to press down on the shutter because you could potentially be moving the camera, obviously. So that's where you would want to screw in a cable release so that you can trigger the camera without touching it. But potentially an even better system is to put your camera in the two second self-timer. Then what happens is that you'll press down on the shutter release, and the camera will wait two seconds to let the vibrations settle out. It will then open the shutter. It will stay open as long as you want until you press the shutter release a second time. So you could do this with a cable release. If you were going to do this with your hand, one of the little tricks that I might do if I was going to do a one-minute exposure is put it in two seconds self-timer, press down on the shutter release, vibrations settle out, but to end the shutter I wouldn't just press the shutter because that might move the camera. What I could do is I could put my hand in front of the lens to block the light, and then I would press the shutter to turn it off and that way there was no movement while the lens was collecting light. Next up, is auto for your shutter speeds. So if you would like the camera to figure out your shutter speeds based on your light levels, based on you ISO and aperture settings. You can have shutter speed automatically done. And this can be really handy for street photography, travel photography, any time when you're not really sure when the next shot is going to be. And so when you have it in the auto mode, press down halfway, and the camera is going to show you in the viewfinder what shutter speed it has chosen, and it's going to lock that shutter speed in. So if you want to reposition the camera for compositional reasons, it's gonna stay locked in on that original exposed subject before you press the remainder of the way down to take the photo. And so one of the improatnt controls is that when you do have the shutter speeds automatically selected, what is the maximum exposure time, or the longest shutter speed, that you want to have? Now you can choose a specific number, or you can choose based on the lens that you are using. And so we'll talk more about this when we get into that part of the menu system, but it is customizable. Now of course with shutter speeds, you're gonna choose fast shutter speeds to stop fast action. Which shutter speed to choose depends a little bit on what type of action you are trying to stop. Choose a slow shutter speed, like one second, if you want to show motion with a little bit of blur. And if you are doing nighttime photography, that is the time to use the Bulb setting, get your cable release out, or use that self-timer option so that you aren't vibrating or moving the camera in any way. So if you do want to set some longer shutter speeds, longer than eight seconds, there's kind of a little secret mode that a lot of people who own Nikons don't know about, is that you can set specific shutter speeds that are longer. And the way that you will do this is you need to hold what is called the focus button on the front of the camera, and then on the back of the camera, you're gonna get your Bulb exposure time preset, and then you can adjust that by using the dial or the pad. And so let me do a little demo here and show what this looks like on the camera. And so what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna put the camera in Bulb mode, and for right now, I'm gonna change it to ISO 100, as you'll see here in a moment. And so let's go ahead, and I'm gonna press this button in on the front of the camera. What I'm pressing is this black button right here. This is the lens release button down here, not what we want. We're gonna press that button but I'm gonna turn it in back, so you can see what's going on. Let's get this lined up right, okay. So I press and I hold that button, and now I get this screen, and I can select eight, seconds, up to 125 seconds. I can also use the dial for this as well. Now one of the things that is important here is that this is at ISO 100. If I change my ISO you'll see that it eventually limits me on how long of shutter speed I can do, and so you can't do a 30-second or 60-second exposure at ISO 6400. The lower your ISO is, the greater the range that you can choose from. And so I'm just gonna set it back to the b mode, hit this center button, and get it back there. So once again, you're gonna press the front focus button in for about a second, a full second, maybe almost two seconds. And then you can adjust the setting here. I'm gonna put it back to 200 because that's a nice place to be. And, it's in the Bulb mode set at eight seconds right now, but I'm just gonna change it to aperture, or automatic shutter right now. All right so if you do set a shutter speed of two seconds or longer there will be a countdown in the viewfinder that you'll be able to see if you're looking through the viewfinder. Anything longer than 1/30th of a second is gonna automatically go into noise reduction. This camera doesn't have an option to turn noise reduction on and off. It's just gonna do it, which means that when it shoots a, let's call it a four-second exposure, it's gonna process that information for four more seconds. So you're kind of dead in the water for about eight seconds. And there is no way of turning that off. Now the noise reduction will really only have an impact on the JPEG images. It's kind of unfortunate because a lot of people are gonna be shooting raw, and they don't want to waste that time processing the JPEG, especially if they're not shooting the JPEG. But it's just part of the system. There is no on and off for that. So that's the basics on the shutter speed dial. Next up, we can have a talk about apertures. It's going to be a rather short topic because it's very, very simple on this camera. Nice easy-to-use dial right there on the lens, and so obviously you can set your aperture at a very small number like 22. Actually it's a big number, but it's a small opening to give you maximum depth of field, the whole thing's in focus from the foreground to the background. You can open up wide open one, four, two, whatever your lens happens to have, and get very, very shallow depth of field. So the apertures because of the way they're controlled on this lens are not ... That information is not sent to the rest of the camera in any sort of metadata, and so if you look on your files in Lightroom or other types of programs, you're not going to see what aperture you shot any particular picture at. And as you change your aperture, it is actually changing right then. On a lot of other cameras it doesn't actually change until you take a photo. And so let me do a quick little demo here. If I can just point my camera straight at you, and you look in the viewfinder you'll be able to see as you open and close the aperture in there. Let's see if I can get this even more visible. How about right there? And so right here you can see it open and close, and so this is gonna affect us when we get into live view, if you stop it down and use live view. Manual focusing is going to be difficult. And so be aware of that, that this is different than other cameras in that regard.