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Nov 7, 2018 16:32:57   #
dione961
 
Tried using Aperture Priority mode for 1st time this morning (D7200). Outdoors, overcast sky but not super dark; windy. Wanted to isolate some swans from the background & foreground. Set aperture at f/5.6; zoom at 140 mm. Camera set shutter speed at 1/250 & ISO at 3600 (seems way high??). Used Auto focus. Shot a (& another 10 like it) are well out of focus (but no tripod, so some camera shake) and too dark but subject is visible. However, with just a few seconds between shot a & shot b below, no change in conditions or light and no changes to camera settings by me, the ISO dropped to 125 & every shot from shot b onwards is almost completely black. Same thing taking next 8 shots of the swans, and a shot in a room with 2 large windows (only the window aimed at is visible, the room is pitch black). Auto mode with flash shoots OK. So, back to drawing board studying up on aperture, the Aperture Priority mode & the whole exposure triangle?
shot a
shot a...
shot b
shot b...

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Nov 7, 2018 16:36:10   #
rmalarz (a regular here)
 
Did you, by chance, have your camera set to Auto ISO?
--Bob
dione961 wrote:
Tried using Aperture Priority mode for 1st time this morning (D7200). Outdoors, overcast sky but not super dark; windy. Wanted to isolate some swans from the background & foreground. Set aperture at f/5.6; zoom at 140 mm. Camera set shutter speed at 1/250 & ISO at 3600 (seems way high??). Used Auto focus. Shot a (& another 10 like it) are well out of focus (but no tripod, so some camera shake) and too dark but subject is visible. However, with just a few seconds between shot a & shot b below, no change in conditions or light and no changes to camera settings by me, the ISO dropped to 125 & every shot from shot b onwards is almost completely black. Same thing taking next 8 shots of the swans, and a shot in a room with 2 large windows (only the window aimed at is visible, the room is pitch black). Auto mode with flash shoots OK. So, back to drawing board studying up on aperture, the Aperture Priority mode & the whole exposure triangle?
Tried using Aperture Priority mode for 1st time th... (show quote)

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Nov 7, 2018 16:43:22   #
SharpShooter (a regular here)
 
dione961 wrote:
Tried using Aperture Priority mode for 1st time this morning (D7200). Outdoors, overcast sky but not super dark; windy. Wanted to isolate some swans from the background & foreground. Set aperture at f/5.6; zoom at 140 mm. Camera set shutter speed at 1/250 & ISO at 3600 (seems way high??). Used Auto focus. Shot a (& another 10 like it) are well out of focus (but no tripod, so some camera shake) and too dark but subject is visible. However, with just a few seconds between shot a & shot b below, no change in conditions or light and no changes to camera settings by me, the ISO dropped to 125 & every shot from shot b onwards is almost completely black. Same thing taking next 8 shots of the swans, and a shot in a room with 2 large windows (only the window aimed at is visible, the room is pitch black). Auto mode with flash shoots OK. So, back to drawing board studying up on aperture, the Aperture Priority mode & the whole exposure triangle?
Tried using Aperture Priority mode for 1st time th... (show quote)


Dione, I spotted the problem right away..., you’re not using a Canon!!!
Dione, just kidding, your camera is fine, just your photography isn’t!!!
Dione, WELCOME to the Hog!!!
SS

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Nov 7, 2018 17:00:16   #
Linda From Maine (a regular here)
 
It's very possible you changed the ISO to 125 without realizing. We've all hit a button or knob we didn't intend to

To practice aperture priority more comfortably, try shooting when it is lighter out. Set your ISO to 400, the f/stop to whatever you wish for the scene, and then keep an eye on shutter speed. If it drops below 1/125 second, raise the ISO another stop.

Study a depth of field chart too, so you get a better idea of the relationship between focal length and shooting distance to the selected aperture. Here's one: http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html

As for your photography not being "fine," I'd say your Pacific Island series here shows you have a knack for capturing fun moments and interesting compositions. Please don't be discouraged!

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Nov 7, 2018 17:02:59   #
lamiaceae (a regular here)
 
dione961 wrote:
Tried using Aperture Priority mode for 1st time this morning (D7200). Outdoors, overcast sky but not super dark; windy. Wanted to isolate some swans from the background & foreground. Set aperture at f/5.6; zoom at 140 mm. Camera set shutter speed at 1/250 & ISO at 3600 (seems way high??). Used Auto focus. Shot a (& another 10 like it) are well out of focus (but no tripod, so some camera shake) and too dark but subject is visible. However, with just a few seconds between shot a & shot b below, no change in conditions or light and no changes to camera settings by me, the ISO dropped to 125 & every shot from shot b on wards is almost completely black. Same thing taking next 8 shots of the swans, and a shot in a room with 2 large windows (only the window aimed at is visible, the room is pitch black). Auto mode with flash shoots OK. So, back to drawing board studying up on aperture, the Aperture Priority mode & the whole exposure triangle?
Tried using Aperture Priority mode for 1st time th... (show quote)


You are doing something wrong. What do yo mean Aperture Priority and Camera set shutter speed and ISO? That is not AP but some odd-ball Auto-ISO mode! What camera are you using? Blank frames could be the camera is set for some sort of bracketing or multiple exposures.

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Nov 7, 2018 17:14:17   #
CHG_CANON (a regular here)
 
If you would store the original, would could read the EXIF data and tell you what the camera was doing and the camera settings, rather than guessing from your description of your actions.

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Nov 7, 2018 18:45:57   #
dione961
 
[quote=CHG_CANON]If you would store the original, would could read the EXIF data ….

Hi, thanks for that. Not sure what store original means, or exif. It's the novice thing; but I came here to learn. Don't want to annoy folk though. Do forums have beginner areas?

Dione.

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Nov 7, 2018 18:59:21   #
CHG_CANON (a regular here)
 
Dione, all you need to do is <Reply> to any post in this thread and re-attach the dark example and check 'store original' as highlighted below.



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Nov 7, 2018 20:06:44   #
Strodav (a regular here)
 
Agree with Linda, you probably hit a button inadvertently. I recommend you set ISO at a base of 100, but let the camera automatically adjust itself up to 800 as needed. Turn on the camera and push the menu button (back upper left) looking at the screen and use the multi-selector control (around the OK button on the back right) to select the little camera icon, move right, then down until you get to "ISO sensitivity settings" go right. The first menu item is "ISO sensitivity", go right and set it to 100 then push OK. Move down to "Auto ISO sensitivity control" go right set it to on and hit OK. Go down to "Maximum sensitivity" go right and set it to 800. You can go higher than 800, but you will see more noise in the shadows. I use 800 as it keeps the signal to noise ratio (SNR) at 32db or higher, which is considered a good compromise in quality. You can get blurring from camera shake if it was windy, for example. You will want to practice your stance and grip to keep the camera as steady as possible before clicking the shutter and gently push the shutter button to avoid moving the camera when taking the shot. A rule of thumb says to never use a slower shutter speed than 1/focal length. If you were at 140mm on the lens, it is an effective focal length of 210mm (140mm x 1.5), so 1/250 should have been OK. Nothing wrong with A mode, I use it most of the time. The camera will automatically select shutter speed and ISO to give you the best exposure possible. You will see a downward lightening bolt in the lower right of the viewfinder if it isn't happy with the exposure and is recommending you use flash. Another thing to consider is where you have your metering set to. Recommend you set it to use Matrix Metering mode. Hope this helps. The D7200 is an excellent camera - enjoy!

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Nov 7, 2018 21:08:33   #
rb61
 
lamiaceae wrote:
You are doing something wrong. What do yo mean Aperture Priority and Camera set shutter speed and ISO? That is not AP but some odd-ball Auto-ISO mode! What camera are you using? Blank frames could be the camera is set for some sort of bracketing or multiple exposures.


I use auto ISO in AP and SP modes quite often in the right situations. I find that I can obtain very usable images up to 3200. I would rather have a properly exposed image than a blurry or underexposed image when light conditions change dramatically while I am concentrating on keeping the subject (usually wildlife or more importantly once in-a-lifetime family sports action) in the viewfinder.

We all have different requirements for our hobbies.

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Nov 8, 2018 06:33:09   #
WessoJPEG (a regular here)
 
lamiaceae wrote:
You are doing something wrong. What do yo mean Aperture Priority and Camera set shutter speed and ISO? That is not AP but some odd-ball Auto-ISO mode! What camera are you using? Blank frames could be the camera is set for some sort of bracketing or multiple exposures.


Read, using a D7200

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Nov 8, 2018 07:48:11   #
dave.m
 
dione961,

I am not a Nikon user but Strodav has good advice so offer some additional general comments:

* f5.6 at 140mm will not achieve a shallow enough depth of field to separate the swan from the background. It will just make the background a bit blurred rather than the completely out of focus bokeh look I suspect you were hoping for. Looking at the scene in your image you would probably need a 200m f2.8 or even 300 or more likely 400mm f4 to get that on that particular scene.

* Can't be sure as your image above is low res for publishing, but swan is out of focus and the bare twiggy branches to the left appear sharp? If that is correct then the autofocus picked up the wrong target. Check to see which focusing mode you are using. If an 'area' focus then that will often happen. For a small target in a large scene such as yours, i would probably use centre point only focusing. I would then focus on the swan with the first shutter press, then reframe while holding the first press before pressing the shutter to take the picture. This suggestion also applies to such as close-to portraits - focus on the eyes then reframe for final press. Eyes nice and sharp and depending on lens/ aperture ears/ hair and perhaps even tip of nose may be off focus but it won't matter

* aperture priority is just fine to achieve what you were after, so letting the camera take care of shutter speed and ISO is perfectly reasonable on a daylight scene such as yours.

* Modern cameras tend to 'balance the speed and ISO, setting the speed near to the 1/focal_length and letting ISO adjust accordingly. (I note with my canon it sets speed to the maximum lens length - ie if I am using a 100-400mm zoom at 200mm it will typically set 1/500 rather than 1/250)

* ISO 3600 (thats 'eye-so' not 'eye-ess-oh' BTW) is not so high on a modern camera. Even today some assume ISO behaves the same as ASA on a film camera. Not so. While a 200 ASA film is twice as sensitive as a 100 ASA film, the silver grains get significantly larger the higher the ASA and are more spread out, resulting in increasingly grainy and less sharp images. With digital sensors there is no change of granularity - a 20 Mpx sensor is still 20mpx no matter what the ISO setting, so image sharpness is typically unaffected. the effect of increased ISO can be likened to reducing the size of the individual pixels to reduce the light gathering ability. As the pixels stay at the same density and spacing, the main effect of this is in low light (ie dusk onwards/ street scenes etc.) Then the light gathering ability can be reduced sufficiently that the sensor cannot tell whether a given colour (R, G B) is actually 'switched on' or not - result: either random coloured dots in the dark parts of the image (noise) or a murky dark grey where you saw colour. Easy to see if you zoom in on your PC.

Some suggestions:

* experiment with Aperture priority for landscapes and reasonably stable scenes, and shutter priority for mobile subject (sports/ children/ pets)

* experiment in your back garden/ yard with your lens to find how to get the unsharp background. As a starting point use the largest aperture you have, and begin with the distance from you to the subject about the same as subject to background.

* practise with the focusing options for your camera particularly spot focusing, and repositioning before final shutter press. For active subjects also explore tracking modes

* take a series of images in lower light with different fixed ISO, say 400-6400. Examine on your PC and see when noise starts to be intrusive to your viewpoint then that is when you should be watching auto ISO in the field. But allow for your expected usage - ie if you never enlarge to 20x16 no point 'pixel peeping' at that level, but if you typically crop and use 3/4 of an image, then enlarge to tablet size, that where you are concerned


Good luck and keep on trying and remember that modern cameras can get it right automatically probably 60 or 70% of the time, and are ok for maybe another 20% Fiddling with the setting yourself will enhance or improve the other 30%. But the real challenge - for me anyway - is the composition with the 'wow' factor :)

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Nov 8, 2018 07:55:58   #
dsmeltz (a regular here)
 
dione961 wrote:
Tried using Aperture Priority mode for 1st time this morning (D7200). Outdoors, overcast sky but not super dark; windy. Wanted to isolate some swans from the background & foreground. Set aperture at f/5.6; zoom at 140 mm. Camera set shutter speed at 1/250 & ISO at 3600 (seems way high??). Used Auto focus. Shot a (& another 10 like it) are well out of focus (but no tripod, so some camera shake) and too dark but subject is visible. However, with just a few seconds between shot a & shot b below, no change in conditions or light and no changes to camera settings by me, the ISO dropped to 125 & every shot from shot b onwards is almost completely black. Same thing taking next 8 shots of the swans, and a shot in a room with 2 large windows (only the window aimed at is visible, the room is pitch black). Auto mode with flash shoots OK. So, back to drawing board studying up on aperture, the Aperture Priority mode & the whole exposure triangle?
Tried using Aperture Priority mode for 1st time th... (show quote)


Two thoughts.

1) Did you shoot RAW? If so this is easily managed in PP.

2) I really like shot B. It is just spooky as all get out. I would just accept it as a happy accident.

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Nov 8, 2018 08:16:17   #
insman1132
 
Keep working with your camera, dione. From what I can see you are coming along just fine. Going through the frustrations of what many of us did at first. Funny thing about learning photography and your camera: You'll be working on something that is unclear in your mind, getting some good and some bad results, and suddenly there will be a "click", not in your camera, but rather in your mind, and it will become clearer to you.

Keep having fun!!!!

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Nov 8, 2018 08:22:51   #
jerryc41 (a regular here)
 
CHG_CANON wrote:
If you would store the original, would could read the EXIF data and tell you what the camera was doing and the camera settings, rather than guessing from your description of your actions.


It's always good to have lots of info.

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