D850 Notes For Underwater Videographers and Fireworks Photographers and Others

The topmost settings that control focus are AF-mode and AF-Area Mode:

  • Note that both settings have different states, and different algos between Live View and Still
  • Note that the algos may also be different between Live View Still and Live View Movie (I suspect this)
  • Despite different states and algos, the same camera controls change them; some of the wee icons are different; clues

To defang AF (i.e. turn the worse than useless advanced nonsense off) and make it actually work in Still / Not Live View:

  • VR – your choice
  • AF-S, Single Point Mode; lock the point in the center
  • Shooting: Aim the focus point, half shutter press and hold, reframe and fire
  • AF-ON seems useful as it does the same thing as half shutter press, but isn’t because the camera will refocus on shutter press; useless
    • Don’t forget this as you keep reading
  • In the viewfinder, “Single Point Mode” is “S” when AF-Mode center button is pressed, but icon on Info display (not Live View) is different; tricky
    • Too bad you can’t see wee viewfinder icons underwater; try to get this right topside
    • On Info display it’s the smallest rectangle-like thing

Underwater Still / Not Live View Metering

  • Aperture Priority (why does any other mode other than M actually exist?)
  • Matrix (the icon with the dot and the four weird shapes around it
  • Auto-ISO, usually
  • Camera tends to blow out highlights; correct with +/-; watch the histograms; don’t forget +/- settings on subsequent shots
    • Highlight-Weighted metering works 80% under water – perfectly – and underexposes by 5 stops 20% of the time
    • Last time it failed for me was nurse sharks feeding; do you feel lucky today?

Still / Live View

  • Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering. Don’t use it

To defang AF Video  / Live View:

  • VR off; make sure you do this topside; this is critical underwater
  • AF-C, Normal Area AF, which seems to be close to Single Point Mode in Still
    • Note you must be in Live View / Video to set; otherwise you are changing something else; surprise!
    • Icons (and algos?) are different from Still mode;  small rectangle + NORM is what you want
  • Shooting: Aim the focus point, lock and hold with AF-ON, reframe and fire
    • Note that if you have remapped Shutter to Video Record with setting G1, the camera will refocus on shutter press; bad
      • One solution: don’t map it; but it’s handy
      • A better solution, setting A8 AF-activation to Off
      • Now you must use AF-ON, even in Still; don’t forget this!
      • If you never shoot video, this will just cause you to forget to focus on Still
  • Note that in Live View, cycling through Info gives lots of useful Info, including AF-Area Mode and histogram
  • AF-F, which stands AF-Fucked, doesn’t do what the manual says it does
    • It never, ever, stops focusing; not on half shutter press, not on record mode; never
    • This is excellent if you want video of the camera focus-hunting, non-stop
    • Is this a debug mode that got left in by accident?
    • How would this ever be useful?
  • There are a lot of complicated options for limiting AF functionality in settings, which makes me believe that Nikon knows it doesn’t work
    • A9, limit AF-Area Mode, seems handy
    • But note that it works in Still / Not Live View Mode only; doesn’t work in Live View; more trickery

Underwater Video  / Live View Metering

  • Nothing unusual from Still mode except that everything must be setup in Live View
  • Aperture Priority
  • Matrix (the icon with the dot and the four weird shapes around it)
  • Auto-ISO, usually
  • Camera tends to blow out highlights; correct with +/-; watch the histograms; don’t forget +/- settings on subsequent shots
  • Highlight-Weighted metering, do you feel lucky today?

Fireworks Stills On a Tripod

  • Aperture Priority, Matrix
  • ISO 400-800
  • f8-f11
  • +/- minus one or two stops
  • This will generally yield a multi-second exposure that gets background + trails
  • Manual focus; tape at infinity

Fireworks Video On a Tripod

  • Aperture Priority, Matrix
  • Auto-ISO
  • f8-f11
  • +/- minus one stops; less correction is more
  • Manual focus; tape at infinity

Mike.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s