Dynamic Auto-focus in a Nikon D5

Joined
Feb 18, 2015
Messages
1,203
Location
New York State
So I am continuing to learn the best settings for the D5.

Ann, if you see this, please recall your earlier comment:

In the Menu Settings/Fine-tune Optimal Exposure (b7 on the D5):
I have set my in-camera meters to +0.6 EV for the Matrix meter;
and +1.0 for the Spot Meter (because of the way that I use a spot reading).

I then use the external ±EV controls to adjust exposure on the fly for special circumstances (like black cats down a coal mine).​

On my D5, I can only make this setting (b7) in increments of x/6. So would your "+0.6" be equivalent to my +4/6?

Thanks...

Yes! +EV 0.6 is the same 4/6 in the camera: Nikon just chooses to express it as a fraction.
 
Joined
Jan 29, 2005
Messages
33,664
Location
St. George, Utah
Ann, thank you so much for posting this as it has been helpful to me. I have read it over several times and I think I have a fairly good understanding of what you were trying to get across. Your last image in this post certainly demo's this well. While I don't have a D5 there is still much to learn from what you have posted.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Feb 18, 2015
Messages
1,203
Location
New York State
Some further notes on AF (saved from another thread):

Since I got my D5, I use it for everything.

I use most of the different AF Modes at one time or another — it depends very much on the situation.
I always use back-button focussing and, mostly, Continuous AF — unless I am trap-focussing

For stationary objects, I will shift to Single Point or D9;

For fast-moving targets I frequently use 3D Tracking (if my lens is fast enough) but switch to D25 when it isn't.

I seldom use Group — I find that it works best when something is flying or running directly towards the camera so might use it when I am aperture- deprived and the use of a TC makes 3D unavailable.
Group is also useful when Trap Focussing.

I haven't used the new Horizontal and Vertical Strip AF modes very much so far.

Full frame Auto AF is said to be great for clouds of small birds wheeling against a clear blue sky but I haven't found occasion to test that yet.
 
Joined
Aug 6, 2008
Messages
2,562
Location
Virginia
Thank s for the write up. I shot a wedding outside for the first time with my D5. I got it a couple weeks prior and worked it hard learning it. One thing I noticed in working it was that the Rawls all needed about .6 bump in exposure. I did not internally adjust it yet but I will say where it is made shooting the white wedding dress outside a breeze. Not one blown dress shot but to be fir my d800 did not blow any either but I know I dialed in a 1/3 stop. I also had the isle facing the sun so as the party walked up they were back lit so the sb910 was a lifesaver there. I am thinking I will bump mine up internally. I just got the 850 ad want to see how that does as well. Then if needed I will do both the same proportionate amount.
 
Joined
Apr 25, 2013
Messages
29
Location
Richmond Va
Continuing my saga with the D5, which I am really appreciating as the best camera I have owned.

I have been shooting at +.6 ev and basically ignoring the histogram in the camera. Also trying not to cringe when I first see the raw files in Lightroom or ACR (I prefer ACR.) Some thoughts:

- even when the histogram is all the way to the right, I am able to recover detail using the highlights and white sliders. However, with these settings "normal" shots don't go too far into the blacks, which, given the D5's dynamic range "issue" is probably a good thing

- however, with these settings I seem to get blown out skies more often, and, even though I am able to "recover" the detail in ACR (that is, move the sliders to the point that the warnings go away) the sky still appears blown - overall grey with little detail

- interestingly, I can open the same file, raw, unprocessed, in Raw Digger, and I get a beautiful blue sky! Can someone explain that?

Anyway, here is a shot with the D5 and the Nikon 105e (not my kid) at a local pumpkin patch last Saturday...
pumpkin.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 
Joined
Feb 18, 2015
Messages
1,203
Location
New York State
Love the pumpkins!

I reckon that RawDigger is showing you the truth so I think that you are probably not using the best Camera Profile in ACR?

I prefer to build my own Camera Profiles (Via xRite's ColorChecker Passport and software) but you might like to try starting with ACR's Camera Flat or Camera Neutral. They have flatter and less contrasty Curves built-in; while ones like Adobe Standard, Camera Std., Landscape, etc have different degrees of Contrast built in to bump the contrast (is helpful for shots of subjects with little contrast taken under flatter lighting conditions.

However, when the HLs themselves become the main subject (skies at sunset) you would use the EV button to over-ride your built-in meter corrections and reduce exposure.
 
Joined
Apr 25, 2013
Messages
29
Location
Richmond Va
Of course I took your advice and created my own Camera Profile with the ColorChecker Passport (which I have had for a few years now) and which came into its own on the sample photo I uploaded.

Really interesting as I have viewed the raw files in a number of programs - Lightroom, ACR, CaptureOne, DxO, On 1, etc. and they all look pretty much the same. I even tried a default setup of RawDigger, and the blues are darker - in fact the image itself is darker. I am viewing this on my external monitor, a BenQ set to the Adobe colorspace...

RawDigger just seems darker to me.
 
Joined
Feb 18, 2015
Messages
1,203
Location
New York State
Try using the much wider ProPhoto RGB as your editing space: and always do all editing in 16-bits.

Only change to 8-bit and a narrower RGB for output: sRGB for the Web and Adobe RGB for Print.
Some inkjets can print from 16-bit files so use that if your printer offers it.

Also, check the brightness of your monitors: I run mine at 120 cd/m² and my laptop at about 90% of its maximum brightness.
 
Joined
Apr 25, 2013
Messages
29
Location
Richmond Va
Thanks Ann, I think I have it sorted out now. Read the entire manual for FastRawViewer, etc, and now understand more about why we put in +.6 ev compensation. BTW, do you know what the "Hidden Compensation" Adobe subscribes to the D5 is?

I used to do all my editing in ProPhoto, but have recently returned to Adobe RGB. Why? Consistency. The D5 is set to Adobe RGB. Lightroom/Photoshop is set to Adobe RGB. My second monitor shows the entire Adobe RGB space. My Epson Pro 3800 is set to Adobe RGB. While I understand that ProPhoto is a wider gamut, if what I am shooting, editing, viewing and printing does not capture ProPhoto RGB, why set anything to it?
 
Joined
Feb 18, 2015
Messages
1,203
Location
New York State
It makes no difference which RGB space you use in the camera if you are shooting RAW: the in-camera space only affects the result when you shoot JPGs.

Lightroom is actually working in a wide-gamut space, which is very similar to ProPhoto RGB, when processing your RAW NEFs: it only converts to your chosen RGB space when outputting to a different format. ACR also works in wide-gamut space.

The reason for working entirely in ProPhoto RGB is that you have more colour data (especially in the greens) than you can actually see and you don't want to Clip and throw that information away because devices like your printer will actually use it for output because the gamut of the inks is different from that of your monitors.

You will get much smoother neutrals and flesh-tones too.
I set all of my Working Colour Spaces for ProPhoto RGB (synchronized through Bridge) and do all editing and save my PSDs (or Tiffs) in ProPhoto RGB.
I then Convert any JPGs to sRGB for output to the Web.

You need to Save-for-Web and make sure that the sRGB space is embedded in those JPGs.

"The "Hidden Compensation" Adobe subscribes to the D5 is just a Contrast Curve which they incorporate in Adobe Standard and which works well for the average user.

The more knowledgeable will choose one of the other Camera Profiles which suit their subject matter better.
Camera Neutral uses a linear Curve; Camera Flat, a flatter lower-contrast Curve; but I prefer to make my own Camera Profiles.
 
Joined
Jul 19, 2008
Messages
477
Location
Gelsenkirchen, Germany
Evening All,

Sorry for highjacking this thread from Ann but I thought someone might be able to offer advice.

Just experienced a technical issue with my D5 tonight while at a concert, my D5 is only two months old and I am surprised that I have an issue.

My problem is that my D5 will only focus (AF-On) in the horizontal position. As soon as I switch the camera over to vertical shooting both the small focus/move button and the vertical AF-On button do not work in other words the camera will not focus or can I move the focus point.

I have tried several other lenses but no luck. I have doubled checked the internal settings and vertical AF-On button is set to AF-on, the small focus/move button is also correctly set in within the menu, and still, it will not move at all

I have also checked L (Lock) button next to the card door and that is set correctly.

Anyone had this issue and if yes would you be able to share your experience before I end up taken it back to Nikon NPS on Monday.

Kind Regards

John
 

Butlerkid

Cafe Ambassador
Administrator
Joined
Apr 8, 2008
Messages
24,490
Location
Rutledge, Tennessee
Real Name
Karen
Evening All,

Sorry for highjacking this thread from Ann but I thought someone might be able to offer advice.

Just experienced a technical issue with my D5 tonight while at a concert, my D5 is only two months old and I am surprised that I have an issue.

My problem is that my D5 will only focus (AF-On) in the horizontal position. As soon as I switch the camera over to vertical shooting both the small focus/move button and the vertical AF-On button do not work in other words the camera will not focus or can I move the focus point.

I have tried several other lenses but no luck. I have doubled checked the internal settings and vertical AF-On button is set to AF-on, the small focus/move button is also correctly set in within the menu, and still, it will not move at all

I have also checked L (Lock) button next to the card door and that is set correctly.

Anyone had this issue and if yes would you be able to share your experience before I end up taken it back to Nikon NPS on Monday.

Kind Regards

John
You have the custom setting to keep the same focus point when you switch to vertical. Check setting A7.
 
Joined
Jul 19, 2008
Messages
477
Location
Gelsenkirchen, Germany
Butlerkid

Thank you for your prompt reply, checking my A7 I have it set to Focus point and AF area mode .....looked and tried the other options with no luck
Thank you, I hope some else might have a suggestion

Kind Regards
John
 
Joined
Jul 19, 2008
Messages
477
Location
Gelsenkirchen, Germany
Butlerkid

Just found the fault and I cannot believe I did not check this ......

Undoubtedly while shooing the concert/in dark conditions I must have moved the vertical shutter release button to "lock" ......so simple and yet so obvious, very sorry for not checking this......

Kind Regards
John......feeling very silly if not stupid.
 

Butlerkid

Cafe Ambassador
Administrator
Joined
Apr 8, 2008
Messages
24,490
Location
Rutledge, Tennessee
Real Name
Karen
Butlerkid

Just found the fault and I cannot believe I did not check this ......

Undoubtedly while shooing the concert/in dark conditions I must have moved the vertical shutter release button to "lock" ......so simple and yet so obvious, very sorry for not checking this......

Kind Regards
John......feeling very silly if not stupid.
LOL! Been there....done that!
 
Joined
Jul 19, 2008
Messages
477
Location
Gelsenkirchen, Germany
I know what you mean but its such a simple mistake and yet could not see my way to solving it so carried on shooting with the D500/D750, thank god for back up cameras.

Kind Regards
John.
 
Joined
Feb 18, 2015
Messages
1,203
Location
New York State
Finding that locked button must have caused a huge sigh of relief?!
I am so happy for you that it was such a simple thing.
The other Panic Stations that I have run into is inadvertently switching the AM/M button on a lens to the M position.
 
Joined
Jul 19, 2008
Messages
477
Location
Gelsenkirchen, Germany
Ann, tremendous relief but it goes to show that in the heat of the moment when one is concentrating so hard on getting the shot that the simple solutions are often not in sight, so relieved to have sorted it. Yes I have also had the same experience as you described AM/M, another favourite of mine is the Lock switch on the back of the camera.....all done.

Many thanks
Regards
John
 
Joined
Apr 25, 2013
Messages
29
Location
Richmond Va
Here are some further updates on my journey to getting the most out of my D5:

  • I recently viewed a YouTube video that really consolidated my perspective of metering - despite many years in this game, and many studies, books, videos, etc. This one is VERY simplistic, but I liked it:
  • So now I have been shooting in full manual mode, alternating between average and spot metering. The key is to find an area (which this guy terms "mid-tone") and get it right. Then I go to the shadow and highlight and try to get a balance. Another crucial element is to turn off auto-iso. The D5 is so good that, at least to me, I can go to higher iso to achieve that balanced exposure, with no sacrifice. Nikon's auto-iso always tries to push down the iso to balance the shot, but that is not necessarily what I am looking for. I want to balance the elements I choose to balance.
  • Below is a "test subject" - the front of my house taken with the D5 and the 28mm 1.4e. No art here, but a difficult shot to meter. Meter for the house, and the sky is blown. Meter for the sky, and the house is too dark. With the approach above I can better balance the two. Note: this example is with only basic processing. In "real life" I would correct the color and do a luminosity mask to bring up the shadows a bit.
  • I have been fooling around with the new DXO PhotoLab, which includes elements of their purchase of NIK. I had the original DXO OpticsPro 11, and got a good price to upgrade. After about 20 comparisons with Lightroom "Classic" CC I am ready to move to it, finishing everything, as always, with Photoshop.
  • The new luminosity and color masking in Lightroom and Bridge are nice additions, but nowhere near the power of Lumenzia and TK Actions - Photoshop plugins.
  • Yes, that is a golden retriever on the front step!
Anyway, progress is being made, and the D5 is just great!
test.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 
Joined
Feb 18, 2015
Messages
1,203
Location
New York State
What a beautiful and classical house — accentuated by a classical Golden Retriever!

This a situation where I would take two shots (exposed separately for Sky and House) and use ACR's HDR module to combine the two. It works in 32-bits (for very smooth and natural blending) to combine the two (or three) exposures and you then use the regular ACR tools and Adjustment brushes before outputting a 16-bit file into Photoshop.

I prefer to work in Bridge-hosted ACR because it has all the tools of Lr (sometimes ones which have not yet made their way into Lr) but in a much cleaner and more efficient UI than the one in Lr Classic CC or its predecessor.

Spot metering is fine on stationary subjects.
However, instead of trying to find a 12% Grey in the wild, you may do better if you meter off a White object and re-program the Spot Meter for +3.0 EV (even +3.3 EV on some cameras!).
 

Latest threads

Links on this page may be to our affiliates. Sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
Nikon Cafe is a fan site and not associated with Nikon Corporation.
Forum post reactions by Twemoji: https://github.com/twitter/twemoji
Forum GIFs powered by GIPHY: https://giphy.com/
Copyright © Amin Forums, LLC
Top Bottom