Choosing both aperture and shutter values and still achieving correct exposure on your Nikon

A photographic article would be unusual for this blog, but I decided to share a sometimes life(picture)-saving trick. This entry addresses situations similar to the following:

You have determined that your lens’ sharpest pictures come out at f/8.

You also want to follow the reciprocity rule where your shutter speed is reciprocal to the focal length or faster.

Say it’s sunset and your scene is quite dark. You want to capture a sharp image with the help of a closed-down aperture and decent shutter speed. You have the following options:

-Aperture Priority mode. Dial in (say) f/8; however the shutter speed drops down to an unacceptably slow value (say a quarter of a second).

-Shutter Priority mode. Dial in approximately 1/(your focal length). Since the camera needs a quick capture, it will open your aperture up (in my travel 17-50 f/2.8 lens, that would be f/2.8 which is not its sweet spot).

So? A fancy way to have both of best worlds is to dial into M (Manual) mode on your Nikon and turn ON Auto-ISO. This way we effectively achieve Pentax’s TAv mode for free! Let’s see what’s happening:

-Pre-set aperture? Check.
-Pre-set shutter speed? Check.
-ISO to adjust itself to the conditions to match the correct exposure according to the meter? Check.

Go try it and let me know how that works for you!


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