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Nikon D40 User's Guide

2007 KenRockwell.com
Nikon D40 with new 18-55mm lens.

Original files at

January 200
Converted to P! "# $%ndor &ag# nasa'delfin.unide".hu
2007 KenRockwell.com ( converted by Sndor Nagy

!en "o#kwell
Post Offce !o" #77#
$a %olla& 'alforna (20)#*#77#
+nted States of ,merca

2007 Ken Rockwell
,ll rg-ts reserved. Permsson s granted to make one .rnt for yo/rself. ,ll ot-er /ses are absol/tely
forbdden& es.ecally emalng t-s to ot-ers& makng m/lt.le co.es& .ostng or mrrorng& or -andng t-s
o/t to ot-ers. 0nstead& .lease send ot-ers t-s lnk to t-e newest verson1
w-ere t-ey may download t-e most recent verson free for t-emselves. Please contact me va my webste
for any ot-er .ermssons.

No one .ays me anyt-ng to wrte all t-s. 0 do t beca/se 0 love to -el.. 0f yo/ fnd t-s as -el.f/l
as a book yo/ mg-t -ave -ad to b/y or a works-o. yo/ mg-t -ave -ad to take& .lease -el. me
s-are more 6-tt.122www.kenrockwell.com2donate.-tm7.

"# $%ndor &ag#
)he original html files contain high num"er of internal and external links. *ach internal link was converted
to an index to the relevant page of the P! document+ while the external links are left unchanged in the
P! as em"eded links. $ome of the external links ,the most important ones- were t#ped explicitel# too
,especiall# on this page-+ or copied to the .ppendix with the appropriate index to the relevant page.
2007 KenRockwell.com / converted by Sndor Nagy
.N+"*DU)+.*N /
01-.)- /
)12,"1 -,++.NG- /
,4$osure )om$ensation
-hutter 1d5an#e 2ode
67.+, 01(1N), 8
*'+.2.8, .21G, 8
9*)U- :19; 2ode <
2,+,".NG <
(,N- -,++.NG- <
,='(.).+ D,+1.(- 11
)*N+"*(- 11
+*' '1N,( )*N+"*(- 11
,4$osure 2ode -ele#tor !no> 11
*99? *N and -hutter "elease 0utton 1@
A&- and Dia$hraBm :C; 0utton 1@
.nDo and Green Dot >utton 14
",1" '1N,( )*N+"*(- 14
EFG :'lay; 0utton 14
2,NU 0utton 15
2iniDyinB Glass & H & )he#ker>oard 0utton 15
I i F & 2aBniDyinB Glass & Green Dot 0utton 15
1,-( 19-( & !ey 0utton 1/
"ear Dial 1/
U$&Down&(eDt&"iBht&*! !eys 1/
+rash )an 0utton 1
1lmost .n5isi>le :when oDD; Green (iBht 1
-.D, )*N+"*(- 1
A&- (iBhtinB 0olt :9lash; 0utton 1
9n - 0a#kwards )lo#k 0utton 1<
0iB 0utton 0elow JD40J 1<
2,NU- 1<
'(1K01)! 2,NU :JE F GJ i#on; 1<
Delete 20
'lay>a#k 9older 20
Rotate 4all 20
Slde S-ow 20
Prnt Set 20
-7**+.NG 2,NU :#amera i#on; 20
O.tm8e 0mage 29
Preset '-oces 29
'/stom 6.encl con7 22
:one 22
2007 KenRockwell.com 0 converted by Sndor Nagy
0mage S-ar.enng 22
4one 'om.ensaton 6'ontrast7 22
'olor ;ode 2)
Sat/raton 2)
</e ,d=/stment 2)
0mage >/alty 2)
0mage S8e 23
?-te !alance 23
0SO Senstvty 2@
Nose Red/cton 2A
)U-+*2 -,++.NG 2,NU :'en#il i#on; 2/
BRC Reset /1
09 !ee. 27
02 Doc/s ;ode 27
0) ,D*,rea ;ode 2#
03 S-ootng ;ode 2#
0@ ;eterng 2(
0A No ;emory 'ardE )0
07 0mage Revew )0
0# Dlas- $evel )0
0( ,D ,ssst )0
90 0SO ,/to )0
99 Self 4mer 2 Dn !/tton )9
92 ,F*$2,D*$ )2
9) ,F $ock )2
93 !/lt 0n Dlas- )2
9@ ,/to Off 4mers ))
9A Self 4mer )3
97 Remote On :/raton )3
-,+ U' 2,NU :wren#h i#on; @4
'S;2Set/. ;en/ )@
Dormat ;emory 'ard )@
0nfo :s.lay Dormat )@
,/to S-ootng 0nfo )7
?orld 4me )7
$': !rg-tness )#
Gdeo ;ode )#
$ang/age )#
0mage 'omment )#
+S! 02
Dolders )(
Dle No. SeH/ence )(
;rror $ock*/. 30
Drmware Gerson 30
:/st Off Ref P-oto 30
,/to 0mage Rotaton 30
",+*U)7 2,NU :>rush i#on; 41
:*$g-tng 39
Red*Fye 'orrecton 32
4rm 32
2007 KenRockwell.com 4 converted by Sndor Nagy
;onoc-rome 32
Dlter Fffects 32
Small Pct/re 3)
0mage Overlay 3)

1'',ND.= 4@
11 7ow to -et 6hite 0alan#e 44
11&2 6hite 0alan#e ,4am$les 50
12 1ll 1>out ,4$osure 55
12&2 )orre#t DiBital ,4$osure and Do Nikons Undere4$oseH 5
12&@ +he Nikon 2atri4 2eter /0
12&4 7ow to Use the Nikon -$ot 2eter /8
12&5 +he 8one -ystem /<
12&/ 6hat are (L and ,L 5
12& ,4$osure 2eters
12&8 7ow to Use 7istoBrams <
12&< 7ow to Use )olor 7istoBrams 8@
12&10 7ow to Use a DiBital )amera as an ,4ternal (iBht 2eter 8
1@ 6hat are -hutter -$eed? 1$erture and .-*H 88

2007 KenRockwell.com 3 converted by Sndor Nagy

?ant free lve .-one s/..ortE 0n t-e +S,& call 6#007 N0KON*+I& 23 -o/rs a day& )A@ days a year.
$ookng for a s.ecfc controlE +se my Searc- .age. !e s/re to menton t-e :30 n yo/r searc-.
4-s lengt-y artcle wll teac- yo/ to be an e".ert on t-e Nkon :30Js controls and men/s. 0t also
ncl/des a lot of t.s& trcks& and t-e settngs 0 .refer to /se.
4o get great .-otos yo/ stll need to get yo/rself to t-e rg-t .lace at t-e rg-t tme and .ont t-e
camera n t-e rg-t drecton& w-c- s a lot -arder t-an masterng t-e :30. Rg-t o/t of t-e bo" at
defa/lt settngs t-e :30 does a great =ob so long as yo/ .reset t-e e".os/re com.ensaton to *0.7
. ;akng a great .-oto nvolves locatons& tmng& .atenceand a w-ole lot more. 0 cover general
.-otogra.-y ss/es -ere.
Dor more e"am.les of w-y yo/Jd want to c-ange t-ese settngs and w-y& also see my ;a/ P-oto
F".edton .age.
!elow are t-e bascs. F".lct detals follow n later .ages.
2any tri#ks are in the $aBes >elow? like insertinB your M and #onta#t inDo automati#ally
into e5ery DNOl:$aBe @8;? -e#ret "G0 7istoBrams :$aBe 1/; and 1uto .-* :$aBe @0;.

)12,"1 -,++.NG-
0 leave most settngs at t-er defa/lts.
0 s-oot wt- t-e to. mode dal n P& Program F".os/re mode.
2any oD these menu o$tions are shown only aDter you sele#t the 9U(( 2,NU- o$tion in
the -etu$ 2enu :$aBe @4; and are oDten dea#ti5ated in anythinB e4#e$t the '? -? 1 and 2
modes :$aBe 11;.
0 reset everyt-ng ery tme 0 /se my camera& m/c- as a .lot /ses a c-ecklst before flg-t to
.revent any swtc-es from beng n t-e wrong .oston. ?-en 0 donJt c-eck frst& 0 often -ave left
my :30 n some screwy mode from s-ootng n t-e dark t-e ng-t before.
2007 KenRockwell.com 4 converted by Sndor Nagy
Nkon -as an easy reset feat/re. 0 /se t every tme5 ;y standard o.eratng settng s only a few
clcks dfferent from t-e defa/lts.
+nlke my ot-er Nkons& 0 donJt /se t-e green reset feat/re. 0 fnd t easer to .ress t-e . >utton
and r/n down t-e tems on t-e left and bottom of t-e screen.
. use (arBe? J'G? 01-.)
0Jm a data c-ea.skate. 0 .refer small fles. Dor most .eo.le not s-ootng -/ndreds of t-row*away
mages a day& feel free to leave t n NOR;,$& t-e defa/lt. NOR;,$ makes fles twce as large
wt- a tny bt less blockness f yo/Jre lookng closely at t-e fles .rnted ) feet 69m7 wde. 0 .refer
smaller fles n e"c-ange for almost nvsble levels of blockness.
See my :200 >/alty Settngs .age for more e".lct detal and e"am.les of t-ese settngs on a
:200. ;y :30 does abo/t t-e same t-ng& b/t lacks t-e O.tm8e >/alty %PK 'om.resson mode
0 .refer on my :200& and ts mage s8es are one s8e smaller.
,4$osure )om$ensation
. set my e4$osure #om$ensation to -0. beca/se my :30Js meterng frmware s defectve& =/st
lke t-e :#0Js meter. 0t /s/ally overe".oses.
Set *0.7 by -oldng t-e L2* b/tton 6.age 9)7 near t-e s-/tter and t/rnng t-e rear dal two clcks to
t-e rg-t.
Sadly weJll often -ave to ad=/st t-s de.endng on t-e s/b=ect. 0tJs no bg deal1 =/st look at t-e
mage on t-e $': and clck t towards t-e left 6L7 to lg-ten t-e mage& and to t-e rg-t 6*7 to
darken t for t-e ne"t s-ot. 4-s s w-y 0 .refer my :200& w-c- -as a s/.eror meter beca/se t
rarely needs any fddlng.
-hutter 1d5an#e 2ode
. use )ontinuous :the >earded re#tanBle; 6.age 2#7. 0 get one s-ot wt- one .ress of t-e
s-/tter& and f 0 -old t-e s-/tter b/tton my :30 s-oots 2.@ frames .er second. 0 do t-s n dm lg-t
so 0 can .ck t-e s-ar.est mage. Dor most s-ots of movng t-ngs 0 fre several ro/nds and .ck
t-e one wt- t-e best e".ressons and gest/res. Of co/rse 0 /se a .rofessonal sortng tool 6iL.,6
2edia'ro 7 on a )0M screen to make selectng fles trval.
. use .-* 200 and 1uto .-* 6.age )07.
,/to 0SO ncreases t-e 0SO a/tomatcally as t gets dark so 0 donJt -ave to. 0t s-oots at 0SO 200 n
good lg-t& and at 929@ of a second 6or any s.eed yo/ c-oose7 t starts ram.ng /. t-e 0SO to a
2007 KenRockwell.com 1 converted by Sndor Nagy
ma"m/m of 9&A00 6or any 0SO yo/ c-oose7 as t gets darker. Only f t gets stll darker wll t let t-e
s-/tter s.eed go below 929@ at 0SO 9&A00& e"actly as 0Jd do man/ally.
0 e".lan -ow to set ,/to 0SO and select t-e s-/tter s.eed at w-c- t-e 0SO starts to ncrease and
t-e ma"m/m 0SO to w-c- t wll ncrease n t-e '/stom Settng 90 6.age )07.
0 set ,/to 0SO to 9&A00 ma" beca/se t-e nose from t-e :30 at 0SO 9&A00 looks m/c- better t-an
bl/r. 0 set 929@ beca/se my Nkon 9#*200mm and t-e kt 18-55mm lens gves great res/lts down
to 929@. 0 ad=/st t-e lowest s-/tter s.eed settng n t-e ,+4O 0SO men/ f 0 c-ange condtons or
lenses. +nlke flm& my :30 looks great at -g- 0SOs& so 0 /se t-em anytme 0 need t-em.
;ore detals on settng 0SO at t-e 0SO ;en/ 6.age 2@7.
67.+, 01(1N),
. use 1U+* and a clear +G flter to .rotect my lens. 4-e :30 -as a m/c- warmer color balance
t-an earler cameras lke t-e :70 so 0 donJt need t-e #9, flter or t-e *) trm. See e"am.les of
dfferent settngs -ere 6.age @07 and detals on my ?-te !alance 6.age 337 .age. ?-te balance
s -ow yo/ set t-e color balance& and color s crtcal. 0tJs also .ersonal .reference. +se w-atever
looks rg-t to yo/. ;y :30Js $': s very acc/rate. 0f t looks dfferent n .rnt or on yo/r com./ter&
yo/r .rnter or com./ter are o/t of calbraton.
$/ckly ,+4O works great most of t-e tme. 0 look at my $':& and f tJs not rg-t& 0Jll set t to
w-atever looks good. +s/ally t-atJs t-e :rect S/n or 'lo/dy .ostons. 4-ese settngs gve m/c-
warmer res/lts t-an earler cameras. 0 rarely /se t-e warmer S-ade settng on my :30 w-le 0
/sed S-ade often on my :9< and :70.
*'+.2.8, .21G,
4-s s set n t-e S-ootng ;en/ 6.age 297. 0 crave vvd color5 0 tweak my :30 to gve color as
vvd as 0 can get. 0f t went to 99 0Jd /se t-at& too. 0 go to ;FN+ N S-ootng ;en/ 6green camera
con7 N O.tm8e 0mage N '/stom. <ereJs -ow 0 set eac- tem /nder '/stom1
.maBe -har$eninB% 1uto :deDault;.
+one )om$ensation :#ontrast;% 1uto :deDault;. 4-e :30 a/tomatcally ad=/sts ts contrast
and dynamc range to eac- and every s-ot. 0t works great.
)olor 2ode% ...a :three-a? deDault;. 4-s gves brg-ter colors t-an t-e ot-er modes. 'olor
mode 00 s .rono/nced MtwoM and not to be conf/sed wt- 99 6eleven7. Oo/ donJt want ;ode 00 even
f yo/ co/ld /se t. :etals are -ere 6.age 237.
-aturation% A& of co/rse. 4-s gves brg-ter colors t-at t-e defa/lt.
7ue% 0 :DeDault;. :onJt to/c- t-s5 t wll s/btly mess aro/nd wt- yo/r colors. $eave t at 0.
,fter settng t-s tJs crtcal to save t by selectng M :oneM and clckng to t-e rg-t actvely to select
OK. 0f yo/ forget to -t OK t wonJt remember all t-ese settngs5
2007 KenRockwell.com 5 converted by Sndor Nagy
Read more at S-ootng ;en/ 6.age 297.
9*)U- :19; 2ode
. use the deDault oD 19-1. 4-s mode a/tomatcally selects between t-e two older modes& ,D*'
and ,D*S. 4-ese are e".laned /nder Doc/s ;odes 6.age 277.
. use 2atri4? the deDault. Oo/ set meterng n '/stom Settng 0@ 6.age 2(7 or wt- t-e IiF 0utton
6.age 9@7.
Seeng -ow .oor t-e matr" meter -as become n t-e :30 6t reH/res constantly varyng levels of
com.ensaton7 0 ntend to try center weg-ted meterng. ?t- my ntmate knowledge of t-e Pone
System 6.age A(7.t mg-t let me nal t-e correct e".os/res more H/ckly. 4-at wo/ld be a bg ste.
backwardsQ center weg-tng went obsolete n t-e md 9(#0s t-en t-e ;atr" meter was nvented.
See my F".os/re 6.age @@7 .age for detals on gettng .erfect e".os/res.
(,N- -,++.NG-
Nikon D40 with new 18-55mm lens.
;any lenses -ave no swtc-es or settngs. 0f so& donJt worry.
0f a lens -as an M, * ;M swtc-& lke t-e ncl/ded 9#*@@mm above& leave t at M,.M 4o get man/al
2007 KenRockwell.com 2 converted by Sndor Nagy
foc/s wt- t-e ncl/ded lens& move t to M;.M
0f t-e swtc- says M;2, * ; M t-en /se ;2,. 4-ese lenses may be foc/sed man/ally at any tme n
et-er .oston. ,s soon as yo/ ta. t-e s-/tter b/tton n ;2, yo/ ret/rn to a/tofoc/s.
;ore advanced lenses& lke t-e 9#*200mm& 70*)00mm GR and 9#*9)@mm& and any lens wt- an
;2, .oston& may be foc/sed man/ally at any tme wt-o/t movng any swtc-es. $eave t-em n
t-er , or ,2; .ostons.
Non*,D*S and non*,D*0 lenses& lke t-e new 90.@mm fs-eye& wonJt a/tofoc/s at all.
4-e old )00mm f23 ,D -as to be ./t n t-e ; .oston to foc/s& and t only foc/ses man/ally.
Read yo/r lensJ man/al& or n t-e +S, ask Nkon 23272)A@ at 6#007 N0KON*+I.
Non*K lenses wll -ave an a.ert/re rng on t-e base of t-e lens w-ere tJs attac-ed to t-e camera.
Set t-s t-s rng to t-e smallest a.ert/re 6largest n/mber7& /s/ally 22& f not )2 or 9A. 4-s n/mber
wll be orange on a/tofoc/s lenses. 4-ere /s/ally s a lock to kee. t-s rng set t-ere& snce f t
comes off t-at settng yo/Jll get an error message from most cameras.

2007 KenRockwell.com (0 converted by Sndor Nagy
,='(.).+ D,+1.(-
4-ese were t-e bascs. Kee. readng for e".lct detals.
+*' '1N,( )*N+"*(-
Nikon D40 +o$ 'anel )ontrols.
,4$osure 2ode -ele#tor !no>
6s-own above.7 S.n t to select among P& S& , and ; e".os/re modes. 0 gnore t-e green ,+4O
6as s-own above7 and t-e ot-er convenence modes 6flower& lady n -at& etc.7.
2any oD the menu o$tions are shown only aDter you sele#t the 9U(( 2,NU- o$tion in the
-etu$ 2enu :$aBe @5; and are oDten dea#ti5ated in anythinB e4#e$t the '? -? 1 and 2
e4$osure modes.
'% 'roBram 1utomati# ,4$osure 2ode
0 /se MPM for .rogram a/to e".os/re. 0n t-s mode t-e camera c-ooses t-e f2sto. and s-/tter
s.eed for yo/.
0tJs easy to get to any a.ert/re or s-/tter s.eed yo/ .refer n t-s mode1 sm.ly move t-e rear dal
to s-ft t-em. 4-s selects alternate combnatons of f2sto.s and s-/tter s.eeds 6.age ##7 w-c-
gve t-e same e".os/re. Nkon calls t-s MProgram S-ft.M , C' symbol a..ears on t-e bottom left
of t-e vewfnder& to t-e left of t-e s-/tter s.eed.
2007 KenRockwell.com (( converted by Sndor Nagy
4-ree easy ways to ret/rn to t-e standard .rogram combnaton are to1
9.7 fl. to a dfferent mode and back to P& or
2.7 t/rn t-e :30 off and back on& or
).7 s.n t-e rear dal back to ts orgnal .oston.
4-e RP symbol goes away w-en yo/Jve ret/rned to t-e standard combnatons.
4-e standard combnatons are f23 at 92A0& f2@.A S 9292@& f2# S 922@0& f299 S 92@00& etc.
, s-fted set mg-t /se f23 S 929&000& f2# S 92@00 or mg-t /se f23 S 922& f2@.A S 9 sec& etc.
:onJt worry& =/st flck t-e rear dal /ntl yo/ get t-e combnaton yo/ .refer.
1? - and 2 2odes
0f yo/ want to /se only one a.ert/re or one s-/tter s.eed t-en /se S or , mode and t-e camera
wll a/tomatcally .ck t-e ot-er val/e. 0 never /se t-eseQ 0 s-ft t-e .rogram nstead.
0f yo/ want to set bot- t-e -ard way& /se ;& man/al& mode.
0n , or S mode yo/ can only set one of t-e two val/es beca/se t-e camera s settng t-e ot-er
one for yo/.
1 2ode% 1$erture 'riority
0n , mode yo/ c-oose t-e ,.ert/re and t-e :30 c-ooses t-e s-/tter s.eed.
- 2ode% -hutter 'riority
0n S mode yo/ set t-e S-/tter and t-e :30 sets t-e a.ert/re.
0f t-e :30 r/ns o/t of avalable a.ert/res yo/ easly can get /nder or over e".os/re n S mode1
watc- t-at t-e :30 can select a correct a.ert/re for yo/r lg-tng.
2 2ode% 2anual ,4$osure
Oo/ -ave to set everyt-ng t-e -ard way.
No one /ses t-s mode e"ce.t n com.le" condtons. 0gnore old*tmers w-o tell yo/ yo/ need
;an/al modeQ t-ey say t-at beca/se t-atJs t-e only mode cameras -ad back n t-e 9(@0s.
0 look at t-e $': to c-eck e".os/re. Oo/ can /se t-e bar gra.- n t-e fnder * b/t w-yE 0f yo/
wanted to do t-at /se anot-er mode and let t-e :30 do t-e settng for yo/.
4-e rear dal sets t-e s-/tter s.eed n man/al e".os/re. 4o set t-e a.ert/re& -old t-e L2* 6R7
6da.-ragm7 b/tton near t-e s-/tter and t/rn t-e rear dal.
2007 KenRockwell.com (/ converted by Sndor Nagy
9irmware DeDe#t% ?-en t/rned ON& ,/to 0SO 6.age )07 remans actve n ;an/al mode. 0 always
t/rn off ,+4O 0SO w-en 0 enter ;an/al ;ode& ot-erwse ,/to 0SO c-anges t-e 0SO and r/ns
w-atever yo/ were -o.ng to accom.ls- wt- man/al e".os/re mode.
*99? *N and -hutter "elease 0utton
$eave t ON /nless yo/Jre ./ttng t away. 0t draws no more .ower n ON t-an ODD. ODD s a lock
to .revent accdental o.eraton.
A&- and Dia$hraBm :C; 0utton
4-s b/tton s ne"t to t-e s-/tter b/tton.
0n man/al e".os/re mode& -old t-s and t/rn t-e rear dal to c-ange t-e a.ert/re.
0n every ot-er mode& -old t and t/rn t-e rear dal to c-ange t-e e".os/re com.ensaton
4-s e".os/re com.ensaton b/tton s very m.ortant. Oo/Jll .robably wear t-e .ant off t-s one.
4-s b/tton makes t-e .-otos lg-ter or darker. L s lg-ter& and * s darker.
4-s only affects .-otos as yo/ take t-em. +se w-atever settng looks best to yo/Q t-ere s no
correct settng.
, flaw n t-e :30Js meter frmware 6same ss/e as t-e :#07 makes most .-otos too lg-t& so 0
leave mne set to *0.7. 0f yo/r .-oto s too lg-t& -old t-e L2* b/tton and s.n t-e rear dal to a more
negatve n/mber& lke *9.). 0f yo/r .-oto s too dark& -old t and s.n t-e dal to a more .ostve
n/mber& lke *0.) or 0.0. 0tJs .erfectly OK to go to any n/mber yo/ need& lke *).) or L9.0.
4-s error snJt a sm.le calbraton ss/e. 4-e :30 does dfferent werd t-ngs wt- dfferent
s/b=ects and dfferent com.ostons. 4-e :30Js meter frmware s desgned erroneo/sly to e".ose
for t-e darkest .art of t-e mage& so tJs almost m.ossble to get t-e rg-t e".os/re of someone
wearng black& es.ecally as t-ey move aro/nd t-e mage. Oo/ may need *2.0 or *).0
com.ensaton& w-le ot-er s-ots of lg-t ob=ects may be fne wt- 0.0.
4-e need for constant varaton and s/.ervson s w-at makes t-s meter so bad. 0 .refer my
:200& w-c- rarely reH/res any correcton.
Dlas- e".os/re s NkonJs /s/al .erfecton. Oo/ can c-ange tJs brg-tness along wt- t-e flas-
b/tton 6.age 977.
7.N+% Oo/ can see t-e L or mn/s val/e ds.layed n t-e fnder as well as t-e rear $':& so yo/
can ad=/st t-s wt-o/t takng yo/r eye from t-e fnder. 4-e fnder ds.lay only reads t-e val/e
w-en t-e b/tton s .ressed& ot-erwse t-ose dgts read e".os/res remanng.
2007 KenRockwell.com (0 converted by Sndor Nagy
.nDo and Green Dot >utton
4a. t-s to wake /. t-e :30 and s-ow yo/ w-atJs gong on wt- yo/r settngs on t-e $':. 4a. t
agan to t/rn off t-e $':.
4o c-ange t-e settngs& ta. t-e ot-er I i F and Kreen :ot b/tton 6.age 9@7on t-e rearof t-e :30.
<old bot- Green Dot b/ttons at t-e same tme for a few seconds to reset most of t-e tactcal
.arameters& lke e".os/re com.ensaton& a/tofoc/s modes& 0SO& ?-te !alance& etc& to t-er
defa/lts. 0 donJt /se t-s reset often& snce 0 set eno/g- t-ngs away from defa/lts. 0 wo/ld /se t f
0 loaned my :30 to a frend and -ad t ret/rned later.
",1" '1N,( )*N+"*(-
Nikon D40 "ear :wiDe and doB Dront;.
Drom to. left to bottom rg-t1
EFG :'lay; 0utton
4-s .lays an mage& or sto.s .layng an mage.
Oo/ donJt need t-s often& snce t-e $': t/rns off t-e nstant yo/ ta. t-e s-/tter b/tton& and f yo/
set 0mage Revew ON n '/stom Settng 07 6.age )07 t .lays a/tomatcally after eac- s-ot.
?t- '/stom Settng 07 6.age )07 set to ON& yo/ can do anyt-ng and everyt-ng to t-e mage
mmedately after s-ootng wt-o/t -avng to .ress Play. ?ant to 8oom& scroll& or see ot-er
magesE %/st move t-e a..ro.rate controls.
2007 KenRockwell.com (4 converted by Sndor Nagy
0 t-ank my l/cky stars wt- my Nkon& beca/se on my dotc 'anon @: 0 -ave to wat and .ress
t-e Play b/tton =/st to 8oom n on a s-ot 0 =/st made5 No need for t-s wt- Nkon& so long as yo/
-ave 0mage Revew 6.age )07 set to ON.
4-e only reason yo/ may want 0mage Revew ODD 6ts defa/lt7 s f yo/ .refer to make many
mmedate c-anges to yo/r ne"t s-ots.
0f 0mage Revew s ON& t-e mage .o.s /. after yo/r s-ot& and t-e :30 res.onds to yo/r dal
n./ts by s-owng t-e t-e ne"t or .revo/s mage. ;y :30 wonJt c-ange a.ert/res or s-/tter
s.eeds /ntl 0 wat a moment and ta. t-e s-/tter to ./t my :30 back nto S-ootng mode. 0f yo/
want to c-ange yo/r settngs mmedately& t/rn off 0mage Revew. 64-e 'anon Rebel I4 s
smarter t-an t-ese& snce t-e I4 -as a sensor to determne f yo/ -ave yo/r eye at t-e vewfnder
and swtc-es a/tomatcally.7
2,NU 0utton
4-s gets yo/ nto t-e men/s& as e".laned at t-e many men/ .ages below.
Oo/ set almost everyt-ng abo/t t-e :30 -ere.
Oo/ also can set many s-ootng .arameters wt- t-e I i F !/tton 6.age 9@7 and Dn !/tton 6.age
9(7. 4-ey are dfferent ways of settng t-e same t-ngs.
2iniDyinB Glass & H & )he#ker>oard 0utton
0f .layng& t red/ces t-e mages to ft 2"2 or )") on t-e screen. 0f t-e mage was 8oomed& t
8ooms o/t.
0f workng n t-e men/s& often t-s b/tton wll gve more nformaton abo/t t-e settng at -and.
0f t-e MEM s flas-ng n t-e bottom rg-t of t-e vewfnder& t-at means yo/ -ave a message watng
from yo/r :30. 4-s s a frst5 Press t-e MEM b/tton and yo/r :30 wll tell yo/ w-atJs on ts mnd5 0tJs
/s/ally tellng yo/ to t/rn on t-e flas-.
I i F & 2aBniDyinB Glass & Green Dot 0utton
0f t-e :30 s restng 6$': off7& t-e I i F b/tton wakes /. t-e $': and s-ows yo/ t-e s-ootng nfo
e"actly as t-e nfo b/tton 6.age 937 does.
0f t-e $': s n t-e 0nfo 6s-owng s-/tter s.eeds& etc.7 mode& .ress t-e I i F b/tton to c-ange
t-ese settngs. +se t-e +.2:own2$eft2Rg-t2OK b/ttons.
0f .layng& t-s b/tton 8ooms n. +se t-e /.2down2left2rg-t b/tton to scroll aro/nd.
<old bot- Green Dot b/ttons at t-e same tme for a few seconds to reset most of t-e tactcal
.arameters& lke e".os/re com.ensaton& a/tofoc/s modes& 0SO& ?-te !alance& etc& to t-er
2007 KenRockwell.com (3 converted by Sndor Nagy
defa/lts. 0 donJt /se t-s reset often& snce 0 set eno/g- t-ngs away from defa/lts. 0 wo/ld /se t f
0 loaned my :30 to a frend and -ad t ret/rned later.
1,-( 19-( & !ey 0utton 64o. Rg-t 'enter7
4-s can lock t-e foc/s and2or e".os/re or t/rn on t-e a/tofoc/s.
Oo/ set w-at t locks n '/stom Settng 92 6.age )27. 0 set mne to lock e".os/re for as long as 0
-old t-e b/tton 6,F lock only7.
"ear Dial 6to. rg-t7
'lck t-s left and rg-t to control most of t-e :30Js f/nctons.
U$&Down&(eDt&"iBht&*! !eys
4-s s t-e fve*way t-/mb swtc-.
0t works and feels m/c- better t-an t-e m/s-y one on t-e :#0 and earler cameras. 4-s e"cellent
feel and nteracton s a strong reason w-y 0 lke my :30 so m/c-& and .refer t to my do/bly
e".ensve :#0.
?-le .layng& t-s moves among yo/r mages 6left2rg-t7 and t-e data for t-em 6/.2down7. 0 fnd t
more convenent to s.n t-e rear dal to go forward and backQ try t.
?-en .layng a 8oomed mage& t scrolls aro/nd t-e mage.
?-le s-ootng& t selects among t-e ,D areas f yo/Jre n a mode w-c- allows yo/ to select an ,D
area. 4-e selected ,D area glows n red.
0n t-e men/s& t moves aro/nd yo/r selectons.
0t feels good5
-,)",+ "G0 7.-+*G"12 +".)!% 0n .layback& t-e OK b/tton calls /. t-e Reto/c- ;en/
6.age 397. Select Dlter Fffects& t-en 'olor !alance to see an RK! -stogram 6.age #)7&crtcal for
.recse e".os/re. 4-s trck and t-e -/ge RK! ds.lay are among t-e reasons 0 .refer my :30 to
my s"*tmes*as*e".ensve 'anon @: wt- do/ble t-e ."els. 4-e @: -as a dm screen wt- an
llegble& tny& RK! ds.lay.
0f 8oomed n 6or 8oomed o/t to t-e 2"2 or )") modes7& t-e OK b/tton ret/rns yo/ to a normal
s8ed mage.
2007 KenRockwell.com (4 converted by Sndor Nagy
+rash )an 0utton
4-s s t-e :30Js fl/s- lever.
Press t w-le a .-oto s ds.layed to erase t-at .-oto. Oo/Jll get an Mare yo/ s/reEM screen& and
.ress t agan to d/m. t-at s-ot.
;eat-eads lke me get /sed to do/ble .ressng t every tme o/t of -abt& w-c- means 0
accdentally erase some s-ots. Serves me rg-t.
0t doesnJt do anyt-ng else. 0t gnores yo/ f .ressed wt-o/t an mage ds.layed& e"ce.t t s /sed
for deletng bad c-aracters n t-e secret message embed mode 6.age )#7.
1lmost .n5isi>le :when oDD; Green (iBht
4-s lg-t s-o/ld be red& beca/se t means t-e :30 s talkng to t-e S: memory card and yo/
m/st not remove t. 0f yo/Jre d/mb eno/g- to yank o/t t-e card wt- t-e lg-t on& yo/ not only wll
lose some .-otos& yo/ may destroy yo/r S: card.
4-s normally blnks w-en t-e :30 s t/rned on or off or wakes /. to s-oot. 0t blnks for a moment
after eac- s-ot to record t to t-e card. t blnks as yo/ select dfferent .layback mages as t reads
t-em from t-e card. 0t can stay lt for a mn/te or more w-le data gets wrtten& f yo/ nsst on
s-ootng a lot of fast seH/ences n raw.
Oo/ may gnore t w-le s-ootng. Oo/ donJt -ave to wat for t& e"ce.t to ./ll o/t yo/r S: card. 4-e
:30 -as a fat b/ffer to let yo/ s-ot as fast as yo/ want wt-o/t -avng to wat for t-s lg-t.
-.D, )*N+"*(-
Nikon D40 with new 18-55mm lens.
2007 KenRockwell.com (1 converted by Sndor Nagy
Drom t-e to. down1
A&- (iBhtinB 0olt :9lash; 0utton
9.7 Press once to .o. /. t-e b/lt*n flas-.
2.7 <old t and t-e L2* 6R7 da.-ragm b/tton 6.age 9)7 at t-e same tme and s.n t-e rear dal to
alter t-e brg-tness of t-e flas-. 0.0 s normal and 0 leave t t-ere almost all t-e tme. Only n rare
nstances do 0 ever need to ad=/st t towards t-e mn/s sde to make t darker& or t-e .l/s sde to
make t lg-ter.
4-s s m/c- easer to do t-an t so/ndsQ tJs H/te nat/ral.
).7 <old t and s.n t-e rear dal to select t-e flas- sync mode. 4-e sync mode s ds.layed on t-e
lower left of t-e $':.
<ere are t-e modes and w-at t-ey do1
Normal 6a lg-tnng bolt& w-c- s t-e defa/lt71 0n Program and , e".os/re modes& t-e s-/tter
wonJt stay o.en longer t-an 92A0 second.
0 always /se Normal mode and t looks great.
0n t-s mode yo/ wonJt get bl/r ndoors& b/t yo/ may get black backgro/nds. 4-e best way to
avod dark backgro/nds wt- t-e :30 s to /se an e"ternal flas- lke t-e S!*300 and bo/nce t off
t-e celng 6fl. t /.. 0 love t-e look of t-e bo/nced S!*300 e"ternal flas-Q yo/ can see a 8llon
e"am.les at my baby Ryan RockwellJs webste.
+nlke ot-er Nkons& t-e :30 doesnJt -ave a c/stom f/ncton to c-oose a longer s.eed& lke 92#& n
P and , e".os/re modes 6.age 997 to lg-ten backgro/nds ndoors. Oo/Jll -ave to /se S or ;
mode w-c- takes more c/nnng to set/.. Oo/ can /se t-e Slow Sync 6.age 9#7 mode below& b/t
ndoors or at ng-t t often res/lts n /ncontrolled cra8y long s.eeds /. to )0 seconds& w-c- lead
to bl/r.
"ed-,ye 6eyeball and bolt con71 0 never /se t-s. 0t s-nes an obno"o/s lg-t n yo/r s/b=ectJs
eyes for a co/.le of seconds and t-en releases t-e s-/tter. 0f 0 set t-s mode by accdent t b/gs
t-e -eck o/t of me& beca/se t-e camera doesnJt go off /ntl several seconds after 0Jve .ressed t-e
s-/tter& b/t 0 -ave no dea w-y beca/se 0Jve set no self tmer5 0t doesnJt do m/c- to red/ce redeye
anyway. Sk. t-s mode.
-(*6 6S$O? and bolt con71 4-s mode can be very /sef/l. 0t lets t-e s-/tter stay o.en as long
as t needs to so dm ambent lg-t can e".ose .ro.erly wt- flas-. Of co/rse f tJs dark t-ese
e".os/re tmes can get long. Oo/ can get bl/r from s/b=ect moton and camera s-ake.
0n daylg-t S$O? s t-e same as NOR;,$& snce e".os/re tmes are s-ort. S$O? /nlocks t-e
camera n P and , e".os/re modes 6.age 997 to make e".os/res as long as t wants to n dm
<ave a look at most ss/es of Natonal Keogra.-c and yo/Jll see many ndoor s-ots made n t-s
2007 KenRockwell.com (5 converted by Sndor Nagy
mode. 4-e backgro/nd e".oses correctly& .eo.le may be bl/rred& and a b/rst of flas- free8es
t-em along wt- t-e bl/rry g-ost mages.
Normal and S$O? do t-e same t-ng n S and ; e".os/re modes 6.age 997& snce yo/ or t-e
camera may select any s-/tter s.eed n t-ese modes regardless of flas- sync. 0 /s/ally .refer to
c-oose an e"act slowest s-/tter s.eed n t-e ; or S e".os/re modes 6.age 997. 0n S$O? mode
and dark condtons t-e s-/tter s.eeds can become too long for comfort.
"ed-,ye -(*6 6eye and S$O? con71 4-s s t-e S$O? mode and redeye. 0 donJt /se t for t-e
same reason 0 donJt /se Redeye.
",1" 6RF,R and !olt con71 Normally t-e flas- goes off t-e nstant t-e s-/tter o.ens. ?t- long
e".os/res and bl/rred g-ost mages yo/ ordnarly get t-e g-ost streamng o/t n front of t-e
s/b=ect. 4-nk abo/t t1 f a car s drvng& t-e flas- goers off and free8es t& t-en t-e car moves
forward. Oo/Jll -ave a g-ost mage a-ead of t-e car& w-c- /s/ally looks st/.d. Select RF,R
mode to -ave t-e flas- go off as t-e s-/tter closes. Now yo/Jll -ave moton bl/rrng be-nd t-e
fro8en flas- mage.
,not-er reason to select RF,R s beca/se t-e flas- goes off at t-e end of t-e e".os/re. Peo.le
.res/me .-otos are made t-e nstant a flas- fres& t-en leave. 4-s wreaks -avoc wt- long
e".os/res. 0f yo/ /se RF,R mode wt- long e".os/res t-eyJll stay ./t and not move /ntl t-e end.
Of co/rse yo/Jll also want to select man/al flas- mode 6.age )27 to elmnate t-e .reflas-.
RF,R doesnJt do anyt-ng wt- s-ort e".os/res.
9n - 0a#kwards )lo#k 0utton
!y defa/lt& .ress t-s to set t-e self tmer.
'/stom Settng 99 6.age )97 lets me set t-s to do ot-er t-ngs nstead. 0 .refer to -ave t gve me
more drect access to ?-te !alance. See '/stom Settng 99 6.age )97 for detals.
0iB 0utton 0elow JD40J
4-s /nlocks t-e lens. P/s- t-s strag-t n and rotate t-e lens to remove t. 0tJs a bayonet mo/nt.
'(1K01)! 2,NU :JE F GJ i#on;
?ant free lve .-one s/..ortE 0n t-e +S,& call 6#007 N0KON*+I& 23 -o/rs a day& )A@ days a year.
7ow to Get 7ere
Press ;FN+& clck to t-e left and t-en /. to select t-e to. MB N C M 6.lay7 con. Oo/Jll t-en see
P$,O!,'K ;FN+ at t-e to. of t-e color $':.
2007 KenRockwell.com (2 converted by Sndor Nagy
6hat it Does
0t sets a few .layback o.tons.
6hat . )hanBe
0 leave t alone.
4-s s -el.f/l f yo/ want to delete all mages w-le savng t-ose yo/ locked wt- t-e Key 2 ,F*$
,D*$ b/tton 6.age 9A7.
0 donJt /se t-s. 0 do all my edtng and selecton n my com./ter and 0 do my n*camera deletons
one*by*one wt- t-e tras- can key.
'lay>a#k 9older
4-e camera can record to and .lay back from dfferent folders.
)U"",N+ gnores .-otos n folders ot-er t-an t-e one to w-c- yo/Jre recordng.
1(( s-ows yo/ everyt-ng on t-e card. 0 leave my :30 set to ,$$. 0t tends to reset tself to
'/rrent& meanng t wonJt .lay mages made on a dfferent camera f t-ey are on yo/r card.
"otate +all
4-s s %a.anese for rotatng t-e vertcal s-ots on .layback& .res/mng yo/Jve set ,/to Rotate to
ON n t-e Set/. ;en/ 6.age 307.
0t doesnJt affect yo/r mages or flesQ t only c-anges -ow t-ey are ds.layed on t-e :30.
-lide -how
4-s lets yo/ ama8e yo/r frends wt- an e"ctng slde s-ow on t-e tny screen. 0 donJt bot-er wt-
t-s. 0 g/ess tJs .o./lar n %a.an. ?-oo -oo5 $etJs all watc- a s-ow on a 2.@M screen5 Oo/ co/ld
.l/g t-e :30 nto a 4G or vdeo .ro=ector& b/t vdeo resol/ton s so bad everyt-ng wll look awf/l.
'rint -et
0 never /se t-s. 0 g/ess tJs .o./lar n %a.an. 4-s lets yo/ mark mages for .rntng f yo/ sorted
and t-en .rnted drectly from yo/r :30& and -ad a lab w-c- co/ld read t-s data.
-7**+.NG 2,NU :#amera i#on;
2any oD these menu o$tions are shown only aDter you sele#t the 9U(( 2,NU- o$tion in
the -etu$ 2enu :$aBe @5; and are oDten dea#ti5ated in anythinB e4#e$t the '? -? 1 and 2
modes :$aBe 11;.
2007 KenRockwell.com /0 converted by Sndor Nagy
4-s men/ really s-o/ld be called t-e Dlm men/ and s-own wt- an con of a roll of flm. ;ore
camera settngs& lke a/tofoc/s& flas- and tmers& are set n t-e '/stom Settngs ;en/ 6.age 2A7&
s-own by a .encl. 4-s s NkonJs mstakeQ donJt .enal8e yo/rself f t-e men/ names and cons
make lttle sense at face val/e.
7ow to Get +here
Press ;FN+& clck left and t-en /. and down to select t-e camera 6s-ootng7 men/. Oo/Jll see
MS<OO40NK ;FN+M on t-e to. of t-e $': montor.
6hat it -ets
0t sets .arameters related to w-at flm /sed to do. 4-e S-ootng ;en/ sets 0SO& gran& contrast&
color and a 8llon ot-er crtcal t-ngs t-at set t-e look of yo/r mages.
4-e s-ootng men/ wo/ld make more sense f t were called t-e Dlm men/& snce many ot-er
men/s also affect s-ootng.
4-e :30 a..ears to -ave all t-e c/stom mage tweaks of t-e :2Is and ot-er Nkons. 0 canJt see
anyt-ng mssng e"ce.t t-e -g- 0SO NR strengt-. 4-e :30 does -ave selectable dark*frame
s/btracton nose red/cton5
6hat . )hanBe
0 c-ange a lot -ere. 4-s s w-ere 0 get t-e wld colors 0 love from my :30.
*$timiPe .maBe
4-s s w-ere yo/ set t-e look of yo/r mage& lke t-e sat/raton 0 love.
4-ese c-oces are art. 4-ere s no rg-t or wrong f yo/ know w-at yo/Jre dong and know w-at
yo/ want.
0Jll tell yo/ w-at 0 /se. 0gnore me and !e Oo/rself f yo/ .refer a dfferent look.
'reset )hoi#es
4-ere are s" f"ed .reset modes. 4-ey cannot be altered. 4-ey are1
N Normal
-* Softer
L. Gvd
L.C ;ore Gvd
'* Portrat
2007 KenRockwell.com /( converted by Sndor Nagy
06 !lack*and*?-te
Oo/ mg-t t-nk 0 wo/ld /se Gvd or ;ore Gvd& e"ce.t t-at t-ey crank /. some of t-e contrast
and s-ar.ness settngs and leave t-em t-ere. 0 want vvd colors& b/t leave t-e contrast and
s-ar.ness on ,/to. 4-s way as s/b=ects get contraster 0 donJt -ave to sto. and t/rn t-e contrast
back down. 0n G0R yo/ can easly blow o/t a slg-tly -g-*contrast scene.
4-erefore 0 /se t-e '/stom 6.encl con7 settng1
)ustom 6.encl con7
4-s s w-ere Nkon -des t-e crtcal ad=/stments ot-er camera makers make more obvo/s.
'anon lets yo/ defne many of t-ese and recall t-em easly. Nkon only gves yo/ one settng.
'anon also gves yo/ a wder and more .recse range of ad=/stments& and t-erefore tJs easer to
make bad mstakes wt- 'anon. 4-e e"treme settngs -ere arenJt very e"treme. Play to yo/r
-eartJs content and see w-at yo/ .refer.
JDoneJ is the most im$ortant )ustom *$timiPe .maBe menu item. 0f yo/ forget to select t
and t-en clck to t-e rg-t to select OK t forgets everyt-ng5 ,lways remember to select :ONF
and OK after yo/ c-ange any of t-e settngs below& ot-erwse t-ey wll be gnored.
.maBe -har$eninB
0 leave mne on ,+4O. 0Jve never messed wt- t-e man/al settngs. S-ar.ening s an artfcal
effect not to be conf/sed wt- s-ar.ness. ?-en 0 frst got a dgtal camera 0 t-o/g-t1 Mcool& 0Jm
crankng t-s to 99&M and real8ed my error. :onJt t/rn t /. for no reason& snce t-e mage can start
to look artfcal. Play wt- t f yo/ want. 0Jve .layed wt- t o/t of c/rosty& and always leave t on
+one )om$ensation :)ontrast;
Nkon meant to say 'ontrast. 0 always leave mne set to ,+4O. 0n ,+4O t-e :30 a/tomatcally
a..les t-e Pone System 6.age A(7 and ad=/sts contrast to matc- yo/r s/b=ect& for eac- and every
0f NkonJs marketng de.artment was .ayng attenton& t-ey wo/ld .romote t-s as ,/tomatc
:ynamc Range O.tm8aton& snce t-atJs w-at t does and 'anon -as not-ng lke t-s.
4-e :30 a/tomatcally lowers contrast and ncreases dynamc range for very contrasty s/b=ects&
and cranks /. contrast for d/ll s/b=ects.
Sat/raton also vares wt- t-s settng. 0f yo/ crank t to L t looks vvd and bold for flatter
s/b=ects& b/t w-en yo/ -ave a contrasty s/b=ect tJs too m/c- and blows o/t. $eave t n ,+4O
and yo/ wonJt -ave to .ddle wt- t.
,vod )ustom tone com.ensaton. ;ost .eo.le call t-s a c/stom c/rve. 0Jve never /sed t. 4o
2007 KenRockwell.com // converted by Sndor Nagy
/se t yo/ -ave to b/y Nkon 'a.t/re and create a c/rve. Oo/ t-en /se Nkon ca.t/re to load t
nto t-e :30. Once yo/Jve done t-at yo/ select t -ere. 0f yo/ -avenJt loaded yo/r own c/stom
c/rve and select t-s yo/ get t-e defa/lt Normal c/rve. '/stom c/rves are way beyond anyt-ng
wt- w-c- 0 want to bot-er. 4-e c/rves n t-e camera are t-e best ones anyway. Real
.-otogra.-ers .ay more attenton to t-er s/b=ectJs lg-tng.
)olor 2ode
'olor ;ode -as t-ree settngs1
)olor 2ode .a 6one*a& sRK!7 s defa/lt. 0tJs normal and borng.
)olor 2ode .. 6two& ,dobe RK!7 gves d/ll colors. :onJt to/c- t-s /nless yo/ really know
w-at yo/Jre dong and .rnt yo/r own work. See ,dobe RK! vs. sRK!.
)olor 2ode ...a 6t-ree*a& also sRK!7 gves bolder colors. 0 /se t all t-e tme.
0 -ave no dea -ow Nkon cooked /. t-ese n/merc desgnatons.
4-s sets t-e vvdness 6strengt-7 of colors.
1 1uto% 0 donJt /se t-s. 0 s/s.ect t cranks /. t-e color for d/ll scenes and ./ts t back to
normal for scenes t-at are already colorf/l. 0 .refer always to -ave my sat/raton cranked /..
0 Normal% Dor normal .eo.le s-ots yo/Jre .robably better off wt- 0. 4-s s t-e defa/lt.
- 2oderate% tones down t-e colors& w-c- 0Jve never lked. M;oderateM so/nds lke !rts-
/nderstatement. 0n ,merca we call t-s Md/ll and borng.M Personally 0 want colors so brg-t yo/
-ave to ./t on s/nglasses& or 0 go drectly to !2?. Oo/r nterests and taste wll dffer.
A ,nhan#ed% 0 .refer volent color& so 0 crank t /. to L. 0Jd /se LL or LLL f my :30 -ad t& b/t
t-atJs me.
7ue 1dOustment
:onJt to/c- t-s5 4-s rotates all yo/r colors to dfferent s.ots aro/nd t-e color w-eel. 0f yo/ /se
t-s to f" one color t screws /. all t-e ot-er colors. Kod only knows w-y t-s ad=/stment s -ere.
.maBe 3uality
4-s selects t-e knd of fle 6raw& %PK or bot-7& and t-e s8e of t-e %PK fle 6D0NF& NOR;,$ or
0 always /se %PK& never raw. 6see %PK vs. Raw.7
2007 KenRockwell.com /0 converted by Sndor Nagy
0 /s/ally /se !,S0' %PK and sometmes NOR;,$ %PK.
!,S0' %PK looks almost t-e same as NOR;,$& /nless yo/Jre makng s" foot wde .rnts. 0t also
makes a fle -alf t-e s8e of Normal& w-c- s.eeds /. everyt-ng and saves s.ace on my -ard
drves and back/. ':s.
0 never /se D0NFQ t looks t-e same as NOR;,$ and wastes s.ace. Deel free to /se any settngs
yo/ lkeQ t-atJs w-y t-eyJre -ere.
Oo/ can see e"am.les from my :200 at :200 >/alty Settng F"am.les.
.maBe -iPe
4-s selects $& ; or S mage 6."el7 s8e for t-e %PK mages. 0 always /se $.
0 .rnt $ !,S0' %PK fles at 92 " 9#M 6)0 " @0 cm7 and t-ey look great.
0 mg-t /se ; f 0Jm s-ootng many -/ndreds and -/ndreds of mages of somet-ng 0 donJt e".ect
to .rnt larger t-an # " 92M 620 " )0cm7& lke s.orts& weddngs and .artes.
6hite 0alan#e
0 leave my ?! at ,+4O. See also <ow to Set ?-te !alance 6.age 337 and ?-te !alance
F"am.les 6.age @07.
+ri#k% to fne*t/ne 6make warmer or cooler7 eac- settng ndvd/ally& after selectng t n t-e men/&
.ress OK 6or clck rg-t7 to get to t-e L)2*) trm settng. L s cooler 6bl/er7 and * s warmer 6more
orange7. 4-s delcate& b/t crtcal& ad=/stment s mssng from t-e :@0& and t was my bggest
com.lant abo/t t-e :@0.
4-e ?! settngs are1
1uto :1;% 0 /se t-s all t-e tme. 0t makes ts best g/ess for ?!. 0tJs /s/ally very good. 0ndoor
t/ngsten can be too orange /nless yo/ -ave some brg-t t/ngsten lg-t also n t-e mage. 0f yo/
do& t removes t-e orange and com.ensates com.letely. 0f not& t-e :30 only .artly com.ensates
and yo/ get a nce warm mage nstead.
+unBsten :hanBinB liBht >ul> i#on that's easy to #onDuse with the sun i#on;% 4-s makes t-e
.ct/re very bl/e. +se t-s only for delberate ,rctc free8ng effects& or /nder conventonal
t/ngsten lg-t b/lbs.
9luores#ent :BlowinB tu>e i#on;% +sed to make cra..y fl/orescent lg-t look less cra..y.
4-ese settngs rarely workQ /se t-e .reset settng for better res/lts.
Dire#t -unliBht :sun i#on;% +se t-s n drect frontal s/nlg-t. +se ot-er settngs for s-adows or
ndrect s/nlg-t.
9lash :liBhtninB >olt;% 0 never /se t-s. 0tJs almost t-e same as drect s/n. 0Jm told tJs really for
st/do strobes& snce t-e ,/to mode com.ensates magcally for flas- f yo/ /se t on*camera. 4-e
2007 KenRockwell.com /4 converted by Sndor Nagy
reason to /se t-s s f yo/ /se a dfferent trm val/e for yo/r strobes t-an yo/ do for s/nlg-t.
)loudy :#loud;% ?armer 6more orange7 t-an t-e s/nlg-t .oston. 0 /se t-s n s-ade& too.
-hade :house #astinB a shadow;% very warm 6orange7. +se t-s for s/nset s-ots and dee.
'reset :'",;% Oo/ /se t-s settng wt- a w-te or gray card to get .erfect color matc-ng.
0 /se t-s n b8arre artfcal lg-t t-at 0 ws- no make look nat/ral& or to get e"act color wt- my
st/do strobes. ,n F".odsc makes t-s easer& b/t even wt-o/t an F".odsc or w-te card 0 s-oot
off anyt-ng ne/tral& lke a .ece of .a.er or a 4 s-rt.
,ny lg-t werd eno/g- to need t-s settng wonJt care abo/t small nacc/races n t-e ne/tral
reference. 4o set t-s1
9.7 Fns/re yo/r card or ot-er ne/tral ob=ect s n t-e lg-t re.resentatve of t-e lg-t on t-e s/b=ect.
2.7 Select PRF va t-e men/ b/tton 6or t-e Dn b/tton 6.age 977 and s.nnng t-e dal7.
).7 Press OK 6or clck to t-e rg-t7.
3.7 Select ;eas/re and clck OK 6or to t-e rg-t7. 64-e +se P-oto o.ton s a backwards bow to
'anonJs convol/ted settng met-od. 'anon %-adsts /sed to brag abo/t t-s. 0t does t-e same
t-ng& b/t reH/res twce as many ste.s. 0gnore t-s o.ton.7
@.7 Select OFS.
A.7 Pont yo/r camera at t-e card or ne/tral colored t-ng and .ress t-e s-/tter.
7.7 0f t-e $': says Mdata acH/red or t-e vewfnder flas-es MKd&M yo/Jre set. S-oot away5
#.7 0f t-e ds.lay flas-es M/nable to acH/reM or t-e vewfnder flas-es Mno KdM t-en re.eat from
ste. 2.7.
.-* -ensiti5ity
0 /s/ally set my 0SO to 200 and let t-e :30Js ,/to 0SO 6.age )07 ad=/st as needed.
,/to 0SO makes all t-e 0SO ad=/stments for yo/. 0 always /se ,/to 0SO snce tJs as smart as 0
9irmware DeDe#t Q1% t-e ,/to 0SO 6.age )07 o.tons are -dden n t-e '/stom Settngs ;en/
6.age 2A7& w-ere 0 e".lan t-em n de.t-.
9irmware DeDe#t Q2% 4-e ,/to settng n t-s 0SO men/ refers nstead to lettng t-e :30 .reset
t-e 0SO as t g/esses a..ro.rate to t-e .reset scene modes 6s.orts& .ortrat& macro& etc.7 as t-ey
are selected. 4-s ,/to settng snJt ,/to 0SO& and t snJt avalable n t-e P& S , and ; modes
6.age 997 0 /se.
2007 KenRockwell.com /3 converted by Sndor Nagy
<g-er 0SOs can gve s-ar.er mages n dmmer lg-t beca/se t-ey let t-e :30 s-oot at faster
s-/tter s.eeds or smaller a.ert/res& b/t t-ey also can add more gran 6nose7 to yo/r .-otos.
0SO 200 gves t-e cleanest mages& b/t t-e most .otental for bl/r n dm lg-t.
0SO 300 and 0SO #00 are .erfect for o/tdoor s.orts.
0SO 9&A00 gves t-e nosest mages& wt- t-e least .otental for bl/r. 0SO 9&A00 stll looks .retty
good f yo/ need t& b/t 0 only /se t ndoors.
0SO )&200 s for /se as a last resort. 0t s grany& and lets yo/ s-oot n t-e dmmest lg-t wt-o/t
,/to 0SO selects magcally among all t-ese 6e"ce.t for 0SO )&2007 so yo/ and 0 donJt -ave to
worry abo/t t. See ,/to 0SO 6.age )07.
7int% 0SO goes from 200 to )&200. Nkon code*names 0SO )&200 as M<0 9M to scare amate/rs
away from /sng t& beca/se t-ese same amate/rs wo/ld clog /. NkonJs 6#007 N0KON*+I
s/..ort lnes com.lanng abo/t grany .-otos.
7int% 0f yo/Jve set ,+4O 0SO ON& ,/to 0SO t/rns off f yo/ select 0SO )&200. ,/to 0SO come back
on w-en yo/ set a lower 0SO.
Noise "edu#tion
4-s s s-ort for $ong F".os/re :ark*Drame S/btracton Nose Red/cton.
0t doesnJt red/ce nose or gran. 0t wll elmnate t-e occasonal -ot ."el& and correct ./r.le fog
aro/nd t-e edges of nsanely long astronomcal e".os/res.
*99% :efa/lt. $eave t -ere.
*N% :onJt /se t-s. 0f yo/ do& t-e :30 wll do/ble t-e amo/nt of tme yo/ -ave to wat aro/nd for
tme e".os/res of a second or longer. Oo/ .eo.le w-o need t-s know w-o yo/ are& and even for
yo/ 0 s/ggest tryng t-e :30 wt- o/t NR frst. t may save yo/ a lot of tme watng aro/nd o/t n
t-e cold.
0 -ave detals wt- e"am.les from my :200 at :200 :ark F".os/res.

)U-+*2 -,++.NG 2,NU :'en#il i#on;
2any oD these menu o$tions are shown only aDter you sele#t the 9U(( 2,NU- o$tion in
the -etu$ 2enu :$aBe @5; and are oDten dea#ti5ated in anythinB e4#e$t the '? -? 1 and 2
modes :$aBe 11;.
4-s men/ really s-o/ld be called t-e camera men/ and s-own wt- an con of a camera& e"ce.t
2007 KenRockwell.com /4 converted by Sndor Nagy
t-at Nkon /sed t-e 'amera con for t-e s-ootng men/ 6.age207& w-c- really s-o/ld be called
t-e Dlm men/. 'amera settngs& lke foc/s& flas- and tmers& are set -ere n t-e '/stom Settngs
;en/& s-own by a .encl. 4-s s NkonJs mstakeQ donJt .enal8e yo/rself f t makes lttle sense.
7ow to Get 7ere
Press ;FN+& go to t-e left and select /. and down to t-e .encl con. Oo/Jll see '+S4O;
SF440NK ;FN+ on t-e to. of t-e color $':.
6hat it Does
4-s men/ sets many t-ngs related to t-e camera and takng .ct/res& lke a/tofoc/s& e".os/re&
tmers& flas- and more.
6hat . )hanBe
0 c-ange a lot -ere& so read on.
E"G "eset
4-s resets everyt-ng n t-s men/ to ts defa/lts. 0 donJt /se t-s& /nless my camera was loaned
01 0ee$
4/rn t-s ODD555
4-s s t-e dotc and annoyng foc/s confrmaton bee.. 4/rn t off5
4-e bee. annoys ot-ers and s very r/de. Doc/s confrmaton s ndcated by a dot n t-e lower left
of t-e fnder.
02 9o#us 2ode
4-s sets t-e a/tofoc/s mode for stll or movng s/b=ects.
19-1& t-e defa/lt 0 /se& magcally selects between t-e ne"t two modes.
19-- stands for ,D*Sngle. 4-e :30 foc/ses once& t-en locks ,D for yo/ to recom.ose and
19-) stands for ,D*'ontn/o/s. 4-e :30 kee.s foc/sng as t-e s/b=ect moves. +se t-s for
s.orts and ve-cles n moton& lke cars& brds and arcraft.
29 0s man/al foc/s. 0Jm /ns/re w-yJd yo/Jd /se t-s settng& snce lenses t-at a/tofoc/s on t-e
:30 6,D*S and ,D*07 -ave t-ese swtc-es on t-e lenses& and older ,D lenses t-at canJt a/tofoc/s
on t-e :30 defa/lt to man/al foc/s w-et-er yo/ want t-em to or not.. 0 s/s.ect t-s o.ton s -ere
beca/se t snJt any.lace else on t-e :30& and t-ere .robably s& or wll be& lenses t-at need t-s to
revert to man/al foc/s.
2007 KenRockwell.com /1 converted by Sndor Nagy
0@ 19-1rea 2ode
4-s selects -ow t-e :30 /ses ts t-ree ,D sensors.
Oo/Jll want to c-ange t-s for acton& stll s/b=ects or -andng yo/r camera to a non*.-otogra.-er. 0
ws- my :30 -ad a dedcated swtc- as my :200 does. On t-e :30 we need to go nto t-s men/
every tme o/r s/b=ect matter c-anges.
E444G )losest -u>Oe#t selects t-e closest ,D area by magc& w-c- =/st -a..ens to be t-e rg-t
one every tme. +se t-s w-en yo/ -and yo/r camera to a non*.-otogra.-er& f t-ngs are movng
too fast for yo/ to do yo/r own ,D selecton& or f yo/Jre -oldng yo/r :30 n yo/r arm .onted
back at yo/rself for a self .ortrat.
4-s feat/re works great. 0Jm always s/r.rsed at t-e great res/lts 0 get n t-s mode.
E 4 G Dynami# 1rea lets my :30 a/tomatcally select w-c- sensor to /se as a s/b=ect moves
aro/nd t-e frame. 0t really works5 0 /se t-s for s.orts& r/nnng anmals and brds n flg-t.
E o G -inBle 1rea s /sed for stll s/b=ects. 0 /se t-s most of t-e tme. ;y :30 /ses w-c-ever
area 0 select wt- t-e rear +.2:own2$eft2Rg-t selector. Of co/rse wt- only t-ree sensors only t-e
left and rg-t b/ttons do anyt-ng.
4-e :30 frst /ses w-c-ever area yo/ select wt- t-e rear +.2:own2$eft2Rg-t selector& and
.roceeds to select ot-er areas a/tomatcally f t-e s/b=ect moves. Oo/ wonJt see w-c- area s
selected n t-e fnder& b/t yo/ can see t on .layback f yo/ /se t-e rg-t software.
04 -hootinB 2ode
4-s selects t-e s-/tter advance mode.
E-G? sinBle Drame mode? means t-e :30 takes one .ct/re eac- tme yo/ .ress t-e s-/tter&
regardless of -ow long yo/ -old t. 4-s s t-e defa/lt.
0earded "e#tanBle :#ontinuous ad5an#e mode; takes one .ct/re f yo/ .ress and release
t-e s-/tter. 0f yo/ kee. t-e s-/tter .ressed& t-e :30 takes .ct/res contn/o/sly at 2.@ frames .er
second for as long as yo/ -old t-e s-/tter.
0 /se t-s mode. 0 can take one .ct/re wt- one .ress. 0f 0 want several& as 0 do n dm lg-t or
.eo.le .ct/res so 0 can c-oose t-e best later& 0 kee. t-e b/tton .ressed.
10s -elD +imer takes a .ct/re 90 seconds after yo/ .ress t-e s-/tter.
"emote 2s Delayed 2ode takes a .ct/re 2 seconds after yo/ .ress t-e o.tonal T20 ;$*$)
remote control. 0f yo/ donJt select t-s or t-e ne"t mode t-e :30 wll gnore t-e remote control.
"emote 3ui#k "es$onse 2ode takes a .ct/re w-en yo/ .ress t-e e"cellent ;$*$) remote
control. 4-e :30 4-s s t-e mode 0 /se for sero/s self*.ortrats lke t-s1
2007 KenRockwell.com /5 converted by Sndor Nagy
+ri#k -elD 'ortrait. ;y ;$*$) s n my ot-er -and o/t of t-e .ct/re.
7int% !e s/re to select a long eno/g- Remote ON 4me tme n '/stom D/ncton 97 6.age )37.
4-e :30 gnores t-e remote after t-e lengt- of tme set n '/stom D/ncton 97 6.age )37.
05 2eterinB
4-s selects ;atr"& 'enter*?eg-ted or S.ot.
0 always /se ;atr"& s-own by an con w-c- looks lke a werd rectangle wt- cross and crcle n t.
2atri4? n ot-er Nkons& was an almost .erfect meter. 0n t-e :30 and :#0 tJs defectve and
nstead of gvng correct e".os/res t e".oses for t-e darkest .art of t-e mage. 0t often reH/res a
lot of F".os/re 'om.ensaton to get t-e correct e".os/re& es.ecally wt- contrasty s/b=ects. 4-s
;atr" meter s desgned for dngbat .-otogra.-ers w-o s-oot -eavly backlt s/b=ects wt-o/t
flas-. Nkon s/cc/mbed to t-e lowest common denomnator w-o wo/ld s-oot n awf/l lg-t wt-o/t
knowng t& get dark mages& and t-en blame t on t-e camera.
4-e defa/lt ;atr" meter of t-e :#0 and :30 ens/re no mage s ever too dark. Sadly t /s/ally
ens/res mages are too lg-t.
)enter 6eiBhted 6a dot wt- a rng aro/nd t7 .ays attenton to t-e mddle of t-e frame. 0tJs t-e
old*style meter t-at Nkon /sed snce 9(@(. 0 may -ave to try /sng t-s& snce t mg-t gve more
consstent res/lts& .res/mng yo/ are fl/ent n t-e Pone System 6.age A(7& t-an t-e botc-ed
;atr" meter.
-$ot 6a small dot7& reads only from t-e small s.ot of t-e selected ,D 8one. 0f yo/Jve c-osen
2007 KenRockwell.com /2 converted by Sndor Nagy
'losest S/b=ect ,D 6.age 2#7& t reads from t-e center one. 0 never /se t-s.
0/ No 2emory )ardH
0 leave mne at $O'K. 0f 0 -ave no memory card t wonJt let me take .ct/res.
:onJt set t to OK. 0f yo/ do& yo/ co/ld -ave no memory card and be s-ootng all day& t-nkng
yo/Jre makng .ct/res w-en yo/ really arenJt. S-oot one weddng wt-o/t a card and t-s set to
OK and yo/Jll see -ow st/.d yo/Jll feel.
Only set t-s to OK f yo/ want to demonstrate t-e :30 n a camera store wt- no card.
0 .maBe "e5iew
*N .lays t-e .ct/re after yo/ take t. *99 leaves t-e screen dark.
?-en t-e mage .o.s on t-e screen& even f t-e :30 s stll at yo/r eye& s.nnng t-e command
dals wll c-ange t-e .layback& not t-e s-ootng settngs lke a.ert/res. ?-le s-ootng yo/ mg-t
want not to /se t-s& or remember t-at yo/ m/st wat a moment and ta. t-e s-/tter release to
reset t-e :30 to nter.ret t-e command dals for c-angng s-ootng settngs nstead of .layback
08 9lash (e5el
Oo/ can gnore t-s men/& beca/se tJs m/c- easer to ad=/st t-s wt- t-e Dlas- !/tton 6.age 977.
<old t-e Dlas- !/tton 6.age 977 and t-e L2* 'om.ensaton !/tton 6.age 9)7 and s.n t-e dal.
Oo/ wll see t-e flas- brg-tness val/e n t-e fnder wt-o/t ever needng to take yo/r eye away.
4-s s m/c- easer t-an t so/nds.
0 -ave no deas w-y Nkon added t-s as a men/ o.ton& e"ce.t to matc- 'anon w-c- -as some
cameras so cl/msy t-at t-e only way to ad=/st t-em s t-ro/g- t-e men/s. ;aybe Nkon s
.anderng to 'anon /sersQ 0 donJt know.
0< 19 1ssist
0 leave t-s at *N.
4/rnng t-s *99 dsables t-e brg-t w-te lg-t t-at s-nes n t-e dark to -el. yo/ foc/s. 0 t/rn t-s
off f 0Jm s-ootng w-ere 0 donJt want to dst/rb .eo.le& or be dentfed as .-otogra.-ng.
10 .-* 1uto
4-s s one of t-e strongest reasons 0 .refer my Nkons to my 'anons. 'anons lack t-s crtcal
0SO ,/to 0ncreases senstvty 60SO7 n dm lg-t a/tomatcally to .revent bl/r from slow s-/tter
0 /se t-s all of t-e tme& /nless 0Jm /sng man/al e".os/re mode. ,/to 0SO s a cr/cal
2007 KenRockwell.com 00 converted by Sndor Nagy
com.onent of ;odern F".os/re 4ec-nH/e.
4oday 0 ad=/st t-e ,/to 0SOJs mnm/m s-/tter s.eed as 0 c-ange lenses and condtons. 0 no
longer ad=/st 0SO drectly& as we dd n t-e old days before 2003. 4-s s a tme*savng ste.
towards t-e f/t/re& =/st as .rogram e".os/re was a ste. a-ead of a.ert/re .rorty n t-e 9(70s.
Oo/ can c-oose t-e -g-est 0SO to w-c- t-e ,/to 0SO wll go 6;a" senstvty7. 0 let my :30 go all
t-e way to to 0SO 9&A00& snce t looks fne at 0SO 9&A00 and any small amo/nt of gran s better
t-an a bl/rry .-oto. 0f yo/ .refer bl/r to gran& feel free to lmt t-e :30 to 0SO #00 or 300. 4ry 0SO
9&A001 t-e :30 s better at -g- 0SOs t-an flm ever was& and far better t-an any com.act dgtal
camera at t-ese s.eeds.
Oo/ also may set t-e mnm/m s-/tter s.eed 6;n S-/tter S.eed7 below w-c- t-e :30 starts
rasng t-e 0SO. Select t-e slowest s-/tter s.eed at w-c- yo/Jll get s-ar. mages /nder yo/r
.resent s-ootng condtons.
0 ws- t-s f/ncton was smart eno/g- to recogn8e w-c- lens 0Jm /sng and ad=/st accordngly&
b/t tJs not.
7.N+% Oo/ set t-e lowest 0SO /sed n ,/to 0SO wt- t-e 0SO b/tton& of co/rse.
9irmware DeDe#t Q1% NkonJs frmware leaves ,/to 0SO actve even n man/al e".os/re mode.
4-s makes t-e :30 c-ange t-e 0SO a/tomatcally and defeat t-e ./r.ose of man/al e".os/re.
Remember to deactvate ,/to 0SO w-en /sng ;an/al e".os/re mode.
9irmware DeDe#t Q2% 4-e ,/to settng n t-e 0SO men/ 6.age 2@7 secton of t-e S-ootng ;en/
6.age 207 refers to somet-ng com.letely /nrelated& even t-o/g- t -as t-e same name. 4-e
,+4O settng n t-e 0SO men/ 6.age 2@7 nstead lets t-e :30 .reset a f"ed 0SO t e".ects to be
relevant for a selected scene mode& lke s.orts& .ortrat& macro& etc. 4-s ,/to settng snJt ,/to
0SO& and t snJt avalable n t-e P& S , and ; modes 6.age 997 0 /se.
Ni#e +ou#h% /nlke my ot-er Nkons& yo/ can set 0SO )&200 man/ally n t-e 0SO men/ 6.age 2@7
wt-o/t -avng to deactvate ,/to 0SO frst. ?-en yo/ set a more reasonable 0SO& ,/to 0SO agan
becomes actve. Oo/ /sed to -ave to t/rn ,/to 0SO on and off t-e -ard way comng n and o/t of
0SO )&200. 4-ank yo/ Nkon5
11 -elD +imer & 9n 0utton
4-s selects t-e f/ncton of t-s b/tton& w-c- s located on t-e sde of t-e :30 6.age 977 =/st
below t-e flas- b/tton.
-elD +imer% 0n t-s defa/lt settng& .ress t-e Dn b/tton 6.age 9(7 to set or /nset t-e self tmer.
-hootinB 2ode% Press and -old t-e Dn b/tton 6.age 9(7 w-le t/rnng t-e rear dal& slowly. Oo/Jll
cycle t-ro/g- t-e s-ootng 6s-/tter advance7 modes 6.age 2#7.
3U1(% Press and -old t-e Dn b/tton 6.age 9(7 w-le t/rnng t-e rear dal& slowly. Oo/Jll cycle
t-ro/g- all t-e Dle 4y.e and >/alty 6.age 2)7 and 0mage S8e 6.age 237 modes.
2007 KenRockwell.com 0( converted by Sndor Nagy
.-*% Press and -old t-e Dn b/tton 6.age 9(7 w-le t/rnng t-e rear dal& slowly. Oo/Jll cycle
t-ro/g- all t-e 0SO Settngs. 6.age 2@7 . ,n added ncety lackng on more e".ensve Nkons s t-at
yo/ -ave f/ll ablty to go to and from 0SO )&200 6<0 97 wt-o/t needng to t/rn off ,/to 0SO 6.age
60% 0 /se t-s o.ton& snce 0 c-ange my ?! more often t-an any of t-e ot-er o.tons.
Press and -old t-e Dn b/tton 6.age 9(7 t/rnng t-e rear dal& slowly. Oo/Jll cycle t-ro/g- all t-e ?!
Settngs 6.age 237. ,n added ncety s t-at yo/ can set a man/al .reset 6w-te or gray card7 w-te
balance by -oldng down t-e Dn b/tton agan after selectng PRF. ;ore at my :30 ?! secton
6.age 237.
12 1,-(&19-(
4-s selects w-at ,F*$2,D*$ b/tton 6.age 9A7 does.
1,&19 lo#k 6defa/lt7 locks bot- for as long as yo/ -old t-e b/tton. Oo/Jll see MF$M n t-e bottom
left of t-e fnder w-en tJs locked. 4-ere s no ,D*$ fnder ndcaton.
1, (o#k only -olds t-e meas/red e".os/re for as long as 0 -old t-e b/tton. 0 /se t-s settng.
Oo/Jll see MF$M n t-e bottom left of t-e fnder w-en tJs locked. 0 /s/ally s-oot n Sngle or ,/to ,D
mode 6,D*S or ,D*,7 6.age 277& w-c- locks t-e foc/s se.arately.
19 (o#k only locks t-e a/tofoc/s. 4-s s -andy f yo/ want t-e lens to sto. foc/sng& for
nstance& f reframng a .ortrat or f yo/Jre .annng w-le a target goes be-nd a tree. 4-ere s no
,D*$ fnder ndcaton.
1, (o#k 7old reH/res =/st a ta.& after w-c- t-e :30 -olds t-e e".os/re /ntl yo/ ta. t agan.
Oo/Jll see MF$M n t-e bottom left of t-e fnder w-en tJs locked. 4-s elmnates t-e need to -old t-e
b/tton& b/t also reH/res yo/ to remember to .ress t-e b/tton agan to /nlock& and .ress a t-rd
tme to lock agan.
19 *N foc/ses t-e :30 w-en t-e ,F*$2,D*$ b/tton s .ressed. 4-s deactvates t-e normal ,D
acton of t-e s-/tter b/tton. 4-e only way to a/tofoc/s wt- t-s selecton s to .ress t-e ,F*$ ,D*$
1@ 1, (o#k
4-s lets yo/ lock t-e e".os/re w-en t-e s-/tter s .ressed.
4-e defa/lt s off& w-c- 0 /se. 4-e s-/tter b/tton doesnJt lock e".os/re.
0 .refer to /se t-e ,F*$ b/tton 6.age )2& above7 to lock e".os/re.
14 0uilt .n 9lash
4-s lets yo/ set t-e f/ncton of t-e e"cellent b/lt*n flas-.
2007 KenRockwell.com 0/ converted by Sndor Nagy
++( 6defa/lt7 lets t-e flas- work normally and gve great e".os/res all by tself.
2 :manual; lets yo/ force t-e flas- to one brg-tness val/e. 0t ad=/sts n f/ll sto.s from f/ll .ower
down to seven sto.s below& s-own as 9292# .ower.
0 /se man/al f 0Jm /sng t-e b/lt*n flas- to trgger my st/do strobes or f 0Jm tryng to set /.
somet-ng trcky w-c- snJt workng n t-e /s/ally .erfect 44$ mode. 4-e man/al mode also
cancels t-e .reflas-es for .-otogra.-ng .eo.e wt- RF,R flas- sync 6.age 9(7 or to elmnate
4-e :30 lacks wreless control and Dlas- F".os/re lock of more e".ensve Nkons. 0f yo/ want to
/ses t-ese feat/res& get a :#0 or :200. 0 e".lan t-ese at :#0 !/lt*n Dlas- ;odes.
15 1uto *DD +imers
4-s c-anges t-e tme delays of t-e varo/s battery*savng tmers t-at t/rn off t-e :30 and ts $':
w-en yo/ gnore t.
4-s settng s more advanced t-an more e".ensve Nkons& for e"am.le& t-ereJs no way on my
:#0 to e"tend -ow long an mage stays on n 0mage Revew 6.age )07 to ot-er t-an 3 seconds.
?-en makng self .ortrats wt- a tr.od my :#0 ta/ntngly s-/t off ts 0mage Revew 6.age )07 t-e
moment 0 get back to t-e tr.od& and t-ereJs no way aro/nd t-at.
On my :30 0 can c-oose to -ave t-e 0mage Revew -ang for as long as 0 want.
4-e settngs are1
-7*"+% Fveryt-ng t/rns of more H/ckly to e"tend battery lfe.
N*"2% :efa/lt.
(*NG% ,5erythinB stays on lonBer so it's less likely you'll ha5e to wake u$ the D40 in the
middle oD somethinB.
)U-+*2% 0 /se t-s. Oo/ may set t-e tme ndvd/ally for eac- of1
'lay>a#k&2enus% <ow long t-e montor stays lt for most /ses.
.maBe "e5iew% <ow long t-e =/st*s-ot mage stays /. after yo/ s-oot t. Of co/rse .ressng any
ot-er b/tton lets t-e :30 mmedately c-ange to w-atever more yo/ want.
1uto 2eter *DD% <ow long t-e :30 and tJs meters stay on before yo/ take a .ct/re. 4-e meter
t/rns on w-en yo/ ta. t-e s-/tter. 4-e meter t/rns off after yo/ take a .ct/re& or after t-e te yo/
set -ere.
0n t-e old days 620027 my Nkon :9< and :9I s/cked t-ro/g- batteres and we dd everyt-ng we
co/ld to get more t-an 200 or )00 s-ots on a c-arge of t-e -/ge N*'d batteres. 4oday battery
lfe s so long 0Jd select w-atever val/e yo/ fnd t-e most convenent. 0Jve .layed wt- my :30
men/s for -o/rs at a sttng wt- no com.lants.
2007 KenRockwell.com 00 converted by Sndor Nagy
Dor t-ose of yo/ co/ntng '/stom Settngs as f more were better& .lease note t-at t-e :30
ntellgently -as t-s one '/stom Settng controllng w-at takes two c/stom settngs n t-e :#0
6'/stom Settng 27 and '/stom Settng 2#7& and adds a t-rd settng& 0mage Revew 4me*O/t&
not avalable n t-e :#0 at any .rce. <,5 64-e :#0 always -as mage revew at 3 seconds& w-le
t-e :200 kee.s mage revew on for t-e same tme c-osen n '/stom Settng c@.
1/ -elD +imer
4-s selects t-e tme& .res/mng yo/ -ave t-e self tmer 6.age 9(7 actve& between .ressng t-e
s-/tter and t-e s-/tter frng.
0 leave t-s at 2 seconds& snce 0 /se t-e self tmer only f 0 forgot my ;$*$) remote control.
0 /se my ;$*$) remote& not t-e self tmer& f 0Jm takng .ct/res of myself.
1 "emote *n Duration
4-s selects -ow long t-e :30 stays awake watng to be released by t-e ;$*$) remote control&
.res/mng yo/Jve set t to work va remote control 6.age 2#7.
4-e defa/lt s one mn/te& w-c- s slly& snce w-en 0Jm /sng my remote 0 donJt want to -ave to
take a .ct/re every mn/te or -ave to reset my :30 to .ay attenton agan.
0 set mne to 9@ mn/tes.

-,+ U' 2,NU 6wrenc- con7
2any oD these menu o$tions are shown only aDter you sele#t the 9U(( 2,NU- o$tion in
the -etu$ 2enu :$aBe @5; and are oDten dea#ti5ated in anythinB e4#e$t the '? -? 1 and 2
modes. :$aBe 11;.
7ow to Get 7ere
Select t-e Set +. ;en/ by .ressng ;FN+& movng to t-e left and t-en /. or down to select t-e
wrenc- con. Oo/Jll t-en see SF4+P ;FN+ on t-e to. of t-e color $':.
6hat it -ets
4-s sets t-e /s/al -o/sekee.ng tems lke lang/ages& vdeo formats& a/to mage rotaton& t-e
clock and fle n/mberng.
6hat . )hanBe
4-s men/ contans t-e secret message mode 6.age )#7 0 /se to encode my and contact
nformaton nto every fle s-ot wt- my :30.
2007 KenRockwell.com 04 converted by Sndor Nagy
)-2&-etu$ 2enu
4-s allows me to set w-at 0 need once& lke lang/ages& and t-en t/rn off t-ose tems n t-e
men/s. 0tJs wonderf/l to be able to clarfy t-e men/s down only to w-at 0 /se daly.
0f 0 ever want to reset anyt-ng obsc/re& lke reset t-e men/s to Korean w-en 0 loan my :30 to a
.al& 0 sm.ly c-oose D+$$ men/s agan.
4-e c-oces are1
-im$le :deDault;% only t-e most basc settngs are s-own.
9ull s w-at yo/ s-o/ld set as soon as yo/ get yo/r :30. 0t allows yo/ f/ll access to every men/
o.ton& so long as yo/ are n t-e P& S& , or ; e".os/re modes 6.age 997.
2y 2enu s w-ere yo/ can deactvate t-e ds.lay of any or almost all of t-e men/ o.tons. Fvery
o.ton yo/Jve altered remans n effect& b/t yo/ wonJt see t ds.layed to alter.
Dor nstance& set lang/age to Korean& t-en deactvate t-e $ang/age o.ton. $ang/age remans n
Korean& and good l/ck to yo/r .al tryng to reactvate t-e lang/age men/ to ret/rn to Fngls-. 0Jm
scarng yo/Q 0 /se t-s mode to t/rn off all t-e men/ tems 0 set once w-en 0 b/y a camera& lke
!ee. 6.age 277. and f 0 ever need to set t-em agan& tJs trval to select D/ll.
4-s ;y ;en/ s more .owerf/l t-an yo/ may real8e. 0 t/rn off all t-e =/nk& and t leaves all t-e
tems 0 set often on one .age& makng t m/c- faster and clearer to set and /nset ,/to 0SO 6.age
)07 everytme 0 go nto ;an/al e".os/re mode& for nstance.
9ormat 2emory )ard
0 format cards every tme 0 ./t one n my :30& and every tme 0 go s-ootng.
Reformattng com.letely renovates t-e card. Frasng does not& and leaves .otental errors l/rkng.
Professonals reformat a card eac- and every tme a card s ./t n t-e camera. 4-s s beca/se
fles and folder str/ct/res are sometmes messed /. or c-anged w-en t-e card s read n*camera
or wt- a reader or /sed n any ot-er camera. Professonals .refer to be safe t-an sorry. ?e donJt
/se cards to arc-ve .revo/s .-otos. One tme 0 ke.t savng my wnner s-ots on a card by sm.ly
erasng t-e rest eac- tme. ,fter a few mont-s 0 started to get errors. 4-ese went away as soon as
0 reformatted t-e card.
.nDo Dis$lay 9ormat
4-s o.ton s new n t-e :30. 0t lets yo/ c-ange t-e a..earance of t-e $': ds.lay screens n
w-c- yo/ make ad=/stments.
Oo/ may select one look for t-e P& S& , and ; modes& and anot-er for t-e .reset scene 6dot7
modes lke $ady& !aby& S.orts& Dlower& etc. Nkon calls t-e dot modes JDiBital Lari-'roBram.J
2007 KenRockwell.com 03 converted by Sndor Nagy
<ere are -ow t-ese look. 4-ey eac- s-ow t-e same t-ngs and -ave t-e same f/nctons.
)lassi#% 0 /se t-s o.ton beca/se t makes everyt-ng t-e bggest and easest to see.
4-e men/s n 'lassc mode are as t-ey are n my ot-er Nkons1 w-te on dark bl/e.

Gra$hi#% 4-s s t-e defa/lt. ;ost t-ngs are smaller to make room for t-e goofy movng .ct/re
of a da.-ragm on t-e left. '-ange t-e a.ert/re and t c-anges. 4-s s s/..osed to -el. new
.-otogra.-ers& b/t t wonJt. ?e w-o /nderstand a.ert/res donJt want t-s n t-e way& and
.-otogra.-ers w-o donJt /nderstand t arenJt gong to learn anyt-ng wt- t -ere. Kod bless Nkon
for tryngQ tJs one of t-ree o.tons.
4-e men/s n Kra.-c mode are softer dark gray on lg-t gray.
2007 KenRockwell.com 04 converted by Sndor Nagy
6all$a$er% 4-s s t-e c/test& alt-o/g- 0 donJt /se t. 0tJs lke Kra.-c above& wt- smaller
n/mbers& and sets everyt-ng on to. of a .-oto of yo/r c-oce& .res/mng yo/Jve s-ot t-e .-oto
on yo/r :30. 0 selected a .-oto of my mot-er*n*law& and t remans n t-e :30 regardless of
formattng or removng memory cards.
, more .ractcal /se s to wrte PROPFR4O OD wt- yo/r com.lete contact nformaton on .a.er
and /se a .-oto of t-at as yo/r wall.a.er. 0 tred& and %PK fles saved o/t of P-otos-o. arenJt
read by my :30& so 0 -avenJt been able to m.ort gra.-cs drectly for t-s.
OK& snce 0 can c-oose one mode for t-e real P& S& , and ; modes and anot-er for t-e .lay
modes 6baby& ng-t& etc.7 0 =/st left my mot-er*n*law /. n t-e ?all.a.er mode for t-ose modes&
called M:gtal Gar*ProgramM -ere.
4-e men/s n ?all.a.er mode are softer dark gray on lg-t gray.
1uto -hootinB .nDo
4-s s *99 by defa/lt.
*N lg-ts /. t-e rear $': wt- all t-e s-ootng nfo f yo/ ta. t-e s-/tter and release t wt-o/t
takng a .ct/re.
4-s saves yo/ from -avng to -t t-e nfo b/tton 6.age 937 to actvate t-e $': screen to make
settngs and ad=/stments.
0Jm /ns/re f t-s -el.sQ try t yo/rself and see f yo/ lke t.
6orld +ime
4-s sets t-e date and tme.
4-ere s a nce ma. for fndng tme 8ones. ?ant to reset yo/r :30 for D= or 4ongaE %/st clck.
Oo/ can swa. among tme 8ones wt-o/t -avng to reset t-e seconds& a boon for me w-o kee.s
-s :30 set to t-e e"act second.
2007 KenRockwell.com 01 converted by Sndor Nagy
9irmware DeDe#t% Oo/ set t-e tme /nder t-e :,4F o.ton.
()D 0riBhtness
4-s c-anges t-e mdtones on t-e $':. 0t c-anges backlg-t ntensty only by 90U. 0t s mostly a
gamma 6mdtone contrast7 control.
Dor t-e ad=/stment to take effect yo/ m/st remember to -t OK after makng a selecton.
0 leave mne at 0.
+nlke my 'anon :S$Rs& ;y :30Js $': s always brg-t& contrasty& color acc/rate at every angle
and s/nlg-t readable.
0 never -ave to twddle wt- t-e brg-tness ad=/stment.
0f anyt-ng& t-e brllant $': makes even /ndere".osed mages look great5 !e s/re to c-eck t-e
color -stogram 6.age 9A7 f yo/Jre s-ootng n a dark envronment.
Lideo 2ode
4-s sets t-e format of t-e vdeo o/t./t.
+se N4S' 6@2@ lnes& @(.(3<87 n t-e ,mercas and %a.an& and P,$ 6A2@ lnes& @0<87 n F/ro.e.
4-s o/t./t wll always look m/c- worse on a 4G or .ro=ector t-an mages do on a com./ter or
.ro=ected t-ro/g- a com./ter. Read ?-y 0mages $ook ,wf/l from t-e Gdeo O/t./t for more.
4-s sets Fngls- or ot-er lang/ages.
,s s/ggested before& set yo/rs to Sweds- and see f yo/ can navgate back to Fngls-. D/n5
.maBe )omment
4-s lets yo/ add a secret te"t message nto every fle. ;ne s set to 6c7 KenRockwell.com wt-
my .-one n/mber5 Oo/ see t-s te"t lookng at t-e FI0D data wt- software on a com./ter. Sadly
Nkon .rovdes no real symbol.
Oo/ set t-s by gong to ;FN+ N Set +. ;en/ N 0mage 'omment N 0n./t 'omment N 6add yo/r
message lke yo/ dd on 9(70s vdeo games7 N Fnter. Oo/ m/st -t FN4FR or t wll forget
everyt-ng yo/ =/st dd5
4o edt or remove a c-aracter& select t n t-e 0n./t 'omment screen by -oldng t-e c-eckerboard
b/tton and clckng t-e bg t-/mb selector. Select a new c-aracter wt- t-e same selector and
.ress t-e center of t-e selector to add t. Press t-e 4ras- b/tton to delete a c-aracter.
?-en yo/ get yo/r te"t message s.elled o/t& go to ,ttac- 'omment and -t SF4 so a small
2007 KenRockwell.com 05 converted by Sndor Nagy
c-eckmark s-ows. Now go to and select :ONF. 0f yo/ forget to c-eck ,ttac- t wonJt attac-& and f
yo/ forget to -t :ONF t wll also forget everyt-ng yo/ =/st dd. Sorry& 0 donJt wrte t-e frmware.
0tJs great -avng everyt-ng yo/ s-oot -ave yo/r contact nfo embedded. 0t also allows yo/ to
.rove owners-. n a t-rd*world co/ntry w-en catc-ng a t-ef wt- yo/r camera. <el. t-e co. go
t-ro/g- t-e men/s and read yo/r .ersonal 0: nformaton.
4-s te"t s added n t-e fleJs FI0D data. 0t doesnJt a..ear n t-e vsble mage. 0 nsert my vsble
notces wt- P-otos-o..
4-s selects -ow t-e camera be-aves w-en .l/gged nto a com./ter va +S!.
0 leave t at mass storage& w-c- means my :30 a..ears as an e"ternal -ard drve between w-c-
0 can drag and dro. mages and folders n my ;ac OSI Dnder or ?ndows F".lorer.
P4P s /sed f yo/ want to control t-e :30 as an e"ternal devce& for nstance& va Nkon 'amera
'ontrol Pro for remote camera control. P4P makes t-e :30 look lke a devce nstead of lke a
+se w-c-ever works best wt- yo/r com./ter and workflow.
Oo/ can create& name and rename folders on yo/r memory card. 4-ey are named wt- a )*dgt
n/mber from 900 t-ro/g- (((.
-ele#t 9older selects t-e folder nto w-c- new .-otos are wrtten.
Oo/ co/ld /se t-s to record mages nto a .revo/s folder. 0 never do t-s1 f 0 want to get t-at
com.lcated 0 wat /ntl 0 get to my com./ter w-ere tJs m/c- easer to sort.
Oo/ mg-t want to /se t-s feat/re f yo/ s-ot one event or s/b=ect& went on to a second and made
a new folder for t& and t-en ret/rned to t-e .revo/s s/b=ect.
New s /sed to create a new folder. +nlke t-e .ro cameras lke t-e :200& t-ere s no trck by
w-c- yo/ can -old t-e E b/tton on .ower*on to create a new folder a/tomatcally.
"ename and Delete are self*e".lanatory.
9ile No. -eRuen#e
4-s ens/res yo/r fle n/mbers kee. co/ntng /.. Set t-s *N.
0f yo/ leave t at defa/lt yo/Jll start from :S'V0009 every tme yo/ reformat 6.age )@7. Over tme
yo/Jll -ave -/ndreds of .-otos on yo/r com./ter all called :S'V0009. 0t wll drve yo/ cra8y f yo/
ever try to /se two of t-em n t-e same doc/ment and t wll be too late to do anyt-ng abo/t t.
2007 KenRockwell.com 02 converted by Sndor Nagy
Set t to *N& w-c- s-o/ld be t-e defa/lt b/t snJt.
2irror (o#k-u$
;rror $ock*/. snJt. 0tJs not a lock /. for tele.-oto lenses on tr.ods.
4-s settng s /sed to lock /. t-e mrror to clean t-e '':. 0 never /se t-s& snce 0 fnd t easer to
set t-e camera to !/lb and -old o.en t-e s-/tter. 0Jd never stck anyt-ng nto t-e camera to to/c-
t-e '':Q t-e only .eo.le w-o s/ggest t-s are t-e .eo.le w-o want to sell yo/ t-e tools to clean
yo/r '':.
9irmware Lersion
4-s lets me confrm f my :30 s /.*to*date wt- NkonsJ free frmware /.dates.
;ne& as of 02 %an/ary 2007& reads , 9.00 and ! 9.00.
Dust *DD "eD 'hoto
4-s s /sed to take a .ct/re of t-e d/st on yo/r sensor. 0f yo/ .ay Nkon anot-er T9@0 for Nkon
'a.t/re software yo/ can /se t-s to erase t-e d/st more easly from yo/r mages s-ot n raw.
Oo/ .eo.le know w-o yo/ are. 0 donJt do t-s5
0Jve made #0&000 combned s-ots on my Nkon :70& :200& :30 and :#0 and -ave -ad no
.roblems wt- d/st. 4-ankf/lly t-e modern Nkon sensors -ave flters far eno/g- n front of t-e
magng s/rface to t-row d/st s/ffcently o/t of foc/s.
,ll 0 ever /se s an ar b/lb to blow off t-e bg c-/nks. 4-e small ones reman nvsble. 0f 0 ever
-ad a .roblem& 0Jd let no one b/t Nkon clean my sensor& snce t-eyJll re.lace t-e camera f t-ey
screw /..
4-e addtonal work nvolved n s-ootng raw& for t-e amo/nt of mages 0 create every day& s far
more t-an any need& once n a bl/e moon& to s.ot an mage n P-otos-o.. See also Raw vs. %PK.
1uto .maBe "otation
4-s sets a flag n vertcal mages w-c- keys most software to ds.lay t-e mage vertcally.
0t does not act/ally rotate t-e magesQ t merely sets a flag. Someday t-e cameraJs frmware wll
work .ro.erly and rotate t-e mage tself& b/t no camera does t-s yet.
0 rotate t-e mages t-emselves later n Gew.
,/to 0mage Rotaton -el.s me dentfy w-c- of -/ndreds of mages 0 s-oot eac- day need
,/to 0mage Rotaton s easy to fool f yo/Jre s-ootng drectly /. or down.4/rn t off f yo/Jre
.-otogra.-ng yo/r s-oes on yo/r feet.
2007 KenRockwell.com 40 converted by Sndor Nagy
",+*U)7 2,NU 6br/s- con7
7ow to Get 7ere
Select t-e Reto/c- ;en/ by .ressng ;FN+& movng to t-e left and t-en /. or down to select t-e
br/s- con at t-e bottom. Oo/Jll t-en see RF4O+'< ;FN+ on t-e to. of t-e color $':.
+ri#k% Press t-e OK b/tton w-en an mage s ds.layed to get to most of t-e reto/c- men/.
6hat it -ets
4-s lets yo/ man./late mages n*camera. 4-e orgnals are /naltered. 4-e :30 creates new
versons of t-e mages and saves t-em.
)on#atenation% 4-e :30 s sneaky eno/g- to know f a fle was created wt- t-ese trck modes&
and often wonJt let yo/ a..ly t-e same flter twce. Oo/ can concatenate dfferent flters.
9irmware DeDe#t% t-e new mages are saved wt- a fle n/mber one more t-an t-e most recent
mage& and are .refaced wt- 'S'& not :S'. 4-e FI0D create tme s /naltered& so yo/Jll -ave to
sort mages by create tme f yo/ can.
4-s do/ble*defect means t-at t-e fle n/mbers of t-e newly created versons are scrambled from
t-e orgnals. 0f yo/Jre .layng wt- t-e most recent mage t-e fle n/mbers are close& b/t f yo/Jre
.layng wt- an earler fle& tJs fle n/mber wll be /nrelated to t-e orgnal.
!y .refacng t-e fle wt- 'S' nstead of :S' t-e modfed fles wll sort dfferently t-an t-e
4-e correct way to -ave done t-s wo/ld be to retan t-e same fle name and a..end *edt& *edt9&
*edt2& etc. Dor nstance& f yo/ make a new verson of :'SV092).=.g& t-e new fle mg-t be called
'S'V@#)7.=.g. Kood l/ck sortng t-em o/t5 0f done correctly& t-e new verson wo/ld be named
4-s creates new versons of mages wt- lg-tened s-adows smlar to P-otos-o.Js
S-adow2<g-lg-t ,d=/stment tool.
Oo/ -ave t-ree levels of lg-tenng1 $ow& Normal& and <g-. 6t-s s t-e same& wt- m/c- clearer
labelng& t-an t-e :#0Js ;oderate 6less7& Normal and Fn-anced 6more7 o.tons7.
Oo/Jll never need t-s wt- t-e :30& beca/se t-e :30Js meter frmware s defectve& =/st lke t-e
:#0Js meter& and /s/ally overe".oses& es.ecally mages wt- dark sectons.
4-s trck :*$g-tng wo/ld -ave been clever on one of t-e cameras wt- a good meter& lke t-e
:200& :70 and :@0& b/t not t-e :#0 or :30 w-c- e".ose for t-e s-adows wt- a vengeance.
2007 KenRockwell.com 4( converted by Sndor Nagy
"ed-,ye )orre#tion
4-s creates new versons of mages attem.tng to rectfy flas-*nd/ced red eyes. 4-s flter s
sneaky eno/g- to know f yo/ /sed flas- or not to make t-e mage& and wonJt let yo/ /se t-s flter
f yo/ ddnJt /se flas-.
0Jve never -ad a .roblem wt- red*eye wt- my :30& so all t-e better. ?-en 0 was able to ca/se
red*eye& t-s flter only corrected -alf of t-e eyes5
4-s creates new cro..ed versons of mages. No ."els are moved or c-anged n s8e. 4rm
removes /nwanted ."els from t-e sdes of an mage and saves a smaller mage.
4-s creates new black*and*w-te versons of mages.
0t -as t-ree modes1
-e$ia 6!rown*and*w-te7 and
)yanoty$e 6!l/e*and*?-te7.
9ilter ,DDe#ts
4-s creates new versons of mages wt- dfferent colors. Oo/Jve got yo/r c-oce of1
-kyliBht% slg-tly warmer and .nker.
6arm 9ilter% slg-tly warmer.
)olor 0alan#e% 4-s oneJs slck. 0t calls /. a better control .anel t-an P-otos-o.Js color balance
tool& w-c- dates from t-e 9(#0s.
NkonJs tool remnds me of w-at we -ave on mllon*dollar color correcton mac-nes /sed n
<ollywood telecne to color correct moton .ct/res.
4-e Nkon :30 s-ows t-ree -stograms 6remnscent of 4ektron"J ?D;700 waveform montors7
and t-e :30Js +.2:own2$eft2Rg-t key becomes t-e color correcton track ball. 'lck t left and
rg-t to alter bl/e*red& and /. down for magenta * green.
0f yo/ -ave somet-ng ne/tral& watc- t-e waveforms& oo.s& -stograms& /ntl t-ey are abo/t eH/al.
$eft * rg-t on t-e +.2:own2$eft2Rg-t key sldes t-e red and bl/e n o..oste drectons& and green
2007 KenRockwell.com 4/ converted by Sndor Nagy
* magenta sldes t-e red and bl/e eH/ally left or rg-t. 4-e green stays ./t.
-mall 'i#ture
4-s creates a m/c- smaller verson of an mage. Oo/Jve got yo/r c-oce of A30"3#0& )20"230
and 9A0"920 ."els.
.maBe *5erlay
4-s s slly. 0t creates a new mage by addng two ot-ers toget-er n t-e 8*a"s 6ntensty7.
0t only works wt- raw orgnals.
, reader wrote me abo/t a gen/s .lan to /se t-s for n*camera m/tlaton of large dynamc range
scenes by combnng two very dfferent e".os/res. 0 donJt see t workng. 0Jm mssng t-e gen/s
Oo/ canJt get to t-s wt- t-e OK key on .layback. Oo/ -ave to /se t-e men/ b/tton.


2007 KenRockwell.com 40 converted by Sndor Nagy
11 7ow to -et 6hite 0alan#e
1uto 6hite 0alan#e. P-oto made ndoors w-le clo/dy o/tsde. ?ay too bl/e and /gly5
((U of .eo.le make t-s s-ot and never t-nk anyt-ng more abo/t t.
)loudy 6hite 0alan#e. ?ow5 ?arm& golden& and =/st lke tJs s/..osed to look. 0 dd t-s
on my 'anon S:700 .ont*and*s-oot. Fvery dgtal camera over T@0 and even most
camera .-ones .rovde t-s ad=/stment.
Settng t-e ?-te !alance w-en needed s t-e key to great color .-otos. 4-s comes o/t
t-e same wt- an T@&000 camera or a camera .-one. 0 know1 0 also tred t-s on a 'anon
2007 KenRockwell.com 44 converted by Sndor Nagy
@: 6T)&)007 and 9A*)@mm $ 6T9&7007 and got t-e same res/lts. Oo/ need to ad=/st t-e
?-te !alance at tmes wt- every camera. 0Jve also fo/nd .ont*and*s-oots to be better
t-an t-e more e".ensve :S$Rs at a/to w-te balance5
1lso see%
,4$li#it ,4am$les 6.age @07
7ow to )hanBe the 6hite 0alan#e oD an ,4istinB .maBe
+he ,4$odis#
4-s s so sm.le t often conf/ses .eo.le w-o t-nk tJs s/..osed to be com.lcated.
?-te !alance s not-ng more t-an an ad=/stment to get t-e color yo/ want. Oo/ set t to
look good on t-e cameraJs $': and t-atJs t /ntl t-e lg-t c-anges. 4-ere s no rg-t
answerQ tJs w-at looks good to yo/. -ki$ to my ,4am$les 6.age @07 and DorBet this
$aBe iD you $reDer. Kettng t-e mage to look rg-t s all t-at matters. 4weak ?! /ntl t
looks good. Perod.
4-atJs rg-t1 0 .lay wt- t /ntl t looks good on t-e color screen on t-e back of my camera.
S0;P$F5 Of co/rse t -el.s to know w-at t-e tweaks do to -el. yo/ get t-ere.
P-otos can look too orange& bl/e or green even f t-e s/b=ect looked OK to o/r naked
eyes. Snce we can .revew t-e .-otos on o/r color $':s settng w-te balance s easy.
O/r eyes ad=/st t-s a/tomatcally =/st as t-ey do for lg-tness and darkness. 0t wo/ld be
great f cameras dd t-s as well as o/r eyes do& b/t cameras often need a lttle -el. =/st
lke t-ey do wt- e".os/re.
?-te balance settngs may be altered for delberate creatve ./r.oses& e"actly as we do
wt- e".os/re.
Oo/ can c-ange t-e orangeness or bl/s-ness of yo/r mages to make t-em as warm&
ne/tral or cool as yo/ want wt-o/t -avng to /se glass flters. Oo/ even can get rd of t-e
green cast from fl/orescent lg-tng& all wt-o/t t-e glass flters we need for flm. 'ool& -/-E
Sk. strag-t to t-e F"am.les 6.age @07 or ,..lcaton 6.age 377 sectons /nless yo/ really
care abo/t t-e scentfc detals.
%/st sk. to ,..lcaton 6.age 377 f yo/ =/st want to learn to make good .-otos. 4-s
secton s only f yo/ really care abo/t t-e Mw-yM be-nd all t-s.
:fferent knds of lg-t reH/re dfferent ad=/stments to gve a good .ct/re. 0f we consder
f/ll daylg-t as Mnormal&M t-en ndoor ncandescent screw*n lg-t b/lbs look orange by
2007 KenRockwell.com 43 converted by Sndor Nagy
com.arson and candle lg-t looks almost red. $kewse& bl/e sky wt-o/t t-e s/n s very
bl/e alt-o/g- w-en yo/Jre n t-e s-ade everyt-ng looks OK to yo/ and 0. 0f yo/ make a
.-oto n t-e s-ade t-e .ct/re comes o/t way too bl/e or cool lookng.
4-s s beca/se dfferent knds of lg-t -ave dfferent amo/nts of red& green and bl/e.
0ncandescent lg-ts and candles -ave a lot of e"tra red beca/se t-ey make lg-t by -eatng
somet-ng -ot eno/g- to glow. !l/e sky -as a lot of bl/e beca/se t-e sky a..ears to be lt
by lg-t scatterng from assorted drt .artcles and t-e varo/s gas molec/les w-c- make
/. t-e atmos.-ere. 4-s scatterng effect& descrbed by Rayleg-& vares as t-e fo/rt-
.ower of t-e wavelengt-. Dl/orescent and metal -alde lg-ts -ave a lot of e"tra green
beca/se t-ey make lg-t by e"ctng ons of gasses made from dog .oo. w-c- glow
$ow .ress/re sod/m 6dee. orange7 street lg-ts are always gong to look orange beca/se
t-ey are orange. 4-ey are monoc-romatc wt- only one wavelengt- at @#( nm. 4-ey -ave
no red& green or bl/e lg-t to balance.
<g- .ress/re sod/m lg-ts 6w-ter orange7 can sometmes be w-te balanced. ;ost
cameras lack t-e range to do t-s. 0f yo/r camera can& yo/ can get t-e scene to look as f t
s /nder w-te lg-t and not t-e orange of t-e street lg-ts5
4-e slly .-rase M?-te !alanceM comes from .rofessonal vdeo. Gdeogra.-ers make t
to/g- and /se a s.ecal knd of oscllosco.e called a waveform montor to matc- or
MbalanceM t-e sgnals from t-e cameraJs red& green and bl/e c-annels to make w-tes look
ne/tral /nder t-ese dfferent knds of lg-t.
0n dgtal .-otogra.-y 6and amate/r vdeo7 we -ave t m/c- easer. Oo/ can =/st .ress a
b/tton to make w-tes ne/tral& or let t-e camera do t-s a/tomatcally. 0tJs also trval to /se
t-s ad=/stment nstead to make w-atever colors yo/ .refer.
:gtal and vdeo cameras -ave t-s ad=/stment and flm cameras donJt for t-e same
reason dogs and cats lck t-emselves1 beca/se t-ey can. Snce dgtal and vdeo cameras
are electronc tJs sm.le to set colors by ad=/stng eac- one se.arately. Dlm canJt do t-s&
snce color flm s .rocessed all at once. 4-s s w-y we need color balancng and
converson flters wt- flm cameras and donJt wt- dgtal.
Dorget abo/t Kelvn tem.erat/res /nless yo/Jre an engneer. Kelvn degrees work
backwards from -ow we e".ect t-em to work n .-otogra.-y and common sense. Kelvn
degrees are t-e same as 'els/s& e"ce.t for beng 27) degrees a.art. 6' W K * 27).7 4-s
scentfc classfcaton refers to -ow -ot somet-ng wo/ld -ave to be -eated to glow t-e
same color. 0magne yo/r electrc -eater or range. ,t lower tem.erat/res tJs more red and
gets oranger as t -eats /.. 0f t got to )&200 degrees Kelvn 6)&200K7 yo/ -ave t-e same
color as a ty.cal lg-t b/lb 6and t-e -eatng element wo/ld e".lode7. 0f yo/ -eated
somet-ng even more to say @&@00 K t wo/ld be brg-ter and bl/er and smlar to daylg-t.
<eat t-e t-ng /. f/rt-er to say #&000K and t mg-t be as bl/e as s-ade. Oes& t-e -otter
Kelvn looks bl/er or cooler& w-c- s w-y yo/ s-o/ld gnore t-s /nless yo/ are a scentst.
2007 KenRockwell.com 44 converted by Sndor Nagy
:fferent settngs c-ange t-e amo/nt of orange or bl/e color cast& /s/ally to com.ensate
for any cast n t-e lg-tng. 0f yo/ -ave no bl/e or orange cast yo/ get ne/tral w-tes& w-c-
s w-at yo/ /s/ally get f yo/ /se t-e settngs s/ggested by t-e nstr/cton book. 4-e
Dl/orescent settngs take o/t t-e green from Dl/orescent& merc/ry& <;0 and metal -alde
lg-ts /sed n yo/r garage& s.orts stada and .arkng lots. Dorget abo/t s-ootng /nder
orange street lg-ts1 t-eyJll always look orange beca/se t-ey are orange. ?-te balance
only ad=/sts far eno/g- to make lg-ts t-at look w-te to /s look w-te n .-otos.
0n t-e ,+4O mode t-e camera makes ts best g/ess for eac- s-ot. 0 /se t-e ,+4O w-te
balance mode w-en 0 can. 0t works great n my Nkon :70 and 'anon ,70& b/t .oorly n
my Nkon :9<. Fven t-o/g- t may or may not work well for normal .-otos& ,+4O 6also
called ,?! n 'anon7 almost always works great for /nder werd m"ed artfcal lg-tng
wt-o/t flas-.
1U+* 6also called ,?!7 mode works OK wt- flas- and ndoors and o/tdoors. +s/ally t-e
mages wll stll be farly bl/e n s-ade and .leasantly warm ndoors at ng-t. ?-en t-e
flas- s on most cameras a/tomatcally swtc- to flas- w-te balance.
4-e f/n starts w-en yo/ take t o/t of ,+4O and set t yo/rself. <ereJs w-at t-e ot-er
settngs do1
+unBsten 6symbol of a lg-t b/lb also called MndoorM71 Gery& very bl/e most of t-e tme
e"ce.t ndoors at ng-t& for w-c- t looks normal. M4/ngstenM s t-e name of t-e metal o/t
of w-c- t-e b/lbJs flament s made. Fven ndoors many .eo.le .refer t-e warmer ,+4O
settng. +".)!1 Set *9 or *2 e".os/re com.ensaton and /se t-s settng n daylg-t to
sm/late ng-t5 0n <ollywood we call t-s Mday for ng-t.M
DayliBht 6symbol of a s/n71 !l/s- normal. 4-s s a lttle bt bl/er t-an 0 /s/ally .refer. Only
/se t for s-ootng test c-arts n drect s/nlg-t.
)loudy 6symbol of a clo/d71 0 .refer t-s. 0tJs a lttle warmer t-an t-e daylg-t settng and
best for most s-ots o/tdoors n drect s/nlg-t. ?-y not t-e daylg-t settngE 4-e camera
man/als are wrtten by engneers& not artsts. 4-e engneers are nterested n co.yng color
test c-arts& not makng a good .-oto. 0 .refer t-ngs on t-e warmer sde.
9lash 6symbol of a lg-tng bolt71 ,lmost dentcal to clo/dy b/t sometmes redder
de.endng on t-e camera. +se t-s t-e same way. On Nkons lke t-e :70 yo/ /s/ally can
set se.arate fne*t/ned ad=/stments for eac- settng& so yo/ can set dfferent ad=/stments
/nder clo/dy and flas- for H/ck access. 4-s s o.tm8ed for t-e lttle on*camera flas-es
t-at tend to be bl/e& t-/s t-s settng tends to be warm to com.ensate. ?t- large st/do
strobes yo/ .robably donJt want to /se t-s& snce t-e mages may be too red. 4ry t-e
:aylg-t settng to matc- caref/lly daylg-t balanced st/do strobes.
-hade 6symbol of a -o/se castng a s-adow71 Gery orange. 4-s s .erfect for s-ootng n
s-ade& snce s-ade s so bl/e. 0tJs also for s-ootng w-en yo/ are /nder a clo/d on a .artly
clo/dy day snce most of t-e lg-t s comng from t-e bl/e sky. 0tJs also for s-ootng n
2007 KenRockwell.com 41 converted by Sndor Nagy
backlg-t& agan snce t-e s/b=ect s lt more by t-e bl/e sky nstead of t-e drect s/nlg-t.
+.'1 Some cameras sk. t-s crtcal settng. 0f so& man/ally set t-e '+S4O; .reset w-le
n s-ade 6also called one*./s-& ;an/al and w-te card and ot-er t-ngs de.endng on
man/fact/rer7 and /se t-s settng n .lace of t-e mssng s-ade settng. +.'1 0 often /se
t-s mode even n drect s/n w-en 0 want to make t-ngs look warm and nvtng. 4ry t and
yo/Jll .robably love t. 4-e S<,:F settng s a .rofessonal secret for gettng great mages&
.ass t on5

,+4O ?-te !alance S<,:F ?-te !alance

F"am.le /nder ordnary s-ade. 4-e skn looks m/c- more warm and nat/ral wt- t-e
correct S<,:F settng. 0 -ave never seen an ,+4O settng t-at ad=/sts correctly for s-ade.
4-ese were made wt- a .ocket camera.

,+4O ?-te !alance S<,:F ?-te !alance

F"am.le /nder warm afternoon s/nlg-t. 0 .refer t-e even warmer tones from t-e S<,:F
settng. 4-ese were made wt- a :S$R and an #9, flter.
9luores#ent 6symbol of a long rectangle or Dl/orescent t/be71 +se t-s f yo/r .-otos are
too green or /nder Dl/orescent& merc/ry& <;0 or metal -alde lg-ts as yo/ mg-t fnd n
street lg-ts. 0t wll make ot-er t-ngs look a bt ./r.ls-. ?t- Nkons t-e fne*t/nng
ad=/stment 6L*)7 s m/c- stronger n t-s settng and ad=/sts from farly warm to farly cool.
!eca/se of t-s yo/ may not be able to get t-e e"act color yo/ want /nder Dl/orescent
lg-tng& n w-c- case try ,+4O or .reset.
2007 KenRockwell.com 45 converted by Sndor Nagy
9ine +uninB 6L) to *)71 'olor s crtcal. 4-e basc settngs above get yo/ close& b/t
.robably not e"actly w-at yo/ want. 4-ese fne ad=/stments allow yo/ to get t-e e"act
amo/nt of coolness or warmt-. L s cooler and * s warmer. Nkons allow yo/ to ad=/st t-s
and remembers yo/r .reference for every settng w-le t-e 'anons often sk. t-s. ?t-o/t
t-e ablty to fne t/ne t-ese settngs 0 fnd t-e 'anon Rebel& )00: and 90: cameras not
very /sef/l. One can even fne t/ne NkonJs ,+4O settng. ;ost .-otos on my :70 are
made n ,+4O *).
2anual? )ustom or 'reset 6sometmes a symbol wt- a dot and two trangles71 4-s allows
yo/ to .ont t-e camera at somet-ng yo/ want to be ne/tral and t makes t t-at way. Read
t-e man/al to yo/r camera for s.ecfcs. +s/ally t-e camera sets tself to w-atJs n front of
yo/. Some cameras also can set t-emselves to somet-ng n an mage s-ot .revo/sly.
+".)!1 Set t .onted at somet-ng colored or t-ro/g- a colored flter and yo/r res/ltng
.-otos wll -ave a color cast o..oste t-e color to w-c- yo/ set t5 Set t on somet-ng bl/e
and .-otos come o/t yellow& set t on somet-ng ./r.le and t-e .-otos come o/t green.
Pont t at somet-ng warm and yo/ get cool and vce versa. Oo/ even can b/y s.ecally
tnted Mw-teM cards for t-s and see e"am.les -ere.
Oo/ /se t-s settng f yo/ -ave some werd lg-t t-at ot-erwse yo/ canJt get to look good. 0
rarely /se t& snce a/to does almost t-e same t-ng and makes t m/c- easer.
2*", +.'-%
.ndoor -$orts
?-en s-ootng /nder fl/orescent or merc/ry lg-tng t-e color of t-e lg-t may act/ally
c-ange -/ndreds of tmes a second as t-e ,' .ower cycles. 4-s s no .roblem wt- long
e".os/res. On t-e ot-er -and s-ootng ndoor s.orts t-s drove me com.letely nsane /ntl
0 fg/red t-s o/t. 0 was s-ootng at 0SO )&200 and 92@00 of a second. F".os/res and color
were very dfferent from frame to frame and 0 -ad no dea w-y /ntl 0 real8ed t-at t-e lg-ts
by desgn were flckerng 920 tmes a second from t-e A0 <8 .ower. 4-ere s no way
aro/nd t-s ot-er t-an to retroft t-e arena wt- -g- freH/ency ballasts for all t-e lg-ts or
ot-erwse re.lace or over.ower t-e arenaJs lg-tng. ?e /se -g- freH/ency ballasts for o/r
<;0 lg-ts n <ollywood so we donJt get beats wt- t-e 23DPS flm cameras& b/t ts
e".ensve and not done n stad/ms. Kood l/ck5
9lash .ndoors
?-at settng do yo/ /se for fll flas- /nder t/ngsten lg-tE 0f yo/ /se ,+4O or Dlas- yo/Jll
get orange backgro/nds and normal s/b=ects& and t-s s .retty good. 0f yo/ are s-ootng
/nder fl/orescents yo/Jll get a nasty green backgro/nd wt- normal lookng s/b=ects& not
0f yo/ c-ange t-e w-te balance to t/ngsten or Dl/orescent t-e backgro/nds wll look
normal& b/t now t-e fll lg-t on t-e s/b=ect wll look bl/e or ./r.le. Not good.
<ereJs t-e trck from <ollywood1 yo/ need to gel 6flter7 t-e flas- to matc- t-e ambent lg-t
and t-en set t-e w-te balance for t-at ambent lg-t. Now everyt-ng wll look normal. Oo/
co/ld gel all t-e ambent lg-t to matc- t-e flas- nstead& b/t t-atJs a lot more work snce
t-ereJs a lot more lg-ts. 0n <ollywood moves weJll s.end a day gellng all t-e dfferent
2007 KenRockwell.com 42 converted by Sndor Nagy
knds of lg-ts and even gel set wndows to make o/tdoors matc- t/ngsten. 64-e f/nny .art
s <ollywood s stll based on gellng everyt-ng to t/ngsten& snce t-atJs t-e flm we s-oot&
b/t almost no lg-tng s t/ngsten anymore.7
4-e best .lace to b/y gel flters& w-c- are =/st colored s-eets of .lastc& s yo/r local
t-eatrcal stage and lg-tng s/..ly store. 4-ey are a co/.le of feet on a sde and cost a
few b/cks eac-. Oo/ c/t t-em wt- scssors and ta.e t-em w-ere yo/ need t-em. Po./lar
brands are Roscoe and $ee. Oo/ can get a free sam.ler from t-ese stores to try o/t w-c-
color works best before yo/ blow a w-ole few b/cks on a f/ll s8e flter. 0n t-e stage world
we worry abo/t selectng from among t-e -/ndreds of colors t-ey offer. Ket t-e book for
cnegels color converson and corecton flters.
7ow to )hanBe the 6hite 0alan#e oD an ,4istinB .maBe
4-atJs t. 0 -ave no dea w-y .eo.le make t-s so com.lcated. %/st /se w-at looks good.
11&2 6hite 0alan#e ,4am$les
see also ?-te !alance 6.age 337& <ow to '-ange t-e ?-te !alance of an F"stng 0mage
and 4-e F".odsc.
Note% 4-e last row of eac- s-ows t-e ?! settng n degrees Kelvn& or K. 4/ngsten s t-e
same as )&200 K& :aylg-t s t-e same as @&300 K& 'lo/dy s abo/t A&000 K and S-ade s
abo/t 7&@00K.
F".lanng w-ere and w-y we calc/late :egrees Kelvn s com.le" so 0Jll sk. t& b/t w-at t
does s easy to remember1 t-e more degrees set n ?!& t-e warmer t-e mage looks.

Dire#t -unliBht :*utdoors;
2007 KenRockwell.com 30 converted by Sndor Nagy
<ere ,/to ?! does a .erfect =ob& as does t-e :rect S/nlg-t settng. ?e e".ect t-s.
Oo/ can /se t-e ot-er settngs for a cool bl/e or dee. orange effect& or to trm bl/e and
amber any way yo/ .refer.
-hade :a white #ar in an o$en BaraBe;
2007 KenRockwell.com 3( converted by Sndor Nagy
,/to agan does a great =ob& ot-erwse t-s wo/ld t/rn o/t too bl/e. 4-s s from a :200&
w-c- does m/c- better t-an my :70 and ot-er cameras at com.ensatng correctly for
s-ade. ;ost ot-er cameras leave t-s too bl/e. No .roblem& on ot-er cameras set S-ade
+unBsten :#on5entional liBht >ul>s in my reDriBerator;
2007 KenRockwell.com 3/ converted by Sndor Nagy
4-s looks a lttle warm n ,+4O. 4-e t/ngsten settng looks better. 4-e 2&@00 K settng s
also good& f not a lttle too bl/e.
;ost ,/to ?! settngs balance correctly for t/ngsten f yo/ -ave a brg-t t/ngsten lg-t
so/rce n t-e mage& or a lot of ll/mnaton. ?t- less ll/mnaton most ,/to ?!s donJt
com.ensate com.letely and stay a bt orange. 4-s s delberate1 t-ey .res/me -g- lg-t
levels mean st/do lg-ts and t-at yo/ want .erfect acc/racy& and t-at at lower lg-t levels
yo/Jll .refer a .leasant warm tnt to nterors.
Refrgerator b/lbs are /s/ally warmer colored t-an t-s. 0n t-s case 0 -ad some bl/e
skylg-t flterng nto my ktc-en.
.ndoors at niBht? low-wattaBe tunBsten >ul>s
2007 KenRockwell.com 30 converted by Sndor Nagy
<ome lg-tng& es.ecally lower wattage b/lbs& are m/c- warmer lookng t-an )&200 K
st/do lg-ts. 4-ese 30? b/lbs look rg-t at abo/t 2&@00 K5 ,/to ?! never can balance t-s
low * t stays orange.
Of co/rse t-e orange effect may be desred. 0f so& /se t.
4-atJs t. 0 -ave no dea w-y .eo.le make t-s so com.lcated. %/st /se w-at looks good.

2007 KenRockwell.com 34 converted by Sndor Nagy
12 1ll 1>out ,4$osure
See also :gtal F".os/re 6.age @77& 4-e Nkon ;atr" ;eter 6.age A07 and Perfect
F".os/re wt- $arge Dormat 'ameras.
F".os/re s t-e easest t-ng to master& yet ca/ses t-e most conf/son.
F".os/re s sm.le. %/st add or s/btract /ntl t looks rg-t.
Oo/ need to e".erment to know -ow m/c- to add or s/btract n dfferent condtons. , fear
of e".ermentaton s w-at stalls most begnners. %/st lke sg-tng n a new sn.er rfle& yo/
always make tests frst so t-at yo/ nal yo/r target wt- yo/r frst and only s-ot every tme.
Once yo/ make a few tests n dfferent condtons yo/Jll always know -ow to get .erfect
e".os/re every tme. 4ry every .ossble condton n advance and yo/Jll be .re.ared for
,='*-U", 2*D,- 1ND 2,+,".NG
?ant to know a .rofessonal secretE 0 always s-oot n ;atr" meterng and Program
a/tomatc5 0 only revert to man/al e".os/re n rare cases w-ere 0 really need to lock down
an e".os/re n c-angng lg-t.
0 never /se center weg-ted or s.ot meterng5
?-en 0 need to make somet-ng lg-ter or darker 0 /se t-e e".os/re com.ensaton control
wt- my camera n a/tomatc. Fvery camera -as a com.ensaton control or b/res t n a
7*6-+*% D.G.+1(
9.7 ;ake a s-ot.
2.7 $ook at t on yo/r $':.
).7 ,d=/st F".os/re 'om.ensaton /ntl t looks .erfect.
4-s seems slly& b/t yo/Jd be ama8ed -ow many begnners are afrad to take control and
s.n t-at com.ensaton dal. +s/ally only one or two t-rds s all yo/ need& b/t n some
cases lke nteror .-otos wt- o.en wndows yo/ mg-t need to /se a few sto.s. :onJt be
tmd& =/st ad=/st t /ntl t looks correct.
;any com.act cameras and some :S$Rs may always be a lttle off. 0n t-ese cases =/st
leave t-e com.ensaton set w-ere t works well. ;y 'anon ,70 .ont*and*s-oot s always
left at *22)& snce as t s-.s t-at model tends to overe".ose.
2007 KenRockwell.com 33 converted by Sndor Nagy
?t- e".erence yo/Jll recogn8e t-e few knds of scenes w-c- reH/re com.ensaton and
yo/Jll be smart eno/g- to ad=/st t-e com.ensaton before makng t-e frst s-ot. 4-ankf/lly
many cameras today& es.ecally t-e matr" meters on Nkons& are /s/ally correct more and
more often. 4-atJs a reason 0 love my NkonsQ t-ey are very -ard to fool and donJt reH/re
m/c- twddlng& w-c- saves tme and lets me make more great mages.
7*6-+*% 9.(2
Same as dgtal above.
4-e only catc- s t-at yo/ -ave to get flm .rocessed between ste.s 9 6s-ootng7 and 2
6eval/atng7. Oo/ t-en a..ly any correcton on yo/r ne"t s-oot.
?t- flm t takes more e".erence to learn w-at works w-ere& snce yo/ always -ave to
-ave done yo/r -omework n advance.
4-e only t-ngs t-at fool modern meters are lg-t s/b=ects n s/bd/ed lg-t& or com.letely
black s/b=ects wt- no backgro/nd. 0n s/nlg-t or wt- a backgro/nd t-ereJs no .roblem&
b/t n less lg-t t-e camera =/st canJt tell t-at yo/r s/b=ect s w-te. ?t- my D900 0 knew to
add L92) or L22) for lg-t s/b=ects /nder clo/ds. Oo/ learn t-at by e".erence
Professonals /sed to /se Polarod flm to ga/ge t-er e".os/re. 4oday 0 =/st /se a dgtal
camera5 Oo/ of co/rse need to make tests t-e frst tme to correlate yo/r flm res/lts to t-e
dgtal camera. 0 e".lan t-at -ere 6.age #77.
671+ K*U )1N'+ 9.=
Oo/ can f" e".os/re. F".os/re canJt f" bad lg-tng.
0f t-ere s too m/c- range between lg-t and dark t-en no e".os/re wll look correct.
0f t-e s-adows are too dark /se fll flas-& reflectors or wat for t-e lg-t to c-ange to lg-ten
t-e dark sectons.
4o darken t-e -g-lg-ts we /se scrms& or dark screens& .laced between t-e lg-t so/rce
and t-e s/b=ect. Scrms donJt affect t-e s-adows.
+7, 8*N, -K-+,2
Knowng t-e 8one system s -el.f/l& b/t not mandatory& as yo/ learn all t-s. See my .age
on t-e Pone System 6.age A(7.
(.G7+ 2,+,"-
0 /se w-atJs b/lt nto my camera. 0tJs better t-an an e"ternal meter beca/se t looks
t-ro/g- my lens and flters. 4-e only .eo.le w-o tell yo/ t-at e"ternal meters are better
are t-e .eo.le tryng to sell yo/ lg-t meters.
Dor cameras lackng a b/lt*n meter 0 /se a dgtal camera and look at w-at e".os/re t
2007 KenRockwell.com 34 converted by Sndor Nagy
/sed. See my .age on -ow to /se a dgtal camera as a lg-t meter 6.age #77.
4oday 0 only /se my -and-eld meters for t-er calc/lator dals to convert t-e readngs from
t-e dgtal cameraJs 0SO to t-e readng 0 need for my flmJs 0SO. 0 /se t-e -and*-eld meters
readng only as a santy c-eck.
See also my .age on lg-t meters 6.age 777.
9.N1( ",)*22,ND1+.*N-
<ave f/n5 %/st s-oot a lot and know t-at tJs normal to need com.ensaton. !e bold and
=/st make yo/r mages as yo/ want t-em. Never t-nk t-at t-e meter s res.onsble for a
correct e".os/re. 0tJs yo/r res.onsblty to know yo/r meter and nter.ret ts readngs as
12&2 )orre#t DiBital ,4$osure $aBe and
Do Nikons Undere4$ose :$aBe 5;H
See also F".os/re 6.age @07 and 4-e Nkon ;atr" ;eter 6.age @07.
'orrect e".os/re s dfferent for dfferent knds of flm and very dfferent for dgtal.
!eca/se of t-s t-ere s a lot of conf/son over w-at s correct e".os/re.
$et me e".lan.
F".os/re s t-e lg-tness or darkness of a .ct/re. 4-atJs t-e easy .art.
4-e conf/son starts w-en .eo.le msconstr/e e".os/re as an absol/te.
0tJs not.
'orrect e".os/re de.ends on w-at yo/Jre gong to do wt- any gven fle or flm.
'orrect e".os/re also de.ends on t-e s/b=ectJs lg-tng rato 6range from lg-t to dark7.
,4$osure (atitude
F".os/re $att/de also s not an absol/te. $att/de& or -ow far off yo/r e".os/re can be
and stll be acce.table& de.ends on all t-e factors above. $att/de s yo/r room for error n
2007 KenRockwell.com 31 converted by Sndor Nagy
makng e".os/re.
$att/de s broad f yo/r s/b=ect -as lttle contrast and f yo/ wll edt t-e mage before /se.
(atitude is the amount >y whi#h your #amera's dynami# ranBe e4#eeds the ranBe oD
the su>Oe#t? iD and only iD you ha5e the o$$ortunity to edit the imaBe >eDore Dinal use.
4-ere s very lttle latt/de f yo/Jre /sng a dgtal fle or trans.arency as*s. :gtal fles
need to be wt-n 92) of a sto. f yo/ /se t-em as*s5 $/ckly most cameras are t-s good
$att/de slms as s/b=ect contrast ncreases. Latitude evaporates when your subject has
too much contrast. When this happens there is no correct exposure. 0t looks bad no matter
-ow yo/ set t-e e".os/re. 4-s st/m.s many begnners. ;any tmes we enco/nter
s/b=ects wt- too m/c- contrast to be ca.t/red wt-o/t modfyng t-e lg-t.
0f t-ere s so lttle to no latt/de today& w-y do .eo.le stll dsc/ss t as f t was -el.f/lE
!lack and w-te negatves were ((U of .-otogra.-y for t-e frst 9@0 years of .-otogra.-y.
'olor only went manstream n t-e md 9(70s and dgtal -as only been .o./lar for t-e .ast
3# months. !2? negatves -ave always -ad broader range t-an almost any s/b=ect. Oo/
co/ld overe".ose fve or ten f/ll sto.s and get great .rnts& f yo/ were wllng to e".ose t-e
.a.er long eno/g-. Old tmers take latt/de for granted. :gtal -as no tolerance for
overe".os/re& alt-o/g-& /nlke flm& t takes a co/.le of sto.s of /ndere".os/re easly.
-u>Oe#t )ontrast and (iBhtinB "atio
If the subject's contrast exceeds the brightness range of your digital camera or film, there
is less than no latitude and there is no correct exposure! 4-ese mages look awf/l no
matter -ow yo/ set t-e e".os/re.
,n e"am.le s .-otogra.-ng ndoors and e".ectng to see bot- t-e roomJs nteror and t-e
vew o/t t-e wndow.
4-s conf/ses begnners. !egnners waste tme wt- -oc/s*.oc/s get*rc-*H/ck P-otos-o.
sc-emes lke <:R 6<g- :ynamc Range7 com.ostng to attem.t to t/rn cra..y lg-t nto a
good .-otogra.-.
Kood .-otogra.-ers modfy t-e lg-tng to make t-e s/b=ect .-otogra.-able. ,dd lg-t to
t-e dark .arts wt- fll flas- or ot-er lg-tng or reflectors& dm t-e brg-t sectons& or bot-.
!rg-t wndows are dmmed by ./ttng gels 6s-eets of gray .lastc flter materal bo/g-t at
stage and move lg-tng s/..ly -o/ses7 over wndows. Scrms 6black mes- clot- mo/nted
n frames7 are /sed to dm t-e lg-t fallng on somet-ng o/tdoors.
4-s s w-y yo/Jll see all t-e t-ngs yo/ do on a move set. 4-atJs t-e lg-tng and rggng
reH/red to make a scene .-otogra.- nat/rally. S-ootng n avalable daylg-t looks
-orrble and amate/r1 s-adows n .eo.leJs eye sockets look com.letely black on flm and
make .eo.leJs -eads look lke sk/lls w-le s/n s-nng off fore-eads make everyone look
bald. Dll t-e s-adows wt- fll flas- or a w-te reflector and dm t-e drect lg-t wt- a scrm
-eld above and o/t of t-e .ct/re for .ro res/lts.
2007 KenRockwell.com 35 converted by Sndor Nagy
,nd Use
0f yo/Jre /sng a dgtal fle for drect .rntng or a trans.arency for .ro=ecton or t-s s easy.
%/st make t look rg-t.
0f t-e s/b=ect contrast was too great t-ere s no correct e".os/re. Oo/ co/ld lose yo/r
-g-lg-ts and yo/r s-adows at t-e same tme5 ,t best yo/ mg-t retan et-er one& b/t t-e
.-oto s stll awf/l.
O.tm/m e".os/re s more com.lcated f yo/Jre edtng t-e fle before .rntng or scannng
or .rntng t-e trans.arency. 0n t-ese cases yo/ need to /nderstand yo/r /se and yo/r
med/m before yo/ make yo/r mage.
0tJs crtcal to .reserve t-e -g-lg-ts. S-adows are trval to ./ll o/t n dgtal& and vary from
trans.arences de.endng on yo/r scanner.
Overe".ose t-e -g-lg-ts by as lttle as a t-rd sto. n dgtal and t-eyJre lost forever.
Sldes are m/c- easer1 yo/ mg-t -ave a f/ll sto. of wggle room. $/ckly t-s s easy to
avod n dgtal1 look at a f/ll RK! -stogram and yo/ can see f t-e -g-lg-ts are lost.
!eware1 sngle*color -stograms are less t-an /seless& snce t-ey /s/ally mss blown o/t
-g-lg-ts5 See my RK! -stogram 6.age #)7 .age for more.
Do Nikon DiBital -("s Undere4$oseH
4-s s w-y 0 wrote t-s artcle.
?-en 0 frst /sed a Nkon :9I n 2009 0 t-o/g-t t was awf/l. 0f t-ere was an o.en wndow
n an ndoor s-ot t wo/ld /ndere".ose -orrbly& or so 0 t-o/g-t.
0 was wrong. 4-e s-ot looked dark beca/se t-e :9I was e".osng to .reserve t-e
-g-lg-ts. 0 was beng a bad .-otogra.-er -avng too m/c- contrast and not dong eno/g-
to add fll flas-.
:gtal cameras are s/..osed to make mages look dark n -g-*contrast st/atons. Oo/
easly can res/sctate t-e mage n P-otos-o.Js 0mage N ,d=/stments N S-adow2<g-lg-t
0f t-e -g-lg-ts were blown o/t nstead& t-eyJre left as w-te blobs forever.
;any begnners t-nk t-er cameras are /ndere".osng. No.e. 4-ese .-otogra.-ers are
tryng to .-otogra.- /nder cra..y lg-t. 4/rn on yo/r flas- to fll t-e s-adows and see w-at
-a..ens. ;agc.
Nkon cameras are very smart. ;y :70 t/rns on ts M+se Dlas-M bolt n broad daylg-t w-en
t-e contrast s too -g-. 0Jll bet yo/ yo/ gnore t-e M+se Dlas-M bolt n t-ese condtons.
NkonJs flas- bolt snJt a low lg-t dot lg-t1 t also warns of e"cessve contrast5
0f yo/ /se fll flas- and see t-e bolt blnk ra.dly rg-t after yo/r s-ot t-at means t-at t-e
flas- ran o/t of .ower and t-e mage may stll be dark. +se a bgger a.ert/re& get closer or
/se a more .owerf/l flas- and yo/Jll f" t-e .roblem far better t-at tryng to ./ll yo/r mage
2007 KenRockwell.com 32 converted by Sndor Nagy
o/t of t-e m/d n P-otos-o..
0f yo/Jre s-ootng n cra..y lg-t and ntend to .rnt drectly from t-e fles wt-o/t edtng&
/se t-e e".os/re com.ensaton control to dal n as many sto.s as needed. 0Jve -ad to /se
several sto.s of L 6lg-ten7 com.ensaton n t-ese nstances.
,not-er so/rce of conf/son s t-e ncorrect /se of t-e ;atr" ;eter 6Fval/atve ;eterng n
'anon7. :ark flters& lke .olar8ers& often fool t-e artfcal ntellgence of t-ese meters and
lead to /ndere".os/re of lg-t s/b=ects n daylg-t. ;ore at my ;atr" ;eter 6.age A07
NeBati5e 9ilm
Negatve flm gets lttle /se today& so 0 e"cl/ded t from t-e above. 0t e".oses com.letely
dfferently t-an anyt-ng else.
4-ere s no way to drect*vew t-e e".os/re of a negatve. 4-e closest way to see a
negatve s to make a M.erfect .roof&M w-c- s a contact .rnt made wt- t-e mnm/m
amo/nt of e".os/re reH/red to make t-e /ne".osed flm edges .rnt as dark as t-e .a.er
can get. Oo/ determne t-e correct .rnt e".os/re by makng a test str.. $ook at t-e edge
of t-e /ne".osed flm aganst t-e black of t-e .a.er. +se t-e e".os/re tme of t-e frst bar
n w-c- t-e black of t-e edge of t-e flm matc-es t-e black of t-e .a.er.
ontact sheets or prints in which the edge of the film loo!s less blac! than the rest of the
paper have been underexposed, and that tells us that the negatives are also
12&@ +he Nikon 2atri4 2eter 9( ,/g/st 2009
)aution1 0f yo/ s-oot .rnt flm t-e e".os/res yo/ see on yo/r .rnts -as nothing to do wt-
t-e e".os/re yo/ made n t-e camera. F".os/re s an ss/e of yo/r one*-o/r labJs =r. -g-
sc-ool tec-ncan& not yo/r tec-nH/e or yo/r negatve. Ignore t-s secton entirely or s-oot
trans.arences nstead. Only by s-ootng trans.arences or dong yo/r own lab work wll
yo/ be able to control yo/r fnal res/lts.
0f yo/ are -avng e".os/re .roblems wt- yo/r .rnts t most .robably was -ow t-ey were
.rnted& NO4 -ow t-ey were e".osed.
0f yo/ see m/ddy& d/ll& grany or lg-t s-adows wt- no detal n yo/r .rnts t-en yo/ -ave
an /ndere".osed negatveQ ot-erwse& t-e only reason a .rnt wll be too dark s f t was
.rnted ncorrectly.
4-e s/.eror ;atr" meter s t-e man reason to c-oose Nkon over ot-er brands.
NkonJs ;atr" meterng& ntrod/ced as M,/tomatc ;/lt*PatternM 6,;P7 meterng n t-e D,
camera n 9(#)& was t-e worldJs frst meter t-at act/ally meas/red e".os/re& nstead of
=/st lg-t. 0t s one of t-e most m.ortant advances n .-otogra.-c tec-nology. 4-s meter
2007 KenRockwell.com 40 converted by Sndor Nagy
knows -ow to make w-te snow or sand look w-te& nstead of a conventonal lg-t meterJs
makng everyt-ng look med/m 9#U gray. 0t a..les t-e 8one system a/tomatcally to
attem.t to render a correct e".os/re /nder dffc/lt and contrasty st/atons. ?-en
s-ootng n a -/rry /nder ra.dly c-angng condtons& w-c- s t-e w-ole .ont of /sng a
small format camera lke a Nkon& t-ere s no better way to meter yo/r e".os/res.
,n e"am.le of too m/c- scene contrast mdday.
No meter can correct for .oor lg-tng or too -g- a lg-tng rato. 4-s conf/ses many nto
t-nkng t-at t-er meters are defectve& even t-o/g- t-e meter s .erfect. 0f yo/ -ave
.roblems wt- -g-lg-ts was-ng o/t even t-o/g- yo/r s/b=ect s well e".osed& or wt-
s-adows gong too dark even t-o/g- t-e man s/b=ect s OK& yo/r .roblem s wt- too
m/c- contrast n yo/r lg-tng& not yo/r e".os/re. Dor .-otogra.-s wt- .eo.le& /se yo/r
Nkon flas- /nder all condtons and yo/ wll .robably m.rove most of t-ese .roblems.
$g-tng s t-e most m.ortant tec-ncal and artstc as.ect of .antng& art and .-otogra.-y.
Ot-ers -ave already wrtten a lot abo/t lg-tng& so 0 wonJt try to d/.lcate t-at -ere. 0 lke to
wrte abo/t t-ngs yo/ canJt fnd any.lace else. 0t s m.eratve t-at yo/ learn to be
senstve to t-e H/alty of lg-t& and learn to be .atent n watng for t. 4-s s very& very
,ll t-e ot-er ma=or S$R makers snce abo/t 9((0 -ave mtated t-s meter /nder many
dfferent names. 'anon calls t Meval/atve&M and most camera makers brag abo/t t by
s.ecfyng -ow many sensors t-ey /se. Fven $eca attem.ts to co.y t. 4odayJs $eca R#
-as abo/t t-e same tec-ncal so.-stcaton as t-e 9(#) Nkon D,.
4-e n/mber of sensors s /nm.ortant. 4-e wsdom t-at goes nto t-e frmware t-at
nter.rets t-e data from t-e sensors 0S w-atJs m.ortant.
4-e orgnal Nkon D, -ad only @ meterng sensors. 4oday even t-e D900Js ;atr" meter
works wt- t-e same @ man sensors& and only adds t-e @ s.ot sensors nto t-e m" for fne
t/nng. 'anonJs e"cellent Rebel 2000 clams )@ sensorsQ 0 stll .refer t-e Nkon meterJs
.rogrammng. 4-e Nkon N(0 -ad a w-ole b/nc- of sensors rg-t n t-e very center of t-e
mage& w-c- makes for an m.ressve n/mber*of*sensors s.ec& b/t -as not-ng to do wt-
t-e meterJs ablty. Not-ng s wrong wt- t-e N(0Js meterQ tJs =/st t-at t-e N(0 so/nds lke
a toy w-en t r/ns.
2007 KenRockwell.com 4( converted by Sndor Nagy
4-e color ;atr" meter of t-e D@ o/g-t to be e"traordnary. 4-s s w-y 'anon contract
.-otogra.-er ,rt-/r ;orrs -as sad t-at t-e worldJs best camera s t-e Nkon D@. 0 -ave
not tred t& beca/se f 0 dd 0Jm s/re 0 wnd /. -avng to -a/l an D@ all over t-e .lace. 0Jm
beng obstnate by not tryng t-e D@& yo/ donJt -ave to be. ;eter acc/racy s t-e most
m.ortant as.ect of mage H/alty contrb/ted by t-e camera& and w-y 0 s-oot wt- Nkon.
4-s artcle refers to t-e conventonal ;atr" meter ntrod/ced n t-e D, n 9(#) and
contn/es to t-s day n all Nkon ,D S$Rs.
01-.) ,='(1N1+.*N
see f/ll orgnal doc/mentaton -ereNN
GuessinB your su>Oe#t ty$e
4-e ;atr" meter frst tres to g/ess w-at yo/ are .-otogra.-ng 6t-e -ard .art7 and t-en
makes t-e a..ro.rate e".os/re calc/laton 6t-e easy .art.7
Oo/ may -ave read t-at t-e ;atr" meter com.ares t-e lg-t readng to Mover )0 mllon
bllon 8llon onboard stored magesM or some ot-er baloney. 4-ose mages arenJt n t-e
camera. ?-at t-e camera does do s /se t-e e".erence ganed from .rofessonal
.-otogra.-ers and analy8ng many& many .-otos 6t-atJs yo/r )0&000 n/mber7 n order to
-el. .rogram t-e cameraJs frmware to recogn8e w-at sort of .-oto yo/ are tryng to
make. Once t -as classfed yo/r mage t t-en can make t-e best calc/latons for yo/r
4-e camera classfes mages as s-own on .age @ of t-e doc/mentaton.
-unlit white 5alues
4-ese meters all also make /se of a very m.ortant observaton1 t-e s/n s always abo/t
as brg-t on a clear day as s t s every ot-er clear day. 0f a camera sees somet-ng above
t-e brg-tness of a gray card n s/nlg-t 6$G9@7& t knows t-at t s seeng somet-ng lg-ter
t-an gray. 0t knows t-s beca/se t s smart eno/g- to know t-at t-e s/n ddnJt =/st get twce
as brg-t.
?-en t sees somet-ng t-at needs to be made lg-ter t delberately Movere".osesM
com.ared to a d/mb meter so t-at t-e lg-t tems look lg-t.
4-s s sm.le 8one system a..lcatonQ f t-e meter sees somet-ng two sto.s above
w-ere a gray card n daylg-t wo/ld be 6$G9@ L 2 sto.s W $G97& .age , ))7 t-en t knows to
Movere".oseM t-s secton two sto.s& n order to make t look w-te nstead of gray.
0f t-e ;atr" meter sees segments t-at are really brg-t& say anyt-ng above $G 9A*92)& t
=/st gnores t-em. 0t knows t-at t-ey re.resent brg-t -g-lg-ts or drect s/nlg-t& and
s-o/ld not /se t-em to calc/late e".os/re. 0t nstead ./ts more weg-t on t-e ot-er
1>solute liBht le5els
2007 KenRockwell.com 4/ converted by Sndor Nagy
4o g/ess yo/r s/b=ect ty.e and determne w-at really s w-te n s/nlg-t t-e ;atr" needs
to know t-e absol/te level of lg-t outside t-e camera. Remember t-at t-e lg-t inside t-e
camera wll dffer from t-e lg-t level o/tsde t-e camera de.endng on t-e s.eed 6f2sto.7 of
yo/r lens.
4-erefor t-e ;atr" needs to read t-e tr/e f2sto. of t-e lens. 4-e D, camera read t-at wt-
a s.ecal new l/g on t-e back of ,0 and newer lenses. ,D cameras read t-s electroncally.
Ot-er cameras -ave not needed t-s& snce t-ey dd not try to g/ess w-at sort of s/b=ect
yo/ were .-otogra.-ng and t-erefore were -a..y only knowng -ow m/c- lg-t made t
t-ro/g- yo/r lens to t-e flm.
Dor nstance& t-e ;atr" knows -ow brg-t daylg-t s& so t knows f t sees somet-ng t-at
s brg-t eno/g- to be brg-t sand n f/ll s/n t knows to add e".os/re to make t look lg-t
and not =/st gray.
0f t-e camera canJt tell t-e act/al ma"m/m a.ert/re of t-e lens t-en t canJt determne
absol/te lg-t levels and cannot do ;atr" meterng.
1>solute ma4imum a$erture #ou$linB
;an/al ,0 lenses -ave a s.ecal nternal mec-ancal co/.lng l/g on t-e back of t-e lens
t-at tells t-e D3 and D, w-at t-e e"act ma"m/m a.ert/re s& lke f23 or f22.#. ,ll ,D lenses
-ave t-ese same mec-ancal l/gs for t-e D, and D3 6t-ank yo/& Nkon7& and also -ave
electronc contacts for t-e ,D cameras.
<eck& t-e camera also wants to know t-e lg-t falloff of t-e lens& and 0 t-nk t-atJs also
coded nto t-e de.t- of t-e mec-ancal l/g. 4-e camera /ses t-s to get t-e rg-t readngs
for t-e meter segments on t-e sdes of t-e mage. 4-s s entrely dfferent t-an t-e l/g on
t-e e"ternal a.ert/re rng t-at tells t-e camera relationship between t-e a.ert/re yo/ set
on t-e lens and t-e ma"m/m a.ert/re. 0 donJt t-nk any cameras were ever desgned to
read t-e falloff mec-ancally& =/st as ,0 lenses also -ave a mec-ancal l/g to co/.le t-e
focal lengt- of t-e lenses to cameras t-at were never b/lt.
,ll ,D cameras read t-e f2n/mber va electronc contacts. F"ce.t for t-e D3& no ,D camera
-as a feeler to read t-e mec-ancal l/g from t-e back of t-e man/al lenses& and t-erefore
all ,D cameras 6e"ce.t for t-e D37 wll revert to center weg-ted w-en yo/ ./t a man/al
foc/s lens or teleconverter on t-em. 4-s s a defect n t-e desgn of ,D cameras .robably
desgned to make yo/ -ave to b/y new ,D lenses.
0 beleve t-at t-e ,D lenses also tell t-e ;atr" abo/t t-e falloff of ll/mnaton so t-at t can
more acc/rately meas/re t-e corners of t-e mage.
Use with tele#on5erters
4-e only way to get real ;atr" meterng on an ,D camera s to /se a 4'*93F or 4'*20F
6or t-e new M00M versons7. 4-ese only work wt- t-e e"otc ,D*0 and ,D*S tele.-oto lenses.
4-ere s no ot-er way to get real matr" meterng wt- ot-er 4's on ,D cameras ot-er t-an
t-e D3.
2007 KenRockwell.com 40 converted by Sndor Nagy
4o get ;atr" wt- t-e man/al foc/s lenses on an D, or D3 yo/ need a 4' t-at -as yet
anot-er feeler added to t to co/.le t-e absol/te a.ert/re nformaton mec-ancally. 4-e
4'*209 -as t-s co/.lng. 4-e 4'*200 does not. 4-e man/al foc/s 4's do not gve et-er
a/tofoc/s or ;atr" meterng w-en /sed on ,D cameras.
Oddly t-s means t-at to get ;atr" meterng wt- any lens ot-er t-an an ,D*0 or ,D*S lens
and a teleconverter yo/ -ave to /se t-e old D3 or D, and a 4'*209 or 4'*)09 6or 0 t-nk
4'*93, or !7. Ot-erwse yo/ canJt get ;atr" wt- a teleconverter and any ot-er ,D
?-en yo/ canJt get ;atr" on a camera t defa/lts to center weg-ted f yo/ -ave selected
;atr". ;ost ,D cameras tell yo/ t-s on t-e meter .attern ndcator. 4-e D, does not -ave
an ndcator for meter .attern.
Drom w-at 0Jve seen& dsco/nt teleconverters lke t-e Kenko PRO& 4amron& Sgma and
4okna do not .ro.erly co/.le t-e ma"m/m a.ert/re to t-e ,D cameras and wll conf/se
t-e ;atr" on occason& es.ecally n brg-t lg-t. 0f yo/r 4' lets yo/ get to t-e marked
ma"m/m a.ert/re on yo/r ,D camera yo/ -ave improper co/.lng. ,n ,D camera s-o/ld
only ndcate one or two sto.s less ma"m/m a.ert/re n t-e camera t-an marked on t-e
lens w-en t-e 4' s /sed.
6hat a>out @D meterinB and D lensesH
Oo/ can safely gnore t-s f yo/ are b/yng yo/r lenses /sed.
: lenses -el. t-e meter a lttle bt n g/essng w-at yo/ are tryng to .-otogra.-. 0t -as
very lttle effect.
!eca/se m.ressonable .eo.le mstakenly beleve t-at : lenses serve some wonderf/l
./r.ose yo/ can get t-e .erfectly good non*: lenses c-ea. today /sed.
0n makng delberate tests of : and non*: lenses wt- t-e same s/b=ect at t-e same tme 0
-ave seen no dfferences. 4-e only tme 0Jve seen a dfference s dong t-e one t-ng for
w-c- t-ey are good1 makng of flas- .-otos strag-t nto a mrror.
4-e only non*: ,D lens made today s t-e fne @0mm f29.# ,D. 0t s a bargan.
): meterng may safely be gnored.
)olor 2atri4 2eterinB
4-e D@ /.s t-e ante by addng senstvty to color. 4-s& /nlke ):& s very m.ortant. 4-s
allows t-e D@ to make yellow as lg-t as t s-o/ld be& and red as dark as t s-o/ld be.
'olor& along wt- all t-e segments n t-e D@ meter& also allow t-e camera to g/ess w-at
yo/r s/b=ect s more acc/rately& w-c- n t/rn allows t-e camera to a..ly a .otentally more
acc/rate meterng algort-m to yo/r .-oto.
4-s feat/re s /nH/e to t-e D@ among all flm cameras.
2007 KenRockwell.com 44 converted by Sndor Nagy
6hen to use 2atri4
4-e easest t-ng to do s to tr/st t-e ;atr" meter for everyt-ngQ t wll be correct more
often t-an most .eo.leJs ablty to overrde a conventonal meter.
4o /nderstand -ow matr" meterng works reH/res a knowledge of t-e 8one system 6See
books n reference secton7 as well as t-e FG and $G 6.age 7@7 systems. Once yo/
/nderstand t-ose& t-en read t-e doc/mentaton on t-e meters. Nkon -as not ./blc8ed
t-s m/c- today& w-c- s /nfort/nate beca/se wt-o/t t-s nformaton t s m/c- -arder to
learn -ow and w-y t-e ;atr" meter does w-at t does.
Dor tec-ncally fl/ent .-otogra.-ers t-e ;atr" meter s very .redctable and easy to
com.ensate w-en necessary& b/t t s far more com.le" t-an averagng meters. 4-s
com.le"ty s w-at makes t-e ;atr" meter so good& b/t also w-at makes t so dffc/lt to
learn and w-y some .-otogra.-ers stll donJt tr/st t.
6hen and how to use Dlash
+se ;atr" fll flas- all t-e tme /nless yo/ s.ecfcally donJt want t-e s/b=ect -g-lg-ted or
fro8en n lower lg-t. 4-e Nkon ;atr"J ablty to balance flas- and nat/ral lg-t s /nbeaten.
+se t-e S$O? RF,R sync mode ndoors to allow t-e backgro/nd to look nat/ral.
+se t-e ;atr" settng& w-c- on older flas-es 6S!*22& S!*2)7 s t-e defa/lt settng and on
newer flas-es 6S!*2#7 s s-own by t-e 44$ symbol and a lttle fve*segment ;atr" symbol
on t-e flas-Js $':.
;ake s/re yo/ -ave .lenty of flas- .ower and range n very contrasty .laces 6lke s-ootng
nto t-e s/n7& ot-erwse t/rn off t-e flas-. <ereJs w-y1
0n contrasty lg-t t-e ;atr" meter wll red/ce t-e e".os/re of t-e ambent lg-t by as m/c-
as 22) sto. to brng very brg-t -g-lg-ts down to wt-n t-e range of t-e flm& e".ectng
t-at t-e flas- wll fll t-e even darker s-adows. 4-s /s/ally gves great res/lts snce yo/
/s/ally -ave eno/g- flas- .ower to fll t-e s-adows.
0f yo/ are o/tdoors and contrasty s/b=ects are o/t of flas- range& t/rnng on yo/r flas- can
act/ally res/lt n as much as "#$ stop underexposure for t-e w-ole scene snce t-e
ambent e".os/re s red/ced and t-e flas- wonJt be able to fll n t-e s-adows5 :onJt worry&
yo/Jll see t-e ns/ffcent flas- .ower ndcator flas-ng f t-s -a..ens. %/st donJt .res/me
t-at only t-e fll wll be too dark beca/se yo/ also may -ave t-e ambent lg-t
/ndere".osed& too& o/tdoors. 0 wasted a few rolls one tme s-ootng /. nto backlt trees
and gnorng my ns/ffcent flas- .ower ndcator 6t-e ra.dly blnkng ready lg-t7 t-nkng
t-at only t-e fll wo/ld be a lttle darker. ,ll t-e s-ots were too darkQ 0 s-o/ld -ave =/st
t/rned off t-e flas-.
Oo/ can confrm t-s effect sm.ly by .ontng yo/r camera at a very contrasty scene. 4/rn
t-e flas- on and off w-le observng t-e e".os/re ndcated by t-e meter. Oo/ wll see t-e
e".os/re red/ce w-en t-e flas- s t/rned on n very contrasty lg-t.
2007 KenRockwell.com 43 converted by Sndor Nagy
6hat a>out usinB 1, lo#k in 2atri4H
0t works =/st fne. 0 do t& alt-o/g- rarely.
4-e ;atr" meter works by frst g/essng w-at yo/ are .-otogra.-ng 6t-e -ard .art7 and
t-en settng t-e e".os/re accordngly 6t-e easy .art7.
0f yo/ lock t to somet-ng else t-en t s m/c- less lkely t-at t-e meter can g/ess correctly
w-at yo/r real s/b=ect s. 0f yo/ are delberate eno/g- to want to lock e".os/res t s better
to do t wt- t-e center weg-ted meter.
4-e frst ;atr" camera& t-e D,& omtted t-e lock b/tton for =/st t-s reason.
-u>Oe#ts that #an Dool the 2atri4
4-e ;atr" meter -as been fne*t/ned for over 20 years. 4-ese are abo/t t-e only s/b=ects
t-at fool t today1
9.7 Predomnantly lg-t colored s/b=ects not n drect s/nlg-t. Snce t-ese are not brg-t
eno/g- n absol/te terms 6$G9A or above& .age , ))7 t-e ;atr" cannot g/ess t-at t-ey
are s/..osed to be lg-t. 0t wll tend to render t-em as gray. 0f yo/r s/b=ect -as bot- dark
and lg-t areas t-e ;atr" s fne. 0f t-e entre mage s a w-te card n t-e s-ade t-en yo/Jll
stll -ave to dal n L com.ensaton to make t-e w-te card look w-te.
2.7 !rg-t overcast skes. 4-ese are dark eno/g- t-at t-e meter canJt tell t-at yo/ want
t-em to look almost w-te n yo/r mage& beca/se t-ey are below $G9A 6.age 7@7. Oo/ wll
-ave to dal n L 9 or even L2 com.ensaton f t-e brg-t gray sky takes /. most of yo/r
mage& say w-en .-otogra.-ng flyng brds aganst t-e brg-t gray sky.
).7 :ee. or dark flters. Remember t-at t-e meter needs to know t-e absol/te $g-t Gal/e
6.age 7@7 of t-e s/b=ect as e".laned above /nder M,bsol/te lg-t levels.M 6.age A27.
0f yo/ ./t a dark flter lke a .olar8er over t-e lens t-en yo/ may fool t-e matr" nto
t-nkng t-at yo/ -ave a dfferent knd of s/b=ect beca/se t-e transmsson of t-e flter s
not comm/ncated to t-e ;atr" meter.
0f yo/ ./t a flter over t-e lens yo/ -ave =/st conf/sed t-e matr" meter. $g-t flters& lke a
+G& skylg-t or ,2 6#9,7 only absorb a t-rd of a sto. at most& so t-e worst*case error t-ese
flters wll ntrod/ce s a 92) sto. /ndere".os/re on snow or ot-er very brg-t scenes. Oo/
can gnore t-s& and 0 do.
<owever& letJs consder a .olar8er wt- a 2*sto. flter factor. ?t- a .olar8er yo/r camera
wll see w-at t t-nks s $G9@ w-en lookng at brg-t sand or snow& nstead of t-e correct
$G97. !eca/se of t-s t-e meter canJt tell t-at yo/ -ave a brg-t s/nlt w-te n yo/r mage&
and yo/ may get /nntended /ndere".os/re.
0 donJt worry too m/c- abo/t t-s& b/t t-en agan 0 donJt often /se .olar8ers.
Remember t-s f yo/ -ave very brg-t condtons.
2007 KenRockwell.com 44 converted by Sndor Nagy
Oo/ may want to make a man/al ;atr" readng wt-o/t t-e flter& ,F lock t-at readng and
t-en add t-at flter factor as a com.ensaton val/e after addng t-e flter. ,ct/ally& f yo/ are
gong to go to t-s m/c- tro/ble yo/ may as well =/st /se a Penta" s.ot meter and a vew
camera& b/t t-s does ll/strate .otental .roblems.
4-s s anot-er reason to c-oose Nkon brand .olar8ers1 t-ey only lose 9*92) sto.s of lg-t&
not 2 as most ot-er .olar8ers do.
3.7 ;ed/m lg-t tems n s/n& lke 'alforna st/cco. Dor t-ngs yo/ want rendered as Pone
G0& a lg-t renderng b/t not w-te& some of t-e earlest ;atr" and ,;P meters rendered
t-em a bt dark& closer to an 9#U Pone G. 0n t-ese cases yo/ needed to dal n abo/t L22)
com.ensaton. ;odern 6D9007 matr" meters seem to be OK wt- t-ese s/b=ects.
6hi#h #ameras Bi5e matri4 meterinB with whi#h lensesH
,ll c/rrent ,D cameras& and most older ones& too& gve matr" meterng wt- all ,D lenses.
None of t-em e"ce.t t-e D3 can do t wt- man/al foc/s lenses.
Nkon delberately cr..led t-e ,D cameras& e"ce.t t-e D3& so t-at t-ey only gve center*
weg-ted meterng wt- man/al foc/s lenses. Nkon .robably dd t-s to enco/rage yo/ to
-ave to b/y new ,D lenses n order to get t-e very m.ortant matr" meterng. 4-e D3 ,D
camera and D, man/al foc/s camera -ave mec-ancal encoders to allow t-ese cameras
to read t-e ma"m/m absol/te f2sto. from a l/g on t-e lens. 4-s s reH/red for t-e matr"
to f/ncton. Snce all ot-er ,D cameras lack t-ese encoders t-ey canJt gve matr" meterng
wt- man/al lenses.
4-ere are frnge factons w-o attac- c-.s to man/al foc/s lenses to trck ,D cameras nto
gvng matr" meterng. 4-ese .robably work.
Nkon adds c-.s to two man/al lenses1 t-e old @00mm f23 P ,0*s& and t-e new 3@mm f22.#
P& so t-at t-ese two lenses /nH/ely gve matr" meterng on all ,D cameras.
4o get matr" meterng wt- man/al foc/s lenses /se et-er t-e D3 ,D camera& or t-e D,
man/al foc/s camera.
,ll man/al foc/s ,0 and ,0*s and ,D and ,D*0 and ,D*S lenses gve matr" meterng on t-e
D, and D3. 4-e only ones t-at donJt are .re*,0 lenses from before 9(77.
Pre*9(77 lenses t-at -ave been ,0 converted wll not gve matr" meterng on t-e D3 or D,&
/nless one also adds a s.ecal l/g to t-e back of t-e lens. Oo/ can -ave an ancent lens ,0
converted for abo/t T2@& b/t t-at same g/y wants abo/t T200 to add t-at s.ecal l/g.
Dorget abo/t t.
,lso man/al foc/s lenses only gve man/al and a.ert/re .referred a/tomaton at best on
t-e ,D cameras. One does not get S-/tter*.referred or Program modes wt- man/al
lenses on ,D cameras.
4-e D, camera .rovdes all t-e P& S& ,& and ; modes to work wt- all lenses newer t-an
9(77. 4-s s beca/se Nkon s stll good eno/g- to ens/re t-at all new ,D lenses stll
.rovde all t-e mec-ancal l/gs to co/.le to t-e older cameras. 0n fact& t-e latest ,D*S #0*
2007 KenRockwell.com 41 converted by Sndor Nagy
200 f22.# lens not only works flawlessly on t-e D, camera& t also -as t-e l/g to ./t t-e D,
nto t-e -g-*s.eed .rogram mode for tele.-oto lenses.
Ne"t PageN
$ook -ere for more nfo on ng-t e".os/res
See factory matr" doc/mentaton -ere
12&4 7ow to Use the Nikon -$ot 2eter
see also The Zone System (.age A() and Metering 6.age 777.
Unless you really want to spend a lot of time learning the Zone System (.age A().
FORGT the spot meter and !ust use Matri" as # do. # only use an e"ternal spot
meter with my $"% &amera 'e&ause # ha(e to. # ne(er use the spot meter in my
)i*ons. The Matri" is the main reason # shoot )i*on. # use Matri" almost all the
time. +ou ha(e to 'e ,uite a (irtuoso in the Zone System to get 'etter results using
the spot as opposed to the Matri" meter- and then it still ta*es more time.
#f you !ust want to measure a small area- you are 'etter off using the &enter.weighted
meter. The spot meter is too narrow to gi(e relia'le results useless you are fluent in
the Zone System.
This is mode only for slide film. #f you are shooting print film then use Matri" and
forget a'out spot metering. Unless you print your own negati(es or shoot slides you
won/t see the differen&e.
Most people will get poorer results using spot metering 'e&ause one needs either
ideal su'!e&ts (for whi&h the spot isn/t needed anyway) or fluen&y in the Zone System
(.age A().
# ne(er use the spot meter in my )i*on. # use Matri" and *now how to use e"posure
One cannot simply point the spot meter at the subject and get a decent
result- 'e&ause the spot is so small it will most li*ely point at something dar*er or
lighter than the pro(er'ial middle gray (0one 1) and gi(e you an poor e"posure. #n
these &ases you will get a (ery 'iased and in&orre&t e"posure.
#n fa&t- many su'!e&ts ha(e no middle gray- ma*ing simple use of the spot meter
impossi'le without *nowing the Zone System.
The Zone System is a fan&y.sounding system that simply means how mu&h
deli'erate o(er. and under. e"posure you need to gi(e to dar* and light areas of your
image to ma*e them loo* right.
2007 KenRockwell.com 45 converted by Sndor Nagy
The 'est way to learn the 0one system is to read this 2nsel 2dams 'oo*. That/s how #
learned. 3efore going any further you need to *now the 0one system. Go learn it
either 'y 2nsel/s 'oo* or my page here- then we/ll get to the ne"t se&tion.
4resuming you *now the Zone System5
4ut the &amera on Manual e"posure and point the &amera around while loo*ing at
the e"posure 'ar graph. That/s right- to use the Zone System you ha(e to 'e (ery
systemati& and the auto modes (my usual fa(orites) are not the way to go.
+ou ad!ust the manual e"posure so that the elements of your image are e"posed-
a&&ording to the 'ar graph- as you want them to 'e rendered on film.
Zone ## 6 .7 stops
Zone ### 6 .8 stops
Zone #1 6 .9 stop
Zone 1 6 :. ; stops
Zone 1# 6 :9 stop
Zone 1## 6 :8 stops
Zone 1### 6 :7 stops
On many )i*on &ameras li*e the F9;; one gets only a ma"imum of :. 8 stops on the
'ar graph unless the &amera is set to 9<8 stop inter(als in the &ustom settings.
=ere/s where the art &omes in5 you are in &harge. #t is up to your aestheti&s to
determine !ust how you want your image to loo*. +ou need to thin* as a painter and
as* yourself with what tone you want a &ertain part of the image rendered. 2s # said-
the spot meter is not easy sin&e it only wor*s relia'ly as part of a Zone System
4resuming you *now the Zone System as re,uired for using the spot meter- you
*now that anything dar*er than .7 stops or 'righter then :7 stops turns &ompletely
'la&* or white. +ou often will ha(e s&enes where the highlights and shadows are too
dar* or light. Zone System people *now what to do in these &ases (hint5 &hange the
light>)- and again # refer you the Zone System (.age A() page or 2nsel/s 'oo* for
12&5 +he 8one -ystem
Pones are levels of lg-t and dark.
, Pone System s a system by w-c- yo/ /nderstand and control every level of lg-t
and dark to yo/r best advantage. 0t works n dgtal =/st as t does for s-eet flm.
<avng a system allows yo/ to /nderstand and be n control& nstead of takng
w-atever yo/ get. ,nsel ,dams was asked n t-e 9(@0s f -e t-o/g-t t-e Pone
2007 KenRockwell.com 42 converted by Sndor Nagy
System was stll relevant n t-at t-en*modern world. <e re.led M0f yo/ donJt /se t-e
Pone System& t-en w-at system wll yo/ /se to know w-at yo/Jve got as yo/
4-ere are many ways to eval/ate w-at yo/Jll get n yo/r fnal .rnt or ds.lay as yo/
.-otogra.-. 4-e Pone System s one way to get a -andle on everyt-ng. ?-en yo/
know w-at yo/Jre gong to get yo/ can make c-anges as yo/Jre .-otogra.-ng to
o.tm8e yo/r fnal .rnts.
4-e Pone System a..les as m/c- to color& dgtal and vdeo as t does to black*and*
w-te. ,nsel ,dams even s-ows /s n 4-e Negatve -ow to /se t wt- .ont and
s-oot cameras5
,nsel ,dams c-ose to dvde t-e range between w-te and black nto abo/t ten
8ones. Fac- s an f2sto. a.art. 'olor flm and dgtal tend to -ave fewer 8ones& b/t
t-atJs not m.ortant. ?-atJs m.ortant s /nderstandng -ow t-ese 8ones relate to
one anot-er and -ow t-ey c-ange as t-ey go t-ro/g- eac- ste. of any .-otogra.-c
Drom t-e 9(20 t-ro/g- t-e 9(A0s 4-e Pone System /s/ally reH/red werd flm
develo.ng& snce .eo.le develo.ed s-eet flm one s-ot at a tme and .rnted on
f"ed*contrast .a.ers. 0t was a .an.
0n t-e 9(70s t-ro/g- today t-e Pone System for flm became more nvolved wt-
.rntng as .eo.le tended to s-oot rolls of flm t-at are develo.ed all at once and
.rnt on varable contrast .a.er.
?t- dgtal n t-e 2000s t-e Pone System foc/ses more on /nderstandng -ow
dgtal cameras res.ond to dfferent levels of lg-t and dark. 4-e Pone System s t-e
bass of /nderstandng P-otoS-o.Js '/rves command. ?t- dgtal cameras yo/ set
contrast n*camera& or do as 0 do and let t-e camera do t-s a/tomatcally.
4-e bggest advantage of /nderstandng a Pone System s /nderstandng w-atJs
gong on. Oo/Jll be able to concentrate on makng great mages nstead of worryng
abo/t .etty t-ngs lke tec-nH/e and e".os/re.
:gtal cameras no longer reH/re s.ot meters. S.ot meters were /sed to eval/ate
s/b=ects before t-ey were .-otogra.-ed. 0t was t-e only way we -ad to .redct
e"actly -ow to e".ose& develo. and .rnt before we made an e".os/re on flm.
4oday we -ave -stograms and $':s nstead. 4oday 0 /se a dgtal camera nstead
of a s.ot meter 6.age #77 to eval/ate t-s better t-an a s.ot meter for my vew
4-at sad& let me offer t-at t-e rest of t-s .age was wrtten n 9((( w-en 0 wrote t to
a..ly to color sldes.
+he 8one -ystem allows you to Bet the riBht e4$osure every time without
BuessinB. 0t does not reH/re yo/ do any s.ecal flm develo.ment and yo/ never
-ave to waste tme wt- bracketng. Now arenJt yo/ nterestedE
2007 KenRockwell.com 10 converted by Sndor Nagy
4-e Pone System s very m.ortant to /nderstand& es.ecally for color sldes.
4oday t-e Pone System s t-e caref/l and analytcal settng of e".os/re. ,lmost no
one does s.ecal develo.ment for eac- negatve any more.
0 learned t all from ,nsel ,damsJ book M4-e Negatve.M <e covers t-e Pone System
for /se wt- color flm and .ont*and*s-oot cameras& too.
,nsel ,dams& M4-e NegatveM
,nsel worked n t-e days w-en everyone s-ot s-eet flm develo.ed ndvd/ally by
-and& and w-en t-e only decent .a.ers were f"ed contrast.
4-erefore of co/rse -e s/ggested screwng wt- t-e develo.ment of eac- s-eet to
.rnt on grade 2.
4oday most .eo.le s-oot color or roll flm and varable contrast .a.ers are among
t-e best .a.ers avalable. 4-erefore c/stom develo.ment of eac- mage =/st snJt
-a..enng5 +oday we usually use standard de5elo$ment and 5ary #ontrast in
Fven 0lford recommends today w-at 0 do for color and !2? negatves1 ens/re yo/
get eno/g- e".os/re n yo/r s-adows& develo. yo/r flm normally& and t-en /se
varable contrast .a.er for yo/r .rnts f yo/ need to.
Dor color one always /ses standard develo.ment. 4-e colors get very screwed /. of
yo/ try to vary develo.ment tmes. 0 -ave tred wt- Gelva and g/ess w-at1 t-e
overall contrast remans almost /nc-anged wt- even a .l/s or mn/s two sto. ./s-
or ./ll5 4-e :;a" and s-adow level c-anged& b/t t-e contrast of t-e actve mage
was abo/t t-e same. ?orse& t-e color balance goes a nasty cyan wt- a ./ll. 'olor
takes on a nce warmt- wt- a ./s-& alt-o/g- 0 only ./s- w-en 0 need s.eed.
<ere are my H/ck s/ggestons1
2,+,"- m/c- more -ere 6.age 777.
0f yo/ are s-ootng a modern S$R& /se yo/r b/lt n meter n ;atr" 6Nkon7 or
eval/atve 6'anon7 and forget abo/t most of t-s. Oo/ wll need to know w-en to
com.ensate yo/ meter a bt& b/t ot-erwse all ;atr" and eval/atve systems
ncor.orate t-e Pone System a/tomatcally.
0 -ave a .age on -ow to /se t-e Nkon b/lt*n s.ot meters -ere. 6.age A#7.
0f 0 am s-ootng a camera wt- no meter& 0 /se t-e same meters ,nsel dd& and yo/
can stll b/y t-em today. 0 /se et-er t-e Penta" S.otmeter G 6analog7 or Penta"
:gtal s.otmeters. 4-e dgtal one s smaller and 0 /se t today as ,nsel dd at t-e
2007 KenRockwell.com 1( converted by Sndor Nagy
end. 4-e analog model s more .recse and easer to read and nter.ret& -owever t
s bgger and more delcate. 4-e Penta" meters are s/.eror to t-e com.le"&
conf/sng and more e".ensve Kossen and Sekonc models.
)*(*" N,G1+.L,-
Dor t-e color negatves s-ot by most amate/rs =/st set t-e camera on a/tomatc and
KO5 4-e flms today -ave so m/c- latt/de t-at yo/ =/st can forget t. <onest& 0 -ave
tred s-ootng t-e same scene at normal and D0GF S4OPS overe".osed on D/= #00
and n my .rnts 0 canJt tell w-c- was w-c-. Never /ndere".ose& t-at wll lead to
m/rky d/ll s-adows. Overe".os/re by a co/.le of sto.s may ncrease contrast and
sat/raton a lttle. 0f color s as m.ortant to yo/ as t s to me& /nless yo/ .rnt yo/r
own work& s-oot sldes and not .rnts. See t-e flm .age for t-at nfo.
0&6 N,G1+.L,-
4-e same a..les as t does for color5 ,mate/rs worry far too m/c- abo/t t-s. 0
s/ggest addng one more sto. to yo/r e".os/re and addng a yellow flter. 4ry t-s
and be ama8ed5 :etals are on my flm .age startng -ere.
0f yo/ want to get dee.er nto t& 0 s/ggest /sng yo/r s.ot meter and settng t-e
darker .art of t-e mage to *9 or *2 sto.s e".os/re& w-c- s t-e same as sayng
Pone 0G or Pone 000. See more at t-e bottom of t-s .age& too.
)*(*" -(.D,-
Dor now& w-at yo/ need to know s t-at f yo/ /se anyt-ng ot-er t-an a modern S$R
;atr" or eval/atve meter& t-at yo/ need to add or s/btract e".os/re de.endng on
-ow brg-t or dark t-e s/b=ect s. +se t-e s.ot or center weg-ted meter and add
e".os/re for lg-t s/b=ects or areas& and s/btract for dark ones. S0;P$F5
7ere's how mu#h to add or su>tra#t with the #enter-weiBht or s$ot manual
*) sto.s 6Pone 0071 Oo/r slde flm goes .retty black -ere. :onJt do t-s /nless yo/
want somet-ng .retty m/c- com.letely black. Oes& yo/ can see some detal on
Gelva even at *3 sto.s 6Pone 07& b/t good l/ck tryng to .rnt t.
*2 Sto.s 6Pone 00071 Normal s-adows n landsca.es are set -ere. Oo/ wll /se t-s a
lot. 4-s s abo/t as m/c- /ndere".os/re yo/ can /se and stll -ave detal. Dor
nstance& make a s.ot readng of t-e s-adow and set yo/r camera to /ndere".ose
t-at s-adow s.ot by two sto.s. 0f yo/ are l/cky everyt-ng else wll fall nto t-e
.ro.er e".os/re. Oo/ donJt really need l/ck1 /se yo/r s.ot meter to make s/re t-at
at t-e e".os/re yo/ set t-at everyt-ng else falls w-ere t o/g-t to .er t-s c-art.
*9 Sto. 6Pone 0G71 Gery few t-ngs are set -ere. 4-s s a dark mddle tone& lke a red
.anted barn.
Normal e".os/re 6Pone G71 4-s s w-ere yo/ set mddle tones or a gray card.
Sometmes t-e nort- sky s set to normal 6L*07. Oddly& n many scenes t-ere s no
2007 KenRockwell.com 1/ converted by Sndor Nagy
mddle tone& w-c- s w-y s.ot meters /s/ally cannot be /sed wt-o/t knowng t-e
8one system. Sometmes green grass falls -ere.
L9 Sto. 6Pone G071 ;ed/m lg-t .arts of an mage. Skn and grante rocks go -ere.
Dor most landsca.e .-otos yo/Jll set yo/r lg-t rocks -ere& and t-e s-adows at *2
sto.s. !rg-t yellow s set at L22) sto.s.
L2 Sto.s 6Pone G0071 ?-te t-ngs lke snow and s-eets of w-te Dome*cor are set
L2.7 Sto.s 6Pone G00071 4-s s w-ere slde flm goes clear.
4-s s -ow t-e 8ones of t-e classc 8one system corres.ond to t-e analog bar gra.-
on yo/r e".os/re meter1
Pone 00 W *) sto.s
Pone 000 W *2 sto.s
Pone 0G W *9 sto.
Pone G W L* 0 sto.s
Pone G0 W L9 sto.
Pone G00 W L2 sto.s
Pone G000 W L) sto.s
0f yo/ are l/cky& all t-e elements n yo/r mage wll fall wt-n *2 to L2. +s/ally t-ey
wonJt. Sorry.
0f yo/r s.ot meter tells yo/ t-at t-e s-adows are darker t-an *2 sto.s t-at sm.ly
means t-ey wll be farly black& and f t-e w-tes get too m/c- -otter t-an L2 t-at
t-ey wll be com.letely w-te or clear.
Slde flm /s/ally goes clear at L2.@ sto.s. 0t /s/ally starts gettng .retty m/rky at
below *2 sto.s& alt-o/g- yo/ can stll see t-ngs down to *3 sto.s on Gelva.
Oo/ need to t-nk as a .anter does and ask yo/rself at w-at level of tone yo/ want
eac- .art of yo/r mage to render. Oo/ need to be n control& and t-e Pone System
lets yo/ be n control. Ot-erwse yo/Jll sm.ly be gamblng t-at yo/r mages wll Mt/rn
o/t.M ?t- t-e Pone System yo/ wll know w-en yo/ need to alter yo/r lg-tng.
4-ere wll be .lenty of occasons n nat/re w-ere Kod s not ./ttng t-e lg-t range
w-ere yo/ want t. 4-e Pone System s /sef/l -ere beca/se t tells yo/ before yo/
waste a lot of flm t-at yo/ are .robably gong to get garbage and t-/s yo/ can .lan
or c-ange t-e lg-t or fltraton accordngly.
?-at do yo/ do f t-e lg-test and darkest .arts of t-e scene are beyond t-e range
of yo/r flm& ty.cally L* 2 or ) sto.sE
Sm.le1 yo/ -ave to c-ange t-e lg-tng some-ow. 0f yo/ -ave a very -g-*contrast
scene t-ere s no correct e".os/re and yo/ wll never get w-at yo/ want.
2007 KenRockwell.com 10 converted by Sndor Nagy
4-s s w-ere many amate/rs get lost1 e".os/re cannot correct for bad lg-t. OK&
not-ng can f" bad lg-t. Oo/ -ave to wat for t. P-otogra.-y takes .atence. Oo/
can try a grad/ated Ne/tral :ensty flter w-c- often -el.s brng down an overly
brg-t sky or too dark foregro/nd. <ereJs an e"am.le of one.
Some .eo.le try to tweak develo.ment to com.ensate for cr/mmy lg-t. 0tJs m/c-
better to f" t-e lg-t. 0gnore t-e tem.taton to tweak develo.mentQ t-s s w-y we n
<ollywood ./ll /. t-ree tr/cks of lg-tng eH/.ment to lg-t a scene o/tdoors.
0f yo/ do yo/r own develo.ng t-e Pone System gets far more com.le" f yo/ want to
ad=/st t-e e".os/re and develo.ment to attem.t to ft t-e range of t-e scene nto t-e
range of t-e flm. 4-s /sed to be .o./lar n !2? before good varable contrast .a.er
was avalable& as n ,nselJs day. 4oday !2? s-ooters make s/re t-at t-ey e".ose
eno/g- for t-e s-adows 6make s/re everyt-ng for w-c- yo/ need detal s e".osed
at not less t-an *2 sto.s7 and t-en /se a lower contrast settng for t-er .a.er.
0f yo/Jre askng& no& 0 -ave no dea -ow ,nsel got ten 8ones. 4oday we only get
abo/t seven. OK& act/ally 0 do know -ow -e got ten 8ones1 ,nsel /sed less
develo.ment and slower s.eeds for -s negatves t-an t-e man/fact/rerJs ratngs.
?e canJt do t-at wt- color today. Oo/ can do t-s n !2?& and yo/ -ave to do a lot of
c/stom testng and develo.ng.
0n ,nselJs day everyone s-ot s-eet flm and /sed graded .a.er. 4-erefore t made
sense to develo. eac- s-eet dfferently so t co/ld .rnt on grade 2 .a.er.
4oday .eo.le s-oot roll flm 6yo/r Nkon or ;amya7 and need to develo. t-e w-ole
roll t-e same way. One /ses G' 6varable contrast7 .a.ers to control t-e contrast&
not develo.ng.
Oo/ always develo. color t-e same way& /nlke !2?. '-angng develo.ng tmes for
color often messes /. all t-e color balances.
0 -ave ./s-ed and ./lled Gelva and saw lttle contrast c-ange. 4-e colors s-ft and
t-e black level c-anges& b/t t-e contrast does not vary as does !2? flm.
Oo/ -ave to c-ange t-e lg-t yo/rself or wat for Kod to do t. 4-s s art. Only yo/r
-eart can tell yo/ w-at to do. Oo/ -ave to know at w-at level yo/ want varo/s lg-t
and dark areas to render& =/st as a .anter -as to decde w-at colors to take from -er
.alette. 4-ere are no wrtten form/lae for good .-otos. ,nsel covered t-s H/te well
n -s books.
2007 KenRockwell.com 14 converted by Sndor Nagy
12&/ 6hat are (L and ,L
?1- ?ight 1alue and 1- "posure 1alue- are terms used to allow easy dis&ussion of
e"posure and light without the &onfusion of the many e,ui(alent &om'inations
shutter speeds and apertures.
?1 refers to how 'right the su'!e&t is. 1 is the e"posure setting on the &amera.
+ou may ha(e seen them if you li*e to read the fine print of &amera spe&ifi&ations.
They are used to spe&ify ranges of light le(els for metering and autofo&us.
1 and ?1 follow an open.ended s&ale. a&h one is one stop away from the ne"t. #n
photography (alues of a'out ; to 9@ are &ommonly used. )egati(e (alues are
perfe&tly (alid- !ust (ery dar* and only o&&ur in night photography. ?1 9% is full
daylight- for e"ample.
a&h "posure 1alue- or 1- represents any of many different 'ut e,ui(alent
&om'inations of f<stop and shutter speed. For instan&e- 9<8%; at f<@ is 19$- and so
is 9<98% at f<99. 9<98% at f<@- one stop more e"posure- is 197- and 9<8%; at f<99- one
stop less e"posure- is 19%. +ou don/t need to remem'er these- they are on the dial of
your e"posure meter.
Understanding them will allow you to re&ogni0e &ommon lighting (alues and guess
&orre&tly at e"posures e(en without a meter.
This system is the &orre&t way to dis&uss photographi& light and e"posure 'e&ause it
a(oids all the &onfusion of f<stops and shutter speeds- if all you really want to dis&uss
is light and e"posure le(els. it repla&es the idioti& ,uestion # get all the time while
shooting- Awhat f<stop are you using-A whi&h of &ourse means nothing 'y itself.
LV, or Light Values
2n ?1- or ?ight 1alue- is a num'er that represents how 'right a su'!e&t appears in
a'solute terms. #t does not ta*e film speeds or e"posure into a&&ount. ?1s are (ery
handy photographi& terms to use to des&ri'e lighting le(els.
?1s measure light &oming from a su'!e&t- or Aluminan&e.A They are not a measure of
how mu&h light is falling on a su'!e&t. #n other words- the same light falling on a
'la&* o'!e&t will ha(e a lower ?1 than the same light falling on a white o'!e&t.
Some light meters- espe&ially spot meters li*e the wonderful 4enta" Bigital
Spotmeter and analog 4enta" Spotmeter 1- read dire&tly in ?1. +ou transfer this
num'er to a dial that- along with your film speed- reads out all the &om'inations of
aperture and shutter speed that will gi(e the &orre&t e"posure.
=ere/s a ta'le of &ommon ?ight 1alues asso&iated with &ommon situations. #f you
use one of the 4enta" meters you will ,ui&*ly start to learn these without e(en
2007 KenRockwell.com 13 converted by Sndor Nagy
needing the meter after a while. This is 'e&ause the same num'er pops up for ea&h
su'!e&t ea&h time. ?1s eliminate the &onfusing issues of film speeds and f<stops that
hide these simple truths when using S?Rs or other light meters5
?19@ and a'o(e5 3right refle&tion off a sunlit o'!e&t- in&luding refle&tions off the sea
?19C Dhite o'!e&t in full sunlight
?19E ?ight gray o'!e&t or s*in in full sunlight
?19% Gray &ard in full sunlightF typi&al e"posure for ugly front.lit noon daylight
?19$ Typi&al light le(el for side.lit daylight shots in good afternoon light
?197 Typi&al shadow &ast in a daylight s&eneF &loudy 'right days
?198 Galifornia 'right o(er&ast
?19; Bar*- dreary o(er&ast day in 3oston- ?ondon or 4aris
?1 H
?1 @
?1 C Typi&al indoorsF light outdoors a'out 9; minutes after sunset
?1 E
?1 %
?1 $
?1 7 3rightly lit night street s&enes
?1 8 Typi&al night street s&enes
?1 9 Bar* s&enes outdoors at night
?1 ; ?1 Zero is defined as the light le(el that re,uires a 9 se&ond e"posure at f<9 with
#SO<2S29;; speed film.
?1.% S&ene lit 'y the full moon
?1.9% S&ene lit only 'y starlight. # ha(e loaded sheet film in light this dar*- so don/t
e"pe&t to photograph it or meter it.
Some light meters use a similar s&ale- 'ut shifted 'y a &onstant amount. For instan&e-
the Gossen ?una.4ro uses a s&ale that reads % units higher- or reads 8; in full sun.
#t/s still the same &on&ept- and e(en those meters &al&ulate the same "posure
1alues- or 1- on&e you set your film speed. That 'rings us to5
EV, or Exposure Value
"posure 1alue- or 1- (aries from ?1- or ?ight 1alue- depending on your film
1 6 ?1 at #SO 9;;
Dith #SO<2S2 9;; speed film you e"pose with an "posure 1alue (1) e,ual to the
?ight 1alue (?1).
asy- ehI +our meter will do this for you- 'ut you &an do it in your head- too- if you
forget your meter. =ere/s how5
2007 KenRockwell.com 14 converted by Sndor Nagy
#f you shoot slower film you of &ourse ha(e to use more e"posure (1) for the same
?ight 1alue (?1)- and (i&e.(ersa.
The 1 is easy to &al&ulate e(en if you forgot your meter- sin&e ea&h unit is one stop
different than the ne"t. For instan&e- with film a stop slower than #SO<2S2 9;; (li*e
%; speed 1el(ia) you !ust su'tra&t one from the ?1 to get the 1. This adds one stop
of e"posure.
For instan&e- if your su'!e&t is at ?19$- e"pose at 197 with 2S2 %; film. 197 gi(es
one stop more e"posure than 19$.
Dith #SO<2S2 $;; speed film you add two to the ?1 to get the 1- whi&h is the same
as su'tra&ting two stops of e"posure. Therefore with an ?19$ su'!e&t you e"pose at
Remem'er that the higher num'ers refer to higher light (alues- and therefore less
e"posure. This is 'e&ause the e"posure (alues that &orrespond to those higher
num'ers gi(e less e"posure.
1s are a great idea5 'y tal*ing a'out an 1 you are tal*ing a'out any one of many
different &om'inations of aperture and shutter speed that gi(e the S2M e"posure.
Gameras started to use these num'ers in the 9H%;s- 'ut today only the =assel'lad
retains them. Dith e(ery other &amera one needs to use the s&ales on light meters to
determine the 1 (alues. Some &ameras &an 'e adapted- as # did to my 4lau'el
Ma*ina EC- whi&h simplifies their use with spot meters.
Zero 1 is defined as f<9.; at one se&ond. Therefore- 1; is a pretty long e"posure.
This is the same e"posure as f<9.$ at 8 se&onds- f<8.; at $ se&onds- f<8.@ at @ se&onds
and so on. 19 is one stop less5 f<9.$ at 9 se&ond. 1 8 is two stops less5 f<8.; at 9
se&ond or e,ui(alent 1 is a &amera setting. #t was popular in the 9H%;s to &ouple
&amera &ontrols together so that on&e one set an 1 one &ould rotate lo&*ed f<stop
and shutter speed rings to &hoose 'etween different e,ui(alent settings. Today only
=assel'lad &ontinues the tradition. #t is mu&h easier to remem'er typi&al light
&onditions as a single 1 num'er than &om'inations of &amera shutter and aperture
So what/s the &orre&t e"posure for 1el(ia (2S2<#SO %;) in side.lit daylightI That
light is ?19$. Sin&e 1el(ia is one stop slower than 9;; we need to gi(e it one more
stop e"posure- or SU3TR2GT one 1 from the ?1 to get the 1. Therefore- ?19$ .
916 197. 197 is 9<98% at f<@ or 9<9% at f<88. ?ight meters that read in 1 ha(e
s&ales on the side that show you all the e,ui(alent &amera settings for any 1.
Dhat tri&*s does this tell usI Dell- in nature nothing gets 'righter than something lit
'y full sun- whi&h is ?19%. #f you see ?19C in your meter you *now that that must 'e
a white o'!e&t in daylight. Guess what5 that/s how e(aluati(e and matri" meters *now
that- too>
2007 KenRockwell.com 11 converted by Sndor Nagy
12& ,4$osure 2eters
see also
4-e Pone System 6.age A(7
+sng t-e Nkon S.ot ;eter 6.age A#7
FG X $G 6.age 737
.N+"*DU)+.*N 1ND 0U.(+-.N 2,+,"-
<ow to /se a dgtal camera as an e"cellent lg-t meter 6.age #77
7.N+% ,s of 200A t-e best meter for any flm camera s a calbrated dgtal camera.
Oo/ can /se a :S$RJs $': to .revew t-e effects of lg-tng& lg-t ratos& 8one
val/es& color tem.erat/res and everyt-ng. 0tJs lke lookng at a .rocessed c-rome on
a lg-t table. Once yo/ get t-e look yo/ want on t-e $': yo/ =/st transfer t-e
e".os/re from t-e :S$R to yo/r flm camera5 !e s/re to read -ere 6.age #77 on -ow
to calbrate t to yo/r flm camera.
4-e best meter s t-e one b/lt nto yo/r camera. 0 always /se t-e matr" meter n my
S$R and s-oot n Program ,/tomatc. 0 only mess wt- -and-eld meters wt- my
larger format cameras t-at -ave no meters b/lt n. 0 -ate /sng t-e -and -eld meters
0 address below.
0f yo/ arenJt gettng t-e e".os/re yo/ want t-en ad=/st t-e cameraJs e".os/re
com.ensaton& w-c- s /s/ally marked as ML2*M on todayJs cameras or a dal t-at
goes from L2 to *2 on 9(70s * 9((0s cameras. !/yng a new meter wonJt f" t-at.
!/lt n meters /s/ally read 4-ro/g-*4-e*$ens 644$7 and consder yo/r fltersJ and
lensesJ lg-t transmsson w-c- make t-em more acc/rate t-an -and -eld meters&
/nless yo/ c/stom calbrate t-e -and -eld meters. Oo/r efforts are .robably better
s.ent calbratng t-e cameraJs meter. 4-e m/lt*.attern and matr" meters b/lt nto
my Nkon and 'anon flm and dgtal S$Rs and .ont*and*s-oots are far smarter t-an
any .rofessonal reflected or ncdent meter. Not only t-at& b/t today t-eyJre an
ntegral .art of everyt-ng t-e camera does& es.ecally w-en t comes to ?-te
!alance and Dlas-.
4-s artcle s f yo/ are s-ootng dgtal or sldes. 0f yo/Jre s-ootng negatves 6.rnt
flm7 t-en yo/ can =/st g/ess at e".os/re /nless yo/Jre .rntng yo/rself. 0f someone
else s .rntng yo/r negatves t-en e".os/re ss/es are almost always ca/sed by
bad .rntng and not yo/r e".os/res& alt-o/g- t-e lab wll try to blame t on yo/.
71ND-7,(D 2,+,"-
,nsel ,dams /sed a Penta" :gtal S.otmeter. 0tJs my favorte. 0t was sold new
t-ro/g- 200@& and as of 200A seems to no longer be avalable new. !efore t-e
dgtal meter& w-c- -as red $F:s at t-e bottom of ts vewfnder& ,nsel and 0 /sed
2007 KenRockwell.com 15 converted by Sndor Nagy
t-e larger& -eaver& more delcate& more .recse and less e".ensve Penta"
S.otmeter G w-c- /ses an analog needle on a scale. 4-ey -ave t-e same
acc/racy& w-c- s .retty m/c- .erfect. 0 -ave two analog and one dgtal s.ot meter
and t-ey all agree wt- eac- ot-er. 4-atJs very /n/s/al. ;ost meters never agree
wt- eac- ot-er. 4-e :gtal meter /sed to be sold -ere and t-e analog meter /sed to
be sold -ere. 0 bo/g-t all t-ree of mne /sed n t-e 9((0s and t-eyJve all worked
.erfectly for years.
Oo/ -ave to /se t-e Pone System 6.age A(7 wt- a s.ot meter.
4-e Penta" :gtal S.ot G 6analog7 takes t-ree S7A or ,7A or )@7 or $R33 etc.
b/tton cells. Oo/ can get t-ese at Rado s-ack and every grocery store.
4-e Penta" :gtal S.ot takes an ,@33 or 3$R33 or $@33 battery& A volts. Oo/ can
.ay T90 at t-e camera store& or T2.)) at <ome :e.ot n t-e garage door o.ener
de.artment. 4-e @33 s act/ally fo/r of t-e above cells n a sngle case.
4-e orange mark on t-e s-/tter s.eed scale s 92@0 second& w-c- yo/ /se n
<ollywood for moves s-ot at 23 DPS wt- a 9#0 degree s-/tter. 9#02)A0 tmes 9223
W 923#& close eno/g- to 92@0.
4-e werdest scale s t-e 0RF scale t-at goes to 900. 0RF stands for t-e 0nstt/te of
Rado Fngneers 657 w-o defned t-e scale back at t-e dawn of televson n t-e
9()0s and t s /sed to t-s day n vdeo and televson to meas/re t-e eH/valent of
t-e 8one system. 0t s t-e scale over w-c- yo/ .aste yo/r 8one system stcker. 0RFs
go from 0 6black7 t-ro/g- @0 6gray7 to 900 6.eak w-te7. ?-y rado engneersE
Sm.le1 t-atJs w-o nvented 4G back t-en. Oo/ co/ldnJt -ave -ad 4G engneers
before 4G was nvented& co/ld yo/E
4-ere are ot-er bgger& more com.le" and more e".ensve meters lke t-e Sekonc&
;nolta and Kossens. 0 fnd t-ese too bg and com.le". 0n t-e 8one system tJs
easest to do everyt-ng on a sm.le lnear scale& w-c- yo/ =/st draw or stck on t-e
Penta" metersJ dals. 4-e more com.le" meters lack scales and try to do everyt-ng
n t-er own nternal com./ter. Kood l/ck fg/rng t-em o/tQ 0 never -ave and yo/
.robably wonJt et-er.
4-e Pone System s sm.le w-en yo/ learn t. , com.le" meter only ens/res yo/
never wll. 4-e Penta"es make t sm.le.
U-.NG 1 )12,"1 2,+," 1- 1N ,=+,"N1( 2,+," :.age #7;

12&8 7ow to Use 7istoBrams
4-e best way to eval/ate e".os/re s to look at t-e .ct/re& not a -stogram.
2007 KenRockwell.com 12 converted by Sndor Nagy
<stograms are a way to meas/re e".os/re more ob=ectvely for t-ose w-o canJt see very
well. <stograms donJt re.lace yo/r eyes and e".erence. <stograms are -el.f/l n
s/nlg-t w-ere tJs -ard to see an $':& or n t-e s-o. f settng somet-ng e"actly. Oo/r
eyes are always t-e fnal =/dge.
, -stogram s =/st a g/de. ?orry abo/t yo/r mage more t-an t-e -stogram.
7.-+*G"12 01-.)-
, -stogram s a gra.- co/ntng -ow many ."els are at eac- level between black and
!lack s on t-e left. ?-te s on t-e rg-t.
4-e -eg-t of t-e gra.- at eac- .ont de.ends on -ow many ."els are t-at brg-t.
$g-ter mages move t-e gra.- to t-e rg-t. :arker ones move t to t-e left. Fasy5
;ore P"els

Dewer P"els

!lack * :ark * ;ed/m * $g-t * ?-te
1 7istoBram
, good mage often& b/t not always& -as a -stogram s.read all over.
7.-+*G"12 7.-+*"K
<stograms are rocket scence. <stograms -ave been /sed for a/tomated mage
eval/aton and o.tm8aton n self g/ded mssles for decades. ?-en 4oma-awk mssles
s-are ,mercaJs freedom wt- mllmeter .recson& yo/ can t-ank -stograms. Rayt-eon
calls t-s M:gtal Scene ;atc-ng ,rea 'orrelaton&M or :S;,'. 4-s all /sed to be
Oo/ are smarter t-an a -stogram. +se t-em as g/des& not Kods.
)*(*" 7.-+*G"12-
'olor -stograms 6.age #)7 are reH/red for color dgtal .-otogra.-y. ;any cameras lack
t-ese. 0 cover t-s later 6.age #)7. 0f yo/r camera only -as a sngle -stogram& lke t-e
Nkon :70s& :9I or 'anon 20:& gnore t-e -stogram5 Sngle -stograms are dangero/sly
2007 KenRockwell.com 50 converted by Sndor Nagy
0 /se a sngle -stogram as a sm.lfed e"am.le. :ONJ4 /se a -stogram to set e".os/re
/nless yo/ -ave a color 6RK!7 -stogram5
-,++.NG ,='*-U",
6arninB% 0 s-ow a sngle -stogram to sm.lfy. :ONJ4 /se a sngle -stogram to set
e".os/re5 Oo/ need a color -stogram& ot-erwse yo/ may overe".ose colored areas and
not know t. Read on to 'olor <stograms 6.age #)7 after yo/ read t-s.
'ontrary to yo/r camera man/al& t-e -stogram doesnJt -ave to be n t-e mddle. !lack
cats n coal mnes may only /se t-e left -alf. Snow scenes may only /se t-e rg-t -alf.
4-e crtcal t-ng for w-c- a -stogram s -el.f/l s to determne f any -g-lg-ts -ave been
cl..ed and was-ed o/t. Overe".os/re s deat- for a dgtal mage. <stograms make t-s
easy to c-eck. 0f yo/ -ave was-ed*o/t areas of 900U w-te 6dgtal val/e 2@@7 yo/Jll see a
tall vertcal lne at t-e far rg-t of t-e -stogram.
0f yo/ blow an mage to smt-ereens yo/Jll see more t-an =/st one lne .eaked on t-e rg-t.
Oo/ may see a tran wreck5
2007 KenRockwell.com 5( converted by Sndor Nagy
2007 KenRockwell.com 5/ converted by Sndor Nagy
Red/ce e".os/re f yo/ see cl..ng. 4ry to get t-e -stogram as close to t-e rg-t sde as
.ossble wt-o/t to/c-ng t.
0f yo/r scene looks too dark w-en yo/ do t-s t-ere s no correct e".os/re1 t-e sceneJs
dynamc range 6lg-tng rato7 s too great. 0n t-ese cases .rofessonals wll correct t-e
lg-tng by addng fll lg-t to t-e s-adows and2 or /sng scrms to dm t-e -g-lg-ts.
,mate/rs scramble to attem.t to ncrease t-e dynamc range of t-er cameras /sng -oc/s
.oc/s lke my ncreasng dynamc range trck.
, lttle bt of cl..ng s OK on t-ngs lke t-e -g-lg-ts of s/n dancng on water or t-e dsk
of t-e s/n. 'l..ng broad areas lke someoneJs fore-ead looks awf/l and often s-fts
colors. 4-s s art and yo/Jll -ave to learn w-at looks good to yo/. 4-ere s no law& so donJt
worry abo/t beng scentfcally correct.
$ook closely and yo/Jll see a .eak on t-e left at 900U black& even w-en overe".osed. 4-s
s t-e dark s-adow on t-e left of t-e .-oto. 4-s s-ows t-at t-e cameraJs contrast needs to
be lowered& or better stll& add fll lg-t n t-e s-adows. 4-s s w-y yo/ wo/ld see t-ree
-/ge tr/cks f/ll of electrc generators and lg-tng eH/.ment f t-s was a <ollywood move
s-oot. 0t takes a lot of artfcal lg-tng to make a scene look nat/ral on camera. 'ameras
res.ond very dfferently t-an o/r eyes.
+s/ally an mage s /ndere".osed f no c-annel of t-e -stogram goes all t-e way to t-e
rg-t. 0mages t-at are too dark are easy to correct laterQ =/st drag t-e rg-t slder n
P-otos-o.Js $evels command to t-e left to meet t-e edge of t-e -stogram.
Overe".osed dgtal mages are almost /seless. ,nyt-ng t-at was-es o/t to w-te s gone
forever. 4-ere s no way to drag P-otos-o.Js $evel slder to t-e rg-t of t-e rg-t sde
beca/se t-ereJs no data o/t t-ere beyond 2@@.
12&< 7ow to Use )olor 7istoBrams
0 e".lan bascs of -stograms at <ow to +se <stograms 6.age 7(7. Read t frst. 4-s .age
2007 KenRockwell.com 50 converted by Sndor Nagy
covers t-e s.ecfcs of color -stograms.
'olor -stograms are t-ree se.arate -stograms& one eac- for t-e R& K and ! c-annels.
4-ey -el. determne correct e".os/re n an nstant.
Sngle -stograms& .o./lar n many cameras& are msleadng and worse t-an /seless for
color .-otogra.-y. 4-s s beca/se sngle -stograms can ndcate correct e".os/re w-le
colored areas can be -deo/sly overe".osed5
67K K*U N,,D )*(*" :K"G0 or "G0; 7.-+*G"12-
2007 KenRockwell.com 54 converted by Sndor Nagy
%istograms in the left column& NkonsJ sngle -stogram only looks at t-e green c-annel.
4-e green c-annel looks fne -ere. 6,ct/ally 0 need a better e"am.le beca/se t-e green
c-annel s a tny bt overe".osed as well.7 4-e red c-annel& gnored by earler Nkons and
ot-er dgtal cameras& s com.letely oblterated wt- overe".os/re.
2007 KenRockwell.com 53 converted by Sndor Nagy
%istograms in the right column& 0n t-s e"am.le all colors& es.ecally red& are correctly
e".osed. 4-s wood snJt t-at red. 4-s .roblem s worse wt- more sat/rated colors.
Nkons -ave -ad a drty lttle secret for years. ,ll t-e earler dgtal S$Rs& w-c- means t-e
:9I& :@0& :900& :70s& etc.& only read a -stogram for t-e green c-annel5 4-ese cameras
com.letely gnored red and bl/e5 4-s s easy to see1 ./ll /. t-e mage n P-otos-o. and
com.are to t-e cameraJs -stogram. 0t matc-es t-e green c-annel.
4-s s awf/l beca/se any color ot-er t-an green can overe".ose and yo/ wonJt know t
from t-e -stogram. ?orse& f yo/ donJt look at t-e .-oto& t-e -stogram alone can lead yo/
to overe".ose and destroy yo/r mages5
Newer Nkons& lke t-e :200 and :2I& -ave color -stograms. Fven t-e 'aso .ocket
cameras -ave t-em.
;ost dgtal cameras -ave /seless sngle*color -stograms. 0 gnore t-em and look at t-e
mage on t-e $': nstead.
:tto for blnkng -g-lg-ts1 on cameras wt- sngle -stograms t-e blnkng s only lookng
at one c-annel. Oo/ can -ave gross overe".os/re t-at never blnks5
Oo/ need to -ave a -stogram t-at s-ows eac- of t-e R& K and ! c-annels. Sngle c-annel
-stograms donJt s-ow w-en =/st one color s overe".osed.
;ost camera makers call color -stograms MRK!.M 0 call t-em ORK! snce t-ey also s-ow
l/mnance& called MOM by engneers& w-c- s t-e combned val/e of R&K and !. 'aso
cameras and Nkon :200 and :2 seres -ave f/ll ORK! -stograms& alt-o/g- t-e Nkons
c-eat and stll /se t-e green c-annel for O. %/st look at t1 t-e O -stogram s dentcal to t-e
green one.
'olor -stograms can be lad o/t many ways. Some cameras& lke Nkon& se.arate t-em as
above. Ot-er cameras& lke t-e 'asos& ./t colored lnes on t-e same gra.-.
",1D.NG 67.+, 01(1N), 9"*2 1 7.-+*G"12
Oo/ need a color -stogram to do t-s.
?-en yo/ s-oot a flat card yo/Jll see a s.ke n eac- color c-annelJs -stogram.
Oo/Jre balanced 6ne/tral7 f t-e s.ke -a..ens n t-e same .lace n eac- c-annel. 0f not&
yo/Jre not balanced. 4-s s easy1 f t-e red c-annel s too far to t-e rg-t 6too lg-t7 yo/
-ave too m/c- red. Oo/ get t-e .ct/re.
Oo/ donJt even need a card. $ook at yo/r -stograms. 0f all sto. at t-e same .ont t-en yo/r
-g-lg-ts are ne/tral. 0f not& yo/r -g-lg-ts arenJt ne/tral. Obvo/sly f yo/ -ave sky yo/Jll
see t-e bl/e c-annel f/rt-er off to t-e rg-t.
2007 KenRockwell.com 54 converted by Sndor Nagy
12&10 7ow to Use a DiBital )amera as an ,4ternal
(iBht 2eter
see also
$g-t ;eters 6.age 777
4-e Pone System 6.age A(7
+sng t-e Nkon S.ot ;eter 6.age A#7
FG X $G 6.age 7@7
?-y b/y a se.arate meter w-en yo/ can b/y a com.lete camera wt- a b/lt n meter for
less t-an a se.arate .rofessonal meterE Oes& for t-e same .rce or less as a .ro meter
yo/ can b/y a dgtal .ont*and*s-oot t-at weg-s less and lets yo/ .revew t-e mages for
color and contrast.
,s of October 2003 0 no longer /se my Penta" S.otmeter. 0nstead 0 look at t-e $': screen
of my Nkon :70 and co.y t-at e".os/re for /se wt- my flm camera& .res/mng t-e $':
mage looks as 0 want t. 4-s s better t-an any meterQ t s-ows me t-e effects of lg-tng
and color tem.erat/res and sm/lates my c-romes on a lg-t table.
?atc- for t-ese ss/es1
1.; *5erall #amera #ali>ration. ;y Nkon :70 s rg-t on& and my 'anon ,70 s one sto.
more senstve t-an rated. 4-at means t-at my ,70 set to 0SO @0 s really at 0SO900& so for
Gelva 0 -ave to add a sto. to w-at t-e ,70 at 0SO @0 says. ;ake a few s-ots at varo/s
0SO varatons to see w-c- one matc-es yo/r flm.
2.; 9ilter Da#tors. P/t t-e same flter over t-e lens of t-e dgtal camera. 0f yo/ -ave
dfferent or no flters on one camera t-en be s/re to a..ly t-e dfferences n flter factors.
@.; (iBht +ransmission. Not all lenses transmt all of t-e lg-t& so yo/ may also -ave to
take Mlens factorsM nto acco/nt as well as any a.ert/re calbraton varatons n lenses.
Poom lenses& es.ecally older ones& may lose as m/c- as 22) of a sto. com.ared to f"ed
lenses d/e to lg-t lost as nternal reflectons. 4-s s never a .roblem wt- 44$ S$Rs
beca/se 44$ meterng a/tomatcally corrects& -owever t wll alter t-e readng f yo/ are
tryng to /se t-e readng from one camera on anot-er.
4.; DiDDerinB .-*s. 0tJs /nlkely t-at yo/r .referred dgtal 0SO settng wll =/st -a..en to
matc- yo/r .referred flm. Oo/Jll be s-ootng .-otos wt- yo/r dgcam and not =/st /sng t
as a meter. 0t s c/mbersome to kee. swa..ng 0SOs between w-at matc-es yo/r flm and
w-ere yo/ .refer to s-oot t-e dgcam. 0f yo/ swa. 0SOs yo/ are lkely to forget and /se
t-e wrong settng and waste flm. 0 s/ggest leavng t-e 0SO of t-e dgcam w-ere yo/ .refer
and calc/latng e".os/re conversons n yo/r -ead or /se t-e calc/lator dal on a lg-t
meter. Oo/ even can /se a broken old meter for t-s. 0 /se t-e scales on my Penta"
meters. <ereJs -ow1
2007 KenRockwell.com 51 converted by Sndor Nagy
3a.7 Set t-e dgcamJs effectve 0SO on t-e Penta" meter. Oo/ fg/red o/t t-e effectve 0SO
from tests n 9.7 above& w-c- may or may not be t-e 0SO ndcated on t-e dgcam.
3b.7 Set t-e ndcated e".os/re from t-e dgcam on t-e Penta" scale. :onJt move t-e 0SO
3c.7 Reset t-e 0SO on t-e Penta" meter to yo/r flmJs 0SO. :onJt move t-e $G rng. Now
read t-e flm e".os/re off t-e Penta" scale.
1@ 6hat are -hutter -$eed? 1$erture and .-*H
4-ese ss/es are very sm.le& n fact& so sm.le t-at t-ey conf/se begnners w-o worry
abo/t t-em. 0n t-e old days before 9(#0 yo/ -ad to worry abo/t t-em& b/t today almost all
cameras =/st set t-ese t-emselves n Program mode so we rarely need to bot-er
Rarely does one need to c-ange a.ert/res and s-/tter s.eeds away from w-at t-e camera
c-ooses at t-e Program settng. 0f yo/ do need to c-ange t-ese& most S$R cameras -ave
a knob t-at s-fts among t-e varo/s eH/valent combnatons of a.ert/re and s-/tter
-hutter -$eed s -ow long t-e camera stays o.en to e".ose tself to t-e mage. ;ost of
t-e tme tJs =/st a s-ort fracton of a second. 4-e dmmer t-e lg-t t-e longer t-e camera
needs to collect t to make a good lookng mage. ,t ng-t o/tdoors wt-o/t a flas- t-s can
stretc- nto seconds or mn/tes.
0f yo/ want to c-ange -ow moton s rendered yo/ can /se dfferent s.eeds. 92)0 of a
second looks abo/t nat/ral for r/nnng water. 92@00 of a second free8es everyt-ng. Dor
s.orts /se t-e fastest s.eed yo/ can for most t-ngs /nless yo/ want delberate bl/r.
Several f/ll seconds wll make waves look lke a bg& foggy bl/r.
1$erture s -ow wde t-e lensJ rs o.ens. 4-e wder t o.ens t-e more lg-t gets n. 0tJs
e"actly t-e same t-ng as t-e rs of yo/r eye w-c- o.ens as t-e lg-t gets darker. 4-e
wder t o.ens for t-e same s/b=ect t-e s-orter t-e s-/tter s.eed wll be to get t-e correct
e".os/re. 4-s s beca/se t-e camera c-ooses s-/tter s.eed based on -ow m/c- lg-t
gets nto t-e camera. , brg-ter s/b=ect or wder a.ert/re lets n more lg-t.
!g a.ert/res -ave smaller n/mbers& lke f23. Smaller a.ert/res -ave bgger n/mbers lke
f29A. 4-ese are fractons& so 929A s smaller t-an 923. !g a.ert/res lke f23 wll tend to -ave
=/st one t-ng n foc/s. , smaller a.ert/re lke f29A wll tend to -ave everyt-ng n foc/s.
<ow m/c- s n foc/s s called de.t- of feld.
.-* or 1-1 s -ow senstve yo/r flm or dgtal camera s to lg-t. 4-s de.ends on t-e t-e
flm& and can be c-anged wt- s.ecal develo.ment called ./s-ng or ./llng. :gtal
cameras can be set to almost any 0SO. 0SO s t-e same t-ng as ,S,. ?e /sed ,S, /.
2007 KenRockwell.com 55 converted by Sndor Nagy
t-ro/g- t-e 9(#0s and -ave called t 0SO snce t-en.
+se t-e lowest 0SO t-at gves yo/ t-e a.ert/res and s-/tter s.eeds yo/ need. P/m. /.
t-e 0SO /. to get smaller a.ert/res and faster s-/tter s.eeds. +nlke flm& dgtal
nterc-angeable*lens S$Rs /s/ally look great even at 0SO 9&A00. :onJt be bas-f/l1 crank t
/. and t wll look great.
Dor flm or .ont*and*s-oot dgtal cameras a normal 0SO s @0 or 900. Daster 0SOs are
somet-ng lke 0SO #00 or 9&A00. :gtal S$Rs are more senstve to lg-t t-an flm or f"ed*
lens dgtal cameras& so t-er slowest 0SO s often 0SO 200.
4-e reason yo/ want t-e slowest 0SO s for lack of nose or granness. 4-e faster settngs
often are more grany t-an t-e slower ones.
4-atJs t. 0 -ave no dea w-y .eo.le make t-s so com.lcated. 0t -as very lttle to do wt-
.-otogra.-y. 0f yo/ want to s.end more tme on t-s any book on basc .-otogra.-y
covers t. 0 .refer t-e ,nsel ,damsJ book M4-e 'ameraM -ere.

2007 KenRockwell.com 52 converted by Sndor Nagy