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Old Jan 16, 2005, 5:43 AM   #1
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read the manual, pressed the button but there doesn't seem to be any effect... can someone post a quick reply? My camera's here and I'd like to try it a tad.
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Old Jan 16, 2005, 12:13 PM   #2
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So that your viewfinder remains brighter, and the camera can "see" to focus better, a camera keeps the aperture to it's largest available setting (represented by the smallest f/stop number) until you actually take a photo. Then, it sets the aperture to the value it's going to use for the photo.

For example, if you were taking a photo in Av Mode at smaller apture (f/5.6, f/8, f/11, f/16, etc.)for better depth of field, the viewfinder would be darker (making it harder to see) if the camera tried to set the aperture smaller before actually taking the photo.

In framing the photo, the camera may be using f/3.5 with the kit lens (a much larger aperture), to keep the viewfinder brighter and help the camera "see" to focus better. But, depth of field is shallower at the larger aperture.

So, in order to see what depth of field would look like when you take the shot at the smalleraperture, you use the depth of field preview button. This closes down the aperture to the settings the camera would use to take the photo. This can give you a better idea of what to expect from a Depth of Field perspective (how much of the scene will be in focus at the aperture selected). Of course, it's still hard to gauge this in a small viewfinder. ;-)

In lower light, in autoexposure modes, the camera is going to select a larger aperture anyway unless you change it to something different. That's why you aren't seeing any difference when using DOF preview.


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Old Jan 16, 2005, 1:22 PM   #3
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i have also tried it but i do notice the darkness. But how do i use the darkness to estimate what will be in focus and what wont?
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Old Jan 16, 2005, 1:50 PM   #4
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You don't use the darkness (that's just a side effect of the smaller aperture opening). You use your eyes to try and judge the amount of the scene that's in focus when stopped down to the aperture setting that you will be taking the photo at.

As I said, it's hard to judge in a small viewfinder.;-)

But, if you were taking a shot using a bright lens at a closer range, or with enough zoom so that your subject is filling the frame more compared to other areasin the scene(where depth of field is very shallow), then you may be able to notice more difference when the lens stops down using DOF preview (if you have the camera setup so that it selects a smaller aperture for the shot).






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Old Jan 16, 2005, 2:54 PM   #5
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ahh yes thanks! the viewfinder is fine horizontal (but when i twist it vertically, its quite hard to use ) Would be nice if it did have a vertical grip and bigger viewfinder hehe. But say with cameras like the d2x, d2h (you would be able to notice this dof preview alot more?)
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Old Jan 16, 2005, 3:50 PM   #6
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JoeB_UK wrote:
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ahh yes thanks! the viewfinder is fine horizontal (but when i twist it vertically, its quite hard to use ) Would be nice if it did have a vertical grip and bigger viewfinder hehe. But say with cameras like the d2x, d2h (you would be able to notice this dof preview alot more?)
LOL -- I don't ownone, so I couldn't tell you.

I used a Nikon 8008s for a while (which I thoughthad a decent viewfinder), and it had DOF preview. Some people swear by it, but I didn't make much use of it.

Right now, my only Nikon SLR body is an N4004s (which doesn't have this feature). For the type of shooting I do, I don't miss it.

It's more handy for closeups to make sure you've got everything you want in focus.

But,if you're doing a lot of portraits, and not shooting wide open, it could be very useful to make sure your background is out of focus at the selected aperture.

I'm sure others have probably used this feature a lot more than me.

I'll tell you what... If you want a better opinion, I'll send my address to you, and you can have a new D2x shipped to me (they should start shipping on February 25th).

I'll make extensive use of this feature, and let you know how well it works with theD2x viewfinder in a variety of conditions over a LONG test period. ;-)

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Old Jan 17, 2005, 1:37 AM   #7
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The change in brightness of the viewfinder is merely a distraction. It helps if you don't look at it while pressing the button. For scenery and landscape work, used in conjunction with calculated hyperfocal distances, it's invaluable to track if the background remains sharp at the chosen focal point.


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Old Jan 17, 2005, 3:59 AM   #8
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Thanks for the comments - my viewfinder does go darker but I'd been expecting some of of computerised darkness visual indicator. :?: I don't think I'll be using this feature much anyhow
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