Topic Author
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2012 7:56 pm

Nikon Camera Configuration Issue

Sat Jun 16, 2012 8:04 pm

Hello Everybody,
I am an amateur photographer who travels a lot around the world and takes many pictures of civil airplanes, recently I bought a new Nikon D90 camera which I use with a Nikon af vr nikkor 80-400mm zoom lens. I would love to learn what are the optimum settings for taking pictures of airplanes in motion (take offs and landings) if anyone has any experience with the camera and/or the lens I would appreciate your feedback.
Thanks for your help!
Posts: 344
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2005 8:40 am

RE: Nikon Camera Configuration Issue

Sun Jun 17, 2012 11:49 pm

Hello vgg727,

as I told another poster recently about Nikon settings:

-Exposure mode 'A' and set aperture to f/8. Don't touch the 'scene' modes, that's not what you bought an SLR for.
-ISO 200(highest quality ISO setting with lowest amount of grain)
-AF-A(will detect when what you're shooting is still or moving for you)
-Matrix metering(meters all of your scene not just the center)
-shoot in jpeg fine(can view on your computer right away as opposed to RAW)
-continuous release mode(shutter keeps firing when you keep your finger on the release)

Also, for that 80-400mm, I would engage the focus limiter switch so that your focusing speed improves a little. If your subjects are ALWAYS moving, I would use AF-C instead of AF-A. At least until you get comfortable recognizing when to switch that on your own. Don't shoot in RAW unless you have a converter.

I don't have personal experience with the 80-400mm, but the D90 is an excellent camera. For what it is, the 80-400 does very well based on the photos I've seen taken with it. Enjoy
Posts: 2953
Joined: Tue May 31, 2005 5:17 pm

RE: Nikon Camera Configuration Issue

Tue Jun 19, 2012 1:23 pm

Your question comes up here very often. It is a bit like asking "What gear should I drive my car in?" The true answer is "It all depends" (on the lighting conditions, the subject, distance from the subject, and so on.

Your best approach would be to learn the basics of photography, i.e. the interaction between shutter speed, aperture, ISO (sensor sensitivity), metering, and white balance (colour temperature).

Having said all that, I would suggest that you set the camera to matrix metering, auto white balance, ISO 200 and either aperture priority or shutter priority.

Do not use apertures smaller or larger than f/11 to f/7. Do not use a shutter speed slower than the reciprocal of the lens focal length you are using. For example, if the lens is at 400 mm the shutter speed should not be slower than 1/400th of a second.

If you would like to know WHY I make each of these suggestions, I refer you tomy second paragraph, above.
Nikon D700, Nikkor 80-400, Fuji X Pro 1, Fujinon 35 f/1.4, Fujinon 18 f/2

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