Macro lens only operates at minimum F stop setting - why?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by ted_smith, Oct 21, 2006.

  1. ted_smith

    ted_smith TPF Noob!

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    Hi

    Apologies for asking such a daft question, but I have just bought my first Macro lense. It's the Nikon Nikor Micro 60mm AF lense.


    My camera is a non-fancy 35mm F65 Nikon SLR.


    I am trying to understand why the lense only functions when stopped down to f32? If I set the lens to any other f stop I get 'fEE' blinking in the LCD and viewfinder which apparenty means (according to http://photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=00GJzs&tag=) that 'CPU Nikor lense is not set to it's minimum aperature'. Remedy - set to minimum aperature. And sure enough, it works when I do that.


    But what I don't understand, is why are the other f stops there to choose from if I cannot use them? Also, the camera itself reports different f values depending on the light etc.


    I'm sorry for being such a dumbo, but I've never had such a fancy lense before. My other two lenses do not have ring stops on them - I set the f stop via the camera body. My former Olympus OM-10 did not have automatic features.


    What's confusing me, I guess, is that there's two f stop values. One on the barrel, and one on the camera?


    Can anyone explain, or give me some URLS to a Macro HOW TO?


    Thanks a lot - great site.


    Ted
    (PS I have read the manual, but it does not explain fully - only IRO of mounting the lense on certain bodies may not be possible while it's locked).
     
  2. dsp921

    dsp921 TPF Noob!

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    You set the lens to the minimum aperture and use the camera body to select the desired aperture for the shot. You will get the aperture that the camera shows, not the lens. Set the lens to the minimum, f/32 in this case, and forget it. With the auto features the aperture control is in the body.
     
  3. ted_smith

    ted_smith TPF Noob!

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    Thanks dsp,. I assume, then, that the f stops on the barrel are merely for use on non-automatic cameras?
     
  4. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    No, you can use it manually on your camera as well. You need to lock the aperture ring at minimum aperture for program or auto exposure modes. If you use an aperture priority or manual mode you can unlock the aperture ring and use it normally.
     
  5. dsp921

    dsp921 TPF Noob!

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    This does not work on my D200 nor my D70s, Aperture priority or not, if the lens isn't at minimum I get fEE, I have to set the aperture on the body. Same deal for manual mode. Is it just the film bodies that allow the ring to be used?
     
  6. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    That's right, your cameras are digital and don't use aperture rings at all. The lenses made for the digital cameras don't even have them any longer.
     
  7. dsp921

    dsp921 TPF Noob!

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    The G series lenses don't use them either. What's the advantage of using the ring? Is there one?
     
  8. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    In the old days, that's how we did it. Old timers are often comfortable with doing things in the old way. I still long for the match needle meter, aperture ring and shutter speed dial. It isn't a big deal but I made millions of exposures using them.

    The last 35mm film cameras I had were a Nikon F5 and F100 from the late 90's. I didn't use autofocus on either one of them even though they were so equipped as were the lenses. I set my exposure with aperture rings and shutter speed dials just out of habit. One thing I liked about those cameras is that the photographer could use them in the old way or the new way as he saw fit.

    I often used a manual spot meter because I trusted it. I still have it and I still use it from time to time. I was comfortable with making exposure compensations by choosing where to meter rather than to go up or down from an average, wide angle meter reading. Just like we use a histogram today to see the dynamic range of lighting on our subject, we used the spot meter in the old days to do the same thing. If you think about it, Ansel Adams' zone system was really a treatise on how to use a histogram - just that the histogram hadn't been incorporated into photography yet.

    I can't think of any real advantage to the old way. It is just the old way. Photography hasn't changed much but the operating methods for the equipment has changed quite a bit. The current equipment is impressive and works just fine from my perspective.
     
  9. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    All true any of the newer cameras use dials to control aperture this is probably the most common question people come into the Ritz camera that I work at with.
     
  10. ted_smith

    ted_smith TPF Noob!

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    Hi guys

    I'm glad that my thread has generated some interesting discussion.

    I am however, quite confused though. My camera is an F65 Nikon 35mm file camera. And I cannot use the f stops on the barrel at all - not even if I switch to Manual or Aperature control.

    As has been said earlier, for the last 10 years or more I've been used to an old Olympus OM-10 and am used to using the f stops on the barrel manually to take my photos. I like my Nikon (even though it's old by todays digital standards) and have taken some great snaps with it. But I would like to be able to use the f stops on the barrel if I choose to. Just because that's what I'm used to.

    fmw -

    This is what I'm trying to achieve with this Macro lense and it is how I am used to taking pics. Yet it seems I'm unable to d so with my Nikon F65. But you say you were able to using your F5 body? Are they much different to the F65?

    Sorry for the confusion.

    Cheers

    Ted
     
  11. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I don't know since I never used your model. But I was able to use the aperture ring on every Nikon film camera I ever owned - many of them. F5, F100, N80 and everything earlier. Perhaps the F65 is a newer model. The first camera I owned that wouldn't use it was the Fuji S1 - a digital camera.

    If yours will not, then you need to use the wheel and the electronic aperture settings.

    I do own and use a 60mm micro nikkor with a D50 and it works just like it should - but with no aperture ring. I used the very same lens with the aperture ring on the cameras I mentioned above.
     
  12. dsp921

    dsp921 TPF Noob!

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    If your camera doesn't support it there isn't anything you can do about it. If your other lenses have no aperture ring you'll get used to setting it on the body soon enough. Your best bet is to read the manual and see what it says.
     

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