Help with Nikon apperture allowance

stsinner

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Why the heck would I put two p's in the word aperture? Oh well, moving on.....

Well, I was ecstatic to receive my new Nikkor AF 50 1.8 to replace my 50 1.8 Series E manual focus train wreck today, but to my dismay, I get the error FEE when I try to take the aperture ring off of 22. The 22 setting does have a locking slide, which would indicate, I'd imagine, that it's the default setting, but why won't my camera let me take the aperture up to 1.8?

I'm about to call Nikon, but I figured I'd ask here first so that others could benefit from the no doubt awesome insight my TPF neighbors will provide.

Thanks for the help.
 
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kundalini

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Set and lock the aperture ring on f/22. Then use the command wheels on the camera body to adjust the aperture. It's the electronics that control the aperture, not the mechanical.
 
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stsinner

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Set and lock the aperture ring on f/22. Then use the command wheels on the camera body to adjust the aperture. It's the electronics that control the aperture, not the mechanical.

That does seem to work fine, but do you get the true "fast" nature of the lens with such a small aperture? Is the aperture ring for film only?
 

Kegger

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Lock the aperture ring at 22 for modern cameras. You can stop it down to 1.8 with the camera controls, just like any other lens.

The aperture ring is used for full manual cameras.
 

tsaraleksi

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The aperture control for the lens is exactly the same as for your other lenses that may not have an aperture ring.
 
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stsinner

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Thanks for the help. I won't try to wrap my brain around how the digital cameras can simulate such a huge hole at 1.8 with utilizing the tiny hole that 22 provides. It seems to work, and that's really all that maters.
 

Helen B

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It isn't simulated, it is real. The lens is wide open for viewing, then it is stopped down to the required aperture immediately before the shutter opens. The aperture ring on the lens sets the smallest aperture (highest f-number) the lens can be stopped down to by the body, therefore if it is set to f/22 the lens can be set to anywhere between fully open (f/1.8 in this case) and f/22 by the body. This enables the lens to maintain compatibility with older bodies that had no aperture setting on them - the body simply allowed the lens to stop down to the working aperture (which had been set on the lens) immediately before the shutter was opened.

Best,
Helen
 
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stsinner

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So, Helen, you're saying that the physical blades of the aperture are being open up and closed down automatically by the body, and not just electronically simulating this?
 

Helen B

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Yes. The blades of the iris are wide open until you press the shutter release. The body then 'tells' the lens to close the iris. In the good old days* the iris closed down to whatever aperture had been set on the aperture ring. Later bodies were able to control exactly how far the aperture was closed down. (I'm referring to Nikon SLRs here). The lens aperture ring still sets a limit, however, because that limit is needed for those bodies that do not control the aperture, or if the lens is used in a way that it can't be controlled by the body (on a bellows for example).


*In the really good old days there was no such thing as 'auto aperture', and there still isn't on some lenses. The photographer has to stop down to the working aperture before taking the picture because there is no link between the body and the aperture.

Look at the back of the lens. There's a little lever. Play with it - it opens and closes the iris. Now move the aperture ring...

Best,
Helen
 

TBAM

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Your camera (although I don't own a Nikon) should have an aperture preview button which closes the aperture blades to the desired aperture whilst not taking a shot.

Because the blades are always open in auto-aperture on the lens, when you look through your viewfinder, even though you're at f22 on your camera body, it will show through the viewfinder as though you are at f1.8.

If you look through the viewfinder and press the aperture preview (or depth of field preview) button, you will see the image darken and adjust to what aperture you have selected.

I have an old 70s Zuiko f1.8 lens that is connected to my new digital camera via an adapter. There is no communication between the lens and the camera at all. I have to set the aperture via the aperture ring before composing the photo and dialing in my settings.

Although the advantage is, that the image through the viewfinder is always going to have the same depth of field / aperture appearance of the photo I take.

One problem with modern lenses with large aperture's that I find, is that when on auto focus, when you have such shallow depth of field, you might miss the focus you're actually trying to get.

You focus on the nose and the camera autofocuses based on that distance, then when you get your picture back, the whole face is out of focus except for the nose.

Sure you can then dial it back and reshoot, but I like the advantage of always knowing what the depth of field is going to be like on my camera.

Manually adjusting the aperture isn't such a nusance anyways.

Anyways, enough rambling.
 

rubbertree

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Did you get a manual with your lens? If so, it describes all this this in the manual.
 

bhop

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Even when you twist the ring in old manual cameras it doesn't change the aperture in the lens until you press the shutter. How would you compose or focus if you were looking through an f/22 sized hole?
 
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stsinner

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Well, thank you, everyone! I learned a ton! I took my lens off slowly while looking in the lens and watched the blades close down.. I thought that the ring set the aperture, but now I know that it sets the limit. Very valuable answers, and I appreciate it (and feel pretty dumb at the same time..)
 

TBAM

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Even when you twist the ring in old manual cameras it doesn't change the aperture in the lens until you press the shutter. How would you compose or focus if you were looking through an f/22 sized hole?

That's not entirely true, many manual cameras have manual aperture rings that are not operated by the camera and have no "auto" aperture mode.

Have you ever pressed your aperture preview button whilst looking through the viewfinder?

Nothing changes except the screen gets darker and the depth of field is as it should be with the allocated aperture.

If you manually step down the aperture and look through the viewfinder, there isn't a big blackness with a small hole. You're essentially seeing what the sensor sees when it takes a picture, except you don't have the benefit of prolonged exposure via an extended shutter speed. The view would only get darker due to the reduced aperture.

The lens focuses through the aperture hole, regardless of it's size so that you never see the aperture blades in the shot.

So, you should be able to focus and compose your image at f22 just as much as at f1.8 providing there is enough light to still see through the viewfinder.
 

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