Nikon D300 Camera settings questions.


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Nov 15, 2008
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Near Chicago.
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Hi All,

I'm struggling with what camera settings to use for shooting sports photos with the D300.

I DID learn that I may have to buy a different lens to shoot indoors, because the aperture limits of one one my lenses.(the Nikon 18-55mm) THAT I do understand.

If I am using a 70 - 300 lens and I want a blurred background, shouldn't I be setting the camera on "A", aperture? I must be doing something wrong in the menu or something. Some photos are ok, but it's not consistent.

I turn the dial to the smallest #, (big aperture) before the shot, but I'm getting photos taken at f8, and f10. Shutter speed on most of the shots is 1/800 and 1/640.

I've got the "ISO sensitivity settings" in the menu to high(3200) . Is that right? ISO is set to "auto".
Original:ISO 800 1/800 f10


Here's a gallery. You can see the camera settings if you mouse over the large photo and click the BLUE "I".

Thanks much


I am extremely new to photography and DSLR's but looking at the link you provided all the pictures were taken in shutter priority or normal program---I don't see any in aperture priority. If you click the detailed tab you see what I'm talking about in the exposure program line.

Yes, all of the photos in your gallery are taken in Shutter Priority or Program mode. Aperture mode is the "A" setting on your big mode dial -- that's what you want to choose.

Further questions: why are you setting your ISO to 3200? That's very high, and probably is causing your problems. 3200 will make your camera very sensitive to light, as will a large aperture. It's possible that by forcing the ISO to 3200, your camera can't go to f/2.8 or f/3.5 -- because you'd have too MUCH light coming in.

In general, I would set my ISO to 100 or 200, leave ISO auto on, and let the camera pick the ISO for you if it needs to.
Oh, sorry. I shot some photos at my daughter's badminton tourney.

I DID have it on aperture for that one, and they DO look better. DUH. (The depth of field is better)

I set the ISO lower. Thanks. I thought that that was a LIMIT (max) ISO setting. ?

I learn a little bit with each time I go out shooting. That's good side. :)

Thanks again,

The one thing I noticed from your story is ...... f/10. Why? On a shot such as this you should be at max aperture to isolate your subject from the background...maybe + another 1/3 stop.

The D300 is good up to ISO800 and can find usable images at ISO 1600, but beyond that you are hit and miss. Preferably I like to keep the D300 at or below ISO800. Others may have better story's about the ISO capabilities of the D300, but I haven't seen them yet, and yes that is some pixel peeping involved.

Also, I think you may be better off with Manual shooting mode or Aperture priority in these situations.
You can set how far AUTO-ISO will push your ISO settings. If each of these shots were at a single ISO, something tells me you went into the ISO Sensitivity menu, and changed the base ISO, instead of turning AUTO-ISO on, and setting the max sensitivity instead. Thus, with you shooting at a shutterspeed of 1/800th of a second (overkill for such a light lens), it had to push your aperture up to F/10, as your ISO was already stuck at 800. If you had the ISO at say 200, your shutter speed would have still been 1/800th, but your camera would have dialed "down" your aperture to something like F/4 to let more light in.

Depth of field is controlled by your aperture and your focal length. You do not need to be shooting in aperture mode (or any mode) to achieve this - depth of field is not a function of the cameras modes - it just. . .is. You are going to have a "blurred" (you mean out of focus, not blur) background regardless of what you shoot with that long lens. If you had dialed it down to F/4 though (taken it off shutter priority and instead put it on aperture priority you would have got much more of the effect you are looking for.

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