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Aperture setting of Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF lens with Nikon D5100

Shashikant Narsale , May 02, 2012; 07:17 a.m.

Hi,
I am beginner in photography and I just purchased Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF lens and using it on my Nikon D5100. When I fixed the lens to my D5100 it said no lens set aperture to F22 and lock the aperture ring...So i did it. Then I was not able to rotate the aperture ring to make it 1.8F. I can understand that it is locked on F22 so I can’t move aperture ring. It is ok but I was little worried but then i was able to change the aperture to F1.8 in the camera settings (D5100) in A priority mode or M Mode.
Everything was fine but keeping the aperture at F1.8 i turned off the camera and opened the lens to check whether the aperture has really opened up completely. But i found that it was small hole which is equal to F22.
I did some experiment to check the lens's diaphragm with view finder and live mode, (To see bigger or smaller Aperture hole from the front of the lens while lens is attached to the camera and changing aperture setting from camera), When I turn live button on than I saw through the lens and found that the lens's diaphragm (aperture) is very tiny hole. After that I turn off the live button, so I can see through the viewfinder and checked for lens's diaphragm (Aperture) and found that it is widely open aperture at 1.8, how is it possible when aperture ring is locked on F22? It supposed to tiny hole at F22. I tried different aperture value from camera but I can found only big hole (the lens's diaphragm) and tiny hole from the lense.
If camera control the aperture than why lens is locked at F22 and why I can’t see middle range hole (aperture) from the lense.
Now my question is ... Does changing the aperture in D5100 really changing the aperture or its just shows at F1.8 on viewfinder or screen but in reality its still F22. Why when i open the lens at F1.8 setting in D5100 the aperture hole is still small=F22 ?
When the lens is attached and the camera is on i cannot see/verify that aperture has really opened up..
I may sound wierd but i want to make sure i am really using F1.8 aperture on my D5100.
Does it make any difference of using live view and viewfinder for this 50 mm 1.8D lens on Nikon D5100?
How can I achieve sharp photo with this lens I mean no background blur while subject in focus?
How can I use multiple focus point (Red dots that I see through viewfinder) to make 2 or more subject (Like Group of people photo) in focus?
Thanks in advance for kind reply…

Regards,
Shashikant
India

Responses


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mark kittleson , May 02, 2012; 07:44 a.m.

Hi and welcome!
To simplify my answer.....As long as your pictures are turning out ok, I suspect that nothing is wrong. Your camera needs to have the lens set at F22 to have correct metering as you use it. The meter has to base its readings off of the lens opening at the time of exposure....when you press the shutter release the camera automatically opens up the lens accordingly for proper exposure. It also opens the lens up for the maximum amount of light for you to be able to use the viewfinder effieciently.
How do you get the sharp photo with no background blur? Shoot at F11 or F16
Multiple focus points for group photo? I believe that if you shoot the P mode it will do that.
Enjoy your fine camera, you will be happy with it!
Regards, Mark

Stephen Lewis , May 02, 2012; 08:01 a.m.

The best advice anyone can give you, besides answering your immediate question is to read and reread the users manual. There is a wealth of information in there, some of which isn't readily apparent on first reading. As you get to know your camera, you might want to either take a short course in photography or get a good beginners book or join a photography club where other users can help you begin to understand the fundamental skills you will need to master to generate consistently good photos. And, of course, PN users are always ready to help with specific questions...and the learning tutorials should keep you busy for a while as well.

Peter Hamm , May 02, 2012; 08:31 a.m.

The amera and lens are behaving normally.

The camera has a lever that opens the aperture up to whatever the camera (or you, in manual mode) have desired. You can't, on that camera, control the aperture from the lens aperture ring, it must be controlled by the camera.

I want to address your last question, though. You can NOT focus on two points at the same time. You need to compromise one or the other or both. Shooting with proper depth of field for a given situation is key. Again, read and re-read your camera manual, it will help.

Unfortunately, your camera will NOT Autofocus that lens, and to be honest, if you are just starting out, I recommend an AF lens. The kit lens is probably great to practice with, and if you want a "standard prime", the 35mm f1.8G is an EXCELLENT match to that camera.

Rodeo Joe , May 02, 2012; 09:07 a.m.

To reiterate what's just been said, your lens is working exactly as it should, and there's no need to worry. Even with the aperture ring set and locked to f/22, the lens will open up to f/1.8 when you attach it to the camera. You can easily verify this is happening by simply looking into the lens while it's on the camera. You'd also get a very dim, almost unusable, viewfinder image if the lens really was stopped down to f/22.
Whatever aperture you set on the camera is applied to the lens via a little lever, but only for the very short time of the exposure.

WRT lack of autofocus: If you can cope with manual focus, then go with it. At one time, not so long ago, AF was a technological pipedream and the only focusing method was to turn the lens barrel by hand. Nobody died because of it, and great pictures were still taken by the tens of thousand!

Shashikant Narsale , May 02, 2012; 09:32 a.m.

Thanks a lot for all your responses.... and i appreciate and very thankful for guidance...

Rodeo Joe: Thanks alot for reiterating the response and now i am very clear on how camera aperture work with prime lens in manual settings...
I am very happy with purchasing of this Nikkor 50mm 1.8D lens and cleared my doubts after reading following line:
"Whatever aperture you set on the camera is applied to the lens via a little lever, but only for the very short time of the exposure."
Again Thank you Rodeo Joe and all responses i got here....

Samuel Lipoff , May 02, 2012; 09:43 a.m.

Yup, everything is working as it should. You set the aperture ring to f/22, and lock it, but then the camera controls the aperture from there. It will stay open to its maximum (f/1.8) during focusing, but if you've set it to a smaller aperture it will close down right before you take the photo. It stays at the maximum aperture to provide the brightest viewfinder image (for both you and for the AF system). If you set the aperture to an intermediate value like f/5.6, hold the camera so the lens is pointing towards you, and trigger the shutter release in a room with enough light, you'll be able to see the lens stop down as it takes the photo.

I agree with Rodeo Joe's suggestion about manual focus, but I will point out that in those halcyon days of manual focus, MF-only lenses had a better physical focusing action, camera viewfinders were larger and brighter, and optical focus aids like split image screens and micro-prisms were standard. The focus assist dot (the green dot that will appear in the lower-lefthand corner of the viewfinder when the image is focused on the selected focus point) partially makes up for that, although the single dot on the D5100 is harder to use than the >.< system on the higher-end bodies. So you can definitely manual focus with a 50mm f/1.8 AF-D on a D5100, but it is harder than manual focusing with a 50mm f/1.8 Ai-S on a Nikon FE back in 1984, except that today you can see the result instantly and adjust.

John Tran , May 02, 2012; 09:59 a.m.

Your question is: i want to make sure i am really using F1.8 aperture
The perfect answer is: change the aperture to F1.8 in the camera settings (D5100) in A priority mode or M Mode.

Your concern is: i turned off the camera and opened the lens to check whether the aperture has really opened up completely. But i found

The fact is: the camera wont control the lens when you turn it off and remove the lens

how is it possible when aperture ring is locked on F22

The ring is locked, not the aperture

Why when i open the lens at F1.8 setting in D5100 the aperture hole is still small=F22 ?

You have not opened the lens,you only chose a number 1.8 in the camera system. It is the same as when you set shutter speed 1/60(for example) or 1/2000, the shutter is still closed tightly, nothing happens. So will the aperture opens wider? and when? Yes, it will and it opens right before the shutter is open

I tried different aperture value from camera but I can found only big hole (the lens's diaphragm) and tiny hole from the lense

The aperture value you chose is for the shot, not for the view. And shooting and viewing are two things very different.In fact you can not shoot and view at the same time

How can I achieve sharp photo with this lens

Believe it or not: don't use F1.8, use F16

Peter Hamm , May 02, 2012; 10:14 a.m.

Believe it or not: don't use F1.8, use F16

No, don't. f16 smaller with this lens is into diffraction territory even on my D90, probably moreso on a D7000.

f11 or f13 is about has far down as I'd go with this lens... but... the whole reason you put a fast lens on a camera is to shoot at wide apertures. I find that f2.2 - f4 is GREAT on this lens (especially if you want to throw backgrounds out of focus). f5.6 to f8 is probably as sharp as any lens can be on a camera such as a 5100.

But... I would not use this lens on a D5100, because the D5100 is not a camera that's made for manually focusing fast lenses, and focusing errors won't show up in the viewfinder (everything looks like f2.8 on those things). I'd consider a lens that will AF with that camera if you want to shoot anything moving, especially for a beginner. If there's any way you can sell or return this lens and get a 35mm f1.8G or 50mm f1.8G (if you have to have that length), I would.

John Tran , May 02, 2012; 10:41 a.m.

f2.2 - f4 is GREAT on this lens (especially if you want to throw backgrounds out of focus

But what the OP really wants is:
How can I achieve sharp photo with this lens I mean no background blur while subject in focus?

In fact, he wants: to make 2 or more subject in focus?
That means DOF is the concern here, not diffraction


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