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D600 auto ISO?

Alex Zepeda , Oct 13, 2012; 11:36 p.m.

I should probably preface this with: yes, I'll dig up the manual and read it, but in the interim I'll ask here.

I took my 105/2.5 AI out for a spin today. Set the camera to "Auto ISO", minimum shutter speed to auto (biased as far towards 'fast' as possible), maximum ISO of 6400, aperture priority mode. Now, with the AF lenses I've got the camera seems to do a pretty good job of keeping the shutter speed up dependent upon focal length. But with the 105, I found myself in a few situations where it'd set the ISO to 160, and shutter speed to as low as 1/30th. Unfortunately this is the longest non-CPU lens I've got, and the only non-AIS one. The focal length and aperture were recorded properly in the EXIF data.

Is this expected behavior with any non-CPU lens? A bug with AI lenses specifically? User error?


john cox , Oct 14, 2012; 12:38 a.m.

I've had speeds of 1/30 at 160 ISO (sometimes a lower ISO) on my 50 1.4 D lens, so I think this can happen with anything using auto ISO.
I've decided to just put the camera in Manual and set it to 1/125 and play with the aperture as I would if it was aperture priority, letting the ISO adjust.

D.B. Cooper , Oct 14, 2012; 01:04 a.m.

I should probably preface this with: yes, I'll dig up the manual and read it, but in the interim I'll ask here.

My interim answer is: see the Nikon D600 manual, p. 107, 3rd sentence under "3 Adjust Settings".

Alex Zepeda , Oct 14, 2012; 02:02 a.m.

Oh. Wow. That's unbelievably brain dead. From TFM:

If Auto (available only with CPU lenses; equivalent to 1/30 s when a non-CPU lens is used) is selected, the camera will choose the minimum shutter speed based on the focal length of the lens

Why even bother inputting the focal length for non-CPU lenses then? :(

Alan Olander , Oct 14, 2012; 09:48 a.m.

"Why even bother inputting the focal length for non-CPU lenses then? :("

To allow standard matrix metering and for the EXIF data. What all do you want from a manual lens!?

Rodeo Joe , Oct 14, 2012; 10:05 a.m.

Perhaps you should have paid extra for the D800, which allows you to set any minimum shutter speed you like in the Auto-ISO menu options.

Be that as it may, if you want control over the shutter speed as well as the aperture, that's what the M mode is for.

Landrum Kelly , Oct 14, 2012; 01:40 p.m.

Or just avoid auto ISO entirely. I hate exposure surprises.


Alex Zepeda , Oct 14, 2012; 02:09 p.m.

Joe, you can set the minimum shutter speed with Auto ISO on the D600 as well. Unfortunately, this falls apart if you intend to use the D600 as an interchangeable lens camera.

It is simply awkward as the non-CPU lens info is stored separately from the custom settings. On the D200 you can store the non-CPU focal length + aperture + Auto ISO settings for one lens in a custom setting bank (of which there are four). On the D600, you can store nine non-CPU focal lengths... but these are separate from the two(!!) custom settings banks. The convenience is pretty well reduced.

And, yes, I ended up using 'M' + Auto ISO... which still seems silly to me especially as you can adjust the minimum ISO for Auto ISO easily enough. There are tedious workarounds, but really the D600 isn't marketed as a digital successor to the Nikkormat FS.

Alan, it'd be nice if the lens was treated as a first-class citizen. Yes, you can get partial EXIF info. But if memory serves the maximum aperture is not recorded. Yes, you can gain access to some matrix metering. But, you still cannot spot meter on non-center points(!!!) with non-CPU lenses. Center-weighted metering is similarly limited.

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