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D5100 DOF in Live View

Now Absent , Jul 31, 2012; 05:23 p.m.

While experimenting with my D5100 and 40mm Micro-Nikkor, I found some interesting behavior that might be useful for macro shooters.

My subject (close and handy) was the face of a tabletop bust of General Grant. I selected max ISO of 6400, Aperture priority mode and f/16 for good DoF. Working in Live View, I closed well into macro range, rough focussed manually, moved the camera until it looked good and fired.

The screen went dark while the image was made. When it came back up, the image was noticeably darker and showed a wider DoF. It looked as if the lens remained at f/16 after the exposure.

Intrigued, I reset the aperture to wide open and took another. Same story, and when the LCD came back up the image was lighter and had very shallow DoF. Clearly the camera "remembers" the last aperture used and leaves it there until the next shot.

I normally leave the camera in Continuous mode, so the next thing was to check if Single made any difference. It was the same story.

I can see how this might be both a problem and an opportunity:

- If you only have one chance to take a macro shot, there is no "real" DoF preview. You'll need to rely on judgement and experience.

- But if you have time, you can make blank exposures until the DoF looks right - sort of preview by default.

- You can also use this as a focusing aid. Having worked out the aperture that gives you the DoF you want, re-set the lens wide open and take a blank shot. Now re-set the aperture and take advantage of the shallow wide-open DoF for precise focusing. Using this I was able to get the shot below after a couple of tries, which I don't think is terrible for 1/20 sec handheld...


d5100, 40mm micro

Responses

C.P.M. van het Kaar , Aug 01, 2012; 03:24 a.m.

The screen went dark while the image was made. When it came back up, the image was noticeably darker and showed a wider DoF. It looked as if the lens remained at f/16 after the exposure

When you take a picture (also in liveview mode ) , the camera shows you the result for a few secs on the LCD or until you depress the shutter (partly) again, unless you switched this of offcourse..
So quetion : are you sure you where not watching the resulting picture on your LCD ?

- If you only have one chance to take a macro shot, there is no "real" DoF preview. You'll need to rely on judgement and experience.

Does the D5100 not have a DOF check button ?
I do not own a D5100, so i cannot check that..

Now Absent , Aug 01, 2012; 05:52 a.m.

So quetion : are you sure you where not watching the resulting picture on your LCD ?

Yes. I keep "Image Review" off normally.

Does the D5100 not have a DOF check button ?

No, it does not unfortunately.

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