Not Your Everyday Banana

by Bart Arondson

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I shoot on a Canon, but I have a special "assignment" tomorrow where I'll have to shoot on a Nikon D700. I'm completely new to Nikons... so I pretty much have 12 hours to get familiarized with it.

The project involves digitizing a bunch of 35mm slides (you know, the ones you put into those projectors circa 1970s). There's a nice mount and everything set up already. The only thing I'm unsure how to do is setting up HDR bracketing. The client would like each photograph to be taken at f/5.6 (or whichever aperture gives the sharpest image), and then one stop up and one stop down.

I know my Canon brackets exposures by varying shutter speeds. Is there anyway to "bracket" by varying aperture? My Canon can do this if I put it in Tv mode but then I can't select the aperture I want — in essence, I'd like to bracket by aperture in full manual mode.

In addition, I don't know if the D700 is capable of doing this but can I set it up to name my files the following way:

IMG_001-1 IMG_001-2 IMG_001-3 IMG_002-1 IMG_002-2 IMG_002-3

etc... where -1, -2, -3 corresponds to different exposures of the same image.

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If you shoot in Manual or Aperture Priority mode, the D700 will adjust the shutter speed. If you are in Shutter Priority, it will adjust the aperture.

It's unusual to shoot HDR with varying aperture, as the changing DOF can cause unwanted effects. I guess DOF isn't really a consideration in what you're doing, but still - if f/5.6 is the sharpest, I would imagine you would use that for all three shots and just vary the shutter speed.

I don't know much about digitizing slides, but I would imagine the dynamic range you are trying to capture doesn't warrant HDR either, does it?

I don't think you can name the files automatically like you want, but you can change the order of the bracketed shots. I think be default it's the metered exposure first, followed by the underexposed one, then over exposed one (assuming a set of 3). You can change this to under-, metered, over if that's preferable.

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