I have a rather trusty Nikon D3, we've been through 180k actuations together. But I have a question, which i'm really hoping i've not been missing all these years.

Is there a way to program the body to cycle the aperture values say 2.8/4/8, in a burst. Sort of exactly the same functionality of Bracketing but with apertures.

I, pretty much always shoot in Aperture Priority but I am aware that to a limited extend bracketing will adjust the aperture when it adjusts the exposure if i'm using Program mode.

I'm normally only dealing with wildlife, and nothing is going to get upset except me if the shot would have been nice with a slightly more "lost" background, or a bit quicker on the shutter. But i've been asked to do a friends wedding and i'm just trying to set my camera up to take a range of shots that should yield the best results.


  • \$\begingroup\$ I think if you use shutter priority, set the camera to bracket in full stops, and then set the ISO + shutter speed you need to yield the middle aperture value it will do what you are asking. Of course you would need to pay attention to the viewfinder every time the light changes to see what aperture the meter selects after you select a particular shutter speed or ISO... \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Commented May 28, 2015 at 23:03

1 Answer 1


My Nikon D700, which I assume is similar in function to your D3, brackets around aperture (f/2.8, 4, 5.6, etc.) and holds the shutter speed to the one I selected when set to Shutter Priority mode. It brackets around shutter speed (1/125, 1/250, 1/500, etc.) and holds the aperture I selected when set to Aperture Priority mode.

These examples assume a 1.0 f/stop interval for bracketing. My D700 can also be set for 1/3 f/stop or 2/3 f/stop intervals.

I suspect your D3 is the same and I suggest you try it to confirm.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I've just tried your suggestion, with the camera set to a fixed shutter speed, the aperture remained at 2.8, but the exposure was modified. \$\endgroup\$
    – Adrian_H
    Commented May 29, 2015 at 16:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ If the aperture was fixed at f/2.8 and the shutter speed remained as set by you, how did the exposure change? Does the EXIF information hold any clues? Did the ISO change? Does it perform as expected if you set the ISO to fixed instead of auto? \$\endgroup\$
    – chili555
    Commented May 29, 2015 at 18:01

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