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I'll be shooting the 2017 eclipse on August 21st with my D200 through a Leica spotting scope as my fixed aperture lens. I was wondering, is there any way to set up shutter speed bracketing rather than exposure bracketing or do I just need a more up-to-date camera? Is there a firmware fix for this?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Which mode did you have the camera in? (P/S/A/M etc?) \$\endgroup\$
    – Philip Kendall
    Jul 13, 2017 at 22:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ The camera is set to M. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 13, 2017 at 23:52

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Yes you can perform shutter speed bracketing, no fix needed. Your camera supports this.

But first, a clarification: exposure bracketing can be accomplished by varying any of the exposure variables (aperture, shutter speed, or ISO). Depending on what exposure mode your camera is in, different parameters will be varied to create the exposure bracket.

According to the D200 User Manual, page 74,

The camera modifies exposure by varying shutter speed and aperture (programmed auto), aperture (shutter-priority auto), or shutter speed (aperture-priority auto, manual exposure mode). When On is selected for Custom Setting b1 (ISO Auto), the camera will automatically vary ISO sensitivity for optimum exposure when the limits of the camera exposure system are exceeded. If Custom Setting e5 (Auto BKT Set) is set AE Only or to AE & Flash and On is selected for Custom Setting b1 (ISO Auto), the camera will vary ISO sensitivity without varying shutter speed or aperture, regardless of the setting chosen for Custom Setting e6.

Thus, set your camera to either aperture priority (A) or manual exposure (M) modes, and the shutter speed will be bracketed. For the eclipse, you're probably following one of the many eclipse exposure guides on the internet, so you'll be in manual (M) mode, and will be manually setting your aperture, ISO, and desired "nominal" shutter speed. Then you can bracket above and below that shutter speed.

Custom setting e6 (Auto Bracketing in M Exposure Mode) is described on page 167:

  • Flash/Speed (default): Camera varies shutter speed (Custom Setting e5 set to AE Only) or shutter speed and flash level (Custom Setting e5 set to AE & Flash).
  • Flash/Speed/Aperture: Camera varies shutter speed and aperture (Custom Setting e5 set to AE Only) or shutter speed, aperture, and flash level (Custom Setting e5 set to AE & Flash).
  • Flash/Aperture: Camera varies aperture (Custom Setting e5 set to AE Only) or aperture and flash level (Custom Setting e5 set to AE & Flash).
  • Flash Only: Camera varies flash level only (Custom Setting e5 set to AE & Flash).
  • If no flash is attached when Custom Setting b1 (ISO Auto) is on, camera will vary ISO sensitivity only, regardless of setting selected.

Therefore, you need to make the following settings:

  • Custom Setting b1 (ISO Sensitivity Auto Control): Off
  • Custom Setting e5 (Auto Bracketing Set): AE Only. AE & Flash (the default) is also fine, since you won't be using flash anyways.
  • Custom Setting e6 (Auto Bracketing in M Exposure Mode): Flash/Speed (the default)
  • Exposure mode set to Manual (M).
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  • \$\begingroup\$ Question for clarification: Will Auto bracketing in M mode work even when the camera can not detect, much less communicate with, the lens? Will it accept the manually entered Av value or will it display the dreaded fee error? \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Jul 13, 2017 at 23:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ @MichaelClark that's a really good question, especially in light of OP mounting the camera with a T-mount. I'm pretty sure there won't be a problem (I don't have anything to T-mount at the moment, but I have T-mounted my Nikon before, and had no problems with setting manual exposure). This discussion, Nikon -t mount on D200?, seems relevant, and the conclusion there is that it shouldn't be a problem. \$\endgroup\$
    – scottbb
    Jul 13, 2017 at 23:26

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