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Thread: Auto Bracketing in Manual Mode - D90

  1. #1
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    Auto Bracketing in Manual Mode - D90

    Hey all! First time posting so I hope this is the right spot.

    I have been trying to bracket with my D90 for in order to end up with a -4 -2 0 +2 +4 sequence but am having a hard time doing so in Manual mode. When I try it under Aperture priority, all I have to do is set my bracketing to -2/+2 and dial -2 exposure compensation and fire 3 shots. That will give me -4 -2 0. Then I set +2 exposure compensation and fire another 3 shots and end up with 0 +2 +4. But when in Manual mode, setting my exposure compensation to -2 doesn't affect the exposure.

    The reason why I want to do it under manual mode is because when starting the bracketing sequence, I want to start it at a good balanced exposure with no clipped highlights or shadows. I want that "0" exposure to be a perfect exposed shot. Under aperture priority, sometimes that is not possible without adjusting exposure compensation. If I am under manual mode, I can take some test shots to find out what's my best starting exposure.

    I hope I am making sense here.

    Thanks!

  2. #2

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    Re: Auto Bracketing in Manual Mode - D90

    Just use EC to tweak the exposure, and then add and subtract 2 to the resulting EC. So if you decide that your desired exposure for the "0" shot requires -0.7 EC, then shoot at -2.7 EC and +1.3 EC. If you make the adjustment by counting clicks, you don't even have to do any math. Adjust EC, and then it's six clicks in one direction and twelve clicks in the other.

  3. #3
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Auto Bracketing in Manual Mode - D90

    Hi "Junior",

    A warm welcome to the CiC forums from me.

    You have discovered the hard way (if I'm correct) that;
    1) the D90 only takes 3 shots as an auto bracket, so you have to do what you have been to get the desired range in 5 (6) shots, and
    2) in Manual mode; EC is meaningless, it doesn't work.

    All you can do is just take five shots, 2 stops apart by varying the shutter speed (and/or iso).

    I am assuming we don't want the Depth of Field changing, hence leaving aperture alone.

    However, I am intrigued at what scene you are shooting that you feel it is necessary to bracket that much for?
    Perhaps you can post an example?

    The camera has a dynamic range of about 11-12 stops and this will be adequate for many scenes, especially since your monitor only displays about 6 and a print about 4, what will you do with the rest?

    I may be wrong, but if your first name is not actually Junior, could I ask that you Edit your Profile and add your first name into the Real Name field, and a Location please?
    It will save people keep asking as CiC works so well because most of us use first names to address each other.

    All the best,

  4. #4
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Auto Bracketing in Manual Mode - D90

    First of all, the D90 can only do up to 3 separate shots when bracketing using the autobracket functionality.

    On the other hand, if you are shooting on manual, you can do this the "old fashioned way". Meter a scene and see what the camera comes back as the correct exposure. Then just change your shutter speed manually and leave the aperture setting alone. As an example; if the meter reads f/8 @ 1/250, then shoot: 1/15 (-4), 1/60 (-2). 1/250 (0), 1/1000 (+2) and 1/4000 (+4) all at f/8.

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    Re: Auto Bracketing in Manual Mode - D90

    Thank you everyone for the warm welcome and replies.

    @Graystar - I have tried that method before but I wasn't sure if it was the best option. I am glad you have suggested that.

    @Dave - I have been following a Landscape HDR tutorial that suggested that when there's a lot of DR in the scene, to follow that sequence for better results. I wasn't aware of the DR of the D90. Thanks for that information.

    @Grumpy - I have thought about doing it manually. I just wanted to avoid touching the camera as much as possible.

  6. #6
    Dizzy's Avatar
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    Re: Auto Bracketing in Manual Mode - D90

    Lee, as another D90 fan that shoots many 5-frame landscape shots on
    each outing, I can certainly understand the issue. I've solved it as suggested
    above, as doing it in Manual means that, as you desire, I can chimp a couple so
    that first frame of the set is just where I want it, and then manually adjust shutter
    speed for each subsequent frame.

    My tripod is quite sturdy, but for those special shots I still use a 5s
    shutter delay for each frame in order to maximize sharpness. So far
    it's worked quite well..

  7. #7
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    Re: Auto Bracketing in Manual Mode - D90

    Dizzy, I am so glad to know I wasn't the only one facing this problem. I will start doing as suggested since it seems to be the best way to stay under complete control of the whole sequence.

    Thanks everyone for the great replies!

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    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Auto Bracketing in Manual Mode - D90

    Quote Originally Posted by junior466 View Post
    Dizzy, I am so glad to know I wasn't the only one facing this problem. I will start doing as suggested since it seems to be the best way to stay under complete control of the whole sequence.

    Thanks everyone for the great replies!
    Lee - when doing HDR shots on a tripod with a D90, this was my usual technique. I found that I only used the auto functionality when handholding. No, on the D800, the autobracket function is much more talented and I can get these types of shots more easily. I don't tend to do a lot of HDRI, so I really don't get too excited about this feature...

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