D7000 Sharpness, Lots of Samples, High ISO, mini review, etc ...

Started Feb 24, 2011 | Discussions thread
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Ray Soares Veteran Member • Posts: 3,120
D7000 Sharpness, Lots of Samples, High ISO, mini review, etc ...

As my first thread about the D7k settings reached the 150 limit, I'll start a new one.
First of all, the updated settings:

1- Shoot mainly in A mode always thinking about the right DOF- depth of field that is nice for that pic. Let's say:

Portraits -> f1.4 to 4.0 (you'll get a best perspective for head/head&shoulders pics using 60 to 100 mm lenses in DX cameras)
Landscape -> f8 to f 9 (dont go further f11 because of difraction!)
Groups -> f 5.6 to f8

2- Focus:
AFC with 9 points Dynamic area -> that's it, no fancy settings-> FAST

a1 -> release , yes, no need to focus priority unless it's a critical / special work
a3-> off

a6-> 11 points (and USE the control whell to set the initial acquiring focus point!)

Set AE-L button to AF-ON -> see below:

a- Use "AF-ON button only" for focus

b- AFC (very important -> little movements, the target breaths, your hand shake , etc)
c- Select 9 points but w/ only selectable/visible 11 points on viewfinder

d- Always shoot a burst of 3 pics at 4 fps unless with Flash (and select the best one afterwards IN THE COMPUTER as its almost impossible to get the best focused one in LCD)

e- Shutter Release option a1 (no focus lock, not even intermediate lock, as small movements of target or photographer are happening all the time and, of course, the DOF is pretty small) -> any micro delay will kill your sharpness...

f- Do not recompose-> USE the control whell to select the initial focus point that is near final position of targeted eye or bif or else (or use the central one for general shooting)
g- Do small crops at PP to get final adjustment

h- With the 70-200 VRII, as I can't start VR using AF-ON (pls Nikon correct this!!!!!!!), I moved back to focus with the half press shutter button option. Anyway the camera works both ways: its a matter of taste!
i- See details of AF-ON here:

3- With a f1.4 lens (remember: the cream machine...) why would I shoot at f4 / 5.6? Ok, I personally like f2.0 or f2.2 in DX for head shots, but got many good ones at f1.4 too.

4- PLZ select a shutter speed of at least 1/60 or faster ( I would say 1/100 ideal for DX and a 85mm lens -> adjust to different equip.) -> therefore set your auto-iso to work!!!

If shooting at 200mm for example, don't expect a tack sharp portrait at 1/30 even with VR, as VR doesn't help with moving targets.

5- Be prepared to get "only" 70% of keepers at most...

6- If you dont like itens 1 and 2 shoot P mode and auto area ( but forget nail focus in a eye with a f1.4 or f2.8 lens if you dont use AFC and dynamic area!)

7- Buy a Capture NX2 and shoot RAW ( I insist: get NX2!!!!)

8- Auto WB - Auto1

9- Picture Control -> NEUTRAL
Contrast-> +1
In camera sharpness-> +4 (if you shoot jpeg go up to +6 not more than that)

10- Set a -2/6 EV permanent exposure compensation

11- Set your playback to show highlights-> shoot and make an exposure compensation (almost always I had to do a EC -> see my exifs in pbase)

As the D7000 allows you to correct dark areas later in PP (remember i said RAW!) NEVER let a blown up area in your pic
Usually I set a -0.3 EC to -0.7 EC.
PLZ this one of the most important things in serious photography!

12- Use later in NX2 the general shadows/highlights/contrast slides and the control points to set the right brigtness to your pics

13- Get a Polarizer filter to shoot landscapes and did not get a blown sky. Just turn it untill you see the best/darkest colors thru viewfinder

14- AUTO ISO -> very important:

For the 2 lenses (24 mm and 70-200 VRII) you might set minimum shutter speed to 1/60 and MAX iso 3200 -> w/ a f1.4 lens dont worry-> It never will get so hight, but anyway you'll have a lifebuoy to get that snap at 3200 iso...

Also set U1 for portraits/landscapes and U2 for flash with NO Auto ISO (see flash settings below)

15- Buy a Topaz denoise 5 for Noise reduction in PP -> its incredible

16- ADL- set to Normal

17- High iso NR set to normal

18- Still Any dead pixel?: get the new firmware

To be continued...

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Ray Soares

See my pictures at http://www.pbase.com/raysoares

 Ray Soares's gear list:Ray Soares's gear list
Nikon D7000 Nikon D4 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24mm f/1.4G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G +1 more
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