Suggestion for D850 custom controls

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
OP TAM63 Senior Member • Posts: 2,633
Re: Suggestion for D850 custom controls

FrankG wrote:

TAM63 wrote:

I have been looking through the manuals, wondering if there is something I'm missing re. an easy way to do what I am trying to accomplish.

I shoot a lot of wildlife, generally with a heavy lens. So my left hand is generally on the lens.

I most often shoot manual with auto-ISO, highlights weighted metering, using +/- as needed. Obviously I change that sometimes as needed, but that is what I use most frequently.

So far, I have the following controls set up:

Camera custom controls:
AF-ON = AF-ON, group
PV = AF-ON, single point
FN1 = AE lock, reset on release

MB-D18 custom controls:
FN + dials = +/-
AF-ON = AF-ON, single point

The above allows me to shoot action (I like group) using my thumb, or use single point as desired for still subjects. Usually if I'm in portrait mode (using the grip) its not action, so I'm trying that at single point for the time being.

I need to play with this, but I am wondering if my AE lock, reset on release should not include reset on release - I presume I'd just have to hit the button again to turn this off?

What I'd like to be able to do easily, in either landscape or portrait orientation, is to have spot metering and AE lock. Of course I can change the metering mode, but that needs my left hand and isn't quick.

I wish I could set one button, or 2 that I can reach easily to lock the exposure on the point that I select (in landscape or portrait). And then I might recompose, then focus and shoot.

Any ideas?

Only got my D850 (an almost mint used example) a week ago and the first thing I asked the dealer in the store was whether it might be possible to setup a function button to instantly switch to spot-metering mode as I have exactly the same issue as you with long heavy lenses - impossible to use the existing controls on the left side of the camera while left hand is occupied supporting the end of the long lens. My D500 cannot do this - there is no assignment of alternative metering functions to any function button available, all the options are for AF options only. My D810 (which I traded in) had the opposite problem - it could only do alternative metering assignments with no facility for assigning any alternative AF functions.

So I was delighted to discover that with the D850 Nikon have expanded the range of options - one of the guys in the shop demonstrated how to assign the FN1 button to Spot metering as an example.

I subsequently tinkered around with settings for a bit and decided to set the "Sub-selector" set for focus point selection and "Sub-selector center" set to Spot metering.

I use the PV (preview) button for Group AF mode.

I use the FN1 + thumbwheel assigned to "Choose Image Area".

My "AF-ON" button is currently setup for "AF-area mode + AF ON" and with the area mode set to "Auto-area AF". I use that for tracking BIF especially erratic flying birds against the sky.

I normally otherwise just use half-shutter press to activate AF for whatever default AF mode I have preset - usually D9 or D25.

Those assignments are similar to my D500 with the exception of the "Sub-selector center" which cannot be assigned to "Spot metering" on the D500 (at least not so far - maybe Nikon will offer this via a firmware update ???).

Is any of that useful to you?


Thank you!  I'll look more into that.  If I can find two things I can hold at the same time to do spot metering, and exposure lock, I'll be golden

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