Help with Aperture priority

Started 2 months ago | Discussions
tim1970 Regular Member • Posts: 123
Help with Aperture priority

I currently own an X-T4 and X-E3.   For all of my professional work I shoot in full manual, since I use off camera flash.  So, when it comes to my non professional work such as family,events, travel, etc, I have always just kept it in full manual because that is what I am most comfortable with.

However, recently I have noticed at family events I have missed some shots because I was adjusting my shutter speed to get a good exposure.  Since all I am doing when not using flash is just "centering my needle" I figure I should start using Aperture priority and letting the camera figure out my SS.  For people who do this, do you just pick certain ISO based on the general ambient light, or do you use auto ISO?  If you use auto ISO and pick a minimum shutter speed, will the camera always try and use the lowest possible ISO?  Also, I have a very nice exposure compensation dial that is rendered useless in full manual, so that should help me some also I would think.

Having always shot in full manual it will be hard for me to give up control of 1 setting (SS), much less a 2nd setting (ISO).  Any advice or tips will be appreciated.

Thanks.

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HaroldC3
HaroldC3 Senior Member • Posts: 2,757
Re: Help with Aperture priority
3

I shoot aperture priority with a set iso.  Basically I set my iso to the lowest value based on the current light and then look at what the camera chooses for shutter speed.  If it’s too low I’ll increase the iso (or open up the aperture if possible).

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vcxz Regular Member • Posts: 103
Re: Help with Aperture priority

To be honest I haven’t figured out the “program switch” dial 100% either. I will set the aperture and sometimes the program switch dial let’s me change the shutter speed, which will raise or lower iso. Sometimes it doesn’t work and I’m not sure why and then I will use the shutter dial to do the same thing.

The best I could figure out is the program switch dial let’s you do shutter speeds between the previous and subsequent settings for your dial but sometimes turning it doesn’t do anything and I just need to turn the dial. 🤷‍♂️

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Bruce Hyman
Bruce Hyman Contributing Member • Posts: 529
Re: Help with Aperture priority
2

tim1970 wrote:

I currently own an X-T4 and X-E3. For all of my professional work I shoot in full manual, since I use off camera flash. So, when it comes to my non professional work such as family,events, travel, etc, I have always just kept it in full manual because that is what I am most comfortable with.

However, recently I have noticed at family events I have missed some shots because I was adjusting my shutter speed to get a good exposure. Since all I am doing when not using flash is just "centering my needle" I figure I should start using Aperture priority and letting the camera figure out my SS. For people who do this, do you just pick certain ISO based on the general ambient light, or do you use auto ISO? If you use auto ISO and pick a minimum shutter speed, will the camera always try and use the lowest possible ISO? Also, I have a very nice exposure compensation dial that is rendered useless in full manual, so that should help me some also I would think.

Having always shot in full manual it will be hard for me to give up control of 1 setting (SS), much less a 2nd setting (ISO). Any advice or tips will be appreciated.

Thanks.

I use an XT2, generally in full manual, when i can plan my shots. family gatherings are a different world - the goal is capturing a "decent" shot. so the ideal combo of settings is less important than capturing the moment. only you will know the imperfections,

i think you can comfortably give up ISO control for non-critical images - family gatherings fit that definition to me, and i'll choose an aperture around f/8 or f/11, prefocus and use my "quality" auto-ISO range of 200-1600. i've gotten in the habit (for non-critical work) of returning the camera to a default that's "close enough" so i don't miss the grab shot; for those, i get more generous with ISO and keep my shutter speed high enough to capture most movement. if there are going to be kids or pets running around, i'd consider shutter priority. the manual describes the camera's ISO formula, which is "lowest first".

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McWoodley
McWoodley Regular Member • Posts: 345
Re: Help with Aperture priority

I prefer to shoot auto ISO and AS.  I have each of my custom settings set to film sims or for certain conditions.  The first couple are set to auto ISO 3200 with minimum shutter 250. If you max 3200 then the camera will start slowing the shutter speed.  I typically change the ISO to what I prefer but having that as the default settings I can quickly change and take a shot with a better chance of getting the shot.  I also use a variety of lenses some fast, some slow, some manual .  I feel the auto ISO is a better approach and can use the EC dial to adjust.  That's my on foot, be prepared to take a shot setting.  For more purposeful shots more manual.

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fujiian
fujiian Regular Member • Posts: 430
Re: Help with Aperture priority
1

tim1970 wrote:

For people who do this, do you just pick certain ISO based on the general ambient light, or do you use auto ISO?

I do either – auto when lighting varies wildly, and manual iso otherwise.

If you use auto ISO and pick a minimum shutter speed, will the camera always try and use the lowest possible ISO?

Yep. Unless DR is set to Auto or > 100%.

Also, I have a very nice exposure compensation dial that is rendered useless in full manual, so that should help me some also I would think.

Indeed, many people like this. I like putting exposure comp on the front wheel, since it’s right next to the shutter, but everyone’s different.

Having always shot in full manual it will be hard for me to give up control of 1 setting (SS), much less a 2nd setting (ISO). Any advice or tips will be appreciated.

You can set the auto features to think like you would, without missing the shot.

Thanks.

Good luck!

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Greg7579
Greg7579 Forum Pro • Posts: 11,888
All There is to Know Right Here....
2

tim1970 wrote:

I currently own an X-T4 and X-E3. For all of my professional work I shoot in full manual, since I use off camera flash. So, when it comes to my non professional work such as family,events, travel, etc, I have always just kept it in full manual because that is what I am most comfortable with.

However, recently I have noticed at family events I have missed some shots because I was adjusting my shutter speed to get a good exposure. Since all I am doing when not using flash is just "centering my needle" I figure I should start using Aperture priority and letting the camera figure out my SS. For people who do this, do you just pick certain ISO based on the general ambient light, or do you use auto ISO? If you use auto ISO and pick a minimum shutter speed, will the camera always try and use the lowest possible ISO? Also, I have a very nice exposure compensation dial that is rendered useless in full manual, so that should help me some also I would think.

Having always shot in full manual it will be hard for me to give up control of 1 setting (SS), much less a 2nd setting (ISO). Any advice or tips will be appreciated.

Thanks.

Tim, you are an old pro so I know I don't have to explain any basics of EV decisions to you. I understand why you shoot full manual in your paid work with off camera flash and I too grew up shooting full manual (and no AF) and it was fun.

But when you step away from your event or wedding work and put away the off-camera Speedlites or strobes, which you shoot on full manual (vs TTL which is what I would do), I would strongly advise to stop all of this full manual stuff. This is not 1976. 😁 Why torture yourself? We have computers now. We have matrix metering now. We have this wonderful thing called Aperture Preferred, which is a beautiful thing with Fuji.

Yes Tim, for many years I have shot aperture preferred 100% of the time. I adjust from there by changing the aperture to get the speed I want or bumping up ISO, while concentrating on getting the DOF I want for the shot with enough hand-held speed not to cost me my valuable and expensive res.  That simple.

I shoot GFX now and with MF, DOF is scarce and for me DOF rules the roost and having more of it is essential.  We don't like sacrificing res to camera shake, shallow DOF or diffraction, so it is a delicate balance.

My start point is base ISO and F8. If I see I need more hand-held or subject stopping speed, I adjust accordingly with wider aperture or higher ISO. It is really sort of like shooting manual, but just in a different way and with one less variable (but not really, because in full manual you are also deciding on an aperture or speed first too).

Oh yes ... Fuji lenses have those beautiful things called aperture rings, and I like to start by turning one.

For me EV is simple. ETTR, try for base ISO, and get as much DOF as I can buy without bumping ISO too much. IBIS is therefore absolutely necessary in my world in order to shoot hand-held at lower speeds so I can keep ISO at base or near base and still have close to F8 or 11.

That is why some people will pay ten grand for a camera body.... To get IBIS with their GFX. 😎

Now if you are shooting fast moving action, that is a different story of course. But even then one can be aperture priority most of the time because you just set the damn thing wide open and start buying more speed with higher ISO.

And of course we have Auto ISO, which I consider taboo but some of the best photographers in the world use quite happily as they walk around and shoot. They set what EV they want and let the ISO climb automatically to get proper exposure at the unreasonable aperture and speed they set. I don't like that. But I'm probably wrong not to like it.

But we all have our moral boundaries right?

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Greg7579
Greg7579 Forum Pro • Posts: 11,888
Re: Help with Aperture priority
3

Program shift is easy on all Fuji cameras.  You spin a wheel and it moves the EV within a range of aperture and speed that results in the same exposure within a tolerance of speed that can be used hand-held.

I don't use Program, Shift anymore but I did years ago.  I can do the same thing intuitively with aperture preferred and just watching the speed as a I change aperture.

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Chris Dodkin
Chris Dodkin Forum Pro • Posts: 13,433
Re: Help with Aperture priority
1

Aperture Priority

Auto ISO with minimum shutter speed typically at 1/125

EC Dial to tweak exposure based on EVF and Live Histogram

This presents a flexible and fast to use camera, where you make creative decisions on aperture and hence DOF, and can still tweak the exposure as needed with the EC Dial.

Auto ISO with a minimum shutter speed does an excellent job of handling the rest - the minimum speed helps prevent camera shake.

These days ISOs are so clean, that it never bothers me, allowing the camera to select the appropriate ISO for exposure.

I use this setup for X100 series, X-Pro series, X-T series and GFX.

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a_c_skinner Forum Pro • Posts: 10,591
Re: Help with Aperture priority

Have you tried the full "auto" lever on the X-E3?  It really seems very good.  If it captured raw files I'd use it all the time!

One thing I've enjoyed using recently is ISO bracketing.  That saves three frames from a single exposure so if you are worried that giving up control will result in wrong exposures then that will go some way to remedy that.

The other thing you might try in good light is auto ISO, you get to choose aperture and shutter speed.

I come from a non-auto, film speed fixed era.  It is still taking me ages to get used to a camera better at taking photos than I am.

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William Loney
William Loney Regular Member • Posts: 401
Re: Help with Aperture priority

tim1970 wrote:

I currently own an X-T4 and X-E3. For all of my professional work I shoot in full manual, since I use off camera flash. So, when it comes to my non professional work such as family,events, travel, etc, I have always just kept it in full manual because that is what I am most comfortable with.

However, recently I have noticed at family events I have missed some shots because I was adjusting my shutter speed to get a good exposure. Since all I am doing when not using flash is just "centering my needle" I figure I should start using Aperture priority and letting the camera figure out my SS. For people who do this, do you just pick certain ISO based on the general ambient light, or do you use auto ISO? If you use auto ISO and pick a minimum shutter speed, will the camera always try and use the lowest possible ISO? Also, I have a very nice exposure compensation dial that is rendered useless in full manual, so that should help me some also I would think.

Having always shot in full manual it will be hard for me to give up control of 1 setting (SS), much less a 2nd setting (ISO). Any advice or tips will be appreciated.

Thanks.

Hey, if you're a (mostly) fully manual guy like me, shooting in A is going to be a breeze!

Here's what I do:

-guesstimate the ISO. (I'm thinking, with your experience, you should be pretty good at this!)

-adjust your aperture accordingly, to make sure you have a SS to give you what you want.

-I actually prefer centre weighted metering here, because that's usually where the point of interest in the frame is, and also so that I won't have any peripheral light biasing my exposure.

-twist the exp. comp. dial as needed.

-Also, exposure lock (expose, lock, re-compose) is your friend!

I also use the EVF exclusively. No need to look at the metering, and if you've got a satisfactory SS, no need to look at that either. Whatyouseeiswhatyouget!

That's my way of doing it; shooting A, yet keeping as much control of the camera as you can.

It may sound like a lot, but once you try it a couple of times, you'll be doing it much faster than I can type out howto do it! 

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OP tim1970 Regular Member • Posts: 123
Re: Help with Aperture priority

a_c_skinner wrote:

Have you tried the full "auto" lever on the X-E3? It really seems very good. If it captured raw files I'd use it all the time!

One thing I've enjoyed using recently is ISO bracketing. That saves three frames from a single exposure so if you are worried that giving up control will result in wrong exposures then that will go some way to remedy that.

The other thing you might try in good light is auto ISO, you get to choose aperture and shutter speed.

I come from a non-auto, film speed fixed era. It is still taking me ages to get used to a camera better at taking photos than I am.

I can't imagine any scenario where I would want to have the camera in full auto.  For instance, the camera will never know how many people or objects are in my photo in order to pick the correct aperture.  All it would know is to open or close the aperture depending on available light.

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OP tim1970 Regular Member • Posts: 123
Re: Help with Aperture priority

William Loney wrote:

tim1970 wrote:

I currently own an X-T4 and X-E3. For all of my professional work I shoot in full manual, since I use off camera flash. So, when it comes to my non professional work such as family,events, travel, etc, I have always just kept it in full manual because that is what I am most comfortable with.

However, recently I have noticed at family events I have missed some shots because I was adjusting my shutter speed to get a good exposure. Since all I am doing when not using flash is just "centering my needle" I figure I should start using Aperture priority and letting the camera figure out my SS. For people who do this, do you just pick certain ISO based on the general ambient light, or do you use auto ISO? If you use auto ISO and pick a minimum shutter speed, will the camera always try and use the lowest possible ISO? Also, I have a very nice exposure compensation dial that is rendered useless in full manual, so that should help me some also I would think.

Having always shot in full manual it will be hard for me to give up control of 1 setting (SS), much less a 2nd setting (ISO). Any advice or tips will be appreciated.

Thanks.

Hey, if you're a (mostly) fully manual guy like me, shooting in A is going to be a breeze!

Here's what I do:

-guesstimate the ISO. (I'm thinking, with your experience, you should be pretty good at this!)

-adjust your aperture accordingly, to make sure you have a SS to give you what you want.

-I actually prefer centre weighted metering here, because that's usually where the point of interest in the frame is, and also so that I won't have any peripheral light biasing my exposure.

-twist the exp. comp. dial as needed.

-Also, exposure lock (expose, lock, re-compose) is your friend!

I also use the EVF exclusively. No need to look at the metering, and if you've got a satisfactory SS, no need to look at that either. Whatyouseeiswhatyouget!

That's my way of doing it; shooting A, yet keeping as much control of the camera as you can.

It may sound like a lot, but once you try it a couple of times, you'll be doing it much faster than I can type out howto do it!

This sounds like what I will try.  I do feel like I would be very good at estimating what ISO would be required given my chosen aperture and general area I would want my shutter speed.  Plus I will know if lighting conditions change drastically (like going from inside to outside) and will be able to quickly adjust.

Center weighted metering will probably be what I use, since that is what I am using now in manual to center my needle, and with the EVF I can see what the exposure would like like and adjust the exp. comp. dial as needed.

Thanks for the help.

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Frankinidaho Forum Member • Posts: 85
Re: Help with Aperture priority

I use aperture priority with auto-iso mostly. When on a tripod (I'm mostly a landscape guy), I'll typically shoot manually at base ISO.

I've set the left 4-way controller button to quickly choose from my already set auto-iso settings. Super easy to select one of the three auto-iso settings without removing my eye from the viewfinder.

These are my auto-iso settings:

AUTO 1 (my general purpose setting for casual shots, backyard family stuff):

Default Sensitiivity 160 - Max sensitivity 6400 - Min SS 1/200.

AUTO 2 (my usual setting for better IQ, used for handheld landscapes):

Default Sensitiivity 160 - Max sensitivity 1600 - Min SS Auto.

AUTO 3 (this is the "get the shot" setting, used when trying to get the shot when sticking my head out of a moving bus window, not used too often)

Default Sensitiivity 160 - Max sensitivity 12,800 - Min SS 1/200.

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a_c_skinner Forum Pro • Posts: 10,591
Re: Help with Aperture priority

I agree, but try it, it seems to know much more about photography than I do.  If it shot raw I'd probably use it all the time!

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Erik Baumgartner Senior Member • Posts: 3,216
Re: Help with Aperture priority
2

Some really puzzling responses here about estimating ISO etc. Auto ISO is super easy to use, and with a preset chosen for your minimum acceptable SS will always guarantee the lowest (and cleanest) possible value with the other parameters you have set. We’re talking about mirrorless cameras here with real time exposure preview - there’s really no need for spot metering or looking at a meter reading at all.

Try setting your EC dial to C, and with a manually set aperture and using an Auto-ISO preset with a minimum SS chosen for the lens/shooting situation (I tend to use 1/80”, 1/160”, or 1/320” and a max ISO of 12800 for all three (better noisy than blurry). Accurate automatic exposure with manual fine-tuning couldn’t be easier:

1) Does the image look good in the EVF? You’re done.

2) Too Dark? Bump up the EC with the front dial (I highly recommend using the highlight warning blinkies to prevent you from going too far ( “just” blinking is OK for RAW shooters)

3) Too bright/highlights blinking? Turn down the EC.

With Auto-ISO on, the camera will automatically choose an exposure (I highly recommend Multi, not Center Weighted) and EC on the front dial will allow you to manually fine tune the exposure if needed by adjusting the SS if higher than your minimum SS is possible and will adjust ISO if it isn’t. You will always get the fastest SS and/or the lowest ISO possible.
So, look through the viewfinder, tweak the front dial as needed, push the shutter button - fast, easy, perfect exposure every time and can you continuously shoot, walking from blazing sunshine into a dark interior space without having to change anything at all.

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Greg7579
Greg7579 Forum Pro • Posts: 11,888
Re: Help with Aperture priority
1

Erik Baumgartner wrote:

1) Does the image look good in the EVF? You’re done.

Erik, I know you know this but that is not really the case.  I wish that it were...

The rest of your post assumes that the data being displayed in the EVF or on the LCD live view (histo, blinkies, etc...) is accurate for the raw, which it of course is not.  It's the data in-camera video / jpeg and can vary fairly significantly from the raw.

But your post had some good tips in it and I know what you mean.

Also, I don't like Auto ISO at all.  But I know a lot of guys who do that are better photographers than me.

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Erik Baumgartner Senior Member • Posts: 3,216
Re: Help with Aperture priority

Greg7579 wrote:

Erik Baumgartner wrote:

1) Does the image look good in the EVF? You’re done.

Erik, I know you know this but that is not really the case. I wish that it were...

The rest of your post assumes that the data being displayed in the EVF or on the LCD live view (histo, blinkies, etc...) is accurate for the raw, which it of course is not. It's the data in-camera video / jpeg and can vary fairly significantly from the raw.

Actually, with a little know-how, the blinkies are very accurate for judging sensor saturation, and unlike the histogram, they are far less likely to miss registering small areas of potential overexposure, and also unlike the histogram, they show precisely where any potential clipping may occur. I only shoot RAW and my files are exposed exactly as intended pretty much every single time (and yes, this is confirmed with RawDigger). There's a little creative interpretation involved, but I find the blinkies to be every bit as reliable as going the uniWB route, and without the green EVF and other related hassles.

But your post had some good tips in it and I know what you mean.

Also, I don't like Auto ISO at all. But I know a lot of guys who do that are better photographers than me.

Why don''t you like it? It allows your camera to automatically (and instantly) get your exposure in the ballpark for you to quickly tweak with one dial (if necessary) and, most importantly, it does it with 100% of your creative intent intact. No brainer, IMO.

If you want the best IQ on a tripod, just set the ISO the base setting for normal manual operation (I like the SS in "T" mode for this)

If you want to ride the SS to for best results in low light with variable subject motion, just set the SS dial to "T" and control it with the rear dial, the EC dial will still fine-tune the ISO.

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