Question regarding a 50mm 1.8D! (FEE issue)

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by caitlin_b|1, Nov 9, 2011.

  1. I am not sure if this is the correct category to ask this but I have been scouring the internet trying to find the answer I am looking for, I've gotten pretty close but my exact question hasn't been answered.
    I shoot with a Nikon D300 and primarily use my 50mm 1.8D (since the only other lens I own is a kit 18-55mm) I am an amateur you should know so if I word this funny I apologize, i'm slowly learning!
    I am trying to learn how to shoot in a very shallow depth of field because the photos with the incredibly out of focus backgrounds really appeal to my eye at the moment and thats my latest endeavor. Especially those I see in magazines and fashion blogs where there is a veeeery thin line thats in focus (the model or what ever the subject matter may be) and everything in front and behind is a giant blur. I am just really interested in creating the perfect bokeh!
    here are examples of what I am trying to perfect exactly:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/sealegssnapshots/6205219139/sizes/l/in/photostream/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/annaszczek/5295696992/sizes/l/in/photostream/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/annaszczek/5019083958/sizes/l/in/photostream/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/annaszczek/4858159367/sizes/l/in/photostream/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/coldforkphotography/5442515581/sizes/l/in/photostream/
    I have of course managed to get nice bokeh, but I want to be able to do this when ever I please and not just "get lucky." I realize it has to do with Aperture and the smaller the number the bigger the lens hole that lets the light in. I also realize it has to do with the distance you are from your subject and the background too
    MY ISSUE, Is I am able to be in Aperture Priority mode on my camera and I am able to change the number, But I really don't see the same results as the above shared photos. I see the aperture ring on my 50mm, the '22' is the only number that is orange, but of course the numbers go from 22 down to 1.8 and I know at 1.8 the lens is fully open, I can SEE that when I am holding it in my hand and turning the dial, my problem is, is my camera won't allow me to shoot on any number BUT the 22.. I get the FEE reading, which from what I have read when I googled this is my camera and the lens aren't really communicating? plus many people said on some sites that it is doing this because it's an "older lens" but I also have read up on the 50mm and it says it is fully 100% compatible and capable of working with the D300.
    I am just curious if I am capable of turning the aperture ring on the actual lens itself down to a smaller number AND have the ability to shoot with it. I feel like it's possible and it's just me not being very photo-literate, and there's a 'special' mode I need to be in or maybe I need to go in my cameras menu and do something, Because I can't understand how these two perfectly compatible pieces don't fully work together.
    So please, if you could tell me how to get around this 'FEE' issue I would be completely ecstatic! Or if none of this matters to achieve photos like above, I would just really like an answer since google hasn't supplied one quite yet for me! Thanks!
     
  2. I had this issue when i first bought this lens, set the lens to F22 and then there is a little lock on the lens, click it into position and then it will stop the FEE code.
     
  3. Caitlin,
    Simon is right in that you have to set your lens to F22 to eliminate the FEE error on your camera but what he didn't convey is that in apature mode you control the apature with the front (index finger) thumb wheel. You can see what F-stop you are at from the top LCD screen. To get the maximum amount of out of focus bokeh you would want to roll to the lowest available number of the lens you are working with.
    Hope this helps,
    Brian
     
  4. Your camera automatically controls the aperture. The ring on the lens is for older cameras. The reason that f/22 is orange on the ring, is because it lets you remember that f/22 is the number that you set it to when mounting it on a body like yours. If the aperture ring is not correctly set, then your camera cannot correctly control the lens, and it displays the "Fee" error. If you want to control the aperture, mount the lens correctly, with the ring set to f/22, and ignore the ring, because it is meaningless when the lens is on your D300. On the top LCD, you can see the aperture that your camera is setting the lens to. Turn the front dial and notice that the aperture reading in the top LCD changes. Shoot a photo with the aperture somewhere between f/1.8 and f/2.8, and you will notice that the background is blurry. f/1.8 will give you the smallest depth of field. Try to photograph something less than 5 feet away, with a background that is more than 15 feet away.
    As an aside, many people go straight to the best camera they see because they think it will make them a better photographer. I have a D200, which is similar in operation to your D300, and it is exponentially harder to work with than a lower model camera, like a D90 or D5100. Maybe, consider stepping down in cameras; your photography will greatly improve. The D300 just has a ton of settings related to special-case photography that will get in your way, and cause you to have errors. I came from an extensive history with film, including a formal education in photography, and I can't imagine if a camera like a D300 was my first digital camera, even with the understanding I had before! I had a D40 (the most similar models now are the D3000 and D3100), and it STILL took me many months to be comfortable with it! I think that unless you've earned a living with a camera, or you REALLY have reached the limits of a lower model, the D90 is the most that people should be considering. Even a D3100 is a better choice for 70% of the people that think they need a better camera.
     
  5. "I am just curious if I am capable of turning the aperture ring on the actual lens itself down to a smaller number AND have the ability to shoot with it."
    Yes. You can set one of the D300 custom functions (f7) so that you can control the lens aperture via the aperture ring.
    However, that is just another way to accomplish the same function (aperture control). The end result will be the same. If you take a photo at f/1.8 with the aperture controlled via the aperture ring, it will be no different than the same photo taken with the aperture set to f/1.8 via the command dial.
    When you have the D300 in the factory default setting (aperture control via command dials), you set the aperture ring to minimum aperture (f/22 for the 50/1.8D), lock it in place, and then forget it is there. Essentially you pretend that it is a "G" lens with no aperture ring, because functionally in that configuration that is exactly what it is. The reason for setting the aperture ring to f/22 is simply to mechanically allow the camera controls the ability to move the aperture to any setting between f/1.8 and f/22.
     
  6. Okay, thank you all VERY much for your replies! I am very happy that I understand now, because yes, I was thinking that changing the aperture on my camera and then again on my lens itself would give me two completely different looking photos, when really it's just me needing to learn more about my camera itself. I am pleased my searching and frustration is over!
    and @Ariel, thanks for the suggestion, but I was given my D300 as a graduation gift from my father when I graduated high school years ago, I do understand it is out of my league, my first slr was a D40 too and I never ever tinkered with it's settings even once (so yes, I guess the D300 is the camera I am choosing to learn on.. 0_0 ). But I am aware I've got much to learn about it and photography, but I am willing to make the struggle and take the extra time. It certainly wasn't me wanting "the best of the best" or to out shine anyone.
    I do call myself an amateur because I do not know the correct photo terms, I don't know the "ideal right way" to edit photos in photoshop and I haven't been properly educated on the subject, but I have been using Nikon SLR's for 5 or so years now, and I am capable of figuring out how to set my camera according to location and producing nice images.
    Not saying it's a piece of cake to learn! I am just saying I can create and edit and produce visually appealing photos, but now I am on the hunt to learn everything I can about my equipment and photography so I can create correctly photographed and edited works of art.
    I guess, here's a few photos I have taken with my D300 throughout the last 2 or so years (plus 1 film) to give an example of my "work", if thats what it could even be called, hah. I don't think they're all that terrible considering I am completely uneducated and using a higher model camera, But I definitely do realize there is a ton more to learn and I am sure I could have made these photos ten times better if I were trained and had the proper knowledge and techniques to do so.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/caitlinelise/5051129929/sizes/l/in/photostream/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/caitlinelise/5547760230/sizes/l/in/photostream/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/caitlinelise/6071737727/sizes/l/in/photostream/
    But again, thank you all for your responses! I am relieved I can finally stop blaming my lens and get started learning and perfecting this all!
     
  7. What Michael Freeman advised.
     
  8. A D300 is just a camera. It basically works like any other camera made since the 1920s. Don't worry about it. Pretty much, a camera is a camera.
    Kent in SD
     
  9. SCL

    SCL

    Caitlin - at the risk of sounding redundant, after reading your post a couple of times, it occurred to me that either you do not have the instruction manual which came with your camera, or you haven't taken the time to read and reread it to where you understand the basic operation and features of your gear. I commend you for struggling thru and getting some good shots, but it will be so much easier if you sit down and read the manual (in bits and pieces, I know it is long). The gigantic reward is that it becomes so much easier to achieve the results, consistently, you are seeking. Don't fret about being "camera literate" right now. Practice using the features you learn about in the manual (so you can determine which are important to you and which aren't). For instance, I used the D300 for 6 months before I bothered to experiment with the built in intervalometer. Although I rarely use it, knowing it is there, and how easy it is to use, is enormous for me in planning and executing certain types of work. Good luck and let's see more of your work, once you have experimented more with wide aperture shots.
     
  10. Michael pretty much nailed it. Use what ever path feels best for you to control the aperture. What is important is to understand what the aperture does and how to control it. You should use the exposure information, ISO, aperture and shutter speed on top or in the display to get the results you want. I mostly use aperture priority or manual and will change all three areas to meet the requirements for my image. Sometimes I want great depth of field and select a high f-stop. Other times I want to show motion or freeze action, then I select proper shutter speed. In low light I will increase the ISO as required. Balance the three to get the best results for your image. As a general rule I use the lowest ISO I can for a given image.
     
  11. not exactly on topic and not knowing your budget, but I think the 50mm/1.8 is not high on anybodys list for 'best' bokeh if that's what you're after. I do not own the 1.8 so I cannot compare that for myself, but you might want to look/ask around for other lenses. Favourite bokeh look is also very dependent on personal taste of course. I think the pictures you mentioned have quite a harsh bokeh.
     
  12. Hi,
    A couple of points on DoF (Depth of Field) or blurred backgrounds. Setting your aperture to 1.8 (the maximum of your lens) will help get the blurred background you are looking for however a couple of considerations.
    1, at F1.8 your lens probably wont be at its best operating parameters (i.e not as sharp)
    2, focus becomes critical as a movement of a fraction can change the focus plane.
    Try and think a little about your surroundings. As you move closer to your subject the background rendition will change. I have the D300 and the 50m 1.4D. I love the lens but find that I get more pleasing out of focus from my 70-300G VR (esp as I zoom in on a close subject), so although speed of lens and aperture can control this so can working distance and different focal lengths.
    Hope you continue to enjoy your camera and look forward to seeing some of your pictures.
     

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