Home    Search    Gallery    How-To    Books    Links    Workshops    About    Contact

The Nikon F100 Custom Function Manifesto
© 2004 KenRockwell.com

Please help KenRockwell..com


These are new custom functions that I suggest Nikon add to the F100. They will allow us to get more out of the F100 more quickly.

Each of these suggestions comes from a real situation in which the camera's programming got in my way. I know how to work around them, but it's still a pain.

In each new proposed Custom Function the "0" selection is exactly what the F100 does today. Adding them will not affect the amateur, but will help the pro.

As an accomplished photographer I use 35mm cameras for working quickly in conditions that are changing as I photograph them.

I use program mode most of the time, and want it to respond as I would to changing conditions, not now as an amateur's catch-all snapshooting mode.

The modern Nikon automated exposure and flash modes are fantastic. These improvements will take them even further by allowing experienced photographers to work even more quickly.

These are pretty advanced and may not be understood by casual photographers.

They are listed in relative order of importance


CF25: Unlock apertures in P mode with flash
0: Available aperture range in PGM mode with flash is limited, even when shifted program is used (for instance, current F100 limits to f/4 at EI100. I have to go to A mode to select f/2 or f/1.4)
1: Allow all apertures to be selected in program mode with flash

CF26: Unlock aperture range during Program shift
0: As is. When P is shifted the camera cannot use the smallest or largest lens apertures
1: Allow camera to select all lens apertures in P shift mode (For instance, I shift F100 with 20mm lens in P mode to one stop smaller aperture. When doing this the F100 now only lets the lens open up to F/4, so I have to mess with the program shift control as the light changes or subject moves.)

CF27: Cybernetic Override
0: No automatic "cybernetic" override
1: Cybernetic override (same as in Nikon FA or Canon's current custom setting called "Safety Shift"): allows camera to change chosen A or S value in A or S modes if camera runs out of corresponding S or A values in order to maintain correct exposure. For instance, instead of getting HI or LO indications requiring manual adjustment, the camera is allowed to shift away from the chosen aperture or shutter value to ensure proper exposure.

CF25-27 all address a problem I have shooting wildlife with a 400/2.8 and fill flash. It took a house down payment for an f/2.8 lens, but I can't use f/2.8 in P mode; in A mode at f/2.8 the camera can't stop down past f/2.8 if the animal runs into the light; and in S mode at 1/250 the camera can't go slower than 1/250 if the animal runs back into the shadow.

CF28: Mirror Lock-up
0: None; the F100 is useless on a tripod with a long lens at slower than 1/60 second
1: Mirror rises at start of self timer interval (just like FE/FA/EM)



CF29: Selection of slowest programed sync speed used in regular sync mode
60: 1/60 (default)
30: 1/30
15: 1/15 etc

CF30: Unlock Slow sync mode in Program
0: As is (shifts program with fill flash towards longer shutter speeds)
1: Do not alter Program when in slow sync mode



CF31: Program shift memory
0: P shift resets on power-on or re-setting to P mode, unchanged when lens is changed
1: Automatic store and recall of last P* (shifted program) setting used for each lens. Remembers and recalls P* setting used last time a lens of that focal length was used. Useful for having teles and wides return to photographer's favorite P* settings. For instance, today I always have to shift the program to my preferred value whenever I mount a lens. I shift the program two stops every time I mount my 400/2.8, and one stop the other way every time I mount my 20/2.8.

CF32: "L" button function
0: "L" button is lock mode, a useless feature
1: "L" button is self timer starter button (like Mamiya 7). No lock mode. Shutter releases itself several seconds after this button is pressed. This adds a useful feature to an otherwise useless button. No need for the user to adjust the drive mode selector on the F100's top left. Also triggers mirror lock-up if CF28 selected.

CF33: Override Matrix metering compensation at low light levels
0: F100 under-exposes below LV4 for better balance with fill-flash
1: Use full exposure below LV4 (optimized for use in dark available light without fill flash). Today one must select primitive Center-Weighted mode for proper night exposures without flash. The Nikon FA was always in this mode and superior to the F100 for night photography without flash.

CF34: Flash underexposure level in viewfinder
0: Blinking red bolt only
1: Blinking red bolt AND also show number of stops underexposure in viewfinder in the location usually occupied by the exposure counter. Display returns to exposure counter in a few seconds. Can be recalled by pressing appropriate button on flash. Maybe also allow seeing deliberate fill flash compensation here, too.

CF35: Cancel focus priority in self-timer mode
0: Self timer only releases if focus is confirmed in S AF mode. Does not release if subject or composition changes after self-timer interval started.
1: Allow shutter release in self timer mode weather or not focus is confirmed. Typically I use the self timer for tripod mounted photos and have re-composed after focussing. I prefer the S focus mode for this. Now I need to select the C focus mode with its shutter priority release. I also think that I've been locked out of shutter release in manual focus mode while using the self timer if focus was not confirmed!

CF36: Exposure while flash recharging
0: Exposure made at selected sync exposure even if flash has not recycled and does not fire. Results in underexposure but prevents long accidental exposures
1: Give full exposure time required without flash if flash has not recharged. Eliminates wasted, underexposed frames shot before flash recharges. I believe the FA worked this way, so one could shoot even if the flash was not ready. 2: Prevent shutter release until flash recharges

CF37: Display Matrix meter compensation
0: None
1: Show number of stops difference between center weighted meter and exposure chosen by matrix meter in the viewfinder exposure counter display (full time, eliminates viewfinder exposure counter. There may be a more clever way to show this, as well as to calculate what value to display if exposure compensation is set)

CF38: AF assist without flash
0: Fire flash
1: Do NOT fire flash even if it's turned on, but DO activate AF assist light. Great for available light shooting without flash. Today one needs to turn on flash power switch to focus, and turn off flash power switch to shoot.

CF39: Special meter pattern selection in manual or exposure compensation mode
0: Selected metering always used
1: Center Weighted automatically selected in M or any mode if exposure compensation used
2: Spot automatically selected in M or exposure compensation mode This is for people who use matrix most of the time, but want a more direct measurement when shifting to manual control without having to move TWO switches as we do now. As a warning, the previously selected spot sensor should blink somehow and meter mode display LCDs should also show this when activated, even though meter mode switch is still set to matrix.

CF40: Focus tracking during long exposure
0: No focus adjustment during exposure
1: Focus motor stays active and follows predicted subject motion during long exposure based on predictions made before exposure.

CF41: Metering time
0: Will turn off after finger removed from shutter release, even if user is changing exposure settings
1: remains on for selected interval after ANY user input

CF42: Top panel LCD illuminator activation (may prefer to make this standard)
0: Goes off after chosen interval after last activation of ILLUMINATOR switch
1: Goes off after chosen interval after ANY user input made within chosen time interval after activating ILLUMINATOR switch CF41 and 42 address the camera turning off while I'm making adjustments with my finger off the shutter.

CF43: Display EI in viewfinder (may prefer to make this standard)
0: EI only displayed on top LCD while pressing ISO button
1: EI also displayed in viewfinder anytime ISO button pressed

Home     <<Back     Gallery     How-To     Links    Workshops     About     Contact