A Nurse with a Gun

Monday, March 16, 2009


Arrrrrgh! Does anyone know how to set this thing for aperture priority?
Simple instructions please.

I was faster focusing with my manual X-700 than this auto focus thing is...... Overriding it to manual results in a lens that is still difficult to manipulate. I wonder if the servos are still engaged in manual......

Time and patience Grasshopper, time and patience........

I hate coming into the modern age!

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Blogger mindlab prime said...

Nice camera; the D200 will indeed 'get out of your way' and let you shoot.

1) The lens you have (if I remember correctly) has in internal focus servo, not a drive cog. It's cheaper to make, and compatible with the lesser Nikons (D40x etc). I'm not sure that D200 has the electric connection to the lens to run the internal focus servo.

2) From personal experience, I tell you to avoid Adorama, and stick with Beards and Hats (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/). Excellent selection, price, and used department, and honest customer service that won't try to skin you for every dollar you're worth (yes, I refer to Adorama).

Good shooting.

6:01 AM  
Blogger Dick said...

I have a D100, not 200, but try pressing the "mode" button on the top right and spin the wheel on the back of the camera until you see "A" on the display. Looks like you got a great deal, although I use mostly Canon. Dick

6:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi xavier


there should be a selector, set it on a -> aperture priority.

hope i got your question right.


6:47 AM  
Anonymous VariableFeedback said...

If it's like my D2h, hold the "Mode" button near the shutter release and then rotate the front command wheel.

6:57 AM  
Anonymous JDar said...

Ken Rockwell has written plain English user guides to many popular cameras including your fine D200. Here's the url to it:


Happy shooting the digital way!

7:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bear in mind that aperture adjustments are made via control wheels on the camera body. It is different than your Minolta 700 in that respect. First, make sure the aperture ring on the lens is set at the smallest aperture. Then turn the dial on the left hand top side of the camera (looking from the rear) to "A" You can then select which aperture you want to use on the lens via the control wheel just below the shutter release on the body.

7:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bear in mind that aperture adjustments are made via control wheels on the camera body. It is different than your Minolta 700 in that respect. First, make sure the aperture ring on the lens is set at the smallest aperture. Then turn the dial on the left hand top side of the camera (looking from the rear) to "A" You can then select which aperture you want to use on the lens via the control wheel just below the shutter release on the body.

7:09 AM  
Blogger Laughingdog said...



Exposure Mode Button (MODE, right side): Hold it and spin the rear dial to select among P, S, A and M.

7:33 AM  
Blogger amcljr said...

Press and hold the Mode button (on top) and then roll thumb wheel. The letter in the upper LH corner of top display will change: P, S, A, M. Program, Shutter-priority, Aperture-priority, Manual.

The best free guide to the D-200 is here: http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/d200/users-guide/index.htm

Have fun with your 'new' Nikon... it is an amazing thing (not the latest but still a great one)!


7:35 AM  
Blogger Farm.Dad said...

Xavier you may or may not want this but i found a torrent for the Elite Video training on the d200 ( http://www.elitevideo.com/browseproducts/NIKON-D200-TRAINING-DVDs-1---2.html ) is the actual page for the video series

http://isohunt.com/torrent_details/16362757/nikon?tab=summary is the torrent download page . Its pretty big @ a bit over a gig for both movies but its the best i could do off hand .

Hope it helps

8:12 AM  
Anonymous Adam said...

I'm a Canon guy personally, but there should be a "mode" button somewhere near the LCD screen that switches it to and from the shootings modes.

P = programmed auto, A= Aperture Priority, S = Shutter Priority, and M = full manual control.

8:18 AM  
Anonymous Adam said...

Oh, almost forgot. If your dSLR didn't come with a manual, you can DL one from Nikon's site:



8:26 AM  
Anonymous Esteve said...

Look no further than Ken Rockwell. He has a link to the D200 owners manual. And OBTW, that yellow thing is ugly. It looks like it's made to use while SCUBA diving.

8:38 AM  
Blogger Laughingdog said...

While I recognize that this is just anecdotal, I thought I'd share this with you regarding the Nikon auto-focus.

I have two Nikon cameras. One is an old F4004 that I inherited from my dad. The other is a D90 I picked up last fall. As such, I have the brand new autofocus lens that was bundled with my D90, the early generation 50mm F1.8 that came with my dad's F4004, and a couple Tamron lenses he got for it (I can't believe he bought a Nikon and then skimped on lenses).

Having tried all of those lenses on my camera, I can tell you that there is a huge difference in how quickly and quietly the autofocus works if I switch between them. If a newer lens doesn't resolve the issue, you could always go the other direction and get a proper manual focus lens. At least that way, you have something that was actually designed to be focused quickly.

9:26 AM  
Blogger Kevin T. Keith said...

You may already have this, but here are links to two user's manuals, one official and one user-written:



As for the AP setting, the instructions from the Nikon manual are:

"1. Press the 'Mode' button and rotate the main command dial until 'A' is displayed in the viewfinder and control panel.

2. Rotate the sub-command dial to choose the desired aperture.

3. Frame a photograph, focus, and shoot."

Damned if I know what it means. A diagram shows the "Mode" button behind and to the left of the shutter release. The command dial is apparently the horizontal scroll wheel in the upper-right corner of the back panel (all the way to the right of the optical viewfinder). God knows what the sub-command dial is. (Man, this is a complicated camera!)

PS: I loved the X-700, too. I've got two bodies, but they need repair. Good luck with your wonderdigi.

9:36 AM  
Anonymous anyeheck said...

The Little dial on the upper right:

P: "Program mode"- Adjust Aperture and shutter to maintain exposure

Av: Aperture Priority

T: Shutter Priority

nikon's manual: http://www.nikonusa.com/pdf/manuals/

Or here:

Unofficial Manual: http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/d200/users-guide/index.htm

DP Review covers all the functions: http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond200/

9:38 AM  
Anonymous anyheck said...

BTW, there is an 'Auto/Manual' switch near the lens on the left-front of the camera.

9:43 AM  
Anonymous x2 said...

Index finger presses "Mode" and thumb turns mode dial (next to AF-ON button).

9:43 AM  
Anonymous OrangeNeckInNY said...

Have you tried downloading the user manual from Nikon's website?

9:57 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

AF-C (switch is on the bottom front near the lens) should activate continuous focusing, but check and see if the lens has a manual / AF switch.

To change shooting modes, hold the "Mode" button on the back and spin the rear dial to select Program, Aperture, Shutter or Manual.

You can download the full manual from Nikon, here:


10:06 AM  
Blogger The Saj said...

Usually it's on a dial atop. On my Canon I have Tv(shutter), A(aperture), M (manual), Auto, Program (program mode let's me use more features but otherwise acts as automatic).

I imagine the Nikon is similar and places it on the top dial.

10:25 AM  
Blogger David said...


D200 controls are explained pretty thoroughly at this link:


You can also download the manual for the D200 from nikonusa.com.

10:37 AM  
Anonymous Andrew C said...

I'm using a Nikon D70 - believe the controls are the same. There should be a dial on the top left side of the camera. It will have a bunch of symbols, a series of letters, and and Auto mode. Turn the dial to A - for aperture priority.

With mine, I've found it can take quite a while to focus in low-light conditions. It has a lot more lens to move around than a little point-and-shoot does. If the focus on the lens is difficult to manipulate, I suspect the problem is the lens. No substantial resistance when I manipulate the focus on mine.

The camera looks like a great find, I hope you enjoy it!

10:58 AM  
Anonymous Joe in Memphis said...

Yes. Hold the mode button down (just to the left of the shutter release) and simultaneously turn the function wheel (near thumb) until the display shows 'A' in the upper left. (Probably not news to you, but you've got (A)perture, (M)anual, (S)hutter, and (P)rogram.)

Once you're in aperture priority, the front control wheel (trigger finger) will adjust aperture. Rear wheel will adjust shutter speed in shutter priority.

Also, not sure what type of shooting you intend to do, but I encourage you to look into your auto ISO settings. Very cool feature, and can save you some grief in certain situations.

11:06 AM  
Blogger Andrew said...

Set it to f/16 (or highest f stop on the lens) and lock it. Camera won't autofocus at all and will show an error code on the top LCD. To shoot in aperture priority, select the "A" on the shooting mode dial then adjust the aperture with the front scroll button with your right index finger. The camera body then sets it when you take a shot.

11:29 AM  
OpenID acekieffer said...

shouldn't there be an aperture priority setting on the function dial?

11:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My husband is a regular reader of your blog and he emailed me this morning asking if I could help with your aperture priority problem. I am a photographer and use Nikon (D80 and D90). I think you got a great deal on the D200, you should enjoy every minute!

To select aperture priority, press and "mode" button and rotate the command dial until "A" shows in the viewfinder and control panel. Then rotate your subcommand dial to select your aperture number and shoot away. Enjoy!

12:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To set to ap priority just press the mode button and move the back wheel until "A" appears on the top display. Not sure what lens you have but the D200 does have the drive for focusing not AFS lenses.
Hope this helps.

1:09 PM  
Blogger Chris Byrne said...

rotate the selector to "A" and then set the aperture with the control dials.

Or go into "P" mode and do the same.

Or go into "M" mode and set everything manually.

1:22 PM  
Blogger Chris Byrne said...

Oh and get a UV or "ultra clear" on that 85mm. That glass needs some protection.

I'd pick up a CP filter as well... It's a standard 62mm filter thread on there. YOu can get a 3 filter set from Tiffen for like $50.

1:30 PM  
Blogger amcljr said...

Hold down the Mode button and roll the thumb wheel to select the operating mode.

That 85 1.8D lens will work fine.

Maybe you should do a "menu reset" to eliminate any funny settings the previous owner had stored. Also check that you have the latest firmware.

Find the d200 homepage at nikonusa.com and root around for answers.

Also, I have used the setup described here: http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/d200/users-guide/index.htm with complete satisfaction.

Look at http://www.keh.com for good lens deals.

Check you imager's cover filter for dirt by taking an out-of-focus, wide-aperture shot of a clear blue sky and looking for dark spots. Keeping this clean is biggest downside of digital SLR's.

Great camera!

2:13 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

Press the mode button, spin the rear control dial, until the LCD indicates A.

If you're having focusing problems, confirm that the lens is set to M/A mode, and confirm that the focus mode on the camera is set to either S or C (focus mode selector on the front of the camera.

Good overview of d200 functions:

2:15 PM  
Blogger The Raving Prophet said...

Xavier, I'm astonished at you- you haven't tried to download a user manual for the thing?


2:37 PM  
Blogger Ken said...

To answer your question there is a Mode button on the top near the "power switch". By default if you hold down that button and rotate the main command dial (the one you would rotate with your thumb, not index finger) you should see the LCD at the top change from P (program/auto), A (Aperture), S (Shutter), M (Manual)

Also, with that lens you need to set the Aperture wide open then use the Aperture lock to lock it at f/22 or thereabouts. The Aperture is controled by the camera and not the ring. You would get something like an Err on the Top LCD.

The D200 allows the user to muck with all the settings, so the previous user might have changed them. If you want to reset it press the QUAL and the +/- EV button (both marked in gree) at the same time.

If you go to the custom settings all settings marked with an Astrisk are ones that have been changed.

Don't forget the CSM switch near the lens mount (Constant, Single, Manual) The D200 should focus that lens right quick, but I have noticed with the D200 and the 50/1.8 it tends to seek if the scene isn't contrasty (I prefer to go manual focus myself with that lens)

Do you know if you are using 7 or 11 focus areas (WIDE)?

Don't forget the manual: http://www.nikonusa.com/pdf/manuals/noprint/D200_en_noprint.pdf

I'm not familiar with the X-700 so please forgive if I seemed to start with no assumptions on your camera knowledge.

I've had great luck with B&H and Adorama.

Bug me about any D200 Q's.

2:38 PM  
Anonymous wlp said...

Hold down the mode button (just behind the shutter release & on/off switch) with your right index finger, then rotate the shooting method dial just to the right of the AF-ON button (use your right thumb) until you see a big A in the top LED display. Don't know why the autofocus isn't working - check the focus mode lever just below the lense release button. For autofocus, it should be set on C or S, not M (that would be manual focus). Also make sure the aperture ring is set and locked on the smallest aperture setting (f22 for example). And buy Thom Hogan's Complete Guide to the Nikon D200 (about $37).

2:52 PM  
Blogger amcljr said...

One more thing... look for the 18-55mm VR kit lens. Nikon's VR technology works well and even though this one is a little cheesy it's cheap enough to start with and is pretty capable.

I've settled on the 12-24mm, the 16-85mmVR, both DX lenses. My older 105 micro rounds out the crew.

Virtually any Nikkor from 70's onward will work but the later ones will be more convenient.

3:50 PM  
Blogger DouginSalcha said...

First off, it's a beautiful lens staring at me out of the photograph and I know you will enjoy learning to use it.

Secondly, between guns, dogs, bicycles, and nursing stories (I have two sisters who are nurses), this just adds a new dimension to the appeal of your weblog.

Can't wait to see he results of your new camera...

5:12 PM  

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