Question about Nikon N80 35mm SLR Camera

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Hi, It seems that on my Nikon N80 with 50mm 1.8 the DoF button does not engage the lens. I can hear something clicking inside as if it works, but the aperture does not change. Also, when I press the shutter half way the lens runs the focus from one end to the other and back and would not focus correctly and when pressed all the way would not take a shot. Please help. Thank you.

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  • kakima Oct 11, 2010

    Do you have a second lens you can try on the camera? Or a second camera you can try with this lens? This could tell us whether the problem is with the lens or the camera.

  • bmrboy1 Oct 12, 2010

    Yes, the lens is fine. I took it to a camera store and one of the reps found that the metal flap that controls lens aperture was bent. Once bent back into place it started working. This camera was bought from ebay and otherwise was immaculate. Since I am not the original owner I had no idea that mechanically there was something wrong with it. Thank you for your time.

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Posted on Oct 12, 2010

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The aperture affects depth-of-field. If you're photographing something flat, like a piece of paper, you don't need much DoF. If you're photographing something three-dimensional, you'll need more DoF.

The exposure mode might depend on the lighting conditions and your personal preferences. I tend to do most of my close-up work in Manual. I also tend to focus manually, for better control.

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Yes, the shutter speed is set by the dial on top. The Photomic meter sits on top of it, so you read the shutter speed from the scale on the side of the Photomic dial by the mark on the back.
The other buttons on the front are the lens release button (left side as you hold the camera), DOF preview (button just under shutter release), mirror lock-up (lever ring around DOF button) and self-timer (long lever at bottom).
The T-L ring serves to protect the shutter release from accidental push. If you lift the ring and turn the mark to L, the shutter release is Locked. If you lift and turn to T, it prepares the shutter for Time operation, where the shutter remains open when released without holding the button down as you do at the B speed setting.

Finally, the most help: you can download the manual for free (donation requested, and worth it) at http://www.butkus.org/chinon/nikon/nikon_f2_photomic/nikon_f2_photomic.htm

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One problem is that a D70 viewfinder is dark to start with. I don't notice this when shooting with mine unless I pick up my old Pentax Spotmatic for some reason, and then I am reminded how bright an optical viewfinder can be. So, in many cases, you will find the DOF preview useless not because it isn't working, but because the scene is simply too dark for you to see the differences.

Second thing is to notice what DOF you are seeing when you DON'T have DOF pressed. I think all modern cameras give you viewfinder at wide open aperatures -- so until you press DOF, you are seeing the focal depth produced by your lens' widest aperature. So don't expect to see much difference if you hit DOF with the aperture set at 2.2 on a F/1.8 lens -- you're comparing very similar lens apertures.

In fact, I notice that with my F/1.8 lens, I don't see any differences in where my focus lies until I have closed the lens down to maybe F/8. But beyond there, I can clearly see that more and more of the scene is in focus.

If you're still curious but not seeing it, try some test shots. Change the aperture and using shutter time to compensate, and see if your photo DOF matches the preview.

Hope that makes sense!
-- eastpole

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There's quite a lot that goes in to DOF, so check out the link above for the details.

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