How to Bracket a Nikon D700

Written by andrew aarons
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Digital Photography Review described Nikon's introduction of the D700 in 2008 as "one of the worst-kept secrets in an industry with more leaks than the Titanic." Nikon had long talked about a compact "professional" DSLR, and the D700 marks the company's first foray into a camera with all the features of its flagship D3 in a smaller body. Among the D700s complex features: three different bracketing modes with a handful of customisable options for each.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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  1. 1

    Turn on the D700 and hold the "QUAL" button while rotating the command dial to change the photo quality to any of the following: TIFF, JPEG fine, JPEG normal or JPEG basic. You can't use bracketing features when shooting in RAW mode (or RAW + JPEG mode), since the RAW photo setting doesn't keep the white balance or exposure settings. TIFF files are uncompressed and will use more space on your memory card, whereas JPEG photos are compressed to save space.

  2. 2

    Press the "Menu" button and scroll down to custom settings, and then scroll sideways until you see "Bracketing." Press up and down on the control pad to choose a bracketing type. By default, the D700 sets the bracketing mode to exposure and flash, but you can choose exposure (AE) only, flash only or white balance bracketing. Press "OK" to confirm your choice. Tap the shutter button briefly to put the D700 into shooting mode.

  3. 3

    Press and hold the function button (beside the lens) and rotate the main command dial to choose the number of shots for the bracketing sequence. The D700 displays the number of shots in the control panel display. You can choose to take two, three five, seven or nine shots within a set range. To understand the basics of bracketing, just choose three for now.

  4. 4

    Press the function button again and rotate the sub-command dial to choose the bracketing increment: the number displayed beside the "3F." This setting affects the distance between steps for the type of bracketing. If you are using exposure bracketing and choose "3F" and "0.3," the D700 will store three shots when you press the shutter button: one shot at the current exposure level, one shot 0.3 EV brighter and one shot 0.3 EV darker. You can see the exposure of each shot on the control panel; a small black line indicates the exposure settings. Press the function button and spin the sub-command dial to increase the distance between settings, from 1/3, 1/2 or a whole step.

  5. 5

    Frame your shot and tap the shutter button to autofocus. Press the shutter fully to take a bracketed shot. The camera stores as many photos as you set, but only opens the shutter once. For example, if you set the first bracket setting to "3F," the D700 records three images at once, not three different images. You can't shoot on burst mode while bracketing.

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