Help me help you top
If you find this page as helpful as a book you might have had to buy or a workshop you may have had to take, feel free to help me continue helping everyone.
While free to read online, this page is formally registered and copyrighted, so it is unlawful to make copies, especially in the form of printouts for personal use or saving these pages or files. If you wish to make a printout for personal use, you are granted one-time permission to print from your browser (there is no PDF) only if you PayPal me $5.00 per printout, file save, or part thereof, unless of course you bought your D800 through one of my links. This is how I justify spending weeks away from my family writing and sharing all this for free online.
Thank you and thanks for your support!
Custom Settings Menu
Want free live phone support? In the USA, call (800) NIKON-UX, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
How to Get Here
Press MENU, go to the left and select up and down to the pencil icon.
You'll then see CUSTOM SETTING MENU on the color LCD.
What it Does
The Custom Setting Menu lets us optimize the camera's knobs, buttons, meters, timers, focus and more to our personal preferences.
Nikon has subdivided these various menu functions into groups, and color coded them as:
The seemingly unrelated things separated by slashes (/) are Nikon's grouping.
I use Nikon's names as headers for each section, so please excuse me if they make little sense.
What I Change
I change a zillion things, all explained on the next pages where I detail everything.
Complaints and Organization
Nikon is pretty sloppy about naming and organizing the menus, sorry.
This menu is also all about shooting, just like the Shooting Menu. It's tricky to remember if something is in the Shooting Menu or the Custom Setting Menu.
I use the D800 and D800E daily and rarely can remember in what menu Nikon has hidden what. I use the My Menu menu for the items I use often.
Custom Settings Bank top
There are four selectable memory locations which store all the settings in this menu. They are called A, B, C and D. You may add your own names to them for convenience. I name my A as KenRockwell.com for my wild color shots, and I call B "Family" for my family shots with normal colors.
Nikon did another bone-headed thing by naming the Shooting Menu Banks A, B, C and D, and then using the same names (A, B, C and D) for these Custom Menu Banks. They should use 1, 2, 3 and 4 for one of them to prevent confusion. Don't worry: I have an engineering degree and patents, and I get confused, too.
There is no "SAVE" command. The bank you have selected is updated immediately as you change settings. If you've never selected one then you've been working in the A bank all along.
You can save names for each, but you can't lock any of these banks. If you have a bank you don't want altered, don't shoot actively with it. Anytime you change anything in the Custom Setting Menu you are changing the settings of whichever bank you have selected. To save a Bank you must work in another, since there's no way to lock them. Nikon confuses us all by letting us save names which stay locked while the settings wander all over the place as we change them in shooting.
I ranted about this back at Shooting Menu Banks.
How to Recall a Setting top
Easy: MENU > CUSTOM SETTING MENU > Custom Settings bank > (select one) > OK.
You'll see CUSTOM and A, B, C or D on the INFO screen.
How to Save a Setting top
You can't save or lock any of these settings. This is a design defect and confused me at first.
The D800 and D800E continuously alters whichever Custom Settings Bank is selected. Choose a different Custom Settings Bank and you're changing that Custom Settings Bank as you're shooting.
Custom Settings Banks are confusing because all they do is return you to where you were when you last left them.
If you haven't selected a bank, the D800 or D800E defaults to Custom Settings Bank A. You see that on the INFO screen as "SHOOT A."
As you tweak settings, these are updated for the currently selected Custom Settings Bank.
If you choose Custom Settings Bank B, the settings for A are saved until you select Bank A again. Bank B is then modified as you work with the camera.
When you switch to a different Custom Settings Bank, the D800 or D800E recalls whatever settings you had when you left that Custom Settings Bank for a different one.
This is idiotic, but it's the way the D800 and D800E work. I only figured this out by having to explain it. This is why my settings were always changing all by themselves. If you are using a bank and change your WB, you just changed that bank. Sorry. If you change a setting and then realized you were in the wrong bank, sorry again. You just screwed up the wrong bank. There is no "back" button.
If you want to reset a bank to its defaults, select it, then use the next menu item to reset it.
How to Name a Setting top
You can save a name for the setting, even if you can't save the setting itself.
Choose MENU > CUSTOM SETTINGS MENU > Custom Settings Bank > (Choose the bank you want to rename) > Rename.
Enter the name, and remember to press OK when done. If you forget to press OK, it forgets the name and you have to start over!
Hint: there's no obvious way to delete a character if you make a mistake. Use the Trash button to delete characters.
How to Reset a Custom Settings Bank top
This resets everything in the selected Custom Settings Bank (just explained above) to the defaults. You reset only the bank in which you're working.
To reset a bank, press MENU > CUSTOM SETTING MENU > Custom Settings bank > (select one of them) > (press the trash can button).
Play with everything to your heart's content, since if you do screw anything up this reset will fix it. Choose a bank you don't use and you won't change the bank you do use.
KNOBS and BUTTONS
a Autofocus < < NEXT