I quote his website: "My testing, my review, and my eBook are basically done. However, I'm concerned about something I found on my early D80. If you have a D80, please email me for a simple test that I'd like you to perform with your camera."
#5. "RE: Possible D80 problem: Thom Hogan" In response to Reply # 4
Here is the reply I received from Thom:
The D80 has substantial amp noise (see amp15min.jpg; the purple blotches are amp noise), but there seems to be a high degree of sample variation. In particular, I’m concerned about the area indicated by the arrow in the above image. Here’s the test I need you to make:
1. Reset your D80 so that the camera defaults are in place. 2. Set ISO 1600. 3. Set Manual exposure mode. 4. Set JPEG Fine Large as the image quality. 5. White balance and other settings should be Auto (because of #1). 6. Put a lens cap on your lens or a body cap (no lens in place) on the camera. 7. Perform a series of exposures in the following sequence: 1/60, 1/30, 1/15, 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 1s, 2s, 4s, 8s. 8. Start Photoshop (or Photoshop Elements). 9. Open each exposure and visually examine with the exposure at Fit Screen viewing mode. If there is any purple at the top in the 1000-1600 pixel axis (horizontal) note that. 10. Now run Auto Levels on each exposure. You may not have seen purple before but you may see it now (see example, amp1.jpg). Again, note that particular area at the top between 1000 and 1600 on the horizontal axis.
What I need back from you is a table like the following:
D80 Serial Number (I won’t release this to anyone else) Results at Fit Screen Results at Auto Levels
(Yes, I have been in contact with Nikon about what I suspect. As you might expect from what I’ve written before, they didn’t say anything to confirm or deny anything, thus my need to get more information from a representative sample of product.)
_____________________________________________________________ The anomaly he notes in the attached images appears as large purple "blooms" from the top of the image (imagine purple flare against an otherwise black image).
If someone with a full Nikonians membership would like to post the images, send me your email and I'll forward you his samples of the problem.
#7. "RE: Possible D80 problem: Thom Hogan" In response to Reply # 6
Quad Cities, US
I ran the test he asks for and here are my results.
Results at fit to screen (image straight from camera) 1/60 not visible, 1/30 not visible, 1/15 not visible, 1/8 not visible, 1/4 not visible, 1/2 not visible, 1s not visible, 2s not visible, 4s not visible, 8s not visible
Results after applying auto levels 1/60 not visible, 1/30 not visible, 1/15 not visible, 1/8 visible, 1/4 visible, 1/2 visible, 1s visible, 2s visible, 4s not visible, 8s not visible
The visible ones are not as pronounced as his examples. They are right at the edge of the frame in the area that he indicated.
attached are the ones that showed some minor purple blooming after auto levels were applied.
#8. "RE: Possible D80 problem: Thom Hogan" In response to Reply # 7
Now i done the test and i have the same conclusions like dm1dave, on mine test photos is this purple blooming also visible on 4 and 8 sec photos, not so much like on samples but minor, really very minor blooming, so my conclusion is that my camera dont have any big problems, and stays even almost no visible purple blooming after applying auto levels and no visible at normal out of camera photos mine.
#9. "RE: Possible D80 problem: Thom Hogan" In response to Reply # 5
Bel Air, US
I've been shooting weddings and portraits with a D100 for 4 years and have never noticed a problem like is discussed here. I'm currently considering the D80 so I'm reading these forums. Just for hoots, I performed this test on my D100, with the exception that I didn't bother downloading the images to a computer or running PS auto levels, I just viewed them on the camera LCD monitor to see if I could see anything. Results: There's a hot spot in the upper left hand corner that first becomes apparent at 1/8 second, and gradually grows bigger until it's pretty darn big at 30 seconds. No other spots I could see. So obviously, if this is apparent on the LCD then it's probably much more apparent on a computer and then even more so after running auto levels. I would guess you might begin to see traces of it even at 1/16 or even 1/30. So my conclusion is that if I've never noticed this after 4 years, thousands of images, post processing, and sales of prints, then it's obviously not an issue for the type of shooting I do, so I'm not going to worry about it. I'll probably pick up a D80 over the weekend and be done with it.
#12. "RE: Possible D80 problem: Thom Hogan" In response to Reply # 11
Maybe someone could explain why this is an issue. Other threads have debunked lens cap tests as a valid method for identifying hot pixels. So now we're using lens caps to test for amp noise. None of my night shots have amp noise like his photos...so why are we going through all of this?
#15. "RE: Possible D80 problem: Thom Hogan" In response to Reply # 13
Actually, I have samples of images that exhibit the problem that were taken of real subjects. That's what initially provoked me to look more closely at this issue.
As for the "lens cap tests aren't real tests" argument, in the case of amp noise, they are. But if you don't want to do it that way, shoot a gray card and do the same test. The reason why I have people use a lens cap is so that we can clearly see noise versus detail, not everyone has a plain gray card that matches, and we remove exposure (the amount of light in the scene) from the equation. I can clearly measure a difference in noise production in the questioned area on a gray card exposure, for example. Auto Levels will pop that out at you VERY fast.
Thom Hogan author, Nikon Field Guide, Nikon Flash Guide author, Complete Guides to the N65, N75, N80, F100, F5, F6 author, Complete Guides to the D1, D2h, D2x, D50, D70, D100, D200 www.bythom.com
Thom Hogan author, Nikon Field Guide and Nikon Flash Guide author, Complete Guides to most Nikon cameras www.bythom.com
#16. "RE: Possible D80 problem: Thom Hogan" In response to Reply # 15
Alright, thanks Thom. That's fair. Anything that is affecting "real" images is surely worth investigating. So this is related to an amplifier? Do you have any idea what kind of fix this would entail? (merely an adjustment or is this a larger, part replacement issue)
#17. "RE: Possible D80 problem: Thom Hogan" In response to Reply # 15
Vancouver (WA USA not Canada), US
As a confirmed basher of "lens cap" tests, I would like to say that in this case it is appropriate. Your test is designed to visually measure the thermal component of dark current. My opposition to "lens cap" tests relates to the search for "bad" photosites, a different topic.
I seem to remember that the D70 also has this characteristic.
Thom, if you are interested in quantifying your results; drop me an e-mail.
#20. "RE: Possible D80 problem: Thom Hogan" In response to Reply # 12
>None of my night shots have amp noise >like his photos...so why are we going through all of this?
Just because you think your camera is okay, it does not mean we should disregard this test. Thom has already said that there seems to be wide sample variation, and part of this is to establish IF the amp noise is a widespread problem which needs to be taken up with Nikon. If you think this is a waste of time, move on and leave it to those who are interested.
Dv "Live like you're going to die tomorrow, learn like you're going to live forever." - Gandhi
#22. "RE: Possible D80 problem: Thom Hogan" In response to Reply # 21
>I heard about the banding nightmares on the D200, now >this!?!?!
Banding on the D200 was, in general, much less than the "nightmare situation" some were claiming. A small proportion of D200's had bad banding; in most cases these were returned to Nikon and adjusted to the owning member's satisfaction.
If you have this problem that Thom has noticed, then I 'd suggest you have two options:
+ if you had not previously noticed it, then don't worry about it; + if you can't live with it, contact Nikon with clear examples and expect them to deal with it.
#23. "RE: Possible D80 problem: Thom Hogan" In response to Reply # 21
I can see the issue on my LCD screen as well. I read Thom's review and the serial number on my D80 is 3031067. As Thom indicated in his review, the problem seems to go away after serial number 305000.
I take photos at night for the local football team and I originally thought the purple haze was caused by the stadium lights. However the spot is always in the same location (top left of center). I agree with Thom that the camera should not be flawed. I'm heading back to Ritz in hopes of a replacement.
#31. "RE: Possible D80 problem: Thom Hogan" In response to Reply # 30
Quad Cities, US
His request was on the main page of his site - the first artical below the picutre. He did not post a link just ask people to e-mail him (his email address is at the bottom of the page) for instructions.
It looks like he has taken down the request. He probably has enough samples for his needs.
#32. "RE: Possible D80 problem: Thom Hogan" In response to Reply # 29
Amp glow exists in all DSLR's to some degree. It's a big topic in DSLR astrophotography due to long exposures. Canon's do seem to have less than Nikon's do - but I still like my D70 for astrophotograph (see #7):
When using my D70 for astrophotography (non-modified), I will get the purple amp glow as well, same location as everyone else. Apply NR, and it's completely eliminated of course (but waiting to take a dark frame is a real pain when taking a 10 min exposure!).
#33. "RE: Possible D80 problem: Thom Hogan" In response to Reply # 32
Unfortunately some D80 owners appear to see amp glow at 1/4s and even 1/8s... no where near "long exposure" settings.
By comparison w/ my D200 (outdoors on a cool cloudless night), on RAW files I can just see smidgen of amp glow at 30 seconds. By 4 minutes the amp glow is similar to the first image posted above. At 10 minutes the amp glow is well throughout the frame.
With NR turned on the JPEGs are "clean" even on 10 minute exposures.
#34. "RE: Possible D80 problem: Thom Hogan" In response to Reply # 33
I sometimes wonder what "fault" people will go looking for next. Im by no means an expert photographer but Im happy with the pictures I get from the D80. I really dont care if the camera has amp noise or not and Im not going looking for it by forcing the camera to to take pictures in circumstances its not designed for i.e. Lense cap on tests. If you are happy with the camera then smile, be happy, take pictures, rinse and repeat
#35. "RE: Possible D80 problem: Thom Hogan" In response to Reply # 34
I sometimes think, in this digital equipment age, that we look for every small deviation from absolute perfection in equipment, and the next thing you know it's magnified into some major issue that you oddly only read about here on the internet. If this is just something that only shows up to a significant degree by shooting in some extreme, ridiculous way, then I'm not sure it's worth losing sleep over. I'm debating between the D80 & D200, so it will be interesting to see the results and whether it really is a serious problem. I would hate paying $1000 for a camera that you can't use for night photography. For now, I'm holding off on the D80 until I hear more.
#36. "RE: Possible D80 problem: Thom Hogan" In response to Reply # 35
I have a D80 purchased the first week available in US. I ran Thom's test and I had amp glow visible using auto levels at some extent at every shutter speed. Somewhat more noticeable at slower speeds, but significant at every one. FWIW I have NOT noticed this being a problem with any photos and I have almost 5000 shutter activations on this camera.
Am I really worried, no. Am I curious, of course.
Out of curiosity we did this test on our D50 and D200 and there was no amp glow noted.
#37. "RE: Possible D80 problem: Thom Hogan" In response to Reply # 34
It's funny how there always seems to be some resistance to knowledge and understanding.
> I sometimes wonder what "fault" people will go looking for next. You might want to look at my signature and then my Web site. I've been covering Nikon equipment on the Web since the early 1990's. I've got a long history of poking around at Nikon equipment and documenting its abilities and limits. What I asked people to do was perform a test so that I could ascertain a particular trait of the D80 across a wide range of sample bodies (what other reviewer do YOU know that tries to eliminate sample bias from their testing?). I was careful not to say anything about a "fault." That's YOUR word, actually; I used the words "concerned about." Why I'm concerned about it, I did not say and won't until I review the data carefully and publish my review.
> Im happy with the pictures I get from the D80 Nothing I said challenges that in any way that I can see. Generally, there are two camps of photographers out there, the casual and the serious. The casual never push their products towards their limits and are much more tolerant of minor issues. The serious want to know what the absolute limits are and when they might encounter them. You seem to be in the former group.
> forcing the camera to to take pictures in circumstances its not designed for i.e. Lense cap on tests. Amp noise is an underlying thermally-induced production of electrons that get counted erroneously, and that exists regardless of the picture being taken. It's a relative of dark current noise, but generally specific to a location near an electronic or heat source. My test was an attempt to get a handle on exactly how much of that thermal noise underlies a photo. If you have people take photos of different things, you can't get a good measurement of the actual amount of noise and when it first appears: someone who had a purple subject at that position might not notice it at all, while someone who had a groom's black jacket at that position would most certainly notice it (that should be a hint about how I stumbled onto the issue). In scientific testing, you try to isolate all the variables except the one you're interested in. If anyone would like to debate me on the scientific validity of my testing procedure, I'll be happy to do so. I have an open mind and am more interested in getting the right data than running tests "my way." But I also have a great deal of experience at this and am confident that the procedure is adequate and that I now have the information I was trying to obtain.
Normally, amp noise only bothers folk who shoot astronomical photos, as they're the only ones shooting long enough exposures to see the problem (on some Nikon bodies you can shoot 10 minute exposures and not see visible amp noise) and they're trying to resolve pin-point objects, so any noise tends to be a major issue.
FWIW, a Nikon representative with whom I shared a single sample immediately spotted a subtle pattern in the data I too had noticed but had not mentioned, and which appears somewhat consistent across the full set of data I currently have. The pattern suggests that Nikon's manual for the D80 actually might be incorrect about how a particular feature works, though I'll have to do more testing to figure out if that's the case or not. So the types of testing I do are not random stabs at looking for faults--they're attempts to fully understand the capabilities and limitations of the equipment. Were Nikon a more open organization, I could probably get the same information with a couple of quality yearly visits to the engineering offices in Japan asking questions of the product designers, but that's another story for another day...
Thom Hogan author, Nikon Field Guide, Nikon Flash Guide author, Complete Guides to the N65, N75, N80, F100, F5, F6 author, Complete Guides to the D1, D2h, D2x, D50, D70, D100, D200 www.bythom.com
Thom Hogan author, Nikon Field Guide and Nikon Flash Guide author, Complete Guides to most Nikon cameras www.bythom.com
#39. "RE: Possible D80 problem: Thom Hogan" In response to Reply # 34
Salt Lake City, US
Apparently the problem shows up in normal low light shooting situations, so I think you're taking an ostrich approach and dismissing the issue without looking at the real nature of the problem.
There were a number of folks who took the same "non-issue" attitude about "banding" with the D200's introduction who changed their tune when they found the noise in their photos. I trust Thom Hogan not to fan fires about insigificant issues.
#41. "RE: Possible D80 problem: Thom Hogan" In response to Reply # 40
Yes like the first picture, but I did my tests in RAW with no NR. The JPEG isn't directly comparable as you may know... one is testing the amount of amp effects while the other includes NR effectiveness.
#43. "RE: I can hardly believe the ignorance of..." In response to Reply # 0
I can hardly believe the ignorance of some posters who question the purpose, validity and usefulness of Thom's test. If you are one of these posters than, I have a news for you: some photographers use their cameras in low light and require shutter speeds that are counted not in fractions of a second but in minutes! Heck, I wish that my camera could do exposures lasting hours!!!
Yup, I consider myself to be a victim of D80's poor amp noise performance. As much as I love Nikon cameras, that particular "feature" of D80 is, in my opinion, despicable! My first digital SLR was D50 and I got it only after making sure that it could perform at night. In fact, I chose it over D70s because of much lower amp noise. I got D80 without waiting for confirmed reports on it's long exposure performance. After all, it's a much newer and advanced model. Proper wired remote and mirror prefire made me think that Nikon did take into account low light / long exposure photography... Here comes reality check; my low priced D50, a camera that doesn't even have a lit up status LCD can run circles around D80 when it comes to amp noise!!! Well, in a sense I can consider myself lucky because with D80 I can get exposures a bit longer than 30 second without amp noise getting objectionable but, no way I could get 10 - 15 minutes exposures as I did with D50. Higher pixel count of D80 (vs D50) is easier cropped but still, DX frame is so small that I really would like to use all of it. Ah, to add insult to the injury; unlike with D50, D80's long exposure noise reduction does not remove all of the amp noise! Not that I fancy waiting for a camera to do the dark frame while the time and photo opportunity ticks by... I'll be definitely taking up this issue with Nikon.
BTW If anybody wonders, I'm not astrophotographer. I just enjoy low light shooting and I hate when amp noise gets in the way of it like it did on this pix:
#44. "RE: I can hardly believe the ignorance of..." In response to Reply # 43
I am also a victim like GPSMapNut. Although I am not an astrophotographer, a few night shots I took had amp noise in them, at ISO 100 wich deterred me from really exploring my creativity with low light.
It would be very interesting to learn more about this, shall we say, "attribute" of the D80. I still LOVE this camera, but what's the harm in a little investigation?
^ With your mind power, your determination, your instinct, and the experience as well, you can fly very high. ~Unknown F1 Driver
#46. "RE: I can hardly believe the ignorance of..." In response to Reply # 45
>Whatever we think of this potential issue, let's all try to >keep calm about it and see the other guy's point of view, >please. Calling other members "ignorant" is not the way we >do things at Nikonians > >Thanks!
I didn't mean nor wrote "ignorant" in general - that would be an offencive name calling. I was just trying to stress out apparent lack of knowledge (ignorance) in regards to long exposure requirements.
If anybody else feels offended by my use of the word "ignorance", please let me know - I will go back and edit the post to replace "ignorance" with "lack of knowledge" or whatever better word you suggest.
#47. "RE: I can hardly believe the ignorance of..." In response to Reply # 46
Thanks for the offer, Andrew, but "I can hardly believe the lack of knowledge of some members..." doesn't sound a whole lot better, does it? The point is that we should all try to put our point of view across without appearing to belittle other members' views
#49. "RE: I can hardly believe the ignorance of..." In response to Reply # 47
>Thanks for the offer, Andrew, but "I can hardly believe the >lack of knowledge of some members..." doesn't sound a whole >lot better, does it? The point is that we should all try to >put our point of view across without appearing to belittle >other members' views > >Thanks again.
Right. A spade is a spade no matter how we call it and that's why I call it a spade Looks like, if I'm to stick around I have to learn few things. For example; why is it acceptable to accuse Thom of a witch hunt or saying that it's a problem for geeks only yet... oh, who cares. Lets go back to the real issue - the amp glow.
#50. "RE: I can hardly believe the ignorance of..." In response to Reply # 49
If you check it, my original post was asking everyone to "stay calm", though I did use your post as an example. As you say, I'm sure you'll adjust to the way our community operates soon enough. It's just a question of making our points with civility and consideration.
As a side note, auto-levels is a deceptive method of pointing out lens or camera anomalies, as it doesn't reveal the actual magnitude of the problem. I e no lens or camera can stand against auto-levels..
#54. "RE: Another set of results" In response to Reply # 53
I don't understand using Auto Levels in performing the test. Is that just to try to enhance or exaggerate the noise? I'll be anxious to read Thom's D80 review and the results of all these tests. I just hope it doesn't discourage me from the D80 too much, because up until now it seemed like just the DSLR I've been waiting for.
#55. "RE: Another set of results" In response to Reply # 52
I love the way that people keep assuming things. As I said, if you want to debate my testing approach, I'm more than willing to do so. But if you want to ascribe conclusions that are based upon assumptions...
> auto-levels is a deceptive method of pointing out lens or camera anomalies, as it doesn't reveal the actual magnitude of the problem.
You'll note that I asked people to perform two tests. There's a reason for both. As it turns out, the data are pretty clear: there is a subset of D80s that show the problem WITHOUT Auto Levels. I can now quantify what that percentage is. The Auto Levels test was there to verify something I already had found: while not "visible," the underlying noise structure is different in that area than it is in the rest of the frame for ALL D80s. Once I knew that the vast majority of D80 bodies performed exactly like mine, it was easy enough to devise a test that "reveals the actual magnitude of the problem." That test doesn't involve Auto Levels.
Not that Auto Levels is all that invalid. The first photo I received from someone else that showed the flaw in a real photographic situation was underexposed by a stop and he had used Auto Levels to get a quick look at whether it was savable. Auto Levels on a lens cap test will take the hot point and move it towards 255 from where it might normally be (<20 in my measurements), but even a move from a value of 20 to 50 would bring the amp noise into view most of the time. I've actually quantified it with a different set of tests, as I said earlier. There seem to be two sets of D80 bodies out there in terms of magnitude of the problem, and it seems the Auto Levels test actually can reveal which group yours belongs to. Nikon is sending me a just-off-the-line body to test and see where it stands. Based upon serial number analysis so far, my hypothesis is that it'll perform no different than the other two D80's I've been testing.
I said it before and I'll say it again: some people simply don't want to know the limitations of their camera (or car, or TV, or whatever). I don't happen to be one of them. I want to know EXACTLY what my equipment can and can't do, with as much specificity as possible. I know now, for example, that I couldn't take one of my extended photo trips where both my main and backup bodies were D80s. That's because there are a few situations where the D80 would produce results I wouldn't accept. Likewise, with the banding issue on the D200 I'm hesitant to use it as my only choice for certain situations (the gym I shoot indoor basketball at produces short banding on every D200 I've tried if the shot includes the ceiling). Perhaps you'll call me just picky. So be it. But when you're trying to sell your photos against the likes of Art Wolfe, Frans Lanting, et.al., you get picky REAL fast.
#58. "RE: Another set of results" In response to Reply # 52
very interesting. I have updated my website with the result of my own test. It seems that this "feature" of the D80 differ a lot from camera to camera. I shall check with the other D80 at the dealer and see if I can change this for a better one.
#59. "RE: I can hardly believe the ignorance of..." In response to Reply # 51
>>>> >Hopefully the problem is software not hardware and can be >resolved with a firmware update. > >Chris
The root of the problem is in hardware. Firmware could provide a partial solution; Currently, D80 long exposure noise reduction is based on a dark frame that is about (exactly?) half the duration of the initial exposure. It could be changed to the full duration. D50 and D70(s) use the same duration for the dark frame as for the exposure and it works fairly well - it gets rid of the glow. The downsides are; for very long exposures resulting in very strong amp glow the affected areas have some / all channels blown and detail can not be recovered. Also; it costs time. Speculation here: Maybe firmware could contain an amp glow map for various ISO / exposure combinations and automatically do the reduction without even taking a dark frame. I doubt that D80 has enough spare internal memory to hold so much data. Now; if you don't mind PPing, you may create map like this yourself - just store it as a series of photographs. Than, when you have a photo that needs an amp glow fix, open it in PS, put the corresponding exposure dark frame on another layer and subtract it from the photograph.
Ah I know that article. Very good. I do enjoy reading Ken's articles even that I don't always agree with him. At least, unlike some well known names, he is a straight shooter and he makes clear what he writes based on first hand experience and what he writes based on what he thinks. In this particular case, Ken omitted the 3rd kind of photographers. The ones who take photos AND talk about it. I think that I'm such a case. Right; I don't "make" photos. I take them. If I was "making" them than amp noise would not bother me much - I could edit it out. Since I take photos, I want them usable from the camera and I crave for equipment that does not get in the way. Unfortunately, on my computer I have too many photos that without extensive editing are unusable because of the amp noise. I can only hope that collective pressure will force Nikon to address the issue with D80 or, at least, pay better attention in the future designs.
#62. "RE: Possible D80 problem: Thom Hogan" In response to Reply # 0
Since basically all DSLRs have amp noise (I've noticed the newer canons turn off these amp circuits reducing it quite a bit) astrophotographers either use dedicated CCD cameras, or deal with it. So the question for them isn't does it exhibit noise but how much. When I first took some long exposure shots of the sky, I thought I found an incredible nebula in the sky, unfortunately that wasn't the case.
I've found the amp noise seems to be a function of exposure time and ISO. So you'd still be able to see it in ISO 100. In fact it starts to show around 45 seconds with ISO 100 (when adjusting levels to bring it out)
For all those questioning the validity of these tests, or wondering why amp noise is such a big problem. Here is an example of it showing up in real world situations. The photo is a stack of photos of the Andromeda Galaxy taken with a Canon D60 at ISO 400 for 2 minutes. I applied dark frame subtraction in photoshop, but that only helped so much. So after that I typically crop to just the part of the photo that isn't covered by the noise.
I agree with Thom's tests to characterize the camera. There is a reason why his books are so thorough. However since I only find this noise to be in the top right and top left corners of the image, it won't be hard to crop out and wouldn't bug me too much for deep sky photography. Cropping is easy to do for that type of photography because its impossible to frame well the subject when it is so dark. Since framing is so much more important for terrestial based photography, cropping isn't to ideal. It would be great to have a good idea of when it rears its ugly head.
You can see the purplish glow in the corners top right and bottom right corners. Most of my nighttime stuff is BW, so for me its not critical, and I will be trying NR next time. It is there howver, and these are pretty bright 5 minute exposures on a night with a full moon, not even what I would quantify as adventurous stuff (read really long and really dark).
I would love a firmware fix for this, but I am still happy with my d80.
#64. "RE: Possible D80 problem: Thom Hogan" In response to Reply # 63
>Have to chime in on this one... it is a problem for me. Amp >glow is significant on my d80, with moderate length >exposures (5-10 minutes) NR off. > >For a big example... > >http://homepage.mac.com/taran/screenshot_06.jpg > >You can see the purplish glow in the corners top right and >bottom right corners. >>>>>snip>>>
If this image isn't cropped than, I think you should consider yourself lucky! At 10 minutes my D80 has much stronger glow in the corners.
#65. "RE: Possible D80 problem: Thom Hogan" In response to Reply # 64
>If this image isn't cropped than, I think you should >consider yourself lucky! At 10 minutes my D80 has much >stronger glow in the corners. > >I almost forgot; Soon after I got the D80 I wrote a small >article about it's amp glow. >http://www.topocanada.com/Photo%20articles/D80%20vs%20D50%20amp%20glow.html >BTW. This article will be moved to my www.fotocanada.ca >website so, if the above link doesn't work, you know where >to look for it. > > >Andrew Kalinowski
I am sorry to hear of your troubles, and obviously I am in the same boat (shooting in the warm Florida heat doesn't help). I don't want to start a review of the camera until this issue is resolved because it torpedoes nighttime photos with my d80. I want to make sure its not something Nikon can't get fixed via firmware. It's sad, because I consider the D80 to be the ultimate nighttime camera, long battery life, nice remote, exposure delay (somehting the d70 lacked), nice small remote. It was a perfect night time tripod setup. Not only that, the rest of the image unnaffected by amp glow is stunning, imho, ISO 100 is really nice too.
Guess its time to pony up for that nikon $150 remote for my d2. Doh!.
Anyone have a PS technique to minimize the damage, or can think of a fix... I will be in your debt. Anyone get a response from Nikon... please keep us informed.
#66. "RE: Possible D80 problem: Thom Hogan" In response to Reply # 0
I'm confused about this 'amp noise'. Why would noise in the amplifier appear near the edges in the frame repeatably, and not be randomly distributed throughout the frame? I suspect there is something more going on, perhaps in the way the detector is scanned. Does anyone know the details of the physics of this noise? And how temperature sensitive is it?
#68. "RE: Possible D80 problem: Thom Hogan" In response to Reply # 66
"Amp noise" is just a generic term for the issue. I suspect the origin of the term goes all the way back into the analog audio world, actually. The actual noise may or may not be caused by an "amplifier" circuit. The type I'm referring to on a digital camera is usually (but not always) caused by heat from a nearby electronic circuit. It could be caused by almost any heat source.
#69. "Maybe it's not heat..." In response to Reply # 68
I just finished shooting 4 dark frames, 660 seconds exposures, 1 second between exposures so there is no way the sensor / camera could cool down between the exposures. The long exposure NR was off and I was shooting RAW and compared in NX after making sure that the base adjustments turned off any "auto" image settings. To say that the results surprised me would be an understatement. Well, with every subsequent image, the area affected was smaller!!!!!!
#70. "RE: Maybe it's not heat..." In response to Reply # 69
I have a guess of what might be happening here, although I dont know anything about the details of the D80's circuits. I've built spectroradiometers for measuring atmospheric solar radiation and I'm quite familiar with silicon and InGaAs photodiodes. For a variety of reasons they don't produce zero electrical signal (in their case current) when there is no light. This is called 'dark current', or 'dark noise' and can be eliminated either in the analog electronics with a chopper, or digitally as post-processing with reference scans.
As I say, I'm just guessing, but it may also be done somehow in CCD circuits, and if so, it may assume that the CCD is at a constant and uniform temperature. If that's the case, a thoroughly warmed up CCD might have the worst of it's 'dark noise' removed, but a CCD that is in the process of warming up from it's edges may show your 'glow'.
My guess is as much likely to be wrong as right, so take it for what it's worth - not much...
Do you notice variability in the glow if you shoot outdoors in the summer vs winter?
#71. "RE: Possible D80 problem: Thom Hogan" In response to Reply # 68
>"Amp noise" is just a generic term for the issue. I suspect >the origin of the term goes all the way back into the analog >audio world, actually. The actual noise may or may not be >caused by an "amplifier" circuit.
Thanks for your reply Thom, thats what I suspected. However I would argue that it is not the CCD's analog differential amplifier or A/D circuits as they sequentially sample (or to a small degree, say x16, parallel sample, don't know for Nikon D80) so patterned noise would not be expected.
>The type I'm referring to on a digital camera is usually (but not >always) caused by heat from a nearby electronic circuit. >It could be caused by almost any heat source.
I agree, and the patterning suggests that it is nonuniform thermal noise in the CCD itself (a part of the CCD's 'dark noise'). For that reason I'd suggest calling it a 'thermal glow' issue rather than an 'amp glow' issue.
I found an excellent primer on noise in CCD based systems on Nikon's microscopy web site here.
It's notable that Nikon points out:
"Although great improvements have been made over the past few years in the reduction of CCD dark noise at room temperature, cooling the chip further reduces the noise tenfold per 20° C decrease."
Perhaps those of us who do long exposure will figure out how to chill our detectors like the astronomers?
#72. "RE: Possible D80 problem: Thom Hogan" In response to Reply # 66
The first time I learnt about this particular issue it was from a D70 user. He and many others refereed to it as "amp glow". The theory behind it was that it is cause by heating of the amplifier circuit that is integrated with and located on the edge of the sensor chip. Depending on the actual architecture of the sensor, the glow will show at one or more corners or edges. D50 shows it in one corner. D200 shows it in all corners (I think), D80 both upper corners... having said that, I think that Thom is right (as always) and that there may be a number of heat sources contributing to uneven warming up of the sensor.
Maybe if we all call it "amp glow" it will not be so easily confused with noise that may be distributed all over the sensor.
BTW Thom, how's your D80 ebook coming along? I curse D80 amp glow but still like the camera so, I'm in line for your book.
#73. "RE: Possible D80 problem: Thom Hogan" In response to Reply # 72
I must admit that I was skeptical that the amplifier(s) were the likely problem in 'amp glow', but a quick google search on 'amp glow' found that the ultimate long exposure night sky camera, the Hubble Space Telescope, has an 'amplifier glow' issue!! More here.
The HST problem (or in NASA speak, 'performance anomaly'), is apparently due to four corner mounted amplifiers emitting IR. f The HST detector is kept very cold, so the D80 performance anomaly could be related to heat and/or IR. In any event, if I had bothered to google 'amp noise', I wouldn't have wasted everyone's time with my posts above. Sorry for that.
So the bad news is that amp glow may not be corrected by detector cooling, although if IR is the source, a before and after D80 IR conversion test (removing the IR filter) should answer that question clearly.
The good news is that our cameras don't have a problem, they have a 'performance anomaly' that is shared with a camera/lens system that cost billions!
#74. "RE: Possible D80 problem: Thom Hogan" In response to Reply # 0
Regardless of the cause of this issue, my D80 has completely unacceptable "amp" noise for a camera like this.
I get easily visible noise against dark backgrounds with indoor pictures at iso 1600 period. Any shutter speed, and with no auto-leveling at all. This is with noise reduction off. It is fully visible in the lcd.
#75. "RE: Possible D80 problem: Thom Hogan" In response to Reply # 74
I am late to this party but I tried Thoms test last night and I have an early model number and to my surprise I have no amp glow visable prior to auto levels at any of the shutter speeds tested as per the instructions. When I use the auto levels in elements I get a small amp glow about a third of the way from the left on the top of the picture just one, none in the corners( I wish I had saved the test pictures).
Now my question if I do not get it until I add auto levels how does this affect everyday photography when not applying auto levels(I am not the best at photoshopping). The good news is mine is small enough to crop out without losing to much. Sorry the late question. Jim
#76. "RE: Possible D80 problem: Thom Hogan" In response to Reply # 75
Metro DC, US
>I am late to this party but I tried Thoms test last night >and I have an early model number and to my surprise I have >no amp glow visable prior to auto levels at any of the >shutter speeds tested as per the instructions. When I use >the auto levels in elements I get a small amp glow about a >third of the way from the left on the top of the picture( I >wish I had saved the test pictures). > >Now my question if I do not get it until I add auto levels >how does this affect everyday photography when not applying >auto levels(I am not the best at photoshopping). The good >news is mine is small enough to crop out without losing to >much. Sorry the late wuestion. Jim
I had an "early" model 40,000 mark S/N, then a "late" model of 90,000+ number and contrary to Thom's 50,000 + magic mark, both had the same three-area glow pattern.
Both, like in your case, have no visible amp glow even at ISO1600 at 30 seconds, so not an issue for me. It may become visible in severely underexposed photos with black on the edge, but those would be so bad otherwise that I'm not sure it matters...
To the other poster - if yours has visible glow without post processing at less than 15-30 second exposures at ISO1600 I would certainly consider that a problem to be replaced/repaired.
#77. "RE: Possible D80 problem: Thom Hogan" In response to Reply # 76
Thanks that is what I was thinking. I tried some real life 30 second exposures and even with a little tweeking I didn't get the AMP glow only using the auto levels. But to be honest my D50 is so good at long exposures I probobly still use it. Thanks again. Jim
#78. "RE: Possible D80 problem: Thom Hogan" In response to Reply # 77
Ok I'm relatively new to photography and really new to DSLRs. I need to throw a question out to the group. I have a pretty low serial number with the expected high amount of amp glow associated with it (I was recently trying to shoot a star trail shot, that's how I found out I had this issue and when I started looking into it). The exposure time was almost 14 min and it appears 3 large stars are moving in from the top of the frame. As neat as it may look, it's not really what I was going for, now or in the future. Being a novice my questions are:
What are the chances Nikon will do something about this (i.e. have us send in our cameras for repair)?
I am wrestling with holding on to this low serial number camera, accepting the amp glow for now, and wait to see if Nikon cares to fix it or take it back to Circuit City (not so good experiences there) and try to tell the salespeople I want to exchange the camera, why I want to exchange it, and then attempt to test the higher serial number cameras until I find one that has less amp glow than my current one.
I'm looking for experience driven responses. If you're going to tell me that amp glow is no big deal and I need to stop whining about it, please don't respond. It's a big deal to me.
#79. "RE: Possible D80 problem: Thom Hogan" In response to Reply # 78
For sure, complain to Nikon. They may appear to ignore you but, eventually, if enough of us complains, they will have to address address the problem. As for any manufacturer, it's not a problem if nobody or very few people complain but, the squeaky wheel gets the grease so, we have to squeak As for taking it back to Circuit City; as a Canadian I have no experience with them but, I thing, that if you do and document the reason for return, they will be returning the camera to Nikon with the reason noted somewhere so... the same logic follows: with enough returns, Nikon will have to face the music and do something about the noise!
#80. "RE: Possible D80 problem: Thom Hogan" In response to Reply # 78
Quad Cities, US
Frankly I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for Nikon to fix this problem. Like GPSMapNut said below “the squeaky wheel gets the grease” but this problem is likely to only really affect a small percentage of D80 buyers. Nikon will probably just see this as a limitation of this camera model especially since all DSLR’s have at least some Amp Glow. A recall to fix the problem would be quite expensive. I think the best we can hope for is that future camera production will solve this.
Your option of exchanging it for a higher serial number camera could work BUT finding a retailer (especially Circuit City) who will let you keep exchanging several cameras will be difficult.
This is an important issue for your shooting so maybe the D80 (because of this limitation) is not the best camera for you. I think the best option is to return or sell the camera and find a model that is know for producing the results you need. It seems that the D50 is a good choice. I would research cameras from all manufacturers to find the best one for this specific need.
The D80 is a great camera and the vast majority of users will probably never see this issue therefore Nikon is unlikely to recall and fix cameras.
#81. "RE: Possible D80 problem: Thom Hogan" In response to Reply # 78
I also have the amp noise problem. I sent some image samples to Nikon and got the reply that this behaviour is within design parameters and that their cameras are not designed to work with high ISO and long exposure times of 20 sec. However, I have the amp noise even on 1. ISO100 and with exposure time of 4 sec. 2. ISO1600 and with exposure time of 1/4 sec. Did anyone else get Nikon to fix/replace their camera because of amp noise?
#82. "RE: Possible D80 problem: Thom Hogan" In response to Reply # 81
Ponce de Leon, US
When I got my D80 I was immediately concerned with some of the problems here - and I guess they do exist, but I love my D80. The benefits of this camera FAR outweigh any drawbacks. The images I get are incredible; the feel professional, the possibilities endless - I love it!
#83. "RE: Possible D80 problem: Thom Hogan" In response to Reply # 81
As soon as Christmas is over mine is going to Nikon.
I'll just try keeping my pictures in the range of 100-350 iso. If an appropriate exposure will not happen in that range I'll just consider the shot lost.
I've seen the "glo" with my camera in properly exposed nature shots outdoors, at 400 iso.
I made the mistake of first sending in to Nikon USA some pictures I took at a concert. Of course the immediate response was that the level was normal.
The only way they could honestly determine defect would be against specifications for the Sony sensor. I hope they can do that.
I cannot find published specs for the Sony sensor however. The only specs I do find is that the sensor is supposed to be capable of iso 100-1600. Mine is not capable of this, at least in no way to be producing what I call acceptable quality for my money spent.
#84. "RE: Possible D80 problem: Thom Hogan" In response to Reply # 83
So, should Nikon add the disclaimer" Not to be used for nightime photography" on it's promotional materials? Is it reasonable to expect A $1000 camera to have this limitation? I think this is astonishing! If Nikon had tried this with their"stellar" film cameras can you imagine the collective uproar? "Warning: "bulb option has been removed."
#85. "RE: Possible D80 problem: Thom Hogan" In response to Reply # 84
i also noticed the problem on my camera. i had the iso at 100 using the 50/1.4 (set at 5.6) with a 900 second shutter speed. that is not a misprint. I set it to bulb and left the shutter open for about 15 minutes. i was trying to get some night shots in since i was in the middle of nowhere (no ambient light). when i got home i saw substantial purple noise radiating out of the top corners.
Has anyone called Nikon? If not I will post their response
#86. "RE: Possible D80 problem: Thom Hogan" In response to Reply # 85
I'm joining the thread (and the forum) late, but I can add another data-point.
I have a D80 purchased just before xmas. Its serial number is 8005xxx (maybe a different factory or production run than the much lower 3xxxxx numbers that other folks have? It was bought in England so maybe we get a different range of serial numbers).
I did the dark frame tests and sure enough the amp noise is present, but it's smaller in area than some of the examples posted by Thom and others. It's hard to see without auto-levelling. Only the off-centre glow is really noticeable, I don't seem to have the corner ones. The shutter speed doesn't seem to make a lot of difference, it certainly doesn't require a long exposure, I've seen it at 1/60.
So I went out of my way to reproduce it in a real shot. Yes, it can be done relatively easily; e.g. 1/30 sec at f3.5 and ISO1600 in a poorly lit room with a dark object at the top of the frame. Strangely enough, in the real shots that exhibit it, it's relatively easy to see without any post-processing.
It's a bit disappointing to find a flaw like this on a camera. But I think the reality is that this will affect fewer than 1 in 100 real pictures of the type I actually take, and the crop needed to lose it is only about 5% of the vertical frame height, so it's not a deal-breaker for me. I can understand people who take a different mix of shots may feel differently. I like everything else about the camera so far and haven't run into the other issues that people have reported (flash exposure, battery gauge).
One trick that I discovered while playing: if I can't see any amp glow in a shot using the LCD but I want to be confident it's not going to appear during post-processing, the glow can sometimes be developed in the camera using "D-lighting (enhanced)" in the Retouch menu. That makes a new copy of the photo so I can check & delete if satisfied, re-shoot if not.
#88. "RE: Possible D80 problem: Thom Hogan" In response to Reply # 87
The serial number on my new D80 is 3083891, and I see no evidence of amp glow on any normal pictures, including a lot of longer exposure night photos I've done. Evidently this issue has been resolved with the later units. Just out of curiousity, I did run the test that Thom Hogan mentions, and only when I run auto levels, is there an indication of purple "glow" at the top of the frame about 2/5 over from the left. Since I won't be shooting too many photos with my lens cap on and then, on top of that, running auto levels, I should be OK.
#89. "RE: Possible D80 problem: Thom Hogan" In response to Reply # 88
I have a serial number that is well past the serial numbers mentioned above. I just did the test and sure enough my "amp glow" starts in the very first test shot when looked at with Auto Levels. I can still return my camera, but I need to try some real world shots and see what happens. Another thing I noticed is what looks like two "hot pixels" tiny spots that are in every image. Is this something I should worry about? (The camera is about a week old.) I haven't noticed them in pictures and I haven't done this type of test with my D2X, so I don't have anything to compare it too. Thx!!!
#90. "RE: Possible D80 problem: Thom Hogan" In response to Reply # 88
Mike, How long are your exposures for the night photos that are not showing amp glow. I have an early serial number that shows the glow at 120 sec. I'm debating still whether or not to send it back to Nikon.
#91. "RE: Possible D80 problem: Thom Hogan" In response to Reply # 86
>I don't seem to have the corner ones.
Well, it seems I do, but only on longer exposures. Even at ISO100 if I do a 5 minute bulb exposure with the lens cap on, the purple corners are clearly visible on the LCD with no post-processing. In this case though the off-centre blob is absent.
If I do 5 minutes at ISO1600 then I get the corners (a bit bigger) AND the off-centre blob too. The off-centre blob isn't much worse than it is at shorter exposures (1/30th) at the same ISO1600.
Which suggests to me that the corner blobs are more senstive to exposure duration, and the central one is more sensitive to ISO speed.
(FWIW I had long exposure NR set to "off" and high ISO NR set to "norm".)
#92. "RE: Possible D80 problem: Thom Hogan" In response to Reply # 91
I should have mentioned that I only have the center blob. I did not see any indication of the corners on my camera (with the higher serial number.) I did some real world tests and it isn't nearly as evident, although did not go as high as 5 minutes. I did not try lower ISO's, either. For me, in retrospect, this is not a deal breaker either, but I can certainly understand the frustration if you take a lot of high ISO, long exposure pictures.
#93. "RE: Possible D80 problem: Thom Hogan" In response to Reply # 92
Metro DC, US
Serial numbers in the US start with 3, evidently. My d80 is 31,09xxx.
I just did 30s exposure at iso1600. Tried the 4 possible NR settings:
Long NR/High ISO NR ------------------- OFF/ON OFF/OFF ON/ON ON/OFF
In neither can I see it without auto levels. In fact, it only begins to be barely noticeable in purely black areas at 100% only after a level adjustment that correspond to more than +3 EV in my estimate: slider pulled left to about 160 on the histogram (from 255 total). This is a terrible underexposure that would in itself usually render a photo unusable in most cases. So any amp glow would be pretty much irrelevant there as I would most likely be discarding the photo. At this point you may begin to see it if you pixel peep carefully, after the level adjustment of about +3 stops. But it will not show in any "real life" photo unless you also bump the brightness or apply further EV compensation.
The only thing I see is a few stuck pixels, that are eliminated if long exposure NR is on...
At iso100 at 30 seconds with or without the NR, there are no stuck pixels at 30s. And the image is so clean that even after autolevels there is absolutely no evidence of any amp glow. In fact, I was surprised to see that there is almost no change in what the black looks compared to wihtout autolevels: unlike the case at ISO1600 where after autolevels it is all grey with pink on top where the amp glow shows, at ISO100 it is almost pure black/very dark grey all over with no indication of the areas with amp glow.
For all practical purposes that I intend to use the camera in, there is no way this thing is going to affect me (I hope ) But if you shoot 15 minutes or more, I guess it may become a real issue based on the reports here and elsewhere...
#94. "RE: Possible D80 problem: Thom Hogan" In response to Reply # 93
Aha! Thanks to those who have identified this problem, I've been scratching my head for the last couple of weeks wondering why I had purple patches in the top left and right corners of my very first attempt at capturing the movement of the stars (about 30 minute exposure). That's one photo out of a few thousand perfect (daytime and "normal" nightime ones so I'm not too fussed. All my other normal nightime long exposures have been fine (sub 5 minutes). Still I can understand if you were an astro type person why you wouldn't be too impressed. cheers Clive
#96. "RE: Possible D80 problem: Thom Hogan" In response to Reply # 95
Metro DC, US
>Darn...I just brought this camera two weeks ago based on all >of the great reviews...now I read this! > >This is my first DSLR Camera purchase. > >Taking it back tomorrow and picking up Canon's EOS 30D for >a couple hundred dollars more...that's too bad...I really >liked the D80 :'(
Give both a try. They are different. And make sure you read the 30D complaints threads too before going for it
#97. "RE: Possible D80 problem: Thom Hogan" In response to Reply # 95
>Darn...I just brought this camera two weeks ago based on all >of the great reviews...now I read this! > >This is my first DSLR Camera purchase. > >Taking it back tomorrow and picking up Canon's EOS 30D for >a couple hundred dollars more...that's too bad...I really >liked the D80 :'(
Just to be clear; Are you saying that you have used the camera for 2 weeks and you didn't have a problem using it till you read this? May I suggest that you define (for yourself) what features / performance characteristics are truly important to you and choose a camera that does the best what YOU need and simply ignore complaints about features that have no bearing on what is truly important to you.
#98. "RE: Possible D80 problem: Thom Hogan" In response to Reply # 97
Does anyone know if the amp glow has been fixed? Or at least significantly reduced? F2AS mentioned above that his high serial number (308xxxx) doesn't even show amp glow with long exposure night shots. Just curious Mike, how long was the exposure for those? Mine (300xxxx) shows it at 120sec.
#99. "RE: Possible D80 problem: Thom Hogan" In response to Reply # 98
After learning more about my camera and doing some more testing, yes, I find that I do get some "amp glow" in the upper left & right hand corners, and some in the upper middle-left shooting at 4 minutes or so with the lens cap on (which is dumb I know).
I haven't noticed this in any "normal" pictures, but can't say it's not there in some form or another. Based on my D80, I doubt if there is any real difference in the early D80's vs. the later ones with regards to this issue. I'm still OK with it because I don't use it for that kind of photography. If others hadn't brought the issue up, I would have never known it was there. Maybe I should just stay away from these forums!
and I might add that it's not just the D80 that does this. Here is a D70 shot with a 5 minute exposure
#100. "RE: Possible D80 problem: Thom Hogan" In response to Reply # 99
**GPSMapNut wrot * "Just to be clear; Are you saying that you have used the camera for 2 weeks and you didn't have a problem using it till you read this? May I suggest that you define (for yourself) what features / performance characteristics are truly important to you and choose a camera that does the best what YOU need and simply ignore complaints about features that have no bearing on what is truly important to you."
Hello...everyone...as you can see I'm new to the Nikon world and this excellent forum.
GPSMapNut you are correct...however when I first read about this "purple amp glow" problem I was very surprise and upset at first. My previous camera for eight years was Cannon A-1 SLR and gave me years of great photos. I'm just an amateur photographer.
For me spending this kind of money and then to find out that the D80 has this major defect or problem bother me to no end last night because I thought I was buying a quality product from Nikon.
Nikon has always made a quality camera as long as I can remember...but they were out of my price range back in the day.
I realize I may not ever run into this problem because I don't take many photographs in that scenario but my concerns are will this problem just get worse with age of this camera and reared it's ugly head over time I'm afraid!
**kocho wrot * "Give both a try. They are different. And make sure you read the 30D complaints threads too before going for it."
#101. "RE: Possible D80 problem: Thom Hogan" In response to Reply # 100
As Thom says in his review of the D200, which has a similar sensor to the D80:
"You'll see very visible amp noise along virtually all the edge boundaries of the frame on a 15 minute exposure. Indeed, in almost all ways, the D200 amp noise is worse than the D70 amp noise, as it extends to many parts of the frame (the D70’s is mostly in the upper left). And after the excellent amp noise of the D50 I was expecting more from the D200. I didn’t get it. Long exposure noise reduction does reduce the visibility of amp noise considerably, but the D200 won’t be making its way into astrophotography circles, I think"
#102. "RE: Possible D80 problem: Thom Hogan" In response to Reply # 100
Michael, for what it's worth, the D80 does not have any major defects. It's a great camera. There have been countless professional reviews on the D80 posted on the internet, where it has been thoroughly tested. All of the opinions have been very favorable, if not glowing (no pun intended). Popular Photography just named it the best 10 megapixel DSLR in its price range, and I'm sure that was for a reason. This amp glow matter has been blown way out of proportion in my opinion. I just took mine out tonight and got some great long exposure shots of our little town lit up at night. I think you'll find that no camera is ever going to be absolutely perfect in every situation and have no limitations (except Canons I guess).
>Hello...everyone...as you can see I'm new to the Nikon world >and this excellent forum. > >GPSMapNut you are correct...however when I first read about >this "purple amp glow" problem I was very surprise and upset >at first. My previous camera for eight years was Cannon A-1 >SLR and gave me years of great photos. I'm just an amateur >photographer. > >For me spending this kind of money and then to find out that >the D80 has this major defect or problem bother me to no end >last night because I thought I was buying a quality product >from Nikon. > >Nikon has always made a quality camera as long as I can >remember...but they were out of my price range back in the >day. > >I realize I may not ever run into this problem because I >don't take many photographs in that scenario but my concerns >are will this problem just get worse with age of this camera >and reared it's ugly head over time I'm afraid! > >**kocho wrot * >"Give both a try. They are different. And make sure you >read the 30D complaints threads too before going for >it." > >Yes I will kocho...thanks > > >Best Regards > > >Michael
#103. "RE: Possible D80 problem: Thom Hogan" In response to Reply # 100
>>>> >GPSMapNut you are correct...however when I first read about >this "purple amp glow" problem I was very surprise and upset >at first. My previous camera for eight years was Cannon A-1 >SLR and gave me years of great photos. I'm just an amateur >photographer. > >For me spending this kind of money and then to find out that >the D80 has this major defect or problem bother me to no end >last night because I thought I was buying a quality product >from Nikon. > >>>>>>>>>>> >Michael
It's all a matter of perspective. For guys like me, night photography is very important so, *we* complain about anything that impairs it. If you read this thread, you will find that most never had a clue about the existence of this problem because, for most it's not really a problem at all so, there is no "major defect" with D80. The fact is that all digital cameras have problems with truly long exposures and that D80 isn't all that bad with it but *we* want it better. Heck, for true astro photography, there are cameras with supercooled sensors and other enhancements... Anyway; my point is twofold. 1. For any camera, you will find a group complaining about a feature or two. You may go for a different camera but, whatever camera it will be, it will have a "problem" a group of people will complain about. 2. D80 is truly very fine camera. If it wasn't, I would return it right after I purchased it. Consider this: Even that long exposures are important to me and D80 is not my first digital. Even that I knew the extend of the D80 amp noise within the hours of the purchase; I decided to keep it because, despite my complaints, it's one hell of a good camera and what I'm getting out of it, proved to me that I was right keeping it. So, I will continue to use it, be happy with it and I will continue to complain about it at the same time.
#104. "RE: Possible D80 problem: Thom Hogan" In response to Reply # 103
>Michael, > >It's all a matter of perspective. For guys like me, night >photography is very important so, *we* complain about >anything that impairs it. If you read this thread, you will >find that most never had a clue about the existence of this >problem because, for most it's not really a problem at all >so, there is no "major defect" with D80. The fact is that >all digital cameras have problems with truly long exposures >and that D80 isn't all that bad with it but *we* want it >better. Heck, for true astro photography, there are cameras >with supercooled sensors and other enhancements... Anyway; >my point is twofold. >1. For any camera, you will find a group complaining about a >feature or two. You may go for a different camera but, >whatever camera it will be, it will have a "problem" a group >of people will complain about. >2. D80 is truly very fine camera. If it wasn't, I would >return it right after I purchased it. Consider this: Even >that long exposures are important to me and D80 is not my >first digital. Even that I knew the extend of the D80 amp >noise within the hours of the purchase; I decided to keep it >because, despite my complaints, it's one hell of a good >camera and what I'm getting out of it, proved to me that I >was right keeping it. So, I will continue to use it, be >happy with it and I will continue to complain about it at >the same time. > >Andrew Kalinowski
F2AS wrote: Popular Photography just named it the best 10 megapixel DSLR in its price range, and I'm sure that was for a reason. This amp glow matter has been blown way out of proportion in my opinion.
Thanks guys for your replies. As I've said before this is my first major purchase of a DSLR camera and I overreacted. I realize no camera is perfect....not even Cannon products
#105. "RE: Possible D80 problem: Thom Hogan" In response to Reply # 104
This issue bothered me a lot during my camera purchasing process as well. It does seem to be a pretty bad defect, plus the so-called over-exposure issue. I went to the camera stores multiple times, tried out Nikon D80, D200, Canon 30D, XTi (400D), etc. Even though Canon 30D feels good, the Nikon body still feels better (yeah, even with the plastic D80). So, I was struggling whether I should let this issue bothers me. Then I read this reply from Thom Hogan on DPReview Forum, he said:
== > If this camera is > really that bad, I'm going to seriously consider other options, > even Canon. "really that bad..." Sigh.
People read what they want into things posted on the Internet, and others amplify or shout what they think. One person who performed the test I suggested and who was completely happy with D80 before that point, now thinks its the worst thing he's ever bought. Funny, it still takes the same nice pictures it did before he bumped into me ;~) ==
Then I look at some D80 pictures on Flickr, Photosigs, and other personal websites. Then I realize that even though this is indeed a serious defect if you are into astrophotography or long exposure at night that with high ISO, the chance that I gets bothered by it is probably close to 0%. I want a camera that can help me preserve memory in my life with my family and friends, D80 is more than capable of doing that without worrying about the "amp glow" issue. So, I decide to go for it. My S/N is 3068xxxx, I did perform the test and found glow but not likely I would do those in live shooting.
For the equipment, I think that the handling is more important than features. If you like Nikon's handling and have no major issue with some of the flaws, then you should be fine. If you enjoy Canon's handling, then go for it. Besides... Even Hubble Space Telescope suffers from amp glow...
#107. "RE: Possible D80 problem: Thom Hogan" In response to Reply # 106
>Michael, > >To help you put the amp glow problem into perspective; have >a look at few of my long exposure D80 shots that are within >my gallery. > They may not be the greatest photos BUT, the real question >is: would they be any better if I was using a different >camera?
Thanks Andrew for all the info and help...very nice pictures.
I'm keeping my D80.
Now to learn all the in's and out's of this camera...
#108. "RE: Possible D80 problem: Thom Hogan" In response to Reply # 99
Some of these cameras are way over the top on the noise. It is probably hard to quantify at the user level, but I cannot get pictures that look anything like what "GPSMapNut" has on his website taken with a D80. Mine is noisy. You would have seen an enormous purplish or whitish blob at the top left center of the frame (not corrected for orientation). It is that simple. It needs to go back to Nikon, and I cannot tell you what a pain that is, and not knowing if Nikon will actually do anything about it.
I only wish I had noticed this during the 14 days I had to discover such problems as per the store's stated policy where I purchased the D80 kit from, and I would have exchanged it.
I have to agree that there is going to be some noise. It is in the fundamental nature of the electronics.
The "worse rap for it" might be due to the variation in the noise produced by the sensors. It can range from excellent, apparently, to downright horrid. The fact that the horrid ones escape into the public during production is appalling.
This problem isn't just limited to low serial numbers either. It probably just turns out that a majority of those in that range were defective. I have a higher serial# camera and it is unusable in many situations.
#109. "RE: Possible D80 problem: Thom Hogan" In response to Reply # 0
Just a warning ... the camera bodies with this problem are still out there. I bought one on 1/13/2007 that turned out to have the problem, and to have a low serial number. When we explained the issue, the place where we bought it graciously exchanged it for one with a higher serial number which doesn't exhibit ithe problem. They're sending the older one back to Nikon.
#111. "RE: Possible D80 problem: Thom Hogan" In response to Reply # 0
I have just confirmed the purple bloom problem. Set your camera to Hi 1 ISO at night in a dark room or even with some light. It is obvious. Now my D80 model has serial # higher then Toms Quote. It is probably going back. When I used the AC adaptor I got different results then AA's so it is internal and probably has to do with the components set too close to the sensor. I am very disappointed since I could have saved a lot and bought a Point and Shoot for these types of problems.
It is all connected to the ISO. At ISO 100 nothing for up to 1 Minute (cause that is all I tried). But at HI 1 it is obvious and unavoidable even at 1/4 or 1/13 or 1/2000. It becomes progressively worse. This is recall material. Question is why don't they just move the sensor power components. Looks like a cannon is in the stars for me. This was discussed with NIKON many years ago and they where able to fix it, who does their QA is the question?
#113. "RE: Possible D80 problem: Thom Hogan" In response to Reply # 112
Having the noise visible in pictures at all speeds at 1600 iso would seem a good indicator of a problem to me. My camera would show the noise at iso 400 and lower in good pictures at 1/100 and faster shutter speeds.
Sensors are going to have some noise. Tests have been outlined here and pictures have been posted by folks here showing ISO and other information. Have you made comparisons?
#114. "RE: Possible D80 problem: Thom Hogan" In response to Reply # 113
Unfortunately, I do not have the ability to post uploads on this blog. But at Hi 1 it is visiable at 1/2000 Second on all of my lenses at Max Apeture, and the pattern changes with power supply. Since it is going back, I probably will not have a chance to do extensive testing, but I have pics I could send you. Mine was good at 400 but I will check. Did you say you sent yours to Nikon or just returned it?
It is too bad, I love everything else about the camera. This is a real heartbreak for me. It was so simple to fix too.
#115. "RE: Possible D80 problem: Thom Hogan" In response to Reply # 114
I ran the test that Tom Hogan suggested in message #5 and after using the Auto Levels in CS2 I found substantial purple blotches.
I called Nikon's digital support line and was told that NikonUSA is aware of the problem and they are waiting to hear back from Nikon Japan as to what they plan to do to fix this problem. He did not ask me to send in my camera for repair.
He did say I could send in some images to Nikon at www.support.nikontech.com but the images had to be unaltered images that have not gone through any software.
Has anyone else had any feedback from Nikon regarding this problem and its possible fix?
#116. "RE: Possible D80 problem: Thom Hogan" In response to Reply # 114
I was told by Nikon USA to send mine in. It would probably be nice if we were all speaking with the same reps there. I sure don't want to send it in for a shuffle and two step.
I've had the camera for a few months. I bought it before Thanksgiving so that I would have a quality camera for the holidays. For low ISO numbers and moderate shutter speeds the results were quite fine.
Now it is past the holidays and I wanted this reviewed by Nikon. I certainly want to be doing more with the camera than this.
#117. "RE: Possible D80 problem: Thom Hogan" In response to Reply # 0
I have run the test and found significant error at longer exposures. However, I did find purple haze lines running down the photo at all exposures once I changed the Auto Levels in PS. The pictures are uploaded here. I am an amateur so if someone could take a look at them and let me know if this is normal or abnormal, that would be greatly appreciated.
#118. "RE: Possible D80 problem: Thom Hogan" In response to Reply # 117
bayside queens, US
thats exactly the results i got and im wondering the same thing. interesting enough though i cant seem to find a setting in capture nx that shows these purple streakes if i try it in capture instead of elements.
#120. "RE: Possible D80 problem: Thom Hogan" In response to Reply # 119
I just upgraded the firmware to version 1.1 and this amp noise-purple streaking is now gone. Actually, even the metering seems better... Have any of you performed the upgrade and tested to see if it also fixed this problem?
#122. "RE: Possible D80 problem: Thom Hogan" In response to Reply # 117
bayside queens, US
>I have run the test and found significant error at longer >exposures. However, I did find purple haze lines running >down the photo at all exposures once I changed the Auto >Levels in PS. The pictures are uploaded here. I am an >amateur so if someone could take a look at them and let me >know if this is normal or abnormal, that would be greatly >appreciated. > > > > > > > >
did it turn out the purplish streaks running thru out are part of the problem too or are those normal noise?