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Subject: "Narrow Histogram" Previous topic | Next topic
dbuckenmyer Silver Member Nikonian since 23rd Feb 2009Fri 06-Aug-10 04:10 PM
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"Narrow Histogram"


Jackson, US
          

I was shooting around the downtown of a local city yesterday when I noticed that my pictures were coming out quite dark even though they were metering OK. The histograms were compressed or clipped at the bright side and I would have to open up the f/stop about 2-3 stops to get the histogram over to the right edge. Even then, the right edge would be clipped. Any ideas on what is happening?

I have included examples of what I was seeing. The first example was as metered correctly at 1/250th sec (all shots are ISO 100, f/8, 28mm exposure compensation to direct sunlight, I can't remember if I had the circular polarizer on at this point or not), then I worked up the scale to 1/125, 1/80, 1/50. It was 8:00 am, sun-up at 6:00, and there were passing clouds. Not the brightest of situations, but certainly not dark.

The histogram for the first shot stops at 60% from the left edge to the right, the second about 75% left to right, the third, which shows to be the closest to correctly exposed in the histo is about 90% and the last starts at about 5% off of the left hand side to being clipped on the right.

I don't know how to show you the exif info, but I have seen members add it on for others, so if there is someone out there willing to do this it may help everyone. Thanks. Any ideas on what could be happening would help.

dbuckenmyer

Visit my Nikonians gallery.













Attachment #1, (jpg file)
Attachment #2, (jpg file)
Attachment #3, (jpg file)
Attachment #4, (jpg file)

  

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Replies to this topic
Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: Narrow Histogram
MEMcD Moderator
06th Aug 2010
1
Reply message RE: Narrow Histogram
dbuckenmyer Silver Member
06th Aug 2010
2
     Reply message RE: Narrow Histogram
MEMcD Moderator
06th Aug 2010
3
          Reply message RE: Narrow Histogram
dbuckenmyer Silver Member
06th Aug 2010
5
Reply message RE: Narrow Histogram
nightcat
06th Aug 2010
4
Reply message RE: Narrow Histogram
greenwing Gold Member
06th Aug 2010
6
Reply message RE: Narrow Histogram
MotoMannequin Moderator
15th Aug 2010
8
     Reply message RE: Narrow Histogram
dbuckenmyer Silver Member
15th Aug 2010
9
Reply message RE: Narrow Histogram
ahhbeebee
07th Aug 2010
7

MEMcD Moderator In depth knowledge in various areas Nikonian since 24th Dec 2007Fri 06-Aug-10 04:36 PM
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#1. "RE: Narrow Histogram"
In response to Reply # 0


US
          

Hi Daniel,

Are you sure that the Exposure Compensation was set to 0?
Here is the Exif Data for each image.

>dbuckenmyer
>

Visit
>my
>Nikonians gallery>.>

Make = NIKON CORPORATION
Model = NIKON D60
Orientation = top/left
X Resolution = 72
Y Resolution = 72
Resolution Unit = inch
Software = Adobe Photoshop CS3 Windows
Date Time = 2010-08-06 10:52:12
Artist = Daniel Buckenmyer
YCbCr Positioning = centered
Copyright = (C)2010 Daniel Buckenmyer, all rights reserved
Exif IFD Pointer = Offset: 316


Exposure Time = 1/250"
F Number = F8
Exposure Program = Manual
ISO Speed Ratings = 100
Exif Version = Version 2.21
Date Time Original = 2010-08-05 07:40:55
Date Time Digitized = 2010-08-05 07:40:55
Components Configuration = YCbcr
Exposure Bias Value = ±0EV
Max Aperture Value = F4.44
Metering Mode = Spot
Light Source = Fine weather
Flash = Off
Focal Length = 28mm
User Comment = DAN BUCKENMYER
Subsec Time = 0.60"
Subsec Time Original = 0.60"
Subsec Time Digitized = 0.60"
Flashpix Version = Version 1.0
Color Space = sRGB
Exif Image Width = 929
Exif Image Height = 622
Interoperability IFD Pointer = Offset: 920
Sensing Method = One-chip color area sensor
File Source = DSC
Scene Type = A directly photographed image
CFA Pattern = ,

Custom Rendered = Normal process
Exposure Mode = Manual exposure
White Balance = Manual white balance
Digital Zoom Ratio = 1x
Focal Length In 35mm Film = 42mm
Scene Capture Type = Normal
Gain Control = None
Contrast = Normal
Saturation = Normal
Sharpness = Normal
Subject Distance Range = unknown


>
>

Make = NIKON CORPORATION
Model = NIKON D60
Orientation = top/left
X Resolution = 72
Y Resolution = 72
Resolution Unit = inch
Software = Adobe Photoshop CS3 Windows
Date Time = 2010-08-06 10:51:06
Artist = Daniel Buckenmyer
YCbCr Positioning = centered
Copyright = (C)2010 Daniel Buckenmyer, all rights reserved
Exif IFD Pointer = Offset: 316


Exposure Time = 1/125"
F Number = F8
Exposure Program = Manual
ISO Speed Ratings = 100
Exif Version = Version 2.21
Date Time Original = 2010-08-05 07:41:21
Date Time Digitized = 2010-08-05 07:41:21
Components Configuration = YCbcr
Exposure Bias Value = ±0EV
Max Aperture Value = F4.44
Metering Mode = Spot
Light Source = Fine weather
Flash = Off
Focal Length = 28mm
User Comment = DAN BUCKENMYER
Subsec Time = 0.60"
Subsec Time Original = 0.60"
Subsec Time Digitized = 0.60"
Flashpix Version = Version 1.0
Color Space = sRGB
Exif Image Width = 864
Exif Image Height = 578
Interoperability IFD Pointer = Offset: 920
Sensing Method = One-chip color area sensor
File Source = DSC
Scene Type = A directly photographed image
CFA Pattern = ,

Custom Rendered = Normal process
Exposure Mode = Manual exposure
White Balance = Manual white balance
Digital Zoom Ratio = 1x
Focal Length In 35mm Film = 42mm
Scene Capture Type = Normal
Gain Control = None
Contrast = Normal
Saturation = Normal
Sharpness = Normal
Subject Distance Range = unknown

>
>

Make = NIKON CORPORATION
Model = NIKON D60
Orientation = top/left
X Resolution = 72
Y Resolution = 72
Resolution Unit = inch
Software = Adobe Photoshop CS3 Windows
Date Time = 2010-08-06 10:54:20
Artist = Daniel Buckenmyer
YCbCr Positioning = centered
Copyright = (C)2010 Daniel Buckenmyer, all rights reserved
Exif IFD Pointer = Offset: 316


Exposure Time = 1/80"
F Number = F8
Exposure Program = Manual
ISO Speed Ratings = 100
Exif Version = Version 2.21
Date Time Original = 2010-08-05 07:41:30
Date Time Digitized = 2010-08-05 07:41:30
Components Configuration = YCbcr
Exposure Bias Value = ±0EV
Max Aperture Value = F4.44
Metering Mode = Spot
Light Source = Fine weather
Flash = Off
Focal Length = 28mm
User Comment = DAN BUCKENMYER
Subsec Time = 0.70"
Subsec Time Original = 0.70"
Subsec Time Digitized = 0.70"
Flashpix Version = Version 1.0
Color Space = sRGB
Exif Image Width = 929
Exif Image Height = 622
Interoperability IFD Pointer = Offset: 920
Sensing Method = One-chip color area sensor
File Source = DSC
Scene Type = A directly photographed image
CFA Pattern = ,

Custom Rendered = Normal process
Exposure Mode = Manual exposure
White Balance = Manual white balance
Digital Zoom Ratio = 1x
Focal Length In 35mm Film = 42mm
Scene Capture Type = Normal
Gain Control = None
Contrast = Normal
Saturation = Normal
Sharpness = Normal
Subject Distance Range = unknown

>
>

Make = NIKON CORPORATION
Model = NIKON D60
Orientation = top/left
X Resolution = 72
Y Resolution = 72
Resolution Unit = inch
Software = Adobe Photoshop CS3 Windows
Date Time = 2010-08-06 10:52:59
Artist = Daniel Buckenmyer
YCbCr Positioning = centered
Copyright = (C)2010 Daniel Buckenmyer, all rights reserved
Exif IFD Pointer = Offset: 316


Exposure Time = 1/50"
F Number = F8
Exposure Program = Manual
ISO Speed Ratings = 100
Exif Version = Version 2.21
Date Time Original = 2010-08-05 07:41:38
Date Time Digitized = 2010-08-05 07:41:38
Components Configuration = YCbcr
Exposure Bias Value = ±0EV
Max Aperture Value = F4.44
Metering Mode = Spot
Light Source = Fine weather
Flash = Off
Focal Length = 28mm
User Comment = DAN BUCKENMYER
Subsec Time = 0.10"
Subsec Time Original = 0.10"
Subsec Time Digitized = 0.10"
Flashpix Version = Version 1.0
Color Space = sRGB
Exif Image Width = 929
Exif Image Height = 622
Interoperability IFD Pointer = Offset: 920
Sensing Method = One-chip color area sensor
File Source = DSC
Scene Type = A directly photographed image
CFA Pattern = ,

Custom Rendered = Normal process
Exposure Mode = Manual exposure
White Balance = Manual white balance
Digital Zoom Ratio = 1x
Focal Length In 35mm Film = 42mm
Scene Capture Type = Normal
Gain Control = None
Contrast = Normal
Saturation = Normal
Sharpness = Normal
Subject Distance Range = unknown

Best Regards,
Marty

  

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dbuckenmyer Silver Member Nikonian since 23rd Feb 2009Fri 06-Aug-10 04:59 PM
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#2. "RE: Narrow Histogram"
In response to Reply # 1


Jackson, US
          

Hi Marty, thanks for the exif. Yes, the exposure compensation was set to zero (I am assuming that the Exposure Bias Value of zero as seen in the exif is what you are referring to, and I never change that, so it should be 0).

Any ideas on what is happening?
Dan Buckenmyer

dbuckenmyer

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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MEMcD Moderator In depth knowledge in various areas Nikonian since 24th Dec 2007Fri 06-Aug-10 06:45 PM
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#3. "RE: Narrow Histogram"
In response to Reply # 2


US
          

Hi Dan,

I am not sure if the Exif data would indicate any Exposure Compensation because in Manaul exposure mode dialing in Exp. Comp. would only bias the meter reading and not change the exposure directly.

By "exposure compensation to direct sunlight" I assume you mean WB?

Since metering is through the lens, a Polarizer should not cause an under exposure problem with the metering unless you added the Polarizer after you set the exposure.

Image #1 and #2 are underexposed. Image #4 is over exposed.
What did the meter indicate for exposures #2,#3, and #4?

Is the meter consistantly under exposing or is this an isolated case?
Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!

Best Regards,
Marty

  

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dbuckenmyer Silver Member Nikonian since 23rd Feb 2009Fri 06-Aug-10 07:59 PM
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#5. "RE: Narrow Histogram"
In response to Reply # 3


Jackson, US
          

>By "exposure compensation to direct sunlight" I
>assume you mean WB?

Yeah, I don't know how that got messed up. I meant WB to direct sunlight, and 0 exposure compensation.

>Image #1 and #2 are underexposed. Image #4 is over exposed.
>What did the meter indicate for exposures #2,#3, and #4?

The meter was dead on for image #1, two bars over for #2, #3 was 4 bars over exposed and #4 was off the chart.

>Is the meter consistantly under exposing or is this an
>isolated case?

Not constantly, but has been doing it for many shots (this is only in the last two days so I need to check it out more.

>Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!

Thanks,

dbuckenmyer

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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nightcat Registered since 05th Mar 2006Fri 06-Aug-10 07:25 PM
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#4. "RE: Narrow Histogram"
In response to Reply # 0


LaCrosse,WI, US
          

Hi,

I'm guessing you were spot metering on the white building. This made your building neutral gray. Typically you need to add +2 ev to make it white. So 1/250 -> 1/125 -> 1/60. A different metering mode or metering on a different spot, might have given you a better initial reading. The great thing about digital is that you can check your results and change things if you don't like them.

Kraig

"The wisest follow their own directions" -Euripides
"I thought there would be more elephants" -C. Columbus

  

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greenwing Gold Member Nikonian since 18th May 2006Fri 06-Aug-10 08:47 PM
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#6. "RE: Narrow Histogram"
In response to Reply # 0


Yorkshire, GB
          

What jumps right out of the exif data at me is spot metering, and I think that's the problem here.

Chris

  

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MotoMannequin Moderator Awarded for his extraordinary skills in landscape and wildlife photography Nikonian since 11th Jan 2006Sun 15-Aug-10 05:35 PM
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#8. "RE: Narrow Histogram"
In response to Reply # 6


Livermore, CA, US
          

The exif shows 0 EV exposure comp.

>What jumps right out of the exif data at me is spot metering,
>and I think that's the problem here.

Chris and Kraig nailed it. Spot metering exposes so the area under the spot is middle gray. Putting that spot over a white building will underexpose so the building appears middle gray. If the spot then lies over a darker area, this will result in drastic swings in exposure.

Spot metering is an advanced mode but it really requires some thoughtful work to get it to produce what you want. In general I find this kind of detailed work is not necessary with digital cameras. I will usually just matrix meter and verify/tweak exposure using the histogram and highlights screens. If you want to spot meter off white, and get it to expose white, then you need +2-3 stops exposure comp.

If the dynamic range is exceeding what the camera can capture (clipped highlights and bunched up shadows) then you can take advanced steps (HDR, GND filters, fill flash, etc.) but if that's not possible then expose to protect the highlights and do your best to recover shadows in post processing.

Larry - a Bay Area Nikonian
My Nikonians gallery

www.tempered-light.com

  

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dbuckenmyer Silver Member Nikonian since 23rd Feb 2009Sun 15-Aug-10 08:25 PM
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#9. "RE: Narrow Histogram"
In response to Reply # 8


Jackson, US
          

Actually I spotted all over the scene, with the final metering done on the grass. The metering was close to the same all over the scene. I actually shot it first with matrix, then center-weighted, and finally the shot that I posted, which was the spot-metered shot. But I have found what I believe was the problem, and the solution.

The owner of a local camera store said that he had been seeing several DSLR cameras with this problem. He cleaned the contacts on the lens and on the body where it contacts the lens. No problems since then.

Thanks for all of the advice.

dbuckenmyer

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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ahhbeebee Registered since 01st Dec 2006Sat 07-Aug-10 12:47 AM
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#7. "RE: Narrow Histogram"
In response to Reply # 0


Calgary, CA
          

>The histogram for the first shot stops at 60% from the left
>edge to the right, the second about 75% left to right, the
>third, which shows to be the closest to correctly exposed in
>the histo is about 90% and the last starts at about 5% off of
>the left hand side to being clipped on the right.

I think your problem arises because the dynamic range of capture is not wide enough.

Looking at each example, the trees are very dark (almost without detail in the first few shots) - hence the histogram pushed against the left. At the same time, the clouds, sky and white building are in a tonal range already pushing against the right side of the limit of capture for your sensor.

As you open up the aperture, the exposure on the trees is shifted to the right, but by the time they are no longer bunched up against the left of the DR, the sky, clouds and building are completely blown out.

Try capturing the same scene under different lighting conditions, or using HDR.

Good luck!

--
Sampson

Visit my gallery.

  

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