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New D800 Manual exposure reading is in reverse

ChrisBalcombe

Southampton, UK
4 posts

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ChrisBalcombe Registered since 02nd Mar 2013
Sat 02-Mar-13 01:23 PM

Greetings from a new member. Looks like a great site. I have something weird happening on my new, just out of the box D800. Using any Nikon lens, when I set the camera to manual (I'm old school, sorry), I get the exposure scale reading, in the viewfinder, in reverse. ie: if the image is over-exposed, it reads as being under, and vice-versa. The LCD on the camera top reads correctly, its just through the lens that's operating back to front. Have I missed a really obvious setting? Camera is fine in all other modes. Should I be repacking the camera and sending it back pronto? Very grateful for any input, and my apologies if I've missed something really obvious. I've been pro for over 30 years, using Nikon from AE-1's onwards.

walkerr

Colorado Springs, US
16903 posts

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#1. "RE: New D800 Manual exposure reading is in reverse" | In response to Reply # 0

walkerr Administrator Awarded for his con tributed articles published at the Resources Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in multiple areas Master Ribbon awarded as a member who has gone beyond technical knowledge to show mastery of the art and science of photography   Donor Ribbon awarded for his most generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 05th May 2002
Sat 02-Mar-13 12:40 PM

Nikon changed the direction of the exposure scales in their recent models (D800, D600, D4, etc.). You can change it back to the older style via a custom setting if you wish.

Rick Walker

My photos:

GeoVista Photography

gpoole

Farmington Hills, US
4122 posts

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#2. "RE: New D800 Manual exposure reading is in reverse" | In response to Reply # 0

gpoole Platinum Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his excellent and frequent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community in the Nikonians spirit. Awarded for his very generous support to the Fundrasing Campaing 2014 Writer Ribbon awarded for his article contributions for the Articles library and the eZine Nikonian since 14th Feb 2004
Sat 02-Mar-13 12:40 PM

Starting with the D4 and D800 Nikon reversed the default direction on the exposure scale in the viewfinder. I don't think your meter is reading backwards. Look carefully and I think you will find the plus and minus signs are on the opposite ends of the scale from where you expect them to be.

You can reverse the exposure scale display by changing CSM f12 (p. 319 in the English manual).

Gary in SE Michigan, USA.
Nikonians membership - My most important photographic investment, after the camera.
D4, D810, D300 (720nm IR conversion), D90, F6, FM3a (black), FM2n (chrome)
YashicaMat 124, Graflex Speed Graphic 4x5
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ChrisBalcombe

Southampton, UK
4 posts

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#3. "RE: New D800 Manual exposure reading is in reverse" | In response to Reply # 2

ChrisBalcombe Registered since 02nd Mar 2013
Sat 02-Mar-13 01:57 PM

Thankyou so much gentlemen. I kinda thought it might be me missing something obvious!
It joins a D700 workhorse and a D7000, so I'll have to decide if I want to switch the D800 to match with the other exposure scales.
One more shoot today, and I'll use the D700 for that, then spend tomorrow getting used to the D800.
Always been a fault of mine, that I never read the instruction books, just grab the camera and shoot.

ajdooley

Waterloo, US
3320 posts

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#4. "RE: New D800 Manual exposure reading is in reverse" | In response to Reply # 0

ajdooley Gold Member Nikonian since 25th May 2006
Sat 02-Mar-13 02:36 PM

Chris -

First, welcome to Nikonians. You are absolutely going to love this site. It is the best money you will spend for sometime!

I too wonder why Nikon reversed the + and - exposure in the new cameras. But fortunately you can "correct" their "mistake." BTW, they'll NEVER explain their reasoning: they are inscrutable.

And may I note that you are demonstrating a male trait my wife is always happy to point out to me -- not reading the instructions when getting into a new piece of equipment or asking for directions when lost! Good on ya! Never fear -- just sk someone here at Nikonians. BTW too, you can download a digital version of the D800 manual and search it vice reading the whole darned thing, or better yet, buy Digital Darrel or Busch's excellent books and skip the manual.

Cheers!

Alan
Waterloo, IL, USA
www.proimagingmidamerica.com

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

gpoole

Farmington Hills, US
4122 posts

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#5. "RE: New D800 Manual exposure reading is in reverse" | In response to Reply # 3

gpoole Platinum Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his excellent and frequent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community in the Nikonians spirit. Awarded for his very generous support to the Fundrasing Campaing 2014 Writer Ribbon awarded for his article contributions for the Articles library and the eZine Nikonian since 14th Feb 2004
Sat 02-Mar-13 03:08 PM

You should also be able to reverse the D700 and D7000 scales to match the D800 default if you wish. I can do it on my D300 and D90, so it should be possible on the D700 and D7000. The settings will all be in the CSM f group, but the numbers will vary for each camera model.

Personally I like all my cameras to match so I changed my D4 and D800 to the old way.

I think Nikon changed the default direction of the exposure scale because many new Nikon users thought a plus to minus scale was backwards. Nikon used the "backwards" scale because it matched the direction you needed to turn the aperture ring to zero the exposure meter. Now that new lenses don't have an aperture ring and most users don't use it even if their lens has one, Nikon turned the scale default to what many people consider "correct".

BTW you can also reverse the dial directions to match the direction of the exposure scale. This is in other CSM f group settings.

Gary in SE Michigan, USA.
Nikonians membership - My most important photographic investment, after the camera.
D4, D810, D300 (720nm IR conversion), D90, F6, FM3a (black), FM2n (chrome)
YashicaMat 124, Graflex Speed Graphic 4x5
My Nikonians Gallery & Our Chapter Gallery

walkerr

Colorado Springs, US
16903 posts

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#6. "RE: New D800 Manual exposure reading is in reverse" | In response to Reply # 4

walkerr Administrator Awarded for his con tributed articles published at the Resources Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in multiple areas Master Ribbon awarded as a member who has gone beyond technical knowledge to show mastery of the art and science of photography   Donor Ribbon awarded for his most generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 05th May 2002
Sat 02-Mar-13 03:43 PM

The reason they changed the direction is that it's more of the standard across the industry and it aligns the exposure scale with the histogram - brighter is to the right and darker to the left. If you think about, there are few things where negative amounts are to the right; it's definitely not the standard in math.

Personally, I think it makes sense, and I've aligned all my cameras, older and newer, with this orientation.

Rick Walker

My photos:

GeoVista Photography

Skyco

Roanoke Island, US
170 posts

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#7. "RE: New D800 Manual exposure reading is in reverse" | In response to Reply # 0

Skyco Silver Member Nikonian since 12th Mar 2012
Sun 03-Mar-13 01:18 AM | edited Sun 03-Mar-13 01:28 AM by Skyco

Welcome to Nikonians Chris,

I hope you enjoy your D800 and your experience with Nikonians as well.

I started out shooting manual exclusively but the D800 with Auto ISO combined with Aperture Priority makes a very interesting combination. The D800 knows the lens and focal length your using and sets the ISO and shutter speed as per your settings. I still use Manual and manual focus when it seems best.

I strongly recommend Darrell Young's "Mastering the Nikon D800" There are so many settings and options available on this camera and the Nikon manual won't tell you what any of them are good for.

Well Wishes,

Ken

Visit my Nikonians gallery.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/skyco_g/

ChrisBalcombe

Southampton, UK
4 posts

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#8. "RE: New D800 Manual exposure reading is in reverse" | In response to Reply # 7

ChrisBalcombe Registered since 02nd Mar 2013
Sun 03-Mar-13 06:56 AM

Thanks again for the further advice. I 'grew up' in photography always using manual for everything. I never liked to put my trust in automatic settings, and it's hard to drill that out of me nowadays.
Many young photographers who I helped train (I was pic ed at a large UK agency for many years) would be incredulous that we used to shoot football on manual focus.
Ahh, the good old days - fingers itching having spent too long prodding prints in the fixer, 'flashing' a sheet of Ilford paper to get the print even flatter from a really contrasty neg. Hanging our cameras in the neg dryer after a soaking football match. I could go on, and often do...

www.ChrisBalcombe.com
http://www.flickr.com/photos/chrisbalcombe/

G