Thu 27-Jun-13 03:48 AM | edited Thu 27-Jun-13 05:19 AM by jrp
Has anyone noticed an issue with underexposure? My histograms are constantly to the left despite changing metering modes as well as trying all shooting modes. I can correct it by changing the overall EV setting but I do not feel this should be happening. The exposure meter shows a correct exposure before the shot but the pics are underexposed. I had upgraded to the camera 6 months ago and at first I thought is was my techniques but it is not. I'm sending the camera in to Nikon to be checked.
New to using this I uploaded to my gallery under underexposure so you can see a few. I have some others but the size is to large. I tried to convert them to a smaller size in photo shop but could not make it small enough for the attachment requirements
I did not realize how many I corrected without keeping the originals.
What was the metering mode and what color and tone level was under the selected focus point? By the wording of your post, I get the impression that only the model shots with red clothing were under exposed. If in Matrix metering mode, the whole scene is used to calculate the exposure value, and then the spot level under the selected focus point is used to bias the exposure up or down to shift the focus point exposure to 18% grey. So if the tone level of the focus point is a little higher than the surrounding area, the whole scene exposure will be shifted downward. The metering sensor is RGB so it does consider color in its calculations. Stan St Petersburg Russia
#9. "Thank you for your attention to the problem. In practical terms, I have been able to solve it by editing the photo with the control layerThank you for your attention to the problem. In practical terms" | In response to Reply # 6
Dear Stan. Thank you for your attention to the problem. In practical terms, I have been able to solve it by editing the photo with an adjusting layer: ctr+j, applying "curve" in "green" to make dark part of the photo all visible, and then merge the layer in luminosity mode. I am proud by myself. David
So I just received the camera back from Nikon. Nice to live 15 miles away. They did find a meter issue and re-calibrated it. I have only shot a few photos and so far it looks better. Will do a more detailed analysis over the next few days
Also they also found an issue with the focus in the body as well as in the lens. They actually replaced the lens motor.
A little upsetting as the camera and lens are only 6 months old.
If you are under warranty you may want to send it in for an evaluation
I saw your post while coming to the forums to post the same problem. Yesterday, I shot photos of a friend who was standing outside with the sun over my shoulder. The shot came out dark, the histogram to the left as well. I only recently purchased the D600 and was shooting in auto to make sure it came out okay, due to a recent dark interior shot of a person. I've had to use software to make them viewable. Very disappointing.
I noticed something last night when looking for unaltered shots to post. My basic photo software, My Pictures and Picasa, presented me with two photos of each shot - one jpeg and one nef. The raw photos were far darker than the jpeg, even those unaltered. When I checked my D90 photos, the raw versions never displayed. So I'm not sure if this is normal or an indication that they were underexposed. I didn't check them in Lightroom or Photoshop.
Take a look at your camera settings. Active D-Lighting creates underexposure on the normal and high settings. The JPEG applies a curve in camera ot offset the exposure change, but the RAW image ignores that curve unless you are using Nikon software. ADL Low applies no exposure change, but Off may make sense if you use Lightroom and PS.
Sun 14-Jul-13 12:22 PM | edited Sun 14-Jul-13 12:36 PM by walkerr
That usually means you're using one of the scene modes rather than something like Program, Aperture, Shutter Speed or Manual modes. Depending on what scene mode and camera you're using, the camera may be applying ADL on its own, which would explain your problem. The "Auto" setting on the mode dial does this on most Nikon cameras that have that setting available (D90, D600, etc.).
What I see when I look at your gallery is fairly extreme lighting conditions, and the camera's metering actually doing a good job balancing highlight and shadow detail. It wouldn't be hard to get a good looking image if you shot in raw mode and opened up the shadows. If it increased the exposure, you've have unrecoverable blown highlights. What you really want to do photographically is use fill flash in some of these situations, specifically in the shot of the couple outdoors. Bad light isn't best fixed with metering, but by changing the light - either adding it (flash or reflectors) or moving the subjects to a better spot.
I can't say for certain what's causing the problem in your flash shot without seeing EXIF data, but situations like this often happen when balanced fill flash is used indoors in dim situations. It's best to use regular TTL flash mode then.
Thank you for your time and comments. I'm able to correct the photos in photo shop etc and did add flash fill in other images to correct the issue. I have done so much editing that I do not have other photo originals to share as I did not save the originals. A lot of them were not as extreme with lighting. I had read that the metering system did a lot of analysis and comparison of images and guess I was hoping the metering system would be able to address these types of issues. I will continue to experiment with the goal of trying to avoid as much editing post shooting. Thanks Joe
I always shoot on Manual mode, but the metering system indicates the correct one. I use spot metering instead of full metering, therefore you can evaluate different levels of light arround the scene. I recomend spot metering and in the brighter area of the scene the measurement should be + 1 3/4 or +2 depending of the color.
Javier I agree you can spot or center weight average to get better exposures but the matrix system is supposed to be so advanced that it should give good exposures for the majority of your photos. In tricky light situations I can understand the need to step in and change the metering modes. I shot with a D80 for many years and never had this much difficulty and need for attention to the exposure for routine photos.
>I have actually found the D600 metering to be pretty good in >most situations.
Same here. My wife's D600 meters (in Matrix) at least as reliably as my D3s's.
Bear in mind that each new camera model is likely to behave slightly differently compared with what came before, as Nikon tweak and improve the metering systems. The D80 (mentioned above), for example, suffered from a slew of complaints when new about OVER-exposure. In time, most realised that it was just different and learnt how it worked
My D600 meters fine as well. I use Matrix metering most of the time - sometimes center weighted.
Metering is pretty good, but scenes vary. I end up dialing in exposure compensation in nearly half of my images. The world is not neutral gray and the world has a wide dynamic range.
It's interesting to look at the difference in metering with something as simple as a circular polarizer. There is a darkening effect, but there is also a significant change in highlights and bright reflections. This can make a big difference in the way the meter measures light.
Brian thanks for your comments. I agree it takes time to get use to a new system. I guess I was lucky with the D80 as metering was fairly good and predictable. it seemed to react similar to my Nikon film cameras. I will keep working to get to know it better
Ironically, the D80's matrix metering generated a number of complaints when it first came out. It was perceived as overexposing and giving too much emphasis to the shadows. Nikon dialed back their metering algorithms a bit in subsequent cameras.
It wasn't that Nikon changed the D80 mid-course; it's more a matter of photographers getting used to it or starting with it as their first digital camera. Prior to that time, digital cameras tended more the other way (underexposure), so people who had used cameras like the D70, D100 or D200 were taken back a bit.
Tue 30-Jul-13 09:12 AM | edited Tue 30-Jul-13 09:13 AM by ericbowles
ADL is a good feature but you need to understand what it is doing. ADL reduces exposure to protect highlights in high contrast scenes and applies a custom curve to recover the shadows while protecting the light areas. The exposure adjustment can be seen in the viewfinder and is locked into the image. The custom curve is applied to JPEG's as you would expect. It is applied to RAW images only if you are using Nikon software and other products that retain camera settings - but not Photoshop, Lightroom, etc.
The amount of exposure adjustment depends on the setting. ADL Low has no exposure adjustment, ADL Normal reduces exposure by -0.3 stops, ADL High by -0.7, and ADL Extra high by -1.0 stops. With each setting, the strength of the custom curve changes accordingly.
With Nikon Capture NX2, you can turn off the effect - or select any other ADL setting. But you are only changing the curve as the exposure is locked into the image. You can only adjust ADL in post if it is turned on - Low or another setting.
If you use ADL, it may slightly slow writing your image to the card, so it is not a good tool for most high speed images.
The curve that is applied is relatively complex. In some test images, I tried to create the same effect in post processing and found it was very difficult. With 15 minutes of effort on a test image I could not match the effect with exposure adjustments, shadow recovery, D-Lighting, or other tools applied globally or selectively.
ADL effects do show up in your embedded JPEG - the one used for your LCD display, histogram, highlights, and thumbnails.
If you use a setting other than ADL Low, you are underexposing your image. ADL-Auto underexposes by a variable amount. This can be a more serious problem if you are shooting RAW and processing in Lightroom or a similar program.
In bright light I use ADL Low since it does not change exposure and preserves the ability to change to other settings later using Capture NX2. In very high contrast scenes I have successfully used ADL-High for images that were going to have minimal post processing (event photos), but I would not normally use anything beyond ADL Low because I do not normally want to underexpose the image. I will still use Exposure Comp as needed.
The good thing about today's cameras is that you can customize the exposure to your own taste. If it is scene specific, you use exposure compensation, but if you find that you want a brighter image than the camera all of the time, you can fine tune the meter in the camera menu. You can do the same thing with white balance.
Keep in mind that with the wider dynamic range and low noise of today's cameras, there is less need to expose to the right. If your preference is a brighter image by exposing to the right, and then you edit to a more normal rendering, you might revisit that practice.