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Thread: D70 and dark picture

  1. #1

    Default D70 and dark picture

    Hi all,

    Migrated to the Nikon camp (D70 to be exact recently).
    Still learning the stuf etc.

    I notice that my pictures shoot with the D70 equip with the kit lens is a tart darker. Similarly when I used the 70-300mm lens.

    Had no problem when using my previous Olympus E20 (although the E20 has brighter lens).

    Feedback got from other forum is changing the exposure setting and/or white balance. Or even the ISO setting.

    Currently I just do the ISO change and had a bit of improvement.

    Which would be the most ideal/correct in this case?

  2. #2
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    Nikon's metering is pre-disposed towards underexposure. This is due to the fact that for digital, one can still get details from an underexposed picture, but will loss all detail if the picture is overexposed. Thus to prevent overexposure, the camera meters conservatively for underexposure. You can change this using custom curves if you don't like it.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waz
    Hi all,

    Migrated to the Nikon camp (D70 to be exact recently).
    Still learning the stuf etc.

    I notice that my pictures shoot with the D70 equip with the kit lens is a tart darker. Similarly when I used the 70-300mm lens.

    Had no problem when using my previous Olympus E20 (although the E20 has brighter lens).

    Feedback got from other forum is changing the exposure setting and/or white balance. Or even the ISO setting.

    Currently I just do the ISO change and had a bit of improvement.

    Which would be the most ideal/correct in this case?
    how bout ur aperture setting? Shutter setting? i think best way to start off is to use either the Av or Tv settings... set ur EV and then the camera will do the rest for u... make sure u meter something that is neutral colour like gray... Change ISO can improve the picture but all the settings have to come together to work.... hope this helps...
    The equipment can only bring you so far - the rest of the photographic journey is done by you.

  4. #4

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    Yup, justarius is right. If you want to know more, please read this. It was written for the D100 but holds true for the D70 too. It also explains more about custom curves. And provides a couple free ones for you to download.

    You'll need Nikon Capture 4.1 to load custom curves to the D70. Try downloading the Nikon Capture 4.0 30-day trial from Nikon's website. Install that, then install the NC4.1 updater, also available on the website.

    You should be able to upload the custom curves to your D70 once NC is installed. With NC4.1, you can play around with shooting RAW images too.

    More about custom curves at PlanetNeil. This includes directions on how to load the curves using NC to your D70. More custom curves available at JT Graphics.

  5. #5
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    Use spot metering, it is accurate. I don't have problems with it. I believe it gives problem with matrix metering which given what it is does not allow you to control what the exposure is but rather a algorithm by the manufacturer compiling many different scene and doing what it thinks is correct for the scene. This sometimes leads to undesired results.


    Quote Originally Posted by Waz
    Hi all,

    Migrated to the Nikon camp (D70 to be exact recently).
    Still learning the stuf etc.

    I notice that my pictures shoot with the D70 equip with the kit lens is a tart darker. Similarly when I used the 70-300mm lens.

    Had no problem when using my previous Olympus E20 (although the E20 has brighter lens).

    Feedback got from other forum is changing the exposure setting and/or white balance. Or even the ISO setting.

    Currently I just do the ISO change and had a bit of improvement.

    Which would be the most ideal/correct in this case?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis
    Use spot metering, it is accurate. I don't have problems with it. I believe it gives problem with matrix metering which given what it is does not allow you to control what the exposure is but rather a algorithm by the manufacturer compiling many different scene and doing what it thinks is correct for the scene. This sometimes leads to undesired results.
    It's true that matrix doesn't give you much control over the exposure, but I've personally found that matrix meters on Nikon cameras are surprisingly accurate. I've compared my compensated spot meter readings to the matrix readings in all sorts of situations before (just boliao), and the two are surprisingly similiar most of the time. The trick is recognising when are the two not similiar (e.g strong backlight, strong contrast in the sky and foreground), and compensate accordingly. Also, for some situations where matrix fails, spot metering is also ain't gonna save you as the contrast range is simply too big for the film to handle.

  7. #7
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    Agree to some degree that the matrix metering is accurate but I find it useful only if you wanted a flat normal scene, on difficult scene spot will be better as you can control what you needed even if the contrast is too great. The trick is what to spot on and I find it easier to do than using matrix and than compensate. With spot you can even tell how much the contrast is by looking at bright and dark areas. You can get the mood of the scene more easily especially if you are using a film character that you already known, with digital it is even easier. However sometimes getting the total scene to be correctly balanced in exposure with spot is not easy as you may have to average several areas. This is where I fine spot metering lacking on the D70, they should have provided spot averaging in camera.



    Quote Originally Posted by justarius
    It's true that matrix doesn't give you much control over the exposure, but I've personally found that matrix meters on Nikon cameras are surprisingly accurate. I've compared my compensated spot meter readings to the matrix readings in all sorts of situations before (just boliao), and the two are surprisingly similiar most of the time. The trick is recognising when are the two not similiar (e.g strong backlight, strong contrast in the sky and foreground), and compensate accordingly. Also, for some situations where matrix fails, spot metering is also ain't gonna save you as the contrast range is simply too big for the film to handle.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis
    Agree to some degree that the matrix metering is accurate but I find it useful only if you wanted a flat normal scene, on difficult scene spot will be better as you can control what you needed even if the contrast is too great. The trick is what to spot on and I find it easier to do than using matrix and than compensate. With spot you can even tell how much the contrast is by looking at bright and dark areas. You can get the mood of the scene more easily especially if you are using a film character that you already known, with digital it is even easier. However sometimes getting the total scene to be correctly balanced in exposure with spot is not easy as you may have to average several areas. This is where I fine spot metering lacking on the D70, they should have provided spot averaging in camera.
    If contrast is beyond the latitude of film, spot isn't going to save you. The best you can do is do aim for either undeexposure or overexposure in some areas. Anyway, I don't really compensate in matrix, as the camera meter is already compensating to some extent, and you wouldn't know how much you need to adjust in that particular situation, but perhaps experience can change this.

    Also, can you explain this averaging of spot metering to me?? cos I thought once you spot meter a particular portion of a scene and compensate it to fall into the tonality you want, all the other tonalities would fall into place. Why would you need to average your readings? I can understand taking multiple readings from different areas just to make sure that you are roughly within the film latitude, but averaging the readings from the different areas? How is it different from getting the tonality of a scee right from just one spot meter?

    ps I've gone through sulhan's article, but still didn't get the idea...

  9. #9
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    Default Underexposed

    Hi there,

    One very simple solution - just use 'bracketing' so that the camera will over-expose a shot by 1/3 stop and under-expose by 1/3. Or you can change these settings if you want to 1/2 stop, full stop etc...

    Since you are shooting digital, this should be common practise anyway, particularly for scenes where you doubt the meter reading will be 100% spot on.

    Most of the time I bet you pick the correctly exposed shot! I do (I am a D70 user too)

  10. #10
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    You are right that if the contrast is beyond the latitude of the film nothing will help but to either overexpose or under expose but if using matrix you will not be able to control it. I have used older cameras that has multi-spot averaging (not sure about brands as I have used so many, might be a Canon. Anyone can help ?). It allows you to use a few spot area and average the metering. Works like "manual matrix metering" I would say but would allow you complete control on which area you want to consider for the exposure instead of the general scene.

    Have not gone thru sulhan article so dunno what it is all about, sorry.


    Quote Originally Posted by justarius
    If contrast is beyond the latitude of film, spot isn't going to save you. The best you can do is do aim for either undeexposure or overexposure in some areas. Anyway, I don't really compensate in matrix, as the camera meter is already compensating to some extent, and you wouldn't know how much you need to adjust in that particular situation, but perhaps experience can change this.

    Also, can you explain this averaging of spot metering to me?? cos I thought once you spot meter a particular portion of a scene and compensate it to fall into the tonality you want, all the other tonalities would fall into place. Why would you need to average your readings? I can understand taking multiple readings from different areas just to make sure that you are roughly within the film latitude, but averaging the readings from the different areas? How is it different from getting the tonality of a scee right from just one spot meter?

    ps I've gone through sulhan's article, but still didn't get the idea...

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis
    You are right that if the contrast is beyond the latitude of the film nothing will help but to either overexpose or under expose but if using matrix you will not be able to control it. I have used older cameras that has multi-spot averaging (not sure about brands as I have used so many, might be a Canon. Anyone can help ?). It allows you to use a few spot area and average the metering. Works like "manual matrix metering" I would say but would allow you complete control on which area you want to consider for the exposure instead of the general scene.

    Have not gone thru sulhan article so dunno what it is all about, sorry.
    Sulhan's article is found http://www.md-sulhan.com/spotmeter.html

    I've heard about this multispotting thingy in Canon cameras...it definitely doesn't appear in Nikon.

    Am I correct in saying that when multi-spotting, you aim for the brightest and darkest area and hope they average out to give you the correct exposure? What happens if the brightest area is 2 stops over, while the darkest area is 1 stop under? Wouldn't the average be 0.5 stop over? If you to correct this, then might as well just use a single spot meter and correct immediately...

  12. #12

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    I'd agree with Justaris. The 3D Colour Matrix is pretty good, if you do not have any artistic requirements like shooting a person's face with the sun directly behind it and you wanna create a rim effect around the person's hair or what, use it, don't waste it. Else use center weighted 6% setting coz i don't think one is that accurate most of the time. Only for special circumstances do you use spot metering (say, shooting a small bird and you are just shy of having the correct reach). Then you meter for the highlight, and better be accurate about it.

    With the D70, the iTTL flashes like SB-800/600 work together with the body and lens (compatible D lenses) in 3D Colour Matrix mode swee swee. It's even incorporated in the D1X, F5 and F100 pro bodies, don't waste the 1005-pixel element man. You get only 3D Matrix in bodies like F80. This not your run-of-the-mill matrix metering with you get from prosumers to even other dSLRs which sees and computes values from 0-255. This metering system sees in colour, and is sensitive to what green, yellow.... advantages can search more on the web coz i have forgotten it. This is one of the main features which i like about the D70 over its competitors, this is one of the best assets handed down from its top-end brothers (another one being the fast write speeds which probably is inherited from the D2H). Consumer camera having high-end features, why waste it? (it's like buying a 12X HG card instead of the fastest Ultra II, even if you argue that you do not burst often).
    Last edited by 2100; 8th May 2004 at 08:41 AM.

  13. #13

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    Here : http://www.nikon.co.jp/main/eng/society/tec-rep/ccd.htm

    To the original poster :

    Best is to set exposure compensation to to +0.5EV. But that requires you to switch to 1/2EV steps which you may not like. + 0.7 is a bit too hot. Set to +0.3EV is good too. For weddings, i don't wanna risk things and set to 0 or 0.3EV and even then i will watch for blinking highlights during image review.

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