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I have taken photography up about a year ago so still very much an armature. Not knowing much about DSLR’s I took the advice from the salesman and purchased a Nikon D5000 which is good for a novice photographer, but now I want to upgrade. I particularly like the Nikon D700 but I find with Nikon my images tend to over expose even though my histogram is showing a decent exposure. I have joined a camera club the old more experience members tell me that Nikon always over expose and I need to set my DSLR to under expose by -1. Any advice as to produce decent exposure before I go out and spend £1700 on a D700. Do you have to – or + exposure on a Canon to take a normal exposed photo in normal lighting?
Look forward to any advice you can give.
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I have used a D70 D200 and D3 and never had that problem, I would check the setting of your D5000 first.
Agree with Ed. If anything, left untouched, a Nikon will slightly underexpose. Again - check all your settings - particularly those settings surrounding 'exposure compensation'.
Personally I would caution against deliberately underexposing on a Nikon DSLR. A sure fire way to introduce noise in to the image, although the effect is now greatly reduced on what it used to be on older models.
If the histogram is showing a well exposed image - which of course is open to interpretation as it will depend on the scene/subject being shot. Where exactly is the image showing as overexposed? On the rear screen or on your computer? It may simply be that one or both require adjustment rather than there being anything wrong with the camera exposure.
It's worth noting that a lot of people incorrectly announce under exposure when what's actually happening is that you're tried to photograph a scene that's got a dynamic range that's bigger than the camera can handle, which leads to clipping of highlights and an incorrect average meter reading.
And not every scene should have a 0EV baseline. Sometimes you have to adjust it.
I'll recommend a good book for you later, as soon as I remember who wrote it.
Hi all thanks for quick response. My images tend to look too bright, on the back of the lcd screen if I take an image at zero exposure on a bright day the histogram looks good but I can see highlight flashing. If I took the same shot at -1 the histogram shows more to the left as you expect and the image on lcd looks too dark. Imported into Lightroom/Photoshop the zero exposure looks too bright and the -1 looks a little on the dark side than the zero exposure but looks better and brighter on the monitor and easier to edit. As for the monitor I have just purchased a Samsung S22A350 for all my editing. I know you can calibrate the monitor but the advice I was given is to get a good calibration you need to calibrate the monitor in the same lighting conditions wher you keep the monitor, I edit in daylight and evening using low bulb in the room and quite often move the monitor downstairs on kitchen table (hope that makes sense) What do you think of using a grey card? I've seen some training videos where you take a photo of a grey card during your shots and using it to adjust white balance then synchronising all the photos in Lightroom.
I agree with previous comments, it's hard to imagine a Nikon needing such exposure compensation, other things being equal. i.e. if your metering is correct. As noted by others, have you checked the brightness setting for the lcd screen? relying on this for judging exposure can be misleading. Also, in my experience, the flashing "Highlights" warning tends to be over pessimistic, showing up when there is no problem. The grey card might be worth a try, though nowadays it seems to be used more for white balance, as you note.
If possible use the monitor under similar lighting conditions each time . Ideally, leave it in the same place.
Hope this helps.
1.Never trust the LCD to judge exposure
2. use the Histogram to judge exposure
3. Shhot RAW
4. Adjust the brightness level on the LCD
5. Try using matrix metering
6. Practice your technique. You should expose on a part of the scence that gives you the best expsoure. For example exposing for a dark area of the scence may give you a much brighter exposure on the highlights, hence your overexposure.
As all above have commented, I've never had a problem (D80,D300,D700), technically you are better with a brighter image, so long as you don't clip the highlights (it's called shooting to the right). Just use RAW then reduce the brightness(gamma) in post production.
Use the histogram to judge exposure, don't go off the image on the LCD, how often do you get home and look at the one you thought was best in camera only to see the neighbouring shot is better exposed? Look to get the exposure centralised in the histogram, or slightly to the RHS, then use filters (if shooting landscapes) to maximise the tonality across the histogram, gives you far more to play with in post production.
Thanks all for your valuable advice. I'm looking at getting the D700 with 24-70mm f2.8 VR lens so hopefully my images should look better with the decent lens. I use kit lenses 18-105 & 55-200 at the mo although they have produced a few images worth keeping. As you say I need keep to practising using different settings.
the 24-70 f2.8 Nikkor is not a VR lens. However, it is a classic and coupled with a D700, you will no longer be able to blame your tools if you get a duff shot.
I use the old 35-70 f2.8 AFD lens with my D700. It works fine and any **** ups are down to the operator (me).
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