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D80 Exposure Problems?


1 Sep 2009 1:01PM
Hi, Would appreciate some advice. I have a Nikon D80 but wonder if there is a problem with this model around exposure. Nearly all my photos come out very dark (about 97%), the rest are overexposed with the odd one coming out perfectly. I use the camera on all settings - Auto, Program, Aperature and Shutter Priority and occasionally one of the presets like Portrait or Macro but alway get the same results - the piccies are very dark. Is this me or do you think there is a fault with the camera.
bangalicious 12 1.3k 5 England
1 Sep 2009 1:05PM
I have no issues with my D80, although there have been reports that it may slightly under expose for some scenes. Have you tried adjusting the exposure compensation slighly to try and sort the problem?

Anil.
discreetphoton Plus
16 3.5k 20 United Kingdom
1 Sep 2009 2:06PM
Very few scenes as we see them have a truly neutral exposure, so it's not fair to compare them this way, but it's a common rookie mistake. It's better to over-expose slightly anyway, for detail retention.

Fill the frame with a black piece of paper, take a shot on auto, then repeat with a white piece of paper. You should end up with two identical photos. Look at the histogram for each. The peak should be in the middle. If so, your metering is fine, and you should read up on the Zone system of setting exposure.

The other thing to be aware of is that the different scene modes on the D80 apply different exposure comensation to account for the differences in processing. They assume that you will use Capture NX for the computer side of things, so if you use anything else, then the exposures will look different from the camera's LCD.
cameracat 16 8.6k 61 Norfolk Island
1 Sep 2009 3:04PM
Just to add to Davids suggestions, Be aware of your metering options, ie: Matrix/Centre W/Spot etc, Also be aware your chosen focus point in any metering mode, Will affect the overall exposure.

IF in doubt you may have altered the custom settings in some way.

2 Button back to factory default, And start again....Wink
dickiedriver 14 212 United Kingdom
1 Sep 2009 4:54PM
I find that using the D80 in Aperture priority and full matrix metering I use a -0.7 exposure this helps get the image as close to what I am seeing and I use this setting around 95% of the time give that a go and see if it helps

Richard
Steve_T 11 1 England
1 Sep 2009 6:45PM
I did have some problems with over exposure, especially when taking shots of say a duck on very bright water with full matrix metering (standard). This I have sorted by using spot metering. Otherwise my D80's just fine

Steve T
LenShepherd 12 4.2k United Kingdom
1 Sep 2009 8:40PM

Quote: Nearly all my photos come out very dark (about 97%), the rest are overexposed with the odd one coming out perfectly.

It depends what you mean by very dark etc.
If you mean more than a stop (histogram well to the left) underexposed and some seriously over exposed either the camera, lens or both are defective.
Modern DSLR cameras (all brands) get around 97% of pictures exposed well, not 97% badly exposed.
kaybee 16 7.4k 26 Scotland
1 Sep 2009 9:05PM
It isn't on auo bracketing is it?
Fishnet 16 5.0k 5 United Kingdom
1 Sep 2009 10:16PM
Definitely sounds like it's on auto bracketing, I've done this so I know lol
2 Sep 2009 10:31AM
Thanks everyone for your prompt advice. I will try out all the tips and let you know how I get on. I expect it is something I have done but I was really beginning to doubt the camera especially as this is the second D80 I have had. The first, bought from Jessops, kept doing really funny things and the battery would go flat in hours. It took me ages to convince Jessops there was a fault and when they exchanged it, it was like receiving a completely different camera - my new D80 was smaller and felt totally different so goodness knows what I had in the first place. I wonder if it was some sort of display or test model they had sold to me. Of course, this disappointing experience has meant I have never quite felt the same about my D80 as my old F100. Anyhow I digress, I will try photographing grey, black and white cards, checking histograms and resetting the camera this weekend. Wish me luck.
28 Oct 2009 8:27PM

Quote:Fill the frame with a black piece of paper, take a shot on auto, then repeat with a white piece of paper. You should end up with two identical photos. Look at the histogram for each. The peak should be in the middle. If so, your metering is fine, and you should read up on the Zone system of setting exposure.


^^This is not correct. How could you end up with two identical photos shooting a white piece of paper and a black piece of paper? Could someone explain this to me?
cliffez 11 140
2 Nov 2009 7:19PM
Hi People, I dont post much, but do a lot of watching. However, this post is interesting to me. I spent a long time working the menu setting in camera to 'my liking', on my D80, things like sharpness, colour temp, etc. I found that 'center weighted' metering was the most consistent and -1/3 compensation. This gives me a near perfect??? 'point and shoot' picture, set the compensation to -2/3 requires some minor photoshoping, but retains detail in bright areas better.

A D80 is one hell of a 'point and shoot', P&S offends the died in the wool armature I feel. However, I want my pictures to be as right as I can 'out of the camera', . . . often no time to fiddle about with manual setting?

This is not to say I dont 'fiddle', cos I do, but 'my in camera settings' gives me a usable picture if its taken from the hip.

The above perseverance has saved me the desire to upgrade to a D90. I am now getting what I want . . . an upgrade would have been a sideways move . . . maybe for a long time to come?

Now encouraging my partner Hazel to have a go at the picture business, great to have a common interest, she is only able to handle an A640, back problems dictate light and swivel screen, even then, she needs a 'Walking Pod' as support for walking and stopping camera shake . . . . but thats all another story, for later????

Cliffez
2 Nov 2009 9:00PM
Agree with dickiedriver, I have used the D80 for 2 1/2 years, mostly centre weighted, 98 per cent of the time -0.7 exposure, using JPG + RAW.
David
StrayCat 16 19.1k 3 Canada
2 Nov 2009 9:11PM

Quote:Now encouraging my partner Hazel to have a go at the picture business, great to have a common interest, she is only able to handle an A640, back problems dictate light and swivel screen, even then, she needs a 'Walking Pod' as support for walking and stopping camera shake


Cliff, I just finished reading reviews on the Nikon D3000, and it sounds just the camera body for Hazel, and she could use your lenses.

Just a thought.Smile
cliffez 11 140
2 Nov 2009 10:40PM

Quote:Quote:Now encouraging my partner Hazel to have a go at the picture business, great to have a common interest, she is only able to handle an A640, back problems dictate light and swivel screen, even then, she needs a 'Walking Pod' as support for walking and stopping camera shake Cliff, I just finished reading reviews on the Nikon D3000, and it sounds just the camera body for Hazel, and she could use your lenses.
Just a thought.



StrayCat, Thanks for the thought, but Hazel cant stand up straight, probably never will? permanent spine curve, hence the need for a swivel screen, she looks down, therefor camera is comfortable at waist'ish height on top of a 'Walking Pod'. Uses the A640 like a 'large format' camera. The D5000 would be OK? . . . I will start a new thread on it in a while, after she has had her op . . . and we can see the wood for the trees? Life ain't all doom and gloom, we had a session out the other day round the local marina, Hazel loved every minute . . . Mmm, sorry for that, this is the Nikon thread, mention a Canon, I'll go wash my mouth with soap . . . lol

In the mean-time, 'Veronique', start to understand the D80's 'in camera menu', believe me, minor tweaks have made a world of difference for me. White balance, picture sharp, exposure compensation and Center weighted metering. I tweaked the colour temperature, to me, its a bit blue and green in default? very much suck it and see I'm afraid, I had no idea what I was doing, just a bit of educated guessing. Then there is RAW . . . I cant be doing with all that pixel peeping, life is to short. A personal view of course.

And if you get the tweaks wrong, just 'two button reset' to factory defalt and start again, 'simples' . . .

Cliffez

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