D200 Exposure Problems

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by ang, Jun 18, 2006.

  1. ang

    ang TPF Noob!

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    I've had my D200 for about a month now. I started a thread a few weeks ago because I was noticing some photos I took in full shade were coming out underexposed. I did some more test shots..

    I took photos (same subject) in Full Sun/midday and used a gray card to expose...the reading from my camera told me to use f5.6 @ 1600. Photo came out very underexposed/dark. I re-took the same photo @ 800, 400 and 200 speed and after downloading, the 400 looked the best. This tells me that my meter reading in my camera is off by about 2 stops.

    Could I be doing something else wrong? The D200 is definately a more complicated camera than my last DSLR. Has anyone else had this significant of a problem? Just wanted to ask before I contacted Nikon.
     
  2. digital flower

    digital flower No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Sorry to hear of your problems. I am interested because this is the camera I want. Someone here can probably help you or you might want to ask the question at The Nikon Knowledge Base. Please post when you figure out what it is.
     
  3. ang

    ang TPF Noob!

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    Actually, I took out my Nikon N65 and my D200. Placed a gray card on the ground and took a meter reading using both cameras...

    N65 read f5.6 @ 90
    D200 read f5.6 @ 200

    Does this make any sense or does it reinforce my intuition that the meter in the D200 is faulty??
     
  4. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    Your meter might be off, but also you might not understand how to use it. I don't know what your experience is with photography, so bear with me.

    First off, there are several different metering patterns built in to your D200.

    • 3D Color Matrix Metering II
    • Center-Weighted
    • Spot (3 mm circle, 2% of frame)

    If you were using the 3D Color Matrix Metering, it was taking an average of the whole scene. If you hadn't filled the frame with your grey card, there might be a bright highlight off of something in the scene, which was causing the meter to factor that in, and in an attempt not to overexpose the shot, it recommended you an appropriate setting.

    If you are going to test the meter, make sure you have spot metering enabled, or be sure and fill the frame with your grey card. You can do this by putting the camera close to the card, or if you have a zoom lens, zooming in.

    Set the camera to the lowest ISO and find out what shutter speed and aperture the meter recommends. On a bright day, at ISO 200, it's probably going to be somewhere around 1/250 at f16, or 1/500 at f/11, or 1/1000 at f/8, or 1/2000 at f/5.6. You said 1600 at 5.6. To me, this doesn't sound all that far off, (only about a 1/2 a stop)
     
  5. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    You can always post an example with the exif also.
     
  6. LWW

    LWW TPF Noob!

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    I'm guess ing that you aren't set to matrix metering as well...and if you are set for a spotmeter that could cause deep voodoo exposure wise.

    LWW
     
  7. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    I think you have that backwards. With a spotmeter, you know you are metering one specific spot, and not confusing the meter by other bright highlights that may or may not be in the scene. For checking exposure on a grey card, you want to meter off that grey card and nothing else.
     
  8. ang

    ang TPF Noob!

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    thanks for the replies.

    Good point Matt...answers....
    1) Yes, my D200 was set on 3D Matrix metering
    2) I did zoom in on the gray card so the whole frame was filled with gray

    Tomorrow I'll try again with spot metering.

    Does it make sense that 2 cameras metering off the same gray card would be that far off?

    How can I post my examples?
     
  9. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    Ang, if you had filled the frame with the grey card, 3d matrix should be ok, but who knows. Try with spot metering.

    As to why could two camera meters be diff? If you didn't set your ISO on your film camera to 200, it might have been on 100, which would account for the near 1 stop difference. (1/90 vs 1/200) Keep in mind, most DSLR meters will try and underexpose a little bit to be on the safe side, because you have far less latitude in highlights with digital.

    As for posting examples, use a service like photobucket to upload your photos, and then link to them here. You can find your exif information via photoshop by going to file / file info.
     
  10. LWW

    LWW TPF Noob!

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    Correct, except I was referring to the original post of taking a photo in shade. If a sliver of the shot was bright sunlight and it happened to be the sliver the spotmeter was on then you would have the exposure off 2 stops as described, or more depending on time of day and cloud cover.

    LWW
     

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