CourtneyOtt

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I have a Nikon D3100, shooting on manual. It’s been shooting fine the last few days, I’m learning how to adjust aperture, shutter, and ISO to fit the needs of what I’m shooting. Today I turned it on and everything it shoots in massively underexposed. I’ve adjusted everything to try and fix it but unless I use flash or turn my shutter down to at least 2 seconds it won’t lighten up. ISO is at 100-200, f stop only goes to 3.5 but currently I can’t get it to go that low, I’ve adjusted it both up and down. Shutter WAS around 1/200. I was shooting in a fully lit living room with lots of natural light so it should have been a simple shot. Someone PLEASE tell me you know what’s wrong?!
 

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1. Are you still in manual?
2. Do you have Auto ISO set?
3. Check your EV setting.
 

RAZKY

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I have a Nikon D3100, shooting on manual. It’s been shooting fine the last few days, I’m learning how to adjust aperture, shutter, and ISO to fit the needs of what I’m shooting. Today I turned it on and everything it shoots in massively underexposed. I’ve adjusted everything to try and fix it but unless I use flash or turn my shutter down to at least 2 seconds it won’t lighten up. ISO is at 100-200, f stop only goes to 3.5 but currently I can’t get it to go that low, I’ve adjusted it both up and down. Shutter WAS around 1/200. I was shooting in a fully lit living room with lots of natural light so it should have been a simple shot. Someone PLEASE tell me you know what’s wrong?!
Welcome to the forum - there are good folks here who are bound to solve the issue, but we need you to help us help you.. For starters, I'm a bit confused about your lens. Is its maximum aperture f/3.5, but you cannot get it to open all the way in manual mode? (That's how I read it, but it sounds odd.) Next, what is your Exposure Compensation set at? It should be at "0".
 
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CourtneyOtt

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Welcome to the forum - there are good folks here who are bound to solve the issue, but we need you to help us help you.. For starters, I'm a bit confused about your lens. Is its maximum aperture f/3.5, but you cannot get it to open all the way in manual mode? (That's how I read it, but it sounds odd.) Next, what is your Exposure Compensation set at? It should be at "0".
Exactly, it’s very weird. I’m shooting in manual and I can’t get it to go below maybe a 4. And exposure compensation is at 0. Here is a picture of my current settings.
image.jpg

1. Are you still in manual?
2. Do you have Auto ISO set?
3. Check your EV setting.
Yes I’m in manual, I DID turn on auto ISO and it helped SLIGHTLY but then I had lots of noise in my photos so I turned it back off. These are my current settings-
image.jpg
 

wfooshee

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1/200 at f:5.6 and ISO 100 is NOT enough exposure for that room.

Is the lens cap on when you took that shot of your settings? I ask because the meter indicates pegged toward underexposure. You want to find settings that put that at or near the zero. If you can't do that without raising the ISO too high or using an impossibly slow shutter speed, then there's simply not enough light.

As to why the aperture won't go all the way to 3.5, most kit zoom lenses are not constant aperture. They only reach the maximum aperture at the shortest focal length. As you zoom to longer focal lengths, the minimum aperture increases. A lens that says it's f:3.5-5.6 means that at it's shortest it can go to 3.5 and fully zoomed its minimum is 5.6.

By "lots of natural light" I assume you mean open windows and good sunlight inside? Indoors with windows light, I wouldn't try ISO less than 400. That may be too noisy on the D3100, I don't know.
 

480sparky

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Your meter is indicating you're at least 2 stops underexposed. You either need to slow the shutter down or raise the ISO.
 
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CourtneyOtt

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1/200 at f:5.6 and ISO 100 is NOT enough exposure for that room.

Is the lens cap on when you took that shot of your settings? I ask because the meter indicates pegged toward underexposure. You want to find settings that put that at or near the zero. If you can't do that without raising the ISO too high or using an impossibly slow shutter speed, then there's simply not enough light.

As to why the aperture won't go all the way to 3.5, most kit zoom lenses are not constant aperture. They only reach the maximum aperture at the shortest focal length. As you zoom to longer focal lengths, the minimum aperture increases. A lens that says it's f:3.5-5.6 means that at it's shortest it can go to 3.5 and fully zoomed its minimum is 5.6.

By "lots of natural light" I assume you mean open windows and good sunlight inside? Indoors with windows light, I wouldn't try ISO less than 400. That may be too noisy on the D3100, I don't know.
Higher iso did make it better. I feel dumb now, but I’m very appreciative for the help!
 
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CourtneyOtt

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Your meter is indicating you're at least 2 stops underexposed. You either need to slow the shutter down or raise the ISO.
Higher iso did the trick! I thought I was supposed to keep it down low so I was trying not to go above 200! Thank you for the help!
 

480sparky

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Set the camera in Auto and take a photo. What are the settings (Shutter speed, aperture and ISO)?

Let's say they're 1/100, f/5.6 and ISO 1600. In order to shoot the same exposure in manual, you'd need to manually set those three items to those settings (or an equivalent, such as 1/100, f/8 and ISO 3200).

Just because you're shooting in manual doesn't mean any combination of settings will provide a proper exposure.
 

RAZKY

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gher iso did the trick! I thought I was supposed to keep it down low so I was trying not to go above 200! Thank you for the help!

Higher iso did the trick! I thought I was supposed to keep it down low so I was trying not to go above 200! Thank you for the help!
Instead of playing with everyone, if you had bothered to read what your user's manual says about exposure, you'd have had no problem.
 

wfooshee

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That's kind of rude. Someone joins a photographer's forum for help, and one of the replies is, "You shouldn't be bothering us with this!"
 

RAZKY

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That's kind of rude. Someone joins a photographer's forum for help, and one of the replies is, "You shouldn't be bothering us with this!"
I understood from the original post that the problem occurred for no apparent reason - now we find that was not the case.
 

480sparky

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The manual shows you HOW to shoot in manual. Not WHY.
 

RAZKY

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The manual shows you HOW to shoot in manual. Not WHY.
The manual clearly explains exposure - our OP is intelligent enough that they should not have had any problems if they had only read it. In fact, the manual is clear enough that even you ought to understand it.
 

480sparky

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The manual clearly explains exposure - our OP is intelligent enough that they should not have had any problems if they had only read it. In fact, the manual is clear enough that even you ought to understand it.

It explains how to get a proper exposure. It doesn't explain how to get the right exposure. Big difference.
 

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