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Camera's metering fooled?
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barold


Jun 15, 2009, 7:49 PM
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Camera's metering fooled?
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I am encountering some strange behaviour from my D300 - (yes, I know it's likely user error...)

Past two weeks, I've tried to shoot at my local crag (buffalo Crag / Rattlesnake point, Ontario) The rock is limestone so I'm wondering if the rock is causing some effect causing all of my metered shots to be over exposed. I compromised by chimping the exposure, but if there's a cloud or if I'm shooting at different angles the exposure suffers.

For the record, i tried A, P, and M, spot, centre weighted and matrix metering... I am confounded...

Here's a link to my awesome shots...

http://picasaweb.google.com/...falo?feat=directlink


pico23


Jun 16, 2009, 1:22 AM
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Re: [barold] Camera's metering fooled? [In reply to]
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The D300 should take reasonable shots in most conditions using matrix and P. If it is consistently giving you crappy/inconsistent results, the camera might have a fault and should be returned to Nikon.

All cameras can arrive or become defective, the conditions you showed in the photos weren't that horrible, yes they were mid day light, but my 20 year old center weighted film camera can take decent exposures in full program mode in similar conditions.

Based on your statement, "if there is a cloud or I shoot at a different angle exposure suufers". I'd ask you if you understood how the camera meter works, but since I don't think this is the issue, I won't get into understanding metering.


(This post was edited by pico23 on Jun 16, 2009, 1:25 AM)


Wh1chWay1sUp


Jun 16, 2009, 9:00 AM
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Re: [barold] Camera's metering fooled? [In reply to]
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Have you checked that you did not have exposure compensation biased the wrong way, normally if the meter was being fooled by the limestone (light colour) it would have underexposed to compensate rather than over exposed, same reason that snow turns out gray unless you compensate.

Try metering off either a patch of blue sky or off the back of your hand, both are reasonable 18% gray approximation. And mentally check against Sunny 16 to see if it is in the ballpark.


barold


Jun 16, 2009, 9:34 AM
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Thanks for your advice - the weird thing was that a couple of weeks ago - the camera was stuck shooting everything at an aperature of 1.6 (which is interesting considering the lens was a max 2.0). A firmware update fixed that problem.
But when I returned to the Crag (same limestone, different area) overexposure was back - to the point I had to set exposure compensation to -2.0 stops to get something usable. I agree that it should be underexposing if the rocks were reflecting too much light.

What kills me is that the other shots elsewhere (my nieces at home, skaters in a skate park are properly exposed, just my climbing shots at the crag... Maybe it's time for a tune up trip to Nikon... although this is the first time I've had issues with nikon metering (this is my 3rd nikon AF/AE body...


noodles


Jun 16, 2009, 9:39 AM
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Yeah if the Exposure Compensation isn't set to overexpose then something is definitely wrong with the light meter. Now that I think of it, something of the exact same nature happened to my friend's D90 recently.

In the mean time you could use an external light meter (best results in my opinion...maybe because I shoot with a mamiya 645).


Myxomatosis


Jun 16, 2009, 4:21 PM
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Re: [barold] Camera's metering fooled? [In reply to]
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I'd say take it back to the shop you got it from...

The exposure is way off on those photo's and I wouldn't be happy with those results!


wes_allen


Jun 16, 2009, 9:09 PM
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If it only has issue at the cliff, and all else is the same, then the meter is just getting fooled by the bright rock - i usually use at least -1EC when is AV mode, sometime -2. But the other thing from the setting was it was using f9 and up. Try to use AV mode, set it to f4, iso 200, -1.5 or so ec and see how it does. Center weighted ave metering usually works ok. Or you can just break out the full M mode and pay attention to the light.


pico23


Jun 16, 2009, 11:56 PM
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Re: [wes_allen] Camera's metering fooled? [In reply to]
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If I'm correct Nikon (at least officially) is the only company to use color algorithms in metering. Although again if I am correct, the actual meter still reads in grey scale. Meaning the processor runs the scene through and searches for similar scene data before applying a matrix reading. THis should only happen in matrix mode, not center or spot. Not sure just how accurate my description is, or how exacting Nikon meters are using this, but MY experience with Nikon Matrix metering is that it's not drastically (or any better) than any other system that I have been able to determine. That is I still shoot it on spot and manual most of the time.

However, I'm wondering if something isn't messed up with the algorithm that it is using when you get to the cliff. The only way to figure this out is do what Wes said, go full M and SPOT meter off mid tones (or comp accordingly). If the camera is still doing weird stuff than it's definitely messed up beyond an algorithm, if it's not than it still needs to go back to Nikon.


barold


Jun 17, 2009, 3:38 AM
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yep - I ended up shooting the rest of the day on M, chimping the exposure.

Here are those shots

http://picasaweb.google.ca/...&feat=directlink
if i should chaulk it up to technology being fooled by nature, then i'm okay accepting that I'll have to shoot manul (aperature priority is usually by preferred setting...) but i find the whole situation strange.


(This post was edited by barold on Jun 17, 2009, 3:39 AM)


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