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D200 Underexposes

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Hi folks,

 

I have been playing with my D200 and finally gave up and concluded the camera is bad. When I shoot the simplest of TTL images on "P" mode, the pictures come out about 1.8 f-stops dark. Just shooting headshots with fill flash in raw I have to still kick up the exposure by nearly 2 stops. Have any of you experienced this? And if so what did you have to do? I am shooting in well lit conditions and also did some outdoor shots where the exposure had to be kicked up even without a flash, but while in P mode. I don't see the firmwars updates discussing this issue. I am using a properly calibrated monitor on both my laptop and desktop using Spyder software. Any ideas before I drive to Nikon?

 

Joe

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Hi folks,

 

I have been playing with my D200 and finally gave up and concluded the camera is bad. When I shoot the simplest of TTL images on "P" mode, the pictures come out about 1.8 f-stops dark. Just shooting headshots with fill flash in raw I have to still kick up the exposure by nearly 2 stops. Have any of you experienced this? And if so what did you have to do? I am shooting in well lit conditions and also did some outdoor shots where the exposure had to be kicked up even without a flash, but while in P mode. I don't see the firmwars updates discussing this issue. I am using a properly calibrated monitor on both my laptop and desktop using Spyder software. Any ideas before I drive to Nikon?

 

Joe

 

Hmm never had the problem. In dark/flash and well-lit situations, I get good exposure. Can you check if you have accidentally set the exposure-compensation to -2 f-stops??

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Hmm never had the problem. In dark/flash and well-lit situations, I get good exposure. Can you check if you have accidentally set the exposure-compensation to -2 f-stops??

 

Hi Joe,

 

I have the exact same problem with my D200. I took it to a Nikon authorized repair facility in Thousand Oaks and they checked the metering - said everything was fine. Let me know if you figure it out.

 

John

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Do a google search on the sunny 16 rule, a test with no strobe.

 

What does the histogram say? is it happy or not? how about photoshop's historgram (levels)?

 

Look in the manual or do a google search for a full-on nuke-from-space factory system reset button sequence.

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Yeah I would check the flash compensation button and expsure composition button, hold them down one at a time and look in the lcd (top screen by the shutter) make sure they both read 0.0.

 

Also tell us how they look on the lcd screen. If you are judging on the raw converter make sure the auto buttons are not checked and see what it looks like out of the camera. I am impressed at how my d200 seems very accurate compared to my trusty old d100 which was always dark.

 

Being in the industry I am sure you checked these basic things but ya never know with a new camera.

Edited by Photobeat

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Joe,

That's kind of puzzling because it's just the opposite of my experience. My D200 continues to amaze me with it's uncanny exposure accuracy. If I shoot a subject that I think is close to mid-toned - either with the built in flash or an SB800 - I get a perfect bell curve right in the center of my histogram. I think you've got a lemon.

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I just reset my D200 to the factory defaults. It is still underexposing while in P mode using the built-in flash. Interestingly, if I set it to manual at F8 and 1/250 while using the flash and it is almost perfect every time. I was using the 18-70mm kit lens so far. Haven't tried it with other lenses yet.

 

John

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I just reset my D200 to the factory defaults. It is still underexposing while in P mode using the built-in flash. Interestingly, if I set it to manual at F8 and 1/250 while using the flash and it is almost perfect every time. I was using the 18-70mm kit lens so far. Haven't tried it with other lenses yet.

 

John

I tried repeating your test as well as several variations with both the internal flash and a SB800 as I don't see any difference between M and P. If anything the P image had somewhat more exposure than the M image becaue the camera was selecting a larger aperture and slower shutter speed when set to P hence allowing more ambient light. When I set the camera to the same values in M that the camera was selecting in P (f4 @ 60) there was no difference at all. I also tried several differnt lenses and the result was consistent

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hi,

 

i had once the same problem. I had different exposure metering in P and M. Just be sure, that you use the same meterings in P and M for comparing

 

rachid

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Hi all,

 

All of my exposuresettings are set at zero and my histograms when shooting basic TTL with either the builtin flash or my SB800 are under exposed. The histogram is at LEAST 1/4 of the way away from the right side when shooting a basic near shot of neautral colors using the ttl flash and P mode. I think Larry is correct. When I get home I'll try my other D200 and see if its the same. I will need to put a good case analysis together for Nikon as they are quick to jump to conclusion if the camera "tests" okay. That doesn't mean that camera is functioning properly, could be that their algorithum is flawed and they don't want to admit it.

 

I'll keep you posted.

 

Joe

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I don't know what exactly you are experiencing but some people feel that Nikon cameras underexpose. This is on purpose. In reality you are getting a little more conservative exposure to preserve highlights. Some people think the way to fix this is to set exposure compensation to +1/2 - +1. Resist this temptation. If you don't like this a more pleasing exposure can be achieved by using custom tone curves like these here:

 

Fotogenic

 

This will preserve the highlights and brighten the midtones so that you don't clip your highlights but get snappy shots. I like White Wedding curve, but this is personal.

 

If it is serious underexposure--more than this--I would suggest having the camera looked at.

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Custom tone curves won't cut it for Joe's problem. It really just affects the preview/in-camera settings. If the RAW file is grossly underexposed (and 1.8 stops is a lot), that won't help...

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