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Nikon D80 exposure issue by Ken Rockwell

Bo Chen , Nov 09, 2006; 09:30 p.m.

Just read Ken's article here. What do you think? Does any one using D80 experience it?


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Jon Ess , Nov 09, 2006; 10:00 p.m.

yup, it tends to overexpose. but not hard to compensate for....as he also points out.

Bo Chen , Nov 09, 2006; 10:10 p.m.

But as Ken said, it does not overexpose consistently. You need to dial in compensation value by trial and error. It's a big issue though it could be solved by firmware upgrade (possible?).

Michael Harris , Nov 09, 2006; 10:41 p.m.

my D70s underexposed a tiny bit, I just dialed in a little compensation and it's fine. Wonder if that will work for the D80?

James Vornov , Nov 09, 2006; 11:40 p.m.

Ken Rockwell insists that shooting RAW is a waste of time and only shoots JPEG. I've found that with the D80, shooting RAW generally means that I can recover highlights if the camera overexposes by a stop. He's relying on JPEGs and I think it's easier to get burned by the tendency to expose for shadows in backlit scenes. There's no problem with setting the camera to underexpose by a third or two thirds of a stop to help prevent this.

Anil Sharma , Nov 10, 2006; 12:26 a.m.

I noticed that my D80 is overexposing, but in a consistent way. I usually dial 0.7 to 1 stop of compensation, which works good. My D70 usually underexposes by 0.7 stop. I prefer underexposure, because its easy to recover dark highlights. When its overblown, its not easy to recover details.

See this example, which is taken with D80/ 18-200mm @ 60mm f/11 in aperture priority mode as NEF, converted to JPEG, ISO 100.


Anil Sharma , Nov 10, 2006; 12:28 a.m.

Correct size

Attachment: jaipur.JPG

Tak Imura , Nov 10, 2006; 02:44 a.m.

This is nothing new as the D50 was the first nikon I noticed that did the very exact same thing. Nikon has probably assumed (correctly) that the majority of users are only interested in the main subject being exposed so they can see it nice and bright.

Alec Eiffel , Nov 10, 2006; 06:13 a.m.

In my experience the overexposure is not consistent, depends on the contrast and the element you focus on.
I have since switched to center weighted metering, with very good results. It's more predictable when you're used to it and know how to compensate or lock your exposure on a different part of the scene.

Andrew Midthune , Nov 10, 2006; 11:28 a.m.

"Ken Rockwell insists that shooting RAW is a waste of time and only shoots JPEG."

No, he doesn't. He states that his preference (and that of many pros) is usually JPEG and gives valid supporting reasons for that position. He may seem a little harsh in some of his points, but really he was probably on the debate team in high school, and that's how you're supposed to state your position, with conviction and no apologies.

I happen to agree with him, for my style of photography, but I appreciate the reasons others may have for shooting RAW. Whatever works for you is good.

See? I'm a little more diplomatic than Ken, but my position is very similar.

I think Ken is thinking about the newbies when he makes points like this. How many times on this forum has someone asked a question that is answered in the dang camera manual and some bonehead suggests shooting RAW? So now the newbie spends $2000 on Photoshop and a new computer and spends hours learning PS and tweaking one picture to come up with a photo that doesn't look as good as the JPEG the camera would have given him in milliseconds.

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