D7100 exposure accuracy?

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Torben Laursen
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D7100 exposure accuracy?
7 months ago

Hi I own a D7100 and have by now shot few thousand photos. I love the camera and it takes stunningly good photos (color/sharpness) But  I think it underexposes lightly by - a third to - two third f-stops.

Has anyone had similar "problems" with their D7100? How easy is it to fix? I still have my one year warranty.

Torben

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In reply to Torben Laursen, 7 months ago

Torben Laursen wrote:

Hi I own a D7100 and have by now shot few thousand photos. I love the camera and it takes stunningly good photos (color/sharpness) But I think it underexposes lightly by - a third to - two third f-stops.

First, when you say it underexposes, how are you coming to that conclusion? Not doubting you but there are so many factors. Are you shooting in LiveView? How does the Histogram compare? What metering/exposure mode are you using. So many variables. Have you actually checked the accuracy of the meter using the sunny16 rule or such?

If you have an example to post with full EXIF....it will be easy to tell if you have an issue. Make sure it's not processed in any way but simply an OOC JPEG.

Has anyone had similar "problems" with their D7100? How easy is it to fix? I still have my one year warranty.

Not something reported here often. D7100 doesn't seem to be problematic regards exposure. Good Luck

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dk76111
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Re: D7100 exposure accuracy?
In reply to Torben Laursen, 7 months ago

You are about the 5th or 6th (estimate on my part) person I've seen report this.

I've found the opposite.  I've found that it overexposes based on what I'm used to.  This is purely judgemental.

For lack of a better term, everything is "brighter" than what came out of my D5000.  I've only had the 7100 for a little bit.  So I need to look at my metering.  I think I've got it on spot and that's why.  Aside from that, it's set to the default size (8 mm?).

Haven't looked at the histogram.  But as I said, it's a "feel" thing.

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mosswings
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Re: D7100 exposure accuracy?
In reply to Torben Laursen, 7 months ago

Are you using Matrix Metering or CW/Spot?  If you are comparing the exposure of the scene element under the focus point to that of an earlier Nikon, and you're in MM, you will notice that the D7100 gives slightly less weight to what's under the focus point - a trait common to all the upper-level Nikons. This can result in apparent under or over-exposure of the entire scene depending upon the relationship of the subject to the field.

Early users of the D7100 reported that it seemed to have somewhat higher highlight headroom, which generally means that the reference brightness for the meter has been moved down somewhat in the DR of the sensor, but this would be accounted for in the response curve. These initial observations have quieted down.

Are you shooting RAW or JPEG?

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In reply to dk76111, 7 months ago

dk76111 wrote:

You are about the 5th or 6th (estimate on my part) person I've seen report this.

I've found the opposite. I've found that it overexposes based on what I'm used to. This is purely judgemental.

Also, have you actully checked to see if the meter reading/mode is giving accuraty exposure results. You can use the Sunny 16 rule (on a sunny 16 day) to see if you get 1/200s in aperture priority at f16 and ISO 200.

For lack of a better term, everything is "brighter" than what came out of my D5000. I've only had the 7100 for a little bit. So I need to look at my metering. I think I've got it on spot and that's why. Aside from that, it's set to the default size (8 mm?).

The default (8mm) only applies to "center weighted" metering mode. Spot will always meter at 3.5mm in the center of the selected focus box, and is not affected by the b4 setting.

Haven't looked at the histogram. But as I said, it's a "feel" thing.

There are other ways to actually check the metering accuracy...not just the sunny 16 rule.

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dk76111
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In reply to Mako2011, 7 months ago

Thanks for the tips Mako. I will check it out. Gonna have to wait until the weekend for the Sunny 16 test. And I shall now look up Metering tests.

It would appear that I have messed up my terms. Back to the manual I go. Apologies for creating any confusion in this thread.

I'm not complaining about the metering. Just seems different than what I was used to. Not saying it good/bad, right/ wrong.

I've been taking portraits of the kids (as best as possible). So while I find the face generally to be exposed properly, it's the surrounding that seem all that much more brighter. Who knows, maybe I had it on Matrix on the old camera and therefore the entire photo is underexposed. I dunno. (I am such a great help in diagnosing my "issue" aren't I?)

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krikman
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Re: D7100 exposure accuracy?
In reply to Torben Laursen, 7 months ago

It depends on lens, scene type, lighting and your photographic technique. If you feel it, just add exposure compensation temporarily.

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sweetgum
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Re: D7100 exposure accuracy?
In reply to Torben Laursen, 7 months ago

Torben Laursen wrote:

Hi I own a D7100 and have by now shot few thousand photos. I love the camera and it takes stunningly good photos (color/sharpness) But I think it underexposes lightly by - a third to - two third f-stops.

Has anyone had similar "problems" with their D7100? How easy is it to fix? I still have my one year warranty.

Torben

Yes.

I increased the exposure fine tune b5 (I think) by 4/6.

Very happy with results now. Histogram well balanced. That was the solution for me.

However, also take into consideration what others have contributed.

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chary zp
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In reply to Mako2011, 7 months ago

Mako2011 wrote:

Also, have you actully checked to see if the meter reading/mode is giving accuraty exposure results. You can use the Sunny 16 rule (on a sunny 16 day) to see if you get 1/200s in aperture priority at f16 and ISO 200.

"Sunny 16 day" is what?

... if you get 1/200 f16 iso200 shooting what exactly? Blue sky? Green gras? A red car standing in direct sun?

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In reply to chary zp, 7 months ago

chary zp wrote:

Mako2011 wrote:

Also, have you actully checked to see if the meter reading/mode is giving accuraty exposure results. You can use the Sunny 16 rule (on a sunny 16 day) to see if you get 1/200s in aperture priority at f16 and ISO 200.

"Sunny 16 day" is what?

... if you get 1/200 f16 iso200 shooting what exactly? Blue sky? Green gras? A red car standing in direct sun?

Meter off any neutral tone (zone 5)....Clear north sky about 60 degrees up, Gray stone, Average weathered wood, Middle gray (18% reflectance), green grass. Palm of your hand should be +1 EC on a sunny 16 day so set -1 EC in camera and see if you get the 1/200s or so.

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Mystery Guy
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Re: D7100 exposure accuracy?
In reply to Torben Laursen, 7 months ago

Torben Laursen wrote:

Hi I own a D7100 and have by now shot few thousand photos. I love the camera and it takes stunningly good photos (color/sharpness) But I think it underexposes lightly by - a third to - two third f-stops.

Has anyone had similar "problems" with their D7100? How easy is it to fix? I still have my one year warranty.

Torben

I was recently trying to figure out why the pictures I'm taking with my D7100 (mostly with Matrix Metering) sometimes seemed darker than I expected (maybe by about 0.7 stops or so).

In playing around with some basic tests, I was seeing is variation in results just using the same exposure across the range of F-stops.

For example, with my 35mm 1.8G, if I start out using Manual mode and F22 (say at 1/6s) to set the exposure, and then just work up through the F-stops keeping the matching exposure (next F16 @ 1/13s, etc.), the actual results I'm getting seems to be as much as 1 F-stop different across the entire range (between lightest and darkest pictures).

So, just trying to take the same image with the same lighting would give a variation based on what F-stop was actually used (even though the camera meter always seemed to say that exposure was 'correct'.).

Is yours a constant amount of under exposure, or is it variable?

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In reply to Mystery Guy, 7 months ago

Mystery Guy wrote:


For example, with my 35mm 1.8G, if I start out using Manual mode and F22 (say at 1/6s) to set the exposure, and then just work up through the F-stops keeping the matching exposure (next F16 @ 1/13s, etc.),

f22 and 1/6s is 1/3 stop different from f16 1/13s

the actual results I'm getting seems to be as much as 1 F-stop different across the entire range (between lightest and darkest pictures).

So minor miscalculation might be part of it

So, just trying to take the same image with the same lighting would give a variation based on what F-stop was actually used (even though the camera meter always seemed to say that exposure was 'correct'.).

What increments is your meter set in?

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Mystery Guy
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In reply to Mako2011, 7 months ago

Mako2011 wrote:

Mystery Guy wrote:

For example, with my 35mm 1.8G, if I start out using Manual mode and F22 (say at 1/6s) to set the exposure, and then just work up through the F-stops keeping the matching exposure (next F16 @ 1/13s, etc.),

f22 and 1/6s is 1/3 stop different from f16 1/13s

the actual results I'm getting seems to be as much as 1 F-stop different across the entire range (between lightest and darkest pictures).

So minor miscalculation might be part of it

So, just trying to take the same image with the same lighting would give a variation based on what F-stop was actually used (even though the camera meter always seemed to say that exposure was 'correct'.).

What increments is your meter set in?

It's currently set to 1/3 stop increments (the default I believe). Maybe what I'm seeing is a metering issue.

For whatever reason, I often see variations where manually adding +0.7 exposure compensation makes things look better to me (in just general picture taking).

I don't know if the following is an expected difference or not, but I quickly took the following two pictures under the same light using Aperture priority and Matrix Metering.

The F22 one seems a shade darker, and if I open the .NEF in Adobe Camera Raw and increase the exposure by 0.7, the two images look a lot closer to each other to me (and have a more similar histogram).

I understand they shouldn't look exactly the same (they are at two very different apertures), but I was hoping that the apparent brightness would be closer. Maybe you can tell me if this is considered an expected amount of variation or not.

Thanks;

F22

F2.8

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In reply to Mystery Guy, 7 months ago

Mystery Guy wrote:

Mako2011 wrote:

Mystery Guy wrote:

For example, with my 35mm 1.8G, if I start out using Manual mode and F22 (say at 1/6s) to set the exposure, and then just work up through the F-stops keeping the matching exposure (next F16 @ 1/13s, etc.),

f22 and 1/6s is 1/3 stop different from f16 1/13s

the actual results I'm getting seems to be as much as 1 F-stop different across the entire range (between lightest and darkest pictures).

So minor miscalculation might be part of it

So, just trying to take the same image with the same lighting would give a variation based on what F-stop was actually used (even though the camera meter always seemed to say that exposure was 'correct'.).

What increments is your meter set in?

It's currently set to 1/3 stop increments (the default I believe). Maybe what I'm seeing is a metering issue.

That's what I have mine set to as well...but I know it's not as precise as say the histogram but certainly gets as well in the ball park as +/- 1/3 is no biggie in post (as long as I don't clip something I want to keep).

For whatever reason, I often see variations where manually adding +0.7 exposure compensation makes things look better to me (in just general picture taking).

Nothing wrong with that. Many add a global correction and it simply works. Ray Soares always set a -2/6 EV in his setup and I don't...And I honestly think our cameras were metering identically. There's, IMO, some honest subjectivity to what's the correct exposure.

I don't know if the following is an expected difference or not, but I quickly took the following two pictures under the same light using Aperture priority and Matrix Metering.

These are indeed different and the same exposure. You didn't use liveview did you? You don't happen to have ADL set to "on" do you? That can account for some of the dif.

The F22 one seems a shade darker, and if I open the .NEF in Adobe Camera Raw and increase the exposure by 0.7, the two images look a lot closer to each other to me (and have a more similar histogram).

Open in ViewNX2 and see if the look just as different. Looks to me more like maybe the aperture isn't exactly f22 but way off....might be a simple lens issue. In this case it would be less than 1/8 of a stop if f22 was really f23. And still way small if f2.8 was really f2.6...so if an aperture issue it would have to be a big one.

I understand they shouldn't look exactly the same (they are at two very different apertures), but I was hoping that the apparent brightness would be closer. Maybe you can tell me if this is considered an expected amount of variation or not.

I wonder if this might be ...long shot...an ACR issue with the brightness instruction set. Do you get same result shooting JPEG?

Thanks;

F22

F2.8

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In reply to Mystery Guy, 7 months ago

Mystery Guy wrote:


F22

F2.8

Also (pulling at straws) might be a light issue in this case with cycles....try with flash and see what happens.

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Mystery Guy
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In reply to Mako2011, 7 months ago

> You didn't use liveview did you? You don't happen to have ADL set to "on" do you?That can account for some of the dif.

ADL is off and I wasn't using Live-View.

> Open in ViewNX2 and see if the look just as different

In View NX2 the .JPG and .NEF looks almost identical with only a very small difference in the histograms between them. Opening the JPG in Photoshop CS 6 also looks the same.

> Also (pulling at straws) might be a light issue in this case with cycles....try with flash and see what happens.

Here's a new set of pictures with Native Light, Direct flash from an SB-700 , and Bounce Flash. This is with Matrix Metering, Aperture Priority, F22.

In this case, I think the ambient light one looks the best and the Bounce Flash is the darkest for some reason.

In general, I sometimes see great results, but I'm trying to figure out why sometimes things look so different despite the same frame composure.

P.S.: I just realized that at F22, 1/30s and the ambient light used, the flash modes report significant underexposure (in the camera meter display) since it appears to be determined to use 'TTL-BL' mode. So maybe that's what's up with the flash images.

It seems to me that being able to choose TTL only mode would be nice (without having to resort to spot metering).

Ambient

Direct Flash

Bounce

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Mako2011
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In reply to Mystery Guy, 7 months ago

Mystery Guy wrote:

> You didn't use liveview did you? You don't happen to have ADL set to "on" do you?That can account for some of the dif.

ADL is off and I wasn't using Live-View.

OK...throw that idea out

> Open in ViewNX2 and see if the look just as different

In View NX2 the .JPG and .NEF looks almost identical with only a very small difference in the histograms between them. Opening the JPG in Photoshop CS 6 also looks the same.

That's what I would expect. Opening the NEF in ACR will always look different from the ViewNX2 version or the OOC JPEG unless you tweak your picture controls. Hard to do consistently with ACR.

> Also (pulling at straws) might be a light issue in this case with cycles....try with flash and see what happens.

Here's a new set of pictures with Native Light, Direct flash from an SB-700 , and Bounce Flash. This is with Matrix Metering, Aperture Priority, F22.

In this case, I think the ambient light one looks the best and the Bounce Flash is the darkest for some reason.

In general, I sometimes see great results, but I'm trying to figure out why sometimes things look so different despite the same frame composure.

P.S.: I just realized that at F22, 1/30s and the ambient light used, the flash modes report significant underexposure (in the camera meter display) since it appears to be determined to use 'TTL-BL' mode. So maybe that's what's up with the flash images.

True...to get consistent flash power output (just for testing) you almost have to switch to manual flash mode.

It seems to me that being able to choose TTL only mode would be nice (without having to resort to spot metering).

Sort of...remember the purpose of TTL is to illuminate the subject the same regardless of background. With that in mind, it kind of makes sense to use Spot with TTL as we want to ignore the background. Matrix would cause the subject to get weighted differently and maybe defeat the purpose. Two schools of thought...no right or wrong IMO.

Ambient

Direct Flash

Bounce

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jraa
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Re: D7100 exposure accuracy?
In reply to Torben Laursen, 7 months ago

The DPR review (for this camera) in their Conclusion page under Image Quality stated that ..the matrix metering need some exposure compensating.... could at times return slightly darker results..when performing their review of the D7100.  This may be the same results your getting..Non the less, it did get a Gold rating from DPR..

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Buzz Lightyear
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Re: D7100 exposure accuracy?
In reply to jraa, 7 months ago

I've had this problem before.  It's possible everyone has missed the correct fix . . .

There is a little button on top of your camera, just to the right and behind the shutter button.  It is a black and white square, with a + and - sign on it.  When pressed, you can adjust your exposure compensation to the right (+) or left (-) with your main command wheel.  When set at 0.0, it seems my exposures match perfectly with my metered values.  See if you setting has been modified to a negative value.

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Leonard Shepherd
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Re: D7100 exposure accuracy?
In reply to Torben Laursen, 7 months ago

Often but not always perceptions of exposure problems are to do with personal preferences computer monitor brightness and so on.

The histogram can often help indicate if exposure is good and the monitor is not set up good for viewing digital images.

Your camera enables you to individual fine tune matrix, centre weighted and spot metering.

I often expose at minus a third of a stop because it helps post processing the way I do it before making a print.

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