D80 over/under exposure

Started Jul 29, 2008 | Discussions thread
mrbr Senior Member • Posts: 2,901
Nikon matrix metering evolves ...IMO

Thurnau wrote:

Is this identical with all Nikon and other SLR's? Or is the D80 more
prone to problems. Would stepping up to a D200-D300 work better here?


Nikon matrix metering evolves ... according to Tom Hogann, Kenn Rockwell, ... D200,D70,D50 has matrix metering that protects highligts ( and "underexpose" in high contrast situations making PP necessary ) ... on the other hand D80, D40(x) and D300/D60 with D-lighting disabled will take into account what is under the active focuspoint , if its something darker, the metering will protect the shadows and in high contrast situations this can lead to "overexposure/blown highlights" ...

( D-lighting enabled onf D300/D60 protects hightlights in some extend IMO .. see further ).

Read this earlier post for more information about D80 matrix metering and a tip to reduce the risk of blown highlights ....:


The Nikon D80/40 matrix metering gives a lot of discussion :
eg: readKen Rockwelss criticism in his D80 users guide.
( also valid for D40 ).

IMO the metering is not defective as stated by KR , but is intended
to obtain pictures out of the camera that require no PP at the cost
of the risk for blown highlights.

Conclusion for me : the matrix metering can be used as follows to
lower the risk of blown highlights in high contrasty situations :

QUOTE ( from the long thread referenced above, with thanks to Dayd3
and all other contributors to that particular thread, it was really
an interesting clash of opinions from wich one can learn alot IMO ) :

Dayd3 wrote:
I explored a little bit more Matrix metering on D80 and found some
tip on the web how to use this metering in a way which is not
mentioned anywhere in Nikon's manual.

We all agree that Matrix Metering try to protect shadows which very
often finishes in blown out highlights if under our focus point is
something darker than middle gray. While sometimes we want such a
behaviour many times we don't. We also know that by default metering
doesn't lock when shutter is half pressed AE LOCK - off (CSM 19).

But what I didn'rt realize before is that MM also takes two metering
and averages them. For example if we focus on someone's face, half
press shutter and than recompose, instead of simply taking a new
reading camera will average the original exposure and the new one.

If we combine this behaviour with a AE-L/AF-L set to AE Lock Hold or
AE Lock Only (CSM 19) we can actually focus where we like by half
pressing shutter button and holding it (camera focuses and takes
first reading) than we point camera for example to the sky and press
AE-L/AF-L button (or press and hold what depends on our settings CSM
18). Than we recompose again and take picture. In this way MM can
average readings from the darkest and lightest subject and prevent
blown out skies.

This is working only in Matrix metering mode and it seems doesn't
work in AF-C mode.

Link to web page where I found this tip:


Just want you to be aware of this as this is not mentioned in the
Nikon manual anywhere !!!!

IMO Nikons answer to the D80/40 matrix metering issues ( "overexposing" when high contrast and darker object under the active focuspoint ) and D200/D70 matrix metering ( "underexposing" to protect highlights when high contrast ) is "Active D-lighting" in the newer models like D60 , D300 ... when active D-lighting is enabled it protects highlights !!

about Active D-lighting on D60 and D300 :

Following interview with "Mr. Muramatsu" is interesting to read in this aspect :


Mr Muramatus says ( last paragraph on 2nd page of the interview ) :

quote :

My dream is to automate the process of creating optimal results by combining exposure and image processing technologies. Currently, image processing tends to be considered a post-production process that requires extra time and effort after shooting. But I want to merge image processing into the shooting process in order to make it much easier to create optimal results from the start.


IMO Nikon latest step is trying to achieve this with Active D-lighting .... image processing in-camera and not in PP .... Is Mr Muramatus dream becoming reality ???

Read this thread for a first impression about this :

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