My sticky blades in context

Started Nov 3, 2011 | Discussions thread
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Najinsky Veteran Member • Posts: 5,557
My sticky blades in context


This is a thread about exposure issues or 'sticky blades'. If you are not interested in this issue or are tired of hearing about it, please move along. Nothing to see here.

For anyone still reading, this is the moment I noticed a strange exposure issue with my X100.

You will see the file number is DSCF3231 which means this problem may have started around shutter actuation 3231. I say may because I have removed or deleted around 1200 images from my library. These were poor or missed shots I chose not to keep in my main library, so it's possible some of those were removed due to poor exposure and therefore the issue may have occurred before without me realising it. However, I remember this shot well and remember noting something strange had happened during exposure.

I originally thought it was because I spot metered in the shadow of the bridge (and I'd left the flash on from the previous exposure shooting a party indoors).

I turned the flash off, switched to Averaged metering and adjusted to F8 for better depth of field. Just to be safe, I dialled in -1EV. But then I got this:

Looking at the exposure values, it's 1/2 a stop slower (+0.5ev more light), 1 stop smaller Aperture (-1.0ev less light) so I should (based on the recorded values) have an exposure that is 1/2 a stop darker, but is actually at least 1/2 a stop brighter, perhaps more:

I double checked my settings, they were fine, so I re-shot. I got this:

As you can see, it's now a little better, easily half and perhaps almost a full stop better. But still notably over-exposed. However, I was confident with shooting raw I had captured enough to get the shot so I finished shooting the bridge. Here's the final processed raw:

So on this occasion it didn't cost me the shot.

The next time I noticed it was straight after reading a thread here on DPR. I had just upgraded to new firmware (the above were with the original buggy firmware) and read a thread on the sticky blades so fired off a couple of test shots:

As you can see from the file numbers, these were the first shots taken after the firmware upgrade.

The problem is much more obvious on these. The first shot is fine (technically slightly over I guess due to no significant bright object in the scene) but the second shot should, according to the recorded values, have the same exposure (3 stops less from Aperture, 3 stops more from shutter = rev difference). However, as you can see, the second shot is completely blown.

The time between the two occurrences is about 3 week during which I took around 700 shots with no sign of any issue. In fact, I'm delighted with the shots I'm getting from the X100:

So at the moment, I'm in a mixed mind. The issue itself isn't really bothering me that much, and it certainly isn't getting in the way of my enjoyment of the camera. However, I do feel that with a premium camera I shouldn't have this concern hanging over me that the exposure may start to let me down more often in the future. I spend a lot of time travelling an taking pictures and reliability is something I've come to appreciate.

It may be worth noting that both occurrences of the issue have been in cooler climates. I never noticed an issue shooting in Asia and South of France.


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