D7100 exposure- Problem or feature?

Started Feb 27, 2014 | Questions thread
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Mystery Guy New Member • Posts: 15
D7100 exposure- Problem or feature?


I have a new (few month old) D7100 and lenses. Since I've gotten it I've noticed that I seem to be getting pictures that often seem a bit underexposed (maybe 0.7 - 1.0 stops) from what I was expecting. I'm trying to find the cause and determine if this something I'm not doing right, or possibly a problem with the equipment.

To try and narrow things down a bit I took an old fashioned 8 x 10 inch gray card and my D7100 equipped with my 35 mm 1.8G lens. I started by white balancing it for the light I was testing in.

If I completely fill the frame with the card and take a picture, I get a histogram that's fairly tightly clustered just to left of the center vertical line on the histogram on the camera (and in View NX2 looking at the NEF). This is 1/25 at f-9.

The result doesn't vary much using either Matrix, Center weight, or spot metering and was what I assumed I should see.

If I switch to my 18-140mm 3.5/5.6 I get darker results that seem to vary at least by the current zoom setting, as well as the meter mode. (Still filling the frame with the gray card, although at 18mm I can't focus close enough for this to be in focus).

140mm seems to be the worst, with the histogram now being down at about of 1/3 of the full histogram range instead of 1/2.

Here I also see some variation between the metering modes with Spot being the best, and Center and Matrix darker. This has the camera calling for 1/25 at f-8 to f-11 across all the zoom levels and meter modes.

At best, the histogram is clustered just a bit lower than it was for the fixed 35mm (just under half). At worst it's down around 1/3 to just over 1/4 of the range.

I would have thought all the gray card shots would come out the same, but the 18-140 mm ones seem to range from a little to a lot (0.7-1.0 stops) darker.

Is this just how it is between lenses, or because the camera firmware doesn't recognize the 18-140mm, or because of the lenses vignetting, etc? Or is this not working as it's supposed to?


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Nikon D7100
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Nikon D7100
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