D810 strange behaviour re Highlight-Weighted Metering / ADL

Started Jul 25, 2014 | Discussions thread
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Martin Datzinger Senior Member • Posts: 2,248
D810 strange behaviour re Highlight-Weighted Metering / ADL


First of all I'm happy to report that I got my D810 today.



Love the grip, love the shutter, love the build.

One thing I was really looking forward to see is the Highlight-Weighted Metering mode. It is supposed to protect highlights, that would otherwise blow. Turns out it doesn't really work for small highlights, even under the focus area, and at one scene I threw at it, it even worked opposite of what it would need to do:

Matrix - 1/60th (blossom blown)

HWM - 1/30th (blossom blown even more)

Capture NX-D (now that has to be the most useless UI ever) of course reports severely blown highlights on both images, more so on the the HWM one. Again: HWM resulted in 1 stop overexposure, from what would have needed to be a 1 or even 2 stop underexposure to protect the hightlights.

In other scenes, where e.g. there are large areas of clowd, that tend to blow with matrix metering, HWM seems to work as intended.

To make matters worse, ADL now seems to have a mind of its own, too: When on by D7000 or D600, ADL extre strong would result in a consistent 1.5 (or so) stop underexposure, which was very easy to deal with in LR with custom curve settings. Now, at this scene, it just doesn't make a difference - there is no exposure difference between ADL off and ADL extra strong, only the tone curve changes. In other words: The "active" part of Active D-Lighting is gone.

Is there something I need to be aware of regarding HWM and ADL on the D810? I read that HWM is meant for stage lighting. Unless you have a stage light within the frame, where you shouldn't use it. Go figure ...

Please excuse the useless sample image, I was just testing for HWM reliability. No artistic ambition involved in the process.

Best regards,

Nikon D810
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