D7000 pictures overexposed at low temperatures

Started Jan 17, 2014 | Discussions
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Rob Stuart Regular Member • Posts: 175
D7000 pictures overexposed at low temperatures

Im in north of Finland where the outdoor temperatures are -28 Celsius.
After a few hours the pictures taken in RAW are all overexposed.
When the temperatures increase it works fine again.

What is causing this overexposure?

Robert

 Rob Stuart's gear list:Rob Stuart's gear list
Nikon D50 Nikon D7100 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II +6 more
Rob Stuart OP Regular Member • Posts: 175
Re: D7000 pictures overexposed at low temperatures

Im in north of Finland where the outdoor temperatures are -28 Celsius.
After a few hours the pictures taken in RAW are all overexposed.
When the temperatures increase it works fine again.

What is causing this overexposure?

Robert

I'm forgot to tell that I'm using a D7000 with 35mm/1.8G.

 Rob Stuart's gear list:Rob Stuart's gear list
Nikon D50 Nikon D7100 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II +6 more
Mako2011
Mako2011 MOD Forum Pro • Posts: 20,342
sounds like

Rob Stuart wrote:

Im in north of Finland where the outdoor temperatures are -28 Celsius.
After a few hours the pictures taken in RAW are all overexposed.
When the temperatures increase it works fine again.

What is causing this overexposure?

Robert

Sounds like the cold weather is causing the aperture blades in the lens to stick open. Shouldn't cause permanent damage. You might try putting the lenses in a sealed container with a desiccant for a few weeks. That would remove all moisture and maybe keep the blades from sticking as much.

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Stephan Def Regular Member • Posts: 449
Re: D7000 pictures overexposed at low temperatures

Actually electronics work better when they are colder. Thats why think its something mechanical. Since your images are overexposed I would suspect the aperture mechanism is actually freezing up, it may very well be happening in your lens since this is the most exposed to the cold and it has lubricant on the aperture which would get very dense in cold temperatures.

a good way to test if that is the problem is go into aperture priority mode on your camera and open the apeture all the way up, so that the camera does not have to stop it down anymore. If your exposure is then correct then you can be pretty sure its the lens mechanics.  Next try another lens and see if the problem is the same.

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Stephan Def Regular Member • Posts: 449
Re: sounds like

Mako2011 wrote:

Rob Stuart wrote:

Im in north of Finland where the outdoor temperatures are -28 Celsius.
After a few hours the pictures taken in RAW are all overexposed.
When the temperatures increase it works fine again.

What is causing this overexposure?

Robert

Sounds like the cold weather is causing the aperture blades in the lens to stick open. Shouldn't cause permanent damage. You might try putting the lenses in a sealed container with a desiccant for a few weeks. That would remove all moisture and maybe keep the blades from sticking as much.

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My opinions are my own and not those of DPR or its administration. They carry no 'special' value (except to me and Lacie of course)

you beat me to it, I was writing the same above while you posted your analysis. I think we got it.

 Stephan Def's gear list:Stephan Def's gear list
Sony Alpha DSLR-A200 Nikon D5100 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6G VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR Sigma 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM
Leonard Shepherd
Leonard Shepherd Forum Pro • Posts: 10,767
Re: Suggesting aperture blades is unlikely to be right.

Battery power goes down significantly at the temperatures you mention.

If the batteries are reasonably warm at the start of the session it may take them an hour or so to cool enough not to provide enough power for the camera to operate normally. As you report the batteries work good when they warm up.

A common workaround is a second battery in a warm inside coat pocket and to rotate the batteries during the shooting session.

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Leonard Shepherd
Great images are often of good subjects.
If they are great images does what lens, body or technique was used matter more than the skill of the photographer?

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Mako2011
Mako2011 MOD Forum Pro • Posts: 20,342
doubtful

Leonard Shepherd wrote:

Battery power goes down significantly at the temperatures you mention.

If the batteries are reasonably warm at the start of the session it may take them an hour or so to cool enough not to provide enough power for the camera to operate normally. As you report the batteries work good when they warm up.

A common workaround is a second battery in a warm inside coat pocket and to rotate the batteries during the shooting session.

Doubtful it's a battery only issue as everything else seems to be operating fine. Cold would allow for same voltage from the battery but problems with high voltage ops like AF. You would also notice reduced battery life. Mirror rise would slow or stop. His only issue is overexposure... Likely blades and not battery....but definitely cold related. Fresh battery might provide a little more current to override (break loose) sticking blades, though. With only a cold battery issue though, focus speed issues would likely be noticed first.

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Leonard Shepherd
Great images are often of good subjects.
If they are great images does what lens, body or technique was used matter more than the skill of the photographer?

-- hide signature --

My opinions are my own and not those of DPR or its administration. They carry no 'special' value (except to me and Lacie of course)

Rob Stuart OP Regular Member • Posts: 175
Re: D7000 pictures overexposed at low temperatures

Thank you all for your comments.
Indeed the lens was causing the problem. Funny enough my Tokina 11-16 zoom continues to work fine at these outdoor temps.
I now carry the 35/1.8 G under my coat.

The original batteries perform great at these temp. I carry warm spares with me but no need for replacement during my daily trips.

 Rob Stuart's gear list:Rob Stuart's gear list
Nikon D50 Nikon D7100 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II +6 more
Stephan Def Regular Member • Posts: 449
Re: D7000 pictures overexposed at low temperatures

Hello, thanks for coming back and letting us know that it is the lens. I like it when I can help people solve problems by just thinking thru the problem logically.

It gives me some second thoughts though as to why this is not happening on your Tokina Lens, what the difference is in the Aperture Mechanism. The G stands for a special kind of Aperture which can only be controlled by the Camera electrically, that may be an important clue  to the source of the issue. Anyway its temperature related and I think mechanical.

Lenses are known to display this kind of behavior if they get aged and the lubricant on the Aperture Blades gets gued up and it will be temperature related because the lubricant will get more viscos at higer temperatures and then the problem goes away. If the lens is still is under warranty and you have a service center near you, you may want to chat with Nikon about it, telling then it does not happen on your other lens. There may be something they can do about it. Otherwise just keep the lens warm somehow, a stocking might help

have fun...

 Stephan Def's gear list:Stephan Def's gear list
Sony Alpha DSLR-A200 Nikon D5100 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6G VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR Sigma 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM
Mako2011
Mako2011 MOD Forum Pro • Posts: 20,342
good call

Stephan Def wrote:

Hello, thanks for coming back and letting us know that it is the lens. I like it when I can help people solve problems by just thinking thru the problem logically.

It gives me some second thoughts though as to why this is not happening on your Tokina Lens, what the difference is in the Aperture Mechanism. The G stands for a special kind of Aperture which can only be controlled by the Camera electrically, that may be an important clue to the source of the issue. Anyway its temperature related and I think mechanical.

G means the aperture can't be changed manually (no aperture ring). The Tonika will operate the same as his Nikon lens when set to change aperture automatically. Tolerances on the Tonika may allow for the possibility of less sticking potential.

Lenses are known to display this kind of behavior if they get aged and the lubricant on the Aperture Blades gets gued up and it will be temperature related because the lubricant will get more viscos at higer temperatures and then the problem goes away. If the lens is still is under warranty and you have a service center near you, you may want to chat with Nikon about it, telling then it does not happen on your other lens. There may be something they can do about it. Otherwise just keep the lens warm somehow, a stocking might help

Getting the lens serviced seems a good call as the problem may get worse and start sticking in not so cold weather.

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MRM4350
MRM4350 Senior Member • Posts: 1,950
Re: doubtful

Mako2011 wrote:

Fresh battery might provide a little more current to override (break loose) sticking blades, though.

I think Nikon lenses are allowed to close to the selected aperture on their own, in that the aperture lever gets out of the way, and only forces the lens open after the shot.

With only a cold battery issue though, focus speed issues would likely be noticed first.

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Mako2011
Mako2011 MOD Forum Pro • Posts: 20,342
thanks

MRM4350 wrote:

Mako2011 wrote:

Fresh battery might provide a little more current to override (break loose) sticking blades, though.

I think Nikon lenses are allowed to close to the selected aperture on their own, in that the aperture lever gets out of the way, and only forces the lens open after the shot.

True...hadn't thought of that. Thanks.

With only a cold battery issue though, focus speed issues would likely be noticed first.

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My opinions are my own and not those of DPR or its administration. They carry no 'special' value (except to me and Lacie of course)

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