Exposure puzzle

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by bitphotospace, Apr 24, 2021.

  1. Ladies and gents - I'd appreciate your expert insight.
    Rather shamefully, I still use my D700 - and I mean use as main cam. I always though the D700 overexposed (plenty on that on multiple fora across the years) - so I dialed in 2/3 stop under exposure in exposure fine tune and forgot about it.
    Recently I had me hands on a used D610 and shock and horror. Using the same lens and same exposure, no lens correction etc.. - the D700 blows it up visibly (see .neff 14 bit histogram - D700 top, 610 bottom).
    I need to dial down from 1/500 to 1/640 to get comparable exposure.
    Either me brain's wired upside down or someone cooked the raw files.

    Screenshot 2021-04-24 163710.jpg Screenshot 2021-04-24 163514.jpg
  2. It no longer surprises me that different nikon cameras give different exposures. I have used nikon since the film days; back then I always exposure bracketed good shots for the slide film I used. I think around the D700 some exposure control was allocated to the focus spot. That means that on a tripod, if you move the exposure spot (don't even refocus) from a dark area of the frame to a bright area (using matrix metering) you will get a different exposure. The amount of priority given to the focus point seems to have increased in the newer DSLRs.
    Add to that the variance in exposure with manual focus lenses. It can be quite maddening until you get used to looking at the histogram and adjusting exposure as you go. I recently changed from a D850 to a Z7, and am delighted with the histogram in the viewfinder option. Maybe I could have done this with the D850 but didn't. With the Z7 I can dial exposure compensation while looking through the viewfinder. The additional level horizon tool in the view finder really lets me dial in what I want.
    Obviously, as you use your camera you learn how it exposes and adjust accordingly.
    bitphotospace likes this.
  3. I have two Nikon DSLRs (D300 & D50), they might as well have been made on different planets, for a variety of reasons. They each have their own personalities and look. Brand means little.
    bitphotospace likes this.
  4. Nope - nothing to do with the focus spot exposure prioritisation (don't remember whats it called - D or sth). this was neutralised as both cameras auto matrix metered at 1/500, all custom settings were off (long exposure NR, active D lightning etc..) - the shots were taken within seconds in full sun. Meaning Nikon either overcooked D700 raw's so shadows look good or undercooked D610 to preserve whites as shadows can be better recovered due to newer sensor.
  5. You are lucky to get the exposures so close!

    I had nightmares trying to get the exposure right when I first had my D700, it overexposed like crazy. I eventually discovered the exposure fine tuning feature and after some experimentation set it to -1 for matrix, -1 for centre weighted, and -4/6 for spot. Now it's pretty consistent but I'm still in the habit of shooting a blank neutral surface to make sure the histogram is centred before a session.

    Apart from this I think the D700 still a great camera and I don't know why you seem ashamed to be using it.
    bitphotospace likes this.
  6. Just being overcautious:) - I took quite a beating last year when I posted on how much I still love my D300
  7. I don't use it anymore - gave one copy to my son-in-law, but this camera took me to Africa multiple time, to China, Nepal, Vietnam... And the photos ain't bad - some won national and international awards. ;) It's a good camera, not using it only because I "upgraded" to other cameras.
    bitphotospace likes this.
  8. I had a D700 until 2012. When I look at those files shot at base iso they are some of the lowest shadow noise files I have. It still surprises me.
  9. I still use it extensively with primes. but again - I am puzzled by the over exposure. The cam does not really over expose - the issue seems to lay in the base tone curve of raw.
  10. I have a D700, but lately have been using the D200 more.
    That is for more ordinary things, like a family hike in a nearby park.

    I now have a D1X, which I have also taken out on recent weekends.

    I never tried to figure out exposure differences between them, though.
  11. You're talking about 1/3 stop and although I don't like it you will find cameras of same model can be different from each other that much normally.
  12. As I understand it - it’s 1 stop: the 2/3 he has dialed in permanently and the 1/3 he sees vs the D610. For me, the D200, D300, and D700 measured “hot” to various degrees - I just adapted to their behavior; no big deal.
  13. It's been a while. Wasn't a sale point that highlight recovery was good with the D700? Then, expose more to the right would make sense. It seems like sensor technology advance since has been in shadow recovery. Maybe that is some of the exposure difference. Again, the answer is to get to know your camera. Look at the histogram.
  14. If you had the cameras tripod mounted and without the viewfinders 'blinded', then all bets are off. Since all Nikon's lightmeters are affected by any light leak into the viewfinder.

    As for a D700 overexposing; that doesn't surprise me in the least. Mine went back to Nikon twice with a complaint of a metering error and was returned each time with a curt 'within spec.' diagnosis.

    I too dialled -2/3rds of a stop meter tuning into matrix mode and forgot about it.

    The D800 that replaced it is much more consistent, but still needs the occasional manual override.
  15. He said same exposure except that he dial down from 1/500 to 1/640. If the camera was on any kind of auto mode changing the shutter speed won't change the exposure.
  16. Correct (if I understood you correctly :)) - qualitatively, to get similar histogram curve overall between the 2 cams, D700 had to shoot faster (down to 1/640 from 1/500) using same lens (to negate transmission bias). It's my conclusion that the D700 does not comparatively overexpose but the corresponding raw file tone curve has an up-shift built in - same for D300 from what I gathered roughly. Who cares anyway:) - raw is raw!
  17. He also said “I dialed in 2/3 stop under exposure in exposure fine tune and forgot about it”. He didn’t mention that he took that correction out for the comparison. So the discrepancy is about 1/3 of a stop (shutter speed is only shown in increments of 1/3 EV so it can be a bit less or a bit more).
  18. Yes the finetune underexposure was the setup I always adopted:) for the D700 to overcome overexposure. Check the original post incl hstograms- both shots were taken at 1/500 thus any dial-in is irrelevant - the only setup that could possibly mess up your dynamic raw range IMHO is active D which was set to OFF for both cams -
  19. Only if you shot in M mode with AutoISO off - which I have no way of knowing from your post. And from this it’s obvious that ISO 200 on a D700 isn’t the same as ISO 200 on a D610: Nikon D610 vs Nikon D600 vs Nikon D700; it’s 148 for the D610 and 162 for the D700. No idea how big the variation among the same model is - but with the same shutter speed an aperture, the D700 image would have more exposure. And FWIW, from the two images, I prefer the D700 one; it’s better to reduce exposure than trying to lift the shadows and thereby increasing noise.
  20. If you take the same shot in full manual on both cameras, do the files come out identically, exposure wise?

    Ie, ignore the metering and check the 'mechanics'.

    My D700 had -2/3rds dialled into the internal exp. comp. and left alone.

Share This Page