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12-29-2014, 07:09 PM   #1
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Importing to LR

HI All

i have a k5iis and i have to admit i get a little frustrated with one thing, and that is that i seem to have to fiddle with nearly every single shot to get the exposure correct when imported into LR4

I nearly always find that the shots are quite underexposed, so my question is do others find similar problems?

It confuses me because for most shots i would have expected the shots to spread fairly evenly across the histogram but many shots i find are quite dark

Can anyone shed some light here?

A

this is a typical image where the histogram is very much to the left !!





Last edited by milesy; 12-29-2014 at 07:27 PM. Reason: add image
12-29-2014, 07:27 PM   #2
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I think the LCD on camera is particularly bright...
12-29-2014, 07:38 PM   #3
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hi NIco

maybe so but i would have thought that set in AV mode that i would get a resonably exposed image rather than on the dark side??
12-29-2014, 07:53 PM   #4
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try exposure compensation or see if a change in "link ae to af point" helps
the image you show as an example needs fill flash in my opinion. fence is correctly exposed, boys back is correctly exposed and gun is as well, as is girls hair. the childrens faces are both in shadows.
When you are dealing with strong shadows you either have to raise your ev 1 or 2 stops or use fill flash.


Last edited by Sliver-Surfer; 12-29-2014 at 08:03 PM.
12-29-2014, 08:23 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by milesy Quote
hi NIco

maybe so but i would have thought that set in AV mode that i would get a resonably exposed image rather than on the dark side??
Av mode does not have anything to do under or over-exposed image... Pentax DSLR metering mode is conservative in a sense that it will tend to err on the under-expose side than over-expose side (blown highlights). If you want, you can set the camera to +0.3EV or even +0.7EV. Most people are more accustomed to Canikon cameras as they tend to do the opposite; which is true in the past, ETTR (expose-to-the-right), with the histogram leaning more to the right side.

---------- Post added 12-29-2014 at 10:25 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by milesy Quote
HI All

i have a k5iis and i have to admit i get a little frustrated with one thing, and that is that i seem to have to fiddle with nearly every single shot to get the exposure correct when imported into LR4

I nearly always find that the shots are quite underexposed, so my question is do others find similar problems?

It confuses me because for most shots i would have expected the shots to spread fairly evenly across the histogram but many shots i find are quite dark

Can anyone shed some light here?

A

this is a typical image where the histogram is very much to the left !!


Your picture is exposed correctly, otherwise you will see blown highlights. You can also correct this (if you want) by lighten up the mid-tone a bit in PP such as Lightroom.
12-29-2014, 08:34 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by milesy Quote
I nearly always find that the shots are quite underexposed
But histogram to the left doesn't mean it's under exposed.
QuoteOriginally posted by milesy Quote
this is a typical image where the histogram is very much to the left !!
And so it should be, there are no very bright or white areas, more darks and mids than anything else. It looks correct to me.
The histogram isn't about getting it evenly spread from left to right (you'd hardly succeed in night sky or snowfield shots) it's a graph showing you the low/mid/high pixel brightness levels across the whole image, massive spikes are where clipping is and where you've lost detail. If it's a black cat on a dark carpet, then it will be very much to the left, but well exposed.

Av means you're letting the camera decide the shutter speed and the ISO. The camera isn't intelligent enough to know what you want and it often get's it wrong.

Of course, the other thing to consider is the difference between the camera LCD and your computer screen.
12-29-2014, 09:12 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by milesy Quote
maybe so but i would have thought that set in AV mode that i would get a resonably exposed image rather than on the dark side??
The k-5 and k-5II both tend to underexpose somewhat, this was done intentionally to prevent overexposure. I usually set the exposure compensation to +1/3 or +2/3 and found that worked better.

My method of checking the exposure is to have the blinkies turned on and run the exposure comp up until I see a few very tiny spots that are blown out. Those should be in something that is white like the brightest part of a cloud or a specular highlight. I don't pay much attention to the histogram, every image will be different, just because most of the curve is on the left does not mean it is wrong. You are trying to maximum the dynamic range, I use ETTR and by finding the exposure that just barely blows out a few pixels that is as bright as you can get the image without losing significant data.

But every image is going to be different, just putting the camera on Av and not checking or adjusting the exposure comp is going to result in images that are not exposed correctly. You should not be letting the decide the proper exposure.
12-29-2014, 09:31 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote

But every image is going to be different, just putting the camera on Av and not checking or adjusting the exposure comp is going to result in images that are not exposed correctly. You should not be letting the decide the proper exposure.
i understand the camera cant think what your thinking etc - but surely thats why you use an Auto or semi Auto mode - so that the camera can decide the proper exposure


to have to check every image for over / under is something that cant / wont work in every situation (like being outside with the kids etc)

12-29-2014, 09:43 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by milesy Quote
i understand the camera cant think what your thinking etc - but surely thats why you use an Auto or semi Auto mode - so that the camera can decide the proper exposure.
Ah that's where the camera can go wrong, 'proper' exposure means it's looking for grey. Your eyes are attached to a brain which it is not.
Hand held meters still have their place precisely because camera get it wrong, a lot.

Here's a couple of good vids to watch
Part 1

Part 2

Last edited by Steve.Ledger; 12-30-2014 at 11:40 AM.
12-29-2014, 10:02 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
The k-5 and k-5II both tend to underexpose somewhat, this was done intentionally to prevent overexposure. I usually set the exposure compensation to +1/3 or +2/3 and found that worked better.

My method of checking the exposure is to have the blinkies turned on and run the exposure comp up until I see a few very tiny spots that are blown out. Those should be in something that is white like the brightest part of a cloud or a specular highlight. I don't pay much attention to the histogram, every image will be different, just because most of the curve is on the left does not mean it is wrong. You are trying to maximum the dynamic range, I use ETTR and by finding the exposure that just barely blows out a few pixels that is as bright as you can get the image without losing significant data.

But every image is going to be different, just putting the camera on Av and not checking or adjusting the exposure comp is going to result in images that are not exposed correctly. You should not be letting the decide the proper exposure.
jatrax said it above - just dial in a bit of exposure compensation. Note that exposure accuracy can vary by lens and even by aperture with some older lenses.
12-29-2014, 10:22 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by milesy Quote
i understand the camera cant think what your thinking etc - but surely thats why you use an Auto or semi Auto mode - so that the camera can decide the proper exposure


to have to check every image for over / under is something that cant / wont work in every situation (like being outside with the kids etc)
If you are mostly taking pictures of your children then try to use face detect auto-focus method and link ae to af.
12-30-2014, 11:07 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by milesy Quote
i understand the camera cant think what your thinking etc - but surely thats why you use an Auto or semi Auto mode - so that the camera can decide the proper exposure to have to check every image for over / under is something that cant / wont work in every situation (like being outside with the kids etc)
Of course not. I take a test shot or two when I change lenses or the light changes a lot. Then it essentially stays the same until something changes, I do not change for every shot.

You are missing the point that the meter WILL NOT give you a correct exposure by itself. The meter is trying to expose the scene for 18% gray. If the scene is very bright, such as snow you need to dial in at least 1 or 2 stops of + compensation. If the scene happens to be very average then the meter gets it correctly, but not every shot is going to be 'average'. In addition, different lenses will require different +/- comp to get them dialed in, especially older lenses.

And as noted the k-5 generally underexposes anyway. You know that your images are coming out underexposed because that is how they show in Lightroom. How much are you increasing the exposure in LR to get what you want? Just dial that into the camera. If you are adding 2/3 stop in LR then dial in +2/3 on the camera. That is what exposure comp is for. To set the meter to read closer to what you want it to. It will still be off in some cases, but by dialing in +2/3 (or whatever) you are moving the 'average' up to where you want it.
12-30-2014, 03:33 PM   #13
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Maybe have a look at the "Zone System" for film, I think there are adapted Zone System for Digital out there, this understanding of exposure and the related sensitometry tests (or digital equivalent) will give you an idea of how your camera and lenses performs at various aperture, shutter, ISO settings for metering. Beyond that it really is seeing the light, as photographers we need to see the light we are photographing and adapt our knowledge of exposure for our equipment and act accordingly and yes that may entail fill flash or adjusted exposure setting on the camera. A hand held meter is also (and still) a useful device, especially for incident readings, where the camera is only reflected readings.
Anyway this way you the photographer is taking control of the image making instead of leaving it up to Pentax to do it for you. Having said that various settings like Av, Tv etc. can be very useful in the work flow as well.

Last edited by beachgardener; 12-30-2014 at 03:39 PM. Reason: add info.
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