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04-08-2016, 09:37 AM   #1
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K-3 underexposes with ND filter

Hello,

I recently bought a ND filter, Haida 77mm Slim PROII Neutral Density Multi-Coated ND 3.0 1000x, to be specific. I mainly bought it for getting silky and dreamy effect for waterfalls and also to cancel out the movement of water when I am shooting alpine lakes. The only issue is that my K-3 underexposes images by about 4 stops when I use this ND filter. I use this filter on Sigma 17-55 f2.8 lens. My k-3 properly exposes without the filter though. Why do you think that is? Every time I shoot with ND filter, I end up taking multiple exposures from +2 EV to +5 EV just to be sure. Is there something wrong with the metering system in my K-3 or is this usual with ND filters?

Any help is appreciated.

Thanks.

04-08-2016, 09:54 AM   #2
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ND filters tend to mess up metering. I can't tell you exactly why but it's a known issue and not limited to any particular brands. The stronger the filter the less accurate the metering will be. So you have to shoot manual or compensate like you already are.
04-08-2016, 09:55 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by uday029 Quote
Hello,

I recently bought a ND filter, Haida 77mm Slim PROII Neutral Density Multi-Coated ND 3.0 1000x, to be specific. I mainly bought it for getting silky and dreamy effect for waterfalls and also to cancel out the movement of water when I am shooting alpine lakes. The only issue is that my K-3 underexposes images by about 4 stops when I use this ND filter. I use this filter on Sigma 17-55 f2.8 lens. My k-3 properly exposes without the filter though. Why do you think that is? Every time I shoot with ND filter, I end up taking multiple exposures from +2 EV to +5 EV just to be sure. Is there something wrong with the metering system in my K-3 or is this usual with ND filters?

Any help is appreciated.

Thanks.
When shooting with an ND filter you should be shooting to a histogram and ETTR, period. You're already on a tripod for the 1/2 to 3 second exposures anyway, just put the camera in M, choose 1/3 EV stop increments and learn ETTR techniques. You (the human) will always do a better job of metering/maximizing exposure and dynamic range in a scene than the camera can.
04-08-2016, 09:58 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by uday029 Quote
Hello,

I recently bought a ND filter, Haida 77mm Slim PROII Neutral Density Multi-Coated ND 3.0 1000x, to be specific. I mainly bought it for getting silky and dreamy effect for waterfalls and also to cancel out the movement of water when I am shooting alpine lakes. The only issue is that my K-3 underexposes images by about 4 stops when I use this ND filter. I use this filter on Sigma 17-55 f2.8 lens. My k-3 properly exposes without the filter though. Why do you think that is? Every time I shoot with ND filter, I end up taking multiple exposures from +2 EV to +5 EV just to be sure. Is there something wrong with the metering system in my K-3 or is this usual with ND filters?

Any help is appreciated.

Thanks.
Thats a 10 stop filter which is going to block a ton of light from entering the camera's autofocus and metering sensors. Its likely that neither will work properly or at all. The K-3 meter is rated from 0 ~ 22 EV. With the f/2.8 lens and 10 stop filter, that puts you at well beyond the limits of the metering sensor. You'll have to calculate the exposure by hand and use manual mode rather than relying on the camera.

04-08-2016, 09:58 AM   #5
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When using an ND I just assume I will need to use manual exposure and some trial and error. A light ND is usually OK without much trouble but those 9 or 10 stops ones just are not going to work in auto, at least they don't for me.

---------- Post added 04-08-16 at 10:00 AM ----------

Usually what I do is meter the scene without the ND on, put the camera in manual, make any adjustment I think I need to what the camera meter says and then adjust the 10 stops for the filter manually. Take a test shot, then adjust speed to get the water the way I want it to look.
04-08-2016, 10:07 AM   #6
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You cannot expect your camera to properly meter with an ND1000. I happen to use the exact same set-up as you, K3 with Sigma 17-50 f/2.8 and Haida Slim ND1000 (the uncoated one though), and it messes up metering. You essentially meter without the filter, then switch to M, screw the filter on and chance the shutter speed according to the filter value.

With strong NDs especially the filter my not actually be exactly the value it claims it is, it might be a 10.5 or 11 or 9 stop, and not a 10. So after you get your first image you can check the exposure and adjust it accordingly for a second image. Or you shoot a test scene once to establish how many stops your filter has exactly, then remember that for the future.
04-08-2016, 10:20 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by enoeske Quote
Thats a 10 stop filter which is going to block a ton of light from entering the camera's autofocus and metering sensors. Its likely that neither will work properly or at all. The K-3 meter is rated from 0 ~ 22 EV. With the f/2.8 lens and 10 stop filter, that puts you at well beyond the limits of the metering sensor. You'll have to calculate the exposure by hand and use manual mode rather than relying on the camera.
so it is - meter without the filter using AV-mode. Note metered time and put 10 ev-stops on top (= iteratively 10 times half of the initially metered time) - example: metered time 1/125 - "compute iteratively" 1/60 - 1/30 - 1/15 -1/8 - 1/4 -1/2 - 1 - 2 - 4 - 8. Install the filter and cover the viewfinder. Change to M mode. Set iso and aperture of the AV mode metering, then set the computed time and trigger. You can also set the camera B mode and use a cable remote. Program the time and trigger using the remote. Although the image may be a little bit too dark or bright. Adjust it in post. Good luck!
04-08-2016, 10:34 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by acoufap Quote
so it is - meter without the filter using AV-mode. Note metered time and put 10 ev-stops on top (= iteratively 10 times half of the initially metered time) - example: metered time 1/125 - "compute iteratively" 1/60 - 1/30 - 1/15 -1/8 - 1/4 -1/2 - 1 - 2 - 4 - 8. Install the filter and cover the viewfinder. Change to M mode. Set iso and aperture of the AV mode metering, then set the computed time and trigger. You can also set the camera B mode and use a cable remote. Program the time and trigger using the remote. Although the image may be a little bit too dark or bright. Adjust it in post. Good luck!
wow, that sounds far more complicated than what I do. Also I really try to get exposure right in camera. That's THE thing I try to avoid playing with in PP.

04-08-2016, 10:41 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by nomadkng Quote
wow, that sounds far more complicated than what I do. Also I really try to get exposure right in camera. That's THE thing I try to avoid playing with in PP.
as you say it sounds ... but it isn't - just do it and you'll see it's not a big deal ... your fingers help counting up to 10 ... after a while you'll know if 10x ist ok or if you have to count until 9 or 11 with your camera-lens-filter combo.
04-08-2016, 10:55 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by uday029 Quote
K-3 underexposes with ND filter
Could light coming in through the view finder effect the DSLR exposure reading with such a heavy ND? I know before the turn of the Century this use to be a bit of a problem even with the K1000 system using ND's eTC.
If so Stop the light from entering he View Finder.

Last edited by honey bo bo; 04-08-2016 at 11:07 AM.
04-08-2016, 11:48 AM   #11
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Thank you everyone. I was a little scared that there might be something wrong with my camera. It is a sigh of relief to know that this is a common issue with ND filters. Thanks for the tips.
04-08-2016, 11:55 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by honey bo bo Quote
Could light coming in through the view finder effect the DSLR exposure reading with such a heavy ND? I know before the turn of the Century this use to be a bit of a problem even with the K1000 system using ND's eTC.
If so Stop the light from entering he View Finder.
That is not the main reason for the underexposure but it still is a good idea to cover the viewfinder. At least the K-3 has a light leak with long exposures and that can have a bad influence on your photo's.
04-08-2016, 01:17 PM   #13
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This hasn't been brought up yet, so I'll ask: have you tried using live view? There might still be enough light reaching the sensor for a decent exposure reading that way.

Otherwise going all manual won't let you down

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04-08-2016, 01:48 PM   #14
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I use a Hoya NDX400 (9 stop) filter on my Pentax 16-85 in Bulb mode, with a Vello Wired Remote. The remote allows me to use any amount of time I require to get a reasonable exposure. I set my ISO to 200, maybe an F-Stop of F13, and test with different intervals of time (seconds, minutes) to narrow down to where I get the exposure I want. Before I shoot, I press my LV (Live View) button and use in many instances Autofocus if I see in Live View that the results are satisfactory. If I notice that I do not like the AF result, then I can use Manual focus with AF turned off. Live View AF during the day has no problem on my K-5IIS using my ND filter. You may want to set your white balance to Daylight also. Make sure to cover your viewfinder with the viewfinder cover to avoid light, or shade it with your hand. If you need a wired remote switch, the following is the type I have, which requires no battery due to it deriving its power from the camera. It is listed as being compatible with the K-3 along with other Pentax models.

Vello RS-C1II Wired Remote Switch for Select Cameras RS-C1II B&H

Last edited by C_Jones; 04-08-2016 at 01:58 PM.
04-08-2016, 02:13 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
This hasn't been brought up yet, so I'll ask: have you tried using live view? There might still be enough light reaching the sensor for a decent exposure reading that way.

Otherwise going all manual won't let you down
I just tested it and shooting with live view does increase the exposure by a couple of stops but it is still overall underexposed. Thanks for the tip @adam .
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