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03-23-2011, 02:25 PM   #1
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Kx exposure problems

Hi everybody. I'm new to all of this and think that taking a class with a real live teacher is the way to go, but until then I'll see if I can get help here. I just got a KX (1st digital slr) and a great book called Understanding Exposure. The first assignment of the book was to set camera to manual and use as many combos as possible to get the correct exposure and compare pics to see what different combos produce. So I was excited to try that. I have two lenses, the kit lens and a cheap Promaster 70-300 macro. Anyway, after trying all of the different combos of shutter speeds and apertures and getting the meter right to the center with every one, nearly all of the kit lens pics came out dark and the 300 lens pics came out super bright. (BTW I was shooting at daffodils from about 2-5 ft away). So I tried again, this time deleberately overexposing the kit lens pics by about one line and underexposing the 300 lens by 1 line (stop? I don't know the lingo). No effect. I got very few correctly exposed pics. The kit lens pics were still too dark and the 300 lens too bright.

Do you think I'm doing something wrong or could the light meter in the Kx be way off? I intend to read the rest of the book, but I wish I could have access to Bryan Peterson to ask him directly. Any help is appreciated. The disappointing thing is that I thought I was finally learning something, but it didn't work out at all the way I thought it was supposed to.

03-23-2011, 02:40 PM   #2
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Can you post some of the pictures with exif?
03-23-2011, 05:56 PM   #3
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Hi jj and welcome to the forums. Like jake said if you can post some of the pics it would be a LOT easier to help you. The exif he's talking about is an imbedded file that gives all the pertinent data, shutter speed, aperture, iso and the like. (all the numbers and etc you see on the rear lcd of the k-x) And not to worry it's probably something simple.
In the meantime, I'd ignore Mr Peterson a bit and try something simpler. Put your mode dial on P and practice composing and framing your shots. If you feel adveturous try using the Av setting and esperiment on how aperture affects the depth of field (how much or how little everything is in focus).

NaCl(trying everything all a once can be a bit daunting)H2O
03-24-2011, 02:55 AM   #4
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Check your camera manual and see how you have your metering pattern set.

And just stick with the kit lens for now.

03-24-2011, 08:59 PM   #5
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Hmm when in Manual mode there's a number to the lower right corner of the viewfinder.... it goes like a shifting 0.0, -0.3 (up to -3.0) or up to +3.0. that's a clue as to how far your shot will be over or under exposed.... if it blinks, it means you're way beyond the "good exposure range"

try taking note of it as you take the shot and you'll get it in no time (won't work with M/ full manual lenses though, as the lens doesn't allow metering through-the-lens..or something like that)
04-04-2011, 05:35 PM   #6
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First, I just want to say that if it all came easy, the process would not be considered "learning". Be encouraged - once you figure it out, the failures will be a more powerful teacher than succeeding right off the bat ever could.

Now, have you read your manual? There is a section in there about the different metering options available on the kx (spot metering, center weighted metering, etc...) You need to understand why you might want to meter with any of those options and choose which seems to fit your needs best. (And it can always be changed if you find something else is a better fit.) I think the kx is set by default to multi-segment metering. Personally, I prefer center-weighted metering. Here is a little tutorial you may find helpful:
Understanding Camera Metering and Exposure

I always take into account the scene - is there a large amount of black or dark material, clothing, etc...? Or, an unusual amount of light/reflective material? Both will have an affect on how much your camera thinks you need to expose the scene, which may mean that you need to expose to the right or left of that center mark.

Keep at it. Pay attention to what you are doing and learning. Practice. Practice. Practice. You'll get there!

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