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01-28-2011, 11:37 PM   #1
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K-x under exposure

I have had my K-x for over a year now (can't believe its that long already) and since the day I purchased it I have not been happy with exposure. I know enough now to know that its not simply something I am doing wrong. It occurs mainly on outdoor shots and I understand all cameras sometimes have trouble exposing bright days. But to me it seems so often and at such a heavy underexposure that I find myself editing a lot of my pics before uploading them. Anyway this is a shot in Boston that was pretty dark (imo) and one that I touched up in photoshop.

I could upload more but this is what I feel a lot of pics look like. (Sometimes Im on manual, but mostly its under Program.) I rarely use Auto, but my old Canon point and shoot was miles better than this. I just want your thoughts.

And yes I see the dust, that all disappeared after cleaning it only to return a few weeks ago.

EDIT: And after posting this I checked the exif data and on the darker original I see its stopped UP 0.7 (something I find helps a tad.)

EDIT: Sorry guys I made it public. I am using the kit lens as thats my only zoom, I have a good quality prime. Ill try the too sometime together.

Last edited by Billium28; 01-29-2011 at 01:38 AM.
01-28-2011, 11:53 PM   #2

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"Flickr Private Page"

not terribly useful
01-29-2011, 12:43 AM   #3
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K-x question...

What lens are you using?
The kit lens changes exposure just by turning the zoom ring.
My 50-135 2.8 and 16-50 2.8 don't change exposure...
If you get a new position then press the "Green" button to get the right shutter speed.
01-29-2011, 02:33 AM   #4
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I used to have the same issues. You are using mult segment metering mode and the cameras metering is influenced quite a lot by the segments on the sky. So it is trying to expose the sky correctly which is not what you want.

For these sort of scenes, try using center weighted or even spot metering (lock exposure with subject in center of the frame and recompose).
I tend to leave my camera on center weighted but sometimes switch to spot metering too.

01-29-2011, 04:34 AM   #5
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Bilium, I'm actually surprised with the K-x's metering - it's a considerable amount skewed towards the right of the histogram compared with that of the K10D and K20D. Each lens I've used on the K-x has rarely needed a shift from EV0 in matrix metering, however with the K10D/K20D, lenses like the 18-55, 55-300 and 16-45 needed a boost of EV +0.7 for most situations in the same matrix metering mode.

Indeed, exposure is greatly dependent on the scene's light intensity and distribution, so be weary of this when looking at apparent underexposure.
01-29-2011, 09:09 PM   #6
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Most of the time I use spot metering and am happy with my results at 0 or +0.3. If you use matrix metering outdoors you will probably get correct metering for the bright sky then for the subject, hence the dark subject and correctly exposed sky. Try spot metering.
01-29-2011, 09:38 PM   #7

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It's all really a moot point, since we can't see the pictures he's referring to. For all we know, there could be snow in 3/4 of the scene messing with the meter.
01-30-2011, 06:16 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hound Tooth Quote
It's all really a moot point, since we can't see the pictures he's referring to. For all we know, there could be snow in 3/4 of the scene messing with the meter.
I'm not having any problem at all seeing the photos he's referring to.

To the OP: I suggest you learn how to meter scenes yourself and shoot in manual mode. It's pretty easy to learn, and you won't have to rely entirely on a machine. All it takes is a little research and study, here's some to get you started:

1. Ultimate Exposure Computer

2. Read the book Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson.

3. google "sunny f16 rule"

Before you know it, you'll be telling your camera what to do, not the other way around.

01-30-2011, 11:09 AM   #9
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In my opinion my K-x shows very under exposed pictures. ( 1 2 3)
started by Billium28 on 08-04-10, 07:23 PM

I thought that thread had many suggestions/answers.
01-30-2011, 01:01 PM   #10

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QuoteOriginally posted by MPrince Quote
I'm not having any problem at all seeing the photos he's referring to.
That's because he just made the albums public. See the note he added in his OP.

In this case, there's no big mystery. The light meter is behaving exactly as it should. You have a large proportion of very bright sections in the picture. The meter's job is to evaluate the picture, average out the entire scene, and assume the average brightness should be medium gray. If most of your picture is bright, then averaging it out to medium gray will make it look dark. You'll often get results like this when there's a lot of bright sky, bright snow, or other large bright objects dominating your scene.

So you either evaluate the scene beforehand and make EV compensation adjustments if you think they'll be needed, or you fix the picture in post-processing.

Last edited by Hound Tooth; 01-30-2011 at 01:13 PM.
01-30-2011, 09:57 PM   #11
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Got my K-x just before Xmas so I'm still in the process of learning how to use it. It's interesting that a lot of my pictures are also under exposed similar to my previous DSLR, a K100D. Adding 1 stop to my K100D usually did the trick. Right now, my K-x seems to require about 0.3 to 0.7 to be acceptable. I'll try some of the suggestions I've read on this tread and the others.
02-10-2011, 01:40 AM   #12
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There's something goofy about the kit zooms. With my K-x, I shot 1100 frames in Asia with the "plastic wonder" 35/2.4 and a sigma 10-20 -- Exposures were quite good. Any bad exposures were entirely my own fault.

Last night I reviewed a bunch of random snapshots that were taken with my kit zooms last year. I have a TON of underexposed shots, some as much as one full stop. In a few cases, the reason is obvious. For the rest, there is nothing to explain the underexposures. No bright walls or sky to throw off the metering.

Come to think of it, I've taken about 30 test shots with my DA 70 pancake and they were all underexposed as well. ALL of them. Why my Sigma and my 35 get it right and the rest of my lenses have trouble is a mystery.

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