Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
04-01-2008, 08:52 PM   #1
Senior Member




Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 270
K10D underexposing?

I feel that my new K10D is underexposing my outdoor photos my a full 1/2 stop. Is this common? Should I exchange my camera?

Help...

Nikki



04-01-2008, 09:13 PM   #2
Loyal Site Supporter
Canada_Rockies's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Sparwood, BC, Canada
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 9,144
QuoteOriginally posted by madisonphotogrl Quote
I feel that my new K10D is underexposing my outdoor photos my a full 1/2 stop. Is this common? Should I exchange my camera?

Help...

Nikki

Before you swap out the camera, set the metering to center weighted - middle position on the lever under the mode dial - and see if it works better. Some have said that the K10D tends to underexpose, as if it were shooting slide film. Mine doesn't, so I guess I'm not going to send it in for a fix.

Another thing you might try is to link the AE with the AF point in the Custom menu. This only takes effect in matrix metering, but you might like the results.

If these don't work, and the underexposure is consistent, just dial in exposure compensation and leave it there. You can memorize this in the USER mode.
04-01-2008, 09:25 PM   #3
Veteran Member
WMBP's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Dallas, Texas
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,496
QuoteOriginally posted by madisonphotogrl Quote
I feel that my new K10D is underexposing my outdoor photos my a full 1/2 stop. Is this common? Should I exchange my camera?
Nikki,

Canada_Rockies has already made a good suggestion, which I'd put more generally: try other metering modes than whatever you're using now.

But my own experience with the K10D has been that it tends to underexpose a bit. I reckon it to be closer to 1/3 stop, but I guess it varies. I've heard many others voice the same complaint. I've also heard it explained that this is deliberate, that the camera tries NOT to blow the highlights. Personally I thought that was MY job (viz. NOT blowing the highlights). Anyway, the problem for me has been consistent and I usually just compensate slightly. I think the K20D does the same thing, although I've heard others say that the K20D is better than the K10D in this respect.

The key thing is to know that the meter is consistent.

Will
04-02-2008, 06:18 AM   #4
Senior Member




Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 270
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
Nikki,

Canada_Rockies has already made a good suggestion, which I'd put more generally: try other metering modes than whatever you're using now.

But my own experience with the K10D has been that it tends to underexpose a bit. I reckon it to be closer to 1/3 stop, but I guess it varies. I've heard many others voice the same complaint. I've also heard it explained that this is deliberate, that the camera tries NOT to blow the highlights. Personally I thought that was MY job (viz. NOT blowing the highlights). Anyway, the problem for me has been consistent and I usually just compensate slightly. I think the K20D does the same thing, although I've heard others say that the K20D is better than the K10D in this respect.

The key thing is to know that the meter is consistent.

Will
Thanks Will. I think it my be deliberate too. I think it's sort of nice because a photo professor once told me if you are over exposed (or maybe it was underexposed too much) you can't really recover. I don't mind the post processing and I guess I could tell the K10D to overexpose a 1/3 or so. (I estimated a 1/2 stop because I was using light room and just moved the bar until it looked right. I'm still getting used to pp.) I was able to tweak it a little in lightroom, it was fun..

Rockies.. I was on multi segmented metering. I never even thought to check it. I have always used center metering. the multi seg metering may have helped on some of the picts. I never used the other focusing points I focus on my subject and recompose my shot, have ever since I was in school when learning on the K1000.


So it's going to be nice today. i will go try today again.

I don't know if you peeked.. but check my pictures out at
Flickr: Photos from NJB Photography


Last edited by madisonphotogrl; 04-02-2008 at 06:24 AM.
04-02-2008, 06:37 AM   #5
Veteran Member




Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 419
Put the camera in spot metering mode and see if it correctly exposes what you spot meter off of.

Scene/pattern metering (even center-weighted average) can underexpose your subject if there's something else that's bright in the frame. Likewise, scene/pattern metering can slightly overexpose your primary subject if there's a lot of dark background in the frame.

Spot metering is really the only way to know for sure if your camera is metering correctly.
04-02-2008, 06:59 AM   #6
Veteran Member




Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 1,934
QuoteOriginally posted by madisonphotogrl Quote
I feel that my new K10D is underexposing my outdoor photos my a full 1/2 stop. Is this common? Should I exchange my camera?

Help...

Nikki

Yes, I think it is common. For more details, read: RiceHigh's Pentax Blog: Underexposure Tendency of K10D and K100D
04-02-2008, 08:41 AM   #7
Veteran Member
WMBP's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Dallas, Texas
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,496
QuoteOriginally posted by madisonphotogrl Quote
Thanks Will. I think it my be deliberate too. I think it's sort of nice because a photo professor once told me if you are over exposed (or maybe it was underexposed too much) you can't really recover.
Nikki,

Couple of points.

First, you should be aware that the camera's idea of correct exposure may not be the same as your idea - indeed, it frequently isn't. The histogram can be very helpful, but you should use the histogram, not let the histogram push you around. The feature on your camera that tells you when you've blown the highlights (or the blacks) is actually more useful than the histogram, much of the time. I took a photo of my daughter sitting in a comfy chair in the living room late one evening, reading by the light of a floor lamp. The camera thought the photo was terribly underexposed, because most of the pixels in the photo were quite dark. But that was the point.

Now, to get control, you must know the camera and be able to push all the right buttons. You need to know the different exposure modes and how they work. You must understand how to use M mode. You must understand how to adjust the meter's bias in modes other than M - say, in hyperprogram (P) - to force the meter to "overexpose" or "underexpose" when you want.

The different exposure modes have their purposes. Matrix metering works very well for quick shooting or if you just aren't sure what to do; I find it works pretty well when I'm using flash, too. Center-weighted metering, um, gives more weight to the stuff that's in the center, which is often where your subject is - often, but not always. (Remember to lock exposure and recompose if the subject is not in the center.) Spot metering gives you even finer control than center-weighted, but like the other modes, spot metering works best if you really understand its pros and also its cons. Going back to the example of my daughter reading in the dark by a small light: If I had spot metered only the brightest part of the shot and used the exposure settings the camera suggested, I would have badly underexposed the shadows and I didn't want to do that. I wanted the stuff in the background or on the sides of the photo to be just barely visible. Now, that's the paradox of spot metering. Pretty much the POINT of spot metering is that it allows you to meter a small area of your scene without regard to the exposure of the other areas. But if you really don't care about the exposure of those other areas, well, you're probably not doing your job very well. The fact that my daughter's face was the most important part of that night-reading photo doesn't mean that the rest of the photo didn't matter! To the contrary, the darkness in that photo was a very large part of the point of the photo! Many photos have a large dynamic range, so that different parts of the photo may want different camera settings to be "properly" exposed. Spot metering allows you to get an idea what those individual areas of your scene require. But you have to know how to balance it all out. That's why center-weighted metering is there. That's why the EV button is there. That's why M mode lets us do whatever we want.

So you need to have in your head a good idea of the dynamic range or range of exposure values ("zones") in the scene you are photographing. When the dynamic range of the scene is greater than the dynamic range of your camera - and it often is - then YOU need to figure out what you want to lose, highlights or darks. The answer is usually "darks," but not always.

This is a big subject, one of the biggest in photography.

Will
04-02-2008, 11:29 AM   #8
Senior Member




Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Phoenix, AZ USA
Posts: 165
Will: I think that was a great explanation on metering modes. I wish manuals and other camera books would go into further detail rather than just one liners. I have recently discovered the nuances of the metering modes that cause underexposed photos. Now, it's the one of the first things I consider before pressing the shutter button.

John

04-02-2008, 12:24 PM   #9
Veteran Member
mattdm's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Boston, MA
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,964
The K10D (and I assume all the rest) also has a "fourth" option for metering, the Link AE and AF option in the custom menu. This changes the matrix metering dial section to instead be spot metering on the selected focus point.
04-02-2008, 12:48 PM   #10
Veteran Member




Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 338
Metering modes aside, I find that I almost always have to apply +ev compensation in camera or in PP to get the image I want out of the camera. Either the camera is not right, or the meter design itself is faulty. Given a range of subjects I would expect to be doing a roughly equal number of + ev corrections as -ev correction with a properly calibrated meter. I can't remember the last time I had to apply -EV.
04-02-2008, 01:19 PM   #11
Senior Member




Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 270
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Geekybiker Quote
Metering modes aside, I find that I almost always have to apply +ev compensation in camera or in PP to get the image I want out of the camera. Either the camera is not right, or the meter design itself is faulty. Given a range of subjects I would expect to be doing a roughly equal number of + ev corrections as -ev correction with a properly calibrated meter. I can't remember the last time I had to apply -EV.
Does this bother you though? I mean is this a "pentax thing" or a dslr thing?
04-02-2008, 01:21 PM   #12
Veteran Member




Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,299
QuoteOriginally posted by Geekybiker Quote
Metering modes aside, I find that I almost always have to apply +ev compensation in camera or in PP to get the image I want out of the camera. Either the camera is not right, or the meter design itself is faulty. Given a range of subjects I would expect to be doing a roughly equal number of + ev corrections as -ev correction with a properly calibrated meter. I can't remember the last time I had to apply -EV.
That's probably just your own preference or shooting / PP style.
Try shoot a plain white wall and you should find the histogram right in the middle; and that should be correct metering.
04-02-2008, 01:25 PM   #13
Veteran Member




Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,299
QuoteOriginally posted by madisonphotogrl Quote
I feel that my new K10D is underexposing my outdoor photos my a full 1/2 stop. Is this common? Should I exchange my camera?
I haven't found this to be the case.
Do remember that, unlike P&S cameras, K10D would try to preserve highlights, so it would not hesitate to underexpose the whole picture just to prevent blown highlights. That's because once you have blown highlights, all details are lost and it is not recoverable. OTOH, slight underexposed shot can be pushed quite easily during post-processing.
04-02-2008, 01:31 PM   #14
Veteran Member
WMBP's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Dallas, Texas
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,496
Re the need to adjust exposure:

QuoteOriginally posted by madisonphotogrl Quote
I mean is this a "pentax thing" or a dslr thing?
It's a light meter thing. I've been doing it all my life. The day I buy a camera that gets the exposure exactly the way I want it more than half the time is the day I know I am obsolete.

Will

P.S. As has been suggested, there are simple ways to figure out if your camera's meter is more or less accurate. The meters on all three of my Pentax dslrs seem to do a good job, overall.
04-02-2008, 01:44 PM   #15
Veteran Member




Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 338
QuoteOriginally posted by madisonphotogrl Quote
Does this bother you though? I mean is this a "pentax thing" or a dslr thing?
I'm not sure. I know that my Fuji f30 PS camera has far less tendency to give me dark images that need adjustment in post though. And my canon s400 before that, and so on on down the line.

So this is a new thing with the k10d. I would kinda rule it out as a preference thing as the other cameras were okay. It comes down to an error or "as designed" thing IMHO.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
camera, dslr, k10d, photography
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
k10D underexposing homestead65 Pentax DSLR Discussion 26 09-09-2010 08:00 AM
77ltd underexposing on k10d kiwao Pentax DSLR Discussion 8 06-09-2010 04:35 AM
EV Problems (Underexposing) w/ DA* 50-135mm montman Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 18 01-16-2010 12:25 PM
K20D Underexposing michael110 Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 16 12-06-2009 12:10 AM
Underexposing lens? zntgrg Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 3 02-06-2008 05:34 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:16 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top