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09-11-2008, 01:48 AM   #1
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night exposure mettering problem

Hi, am new at this forum, and first I must tell that I don't speak english so well(slovenia) so forgive me for some english mistakes.

I have pentax k200d and would like to ask if that is normal, when I am going to take some photos at night, my exposure mettering doesn't works fine.
An example: when it's so dark that I can barely see, I set shutter at 30sec and aperture at f3,5 exposure meter shows that is overexposed for about +2,5 and I thake a photo which is underexposed a lot.
So if I set to auto exposure shutter goes maximum to 10sec, if I increase the aperture then the shutter goes up proportionally with aperture, but photo is allways underexposed, but that is going on just at night.
When is daylight is everything ok.
So if anyone can tell me??? Is this just limittation of exposure meter or is somethin wrong with my camera, because one day when I was changing the batteries I forgot too turn off my camera and I have closed the battery cap when the camera was on. If maybe that cause some damage to my camera?
Thanks for the answers.

09-11-2008, 04:06 AM   #2
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What is your metering setting ?

I generally dont use spot or center-weighted metering for nights shots if i wish the camera to meter for me.

09-11-2008, 04:12 AM   #3
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lukas, not turning it on or off wouldn't have damaged it, don't worry. Its not the best idea, but it won't break

It seems from what you describe that your EV is too low. It looks like you are using aperture priority Av mode. Hold in the +/- EV button, and turn the dial to make it brighter or dimmer. In your case brighter. And try again with EV +1 or +2

Otherwise try manual, M
Set your aperture to what you want, and then select a shutter speed. See how it comes out, and then adjust from there, with more or less shutter speed. More shutter open time, more light, brighter image.

Your NOISE will increase with exposure time, so keep ISO low, start at 100 or whatever the k200d's lowest is.

I am 99% convinced it's just a little practice and teqnique issue, and not a damaged camera, especially if your camera works fine in the day time
09-11-2008, 06:39 AM   #4
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No camera could do right for long time exposure metering.

Just meter by experiment and do more bracketing, thats the only way to go!

09-11-2008, 08:37 AM   #5
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Remember that if you are shooting in any auto mode, the light coming into the viewfinder will shift exposure value. That is why Pentax always gives you a viewfinder cap (of which I have about a dozen).

For long night photography, better always go manual exposure.

Robert B.
09-11-2008, 03:21 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by RiceHigh Quote
Just meter by experiment and do more bracketing, thats the only way to go!

Sorry, I just *had* to. Now you can add that to your resume - someone actually called you a (Pentax) fanboy! :-)
09-11-2008, 10:27 PM   #7
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if you have (street, etc) lights visible that could be effecting the metering, however you might just be below what the camera is capable of. Most cameras have a range where there meteres are 'accurate'. Have a look at the specs to see what the K200D can do, usually specificed in EVs (Exposure Values). The numbers can be translated to a aperture/shutter speed/iso and you can interpolate from there.

I've used my K10D at 30secs @ f4 and ISO400 (attached picture exposed by moonlight only) , but from memory, I think that was determened by experimentation and the histogram.

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