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Old Jul 10, 2004, 12:35 PM   #1
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I find that I get underexposed results more than I feel I should. I have the kit lense and I just received the nikon 85 F1.4 from B&H. This morning I was taking picutures of my wife with the 85mm with a overcast sky in the background. The pictures were extremely underexposted both under matrix metering and spot metering. I assumed that spot metering wouldsolve this problem since it was focused onmy wife. Underexposure also occured when Iwent toa +2 exposure compensation. I also experienced underexposure with the kit lensein the same circumstances.

At the sametime I used my wifes kodak's 6490 using a similar focal length. To my surprise the exposure seemed right on. This was based strictly on using both cameras'LCD view finder only but the result seemed preety obvious.

Does anyone have any advice?

PS - the lense was purchased from B&H for 699- and was rated 10 condition and refurbished. B&H said that they purchased these lenses from Nikon and it came in a Nikon box marked refurbishedand and seemed new to me. Possibly this lense is being discontinued and a VR version is coming out.

I was originally planning on buying the VR 28-120 but read so many reviews about it's softness that I went with the 85 1.4 which received surperb comments from everyone. Now I'm wondering if I should have gone with the more versitile zoom.

Thanks for your comments


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Old Jul 11, 2004, 2:35 PM   #2
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It would help if you posted some pictures. At the risk of telling you something you may already know,it has been documented that the D70 (as well as certain other prosumer and prodigital cameras) are calibrated to avoid blowing out highlights and initially are thought to be underexposing when in fact the apparent "underexposure" is intentional. The fact is that underexposed images can be "brought out" in post-processing much more easily thanblown (overexposed) portions of the image, which generally are not recoverable. There's a good discussion of this at fotogenetic's web site:


This site also discusses and offers for download custom tone curves which can be downloaded into the camera using Nikon Capture version 4.1. There are also numerous other sites with custom curves available. One common use of custom curves is to allow you to in effect bump up the EV for the mid-range of tones without blowing highlights, and then your pictures will look properly exposed in the rear LCD. Of course, custom curves won't affect the "auto" and "vari-program" settings of the camera, which always use the factory-set normal tone curve.

If this doesn't address your issues, I apologize for missing the point.
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