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Old Oct 28, 2004, 7:05 PM   #1
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I've brought a D70 and 18-70 lens this week but I've got a problem with the images being under exposed. I'm having to increase the exposure compensation by 2 stops to get a decent result. This applies to indoor and outdoor shots, using the pop up flash or my SB600 off camera, using P, A, or S modes and any ISO settings, saving as jpg or nef. Whatever I do, I have to compensate by approx 2 stops.

Before buying the D70 I had read that it tends to underexpose by a half stop, but this would be acceptable to prevent burnt out highlights. To have to always compensate by +2 stops makes me think that there may be a problem with the camera. Any advice or comments would be welcome to this newcomer to the forum.
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Old Oct 29, 2004, 9:28 PM   #2
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The answer lies in how the D70 is intentionally calibrated, and understanding tone curves (and how to install a custom curve). For a good explanation of what you are probably experiencing, and what you can and should do, all of which is perfectly normal, the following site is a good start:

http://fotogenetic.dearingfilm.com/c...ne_curves.html

In addition, after reading the above, you might want to try the following site for a beginner's tutorial:

http://members.aol.com/bhaber/D70/lessons.html

There are other sites, as well.
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Old Oct 30, 2004, 6:21 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply, I was aware of the fotogenetic site and I have been using the Provia curve which has improved my images slightly, but they still tend to be underexposed. I am taking all images in nef format as they all all seem to need some manipulating in Nikon Capture and Photoshop. This is no problem to me, apart from the time taken, as I have been using Photoshop for several years.

Nikon say that the D70 will "deliver beautiful prints straight from the camera using any PictBridge compatible printer" and has "a choice of seven easy to use automated Digital Vari-Program modes for any photographic opportunity". I don't intend to use the vari-programs, but if I do the images still come out very underexposed as the vari-programs do not use the custom tone curve. I am also unable to use the Optimize Image settings in the Shooting Menu, such as Vivid, Softer, Direct Print, as these do not use the custom tone comp in the camera, so I feel that Nikon has built a lot of features in to the D70 that are of no use.

Most of my test images have been indoors using ambient light or flash, I've not had much opportunity to take outdoor pics owing to the wet and windy weather here in England, but I will try to take some outdoor pics tomorrow and see what the results are. If they are very underexposed I may conclude that my D70has faulty metering.


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Old Oct 31, 2004, 7:25 PM   #4
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Might be helpful if you posted some image sample so we can look at this underexposure issue.
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Old Nov 1, 2004, 1:55 PM   #5
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Onyx, thanks for your reply, I will try and post some samples when time permits. However, I am more pleased with my photos now that I am getting familiar with the camera. I've been using the Provia curve from fotogenetics which for me is an improvement on the normal tone curve.

I realize now that I have to look upon the nef files as digital negatives which can be manipulated as I please in the same way that a film negative can be manipulated to get optimum results. I suppose that I was comparing the results with consumer cameras that sharpen and brighten the images before saving them. I'm getting to like the camera more now, it's just a pity that Nikon reduced the price in the UK by approx £100 5 days afterI bought it.


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Old Nov 3, 2004, 10:38 PM   #6
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You're right in that the NEFs can be tweaked, but you shouldn't have to. I certainly don't. Only 1 out of every 30 or so shots I take with the D70 (Provia is my fav tone curve too) needs to be tweaked because of predominantly user error. The rest are fine. IMHO auto exposure is a strong point for this camera - much better compared to the Canon rebel/10D which from my experience has the propensity to blow highlights much more frequently when used with evaluative metering.
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Old Dec 20, 2004, 8:40 PM   #7
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I too, find that all of my photos (except for those taken outside in bright sunlight) are underexposed and have to be tweaked.

Onyx, you say that you use the Provia curve, but where do I find that? I found the "White Wedding Curve," but not the Provia curve.

In quickly reading the instructions on how to download a curve, I'm under the impression that I don't have to use that curve if I later decided I'm not happy with it, am I correct?
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Old Dec 21, 2004, 11:34 PM   #8
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Neiman, Fotogenetic recently (3 wks ago) discontinued development the Provia curve. He cites the camera's programmed low contrast curve plus 0.3EV to be as good. It can still be found however, bundled under fotogenetic's curves archive.
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Old Dec 22, 2004, 10:58 PM   #9
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Hello, I just installed the fotogenetic_point_and_shoot_v40.ntc curve in my Nikon d70 camera. Where in the camera settings can I make sure that I am using that particular curve? Unfortunately I forgot to rename the curve when I installed it into the camera.
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Old Dec 23, 2004, 10:32 PM   #10
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shutterbug7 - ensure you're in P, S, A or M modes. These are the only modes in which the custom tone curve will apply to images.

Go to optimise image settings in the menus, select custom, and ensure the tone comp setting is set to custom. Other parameters (sharpening, hue, colour mode, etc) can be adjusted to personal taste. Thom Hogan's ebook has some recommendations, and I could recommend you some too - but not knowing what you shoot or under what conditions, it's futile. I can add that if you shoot NEFs, turn sharpening to "none" (not zero) - it tends to effect noise/grain in images.


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