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Old Jun 29, 2008, 5:28 PM   #1
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I have been having problems with my long focal length shots on wide open areas.
I use a Nikon D40x and for my longer focal length shots I use a 55-200mm VR lense from Nikon. In the manual setting, with the average metering, I adjust my shutter speed to give me the suggested exposure. But for some reason, I get the following results. I had the same problem when I took pictures from the Rockefeller Center. Every picture I took at a long distance appear to have more blue color presence and it appears foggy.
I guess with the average metering, with all the bright skies and stuff, I should get a suggestion that would make me underexpose the dark areas. So it does not make sense. I guess when I focus to infinity, my metering and colors get messed up?
I would appreciate any help on this issue as I am on this trip and would like to take nicer pictures from a distance with my zoom lens. Here is the picture info:

Shutter: 1/400
Aperture f/13
ISO 400
Metering: Pattern

Thanks a lot.
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Old Jun 29, 2008, 5:57 PM   #2
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Definately overexposing your shot. Try spot metering and expose for the land and not the sky. This is my 1 minute fix.
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Old Jun 29, 2008, 7:51 PM   #3
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What were the atmospherics like? It looks like your subject was pretty far away, and it might have been hazy - accounting for the bluish cast. Often I've noticed that cameras are more sensitive to long distance haze than my eyes are. I don't think the camera was being too influenced by a bright sky - if it were, the shot should have been underexposed, rather than over exposed. I'm not sure that using spot metering and metering from the ground (normally a good thing to do) would work for this one.

A good thing to do is check what the picture looks like before leaving, then adjusting exposure from there. In this case, I think I would leave the aperture and shutter speed alone and change to ISO200 - that would be a 1 stop less exposure compared to what the camera did on its own. That might have been enough to compensate for the over-exposure, and would cut down on any extra noise that ISO 400 introduces in the shadow areas. I'm a big believer of using the lowest ISO I can get away with, and a stationary subject on a sunny day doesn't need faster speed.

Out of curiosity - do you know at what aperture your lens is sharpest at? In bright sunlight it pays to know at what apertures your lens is sharpest, and then try to use that aperture unless you want some specific depth of field.

Anyway, that's a couple of things to think about. With this shot, you can adjust both the contrast and color cast with software (depends on what software you are using as to ways to do that).
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Old Jun 29, 2008, 8:20 PM   #4
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Absolutely right Mtgal. I was thinking bassackwards. How about the use of a UV or Sklight filter to reduce haze?
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Old Jun 29, 2008, 9:37 PM   #5
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I haven't had much luck with UV filters blocking haze, though others have posted comparison pictures showing a definite improvement. I've had much better results using a circular polarizer, and it's good for all kinds of reflected light. I've never used a skylight filter, so can't say if it would help or not. Good thought!
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Old Jun 30, 2008, 4:51 AM   #6
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Beautiful Hagia Sophia shot from the other side of the straight thanks to the 200mm tele end of the lens! Below is a picture (hope you don't mind..)I shot afew years ago from the opposite direction,at Sultan Ahmet Square : )

I used the D40x some months ago and noticed how well the Nikondid at pattern mode (though I mostly prefer using the center weighted or spot meteringmodes!) It looks like an overexposure issue due to somethingwhich might have gone wrong at Manual Mode (You know, the camera obeys every setting the user decides at that mode) Thus I'd advise using the Aperture Priority forfield jobs. Besides I find Iso 400 too much for the bright Istanbul summer however hazy the athmosphere could be! Another thing I'd like topoint out thatsome lenses start to reveal diffraction issuesat relatively narrow apertures at f/13 and beyond effecting the overall image quality and sharpness. So, I mostly shoot landscapes and cityscapes at f/8 at whichsharpness and the required DOF optimizes.

Cheers!

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Old Jul 10, 2008, 4:08 AM   #7
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Thanks for the replies. I did start underexposing my shots after the first comments I received her. And now I am checking the histogram of every shot I take since looking at my LCD screen under the bright sun deceived me apparently.
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