While shooting a large indoor party I noticed that the background was very dark. I tried changing from spot to matrix metering and from Programmed to Manual exposure without any success. I use an external power supply for the SB800 and for the most part was 6 to 10 feet from my subjects. I estimate that the files are 2 to 3 stops underexposed. I am using a D2X camera. Any Ideas? Stew
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Press the Menu button, select the camera icon, then scroll down to Sensitivity to change the ISO setting.
Depending on how close to the stage you are and how long your lens is, I would consider using spot-metering on the performers so as not to let the camera try to make the black background into a medium gray. The metering method is also changed in the shooting menu. Press Menu, select the camera icon, and scroll down.
Anyway you do it, you're probably going to have slow shutter speeds. If you can't use a tripod, consider a monopod. Or clamp the camera to the back of the seat in front of you. Or brace it against a wall or column.
You could try increasing the exposure level (press AV+/- while rotating the selector wheel to the right) but this will increase the time the shutter is open and increase the possibility of picture blur. Only other thing to do when shooting indoors is to change to a high ISO - 1600 for instance. This reduces the time the shutter is open so working together with the first suggestion you may not notice any difference!
If still too dark, you need a faster lens - you can pickup a 50mm f/1.8 lens quite cheap - this is an excellent indoor lens as the low F number means it lets in lots of light. The fixed focal length means you will have to move around to frame the shot, but they are indispensible for indoor work and a lot cheaper than a f2.8 zoom.
Were you indoors? if so, take the ISO of AUTO and out it on 400. Leave the camera set like you had it, Manual 1/60 @ 5.6. Do notuse evaluative metering. Use single spot metering or the smallest center weight setting.
Friends have you tried not using the A-Aperture mode?? Set in on P-for Program or M-for Manual, this should produce the colors you are hoping for. If your photo is still "hot" use the + or - button called the Exposure compensation button on the top of the camera, push that little button and turn the outside main control dial where your right thumb sits 1 third stop at a time, (you have 4 to 5) The + adds light to your photo and the - will make your photos darker play with that and let me know. Barry Brown www.coralreefphotos.com
learning to use light metering correctly can have its challenge. the manual will guide you on how to set up to read light from the subject. spot metering a dark area will cause general overexposure, or a washed out look. spot metering a bright area will cause a dark image. if you are on spot meter and shoot two people standing together against a bright lit background, your meter will see between them if they are centered, and read all that bright background, setting the camera to a less sensitive combination of aperture / shutter speed, resulting in a dark image. use field averaging meter setting and be sure you are metering the subject and not the background. try shooting a wall that is fairly clear of other colors and uniform it light hitting it, you should have a correctly exposed image. since it works in other modes (at least 1, anyway) then it is unlikely you have an exposure compensation issue. that is the only other non defect issue that would cause your problem. once you confirm that you have these settings correct and still get a dark image, its time to have it serviced. good luck mark
The two pictures were shot at dramatically different exposures - the "dark" one at 1/1600 shutter speed, f7.3, the "light" one at 1/320 shutter speed, f4.0. This accounts for the great difference, as the exposure conditions for the "light" one allowed much more light into the image during the exposure period. You didn't tell the whole story of how you set this up, I think you were shooting in a "spot" metering mode, where the particular exposure conditions the camera uses would vary considerably whether you were aiming at a dark area (making the picture light) or a light area (making the picture dark).
I would make two recommendations: Switch your metering mode to "center weighted" (the mode labeled "[(•)]"), and also change your ISO setting to AUTO, as there would be no reason for shooting these photos at ISO 200 that I can think of.