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View Full Version : In Manual mode pictures are black on d80



SUITEFREAK
09-17-2007, 01:06 AM
Hi..me again. I've been reading the manual and I still can't figure out what the problem is. When I try to take pictures in manual mode all I see is black when it shows the photo. This happens with my kit lens 18-135 and my 50mm 1.8. I'm wondering if there is something wrong with the camera???:confused: I understand that the d80 is intelligent and chooses the correct settings in priority modes, but it's supposed to work in Manual mode too, right? I just got the camera and if something is wrong with it, it would be great to know so I can exchange for another rather than banging my head against the wall. :(
For the kit lens I set it to M, set the body to M and set the priority to M and it still comes out black. I also tried it w/ lens and body to A and priority to M and still it's black. I'm shooting in a well lit room so it shouldn't be blakc. I tried adjusting aperture and shuter speed and still all black pictures!
I hope someone can help me figure this out.
Thanks.

yewsef
09-17-2007, 01:47 AM
I could swear that your problem is there is not enough light for that specific aperture and ISO you've selected. Thus, blackness.

1. Try longer shutter speeds
2. Higher ISO (400, 800..etc)
3. Wider aperture (1.8, 2.8f..etc)
4. Flash


The first time I bought my d70s which was my first SLR camera. I kept getting black pictures because I didnt know what is the correct exposure for that specific scene. By trial and error you could get your perfect setting for the scenes you're working on, by adjusting Shutter-Speed, Aperture, and ISO.

jcon
09-17-2007, 01:48 AM
Based on the info you provided, I would guess it's probably a shutter/aperture settings problem. Set the camera on something steady, like a table, or tripod, set the shutter spead to a few seconds and the aperture to the lowest number and a reasonably high ISO and see if you still get a black picture, if you do, something is wrong, if you get a somewhat bright picture, then you know its you and you need to learn shutter speed values and aperture settings.

Sample photos with EXIF(camera settings) would help.

Oh, and make sure the lens cap is off;)

yewsef
09-17-2007, 01:53 AM
Oh, and make sure the lens cap is off;)

I know someone who did that once :p

urfslam
09-17-2007, 02:37 AM
If you follow all of the suggestions given above and you still have black photos there is something wrong with your sensor. I cooked the sensor on a point and shoot digital that I have (had) by leaving it in the glove box of my car in the summer heat. (I live in the Middle East) When I took pictures all I could see were the screen icons for flash setting, exposure number etc. No picture showed up. If it's brand new I would suspect the sensor has been damaged in transit and is not sensing anything.

That bites anyway.

Urf.

Rooz
09-17-2007, 02:54 AM
Hi..me again. I've been reading the manual and I still can't figure out what the problem is. When I try to take pictures in manual mode all I see is black when it shows the photo. This happens with my kit lens 18-135 and my 50mm 1.8. I'm wondering if there is something wrong with the camera???:confused: I understand that the d80 is intelligent and chooses the correct settings in priority modes, but it's supposed to work in Manual mode too, right? I just got the camera and if something is wrong with it, it would be great to know so I can exchange for another rather than banging my head against the wall. :(
For the kit lens I set it to M, set the body to M and set the priority to M and it still comes out black. I also tried it w/ lens and body to A and priority to M and still it's black. I'm shooting in a well lit room so it shouldn't be blakc. I tried adjusting aperture and shuter speed and still all black pictures!
I hope someone can help me figure this out.
Thanks.

dosn;t sound to me like there is anything wrong with your sensor if all the other modes take pictures ok. if it was your sensor then all your photos would be black regardless of the mode you are in.

the d80 will not set your exposure at all in M mode. in the centre of your viewfinder there is an exposure meter with a "0" in the centre and bars to either side. on this picture below it is marked with the number 6.

http://a.img-dpreview.com/reviews/NikonD80/Images/viewfinderdiag.jpg

like j said, posting a photo with the exif would be the most useful, but also try the following experiment. set your aperture to the lowest number possible, (ie: the largest aperture). now rotate the shutter dial until there are no bars on either side of the exposure meter. if there are bars on the left side of the 0 then you are going to underexpose your image. once there are no bars to either side, it indicates that it is the correct exposure, now take the photo and review.

btw: the obvious things are lens cap still on or you don;t have auto preview switched on. also make sure that you haven;t inadvertently turned the EV right down somehow.

SUITEFREAK
09-17-2007, 04:56 AM
:) After trying all of your suggestions, I found out that the camera does indeed work fine, it's the operator that needs to go brush up on exposures. :eek: I'm so glad it works, now I can go focus on reading up on shutter speed, lighting, aperture settings, etc. :D I really though that I had plenty enough light in the room I was trying to take photos in, but clearly it wasn't enough. :o A least I remembered to take off the lens cap! :D
Thank you all so much for your patience and explanatons! :)

Turn
09-17-2007, 05:02 AM
but what was the problem?

Rooz
09-17-2007, 05:04 AM
sounds like a lens cap to me. lol

coldrain
09-17-2007, 05:16 AM
Ah... so THAT is what the M means. Take the lens cap off MANUALLY. :cool::D

SUITEFREAK
09-17-2007, 05:22 AM
sounds like a lens cap to me. lol

NO WAY it was not the lens cap! :p LOL. It was my either my shutter speed was set too fast or my aperture # wasn't low enough and I didn't use the exposure meter thing that you pointed out in your post.
When I played with it earlier, I thought I had enough bright indoor light (halogen lamp seemed plenety bright to me) but I didn't realize the shutter was set to 1/4000. :eek: So even though I slowed it down to around 1/250, it was still too fast for the lighting in the room, and that's why the pictures came out black.
After reading your posts, in a completely darkened room taking a shot of my TV, I slowed the shutter down to 3 seconds and the picture came out. (Handheld so it was blurry, but at least it works!) Then I tried what Rooz suggested and set the f stop to the lowest number which on the kit lens is 3.5, and using the dial I got rid of all the lines in the exposure metering thing and it automatically set the shutter to 13 seconds. This time I was in complete darkness and the photo still came out. Again handheld so blurry , but it works and for that I am grateful!
So yeah, I am embarressed :o to say that it was purely operator error and not the fault of the camera. :D And I did take the lens cap off in all my attempts! :D

Rooz
09-17-2007, 05:26 AM
glad we could help. :)

nothing to be embarrassed about, we all make silly mistakes when we're learning...only last week jcon couldn't mount a new lens until we pointed out that he was trying to put it on back to front. :D

jcon
09-17-2007, 12:17 PM
:D :D LOL...

Well what about the time you tried mounting that "new lens" only to find out the next morning it was an empty beer bottle!:eek::p LOL

fionndruinne
09-17-2007, 12:43 PM
Remember, if you ever experience a settings problem that has you confused as to what you changed and how to change it back, hold down the + button (bottom left) and the info button (next to shutter) at the same time for a few seconds. This resets all settings to default except for custom settings (menu style, display timers, that sort of thing). Both buttons have a green dot next to them.

I'm fairly certain the D80 and D40 share the same feature here... someone correct me if I'm wrong.

nap
09-17-2007, 07:30 PM
Play with P mode first (yeah P=play) then try to look at the suggested shutter speed and aperture combinations depending on the scene. After being familiar with the combinations, then that's the time to venture into M mode.

SUITEFREAK
09-18-2007, 07:12 AM
Play with P mode first (yeah P=play) then try to look at the suggested shutter speed and aperture combinations depending on the scene. After being familiar with the combinations, then that's the time to venture into M mode.

Thanks guys...Several other people have told me the same thing about using Program mode first...I guess I have to walk before I can run...:)

XaiLo
09-18-2007, 01:51 PM
Try picking up "Understanding Exposure" Revised Edition by Bryan Peterson. It's a lite and easy read filled with pages of practical examples. hth :)

Rooz
09-18-2007, 05:04 PM
your better off using A mode. P mode is essentially full auto with flsah control. In A mode a least your controlling one element of the expsoure which is the aperture and the cam adjusts your shutter to form the correct exposure. not sure how much your going to learn out of P mode.

fionndruinne
09-18-2007, 10:50 PM
Actually, Rooz, with my camera at least, in P mode the exposure compensation only affects shutter speed - I've never seen it affect aperture. Plus there are flexible program modes, meaning the camera will choose different combinations of shutter and aperture to properly expose the photo (as it understands it). P mode should be useful in just learning what combinations are common and work. But I agree, if you want more control, A mode is good. I took some beach shots in A at f/5.6, and the DoF was shallower (which looked good in most cases) than it would be in P. Obviously the camera avoids extreme things like 1/4000-sec exposures, but why should you or I?:D

Rooz
09-18-2007, 11:17 PM
to the best of my understanding, P mode will always try and use your lens wide open, thats why it will generally only try and adjust shutter. but this doesn't really teach you anything about exposure and you can;t control either with your dials. i may be wrong here cos i don;t ever use it. :confused:

so say if a landscape scene requires f11 for good DOF, in P mode its likely to try and shoot it at f3.5, (if thats your widest aperture), and you won;t get a decent landcape shot and won;t learn anything at the same time.

imho, picking the aperture that works best for the scene, (DOF), and letting your camera set your shutter speed if a far more effective learning tool. P mode should be avoided at all costs imho cos it doesn;t get the best out of your camera at all. i even think full auto mode is a better option cos at least it tries to work out what sort of scene you are shooting ad adjusts your aperture and thus DOF accordingly.

fionndruinne
09-19-2007, 12:33 AM
Well, I meant that exposure compensation changes shutter speed. As to generally what P mode does, I've seen it vary pretty widely. At 55mm, my camera only really tends to use f/5.6 if the situation is not well-lit. I've seen it at f/8, f/11 and such a lot.


P mode should be avoided at all costs imho cos it doesn;t get the best out of your camera at all. i even think full auto mode is a better option cos at least it tries to work out what sort of scene you are shooting ad adjusts your aperture and thus DOF accordingly.

I don't agree with this. Like I said, P mode varies both shutter and aperture, so it does as much judging of scene as auto mode. I mean, why wouldn't it? It's "programmable auto", meaning auto allowing for user change. Plus it provides a means for memorizing a lot of the combinations you commonly use, because the camera's combination of shutter/aperture are done according to pretty precisely defined guidelines that are older than automatic SLRs anyway.

I do see, though, that cameras don't see creative intent. So when you've got something in mind which you know the camera's not going to recognize, A and M are great modes, especially A (because DoF is one of the most commonly used creative effects, and rightly so). But I still think P mode is useful for a beginner.

Rooz
09-19-2007, 01:37 AM
thanks for pointing that out. as i said, i'm not well versed at P mode. so basically P mode is what i said in my first post...green mode without the flash. :p

SUITEFREAK
09-19-2007, 05:36 AM
Thanks guys. I do have Understanding exposure, but I stopped reading it to go back to the manual after my friend (a photographer) told me he thought me trying to lean about exposure before fully understanding how to work the camera was a backwards way of learning. I decided to go back to Understanding Exposure. I think the camera is very intelligent, and I could spend months learning how to use it before actually ever fully understanding exposure.
I actually normally shoot in A mode as that is the mode I understand how to use the most -- next to Auto, LOL!:D I get it -- the smaller the number the more light allowed in. I don't really understand Shutter speed and ISO/exposure compensations. I know I don't like a lot of noise, and I know ISO used to refer to the speed of film and the higher the ISO usually the noisier the photos.
But yeah, I was trying to understand how to use the camera in low light conditions, hence the M mode. I actually want to be able to take fireworks and night photos in M mode using the Bulb setting, tripod and remote or cable. (I have all three.) To my knowledge, the only way to access the Bulb setting is in M mode, is that correct? :confused:
I also have another question for you d80 users. The Digital Field Guide and the manual kind of contradict each other so I am confused about this: :confused:The manual says that when you are shooting in M mode, that the camera body and lens should be switched to the M position as well. (You know the focus switch on the lens and the lower left part of the camera body? It says it should be switched to M instead of AF/A.) Anyway, DFG says you can have the camera set to M mode and keep the lens and camera body in A mode and still be able to focus manually with the lens. I guess it's like an auto assisted Manual mode??? I'm confused by this. Can it be set either way? Will it work? I tried it the other night and I think it worked. What drives me nuts when I switch the lens and the camera body to M instead of AF/A, is that I sometimes forget that I switched it to M, and then I lose a few shots when I switch back to Auto or P mode until I realize what I've done. :o It would be easier if I didn't have to worry about switching the lens and body from AF back to M and vice versa. :D
Thanks!

Rooz
09-19-2007, 05:58 AM
1 or 2 seconds is normally all you need for fireworks so you won;t need to use bulb mode. remember that even though its dark, fireworks supply plenty of light.

M on your camera dial means you control the camera settings manually. M on the body/ lens is for using Manual focus on your lens. you don;t need to change either of those to shoot in manual. unless you WANT to manually focus your lens that is. :confused:

SUITEFREAK
09-19-2007, 07:33 AM
1 or 2 seconds is normally all you need for fireworks so you won;t need to use bulb mode. remember that even though its dark, fireworks supply plenty of light.

Hmmm...several people have told me that it's better when using a remote or release cable to keep from touching the camera body and shaking. They said you can use the bulb mode and just time your shots for 1-3 seconds. I thought they meant that you could trigger it to open the shutter and then trigger it again to release it. Supposedly gives you more control over how long you want it open especially when there are a lot of fireworks happening and trails coimg off them. Is this way off base??:confused:


M on your camera dial means you control the camera settings manually. M on the body/ lens is for using Manual focus on your lens. you don;t need to change either of those to shoot in manual. unless you WANT to manually focus your lens that is. :confused:

See that's where I was getting confused because even with the dial set to M, and leaving the lens and body to AF/A, I was still able to take most shots. Sometimes lens would get stuck trying to find the right setting I guess??? And in that situation you can see the lens moving back and forth trying to figure out how to bets take the shot. So in a situation like that where you would want the most control, is it better to change all 3 things to Manual mode for camera settings and Manual for lens focusing? :confused: How do D80 experts normally set your lens/body when shooting in M mode?;)
BTW, on another board a couple of people have told me that setting the lens and body focusing to M makes it very primitive and makes me work harder than I should have to. Do you genrally agree with that consensus or???

Sole Shooter
09-19-2007, 10:43 AM
I'm currently reading Bryan Peterson's "Understanding Exposure" and find it very useful. So much so, I recently started to shoot in M mode on my D80. Makes you more aware of things.

jcon
09-19-2007, 12:03 PM
I know this is just one part of your questions but for fireworks I prefer to use a long shutter, like 15 seconds and an aperture of F9-11. Here are 2 examples of these settings taken on the 4th Of July this year.

Manual Mode
Shutter:15 seconds
Aperture: F9
Focus: Auto

I was using a tripod and a 10 second timer to prevent camera shake.

Sole Shooter
09-19-2007, 01:43 PM
Jason,

What ISO and 10 sec timer? Wouldn't you see the fireworks, activate the 10s timer and by the time the shutter fired it would be too late?

jcon
09-19-2007, 03:18 PM
ISO was 200.

I used the built in 10 second timer on the camera. The fireworks were non stop for about 25-30 minutes, so I knew I would get some great results. Now if it hadnt been non stop you wouldnt want to use the timer as you would miss the shots.

After the shot was concluded, I would press the shutter to activate the timer again, I did this for the entire "show" roughly about 30 minutes.

fionndruinne
09-19-2007, 07:56 PM
Yeah, I used longer exposures (mostly 15 sec) for fireworks myself, and got good results. Always use the lowest ISO setting; speed is not an issue, and you'll need a tripod anyway. My tripod was very light, and it was windy, so my pictures from July 4th weren't as sharp as they could have been. I do see the sense in using a remote control for that, too, though a good, heavy enough tripod may be enough. I did use the timer too, but that makes it a little harder to catch the fireworks... when you're shooting without the timer, you can usually hit the shutter as soon as you hear the fireworks being launched, and catch 'em.

Suitefreak, it sounds like you're confusing manual "M" mode with manual focus, two entirely different things.

SUITEFREAK
09-20-2007, 01:36 AM
I know this is just one part of your questions but for fireworks I prefer to use a long shutter, like 15 seconds and an aperture of F9-11. Here are 2 examples of these settings taken on the 4th Of July this year.

Manual Mode
Shutter:15 seconds
Aperture: F9
Focus: Auto

I was using a tripod and a 10 second timer to prevent camera shake.

Nice photos!

SUITEFREAK
09-20-2007, 01:48 AM
Yeah, I used longer exposures (mostly 15 sec) for fireworks myself, and got good results. Always use the lowest ISO setting; speed is not an issue, and you'll need a tripod anyway. My tripod was very light, and it was windy, so my pictures from July 4th weren't as sharp as they could have been. I do see the sense in using a remote control for that, too, though a good, heavy enough tripod may be enough. I did use the timer too, but that makes it a little harder to catch the fireworks... when you're shooting without the timer, you can usually hit the shutter as soon as you hear the fireworks being launched, and catch 'em.

Suitefreak, it sounds like you're confusing manual "M" mode with manual focus, two entirely different things.

Ya think?:confused: :eek: :o:That's why I was wondering if you all just leave the lens and body switches in A/AF even though you have the camera set to Manual mode.
I am confused because I thought, based on what the manual says, that you should set the camera body and lens switches to M instead of A/AF if you are dialed in to the Manual mode. Then the D80 Field guide said you can have the lens and body set to A/AF, even though you are using the M mode dialed in on the camera. So, how do all you experts set it? Do you just leave the lens and body in A/AF even when in M mode, or do you switch it to Manual focus when you are dialed in to the M mode on the camera? :confused: Sorry if it seems like a really stupid question, but I am confused as the two guides say conflicting things.

Thanks for your fireworks suggestions...

I read the Night Photos thread, and I'm guessing, based on people's responses to that poster, that if I am shooting night/fireworks pictures and I don't have anything to prefocus on, I should set the camera body and lens switch to M instead of A/AF. Is that correct? But if I do have stuff to prefocus on, it's okay to leave the lens and camera body switches set to A/AF? Is that right?

Rooz
09-20-2007, 06:29 AM
M mode on the camera works completely independently of M mode on the lens. there is no need to manually focus the lens to be able to use the camera in manual exposure mode. it will make absolutely no difference to your camera settings whether your lens is in MF or AF.

i never use MF unless i';m taking macro's.

SUITEFREAK
09-20-2007, 07:00 AM
M mode on the camera works completely independently of M mode on the lens. there is no need to manually focus the lens to be able to use the camera in manual exposure mode. it will make absolutely no difference to your camera settings whether your lens is in MF or AF.

i never use MF unless i';m taking macro's.

Okay. Thanks!:)

Rooz
09-20-2007, 07:04 AM
btw: i forgot to post this for you b4. these are all fireworks shots with the d80. find a few you like and then click on the "more properties" link and it will give you the settings used to take the photo.

http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=fireworks%20d80&w=all

SUITEFREAK
09-21-2007, 01:47 AM
btw: i forgot to post this for you b4. these are all fireworks shots with the d80. find a few you like and then click on the "more properties" link and it will give you the settings used to take the photo.

http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=fireworks%20d80&w=all

Thanks Rooz! I appreciate it!

XaiLo
09-21-2007, 09:31 AM
SUITEFREAK, this is an explanation I wrote for a friend in Canada it helped him out maybe it can also offer some insight in this case.

The relationship between aperature size, shutter speed, and ISO (film sensitivity).

Think of these three as the special effects center of your camera and they control light:

1. Aperature controls the volume of light

and how much of the picture will be in focus

2. Shutter Speed controls the duration of light

or the amount of time light is allowed to reach or effect the (film or CCD)

and how much movement is allowed to be translated onto the image

3. ISO controls how sensitive the (film or CCD) is to light

In a digital camera though the original signal is actually amplified. (Brightness)

this amplification also causes noise to be introduced conversely under exposure has the

same effect.

That's really a simplified explanation but it's the key to understanding and manipulating the end result.

SUITEFREAK
09-21-2007, 11:04 PM
SUITEFREAK, this is an explanation I wrote for a friend in Canada it helped him out maybe it can also offer some insight in this case.

The relationship between aperature size, shutter speed, and ISO (film sensitivity).

Think of these three as the special effects center of your camera and they control light:

1. Aperature controls the volume of light

and how much of the picture will be in focus

2. Shutter Speed controls the duration of light

or the amount of time light is allowed to reach or effect the (film or CCD)

and how much movement is allowed to be translated onto the image

3. ISO controls how sensitive the (film or CCD) is to light

In a digital camera though the original signal is actually amplified. (Brightness)

this amplification also causes noise to be introduced conversely under exposure has the

same effect.

That's really a simplified explanation but it's the key to understanging and manipulating the end result.

Thank sXaiLo and thanks all of you who responded for your kind help! :)

XaiLo
09-22-2007, 02:48 PM
No worries man , anytime...;) happy shooting:)