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Thread: N-5100 problem with metering etc

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    Ausphotography Site Sponsor/Advertiser OzzieTraveller's Avatar
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    N-5100 problem with metering etc

    G'day all

    I'm in the middle of a weekend workshop and one student's N5100 has started to misbehave

    It permamently displays "Subject is too dark" > full info screen is shown below


    I /we have gone thru the menus & tried to reset to factory config > can't find a menu option so worded but two are similar
    I /we have swapped lens with 2nd body > same result, same msg

    So - my Q is .... how can I fix / reset this or is it a sign of something worse???

    I would like an answer before things start again at 0900 sunday morning 17th
    any answers will help - we'll keep logging in thru the day, but the day is busy enough with scheduled materials

    Regards, Phil
    Of all the stuff in a busy photographers kitbag, the ability to see photographically is the most important
    google me at Travelling School of Photography
    images.: flickr.com/photos/ozzie_traveller/sets/

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    Hmm, Seems like it is not to uncommon with the Nikons Phil, Had a quick google found this for a start http://forums.steves-digicams.com/ni...-too-dark.html And there is plenty more if you google Nikon "subject is to dark"
    Last edited by William; 16-06-2012 at 7:55pm.
    Canon : 30D, and sometimes the 5D mkIII , Sigma 10-20, 50mm 1.8, Canon 24-105 f4 L , On loan Sigma 120-400 DG and Canon 17 - 40 f4 L , Cokin Filters




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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Ozzie. Collecting a few threads 4 u:
    http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...ssage=41464550

    (Half in Arabic, but illustrative...)
    http://www.cgpinoy.org/t17328-nikon-...bject-too-dark

    Apart from that, it sounds as if it's a phrase you'll find in Troubleshooting.

    Can't help otherwise.
    Am.
    PS: a 2ple more:
    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/b...tartrails.html

    (Mmmm.., this one maybe)
    http://www.spotmetering.com/spwhy.htm

    http://www.dgrin.com/showthread.php?t=111065

    (Look underneath the RHS pic. 1st few lines)
    http://www.letsgodigital.org/en/came...21/page_3.html
    Last edited by ameerat42; 16-06-2012 at 8:13pm.
    CC, Image editing OK.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OzzieTraveller View Post
    ......

    So - my Q is .... how can I fix / reset this or is it a sign of something worse???

    ....
    Use a faster lens??

    The camera is already at the minimum allowable shutter speed for a semi or full auto exposure mode .. at 30sec.
    And I'm assuming being a D5100, a standard consumer kit level zoom lens is mounted, hence the f/3.5 aperture setting.

    Only real fix is to use bulb shutter speed in Manual mode!!

    There's nothing wrong with the camera!
    It's simply advising the user that there is a possibility that the image is going to be dark at this exposure setting.

    Apparently cameras are now getting 'smarter'(I use the term loosely here ) .. and they are capable of informing the non experienced user of an imminent exposure irregularity.
    Whether you can turn this particular feature off, I really don't know, but it may be something as simple as the [Info] button(rear->top->between viewfinder and AE-L button), that may remove these inane noob messages from the rear screen.

    That is, you can remove this message, but not in isolation. If the camera's owner uses this information for their regular shooting workflow, then it's either on or not .. not selectively.

    Nothing wrong with the camera, other than this is what you get at this level.

    Nikon obviously assumes that the average D5100 owner may need some form of assistance with exposure, so this type of information presented to the user.
    They must surely also cater to the more experienced user and it could be a simple matter to turn off these messages.

    By resetting the camera to the original state(which is a two button reset), all you end up doing is to reset it to the default setup from the factory.
    This factory set up could be such that these guidance messages are displayed again, if turned off by the user at some point.
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
    {Nikon} -> 50/1.2 : 500/8(CPU'd) : 105/2.8VR Micro : 180/2.8ais : 105mm f/1.8ais : 24mm/2ais
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    {Tamron}; -> 17-50/2.8 : 28-75/2.8 : 70-200/2.8 : 300/2.8 SP MF : 24-70/2.8VC


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    G'day all

    Thanks for the many responses
    This "error msg" is occuring 100% of the time in bright daylight - so 'faster lens' & 'bulb' is not an issue

    It came on during a camera handling session when we were investigating WB options and the student cannot remove it & going thru the instruction book I can't see a factory-reset option [maybe if I had more time I could find it, but with 10 students gathered around waiting for the next session ..... ]

    The lens was swapped with a 2nd camera - her lens works ok on 2nd camera, other lens gives same result on her camera

    @am - if the 2-button reset does not work, I;ll chase up some of your links thru the day > well done with your help

    Thanks everyone, Phil

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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OzzieTraveller View Post

    So - my Q is .... how can I fix / reset this or is it a sign of something worse???
    A few options

    Take the lens cap off

    Use a higher ISO

    Don't push the "info" button therefore not displaying the message.

    When reading your post Phil it is a little unclear as to whether the camera will actually take a properly exposed picture. Or is it just the message that is worrying the operator?

    Turning off the "info" display will cure that last bit but if the camera is simply refusing to take photos it may be a sign of some other gremlin at work.

    Resetting the camera to factory state is simple.

    On the rear of the camera there are the menu and info buttons, both have a green dot next to them. Pressing and holding both at the same time will after a few seconds holding will do a complete default reset. See image here.
    Andrew
    Nikon, Fuji, Nikkor, Sigma, Tamron, Tokina and too many other bits and pieces to list.



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    Make sure everything "Auto" is turned off (as AUTO ISO/WB tends to go ratty in the lower end bodies)

    Stand out in the sun with a 2.8 lens and see what if any error message you get then. I have found the only lower end Nikon with a problem has been the D310 as it was shocking in low light even with a 2.8 lens on! The D7000 tends to over/under expose.. other than that your D5100 should work ok.. hope this helps towards some of the great posts above
    Cheers

    Wazza
    ---------------------

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    G'day all

    Again - thanks for the responses

    The camera exposes every image as almost pue white - other pix will expose 'sort-of' on Manual with EV set to its max of ~ -4EV

    @Andrew > The 2-button response is what I was after but could not see it yesterday in my qwik scrutiny of the printed manual
    @misc > we've taken off lens caps - even as said above, we've even taken the lens off & swapped it for a 2nd lens too!!
    @Am > followed up your refs but none seem to cover this as an error msg condition ... Thx anyway

    Bottom line ... nothing we've done can get the error msg to disappear > it will shoot pix, but every image is about 3 or 4 stops o'exposed. For whatever reason it just seems to have stopped operating correctly

    We'll try again on Monday now that the workshop has finished & I have some extra time to look into it
    Thanks again - Phil

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OzzieTraveller View Post
    ......

    The camera exposes every image as almost pue white - other pix will expose 'sort-of' on Manual with EV set to its max of ~ -4EV

    ......
    I think we have a problem Houston!!

    So even tho the camera is saying that the image will come out dark, they come out over exposed instead!?

    Problem with the metering system, which obviously needs to get fixed.

    Have you tried the three different metering modes to see how they're each affected by the problem?

    Matrix metering is the most commonly used, and if the problem is isolated to Matrix metering mode then this may be a good time to teach the camera's owner the advantages of using spot metering!

    But if the camera is announcing to the owner that the image will come out too dark, and totally over exposes the scene, then this sounds like a terminally ill metering unit within the camera which should get fixed properly .... hopefully it's under warranty too.

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