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Subject: Re: Exposure to the right and tone placement

But yet, my Nikon D70 biases towards underexposure. Are Nikon, and manufacturers
in general, just being faithful to the 12% calibration and ignoring the
highlight information from their modern matrix meter?

Andrew, yes I think your analysis is correct. Even the D70 has a rather sophisticated meter which reads 1005 areas of the scene in matrix mode--it would seem to me that they should be able to estimate the brightest highlight with some precision. Of course the camera can't read the photographer's mind about the most important highlight or break out specular highlights, but there is no justification to leave a large amount of empty space on the right of the histogram, at least when shooting raw. With version 2 of the Nikon firmware, highlight exposure does seem to be improved somewhat, so Nikon may be listening.

With jpegs, shooting too far to the right can move the mid tones too far to the right with short range subjects and with low key subjects where there are no highlights, and the picture will look too overexposed unless post processing is done, and PP negates the rationale for shooting in jpeg. A great many D70 users shoot with jpeg.

Or are manufacturers too conservative to avoid highlight clipping that
they leave too much head room?

This factor is often quoted by the Nikon apologists on the Nikon forums.


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