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  1. #1

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    Canon EOS 3 - why are my shots underexposed?

    My friend bought an EOS 3 and loves it. She offered to loan it to me. I read the manual thoroughly before using it. I took photos of my young grandson playing in the bathtub, window right next to the tub, shade pulled up, beautiful late afternoon sun reflecting off his skin. I shot in manual mode with my friend's 135 mm lens, 3-4 feet away. Film was Fugi pro 160S processed at a professional lab that I always use. I can't remember my shutter speed or aperture - probably 125 and low f stop numbers. In fact my husband commented that I should drop the shade because he felt there would be too much light. The outdoor shots were taken with my friend's zoom lens and they were underexposed too. I could only salvedge 2-3 shots. I know for sure it's not the camera or lenses causing the problem. I've seen photos from this camera when I returned it. I'm use to my Elan 7 and I rarely, if ever, get underexposed shots. My friend shoots in auto so she can't help me. I plan to buy this camera in the near future. Can anyone give me some idea what I might have done.
    tgood

  2. #2
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    One possibility is that the lab isn't exposing the prints properly, if you get machine-made prints. Ask for a real contact sheet, and you can get a better idea of what you have.

    Indoors with window light, ISO 160, your exposure at 1/125 sec. should be around f:1.4, and I suspect your 135mm lens is not that fast.

    If the bathtub has white or light colored tile, the camera's meter will render it as middle grey, so you need to compensate for the meter. One strategy for reading a caucasian skin tone is to meter the skin close up and then open the aperture one stop.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
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    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  3. #3

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    Yes, I'm guessing my exposure was right around the area you mentioned. The color of the tub was light beige and I remember I was on evaluative. Probably I should have been in spot meter mode. However, the outdoor shots - open shade - were slightly underexposed as well. Not as bad as the tub shots.

  4. #4
    naturephoto1's Avatar
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    Kay,

    A standard check on a camera meter, shutter, and aperture is to run at least a test roll of transparencies. You will find out if the camera is off. You should check the results on a lightbox.

    Rich
    Richard A. Nelridge
    http://www.nelridge.com

  5. #5

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    I also have an EOS 3 and I have the rear command dial set for exposure compensation. If I have it on it is very easy to accidentally turn it and over or underexpose by a few notches. I have, at times, not noticed this for a couple of frames and had to adjust. I now leave the RCD off unless I have a specific circumstance where I need to compensate. Could this have been a possibility, or something like that?

    Another similar example is from just the other day where I was compensating, turned the camera off and the RCD off and packed up. The next time I picked up my camera it was still registering as compensating a stop (or so) under even though I hadn't turned the RCD on. This could also be a possibility.

    The above suggestions are also possible: meter being fooled by light and tile etc.
    Wesmore Digital
    www.wesmoredigital.ca

  6. #6

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    How old is that EOS3? It was reported that some of the early EOS3 had similar problems with metering as you described, Kay (about half stop underexposing). I belive some cameras manufactured from 1997(when production of EOS started) till April or May of 1999 can have that problems. I am sorry I can't remember specific details, my EOS3 was manufacuted after May 1999, and has no problems, so I didn't pay much attention on issue...

    So, check metering as Rich described, and if meter was off, set permanently exposure compensation if needed(if you read manual it is easy to do). Smileguy has also valid point, same thing (thumb wheel on camera back accidently moved) happened to me few times. Thing is, if you accidently turn wheel on camera back same time when shutter button is half way pressed, camera will make exposure compensation. You can check that on exposure compensation flashing "broken" line on cameras LCD.

    When I read what kind of photograph you made when you saw problem, I guess also next: have you compensate for water reflection of light? Reflective meters are easy to fool, and EOS3, despite having great meter, is no exception. So, could it be that water in thub reflected too much light, camera meter that reflected light, and you didn't compensate for that reflected light?

    Good luck.

  7. #7
    Petzi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by haris
    How old is that EOS3? It was reported that some of the early EOS3 had similar problems with metering as you described, Kay (about half stop underexposing). I belive some cameras manufactured from 1997(when production of EOS started) till April or May of 1999 can have that problems. I am sorry I can't remember specific details, my EOS3 was manufacuted after May 1999, and has no problems, so I didn't pay much attention on issue...
    It is a software bug and can be corrected by updating the camera firmware. The error only occurs with slow lenses.
    If you're not taking your camera...there's no reason to travel. --APUG member bgilwee

  8. #8

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    hmmm this might sound silly but check the meter before you shoot cos it could be accidentally set to under expose (if you're shooting in AV). I've an EOS3 also and have had almost 100% exposure success, where I havent, its been my fault...! But I did notice accidentally under exposing when getting the hang of it in the past.
    www.detunephotography.com



 

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