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Nikon Coolpix 5700 severe flash underexposure problem

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Anonymous
October 26, 2004 1:52:53 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.dcameras (More info?)

Good Morning, All!

I bought my 5700 in late July to replace my older Fuji 4900.
I bought the Nikon 5700 to replace the Fuji expecting
sharper images with less noise, which it does do well. I
didn't have the budget for a DSLR and lenses.

The 5700 produces excellent results outdoors with bright or
cloudy light, but flash performance is quite variable and
often poor. Examples of the poor pictures I got are posted
to alt.binaries.photos

I collect automobile pictures for a hobby, both digital
camera and scans. Much of the time, I am outdoors at cars
shows and city streets taking pictures some people call
"street shooting", but I also frequent large museums such as
the Henry Ford Museum and the Walter P. Chrysler Museum,
both in Michigan.

Because I want to shoot car pictures in museum settings, I
need more range than is provided by the 5700's built-in
Speedlight, so I bought a Vivitar 728 external flash with a
guide number of 92 at ISO 100.

The Vivitar 728 is an ordinary "dumb" electronic flash in
that it has *no* set-uo or zoom or any options. It's only
purpose is to pour a lot of light onto the subject. I
verified at the camera store where I bought it that it could
synch up with my 5700's hot shoe and fire either by itself
or with Nikon's Speedlight, depending on how I have it set-
up.

About 1/3 of the time, my flash pictures with either the
Vivitar or Nikon Speedlight are quite good. Another 1/3 are
underexposed by maybe 2 f/stops but are easily fixable in my
favorite editor, Jasc's Paint Shop Pro 9. The remainder are
4-6 f/stops under and look like the proverbial black cat in
a coal bin.

Virtually all camera set-up functions are factory-standard,
so there is little chance I have messed up the operation of
the camera's auto exposure electronics or any other
pertinent parameter. You can see some of this in the EXIF
data of my attached example pictures. If you would like me
to list key components of my set-up, please advise which
ones you want to verify.

I requested help from Nikon's Tech Support. After asking the
obligatory newbie questions, they basically have said
"that's the way it works". Of course, they won't even talk
about my Vivitar because I wouldn't pop the $280 for a Nikon
external flash.

I've also sent about 20 example images straight from the
camera to support@nikontech.com. Again, I got stonewalled on
the Vivitar and lots of dumb questions. It is not nearly
resolved yet, and I haven't heard from Nikon since my last
E-mail to them last Friday night.

As to the Vivitar, their only recommendation was to shoot in
full manual mode using the 92 guide number.

The other suggestion was the vary the Speedlight control
called Variable Power. You will see from the pictues I've
posted to a binary group that I've tried the max VP value
with contiuing poor results.

My previous digital, a FujiFilm 4900 from early 2001,
manages pretty well in museum environments even though I
only used its built-in pop-up flash unit. Ditto for my
wife's little $150 Kodak 6330. Neither produce "good"
results, but exposures are OK and very consistant.

The "bad" images I take with either the Nikon Speedlight or
the Vivitar are underexposed by 4-6 or more f/stops. They
*can* be fixed in PSP 9, but with much higher edit times
than well-exposed images, plus, digital noise is problematic
from the increased amplification of the 5700's electronics
trying to retain detail in the image. The noise is often
impossible to correct without destroying the sharpness and
detail of my car pictures.

Here is what I've done so far to relieve my problem:

Read the 5700 manual thoroughly, several times. Read the
Vivitar external flash manual thoroughly, several times.
Called Nikon Tech Support on 1-800-645-6689 twice. Contacted
Vivitar Tech Support - they said "our flash has no options -
talk to Nikon, it is their problem". Experimented
extensively with various settings on my camera (putting them
back to "default" when I was done so as not to create a
problem through user error). And, consulted with digital
photographer experts who are Cyber friends of mine on PSP's
user forums. Nothing has helped so far.

As best I've been able to tell from reading the manual and
talking to Nikon Tech Support, metering when using either
the built-in Speedlight or an external flash of any brand
besides Nikon is controlled exclusively by the light sensor
on top of the flip-up speed light. To confirm this, I tested
changing my auto exposure mode from Matrix to Spot without
improvement.

The Nikon Tech Support reps I talked to, although well-
trained, patient, and thorough, could not explain to me
exactly how the 5700 determines exposure when using flash of
any kind, and suggested I include that in my E-mail to you.

At the suggestion of Nikon Tech Support, I have also
experimented at the WPC Museum by changing both exposure
compensation (the +/- button next to the shutter release)
and varying the Variable Power setting of the Speed light in
Set-up. When pictures are properly exposed, they are
definitely brighter with Variable Power set to 1 or 2, but
that did *not* improve the severe underexposure I've seen in
so many of my pictures. Ditto for exposure compensation.

I thought I might have figured out what was causing my flash
exposure underexposure inconsistency by noting the it often
occurres with dark subjects and/or when there was something
in the field-of-view that was very light colored and would
reflect a large amount of flash light to the Speedlight
sensor. But I have confirmed that this is *not* always the
case.

I've posted a 9 of example JPEGs straight from the camera
that exhibit the problems I'm describing to
alt.binaries.photos with the sugject line Nikon problem #x,
and a description of the particular image.

Hopefully with my explanation and these example pictures,
you may be able to diagnose my problem and recommend a
change in my procedures to get more reliable results.

I did not post the "good" and "almost good" pictures but the
subject distances and ambient lighting is equivalent to the
"problem" pictures. If it would help anyone reading this
post, I can easily post additional pics to
alt.binaries.photos.

In conclusion, I can neither prove nor disprove that I have
a technical problem with my 5700. Nothing that Nikon Tech
Support has said so far suggests that it is broken. So far,
Nikon is still hung up on some sort of user error, which is
entirely possible. IMHO, if the 5700 flash system were
broke, I'd get bad results all the time, not the variability
I'm seeing.

I would appreciate anyone's advice as to 1) what I might be
doing wrong, and 2) what I might do to correct it.

Thank you in advance for any help.

--
Jerry Rivers
Anonymous
October 26, 2004 1:52:54 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.dcameras (More info?)

Just for giggles, have you tried turning off Auto White Balance? Some
Cameras will underexpose images in order to not blow out highlights on
bright shots.


The other thing that may be going on here, is that either the flash or
the shoe is "slow" or "fast" and is actually going off when the shutter
is closed.

Ordinarally I would say slow, but Digital cameras can have significant
shutter lag, and it could be that the flash is finished but still
compensated for. Try Focusing first (half press), then full press to
see if you are getting the flash when you expect.




All Things Mopar wrote:
> Good Morning, All!
>
> I bought my 5700 in late July to replace my older Fuji 4900.
> I bought the Nikon 5700 to replace the Fuji expecting
> sharper images with less noise, which it does do well. I
> didn't have the budget for a DSLR and lenses.
>
> The 5700 produces excellent results outdoors with bright or
> cloudy light, but flash performance is quite variable and
> often poor. Examples of the poor pictures I got are posted
> to alt.binaries.photos
>
> I collect automobile pictures for a hobby, both digital
> camera and scans. Much of the time, I am outdoors at cars
> shows and city streets taking pictures some people call
> "street shooting", but I also frequent large museums such as
> the Henry Ford Museum and the Walter P. Chrysler Museum,
> both in Michigan.
>
> Because I want to shoot car pictures in museum settings, I
> need more range than is provided by the 5700's built-in
> Speedlight, so I bought a Vivitar 728 external flash with a
> guide number of 92 at ISO 100.
>
> The Vivitar 728 is an ordinary "dumb" electronic flash in
> that it has *no* set-uo or zoom or any options. It's only
> purpose is to pour a lot of light onto the subject. I
> verified at the camera store where I bought it that it could
> synch up with my 5700's hot shoe and fire either by itself
> or with Nikon's Speedlight, depending on how I have it set-
> up.
>
> About 1/3 of the time, my flash pictures with either the
> Vivitar or Nikon Speedlight are quite good. Another 1/3 are
> underexposed by maybe 2 f/stops but are easily fixable in my
> favorite editor, Jasc's Paint Shop Pro 9. The remainder are
> 4-6 f/stops under and look like the proverbial black cat in
> a coal bin.
>
> Virtually all camera set-up functions are factory-standard,
> so there is little chance I have messed up the operation of
> the camera's auto exposure electronics or any other
> pertinent parameter. You can see some of this in the EXIF
> data of my attached example pictures. If you would like me
> to list key components of my set-up, please advise which
> ones you want to verify.
>
> I requested help from Nikon's Tech Support. After asking the
> obligatory newbie questions, they basically have said
> "that's the way it works". Of course, they won't even talk
> about my Vivitar because I wouldn't pop the $280 for a Nikon
> external flash.
>
> I've also sent about 20 example images straight from the
> camera to support@nikontech.com. Again, I got stonewalled on
> the Vivitar and lots of dumb questions. It is not nearly
> resolved yet, and I haven't heard from Nikon since my last
> E-mail to them last Friday night.
>
> As to the Vivitar, their only recommendation was to shoot in
> full manual mode using the 92 guide number.
>
> The other suggestion was the vary the Speedlight control
> called Variable Power. You will see from the pictues I've
> posted to a binary group that I've tried the max VP value
> with contiuing poor results.
>
> My previous digital, a FujiFilm 4900 from early 2001,
> manages pretty well in museum environments even though I
> only used its built-in pop-up flash unit. Ditto for my
> wife's little $150 Kodak 6330. Neither produce "good"
> results, but exposures are OK and very consistant.
>
> The "bad" images I take with either the Nikon Speedlight or
> the Vivitar are underexposed by 4-6 or more f/stops. They
> *can* be fixed in PSP 9, but with much higher edit times
> than well-exposed images, plus, digital noise is problematic
> from the increased amplification of the 5700's electronics
> trying to retain detail in the image. The noise is often
> impossible to correct without destroying the sharpness and
> detail of my car pictures.
>
> Here is what I've done so far to relieve my problem:
>
> Read the 5700 manual thoroughly, several times. Read the
> Vivitar external flash manual thoroughly, several times.
> Called Nikon Tech Support on 1-800-645-6689 twice. Contacted
> Vivitar Tech Support - they said "our flash has no options -
> talk to Nikon, it is their problem". Experimented
> extensively with various settings on my camera (putting them
> back to "default" when I was done so as not to create a
> problem through user error). And, consulted with digital
> photographer experts who are Cyber friends of mine on PSP's
> user forums. Nothing has helped so far.
>
> As best I've been able to tell from reading the manual and
> talking to Nikon Tech Support, metering when using either
> the built-in Speedlight or an external flash of any brand
> besides Nikon is controlled exclusively by the light sensor
> on top of the flip-up speed light. To confirm this, I tested
> changing my auto exposure mode from Matrix to Spot without
> improvement.
>
> The Nikon Tech Support reps I talked to, although well-
> trained, patient, and thorough, could not explain to me
> exactly how the 5700 determines exposure when using flash of
> any kind, and suggested I include that in my E-mail to you.
>
> At the suggestion of Nikon Tech Support, I have also
> experimented at the WPC Museum by changing both exposure
> compensation (the +/- button next to the shutter release)
> and varying the Variable Power setting of the Speed light in
> Set-up. When pictures are properly exposed, they are
> definitely brighter with Variable Power set to 1 or 2, but
> that did *not* improve the severe underexposure I've seen in
> so many of my pictures. Ditto for exposure compensation.
>
> I thought I might have figured out what was causing my flash
> exposure underexposure inconsistency by noting the it often
> occurres with dark subjects and/or when there was something
> in the field-of-view that was very light colored and would
> reflect a large amount of flash light to the Speedlight
> sensor. But I have confirmed that this is *not* always the
> case.
>
> I've posted a 9 of example JPEGs straight from the camera
> that exhibit the problems I'm describing to
> alt.binaries.photos with the sugject line Nikon problem #x,
> and a description of the particular image.
>
> Hopefully with my explanation and these example pictures,
> you may be able to diagnose my problem and recommend a
> change in my procedures to get more reliable results.
>
> I did not post the "good" and "almost good" pictures but the
> subject distances and ambient lighting is equivalent to the
> "problem" pictures. If it would help anyone reading this
> post, I can easily post additional pics to
> alt.binaries.photos.
>
> In conclusion, I can neither prove nor disprove that I have
> a technical problem with my 5700. Nothing that Nikon Tech
> Support has said so far suggests that it is broken. So far,
> Nikon is still hung up on some sort of user error, which is
> entirely possible. IMHO, if the 5700 flash system were
> broke, I'd get bad results all the time, not the variability
> I'm seeing.
>
> I would appreciate anyone's advice as to 1) what I might be
> doing wrong, and 2) what I might do to correct it.
>
> Thank you in advance for any help.
>
Anonymous
October 26, 2004 3:35:43 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.dcameras (More info?)

fortknight commented courteously ...

> Just for giggles, have you tried turning off Auto White
> Balance? Some Cameras will underexpose images in order to
> not blow out highlights on bright shots.

Hadn't thought of that. Thanks, I'll give it a whirl!
>
> The other thing that may be going on here, is that either
> the flash or the shoe is "slow" or "fast" and is actually
> going off when the shutter is closed.
>
> Ordinarally I would say slow, but Digital cameras can have
> significant shutter lag, and it could be that the flash is
> finished but still compensated for. Try Focusing first
> (half press), then full press to see if you are getting
the
> flash when you expect.

With all 3 of my digitals, I *never* allow the camera to
auto focus. I *always* push the shutter button down half-way
to lock focus and exposure (in daylight shooting).

I definitely can see the flash go off not only through the
viewfinder but I can use my peripheral vision to see the
flash around the camera. Still, your experience with the
flash not synching correctly could be an issue.

Strange that Nikon Tech Support didn't talk about either of
your two excellent ideas.

Did you take a look at the pics I posted? If you did, you'll
see that I'm not talking about a minor problem here!

Thanks for the info. If you have other ideas, please post
them.

--
Jerry
Related resources
Anonymous
October 26, 2004 9:07:02 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.dcameras (More info?)

Sounds like an auto exposure problem to me.

Have you tried setting a slow shutter speed - 1/30th or so - in manual mode
and shooting at a variety of f-stops?
--

Mike Russell
www.curvemeister.com
www.geigy.2y.net

All Things Mopar wrote:
> Good Morning, All!
>
> I bought my 5700 in late July to replace my older Fuji 4900.
> I bought the Nikon 5700 to replace the Fuji expecting
> sharper images with less noise, which it does do well. I
> didn't have the budget for a DSLR and lenses.
>
> The 5700 produces excellent results outdoors with bright or
> cloudy light, but flash performance is quite variable and
> often poor. Examples of the poor pictures I got are posted
> to alt.binaries.photos
>
> I collect automobile pictures for a hobby, both digital
> camera and scans. Much of the time, I am outdoors at cars
> shows and city streets taking pictures some people call
> "street shooting", but I also frequent large museums such as
> the Henry Ford Museum and the Walter P. Chrysler Museum,
> both in Michigan.
>
> Because I want to shoot car pictures in museum settings, I
> need more range than is provided by the 5700's built-in
> Speedlight, so I bought a Vivitar 728 external flash with a
> guide number of 92 at ISO 100.
>
> The Vivitar 728 is an ordinary "dumb" electronic flash in
> that it has *no* set-uo or zoom or any options. It's only
> purpose is to pour a lot of light onto the subject. I
> verified at the camera store where I bought it that it could
> synch up with my 5700's hot shoe and fire either by itself
> or with Nikon's Speedlight, depending on how I have it set-
> up.
>
> About 1/3 of the time, my flash pictures with either the
> Vivitar or Nikon Speedlight are quite good. Another 1/3 are
> underexposed by maybe 2 f/stops but are easily fixable in my
> favorite editor, Jasc's Paint Shop Pro 9. The remainder are
> 4-6 f/stops under and look like the proverbial black cat in
> a coal bin.
>
> Virtually all camera set-up functions are factory-standard,
> so there is little chance I have messed up the operation of
> the camera's auto exposure electronics or any other
> pertinent parameter. You can see some of this in the EXIF
> data of my attached example pictures. If you would like me
> to list key components of my set-up, please advise which
> ones you want to verify.
>
> I requested help from Nikon's Tech Support. After asking the
> obligatory newbie questions, they basically have said
> "that's the way it works". Of course, they won't even talk
> about my Vivitar because I wouldn't pop the $280 for a Nikon
> external flash.
>
> I've also sent about 20 example images straight from the
> camera to support@nikontech.com. Again, I got stonewalled on
> the Vivitar and lots of dumb questions. It is not nearly
> resolved yet, and I haven't heard from Nikon since my last
> E-mail to them last Friday night.
>
> As to the Vivitar, their only recommendation was to shoot in
> full manual mode using the 92 guide number.
>
> The other suggestion was the vary the Speedlight control
> called Variable Power. You will see from the pictues I've
> posted to a binary group that I've tried the max VP value
> with contiuing poor results.
>
> My previous digital, a FujiFilm 4900 from early 2001,
> manages pretty well in museum environments even though I
> only used its built-in pop-up flash unit. Ditto for my
> wife's little $150 Kodak 6330. Neither produce "good"
> results, but exposures are OK and very consistant.
>
> The "bad" images I take with either the Nikon Speedlight or
> the Vivitar are underexposed by 4-6 or more f/stops. They
> *can* be fixed in PSP 9, but with much higher edit times
> than well-exposed images, plus, digital noise is problematic
> from the increased amplification of the 5700's electronics
> trying to retain detail in the image. The noise is often
> impossible to correct without destroying the sharpness and
> detail of my car pictures.
>
> Here is what I've done so far to relieve my problem:
>
> Read the 5700 manual thoroughly, several times. Read the
> Vivitar external flash manual thoroughly, several times.
> Called Nikon Tech Support on 1-800-645-6689 twice. Contacted
> Vivitar Tech Support - they said "our flash has no options -
> talk to Nikon, it is their problem". Experimented
> extensively with various settings on my camera (putting them
> back to "default" when I was done so as not to create a
> problem through user error). And, consulted with digital
> photographer experts who are Cyber friends of mine on PSP's
> user forums. Nothing has helped so far.
>
> As best I've been able to tell from reading the manual and
> talking to Nikon Tech Support, metering when using either
> the built-in Speedlight or an external flash of any brand
> besides Nikon is controlled exclusively by the light sensor
> on top of the flip-up speed light. To confirm this, I tested
> changing my auto exposure mode from Matrix to Spot without
> improvement.
>
> The Nikon Tech Support reps I talked to, although well-
> trained, patient, and thorough, could not explain to me
> exactly how the 5700 determines exposure when using flash of
> any kind, and suggested I include that in my E-mail to you.
>
> At the suggestion of Nikon Tech Support, I have also
> experimented at the WPC Museum by changing both exposure
> compensation (the +/- button next to the shutter release)
> and varying the Variable Power setting of the Speed light in
> Set-up. When pictures are properly exposed, they are
> definitely brighter with Variable Power set to 1 or 2, but
> that did *not* improve the severe underexposure I've seen in
> so many of my pictures. Ditto for exposure compensation.
>
> I thought I might have figured out what was causing my flash
> exposure underexposure inconsistency by noting the it often
> occurres with dark subjects and/or when there was something
> in the field-of-view that was very light colored and would
> reflect a large amount of flash light to the Speedlight
> sensor. But I have confirmed that this is *not* always the
> case.
>
> I've posted a 9 of example JPEGs straight from the camera
> that exhibit the problems I'm describing to
> alt.binaries.photos with the sugject line Nikon problem #x,
> and a description of the particular image.
>
> Hopefully with my explanation and these example pictures,
> you may be able to diagnose my problem and recommend a
> change in my procedures to get more reliable results.
>
> I did not post the "good" and "almost good" pictures but the
> subject distances and ambient lighting is equivalent to the
> "problem" pictures. If it would help anyone reading this
> post, I can easily post additional pics to
> alt.binaries.photos.
>
> In conclusion, I can neither prove nor disprove that I have
> a technical problem with my 5700. Nothing that Nikon Tech
> Support has said so far suggests that it is broken. So far,
> Nikon is still hung up on some sort of user error, which is
> entirely possible. IMHO, if the 5700 flash system were
> broke, I'd get bad results all the time, not the variability
> I'm seeing.
>
> I would appreciate anyone's advice as to 1) what I might be
> doing wrong, and 2) what I might do to correct it.
>
> Thank you in advance for any help.
Anonymous
October 26, 2004 9:07:03 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.dcameras (More info?)

Mike Russell commented courteously ...

> Sounds like an auto exposure problem to me.
>
> Have you tried setting a slow shutter speed - 1/30th or so
> - in manual mode and shooting at a variety of f-stops?

Yes, Mike, I've tried using full manual on my 5700. That's
the only way Nikon's Tech Support will talk to me about the
Vivitar.

It turns out that manual works quite a bit better than the
camera's "auto" function but there's a rub: I need to know a
reasonably exact distance to the subject so I can figure out
the f/stop from the flash's guide number. I've played around
with that some inside my house and garage with a tape
measure but that'd be hard to do in a museum setting.

I've also started looking at those new-fangled laser room-
measurement gizmos. I can get one that'll work for about
$30, and I probably will buy one. I'm wondering if the
various museum curators will think I'm aiming some sort of
weapon at their cars that might damage them!

Incidently, the term "auto exposure" can have several
connotations. With the 5700, one meaning is what the camera
does in daylight or available light situations, which is
controlable as to the size of the measurement area. Kinda
what is called TTL for SLrs and DSLRs.

The other definition of AE is what the 5700 is doing in
flash mode. It definitely locks the shutter at 1/125 and
opens the aperatur wide open - I can see that in the image's
EXIF data and that's also what Nikon Tech Support says the
camera does. That's f/4.2 at full telephoto and f/2.8 at
full wide-angle. The 5700 then does some mysterious thing
that I haven't been able to pry out of Nikon yet to actually
control the exposure.

--
Jerry
October 28, 2004 6:18:43 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.dcameras (More info?)

Jerry

try your post on Rec. Photo. Digital. There's a guy on there called Ed Ruff
who seems to know the 5700 better than most. He might have a solution.

regards

Don from Down Under
"All Things Mopar" <myob@nospam.non> wrote in message
news:Xns958E6EB5384FReplyToken@216.196.97.135...
>
> Good Morning, All!
>
> I bought my 5700 in late July to replace my older Fuji 4900.
> I bought the Nikon 5700 to replace the Fuji expecting
> sharper images with less noise, which it does do well. I
> didn't have the budget for a DSLR and lenses.
>
> The 5700 produces excellent results outdoors with bright or
> cloudy light, but flash performance is quite variable and
> often poor. Examples of the poor pictures I got are posted
> to alt.binaries.photos
>
> I collect automobile pictures for a hobby, both digital
> camera and scans. Much of the time, I am outdoors at cars
> shows and city streets taking pictures some people call
> "street shooting", but I also frequent large museums such as
> the Henry Ford Museum and the Walter P. Chrysler Museum,
> both in Michigan.
>
> Because I want to shoot car pictures in museum settings, I
> need more range than is provided by the 5700's built-in
> Speedlight, so I bought a Vivitar 728 external flash with a
> guide number of 92 at ISO 100.
>
> The Vivitar 728 is an ordinary "dumb" electronic flash in
> that it has *no* set-uo or zoom or any options. It's only
> purpose is to pour a lot of light onto the subject. I
> verified at the camera store where I bought it that it could
> synch up with my 5700's hot shoe and fire either by itself
> or with Nikon's Speedlight, depending on how I have it set-
> up.
>
> About 1/3 of the time, my flash pictures with either the
> Vivitar or Nikon Speedlight are quite good. Another 1/3 are
> underexposed by maybe 2 f/stops but are easily fixable in my
> favorite editor, Jasc's Paint Shop Pro 9. The remainder are
> 4-6 f/stops under and look like the proverbial black cat in
> a coal bin.
>
> Virtually all camera set-up functions are factory-standard,
> so there is little chance I have messed up the operation of
> the camera's auto exposure electronics or any other
> pertinent parameter. You can see some of this in the EXIF
> data of my attached example pictures. If you would like me
> to list key components of my set-up, please advise which
> ones you want to verify.
>
> I requested help from Nikon's Tech Support. After asking the
> obligatory newbie questions, they basically have said
> "that's the way it works". Of course, they won't even talk
> about my Vivitar because I wouldn't pop the $280 for a Nikon
> external flash.
>
> I've also sent about 20 example images straight from the
> camera to support@nikontech.com. Again, I got stonewalled on
> the Vivitar and lots of dumb questions. It is not nearly
> resolved yet, and I haven't heard from Nikon since my last
> E-mail to them last Friday night.
>
> As to the Vivitar, their only recommendation was to shoot in
> full manual mode using the 92 guide number.
>
> The other suggestion was the vary the Speedlight control
> called Variable Power. You will see from the pictues I've
> posted to a binary group that I've tried the max VP value
> with contiuing poor results.
>
> My previous digital, a FujiFilm 4900 from early 2001,
> manages pretty well in museum environments even though I
> only used its built-in pop-up flash unit. Ditto for my
> wife's little $150 Kodak 6330. Neither produce "good"
> results, but exposures are OK and very consistant.
>
> The "bad" images I take with either the Nikon Speedlight or
> the Vivitar are underexposed by 4-6 or more f/stops. They
> *can* be fixed in PSP 9, but with much higher edit times
> than well-exposed images, plus, digital noise is problematic
> from the increased amplification of the 5700's electronics
> trying to retain detail in the image. The noise is often
> impossible to correct without destroying the sharpness and
> detail of my car pictures.
>
> Here is what I've done so far to relieve my problem:
>
> Read the 5700 manual thoroughly, several times. Read the
> Vivitar external flash manual thoroughly, several times.
> Called Nikon Tech Support on 1-800-645-6689 twice. Contacted
> Vivitar Tech Support - they said "our flash has no options -
> talk to Nikon, it is their problem". Experimented
> extensively with various settings on my camera (putting them
> back to "default" when I was done so as not to create a
> problem through user error). And, consulted with digital
> photographer experts who are Cyber friends of mine on PSP's
> user forums. Nothing has helped so far.
>
> As best I've been able to tell from reading the manual and
> talking to Nikon Tech Support, metering when using either
> the built-in Speedlight or an external flash of any brand
> besides Nikon is controlled exclusively by the light sensor
> on top of the flip-up speed light. To confirm this, I tested
> changing my auto exposure mode from Matrix to Spot without
> improvement.
>
> The Nikon Tech Support reps I talked to, although well-
> trained, patient, and thorough, could not explain to me
> exactly how the 5700 determines exposure when using flash of
> any kind, and suggested I include that in my E-mail to you.
>
> At the suggestion of Nikon Tech Support, I have also
> experimented at the WPC Museum by changing both exposure
> compensation (the +/- button next to the shutter release)
> and varying the Variable Power setting of the Speed light in
> Set-up. When pictures are properly exposed, they are
> definitely brighter with Variable Power set to 1 or 2, but
> that did *not* improve the severe underexposure I've seen in
> so many of my pictures. Ditto for exposure compensation.
>
> I thought I might have figured out what was causing my flash
> exposure underexposure inconsistency by noting the it often
> occurres with dark subjects and/or when there was something
> in the field-of-view that was very light colored and would
> reflect a large amount of flash light to the Speedlight
> sensor. But I have confirmed that this is *not* always the
> case.
>
> I've posted a 9 of example JPEGs straight from the camera
> that exhibit the problems I'm describing to
> alt.binaries.photos with the sugject line Nikon problem #x,
> and a description of the particular image.
>
> Hopefully with my explanation and these example pictures,
> you may be able to diagnose my problem and recommend a
> change in my procedures to get more reliable results.
>
> I did not post the "good" and "almost good" pictures but the
> subject distances and ambient lighting is equivalent to the
> "problem" pictures. If it would help anyone reading this
> post, I can easily post additional pics to
> alt.binaries.photos.
>
> In conclusion, I can neither prove nor disprove that I have
> a technical problem with my 5700. Nothing that Nikon Tech
> Support has said so far suggests that it is broken. So far,
> Nikon is still hung up on some sort of user error, which is
> entirely possible. IMHO, if the 5700 flash system were
> broke, I'd get bad results all the time, not the variability
> I'm seeing.
>
> I would appreciate anyone's advice as to 1) what I might be
> doing wrong, and 2) what I might do to correct it.
>
> Thank you in advance for any help.
>
> --
> Jerry Rivers
Anonymous
October 28, 2004 8:49:22 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.dcameras (More info?)

Walking down the road minding my own busines, Don stopped me
and commented courteously ...

> Jerry
>
> try your post on Rec. Photo. Digital. There's a guy on
> there called Ed Ruff who seems to know the 5700 better than
> most. He might have a solution.

I'll try that. In the meantime, my Nikon is driving its way via
UPS to Melville NY for service - Nikon's Tech Support concluded my
exposure control when in flash mode wasn't working. In about 3-4
weeks, maybe I'll get my camera back and see if it's fixed

--
Jerry
!