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D90 metering, L-clamp

Discussion in 'Nikon DX DSLR Forum' started by GroovyGeek, Sep 10, 2008.

  1. I have two very specific questions for new D90 owners, particularly those who come from a D80 or D40:

    1) Matrix metering --- how is it in controlled tests? I have seen some statements to the effect "it is better but still blows out some highlights". No meter will always preserve all highlights, so this does us little good... Anyone willing to do some controlled tests? On a sunny day find an area with a sharp shadow. Frame a picture so that approximately half the image is in the shadow, half is brightly exposed. Point the focus spot slightly in the shadow area, take a picture. The reframe slightly, point the focus spot to the bright area, take a picture. Repeat with both cameras, compare blown highlights in images 1 and 3, report here. Actual images would be great, but just a verbal description of observations would also do. This is an important question for me, it is THE data point that will determine whether I keep my order for a D90 body alive or cancel it.

    2) L-clamps --- will the D80 clamps work reasonably well (from Kirk or RRS), or is a new clamp required. I don't relish the thought of shelling out $150 for a piece of machined aluminum, I can probably find a D80 clamp for under $100 used, it will be great if it works. Yes, I firmly believe that EVERYTHING RRS and Kirk sell is drastically overpriced, but unfortunately there are no viable alternatives when it comes to L clamps.
  2. yoose


    May 17, 2008
    Hong Kong
  3. I'm keen to hear the results too , but I'm not anticipating good news ...
  4. MikeG76


    Jun 11, 2008
    Middletown, NY
    I am also waiting for this info. The answer will weigh heavily on my decision to go with this or the D300.
  5. JustEd


    Jul 21, 2008
    Sacramento, CA
    Let me as a novice question. If the D80 burns out highlights, can't users just bias the exposure to minus 1/3 or 1/2 a stop then use DLighting during processing if need be for the dark areas? Reason I ask is am considering a D80 on close out, but would go with the D90 if the CMOS sensor really improves both noise and dynamic range???
  6. I think what we all want is matrix metering more like the D200. Matrix metering is touted as an advanced system where the camera determines the proper exposure based on a vast number of examples stored in its library. With the D80 this does not happen. I only use matrix metering with my SB600, otherwise I spend too much time playing with -e/v and less time shooting. For soccer matches I pretty much use center weighted. It would be nice to have the option of matrix metering sometimes, hopefully the D90 will fix this.

    By the way, how is the D300's matrix metering, does it tend to overexpose?
  7. Word from Kirk Photo is that the old D80 L bracket will work with the D90 --- same as the RRS version. This should do wonders for the resale value of D80 L brackets :) 
  8. Certainly on your first question, Ed. I do this all the time with my D200. In fact, if you shoot RAW, you can recover blown highlights in Capture NX2 if they aren't too badly blown out.

    I can't address your second concern, however.
  9. Maybe with the D200 but not with the D80 because metering is heavily biased toward the focus point . This means that for the same scene you could have 2 stops of difference in exposures as the focus point hits either a bright area or a shadow area .
    In scenes with mixed lighting it can be very erratic and I have had to adjust to -1.7 quite often - then you move the focus point and no longer need compensation .
  10. I think I recall someone on another forum selling his D80 L-plate because the value was going down with the pending D90 (assumed to be incompatible), and he wanted to sell it before the value dropped even more.


    I presume this means the body plates (not L-brackets) will work fine as well?
  11. Not sure if this one helps you at all, I just went searching through the shots I took yesterday. This was with Matrix metering, however Active d-Lighting was turned on.

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
  12. AdamC

    AdamC Guest

    Here's a collage of 4 photos I took with the D90 where I alternately put the focus point on a light area and a dark area. I did the experiment twice - once with active d-light on and once with it off. The camera was in Program exposure mode with 3D matrix metering.

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    The original sized file can be seen in my D90 gallery:
  13. Yabadabadooo! Looks like Nikon fixed the problem. Thanks a bunch Adam! If only now they get around to shipping D90 bodies... I have no use for the kit lens, and don't want the hassle of trying to unload it.
  14. I picked up one today on another forum for a fair though by no means great price ($100). Don't know if all the people who are looking to unload their D80's realize it yet.

    I would imagine that body plates would work too, though for me this is less of an issue. Even a generic flat body plate works great, I see no reason to spend extra on a custom body plate. Sure, it looks sexier, but does not function any better.
  15. You've obviously never had a body start twisting off a flat plate :biggrin: That used to happen to me with an old-style plate (not an Arca Swiss system, though). Twisting the camera around when tension is fairly high works against the screw and eventually it loosens. Drove me nuts.

    A custom body plate -- or at least a flat body plate with a flange on one side that at least presses against one side of the base -- indeed functions a lot better than a generic flat body plate. That's why your L-plate has the flanges, and the better plates have dual flanges that precisely match the front and back of the base.

    In that respect, the Kirk plate for the D80 (and presumably D90) is better than the RRS one. The Kirk one has flanges on both sides, the RRS on just one (it's more of a genericized plate). I've never had a twisting issue with the Kirk plate.

    Price is attractive too. Used ones are usually $30-$35 shipped. There's a Markins plate for sale on eBay right now (flange on one side).
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 12, 2008
  16. No, I have not. I have been using a D40 with a plain-vanilla RRS flat plate without issues. Admittedly, I do not like using the ballhead locked in the "sweet spot", I much prefer to fully loosen the ball, adjust the camera as needed and re-tighten. This does not create any significant torque on the plate, and it has never loosened on me. I can see how people who keep their ballhead in the sweet spot may have problems.
  17. Ah, I see, thanks.

    One other area I found the anti-twist flange(s) on the plate useful is for the times when I sling the tripod over my shoulder with the camera still on it. With a fairly heavy lens on it (not heavy enough to warrant a tripod collar).

    An old plate I had sometimes loosened when I did that. Not enough to make it fall off, fortunately -- there was enough thread depth on the screw to prevent that, so long as I noticed it. Maybe I should have tried the temporary LocTite to see if that would have withstood the torque.

    P.S. I didn't like using a head under tension until I started using a Markins (Q3 in this case). Very smooth, even for very tiny movements under tension. Most heads I've tried (GV2, BH-1, BH-55) tend to get "jerky" when under enough tension to prevent drift in a range of angles. They also had disproportionate resistance when trying to "twist" the ball when under tension. The Markins just slides into position, with a damped, somewhat spongy feeling. Very impressive.
  18. Excellent test , thanks , it looks like they have fixed their crazy metering after all ! maybe I should get one now !
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