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Author Topic: Issues with Camera  (Read 571 times)

marvpelkey

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Issues with Camera
« on: February 20, 2021, 04:30:21 pm »

Helloe,

I have a Nikon D810 that, although older, has less than 18 thousand actuations. Over the years, most of the time it has sat on the shelf.

Yesterday, while doing some macro stuff, with the aperture as wide as it would go (around 4.2), I began to see multiple horizontal black lines across the screen while in Live View.

Today, while doing further macro, the lines returned and began getting thicker. The meter then started acting up and moving back and forth, even though the spot meter was fixed at a certain location (secured to a tripod) of medium tonality. Then the captured  images started going drastically over and under exposed, even though I would move the meter only one or two thirds in either direction. And some of the images came out with the upper half all black, while the bottom half was properly exposed.

In an attempt to figure out what was going on, I focused at a distance out the window, both in and out of  Live View, as well as change the aperture to f11 and above. While doing the distance focusing, Live View and smaller aperture, the above issues did not re-occur, so it appears this only happens while doing macro work, with larger apertures and Live View.

When I mentioned it to the wife, she suggested possible battery issues, which I will admit did not even occur to me, but sounds like a reasonable suggestion to start. The battery in the camera at the time was just charged and shows full power (on camera LCD).

I have two OEM batteries which were acquired at the same time as the camera. I trade them back and forth on a regular basis. Unfortunately, I have lent the second battery to a friend, so can't trade them out at the moment (couple weeks), to see if this corrects the issue.

So my questions - Is this likely associated to a dying battery? And if so, why would it not occur with the same battery, while doing distance focusing, smaller aperture and Live View? And how can I determine the status of the battery.

Any other helpful comments/suggestions much appreciated.

Marv
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mcbroomf

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Re: Issues with Camera
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2021, 05:10:47 pm »

It almost sounds like have some artificial light on your macro subjects that are interfering with the exposure (ie banding as your exposure is too short).  This would explain why all was OK when you pointed it out of the window.

Check to make sure you have no house lights on (LED etc) and are working only with window light.  Or use long exposures.
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degrub

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Re: Issues with Camera
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2021, 05:57:44 pm »

extended live view might cause the sensor to get warmer ?
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marvpelkey

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Re: Issues with Camera
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2021, 08:18:42 pm »

Thanks very much for the responses. And a bit of an update.

I was able to retrieve my other battery and switched them. The issue continued, so unlikely it is battery related (too bad, that was likely the cheapest solve).

The subject I was shooting is a glass item, on a white surface, which is back and side lit by a small flashlight. So high contrast, with dark shadows and bright highlights. The overhead (led I believe) room light is on, with a large window adjacent to the table top setup.

I always use spot metering and mirror up for other things, so just carried on with that setup. The exposures were anywhere from 1/8th to 1/200th of a second, depending on the positioning of the light.

I found that, not only did the craziness stop if I pointed the camera out the window, but I also pointed it away from the setup, towards a fairly middle greyish, no contrast, area of the table (under the same overhead lighting), and the craziness also stopped. I could literally move the camera to and fro across the table and the issue (lcd lines) would appear and disappear immediately.

So, my layman's logic suggests this issue is somehow related to the high contrasty scene?? Funny thing, though, I have shot similar tabletop stuff many times before with no issues whatsoever. I don't think it is a heat problem as the craziness starts almost immediately after the camera is turned on and pointed towards the scene. And I never feel the camera getting hot.

Mcbroomf,

Trying to understand your comments. Not sure how artificial light causes this issue. I have shot multiple times with the same setup (different subjects) in the past and encountered no issues. The banding is not present in the image (once captured), it is perfectly straight horizontal lines across the LCD (about 10 or so, spaced evenly apart, then they get quite a bit thicker and fewer in numbers. They also flicker). And some of the images came out with the entire upper half completely dark, while the lower half is properly exposed and captured, like there is a dividing line across the image.

Also what do you mean by "exposure is too short" and "or use long exposures" and how does that solve the issue you believe this may be?

Thanks again,

Marv

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degrub

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Re: Issues with Camera
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2021, 09:10:38 pm »

Is the camera “held” the same way when this occurs and when it does not ?

Just wondering if the body is stressed in some way that affects the lcd display or its connections ?
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mcbroomf

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Re: Issues with Camera
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2021, 08:55:46 am »

Thanks very much for the responses. And a bit of an update.

I was able to retrieve my other battery and switched them. The issue continued, so unlikely it is battery related (too bad, that was likely the cheapest solve).

The subject I was shooting is a glass item, on a white surface, which is back and side lit by a small flashlight. So high contrast, with dark shadows and bright highlights. The overhead (led I believe) room light is on, with a large window adjacent to the table top setup.

I always use spot metering and mirror up for other things, so just carried on with that setup. The exposures were anywhere from 1/8th to 1/200th of a second, depending on the positioning of the light.

I found that, not only did the craziness stop if I pointed the camera out the window, but I also pointed it away from the setup, towards a fairly middle greyish, no contrast, area of the table (under the same overhead lighting), and the craziness also stopped. I could literally move the camera to and fro across the table and the issue (lcd lines) would appear and disappear immediately.

So, my layman's logic suggests this issue is somehow related to the high contrasty scene?? Funny thing, though, I have shot similar tabletop stuff many times before with no issues whatsoever. I don't think it is a heat problem as the craziness starts almost immediately after the camera is turned on and pointed towards the scene. And I never feel the camera getting hot.

Mcbroomf,

Trying to understand your comments. Not sure how artificial light causes this issue. I have shot multiple times with the same setup (different subjects) in the past and encountered no issues. The banding is not present in the image (once captured), it is perfectly straight horizontal lines across the LCD (about 10 or so, spaced evenly apart, then they get quite a bit thicker and fewer in numbers. They also flicker). And some of the images came out with the entire upper half completely dark, while the lower half is properly exposed and captured, like there is a dividing line across the image.

Also what do you mean by "exposure is too short" and "or use long exposures" and how does that solve the issue you believe this may be?

Thanks again,

Marv

What you are seeing is simply banding due to the exposure times and the use of an LED.  In the LCD it's an interaction between the frequency of the LED light and the frequency of the LCD refresh. 

I don't recall if the Nikon D810 has different LCD refresh rates as an option in the menu.  Some EVFs do on mirrorless cameras.  I see the same issue on my Sony when lightpainting but I just ignore it as long as my exposure is long enough to ensure I don't get banding on the capture (and I'm usually up in the 8 second mark).

I mentioned changing the exposure time in error, conflating what you are seeing on the LCD vs what you are seeing on a final image.  You could try a different flashlight, or perhaps 2 together to change the effective frequency of the source.  Last resort might be just to use the optical viewfinder.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2021, 09:09:01 am by mcbroomf »
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marvpelkey

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Re: Issues with Camera
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2021, 01:46:43 pm »

Thanks for the followups (and continued patience).

Degrub,

The camera is connected to a tripod head (three way pan and tilt), which is fixed (bolted) to a sturdy 3/4 inch plywood platform (homemade table top macro setup). Once pointed and aligned to a certain direction and the exposure etc is set, a cable release is used to activate. And when it is set on the subject, the spot meter is focussed on a consistent mid tone portion of the scene (in other words, not set on a sharp border between two contrasting tones). The issues happen without touching the camera - histogram jumps wildly back and forth, horizontal lines run across the LCD and subsequent exposures are all over the map, and even though there is consistent lighting from top to bottom in the scene, some images come out with the entire upper half black and the lower half properly exposed. When turned and re-set on the table (outside the lit scene), none of this occurs.

Mcbroomf,

I will try changing out the lighting and see what happens. As I am shooting a very narrow depth of focus, I find it difficult to accurately focus without use of Live View, so I don't think the OVF is an option.

Marv
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marvpelkey

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Re: Issues with Camera
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2021, 08:08:36 pm »

Bit of an update.

At Mcbroomf's suggestion, I changed the light source (to an OTT Light - florescent white). This light is no where near as bright as the light that I experienced issues while using. For the first few minutes, the issues did not reappear. However, after a bit, the Live View LCD began to go sort of wavy, although nothing compared to the initial observations. Due to other commitments, I did not have the time to wait and see what would develop, if anything.

If the issue is wholly related to the type of light source, I am surprised Nikon would not have corrected the problem prior to marketing the camera. And I'm surprised I have never experienced this over the last ten years that I have had this camera. I have used the same light source a number of times in the past, without issue.

Marv
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degrub

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Re: Issues with Camera
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2021, 10:36:11 pm »

So when you are pointing the camera at other scenes it is still mounted on the rig ?

Long shot - has the camera firmware been recently updated ?
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mcbroomf

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Re: Issues with Camera
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2021, 05:09:46 am »

Well it's interesting that you've used this in the past with no issues.  It points towards a problem with the LCD, although I think the root cause is the same (interference).  The test with the fluorescent suggests either the light or the camera is changing as one of them warms up.  As I mentioned before you could try both lights together.

the D810 manual says this about liveview on page 47

Flicker and banding visible in the monitor under fluorescent, mercury vapour, or sodium lamps can be reduced using Flicker reduction  you could look at the Flicker reduction options but I'm not sure if they affect Liveview or just the final image.
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