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I have set my D850 to matrix metering and I shoot RAW only. When I review my images on the screen they look good in terms of exposure. I dont always check the histogram. However when I look at the images in Lightroom they appear to be very dark. I mostly shoot in manual mode with Auto ISO.

enter image description here

I noticed that this is not the case with every image. It seems that images that are taken in the shade are always underexposed while images in bright sunshine come out well exposed. There is an option in the menu (b7) to always adjust the exposure when using matrix metering but this didnt work very well because I ended up getting more overexposed images too. Do you have any recommendations on this? I dont see the advantage of shooting at low ISOs when I need to adjust the exposure up to +2 in Lightroom anyway.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Have you mistakenly set a non-zero Exposure Compensation value? \$\endgroup\$
    – twalberg
    Commented Jun 29, 2023 at 14:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ The histogram (and therefore the exposure) looks fine to me. \$\endgroup\$
    – MrUpsidown
    Commented Jun 29, 2023 at 14:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ I have not mistakenly changed the exposure compensation. That would be an obvious mistake. \$\endgroup\$
    – Arji
    Commented Jun 29, 2023 at 14:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ Have you inspected your aperture lever linkage inside the camera's light box to be sure it is not bent? Does the lens' aperture open up as wide when mounted on the camera as it does if you press the aperture lever on the lens when the lens is not mounted to a camera? \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Commented Jun 30, 2023 at 7:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ The lens I used has an electronic aperture \$\endgroup\$
    – Arji
    Commented Jun 30, 2023 at 13:02

3 Answers 3

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Nikon's matrix metering is not just basic "overall" metering... it uses a database of thousands of images to try to determine what kind of scene it is and what the exposure should be (Nikon's "Intelligent Scene Recognition System").

And that image does not look significantly underexposed to me... i.e. it is a scene with overall darker tones and the metering wasn't fooled by that.

There is no advantage to using a lower ISO and recovering if there is no risk of clipping highlights; but with the D850 there isn't really any significant penalty either.

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I can't be 100% sure because I use neither LR or D850 but:

D850 overreports the ISO to preserve more highlights at the cost of lower quality of shadows (the extent depends on exposure settings). That means that raw image is darker than the preview which camera generates. If JPEG preview is brighter then this is the case.
enter image description here

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A little late, but some reduce display brightness to -2 to compensate, since they feel display is too bright in comparison to what is seen on monitor.

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