I own a Nikon D5200 and I use the 18-55 kit lens. I always use the Manual Mode. I was recently messing around with my camera. I was trying to take photos of a lit lamp in darkness.

As part of the experiment, I clicked photos with the lens held in front of the shutter (removed from the body of the camera) to give the photos a slightly macro-like look.

Now, all the images in Manual mode are underexposed. :(

  1. Why?
  2. How do I reset?!
  • images clicked in auto mode are fine or same as manual underexposed ?
    – rafal
    Aug 12, 2016 at 9:14
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    plz upload a pic and it's exif
    – rafal
    Aug 12, 2016 at 10:49
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    Do images in manual mode at the same settings appear underexposed? Sorry if this seems basic, but do you understand how to get correct exposure in manual mode?
    – mattdm
    Aug 13, 2016 at 0:57
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  • 1
    <bangs head on desk>
    – Michael C
    Aug 13, 2016 at 22:03

1 Answer 1


When Nikon lenses are disconnected from the camera body, the aperture automatically closes down to its smallest size. Unless you manually move the lens's aperture lever wider open and "jam" it at that position using gum, sticky tape, a toothpick stuck in the aperture lever slot, etc., you will always be freelensing at your lens's smallest aperture (f/22 – f/38, depending on your zoom focal length).

For instance, if you were trying to free-lens at f/4 at 55mm, you were 6.5 stops underexposed from what you thought you were using. Even at the +5 exposure compensation, you were still 1.5 stops underexposed.

Thus your only exposure controls in camera when freelensing are shutter speed and ISO.

  • that is good info but i do not see an answer to the question. If i understand the question, the camera is now not functioning properly in manual with the lens attached. "why and how do i reset"
    – Alaska Man
    Aug 13, 2016 at 17:39
  • @Alaskaman I guess I misunderstood the question. I thought OP was referring to underexposure while freelensing.
    – scottbb
    Aug 13, 2016 at 18:00

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