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Becagraphy 2:36am, 25 February 2009
Hello 'fellas',

I own a D40 for 2 years and I'm having a little problem for now.

About a week ago I took a picture of my new computer and the image was VERY dark, I was using the AUTO mode ( I also use the Aperture mode) and I don't know what is happening.

On this weekend, on saturday I was at a meeting and I took picrutes and again the images was very dark.

I tried to reset, erase my SD card, change the ISO, everything but it seems nothing changed.

I don't know if the travels I did on my vacation in the last two months could break the camera. :/

I never fell the camera on the floor!!! If this is important.

Does anyone has the same problem? Do you know how to fix? --- I'm not prepared to listen the 'bad noitce' D: ---
Jibbo 13 years ago
Check exposure compensation setting.
admin
David Van Chu 13 years ago
Also, sample image with EXIF intact would help.
unbiased wrench [deleted] 13 years ago
Use M mode, and try it.
Lam Huynh 13 years ago
Rarely the case, but the sensor could be dirty. How many click it has? Do you usw your camera frequently?
goldurndude 13 years ago
well... try thinking about where you went on vacation. did you go somewhere with alot of humidity?.... (just a thought I guess.)
ilhamka 13 years ago
dark? u mean underexposed?
-jase- 13 years ago
Can you post some example shots?
Becagraphy Posted 13 years ago. Edited by Becagraphy (member) 13 years ago
Well, I don't know but I use frequently. I went to Japan and New York, but it was too cold outside and warmer inside the hotel etc, but I didn't take the camera out the bag in several times, it could be the problem?

Here we go:

This first I took with Aperture mode without flash and no exposure compensation:
for d40 group

This I took with Automatic mode:

for d40 group

This last with aperture mode with flash and +5,0 EV:
for d40 group
Becagraphy 13 years ago
oh, thanks for answering so fast! :D
admin
kukkurovaca Posted 13 years ago. Edited by kukkurovaca (admin) 13 years ago
Okay, that's weird. Could you do a test shot where you turn flash off, but turn your exposure comp up +5 (or as high as it goes), shooting in aperture priority or shutter priority?
Robert P Baxter 13 years ago
Another possibility would be to set it to manual mode, crank it up to a 5 second exposure and with a f/8 or so, and see if the image comes out really bright or not. With nothing but a single lamp and the TV on, the image came out almost completely white. Sure, it'll come out REALLY blurry, but it'll give you an idea if it's getting light in or not.
abrasive wound [deleted] Posted 13 years ago. Edited by abrasive wound (member) 13 years ago
reset? do you some kind of filter on the lens?
ScottJ 13 years ago
Does your viewfinder look somewhat darker than usual?

My guess is that your lens' aperture servo is stuck on a very small aperture. If you can try another lens, that would either prove or disprove that theory.

I arrived at that thought because of the fairly deep field on the one image you posted that is reasonably exposed.
Robert P Baxter 13 years ago
Scott has a point. What did the camera say you were shooting at in the aperture priority mode? In that kind of light, f4.5 just isn't wide enough open. Your lens is capable of f3.5, so if you can't turn it down that low, something is indeed wrong.
allan.vallejo 13 years ago
it does looks like the aperture is stuck.
Any other lens you can check with your d40?
ScottJ 13 years ago
You might also carefully take a look at your lens' aperture lever.

Aperture Lever by ScottJ


Nikon lenses that don't have aperture rings are spring-loaded to their smallest aperture. This lever is controlled by the camera to set the aperture to the correct size prior to taking the picture.

When you look through the lens and gently push this lever with your finger, you should see the aperture open. If the lever is stuck, don't apply any force at all - your aperture blades could be stuck, and forcing will just bend them. If the aperture lever's stuck, and you can't see anything (dirt, etc.) physically blocking it, you need to have the lens looked at by a competent camera repair guy.

The camera end of the aperture mechanism could be at fault, too, of course. Swapping or checking the lens just narrows the problem down.
Becagraphy 13 years ago
hey guys! Thanks for answering and getting (a little bit) concerned. I tried what you said and the camera worked - from the answers from kukkorovaca and mr. Baxter - thanks! I also looked my lens like mr. Scott J said, but it seems normal. Although is not completely fixed, I guess. :/

So, I think i'm going to push the reset button. :X
neill mcshea Posted 12 years ago. Edited by neill mcshea (member) 12 years ago
Did any of these options work? I have exactly the same problem...
tazdpro Posted 12 years ago. Edited by tazdpro (member) 12 years ago
Any more HELP on this issue. I purchased 2 Nikon D40's 18 months ago. I am having exactly the same problem with one of the cameras. (#2)

Tried a reset. No change
Swapped lenses with other one. No change.
#2 lens on #1 camera - worked fine (not a lens issue)
#1 lens on #2 camera - same problem (definitely camera issue)
With long exposures (15")in both A and S modes look like normal shots (although blurry from movement) They did not "white out" as it should have.

Aperture lever slides easily and lens opens and closes.

Any Help would be appreciated.
tazdpro 12 years ago
Update:

Took the D40 to the camera store. Repairs $180. Not sure what they found. Will update when I pick up the camera to find out what the defective part was.
Flio191 11 years ago
I have the same problem now as well, all the solutions have failed, and it doesn't seem anything is stuck, including the aperture lever. Tazdpro, did you figure out what that defective part was?
10 months ago....... I hope that the camera is still NOT at the repair shop .......
coquus 11 years ago
Just curious if anyone found an answer to this problem. My D40 started doing the same after some weird error messages ("Error: press shutter release button again")
ronin_q 10 years ago
I'm having the same problem as well. I had the Error:press shutter release button again. I fixed that problem but for some reason the camera won't actuate the aperture correctly.

I can get properly exposed images when I use a completely manual lens like a 50mm AI-S. However as soon as I put anything at all with a CPU on the camera, it underexposes. This happens whether I'm in manual mode or not with a lens like a D or G lens. Oddly the meter and sensors still meter correctly.

Any help would be very much appreciated.
zakazpr 10 years ago
Did anyone solve the case? I have exactly the same problem as ronin_g. tried different exposing speed and lens etc but the problem is still there.
laughable seat [deleted] 10 years ago
I'm having the same problem wiht my D40. So let me explain this and see what anyone might suggest. Here are the settings.
On Manual i"m using a remote floods and strobes - I'm using a remote/wireless sensor to trigger the flashes.

Never had a problem wiht this camera but then every ohter or every 3rd picture would be totally black. I thought the light system i bought or the wireless sensor was a problem. My friend brought over his cannon and it worked fine so i new it wasn't the lights.

Then i thought well the lens must be off. So i replaced the lens and still the same problem. I have not updated firmware or anything like that. But the problem is not consistent. I don't see a pattern on which pictures are correct and which ones are pitch black.

I'm thinking about just replacing the camera - i've had it for a while but i've only been using the strobes for 6 months or so. The camera works perfectly fine with it's own flash on all the ohter settings. It's just the manual mode - and yes i've tride setting all the settings different ways and it doesn't seem to matter.

The thing that gets me is if there was a bad setting wouldn't every picture be bad - why would some be perfect.

I think Nikkon should recall these cameras if htey have that faulty of an issue.
olafsen 10 years ago
Take a picture of a uniform white wall lighted with a cold lamp (not an incandescent or warm white compact fluorescent, but a straight fluorescent tube with 3500K or more or sunlight are ok). Nothing except white wall should be visible in the picture. Generate a JPG (basic). Open it in Photoshop or equivalent and check the histogram. The middle of the peak should be about gray 18%, that means RGB 46, 46, 46. Small deviations are acceptable (40-51, it's a +-2%).
If not within that range, send to calibration or experiment with manual compensation until the value falls in the range and consider that compensation as the offset to always use as zero.
burly stove [deleted] 10 years ago


Nikkits4, your problem is almost certainly a flash trigger issue because of the fact that it is happening when using wirelessly triggered flashes. The dark shots are ones where, for some reason, either the flashes did not go off at all, or they went off out of sync with the camera. If you are shooting close to the max shutter sync speed (1/500 on a d40), it is likely that it is a sync problem. Try shooting at 1/200 or slower and I'll bet the problem goes away.
दिनेश 8 years ago
I had the similar problem with my Nikon D40 as most of the people mentioned here, my camera was taking good photos, i didn't change any camera setting but it started taking photos very dark.

I just tried changing lense twice and it worked, i had this problem before also but wasnt sure how it worked later, this problem is annoying and dont know the exact reason of the problem.
Charitie 8 years ago
Could it be the shutter? I had my old d40s shutter start to go and the photos would just not be right even when i changed the settings.
helpful flavor [deleted] 7 years ago
ditto here for the dark D40 problem.
My thinking is it may be corroded contacts? Mine was sitting in my attic for the last couple years without a lens on it (just the Nikon plastic cap) and it's possible the contacts got corroded. I will try when I get home to clean them.
lorenzo1910 7 years ago
_Brent_S:
If you are shooting close to the max shutter sync speed (1/500 on a d40), it is likely that it is a sync problem. Try shooting at 1/200 or slower and I'll bet the problem goes away.

Just for the records : the 1/500 sec sync speed is for onboard flash...not for an external one.
arthur arago 4 years ago
i found solution, remove the lens while still on, put the dial to manual, put conpensation to -5, while holding the lever of aperture opener press the shutter facing on super bright light on the sensor, it will capture white picture, its ok, put back the lens, put dial to p,put the conpensation to 0.0 and test it. then adjust to your specs, this should bring back the light in your photos...
arthur arago 4 years ago
its like resetting of exposure and sensor
ecplayer66 4 years ago
Damn, arthur arago, I was really hoping that that would work for me. Do you or anyone else have any other solutions. All things considered I really can't complain. My shutter count is over 120,000. This dark picture problem just suddenly appeared.
clpo13 3 years ago
I had the same problem with underexposed images. I tried arthur arago's solution, but it didn't work for me. I ended up taking my D40 to a repair shop and they said it looked like the metering sensor was miscalibrated, probably from a drop.
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