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udor nyc's picture

D800/800e: Shadow Issue on Bottom of Pix: HELP!

Hi guys!


I have an issue with my D800e, which just happened on the day before the Grammy's. I shot two young performers (one Recording Academy member) for their promos... using my long lens (70-200, f 2.8) and started to have on the bottom or side (depending on orientation) a severe black stripe...

Some photos had that issue, some not... I had no explanation, except that the mirror housing might be defective. I didn't have that issue as bad when I switched to a different lens.

During fashion week, I had the same issue and I shot wide enough, to be able to crop the dark area on the side.

However, I also shoot real estate... and didn't have that issue at all... so... naturally, after I shot with the wide angle lens... not stripe... NADA!

Hence I thought it was the issue of my lens, especially after a colleague confirmed that some Tamron lenses are known to have that issue when they are getting too hot. But it was cold in NYC at that time, so I know it's not a heat issue.

Yesterday, I've shot real estate again... all went fine... longer exposures etc., but when I got outside, to shoot the building in bright sunshine... I had that black bar issue again.

Here's what I figured out, especially after looking at the bracketed images:

As soon as my shutter speed drops below 1/100s... e.g. 1/80s and slower... NO SHADOW... at all...

So, that is not the mirror housing, something else causes this...

Now, if I am shooting outside for instance,... I am staying at or slower than 1/80th and up my f-stops... works for handheld with flash or tripod.

Anybody has an idea?

I factory reset the camera as an attempt to resolve this, but the problem is the same...

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How was the light when you had the issue? Flickering lights can cause shadow bands on pictures, e.g. fluorescent and led lights. That would explain why the problem shows in some places and not in others.

Hi Antonio!

I had to shoot a building from the outside... We shoot bracketed and as it was bright and sunny, we start the bracketing at a much higher speed, while we have a constant aperture of f8.

When I was shooting in the building, as I usually shoot below 1/80s and going for long exposure... there was no problem... however, on the outside... you can see what happened.

At higher speeds, there is the black strip... but with each slower stop, it became less prominent.

It seems that you have a slow mirror. When you shoot fast it hasn't time to get out of the way, hence the banding in fast speeds.

Since you are having this problem intermitently, it could be caused by temperature. Your camera is not rated to operate below 32ยบ F. Older cameras would be more sensitive to temperature, due to wear.

Maybe its time to get it serviced: cleaning and lubrication.

Good Luck!