edited February 2017 Posted in » Nikon D3100 Forum
I just recently noticed that on my display the dotts (+..........0..........-) is blinking and and will only stay on the negative side. I can't adjust, even in A mode or M mode, and it's staying all the way to the negative side. I also cannot adjust aperture less than f/5.6. I am very new to this and never noticed this before I started watching tutorials.


  • The meter display will flash when the exposure is out of range of the camera's metering system. It will still operate, but the light is above or below the range in which the camera's meter is meant to be accurate. The meter works well outside its optimum range, though, and chances are it will be fine, flashing or not.

    In A mode, when the light value is within the meter's range, you should see no meter in the viewfinder or the rear LCD display unless you've got the exposure compensation on.

    You'll also likely get a flashing "flash" indicator advising you to use the flash.

    Of course if you're on a tripod shooting dark scenes both these things are simply annoyances.

    If your meter is on the negative side you're going to have to increase exposure either by slowing down the shutter speed or raising ISO, or both, until the meter returns to the center.

    If by "less than" you mean a smaller number, remember that this is a matter of the lens itself. The kit zoom, for example, has a maximum of 3.5 at the wide end and a maximum of 5.6 at the long end. You can't go wider. Every lens has its own available apertures. A tutorial might recommend an aperture you simply cannot get.

    If you mean you want a smaller aperture (bigger number) in M mode, you push the exposure compensation button down while rotating the rear wheel to adjust aperture. In A mode the wheel alone does it. In S mode the wheel does shutter speed, and in P mode the wheel selects one of the combinations of shutter speed and aperture that match the exposure value.

    If you find you've lost track of your settings and don't know where to go back to, one thing you can do is put the camera on "P" mode. In this mode the camera will set a combination of shutter speed and aperture that, flashing or not, gives you an exposure. You can see what it chose, and use that as a starting point for other modes.
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