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..............would be best for landscaping photography pls ? evaluative / centre weighted average, anyone have a particular fav ?
I have a 5d2.
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Spot metering exclusively for me on my D300 and my recent upgraded camera, P7100.
I always use spot - but why don't you just experiment and see what works best for you.
I use semi-spot with my 5D2 but for more challenging lighting situations, I would just meter grass or a grey object then transfer the result into the camera in manual. I almost always bracket for landscapes anyway and often process as HDR though normally to achieve a natural look.
I find spot metering the most useful, particularly if the intention is to take a couple of exposures, one for the sky, one for the land, for instance. However, evaluative or centre-weighted would work fine, particularly once you learn how your camera is likely to interpret the scene, with regards to exposure. With the ability to instantly check your exposure using the histogram, poor exposures should be a thing of the past.
well, well, well ! I really didn't expect spot metering to be the most popular answer. surprised me there guys.
Having just started using spot more often myself, I find the key thing is defining which part of the scene you want to define as 'mid tone' in the image and predicting which elements risk being blocked up or blown out when you meter off it. I spent a weekend doing just that - looking at a rock or flower or whatever and metering off it and seeing if my predictions were right. Once you get it right it helps so much when working out how much exposure compensation you want when using other metering modes.
spot mode give an interesting result. but if the light too dark, i change to evaluatif
For landscapes, my "standard" method is:
1. Ensure tripod is rock steady.
2. Remove temporarily any ND Grad filter you are thinking of using.
3. Select Manual Exposure mode and the aperture you intend to employ
4. Set shutter speed using spot metering with the meter reading from a mid-tone, mid-brightness section of the landscape (purists will say to use an 18% grey card but I have never gone down that route - I find a visual assessment of a mid-point area in the scene itself does quite well enough).
5. Compose photograph.
6. Re-insert any ND Grad desired.
7. Press the remote release (or use 2-second delay)
Works for me but others will have different preferred sequences.
Matrix (evaluative) for me 90% of the time when shooting landscapes.
People like Ansel Adams et al would use a hand held spot meter to measure the brightness range of th scene as framed in the viewfinder and then make a calculated and qualitative assessment for setting the exposure. Indeed, Joe Cornish for one still does this. It's probably the most accurate way of assessing the exposure, but in essence this is what matrix (evaluative) metering does, which is why it works for me.
The big benefit of modern digital cameras is having instant feedback in the histogram which will inform your exposure decision.
I generally make an unfiltered exposure and then check the histogram to establish whether any filtering or exposure compensation are necessary. It's an iterative process, but probably faster than spot metering each part of the scene.
It works for me, but as has been said: use whatever works for you.
I do find spot useful in certain circumstances. Waterfalls or river for instance, where one can meter the brightest part and then increase the indicated exposure by 1.5 to 2 stops. Conversely, one could also spot meter the darkest portion where you'd want to retain detail and then reduce the exposure by 1.5 to 2 stops.
Whichever you find most useful or conducive to your shooting style, the histogram is your best friend, enabling you to instantly check your decision and whether you got it right!
Spot for me, most of my subjects are wildlife, must try to use other modes and try other subjects.
Metering is probably less of an issue with digital cameras / software packages than it was with say, transparencies, where post capture correction was impossible.
I always used incident readings and where this was not possible spot readings with a Minolta Spotmeter but since going digital I have found that the multi-segment metering does a very well in getting a balanced exposure.
I still occasionally use the camera's centre weighted / spot modes, but not very often.
All the spot metering suggestions seem to be comming from landscape photographers. Which mode do you suggest for small subjects such as moths? (apologies for barging in on someone elses question)
Quote: Which mode do you suggest for small subjects such as moths?
For Moths and Butterflies I use evaluative light metering and use a single focussing point, usually this point is on the eye of the subject and I then I'll usually re-compose the image once focus is locked, it can vary depending on the circumstances, but as a general rule of thumb it's how I go about taking nearly all my single shot macro images.
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