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Using Camera metering

puertouk 6 1.1k 17 United Kingdom
4 Oct 2012 4:39PM
Also, the camera takes reflective metering, so in reality, we should use a light meter for our shots!

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Paul Morgan 17 19.1k 6 England
4 Oct 2012 4:43PM

Quote:Spot metering should be used for taking portrait type shots

Says who Smile

Any form of metering can be your best friend or worst enemy.

The trick is in understanding how the metering works, and understanding how to get the best out of it.
Jestertheclown 9 7.7k 252 England
4 Oct 2012 4:46PM

Quote:it cannot see like the human eye, hence HDR.

If my human eyes caused me to see things in HDR, I'd be straight round to Spec-savers.
Paul Morgan 17 19.1k 6 England
4 Oct 2012 5:04PM

Quote:Also, the camera takes reflective metering, so in reality, we should use a light meter for our shots!

Most light meters can also take reflective readings, some even have a spot feature Smile
mikehit 8 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
4 Oct 2012 5:09PM

Quote:Maybe thats why we now bracket shots

People have been bracketing shots before digital and HDR came along and combining parts of the shot in the darkroom.
Paul Morgan 17 19.1k 6 England
4 Oct 2012 5:17PM
For some cameras you can now get away without some of the metering, what you see is what you get Smile
Sooty_1 8 1.5k 221 United Kingdom
4 Oct 2012 6:00PM
We have bracketed shots for a long time, long before HDR. It was to ensure the correct exposure in tricky situations with rudimentary light metering, or perhaps in situations where there wasn't time for a considered reading.
More recently it has been found useful to use two or more images combined to show more detail than one image could capture.

Our eyes do not see in HDR, nor do they have a massive dynamic range. They continually adjust depending on what the main focus of our eye is on. If you're looking at shadows, the pupil dilates to allow more light in. If it gets bright, we are momentarily dazzled until the pupil contracts....the same way you adjust your aperture (only faster!). The opposite too, in bright light, we have trouble distinguishing detail in shadow until our eyes adjust. If we just showed on a screen what our eyes could distinguish at any one time, I think some might be surprised at how limited our dynamic range is.

Modern meters are much more accurate than they used to be, but an incident reading interpreted correctly is the most accurate. My old Weston V with cone, correctly calibrated, is better than most modern cameras' integral meter unless you need a spot reading from a specific place.

arhab 6 43 2 Indonesia
4 Oct 2012 11:28PM
thank you all for the brief explaination and for the link too. it is very usefull. Smile
TrevW 8 118 United Kingdom
5 Oct 2012 7:56AM
Light sensors can be fooled. For example, taking a picture of a piece of white paper at a setting at what the light sensor tells you is the correct exposure, will produce a grey image. Personally, I sometimes use spot metering and the Zone System (you can Google that) to meter parts of a scene and put those parts into their correct Zones. Snow, wedding dresses, etc should be in around Zone 7, so over riding what the sensor is telling me is the correct exposure, I over expose by about 2 stops to ensure that the whites are in Zone 7, where they belong but not too over exposed to still retain the details. Grass, blue skies, etc should be in Zone 5. Black or dark objects I'll under expose by around 2 stops to place those in Zone 3. Not too dark but enough to still have detail. If the dynamic range exceeds the sensor, then I'll take a series of shots to capture it all and make post production decisions on what to do - tone mapping, hdr, blending.

So don't always trust the sensor, learn the Zone System Wink
ianrobinson Plus
8 1.2k 8 United Kingdom
5 Oct 2012 8:40AM
I use evaluative metering with single focus point for landscapes and portraits, personally speaking the most important part for me is the single focus point not so much the metering.
I use the same set up for wild life and birds in flight on my 7D.
In my honest opinion i see what is happening when i take an image anyway and adjust exposure accordingly.
Cameras are so smart now that a lot of the worry has been taken away to be honest.
NEWMANP 10 1.6k 574 United Kingdom
5 Oct 2012 9:43AM
Goodness me, its not that long since all we had was a written guide inside the film box and no meter on the camera at all.

spot metering is a way of metering a small area of lighting -- say somthing bright surrounded by deep shadows. a much better way is to use a hand held meter and take shadow and highlight readings and work out the best way to hold shadow and highlights. spot is also useful for things like birds in flight where there is a large area of brighter sky or reverse when the bird is white.

all meter readings whichever method, take an area and try to make it 18 percent grey. its then up to you to dial in the appropriate amount of exposure compensation. black needs minus white needs plus.

matrix metering is easily fooled if the average reading across the scene isnt 18 % grey.
centre weighting assumes the main scene is within the centre of frame (which it isnt quite often) but its often good for portraits.

also remember that when you switch to spot metering, that the metering will come from the cross lines in the sceen that will also be your point of focus. so eyes is a really bad call.

cameracat 14 8.6k 61 Norfolk Island
5 Oct 2012 11:06AM

Quote:Maybe thats why we now bracket shots to get the right exposure (HDR) because the camera cannot read it correctly, no matter if its in manual. You may know your camera inside out, but it cannot see like the human eye, hence HDR.

Good grief, Someone has been nibbling the magic mushrooms again.......Smile

Sometimes its a good idea to read up on a subject, Before running away with the idea that you understand it......Grin

Sooty ( Nick ) and others have done the job of explaining metering, Along with some good advise, All of which goes way back to film days also, Because the whole point is " Basic " camera craft, Knowledge of light, Understanding what/why and how it works, All pretty simple stuff once understood.

The notion that you can blaze away with bracketing, Create HDR software incarnations Or rely on RAW to get you out of trouble, May well work for those who can't get their heads around metering properly, BUT its all a bit hit and miss......!!!!!!!!

Bottom line, Learn how to use your camera " Effectively " ....Wink

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