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Thread: Metering question

  1. #1

    Default Metering question

    Hi, have something to ask on metering. I have been reading Bryan Peterson's Understanding Exposure and he takes about using metering where for example,

    if shooting a sunset, he meters the sky around the sun and depending on the camera's exposure readings, he adjusts the shutter speed accordingly until the exposure reading is 0. Then recompose and shoot.

    1. This should mean it can only be done in Manual mode as for example in Aperture mode, the shutter speed would have been determined by the camera's metering. so if we do spot metering and meter the sky around the sun in Aperture mode, all we have to do is recompose and shoot? Then if we find that shooting in this way still over or underexpose, then we use the EV + or -?

    2. The above example seems to apply more for spot and center weighted metering. I was wondering if it will work for matrix metering as matrix takes into acount the exposure of the whole frame. So even if you meter the sky around the sun, everything else in the frame would also be taken into consideration. So does that mean if I use matrix metering for shooting sunrise and sunset, I dont need to meter at all cos the matrix would balance out all the different exposure settings? All I have to do is just focus and shoot?

    Or lets put it in another way, if I use matrix metering in Aperture mode to meter the sky around the sun, would the exposure readings still be accurate for me to adjust the shutter speed according so that the exposure readings will show 0?

    3. By the way, how does the d50 indicate whether the exposure readins are right anot? Besides the histogram , is there like a scale with -, 0 and + where you adjust the shutter spped until it should point at 0? Askign this cos I dont own a DSLR yet but getting within the next few days, so doing reading up now.

  2. #2
    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: Metering question

    Quote Originally Posted by boroangel
    Hi, have something to ask on metering. I have been reading Bryan Peterson's Understanding Exposure and he takes about using metering where for example,

    if shooting a sunset, he meters the sky around the sun and depending on the camera's exposure readings, he adjusts the shutter speed accordingly until the exposure reading is 0. Then recompose and shoot.

    1. This should mean it can only be done in Manual mode as for example in Aperture mode, the shutter speed would have been determined by the camera's metering. so if we do spot metering and meter the sky around the sun in Aperture mode, all we have to do is recompose and shoot? Then if we find that shooting in this way still over or underexpose, then we use the EV + or -?

    2. The above example seems to apply more for spot and center weighted metering. I was wondering if it will work for matrix metering as matrix takes into acount the exposure of the whole frame. So even if you meter the sky around the sun, everything else in the frame would also be taken into consideration. So does that mean if I use matrix metering for shooting sunrise and sunset, I dont need to meter at all cos the matrix would balance out all the different exposure settings? All I have to do is just focus and shoot?

    Or lets put it in another way, if I use matrix metering in Aperture mode to meter the sky around the sun, would the exposure readings still be accurate for me to adjust the shutter speed according so that the exposure readings will show 0?

    3. By the way, how does the d50 indicate whether the exposure readins are right anot? Besides the histogram , is there like a scale with -, 0 and + where you adjust the shutter spped until it should point at 0? Askign this cos I dont own a DSLR yet but getting within the next few days, so doing reading up now.

    You can choose to use Aperture mode or Manual mode, it's up to you. Generally, I feel that most landscape shooters would prefer to have a longer depth of field and as such would choose a smaller aperture of say f22 onwards. And the shutter speed will correspond accordingly at the time of the metering (i.e. the light condition then) The advantage the manual mode has is that you can meter a certain spot and then re-compose your shot without fearing that the shutter speed would change when you shift focus (i.e. to a brighter or darker spot). Also it allows you to compensate for light condition changes by a quick shift of either shutter speed or aperture when you find your shot under-exposed or over-exposed. You can also change by using the EV compensation.

    The different metering types help in different situations and you should decide to choose the one which will suit the situation accordingly. A single condition can have up to 3 different metering readings when you meter with the 3 different metering modes. If you have a slightly darker subject in the picture, you may wish to use spot metering or centre-balanced metering on that subject and then try a shot or 2. If you use matrix metering in such a situation, you may only get a dark subject and properly exposed sky. Similarly, you can also end up with a properly exposed subject and blown-out sky. So you have to find the balance. With Aperture mode, the shutter speed changes according to the light condition and once you shift the focus, the speed will change accordingly. (try it and you will understand more)

    As with most of the SLRs (D or film), the metering should be accurate when you get the meter to reach the 0 mark. But it all depends on the condition and whether you are metering the right area or not.


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    Michael Lim
    My Flickr Site

  3. #3

    Default Re: Metering question

    you can always use EV lock if you're gonna recompose

  4. #4
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Metering question

    You can use Aperture mode to take reading from the area, use AE lock to lock the exposure, recompose you framing and shoot. Don't use exposure compensation, unless you know how much stops to compensate.

    matrix metering is usable, since it include more areas, you can zoom in, take metering of the desire area, lock the exposure if you use A or P mode, zoom out and recompose. shoot.



    This is The Nikon D50 viewfinder, as you can see the metering indication is represent by +...0...-, you adjust the reading till the bar station at the 0 for correct exposure.

    Since you are shooting sunrise, sunset, it will be easier to use manual mode, you don't have to worry the metering will change when you recompose the framing, like shooting with different kinds of composition shots, and when you check on the LCD, can just dial the aperture or speed dial for increasing or decreasing exposure too achieve what you want the shots to be.

    Hope this helps.
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  5. #5

    Default Re: Metering question

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights
    You can use Aperture mode to take reading from the area, use AE lock to lock the exposure, recompose you framing and shoot. Don't use exposure compensation, unless you know how much stops to compensate.

    matrix metering is usable, since it include more areas, you can zoom in, take metering of the desire area, lock the exposure if you use A or P mode, zoom out and recompose. shoot.



    This is The Nikon D50 viewfinder, as you can see the metering indication is represent by +...0...-, you adjust the reading till the bar station at the 0 for correct exposure.

    Since you are shooting sunrise, sunset, it will be easier to use manual mode, you don't have to worry the metering will change when you recompose the framing, like shooting with different kinds of composition shots, and when you check on the LCD, can just dial the aperture or speed dial for increasing or decreasing exposure too achieve what you want the shots to be.

    Hope this helps.
    Thanks for the explanation. So for Manual mode, when shooting sunrise and sunrise, which would be more accurate? Spot or matrix cos I read something about how its more difficult to compensate correction in terms of matrix as matrix registers a lot of different shades.

  6. #6
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Metering question

    Interesting... which metering method is more accurate?

    As long you undestand the differents of all metering methods, and know where or which areas to take the metering reading from, like the book "Understanding Exposure" says, all metering methods is accurate.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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  7. #7

    Default Re: Metering question

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights
    Interesting... which metering method is more accurate?

    As long you undestand the differents of all metering methods, and know where or which areas to take the metering reading from, like the book "Understanding Exposure" says, all metering methods is accurate.
    Hmm...so in his book , which type of metering did Bryan Peterson use?

    And for a newbie like me, if I am going on a trip soon would it be safer if I stick to Aperture mode and matrix metering first?
    Last edited by boroangel; 29th June 2006 at 10:40 AM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Metering question

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights
    Interesting... which metering method is more accurate?

    As long you undestand the differents of all metering methods, and know where or which areas to take the metering reading from, like the book "Understanding Exposure" says, all metering methods is accurate.

    Agree.

    All metering is accurate for its intended purpose.

    One just have to understand what mode of meerting is all about.

    The problem is not the metering, but expecting the camera to do magic when the photographer do not understand what the intended purpose of that metering system.

  9. #9
    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: Metering question

    Quote Originally Posted by boroangel
    Hmm...so in his book , which type of metering did Bryan Peterson use?

    And for a newbie like me, if I am going on a trip soon would it be safer if I stick to Aperture mode and matrix metering first?
    There is no safe mode to choose from. Matrix metering will allow for a generalised scene capture but certain parts may be over-exposed or under-exposed if there are certain dark areas or very bright areas in the scene.

    What I would suggest is that you practise first before the trip and figure out how to handle certain light conditions and metering modes before you depart.
    Michael Lim
    My Flickr Site

  10. #10
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Metering question

    Quote Originally Posted by boroangel
    Hmm...so in his book , which type of metering did Bryan Peterson use?

    And for a newbie like me, if I am going on a trip soon would it be safer if I stick to Aperture mode and matrix metering first?
    Any general scene will be fine with matrix metering.

    But if I use Aperture mode and and matrix metering, I would avoid metering the extreme highlights and shadows part of the scene or zoom in to meter the mid tone areas, use AE lock and recompose, make exposure. (if the scene have great contrast of lights and shadows).

    You have a LCD to check you exposure, you can utilize it if you are unsure about your exposure.

    As like what student said, One just have to understand what mode of metering is all about.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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  11. #11

    Default Re: Metering question

    Hi,

    I'm very new to photography - I've found the matrix best.

    I'm learning to use the spot, AE lock on middle grey and recompose - which is very successful when I get it right

    The Nikon tends to underexpose which helps.

    Best of all though is using RAW - you can change the exposure if you didn't get it right the first time.

    Cheating? May be, but it's saved a lot of my photos

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  12. #12

    Default Re: Metering question

    Well seems like you're getting all the information that you're asking for.
    But if you forget everything while you're taking pictures, just remember one thing -

    In digital photography, there is more details hidden in an underexposed image, than one that is overexposed. You can always use a image editing software to bring out the details from the shadows post-production. But if everything is overexposed all you have is bright white.

    In the end just remember to have fun

  13. #13

    Default Re: Metering question

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlight
    Any general scene will be fine with matrix metering.

    But if I use Aperture mode and and matrix metering, I would avoid metering the extreme highlights and shadows part of the scene or zoom in to meter the mid tone areas, use AE lock and recompose, make exposure. (if the scene have great contrast of lights and shadows).

    You have a LCD to check you exposure, you can utilize it if you are unsure about your exposure.

    As like what student said, One just have to understand what mode of metering is all about.
    just one doubt, since matrix metering mode set exposure based on variety of information from all areas of the frame, and user doesn't have choice to meter a particular subject unlike in the spot & centre-weight metering mode, how do i meter the mid tone areas ? and ..... correct me if I'm wrong, I thought AE lock in matrix metering is not as effective as in spot & centre-weight metering mode.

    when shooting sunrise, sunset, and since spot & centre-metering cannot be selected in manual mode, am i right to say that i have to rely on my LCD to make necessary adjustment.
    Last edited by Chew Siow Ming; 1st July 2006 at 09:39 AM.

  14. #14
    Senior Member jnet6's Avatar
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    Default Re: Metering question

    For me, i prefer to go fully manual.
    but is hard for me to explain here in words as i may go out of topic...
    find a day to sit down and chit chat about it, do some hands on to understand better.

  15. #15
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Metering question

    Quote Originally Posted by Chew Siow Ming
    just one doubt, since matrix metering mode set exposure based on variety of information from all areas of the frame, and user doesn't have choice to meter a particular subject unlike in the spot & centre-weight metering mode, how do i meter the mid tone areas ? and ..... correct me if I'm wrong, I thought AE lock in matrix metering is not as effective as in spot & centre-weight metering mode.

    when shooting sunrise, sunset, and since spot & centre-metering cannot be selected in manual mode, am i right to say that i have to rely on my LCD to make necessary adjustment.
    If your camera is on matrix metering mode, and you want to metering mid tone, you can zoom in, fill the frame with mid tone and take the reading, or switch to center weight or spot metering mode.

    AE lock is just lock the metering value for A, S or P mode. regardless what metering mode you are on.

    At times, you may prefer to expose the image to the way you want it to be, be it brighter or darker, the metering reading is just a suggestion of exposure value to you.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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