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Thread: What is Metering and How Do I Meter?

  1. #1
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    Default What is Metering and How Do I Meter?

    by David Tong


    Figure 1: A Pretty Average Scene

    After writing my previous articles discussing exposure (here and here), I received a couple of emails asking me "what is metering and how do I use it?", and it made me realize that while the concept is simple, it's not as easy to understand with all the jargon that goes with explaining what metering is.

    Virtually all 35mm cameras that were sold after 1980's have built-in meters. The built-in meter helps the user and/or the camera's sensor to determine what exposure settings (shutter speed and aperture) the camera should use to obtain a "proper" exposure. As mentioned in my previous article, the camera's meter can be pretty accurate for "average" scenes where the bright, middle, and dark shades of the scene are pretty well distributed, like the image above.

    The image has bright areas (clouds, sky, and the light building), a lot of mid-tone (the front building, the road, the trees), and ample dark areas (the areas under the elevated highway). That is a pretty average scene, and most of our photos do fall under such lighting conditions, which makes sense to rely on automatic metering.

    Continue reading the article
    Last edited by theveed; 15th October 2008 at 05:13 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: What is Metering and How Do I Meter?

    You may want to update the link as it is wrong.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: What is Metering and How Do I Meter?

    thanks... an extra "http" snuck in there somehow :P

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    Member coollinux's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is Metering and How Do I Meter?

    Quote Originally Posted by theveed View Post
    by David Tong


    Figure 1: A Pretty Average Scene

    After writing my previous articles discussing exposure (here and here), I received a couple of emails asking me "what is metering and how do I use it?", and it made me realize that while the concept is simple, it's not as easy to understand with all the jargon that goes with explaining what metering is.

    Virtually all 35mm cameras that were sold after 1980's have built-in meters. The built-in meter helps the user and/or the camera's sensor to determine what exposure settings (shutter speed and aperture) the camera should use to obtain a "proper" exposure. As mentioned in my previous article, the camera's meter can be pretty accurate for "average" scenes where the bright, middle, and dark shades of the scene are pretty well distributed, like the image above.

    The image has bright areas (clouds, sky, and the light building), a lot of mid-tone (the front building, the road, the trees), and ample dark areas (the areas under the elevated highway). That is a pretty average scene, and most of our photos do fall under such lighting conditions, which makes sense to rely on automatic metering.

    Continue reading the article
    I am really newbie to this metering and appreciate your article. Cheers

  5. #5

    Default Re: What is Metering and How Do I Meter?

    This is a good article.
    I corrected the link: http://reviews.davidleetong.com/?p=807

  6. #6

    Default Re: What is Metering and How Do I Meter?

    Thanks for posting this article. A sure good read

  7. #7

    Default Re: What is Metering and How Do I Meter?

    metering is really tough to appreciate simply by reading. need to try it out urself.

  8. #8

    Default Re: What is Metering and How Do I Meter?

    Thanks for the write-up. I practiced the scenarios posted and made me understand metering a lot better on my P&S camera.

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