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Thread: Spot Metering

  1. #1
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    Question Spot Metering

    Since Spot Metering is about metering that tiny spot, i wonder if the rest of the pic will become blur?

    if taking those 2 or 3 persons pic which occupy about 60% of the photo, better to use center-weighted?

  2. #2

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    Actually, to meter is to measure the intensity of light in a particular spot/area. It is not too measure distance. Don't worry, many people have this misconception too when they first started out, myself included.

    Spot metering takes it's reading from a very small area (USUALLY central circular spot you see on the viewfinder though some cameras have non-circular spot metering area). Spot metering is useful when coupled with some basic understanding of the Zone System. You can find a simplified version here

    Centre Weighted Average metering takes its light reading from the entire viewable area but place more weight on the centre region and average out.

    Hope this clears your doubts.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul_Yeo
    Since Spot Metering is about metering that tiny spot, i wonder if the rest of the pic will become blur?

    if taking those 2 or 3 persons pic which occupy about 60% of the photo, better to use center-weighted?

    a. It would not .... spot metering measure the lighting on a particular spot more accurately. For example, during a wedding shot, when there is a group photo, the main focus should on on the bride or the groom. If you do center-weighted or elevaluted, chances are you wil have a slight higher light reading, taking into consideration the bride will most probably wear white.

    However, if you spot onto the bride's or groom's face or someplace with more netural reflection (non-black or white), chances are the reading will be more accurate.

    BTW, spot metering has almost nothing to do with focusing.

  4. #4

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    Hi Paul_Yeo,

    Think CaeSiuM and blurblock has address some of your concern about spot metering.

    After reading your post... I think you ask this question becos your concern is during the measurement, the focusing also change. That is why you are worried that it might make your photo OOF.

    One way you can do is to do a spot metering first. Note down the setting. then switch to manual mode. input the setting you got with spot metering. the rest is to re-compose and shoot with those setting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jimtong
    One way you can do is to do a spot metering first. Note down the setting. then switch to manual mode. input the setting you got with spot metering. the rest is to re-compose and shoot with those setting.
    On the D70, use the AF-L/AE-L lock after doing your spot metering to keep the exposure & fire.

  6. #6
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    Default A simplified answer...

    From your question, can guess that you're confused liao.

    Metering is about 'exposure' (ie bright/dark).
    Wrong metering does not make your subject 'blur', but only either too dark or too bright.

    When you press shutter in AUTO mode, 'basically' 2 things happen in your cam.
    1. it measures the light entering and determine the exposure for you.
    2. it focuses on your subject.

    So only focused on wrong subject (or handsake) will cause your intended subject to be 'blur'.

    When the cam does 'metering', few possible options are available:

    - average (take the overall average reading of light from the whole frame)
    - spot (only sample on the amount of light where your 'bull-eye' is aimed.
    - centre weighted (combination of the above 2)
    - matrix (or similar term. Different from manufacturer to manufacturer, cam to cam)


    So for SPOT metering which you're asking, it'll ignore other areas of the framed pic, whether they're over (too bright) or under (too dark) exposured.


    Many many more to it, above is just a very simple explanation to jump-start.

  7. #7
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    Yup, all the others here are correct.

    Your choice of metering has nothing to do with your focussing. You can choose AF and spotmeter. You can choose MF and use centre-weighted metre. Metering is all about the exposure. Focussing is just.. focussing.

    Note that centreweighted and spot will meter to give you a medium gray tone. The camera will try to give you an exposure value which renders the object you are metering on a medium gray (this is just the way cameras and meters are calibrated). Unless you are shooting at grey concrete slabs all day, you need to compensate to give you the correct tone instead of a medium gray. Try googling ansel adams zone system to find more information on the subject.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by espn
    On the D70, use the AF-L/AE-L lock after doing your spot metering to keep the exposure & fire.
    The alternative is to shoot in manual mode and just read off your exposure meter and shoot.

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    if i use Manual Mode, does spot metering matters?

    or Manual Mode totally ignore the spot metering setting?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul_Yeo
    if i use Manual Mode, does spot metering matters?

    or Manual Mode totally ignore the spot metering setting?
    Your meter matters regardless of the mode you are shooting. If you shoot in auto, the meter is still important. Without the meter, you will be unable to take any photos.

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    Quote Originally Posted by coke21
    Your meter matters regardless of the mode you are shooting. If you shoot in auto, the meter is still important. Without the meter, you will be unable to take any photos.
    Can still take pictures lah without meter. That's what the Sunny 16 rule is for....

    Anyway, Paul_Yeo, as coke21 has said, your meter is your meter... it has nothing to do with what mode you are shooting in, or whether your camera is in AF or MF mode. Your camera meter just gives you a suggested exposure for the picture. It isn't tied to manual or Tv or P/A/S mode etc. However, using manual mode when doing spot metering will allow you to compensate far more easily than when in P/A/S/Tv/Av mode etc.

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    thats what i like about M bcos sometimes those tv or av mode suggested some setting which i find i dun like loh...

    but everytime i use M, i will have to take a few shoots and see the LCD and then know if it is over or underX.

    i admit i am still not familiar with the exposure numbers yet! i know someone who by looking at the hall lighting can roughly guess if it needs shutter60 F5.6 or higher...

    i usu. set the setting, take a shoot and see the LCD, then adjust the numbers again. think this is slow!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul_Yeo
    thats what i like about M bcos sometimes those tv or av mode suggested some setting which i find i dun like loh...

    but everytime i use M, i will have to take a few shoots and see the LCD and then know if it is over or underX.

    i admit i am still not familiar with the exposure numbers yet! i know someone who by looking at the hall lighting can roughly guess if it needs shutter60 F5.6 or higher...

    i usu. set the setting, take a shoot and see the LCD, then adjust the numbers again. think this is slow!
    Sorry if this sounds rude, but you do know how to centre your meter reading right? You cannot suka-suka just set whatever aperture/shutterspeed you like and expect to get good pictures...

    Does your camera has a metering bar or something which shows you how far off you are from the suggested reading? If so, when in matrix or evaluative mode, just centre your meter at 0 do get the exposure suggested by the camera's algorithm. Matrix/Evaluative meter readings are normally compensated for already by the camera to take account of colour (only in Nikon 1005 RGB meter), or type of scene etc, so don't compensate yourself unless you know that your camera's meter is consistently underexposing or overexposing in certain situations.

    Centreweighted/spot readings are uncompensated in any way. Taking pictures at the suggested spot/centre value gives you a medium gray tone for the subject you metered. It's here where compensation is needed and necessarily.

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    Quote Originally Posted by justarius
    Sorry if this sounds rude, but you do know how to centre your meter reading right? You cannot suka-suka just set whatever aperture/shutterspeed you like and expect to get good pictures...

    Does your camera has a metering bar or something which shows you how far off you are from the suggested reading? If so, when in matrix or evaluative mode, just centre your meter at 0 do get the exposure suggested by the camera's algorithm. Matrix/Evaluative meter readings are normally compensated for already by the camera to take account of colour (only in Nikon 1005 RGB meter), or type of scene etc, so don't compensate yourself unless you know that your camera's meter is consistently underexposing or overexposing in certain situations.

    Centreweighted/spot readings are uncompensated in any way. Taking pictures at the suggested spot/centre value gives you a medium gray tone for the subject you metered. It's here where compensation is needed and necessarily.
    metering bar? I am using Nikon D70, it shld have a metering bar right? where's it found?

    also, when i am using M mode, where can i see the suggested aperture/shutter numbers

    no rude lah. I am a newbie and newbie expect lots of teacing from the others. Thus, it is better for you to be "rude" than i make lots of mistake later right?

  15. #15
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    Default some inputs...in line with metering

    Hiee guys & gals....

    I kinda wrote some webstuff for some CS members sometime back on the topic of the spot metering......maybe it may benefit some of you .....

    here it is...http://www.md-sulhan.com/spotmeter.html


    rgds,
    sulhan
    Last edited by sulhan; 4th May 2004 at 04:53 PM.

  16. #16

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    Paul_Yeo

    I suggest you should read your manual .. and then follow by a trip to the library to read more

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul_Yeo
    metering bar? I am using Nikon D70, it shld have a metering bar right? where's it found?

    also, when i am using M mode, where can i see the suggested aperture/shutter numbers

    no rude lah. I am a newbie and newbie expect lots of teacing from the others. Thus, it is better for you to be "rude" than i make lots of mistake later right?
    Glad that you've taken no offence

    Anyway, the metering bar and the shutter speed, f-stop numbers are all at the bottom of the viewfinder. Turn on your camera, and look through the viewfinder while half-pressing the shutter release. You should see the shutter speed info, aperture info, together with a metering bar going from
    -2..-1..0..+1..+2

    Thats the metering bar. Its there in ALL modes. To centre the thing, just change your f-stop or shutterspeed until the indicator goes to 0 to get the correct exposure in matrix metering mode.

  18. #18
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    Cool

    I find the user-manual too brief.

    OK, will go library

    in the mean time, can ask you experts

    Thanks!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by justarius
    Glad that you've taken no offence

    Anyway, the metering bar and the shutter speed, f-stop numbers are all at the bottom of the viewfinder. Turn on your camera, and look through the viewfinder while half-pressing the shutter release. You should see the shutter speed info, aperture info, together with a metering bar going from
    -2..-1..0..+1..+2

    Thats the metering bar. Its there in ALL modes. To centre the thing, just change your f-stop or shutterspeed until the indicator goes to 0 to get the correct exposure in matrix metering mode.
    Actually the metering bar is only there for M and A modes if you have a flash attached. At least thats for the D100.

  20. #20
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    from your recommended website reading,

    i think Spot Metering may not be suitable for event photography whereby i need to react fast right?

    spot metering seems to need all the "messing around" with the settings...

    in event photography, i would'nt have time to tweak this settings.

    probably, i will have to test a few shots, set the settings and then go and shoot liao.

    and during the event, i will move around and thus, dun think got time to do all this.

    so how?

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