metering mode?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by namtot, May 10, 2010.

  1. namtot

    namtot TPF Noob!

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    sorry for the newb question i just bought my first DSLR 2 months ago and there are still things im figuring out. i was just wondering, if im shooting in manual mode, does the metering mode even matter? im using a canon t2i and the metering modes are evaluative, partial, spot, and center weighted. i thought the metering mode tells the camera what to expose for, but if your in manual, you set the exposure yourself by adjusting the shutter speed, aperture, and iso, is that correct?
     
  2. Bitter Jeweler

    Bitter Jeweler Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    You use the light meter to tell you what your exposure should be when shooting in manual mode.
    It guesses, and then you make adjustments for your desired result.
     
  3. white

    white TPF Noob!

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    All of this should be covered in your camera's manual.

    The metering mode matters regardless of what setting you use. The different types -- spot, center-weighted, matrix, etc -- all refer to how large or small the metering area is. For example, with spot metering it is a very small spot and if you point it at shadows your camera is going to recommend an exposure for that area.
     
  4. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I shoot almost exclusively center-weighted metering when using manual mode. That's the only system that makes any real sense to me. I don't think it makes much sense to use evaluative metering (what Nikon calls Matrix metering) when in manual mode---when the camera is allowed to "evaluate" the scene but the camera is in manual, match-diode exposure metering, the user is not really in charge of the light metering...

    Spot metering or semi-spot (depending on the manufacturer's label for it) works well if you are really experienced at knowing what,exactly, to meter off of, but it can be hard to use sometimes. With the T2i in Manual light metering mode, I would set the metering pattern to center-weighted under most conditions. In extreme situations, spot metering might be useful, but for 95% of situations, center-weighted, manual, match-diode light metering will allow you to take control of your exposures and get good results.
     
  5. namtot

    namtot TPF Noob!

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    ok, i just leave it on center weighted all the time but i dont think it even matters, i just want to know that its not secretively affecting my pictures, im just paranoid like that. i never have a problem getting a well exposed shot, i just use the histogram and check to make sure there are no blown out areas.
     
  6. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Center weight for me 99% of the time.
    I shoot in M while flash in Auto or TTL, on Nikon. On Spot, metering, I've noticed I have to compensate, +/-, to often, especially outdoors. On Matrix/Evaluate, it really sucks when I'm outdoors on a nice sunny day. Thus Center at various sizes, works well for me.
     
  7. Boomn4x4

    Boomn4x4 TPF Noob!

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    The meter dosen't do anything to your pictures when you are in manual mode, it just tells you what the camera thinks the picture will look like when you press the shutter release. No matter what you have your meter mode set at, the pictures will always come out the same. When shooting in semi-auto or full auto, the meter will affect the outcome.

    I am surprised however, that you don't find any use in the meter. Using the histogram is one way, but its an after thought. Why not see what the exposure will be before you shoot instead of after?
     
  8. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    :scratch: You lost me.
     
  9. Aayria

    Aayria TPF Noob!

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    I'm kind of suprised by the responses... I'll have to give center-weighted metering mode a more fair shake sometime based on what you guys have to say . =)
    Personally, I always shoot in spot metering mode. The book "Understanding Exposure" helped a TON in that area, and I rarely switch out of spot-metering.
     
  10. Boomn4x4

    Boomn4x4 TPF Noob!

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    I'm kind of surprised by your response. I use matrix metering 90% of the time, center-weighted 9% of the time, and spot-metering 1% of the time.

    Spot metering only meters for a single spot. If you took a shot of a white tee shirt, the rest of the photo would be severly underexposed, and vice versa. The only time I have ever used spot metering was for shooting in conditions where there were extre light variances in which I wanted to property expose for a single subject.
     
  11. Aayria

    Aayria TPF Noob!

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    I understand what you're saying, but if I'm taking a picture of a white tee-shirt, I generally expose for the light hitting the tee-shirt, not the shirt itself. A gray card, or the back of my hand works well for this (using the technique in Understanding Exposure.) Or in a quick fix, I will meter for something slightly darker colored near the tee-shirt (just not black or the shirt would be way overblown.)
    Based on what people are saying here, though.. maybe I've been making things too hard on myself. I might give center weighted a try for some shots.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2010
  12. Dallmeyer

    Dallmeyer TPF Noob!

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    I would too. imo I think you're going about it the right way.
     

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