Metering, when will i ever get it!!!!!!!!!!!

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by puyjapin, Feb 1, 2009.

  1. puyjapin

    puyjapin TPF Noob!

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    I still dont get it, no matr how hard i try !
    Ok i understand the principle that i can dial in less or more exposure when in aperture mode, by adjusting the exposure in aperture this overridesthe shutter speed te camera selects yes?
    What i dont get is the principle of pointing the camera at part of the scene to 'meter ' off of it? OK i can point the camera, but what does this actually tell me and what do i do to compensate what its telling me. For example have a look at this shot i took earlier, it was a bright sunset so i put a Grad ND in nd used aperture mode. i set the aperture to 7.1 and it selected a shutter speed of 1/30 sec. I tried adjusting the exposure and this was the best result. I just dont seem happy with it and i dont quite know why....
    Also i set the iso to 200, perhaps i should have upped it a bit but when i open it in picassa its telling me the iso is 1000, which it was not set to.
    Anyway any help or c 'n' c would be very helpful. Hopefully one day i will understand metering...!
    [​IMG]
     
  2. ANDS!

    ANDS! No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Theres no reason for you to set an AP value of 7.1 in this scene if the subject is the bench. F/4 would have more than sufficed.

    Metering is simply your camera measuring the tonality values of the area around the focus point depending on the type of metering you have chosen. That's it. No special magic trick about it. What you point at, is what the camera is going to calculate for. If you point at a dark spot, its going to meter off that dark spot. If you point at a bright spot, it'll meter off that.
     
  3. puyjapin

    puyjapin TPF Noob!

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    Think my lens only goes to 5.6 on max zoom :(
    So can I get this clear,i normally use matrix metering.....if i focus on the dark bit its likely to overexpose the bright bit coz its going to use a shutter speed to allow for the darkness area, but if i focus on the bright bit it will underexpose the dark bit...correct? if thats the case how on earth do i expose everything correctly? or is that basically impossible. I mean i see shots of white bears on snow and they look fine or dark skin on light backdrop without it all overexposed. Is there no method that requires the camera to be pointed at a area of the scene then re pointed to compose the shot or is this nothing to do with metering?
     
  4. ANDS!

    ANDS! No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Err.

    You don't. A camera does not have the same dynamic range that your eyeball does. You either live with blown out spots or really dark spots (the latter is usually preferred), or you compose the photograph so that the range (from dark to light) is manageable (like moving the camera to get the sun out of the shot).

    White bear on snow doesn't neccessarily have a high dynamic range. In fact its range is pretty controllable since its in the lighter area. If you had something dark though, it would probably be clipped in the "dark" side of the range.
     
  5. jseoung

    jseoung TPF Noob!

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    how are your meter setup? what kind of picture are you going for?
     
  6. puyjapin

    puyjapin TPF Noob!

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    to be honest im trying all sorts of shots at the moment....
    its a kit lens with my D40 so its a 3.5-5.6 which presumable is not great in terms of max aperture?....
    Im considering getting a 70-300 vr which I believe still does not have a particularly large aperture. generally those lenses with low f numbers are very expensive,esp the zoom range i was considering :( would the 70-300 be a nice lens for wildlife and such like? thanks for all ur help by the way
     
  7. puyjapin

    puyjapin TPF Noob!

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    i tend to use matrix metering....good or bad or indifferent !!?!
     
  8. cosmoepic

    cosmoepic TPF Noob!

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    your kit lens should go down to like /3.5 or something mine does
     
  9. cosmoepic

    cosmoepic TPF Noob!

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    metering cliff note version:

    on a sunny day point your cam to the blue sky (this is in manual mode mind you) and adjust your shutter and aperture until they're centered in the might meter bar either in your view finder, or your info screen. on a bright sunny day pay more attention to shutter and vice versa on a cloudy day.

    Once you get it centered in the light meter, point the cam back at your subject without changing any of the settings and take your shot, its also helpful to pre balance on the subject before doing any of this
     
  10. ANDS!

    ANDS! No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    All that would do, ESPECIALLY if he has taken the sky out of his composition, is meter darker parts of the picture as if they were actually lighter parts. So that wouldn't neccessarily be the way to go.

    Matrix metering is fine for most situations. However, where I feel it takes a ****, is areas of high dynamic range. If theres enough light in the shot, but the point you are focusing on isn't that bright, you'll run into problem. Center weighted is cool, because it says, to look at this point, and the area around it. It will still look at the entire scene, but will give most weight to the middle. Spot is just that, it meters for ONLY that focus point, regardless of if you have the mf'ing sun 2 inches away.
     
  11. Samanax

    Samanax TPF Noob!

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    That's on the wide end. When it's zoomed out he's stuck with f/5.6. Between the two ends the aperture size will vary.
     
  12. puyjapin

    puyjapin TPF Noob!

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    so in the above shot would have been better in manual mode, point the cam at an area of mid brightness say between the bench and the sun, adjust the meter bar tosomewhere in the centre then re compose shot? would that work? Im getting to understad it a bit more now, thanks to your help. I am also looking forward to getting ' understanding exposure' next week!
     

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