Reflected meter in your camera

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by virgo16, Nov 12, 2008.

  1. virgo16

    virgo16 TPF Noob!

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    I'm still not sure how to use my relflected meter properly...
    I have a canon XTI
    Weather if its on partial/center-weighted etc..when you look into the viewfinder what do you look for?? what mode do i set my camera to? How do i know what aperture/shutterspead i set it to? I'm just not sure how to read the light
    i tried looking it up but everything is about how to read incident meters
    any help would be great!
    thanks!
     
  2. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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  3. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The way to learn how to take advantage of your meter is child's play... just center it! However, if you do not know *what* to meter against, you almost may as well just turn off the camera. (lol)

    The absolute BEST way to learn how to learn what to meter off of, is to learn the Zone System. Google and learn the version made for Digital cameras.
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    In any of the auto modes, the camera gives you the exposure value and you should see that the 'needle' is on the 0. In manual mode, or when you use EC (exposure compensation) you can set the exposure away from the 0 in the middle of the scale.

    When using the camera's meter, you will want to know that the camera wants to turn what it meters, into an 'average' exposure...usually said to be 18% grey. This works perfectly if the scene is 'average' but isn't perfect when the scene (or the parts you are concerned about) are not the same tone as 18% grey.
    If your metering target is brighter than that, the meter will think it's bright and underexpose it...so you would add exposure to compensate for that. If the target is darker than average, then the meter will overexpose....so you would subtract exposure. Bright-->add exposure. Dark-->subtract exposure.

    Just how much you need to add or subtract will depend on how bright/dark (reflective/non-reflective) your target is...but you learn this with experience.

    All that being said, I've pretty much stopped doing this and do THIS instead.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2008
  5. davebmck

    davebmck TPF Noob!

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    Interesting read, Big Mike. I've been reading similar recommendations recently, but have never seen the information about the higher number of levels available at the brighter end of the scale before. Makes perfect sense.
     
  6. RyanLilly

    RyanLilly No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Adjusting exposure based on you meter and the brightness of your subject, as Mike described, seems a bit like a guessing game at first, but it really becomes second nature after a little while. Just take a shot or two with the meter dead center and then adjust from there.
     

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