Do you use the internal metering system in your camera?

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by Ysarex, Mar 5, 2020.

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Do you use the internal metering system in your camera?

  1. Yes

    35 vote(s)
    97.2%
  2. No

    1 vote(s)
    2.8%
  1. vintagesnaps

    vintagesnaps Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Yes, I do, if the camera has a metering system. If I'm using a vintage camera without a meter, I usually have another camera with me and can use that to meter. I learned early on to get a proper exposure, and still go for that.


     
  2. johngpt

    johngpt Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I'm writing a comment as I really want to see if PICOBELLA replies to Joe's question.
    And I responded yes to the survey as I use the histogram in all my Fuji's, and they are all set on manual exposure.
    I think I used the light meter on my old Pentax Spotmatic too in the previous century. If I remember, it had a needle which rose or fell as shutter speed or aperture was changed. Funny I sort of remember that but I couldn't tell you what the meter looked like in the viewfinder of my Nikon F4004.
     
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  3. Ysarex

    Ysarex Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I'd like to see an answer to that question too.

    Here's a story about that: When I first got seriously interested in photography it was about 1974. I moved to St. Louis in 1976 to attend St. Louis University and quickly found the local camera store located just a block off campus on Lindell blvd. I started to hang out there and eventually met Bob Artega. At that time Mr. Artega was already an older gentleman. He's still well remembered here in St. Louis as the photographer of the Arch. Bob Artega got the contract to photograph the construction of the St. Louis Gateway Arch and took many now famous photographs. Bob's two sons Eldon and Wayne inherited the business and I used to share many good jokes with Eldon. Now the next generation runs the shop: Photography St. Louis Mo. Aerial Photographers

    So one day I was on campus walking between classes and I saw Bob Artega taking a photo. He had a tripod set up, black cloth over his head, and a 4x5 Speed Graphic pointed toward one of the campus buildings. I went over and said hi and asked if I could watch him work. He said sure. I watched him get the camera ready, put in a film holder, pull the slide, trip the shutter, flip the film holder and take a 2nd shot and then I butted in and asked, "Excuse me Mr. Artega but I never saw you take a meter reading. How'd you know the exposure?" And he pointed up at the sky and said, "The bleep bleep sun is shinning for bleep's sake. I was doing this before they invented light meters. Didn't need one then and don't need one now."

    Bob Artega like all photographers of his generation knew that the sun shines with a constant intensity and that you can train yourself to recognize outdoor exposure conditions and get good results. For example hazy to light overcast is -2 stops from full sun, etc. But there's no such standard for indoor light and although we humans can learn to memorize standard conditions we can't sense variations in light intensity. Our eyes and perceptual system self adjust to light intensity to maintain as much as possible a constant brightness. So no matter how many years of experience you may have if you walk into say an indoor office or retail lighting condition you're going to do a poor job of trying to determine exposure without some kind of measuring tool.

    How does PICOBELLA handle that task? I've been a photographer for 40 years and like Bob I can work outdoors without a light meter (although I'd rather not), but walk into the Mall or a classroom and I'm going to take a meter reading. I may not do precisely what the meter suggests but I'm going to find out what that is. So I use my camera's meter.

    Joe
     
  4. TWX

    TWX No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It's been my experience with my older Digital Rebel XS, my 77D, and the M100, that the metering is quite good, but can still be put into situations when it doesn't work. Most recently on the 77D that's been when either using the teleconverter or when using a pinhole body cap. Metering was inconsistent and all over the place with the teleconverter, and obviously with just a pinhole and an f/stop equivalent of about f/476 I couldn't realistically expect it to work. In both cases I have to take test shots.

    In some other circumstances I might find that, shooting manual with manual ISO, I want to slightly under- or over-expose based on what I want for results, sometimes I have a good feel for it, other times less so. I certainly use it as a guide even if I override though.
     
  5. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    33 Yes to 1 No...pretty conclusive poll results so far...

    Addendum: Saturday 14 March, 2020, now 34 Yes to 1 No. Addendum #2: 35 Yes to 1 No, Sunday 15 March, 2020.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2020
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  6. TWX

    TWX No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I remember as a student on a K1000 learning to use that internal analog lightmeter, and when I paid attention I got reasonably good results. It would seem that internal lightmeters are reliable and have been for decades, so not a lot of reason to not use it.
     
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  7. Sharpshooterr

    Sharpshooterr No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    My question is, where is this survey going???
    Next, I'll just assume that the "no" vote probably didn't understand the question!!! LoL
    SS
     
  8. weepete

    weepete TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    First time I learned to use a light meter my Dad showed me, it was his old pentax K with the light meter on the side of the viewfinder!
     
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  9. Ysarex

    Ysarex Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Do you use the internal metering system in your camera?

    Here's more info about why I asked:

    I didn't want to bias the responses at first with too much information (motive).

    The internal meter systems in cameras read reflected light from the subject. As opposed to an incident meter that is used to measure the light directly. Reflected light meters can be off when the subject is abnormally bright or dark.

    I've been doing this for a long time and used to own 3 different hand light meters. I gave the last one away about 8 years ago. I believe the camera internal meters (and camera control systems) have improved to the point where most photographers now, especially out of the studio, are, like me, happy using and do indeed use the camera's metering system.

    I'm looking to validate my assumption about most photographers. I teach photography and it's nice to be able to tell a class I have a little more than just my belief when I tell them something.

    Joe
     
  10. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Screenshot_20200315-230514_Chrome.jpg
     
  11. Sharpshooterr

    Sharpshooterr No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Joe, thanks for the explanation. I agree with you that the meters in modern cameras are extremely accurate and in most situations no more is needed to produce a well exposed image. In fact I use spot metering a lot. I shoot a lot of very fast moving sports and the most important factor is that faces are properly exposed, hence the spot meter. I might switch between back lit, side lit and front lit and back and forth several times in the span of ten to fifteen seconds. I have to TRUST my in-camera meter!
    In studio I often use a hand held to meter each light individually before my subjects arrive to get a good starting point and of course the camera is on full manual since the light is not gonna vary.
    But there is no replacing experience such as in the case of a white bird in bright light!!
    Don't fear the meter!!! LoL
    Thanks, SS
     
  12. vintagesnaps

    vintagesnaps Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I always used the meter, and still do, when using a mechanical film camera. So even with an older camera I'm able to get properly exposed B&W film negatives that aren't too dense and aren't too thin (for me the latter is a deal breaker, the former means spending more time zapping light thru a negative and why spend time doing that?! lol).

    Derrel that's funny, your post makes it look like I was shouting - YES, I DO!! lol
     

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