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Thread: Metering modes??

  1. #1
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    Default Metering modes??

    I get asked a fair bit why I use Centre Weighted metering as my everyday mode so I thought I might write a little bit about the subject. I was going to write a more detailed article on all the different modes but maybe it would be better if we all added what mode we use the most and its assets and pitfalls Might be more helpful than just my opinions

    Now, back to CW metering. I use a full frame camera so I miss out on the extra 1.6 and 1.3 crop factors of some of the other Canon models (1D,7D, 50D etc) so I am often not as close as I would like to be in terms of focal length. This is balanced by the fact that I quite often crop substantially with the centre being the main focus (full frame allows me to do this quite aggressively).
    This being the case, along with the fact that I pretty much always use the central focusing point, CW metering makes a lot of sense for me. I will of course adjust exposure compensation according to what colour the bird is as well as what lighting situation I'm in.
    For dark birds in most situations I will add an extra 2/3 or even a full stop, for light birds in bright sun I take away 1/3 to 2/3 of light but most of the time with midtone birds in moderately sunny conditions I can trust the metered exposure.
    Evaluative metering used to be my main metering mode on my 30D but since moving to full frame I found that it was often thrown out by something in the frame such as a bright highlight, a sandy beach background or a dark water foreground.
    If you use one of the crop factor cameras that I mentioned above and you are working with a species that you don't expect to fill the frame with (skittish shorebirds for example) I would suggest you try using CW metering on approach. Also makes sense if your stalking skills are'nt too good and you find yourself cropping 90% of your shots.
    If you are pretty sure you will be cropping with a focus on the central area of the frame it might help to yield a more accurate exposure.
    Hope this sort of explains why I use CW metering. I still use EV occasionally (mostly for birdscape/flock type shots) but I have found that I know CW metering well enough to tell which way my compensation needs to go.
    Does'nt really matter what mode you use as long as you know when and where to trust it and how to compensate appropriately.

    Let us know how you meter your shots and the tricks etc that you use to expose properly

    Cheers, Paul

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    Default Re: Metering modes??

    I used to use Evaluative Metering as well when I first started but soon learnt to use partial metering. It was for trial and error for me and partial gave me the best results... I've stuck with it since.

    What I do for exposure is move exposure compensation between -1 and + 1 depending upon the backgroud. As long as the light is somewhat consistent, I get good results. I also keep taking glances at the shutter speed in the viewfinder in between continuous shots and if I find it too high or low, I adjust the ISO accordingly.

    Cheers
    Neve

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    Default Re: Metering modes??

    Was looking for some info on this subject when I came accross this old thread. Thanks for the info Paul. I am actually using CW most of the time, BUT I use spot metering for when shooting up to the sky for a BIF shot, so as not to give me a silhouette.

    What I do find difficult is where to spot meter off a bird with light/dark colours. I know the effects of light on the meter, so I just end up finding myself metering off grass using CW, or it the plumage is light but not too white I meter off that knowing ill get an underexposed image but no blown highlights on the bird (prefer underexposed than blown).

    So, is this technique correct? I havent used much EV aside from when its really bright day (tone it down by 0.3 or even 0.7) and this seems to work OK.
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    Default Re: Metering modes??

    Sounds about right Carlos, expose for the whites and you'll be on the right track.
    I would suggest sticking with CW metering for bird in flight shots (with exp. comp of course) because the spot (in spot metering) is quite small and if you miss the bird by a tiny bit and it meters from the sky then its silhouette city :ugeek:

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    Default Re: Metering modes??

    I thought I wasnt too far off the mark . Thanks Paul.

    One of the things I try to make a habit of is changing settings on my D300s from the settings of birds perched to ones that are in flight. What I usually do is change the AF from S to C, then change the autofocus from centre point to 9 point settings. This allows me to easily track the birds and shoot (in slow continuous setting) whilst retaining focus.
    CC's, Reposts and Comments welcomed

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    Default Re: Metering modes??

    I use c/w all the time, sometmes ec adjustment is required for backlit, birds in flight some shaded situations and of course full sun still trial and error for me, expsoing for birds in the air with a harsh midday sun is critical.
    silhouette city
    certainly ruin your image with no chance of recovery so I would normally push the ec too +1 and up to +2.
    I tend to use the center focus point all the time, locking on with the center focus point and then it will track outside of this point usually to the edge of frame.

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    Default Re: Metering modes??

    Quote Originally Posted by carlos
    I meter off that knowing ill get an underexposed image but no blown highlights on the bird (prefer underexposed than blown).

    So, is this technique correct? I havent used much EV aside from when its really bright day (tone it down by 0.3 or even 0.7) and this seems to work OK.
    For digital it's different to slide film, for film blowing highlights was bad as there was no way to recover that. Now when shooting Raw if you clip a little bit it is generally not a disaster and is recoverable, under exposing has the downside of more noise than what you would otherwise get.

    Don't know what the metering on other cameras is like, but on my 1DMkII, it produces a pretty much unclipped histogram in most circumstances (using evaluative metering) and generally requires + exp compensation to push the histogram to the right and conversely rarely needs - compensation.
    Chris Ross
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    Default

    I see this thread is pretty old, but hope I can get it revived.
    As a humble 7D user, I am having difficulty getting information as to which metering modes are linked to the Spot AF point. There is little in the manual. I found this on the internet:
    "Although Evaluative metering is linked to the active AF point (whether automatically or manually selected), Spot metering is fixed to the center of the viewfinder (unlike Nikon SLRs, which can spot meter at any selected AF point)." That's OK, but doesn't tell one anything at all about the other modes, Partial and Centre-weighted average metering. Does anyone out there know more than this. If my subject is dark and in has a light background I find evaluative metering just gives me sillhouettes, and prefer to meter over a much smaller area of the frame.
    Margaret Leggoe
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    Default

    Not sure I understand what you're asking Margaret. Only "spot" metering uses the spot meter of the camera in a very small area at the middle of the frame. Others modes take the whole scene and determine a correct exposure with evaluative using the entire frame, centre weighted gives more emphasis on the middle of the frame and partial is even more dedicated to an area in the middle of the frame.

    Have a look at the illustration of metering modes at this site
    http://sachinb.blogspot.com/2010/11/...hy-basics.html

    Let me know if thats what you were after.

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    Default

    What I really want to know is whether the 7D has a metering mode that will move around the frame with your AF focus point. For instance, if you choose an AF point at the extreme right of the frame for whatever reason, will the camera continue to meter off the centre of the frame? I understand that in the 1D the metering area and the AF point can be linked to move around the frame together, but in the 7D this is not the case for spot metering, and there is no information available for Partial and Centre-weighted average metering as to whether they can be linked to the AF point, or just work off the centre of the frame regardless of where you are focussing. Is that explained any better?
    Margaret Leggoe
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    Default

    Ok, now I understand and the answer is no I'm pretty sure (I haven't used a 7D). There is however a function called "AE LOCK" which will allow you to spot meter something, press a particular button and then recompose the shot with your spot metered exposure still set. Just look up AE Lock in your user manual

  12. #12
    Tony Hansford Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Randall View Post
    For dark birds in most situations I will add an extra 2/3 or even a full stop, for light birds in bright sun I take away 1/3 to 2/3 of light
    I don't follow this at all. Everything I have watched or read says to subtract for dark objects and add for light object. Wouldn't you end up with white blacks and black whites?

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    Whatever you are reading or watching is way off Tony. With black birds, they are normally darker than their surroundings (water, grass, sky etc) so it is necessary to add light to compensate for this ( with CW or EV metering anyway) and the opposite is true for white birds.

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    Default

    If it isn't in the manual Margaret, then the camera probably doesn't have that feature.

    The important thing to remember is that no matter what the metering mode is, the camera will want to expose it (set at 0EC) the same tonality as a grey card, or 18% grey. Therefore, whites will look grey, blacks will look lighter than they should be. So you need to compensate for the subject tonality more than background. I use evaluative metering most of the time and have developed my sensitivity in vision to be able to assess a scene (overall tonality) and compensate accordingly. I still usually increase EC for light subjects, or against a bright BG, and decrease for dark subjects and darker BGs. It's all a matter of light. And understanding metering.

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    Default

    So, it looks like business as usual. Take a few test shots on arrival and work out how many extra EC stops to flick the wheel if the subject lands on a bare branch, and hope to God I remember to flick it back again if the subject is on the ground or in foliage. Maybe if I ate a few memory sticks it might help.
    Margaret Leggoe
    Never too old to learn.

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