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  1. #1
    Tim
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    Default Metering Modes

    Ok I realise this is a very important issue with photography.
    But I am having alot of trouble understanding metering.

    What should I know about metering, and where can I learn?

    Also, just how important is it to get metering right?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Metering Modes

    Metering tells the camera how bright or dark the image subject is. From the metering data, the camera determines shutter speed, aperture setting, etc. in order to get the exposure right.

    Most people probably never change the default metering mode on a camera, which is often an "evaluative" mode that examines the entire frame. Other common options are center-weighted (the center of the frame is weighted heavier in exposure determination) and spot metering (a tightly defined spot in the middle of the frame).

    Probably the best way to learn is to try the different options on a particular subject. For example, many portrait photographers will use a spot metering mode to make sure the exposure on their subjects face is correct. If metering is left on evaluative (or pattern) mode, the rest of the items in the frame may change the exposure on the subject's face.
    Best Regards,
    Ben

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    Default Re: Metering Modes

    Can you use spot metering for landscape shots?
    I imagine no because landscape needs a broad focus.

    What metering would be used in that situation?

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    Default Re: Metering Modes

    Quote Originally Posted by Jessica
    Can you use spot metering for landscape shots?
    I imagine no because landscape needs a broad focus.

    What metering would be used in that situation?
    You can use spot metering for landscapes. An example would be if the entire landscape were lit identically (say by direct sunlight) and was of similar reflective value (all of the picture essentially the same, with no portions extremely light or dark). You can also use other forms of metering as well. If it were me and the entire image was uniformly lit, I'd pick a matrix-type metering mode that would make the exposure based on input from a number of areas in the image, but if the entire scene is lit the same and the scene itself doesn't have areas of extreme light or dark, any metering mode should do an acceptable job. If your landscape had a dark or light area that stood out from the rest and was the interest point for the image, you might want to spot or center-weight the metering in that area to insure the important part of the image was exposed properly.

    When you mention focus after asking about spot metering, I'm thinking perhaps you're confusing exposure and focus. Spot metering (or any metering for that matter) determines the light or darkness of a particular image. Focus makes the image sharp and defined, or recognizable. You can have a perfectly
    exposed image (proper lightness/darkness) that is worthless because the subject of the image is not in focus. What you have is a perfectly lit unrecognizable or blurry subject. On the other hand, you can have a sharply defined, perfectly focused subject that is way too dark or light because the exposure is off.
    Last edited by Jim Keenan; 05-30-2006 at 08:33 AM.

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    Default Re: Metering Modes

    Great explanation!
    I have been reading about this myself, wanting to get it right.
    Thanks for explaining it in plain english

  6. #6
    Tim
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    Default Re: Metering Modes

    Thank you Ben and J. Keenan, phew this is starting to make sense now.
    Now I need to experiment, I will try and post some results here

 

 

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