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This is some thing that I have not played with much.

Does anyone use the different metering modes in their camera? Or do you just shoot RAW and make any exposure adjustments in post processing?

I understand that spot/partial metering is good for subjects with strong back light? but do you bother to change?

Does anyone use the different metering modes in a creative way? If so I would some examples would be great!

sorry for all the ?s I am just interested to read what other people think and do!

Cheers Russ
I use spot metering a lot. A couple of examples

[Image: candles.jpg]


[Image: chimes.jpg]

Both surrounded by junk that cant be seen because of spot metering on the brightest point.

I also use centre weighted average lots too which seems to work well for me!

Hope that helps!
I think most will agree that its good to try to get the exposure right ('right' meaning how you want it to be) on the first time rather than try to fix it by exposure adjustments in RAW, as you may have already lost some details in the shadows or blown some highlights.
When shooting in Manual mode, I always prefer to use partial metering (my 300D doesn't have spot metering).

When there is strong backlight, I'd also use it, otherwise the brightness of the background will be taken into account in the metering and then my subject may be silhouetted if no fill-in-light is used.

I think you can be a lot more creative with partial/spot metering because you can get those 'creative' results different from than if you just point and shot with Program/auto mode (I love using program mode for candid snapshots Tongue it works most of the time)
I shoot RAW - but then I also consider the original captured image just the first part of the journey - so take my opinion on exposure modes with a grain of salt.
Muzza, Adam and Toad,

Thanks for your input.........I thought this would make an interesting topic as I never see much discussion on it.

Muzza thanks for you pics, most of the talk on spot metering is about strong backlight but I see you have used it to get rid of unwanted background.

Adam, good to read your thoughts I hear what you are saying..........a couple of shots I have taken lately I have thought after I should have use partial metering.

Toad, I do take it with grain of salt Big Grin I understand as I shoot raw as well most of the time. So you don't worry too much and go with PP.

thanks its good to read the different view points
I usually shoot RAW too, (well, moving back to JPG now Tongue), but should still try to expose correctly (not saying you don't TongueTongue) and the different metering options out there should help (but sometimes confuse).
I usually use centre weighted averaging, but spot meter if I'm not happy with the exposure (one of the benefits of digital is being able to look at the LCD and check the histogram). Like in this shot;
[Image: IMG_2598edit.jpg]
but if after a couple of go's I haven't gotten what I'm after (which seems to happen more with the 350D than my old film camera) I just check out what apeture I'm shooting at (I usually shoot in Tv, or sometimes Av mode) and change to manual....ultimate control Cool
I usually use matrix metering, but yeah, once in a blue moon I switch to spot metering. I don't use it often probably because the function is hidden within menus on my D50. Just one of the little gripes - they should have made a button for it. Another trick I use more frequently is the exposure value lock button - if a person's head is behind a window for example, I point the camera downwards to their body (so the window is out of the frame), meter, lock and then recompose.

Schellamo Wrote:but if after a couple of go's I haven't gotten what I'm after (which seems to happen more with the 350D than my old film camera)
I noticed that too after switching to digital - but I reckon it's probably because the minilabs usually adjust exposure when printing... Big Grin
I wish the 350D had spot metering! Instead I use the center weighted, which says is uses something like 9% or so of the frame.
Shuttertalk mentiones a good point, talking about metering one place, then recomposing. Except that I would think you're better off using spot metering just then, because you can meter a number of different areas in your composition and then decide which area you want to expose for.

Anyway, I am surprised everyone talks about metering as if it was function DOING anything to your picture. the meter just METERS (hence its name...)!! and you decide on the exposure time you want to use, on the base of the information the meter gives you.
So which metering mode you are in, does not affect your picture. However, using spot metering you can get more detailed information about the light being reflected from different areas in your picture and you can make a more informed decision about your exposure.

if you look at it another way: the meter on your camara will tell you exposure is right (+/- 0, if the area you point it at will be exposed as "middle gray". so if you have a number of different light intesities in your frame, and your camara is set to average metering, the exposure it suggests is unlikely to be right for either the highlights or the shadows of your composition. Your camara doesn't know, what you want to show in your picture, so use the spot metering and find out, how you want ot expose to get the picture you are thinking of.

Actually, I am sure that's what Muzza meant when showing those pictures, just wanted to make sure we don't start thinking of our cameras as more than they are, we are still the one's composing our pictures Smile Smile Smile
I also wished for spot metering on the 300D.
I thought the closest we have was "partial metering" when I press the AE-lock button. Smile Whereas centre-weighted, as the name suggests, just puts more weight (emphasis) on what's in the centre when calculating exposure.
Our other option is to get a hand held meter. Tongue Our cameras can only measure reflected light, but using hand held meter will let us measure the incident light Big Grin However, the biggest problem I ALWAYS have is "what is the midtone??" the "18% grey" (slightly different for digital right? not 18%).
I guess if I put any part in the correct zone, everything else should fall into place. So usually I meter for Zone II or III, the dark area where texture is slightly apparent, and the rest *usually* works. but it's hard targetting specific areas without a spot meter. Usually I would zoom in to that area, meter, then zoom out again.
Wulinka, I think what you are referring to is partial metering as it's the one that covers about 9% of the center of the viewfinder. At the risk of being wrong I think this is about the same as spot metering, you can use it to meter different parts of the shot then set you exposure as you said. Mertering in manual will tell you if you are under or over exposed, but if you are shooting in AV or P for example it is what tells the camera the lenght of time to expose the sensor. So in my mind it does do something. :/ If you are using the different metering modes to give you different information then you are using the different metering modes in a creative way!

Thanks for your input, keeps the interest going!

PS waiting for some other points of view..........as I said "I could be wrong" Big Grin
Spot metering is closer to 3%. Canon DSLR's only have spot metering on the 1 series and the 5D.
Thanks WS, you are quite right.........checked out the specs on the 5D they have spot 3.5% and partial 8%

So partial is the closest I have to spot. I have seen it referred to as the same thing.

Out of interest there is a difference in exposure time between partial and evaluative in the tests that I have done around 1/300th in one instance.
matrix metering is what i use most of the time with my nikon. but if i'm using one of the older cameras, it's usually centre weighted, and works just as well.

treat the camera's meter reading as a guide and use your own judgement to set an exposure which will capture what you want. most modern cameras nowadays are quite smart and give spot on meter readings for different lighting situations. but there are times when even the most advanced metering devices struggle to give a "proper" reading. that's when your best metering device comes in... your eyes and your brain.

I guess with the advent of digital, one can bracket like crazy and take a number of shots over and under to make sure of getting one with good exposure.
With Nikon's matrix metering and RAW, I don't worry too much about exposure (unless the variations between light an dark are extreme) - exposure is usually pretty much bang on - and can easily be adjusted if necessary afterwards. I concentrate on composing and capturing the image.
Sorry, yes, I must have meant partial.
I wasn't aware that "middle gray" is not middle gray for digitals, what's up with that?
Anyway, I find metering is often about more than just setting one of zones in my picture. look at a bunch of your pictures, and how often do you really want anything on them middle gray? Personally I think I am still in the middle of a long learning process of what to do with the information my meter gives me.

Adam, the zooming in and metering sounds like an intuitively good idea, but I am quite sure you get a different reading when you actually do get close - really close - to where you want to meter. granted, that's not always possible, and then to zoom in may be better then not to, but mind you the lense is still in the same position and light from all kinds of surrounding sources hits the meter.

Russt, what do you mean, a difference of 1/300s? That should depend on where you point your meter, set to partial, if all we said so far was true ???

Finallly and after all, I would always like to get my pictures as close to right as I can "in camara". The mere possibility of PPing should not make us think we don't need to get it right in the first place.

Great thread, interesting input from everyone!!

Quote:Russt, what do you mean, a difference of 1/300s? That should depend on where you point your meter, set to partial, if all we said so far was true ???
yep..............and when I changed I was metering in the same spot!
I'm habitually used to spot metering, as it really helped getting the most out of the 10 available shots in my medium-format stuff.
I actually find the "latitude" of shooting raw, combined with the partial metering of the 350D to be just fine for the adaptations I've made; if there's no green areas I take a grey card and in either case do the following: just use the partial metering of the 350D as a "spot"(just a bigger spot than a "normal" spot meter. If folks are serious about spot metering, they'd really have a standalone one anyway)....take 2 or 3 readings from well-lit grass.
This gives you "18 per cent grey", which in normal language might be considered as the "correct" exposure(yeah, I know, but for most purposes there's no need for all the flam).
I then go manual, dialling in the setting I've just read.
I also set white balance to daylight, rather than auto: there's all sorts of tonal/tint shifts in a batch otherwise. If I'm in doubt, I can lazily err to slight overexposure because of the way that sensors record their stuff.
Wow amazing Zig... you actually manually meter every shot? :o