Alley in Pisa, Italy

by Lars Kotthoff

submit your photo


Hall of Fame
View past winners from this year

Please participate in Meta
and help us grow.

The means by which a camera automatically determines exposure settings such as shutter speed, aperture, and ISO (sensitivity).

learn more… | top users | synonyms

39
votes
5answers
4k views

When best to use Multi-Zone/Matrix, Spot, or Center-Weight?

What are Multi-Zone/Matrix metering, Center-Weighted metering, and Spot metering? What about Partial? Is there a good rule of thumb, or a few pointers, on when best to use each metering mode?
5
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the EV scale?

I have seen an "EV" (exposure value) scale that's sometimes used to express a camera's exposure settings, or scene brightness. How exactly does this scale work?
30
votes
12answers
3k views

What situations are best suited for spot metering?

I have found myself using spot metering on several occasions in order to get the right exposure, such as sunsets and on bright days with a subject in the shade. What other situations are well suited ...
34
votes
6answers
4k views

Why use a dedicated light meter instead of the one built into the camera?

I know a few people who carry around a dedicated light meter unit (such as this one by Sekonic) and use that to meter photos instead of using the meter built into their cameras (and these are ...
14
votes
2answers
6k views

What is the difference between luminance and illuminance?

The more I read about this, the more confused I become. Illuminance, as I understand it, measured in lux, is the perceived brightness of light on a surface. It's what you'd measure with an incident ...
19
votes
3answers
14k views

What does TTL mean?

I'm new to photography and I see the term TTL all over the place. What does it mean? And how do I use it to make my pictures better?
29
votes
6answers
9k views

How do I use spot metering?

What's the right way to use spot metering? Is it better to use in manual mode than one of the priority modes? There's a question about when to use spot metering, but none that serves as a tutorial to ...
4
votes
3answers
858 views

How do TTL flash metering systems calculate how much power is needed?

Does anyone know how TTL calculates the amount of power to put in after the preflash is done? I understand that the value is somewhat brand specific, but what is the general logic? Because if you ...
3
votes
1answer
390 views

What is the photopic luminous efficiency function?

What is the photopic luminous efficiency function? Is it actually a the, or are there multiple such functions? Is it an absolute fact of nature or simply an agreed-on standard? If the later, who ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

How to calculate Lux from EV?

Instead of looking up a chart, how can I calculate Lux from EV? Thanks!
22
votes
3answers
3k views

How do I meter for long exposures (10+ minutes)?

One of my longstanding interests is long exposure night photography. However, many of the situations where I am shooting require exposure lengths on the order of 10 minutes, which is far beyond what ...
17
votes
5answers
11k views

How well do smart phone light meter apps work?

There are a number of smart phone apps which use the phone's camera as a light meter. How well do these work? The metering built into most modern cameras is very powerful and accurate, but in some ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

How to get meter reading for a DSLR if not from a gray card?

I read an article called Expose (to the) Right, which explained why you should try to get the graph of the histogram as much to the right of the scale as possible. The reasoning is that DSLRs record ...
17
votes
4answers
11k views

How do I “focus and recompose” using spot metering?

I usually use the "[auto]focus and recompose" method for taking candid photographs. In situations where there is a high degree of contrast, I would like to use spot metering to correct expose for ...
12
votes
4answers
4k views

How should I learn to understand Canon's metering?

Spot metering is my preferred metering mode on the Canon 50D. This allows me to nail the exposure first time -- 99% of the time -- by using AE-lock on my subject and applying the desired amount of ...
10
votes
6answers
992 views

What are typical situations where you should use auto-exposure lock (AE-L)?

What are the typical situations where you should use AE for locking exposure?
8
votes
3answers
557 views

Can spot metering be corrected in post processing?

I just started experimenting with spot metering + exposure compensation. I'm wondering if it's possible to make adjustments during post processing to correct the metering. I'm pretty sure (correct me ...
7
votes
1answer
183 views

How to select a light meter?

I'm looking for a light meter to use with an old film camera that doesn't have a working meter, and the bevy of options with prices all over the place is a bit overwhelming. I'm trying to narrow down ...
14
votes
5answers
789 views

What's a good ad-hoc replacement for a gray card?

I know that a real gray card is the best thing to use to determine exposure. But I'd like to know if there are other naturally available features that can be used in a quick and dirty way. Are fields ...
10
votes
1answer
484 views

Why isn't TTL metering accurate when using a non-electronic lens?

I recently bought a Lensbaby lens and I played with it a lot. Then lens is awesome but I have one big and annoying problem and is that TTL metering fails miserably when using P, TV and M modes. I ...
8
votes
5answers
2k views

How can I work around metering issues with adapted lenses on a Canon DSLR?

I have a bunch of Contax lenses (C/Y mount) and a mount adapter with "dandelion" chips. This should allow me to use my lenses on any Canon DSLR using aperture mode and stopping down the lens. Thanks ...
7
votes
3answers
756 views

Is center-weighted metering a type of spot-metering?

Does center-weighted metering use the same camera/lens adjustments as spot metering with the exception of the focus which is in the center? Or is there a technical difference in the way ...
7
votes
2answers
569 views

Metering mode in panasonic Fz35

I am new to photography, recently I bought a new camera which is Panasonic Fz35 which has lots of nice features in it. However while browsing through the settings mode, I found an option for Metering ...
3
votes
4answers
484 views

P-Mode on Nikon D5100: What are some use cases?

I am using D5100 for around 6 months. I have basic ins-n-out understandings of the camera including A/M/S-mode. In, most scenario, i understand what to use. Else, figure it by trial-n-error. But, in ...
9
votes
0answers
336 views

How do I avoid a dark subject when there's bright sunlight from windows? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How do you avoid a dim portrait with a bright background and no external flash? I recently shot some photos at a friend's wedding. The location was lovely with lots of ...
7
votes
3answers
164 views

Why do I meter under the chin with a lightmeter?

Every single tutorial or video has advised to meter for a portrait right under the chin. First of all why? If the face is the most important part, wouldn't you meter right at the face? Secondly, I ...
5
votes
1answer
447 views

What is the logic behind “Brother Backlit Sky” in the book Understanding Exposure?

I don't know if this question is too specific, but after reading Understanding Exposure, I can't understand very well the reasons and logic behind Brother Backlit Sky and their brothers. Although I ...
2
votes
1answer
414 views

How important is lack of color matrix metering and 100% viewfinder in Nikon F100 compared to Nikon F5?

I'm planning to buy a film camera. I'm undecided between Nikon F100 and Nikon F5. The major differences that I could figure out from Thom Hogan's review are: Pro F100: F100 is lighter than the ...
1
vote
5answers
272 views

What exactly does TTL flash sets its power to?

I understand that TTL flash means the flash will preflash and try to calculate the right exposure for that particular scene. That part makes sense, but what exactly is the "right exposure"? Does it ...
0
votes
1answer
383 views

Difference between metering modes [duplicate]

My canon XTi has the following metering modes; Evaluative, Partial, and Center-Weighted Average. What is the diference between these and what situations would you them in?