Alley in Pisa, Italy

by Lars Kotthoff

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25

I wrote a tutorial about this very subject on my website. You can read it here. To summarise, there are two advantages to using it in manual mode: Once you've set your meter for the prevailing lighting conditions, you shouldn't need to worry about the exposure again (unless you need to change the aperture or shutter speed, or the lighting changes ...


24

Not only are light meters more versatile, you can do a few kinds of metering with them that you can't with cameras (and vice versa). The meter you've linked (and I happen to own) has two kinds of metering: reflective and incident. Also, light meters can meter for flashes/strobes, something you can't do with modern DSLRs. Reflective metering in the metering ...


22

Matrix is Nikon's multi-segment system. Other companies call their versions Evaluative or something similar. It is the mode you use when you don't want to think about metering. It is very sophisticated and does a good job in most situations. Spot is used when you KNOW what part of the scene is going to be your midtone, that is the part of the scene that you ...


21

At light levels this low, you'll be much better off by taking some test shots and checking their histograms rather than just relying on a light meter (which is usually optimized for measuring light, not darkness). However, you can make the test shots take less time. Perform the test shots at the maximum ISO your camera can handle (avoid the uncalibrated ...


20

It means "through the lens" and generally it hooks your flash into the exposure system of the camera since the metering of the scene is through the lens. This allows the camera to exert control over the flash, including power, distance, etc. based on the scene and focal length, if the flash supports that functionality with your camera. Usually true for ...


17

Your question mixes in several terms like focus and vignetting which I think show that you're making this more complicated for yourself than it really is. Metering is just about determining the proper exposure for an image. It does this by measuring the light in a certain way, and computing an exposure value that matches the measurement. If you're in an ...


17

That is an incident light meter. It's used in both motion and still photography, although with modern cameras the built-in light meter is usually so good (and so convenient) that separate meters are not as essential as they once were. There is a difference, though, because a camera's built-in meter measures light reflected back to the camera, whereas this ...


16

There are two basic possibilities. First, and probably the biggest: the metering takes into account more of the scene with the wider angle, and the scene is different enough that the exposure choice is correspondingly different. This is particularly likely to be the case if there are actual light sources or shadow areas in the scene. You don't mention what ...


14

The problem is that the exposure meter in the camera does not know whether the subject itself is bright or not. It simply measures the amount of light that comes in, and makes a guess based on that. The camera will aim for 18% gray, meaning if you take a photo of an entirely white surface, and an entirely black surface you should get two identical images ...


14

Shooting the moon is a pretty good time to use it. :-) Basically anytime the subject you actually want a clear photo of is drastically different in brightness compared to the rest of the scene.


11

The way TTL works is to measure the exposure of the scene when the aperture of the lens is wide open, and then when the picture is taken, it stops down to the correct aperture. With a manual lens, oftentimes you have manually stopped the lens down already to the aperture you want, or because that is where the exposure reading is telling you it is correct. ...


10

Any time there is something in the frame that you want to be white or black (and where the subject is still, or at least slow) works well. For white, you can spot meter on the white surface and then overexpose the given reading around 1.5 - 2 stops. For black you do the opposite, measure and then underexpose as much (test with your own camera to figure out ...


10

Its near impossible to balance the foreground and the horizon/ambient when shooting into the sun without lighting modifiers, so you have to pick a target. If your target is to expose the sunset correctly, then expose for the sky - a non-white, non sun patch close to your composition, and recompose using those settings. If your target is to expose the ...


10

Matrix mode is where the camera tries to match the scene against a database and make an intelligent decision. This is particularly useful for typical tricky situations, like portraits with a bright sky in the background. Most modern cameras get this right. The problem is that it's a black box: you have no way of knowing what the camera is basing its ...


10

How are you metering the photograph? There is no one aperture/shutter-speed/iso combo for any situation, you either need to get an accurate meter reading or 'guess'. When I say 'guess' I mean use the Sunny 16 rule which is: In daylight, the appropriate shutter speed at f16 is 1/ISO So if your ISO is 200 and your aperture is f16 then your shutter speed is ...


10

If you're shooting RAW, you may have a little (or alot on some newer sensors) of wiggle room with your exposure. But, how your camera metered to measure the light to expose the scene in camera doesn't mean ANYTHING after you take the picture. Spot metering is just how the light meter in your camera thinks it needs to expose the current scene (and for spot ...


10

Overview In general, the workflow goes like this: Choose metering area Adjust and meter Retain the metering Compose, focus and shoot Since there are so many steps, spot metering tends to work better for planned shots, although it can perform quite fast when linked with AF point (details under "Adjusting and metering"). For rapid shooting in changing ...


10

AE Lock is for situations where you want to use metered exposure later than you metered it: locking exposure capturing parts of a panorama - for seamless stitching, frames with similar exposure will work better than differently exposed ones; when you meter from a gray card, lock exposure, then remove the gray card and compose; you point your camera on a ...


9

It doesn't make a huge amount of difference what mode you use because if you want accurate exposures, 9 times out of 10 you have to correct it manually. I use AV (aperture value) and evaluative metering; it gets the closest in the widest range of circumstances. Then I shoot and chimp (check the exposure on the rear LCD screen), I often have to adjust the ...


9

The metering scale you are referring to is used for two things. In manual mode (M), it indicates how far you are from what the camera thinks should be the right value. It is the camera's guess (depending on the metering mode, see other questions in metering). In all other modes, it is called exposure-compensation (EC) and is you telling the camera to ...


9

Basically, you expose for the ambient ("existing") light however you want, and the flash will automagically provide the rest of the light needed for a proper exposure (for values of "proper" as decided by the vagaries of your camera's metering system). Your flash photo in effect consists of two separate exposures; one that sucks in the ambient light in the ...


9

There are two basic ways to accomplish this, and it all boils down to being able to separately control autofocus and your meter. You can meter first and then autofocus, or you can autofocus first, then meter. I've listed a few different methods, but ovens vary; adjust cooking time accordingly. Meter, Focus, Recompose, Shoot Method one: AE-lock on half ...


9

Do you have a camera bag? A lot of them have a gray interior that's fairly close to what you're looking for, especially if you have dividers you can pull out and use by themself. You may have to tweak the final balance, but it will be in range. An another approach is to DIY it on a printer. Again, it won't be perfect, but it would be close enough for basic ...


9

Metering will always be trial and error, because the camera assumes everything you're shooting reflects 18% of the incoming light back at the camera. It has no way of knowing whether your subject is white or grey, or even what part of your scene is the intended subject! The closest the camera can get to knowing the latter is by looking at the currently ...


9

Yes. Spot metering gives you 18% grey. Each stop below that halves the reflectance. The number of stops to dial-in depends on how close to black you want the result and the dynamic range of your camera. With a perfect noiseless exposure, -1 EV would give you 9%, -2 would give 4.5%, -3 would be 2.25%, etc. As you can imagine, most cameras are not perfect ...


9

I've used Pocket Light Meter for the iPhone (like dpollitt :) when using my grandfather's old Leica IIIc, a 35mm rangefinder with no light meter or automatic metering. I played around with it quite a lot, comparing its results against those of my Canon 5DmkII's metering, and found it to be very accurate. The results from the Leica bore this out too: ...


8

The basic principle of spot metering (when compared to matrix metering) is that it loses the comfort of having camera guess how should different parts of scene contribute towards exposure settings and gives that control to you. Therefore, situations favoring spot metering are when you want precise control over what part of the scene exposure is measured by. ...


8

With spot metering, the camera will only measure a very small area of the scene (between 1-5% of the viewfinder area). Metering Mode This means you could get a light reading for a very specific area in the frame as opposed to a general measurement for the overall picture. Using this built in meter you can tell specifically how your subject will be ...



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