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Metering Mode (spot, evaluative, partial, center weighted)

Dotun Famakinwa , Jun 17, 2007; 09:26 a.m.

For all you experts out there, what metering mode do you find yourself using most of the time. Do you make your choice depending on what you are shooting (surrounding elements, etc) or is there a specific mode that gives you more accurate exposures each time.

Thanks.

Responses

Steve Torelli , Jun 17, 2007; 11:18 a.m.

Of course, what metering mode you use depends on the situation you find yourself in. Having said that, I rarely use evaluative metering, although it's fine for many situations, preferring partial metering most of the time and spot metering from time to time depending. Like anything else in photography there are no hard, fast rules. Metering, aperture, shutter speed, ISO, there's never a standard setting Good luck.

Peter Lyons , Jun 17, 2007; 11:32 a.m.

I use evaluative virtually all the time, and am very happy with the results. I've learned that I like to dial in some exposure compensation, though. +1/3 stop on sunny or light overcast days, and +2/3 stop on heavy overcast days or nearing twilight.

On the rare occassion that I'm shooting landscapes, I sometimes switch to spot if I want to play around with zone-system metering.

Dave Holland , Jun 17, 2007; 11:43 a.m.

automatic or manual

I'm like Peter, either full automatic (evaluative) or full manual (spot, or straight manual with no meter). I confess that the reliability of evaluative is usually better than spot, using my skill set and attention span.

Dave

richard oleson , Jun 17, 2007; 12:14 p.m.

Like the above, I use evaluative most of the time. I use the partial metering occasionally: I only have the center AF spot turned on, so when I lock focus on the subject I also lock the metering before repositioning to compose the shot. That works pretty well when you have a subject lighted differently from the surroundings.

Mendel Leisk , Jun 17, 2007; 02:15 p.m.

Another factor: With custom function 4 set to 1 (or other?), so that the focus is on the * button instead of shutter button, half depress of shutter button will lock exposure in all the modes. Once I got used to setting the focus with the * button, I found it easier to use, and easier for exposure setting.

Geoff Foale , Jun 17, 2007; 02:51 p.m.

If you are uncertain which mode to use then Evaluative is a good average. Also good for those quick shots where thinking time isn't possible and anywhere that you doubt your abilities or lack the nerve to try anything else.

Remember, as Peter has already mentioned, you frequently need to adjust your exposure compensation a little.

Often, I take the first shot with evaluative then switch to partial metering. That way, if I make a right hash of it, at least I've got one good average shot plus it allows me that little bit of thinking time to properly observe the sceen look at the histogram and work out the 'clever' settings.

Partial metering often gives me the best results, eventually! I find centre weighted metering to be a bit tricky - neither one thing nor the other.

Jon Austin , Jun 17, 2007; 03:54 p.m.

I've used partial metering almost exclusively for the past 4 years on my 10D and then 20D. The 5D I bought last last month gives me the ability to experiment with spot metering, and this prompted me to play a little with evaluative, as well.

In my brief experience thus far, there's really not much difference in the results I get from evaluative vs. partial, unless the background (or foreground) is both significantly brighter/darker than the subject, and comprises a substantial amount of the frame. And in those situations, I'm most inclined to switch to Manual mode and use flash, anyway (i.e., use flash to light subject, to avoid it getting silhouetted by bright backgrounds; or use flash to light subject and use slower shutter speeds to capture ambient light in darker surroundings).

Like Geoff, I've never found much use for center-weighted metering. The empty icon on the top LCD display ("[ ]") is a good visual representation of the value this metering mode represents to me. : )

Steve Torelli , Jun 17, 2007; 05:26 p.m.

Jon Austin said : "Like Geoff, I've never found much use for center-weighted metering. The empty icon on the top LCD display ("[ ]") is a good visual representation of the value this metering mode represents to me. : ) LOL An accurate assessment !

Harry Joseph , Jun 17, 2007; 06:11 p.m.

I found that evaluative metering does not allways give you the best shot. Especially when it comes to very bright or dark backgrounds. I would play around with all the options to see wich one fits depending on the situation. I found that partial metering is great for portraits.

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