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how much is the best amount of AEB

Lamoine Einspahr , Jul 03, 2008; 06:41 p.m.

I have tried several different setting on AEB. Pure question for YOU. What is YOUR opinion of the amount of offset of F stop that seems to work best for YOU? I shoot raw with the REBEL, but when using the XTI I use JPG because of excessive noise with the XTI. So the question then becomes which works best with BOTH modes RAW and JPG? I don't use AEB generally, but when shooting images I may not be able to repeat at least soon, I do use AEB. Give me your best results, maybe different rates for shadows and backlighting etc. Thanks.


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Geoff Sobering , Jul 03, 2008; 06:49 p.m.

My 20D and 40D both seem to like about +1/3 or +2/3 for "normal" scenes to get a good ETTR histogram. I generally leave both cameras at +1/3 by default.

I use other amounts depending on the subject and lighting. In unusual cases I'll shoot a couple of tests to get the best value for the situation (actually, that's pretty much what I do all the time).

Geoff Sobering , Jul 03, 2008; 06:49 p.m.

Opps, forgot to say I only shoot raw.

Robert Nurse , Jul 03, 2008; 06:54 p.m.

I'm no expert. But, I think you said it best: What is YOUR opinion of the amount of offset of F stop that seems to work best for YOU?. I usually start out small: +/- 1/2 stop (5D). Then increase/decrease it until the image is to my liking.

Bob Atkins , Jul 03, 2008; 06:56 p.m.

"but when using the XTI I use JPG because of excessive noise with the XTI"

I'm not sure I follow your logic on that

Mendel Leisk , Jul 03, 2008; 10:49 p.m.

I leave my metering at minus 1/3 stop most of the time. It depends on what you're shooting, Especially for dark interior or near-dusk shots, a little underexposure makes the scene closer to my perception. I find if left centered the scenes tend to come out brighter than expected. Also, using Photoshop's ACR I find raising levels easier than recovering blown highlights.

William W , Jul 04, 2008; 01:00 a.m.

I am confused by some of the answers.

I understand the question to be about AEB (Auto Exposure Bracketing).

When I use AEB, I set the AEB to: minus 1/3 and plus 1/3 stop.

I set the Drive Mode: Continuous

I then shoot a manual bracket of plus 1 stop / minus 1 stop.

The result is a total bracket of nine exposures, in thirds.


Mark U , Jul 04, 2008; 02:48 a.m.

I think it entirely depends on your purpose and the nature of the subject. For example, I was taught to make a 5 shot bracket at 1 stop intervals from 1 stop over downward when shooting sunsets with the idea that one of the images may be most pleasing (shooting slide film). If you are shooting an interior scene with an exterior view through an open door you may need an even wider range to cover the different lighting levels, blending exposures using HDR techniques. Spot metering (or partial metering with a longer focal length) can help determine the range you need. Digital allows extra shots for next to nothing, so if you are trying to pick a perfect exposure without using RAW or HDR techniques, you can use a blunderbuss approach as suggested by William. Of course, it will hasten the day you have to replace your shutter, so the shots aren't entirely free.

Neill Farmer , Jul 04, 2008; 03:26 a.m.

I'm a bit mystified about the question, I've never used AEB, don't think I ever will. If I have any doubts I take a shot, look at the image, look at the historgram, check to see that what I want is exposed correctly, if not use EC. I generally have the EC set on +1/3 on my 400D, On the 7e it was - 1/3. I try to visualise what effect I'm after before I take the shot so I often manipulate EC but never use the shotgun approach. For important shots I use raw and find this gives a lot of space for manipulation later if it's needed. Shooting jpgs if I need to conserve card space I find the technique I use above keeps the image well within the range of what can be satisfactorily manipulated. FWIW train photographers (my hobby) get censured for using continuous shooting, the purists would surely have apolexy if someone suggested AEB. The purists say you should pop the shutter once just at the correct moment, pretty hard if the trains doing 70mph. Neill

William W , Jul 04, 2008; 04:09 a.m.

Blunderbuss approach. . . that made me laugh, I assume it was meant to be funny?

Yes subject matter matters, agreed.

I should have been more articulate . . . taking the sunsets, for example, I do not use AEB and yes my sets would most likely be one stop apart . . .

What I was meaning was that, AEB, (for me), is a more useful tool for fine bracketing, and a very quick method of getting a wide, one third spread, quickly.

I do not use AEB often . . . for a later selection of correct rendition of many artworks (production line shooting) and latter choice of subject movement / blur when time (light changes) are quick and thus restricting the shooting time: a brook at sunset, in failing light.

These are two examples that come to mind when I have used AEB: at other times manual exposure bracketing works for me, and, for me it is usually quicker.


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