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Spot Metering and focus lock on a D50.

Soumya Simanta , May 10, 2006; 10:39 a.m.

I got a D50 a couple of months back and still learning how to use it properly. Most of the times I use spot metering but I�m having this problem. If I understand it correctly there five focus areas in D50 view finder. My question is if I want to meter from a different area/spot and focus on a different spot how can I do it? This became a bigger issue for me since I�ve been trying to shoot portraits because my so called 18% grayscale spot could be totally different area where I want the real focus to be. I�ve been shooting in aperture priority mostly.

Responses

nicolas lapoujade , May 10, 2006; 11:12 a.m.

as far as I know, no. The spot metering takes only a very small portion of the center of the sensor/viewfinder. Then you can lock your focus, assuming that your subject or the light doesn't move.The 5 areas are for AF, not for metering. Hope that helps...

Robert Morton - Lake County, Illinois , May 10, 2006; 11:15 a.m.

Are you confused with the Auto-Focus area and the spot meter? on your display(not LCD, but on top next to shutter button), and through your viewfinder, you will be able to choose your focus area with the arrow button on the back of the camera. That is for your focus. You can choose 5 different areas, top, bottom, left, right, or center.

When you depress the AE lock button, it locks in the spot meter and the autofocus, I think you are asking how you can split those, right? not too sure if that is you question, nor have i tried to do this. hopefully someone with more experience on this camera can help us.

-Bobby

Shun Cheung , May 10, 2006; 11:24 a.m.

While I do not have a D50, on both the D100 (which uses the same AF module as the D50) and the D2X, the spot meter uses the current AF point instead of being restricted to the center AF point.

To meter and AF with different AF points, you need to meter first and then either lock the exposure or simply use the M mode to set exposure manually, and then you AF. Personally, I prefer the M mode.

Again, I don't have a D50, so please verify that what I wrote also applies to the D50, although it applies to every Nikon AF body with multiple AF points I own.

Soumya Simanta , May 10, 2006; 11:44 a.m.

Nicolas >> I though that the five focus areas were for both - metering as well as focus. Of course I could be wrong.

Robert >> You are right. My question is how do I split the locking of focus and meter at different areas in the view finder.

Shun >> I think that should be the case on the D50 as well. I'll verify. So if I understand you right, you are saying

a) I've to first take the meter reading using in one of the auto-exposure modes (aperture priority, shutter priority)

b) Remember the exposure readings

c) Change to manual mode and then use the same exposure settings.

Correct me if this is wrong or if there is a simpler way to do this.

Thank you all.

Shun Cheung , May 10, 2006; 11:55 a.m.

First of all, there are different ways to do this, but I would set the camera to M, spot meter your subject and manually adjust the aperture and shutter speed. Unfortunately, unlike most Nikon SLRs that have separate command and sub-command dials, the D50 uses one dial to control both, making it less convenient. You can then point the AF point to some other location to focus. Exposure won't change unless you change it manually.

This method will not work very well for action photography, but since you are talking about portraits, that shouldn't be a problem.

Piotr Fraczek , May 10, 2006; 05:21 p.m.

P 96 of the D50 manual...

Spot Metering

"...Camera meters active focus area only (if closest subject is selected for AF-Area Mode, camera meters center focus area). Ensures that main subject will be correctly exposed, even when background is much brighter or darker..."

Stormy Bultas , May 10, 2006; 10:58 p.m.

from page 98 of the manual...

The default function of the AE/AF button is to lock both the focus and the exposure. However, you can customize this button to lock either focus or exposure only (custom setting 14). If you set the AE/AF button to lock exposure only and use the shutter to lock focus, then they should be independently "lockable", right? Per the manual, this only works in A,S, and P modes with center weighted or spot metering.

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