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explain metering modes on D70s

Larry Page , Jul 10, 2006; 03:13 p.m.

Being a fairly new amateur photographer and owner of a D70s, I am trying to understand When & Why to use the different metering modes( Spot, Centerweight, & Matrix)...Is there a link,or book, or could somone explain in laymen's terms all about metering.....I'm not sure when and under what situation I should use these features..Thanks for being patient and helping me understand the whole picture.Any help would be appreciated... Thank You, Larry


Anupam Basu , Jul 10, 2006; 03:15 p.m.

Dave Lee , Jul 10, 2006; 05:56 p.m.

Thom Hogan sells a wonderful guide on the D70s for $29.99. It's an ebook sold on CD-ROM. Highly recommend it. It will answer your question and many more. www.bythom.com


Ray - , Jul 10, 2006; 09:58 p.m.

I would get some books at a store or library.

I have Thom's book and found it more like an manual and the digital section was an introduction to digital workflow. The D70 is really no different than a film SLR, focus and metering, 3D matrix is not pefect therefore you can use CW and spot meter but you need to know where to point to get the correct setting so that you are brightnesss is correct. For example for spot meter is point it to green and snap, or point to skin and snap, or for some skin its +1 for exposure compensation and snap. It measures grey tone and anything that is more whiter will reflect more light therefore will fool the camera to be more darker and vice versa for a blacker color. If point to snow its white therefore +1.7 for black car -1.7. For sky sunset I generally spot onto sky where its red or cloudy sky away from the sun. So yeah things like that. For portriats I have found that a handheld meter is better since it does not measure reflected light so a car that is black or white or grey will be fine without needing adjustments. This is on a shopping list as I do some portraits. But anyway use this numbers as starting points. Be carful where you point the spot meter thou as its sensitive. For instance if you point to skin that is with sun it will be a different camera setting than skin without the sun. And things like that. Addition, if a person is sitting in front of a window you may want to darken the photo by a bit cos the bright window behind, if he/she is sitting in front of a dark wall, you may want to brighten it up by a tiny bit. Such as +0.3 or +0.7 or such ... Digital is easy in this regard as film is free.

Or the other way is basically look at the LCD and if it look good leave it, if not you can use exposure compensation - the right button underneath next to the shutter button. This makes it darker or brighter. You can also look at the histogram so that it does not touch the right edge which means total white then you edit a bit on the computer or you just accept it white if you don't want to edit. Film can't hold a range of brghttness like the human eye hence you get that .. or the same thing when you want to photog a light bulb.

One can go into Optimise Image settings and into the computer but that is secondary. I also think many pple incl myself don't particularly like messing on the computer. I just do a 3 min job for each, I only edit the pix that I want printed or ones wanted uploaded (a selection). I leave the original JPG or NEF formats on the computer and backed up on CD/DVD, I treat them like negative film that when I want it I take it to my lab, for digital when I want it I do some minor tweaking and then ask lab to print.

Basically for this edit on computer or else you can play around with the Optimise Image settings and shoot JPG, such as tweaking the sharpness setting, the contrast, the saturation setting etc .. You can use the other 2 sRGB setting, for non computer work I would not use Adobe RGB, it makes the colors dull (unless you plan on computer editing).

Edward Ingold , Jul 11, 2006; 12:06 a.m.

The three basic exposure modes, spot, center weighted and matrix, work as follows.

The most useful settng is matrix mode. Exposure readings are taken at many points in the viewfinder, to create a scenario. The light patterns in the scenario are compared with patterns stored in memory, using fuzzy logic. The final exposure is close to what an "expert" might have determined.

Center weighted takes the average reading in the central portion of the viewfinder. If the scene is in fact "average", the reading will work. If you have a lot of contrast, dark background or backlit scene, you usually have to compensate or measure the light some other way.

Spot readings measure the light only within the selected AF bracket. It takes a lot of experience to use spot readings correctly. For more information, read about the Zone Method (e.g., "The Camera" and "The Negative" by Ansel Adams).

Brandon Hamilton , Jul 11, 2006; 11:48 a.m.


Shun Cheung , Jul 11, 2006; 12:05 p.m.

You may find this article by John Shaw helpful. He explains how to use a spot meter on snow scenes: http://www.photosafaris.com/Articles/ExposingWhiteRight.asp

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