Home · Register · Search · View Winners · Software · Hosting · Software · Join Upload & Sell

Moderated by: Fred Miranda
Username   Password

  New fredmiranda.com Mobile Site
  New Feature: SMS Notification alert
  New Feature: Buy & Sell Watchlist
  

FM Forums | Nikon Forum | Join Upload & Sell

1
       2       end
  

Archive 2012 · Spot metering question, please clarify
  
 
lycale
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Spot metering question, please clarify


I am trying to learn more about spot metering, but I'm confused. Some articles say you should meter directly on the subject you want properly exposed, the most important person or object in the frame. Other articles say to find something like grass, sky, or pavement to meter off-- in the same range as middle gray. I assume that method is based on the zone system. Which method should you use.? Which is best? I would very much appreciate your advice. Thanks in advance.


Jul 26, 2012 at 07:59 PM
snapsy
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Spot metering question, please clarify


The complication is that different subjects have different reflectivity, whereas all metering systems rely on the fact that the average reflectance is 12%-18% gray. The suggestion you read to meter off grass (and other specific objects) is because they have the average reflectance that the meter expects, that way you can rely on the meter reading without making mental adjustments.

My strategy is to meter the brightest highlight I want below clipping, preferably something with average reflectance, then adjust the exposure 2 to 2 1/2 stops brighter to put those highlights at the very right edge of the histogram, with the expectation that I'll be adjusting the exposure back in post-processing.



Jul 26, 2012 at 08:04 PM
NathanHamler
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Spot metering question, please clarify


I'd never spot meter a landscape...too much dynamic range......i only spot meter people.....but like snapsy said, it's too complex for a single answer, b/c everything reflects differently...


Jul 27, 2012 at 05:25 AM
Slug69
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Spot metering question, please clarify


Meter on whatever you want exposed correctly.


Jul 27, 2012 at 09:31 AM
rhyder
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Spot metering question, please clarify


lycale wrote:
I am trying to learn more about spot metering, but I'm confused. Some articles say you should meter directly on the subject you want properly exposed, the most important person or object in the frame. Other articles say to find something like grass, sky, or pavement to meter off-- in the same range as middle gray. I assume that method is based on the zone system. Which method should you use.? Which is best? I would very much appreciate your advice. Thanks in advance.


"find something like grass, sky, or pavement to meter off-- in the same range as middle gray"

...or use a middle gray card...........



Jul 27, 2012 at 12:59 PM
rhyder
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Spot metering question, please clarify


Slug69 wrote:
Meter on whatever you want exposed correctly.



...uh.....No.

This would only work if "whatever you want exposed correctly" had an 18% reflectance.



Jul 27, 2012 at 01:00 PM
glassartist
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Spot metering question, please clarify


Slug69 wrote:
Meter on whatever you want exposed correctly.

Meaningless statement.

With all other settings at neutral, if you spot meter on a blackbird, it will appear grey in an unprocessed image. If you spot meter on a snowman, it will appear grey in an unprocessed image. That is because the spot meter is effectively telling the camera that it should set the exposure so that the light value within the spot appears as a middle 12-18% grey in the unprocessed image. Try it (digital images are cheap) and you'll see. Grass and green foliage are a fair approximation of middle grey.

Knowing this, you can use the spot metering to determine which part of your image is exposed at that 18% grey value. Get yourself an 18% grey card if you want to do it right. But the more critical question is what do you want the final image to look like - how much detail do you want to hold in highlight and shadow areas?








Jul 27, 2012 at 01:05 PM
Slug69
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Spot metering question, please clarify


Wow.

When I am at a concert with bright lights flashing amidst darkness and I spot on the performers face I get a perfect exposure.

Amazing.

What you guys said above is true for normal scene/area evaluative metering as well. I have no idea why you think it is any different.

Treat spot metering exactly the way you would the other metering modes but know that you are dealing with whatever camera manual says about the size of the spot meter circle. Anywhere between 6mm to 12mm at your spot.




Jul 27, 2012 at 02:21 PM
vtec44
Online
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Spot metering question, please clarify


I often use spot metering with the Zone System, unless I add flashes then I just get out my light meter.


Jul 27, 2012 at 06:32 PM
rhyder
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Spot metering question, please clarify


Slug69 wrote:
Wow.

When I am at a concert with bright lights flashing amidst darkness and I spot on the performers face I get a perfect exposure.

Amazing.

What you guys said above is true for normal scene/area evaluative metering as well. I have no idea why you think it is any different.

Treat spot metering exactly the way you would the other metering modes but know that you are dealing with whatever camera manual says about the size of the spot meter circle. Anywhere between 6mm to 12mm at your spot.



Actually its not amazing at all. In those conditions it's probably very close to middle gray. You're just lucky. Try making the front of the speaker your subject and meter off of that. You really should learn what spot metering is realy about, before you advise someone how to use it.....



Jul 27, 2012 at 06:43 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



rhyder
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Spot metering question, please clarify


Slug69 wrote:
Wow.

When I am at a concert with bright lights flashing amidst darkness and I spot on the performers face I get a perfect exposure.

Amazing.

What you guys said above is true for normal scene/area evaluative metering as well. I have no idea why you think it is any different.

Treat spot metering exactly the way you would the other metering modes but know that you are dealing with whatever camera manual says about the size of the spot meter circle. Anywhere between 6mm to 12mm at your spot.



FYI...What you're refering to (on the your D70) is CENTER WEIGHTED metering) NOT spot.
If you want I can recommend some really good books on BASIC photography............



Jul 27, 2012 at 06:55 PM
workerdrone
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Spot metering question, please clarify


kinda rude there, buddy...enjoying yourself?

I've never had problems spot metering in difficult lighting by either a)metering off the closest thing in the scene I judge to be to 18% gray or b)metering off whatever I'd consider the most important thing in the scene (faces)



Jul 27, 2012 at 07:20 PM
Rags Hef
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Spot metering question, please clarify


I don't don't know about all this talk about grayscale (& I don't really care)

I metered my IR cam off grass.

Everything else, I spot meter off the important subject if the background is unimportant (it usually blows out).

I spot meter the shadow midday and the low light at night - It works for me.

But careful if you're in manual mode with bracketing, you might be locked out of spot

Rags



Jul 27, 2012 at 10:44 PM
jmcfadden
Offline
• • • • • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Spot metering question, please clarify


wow so much mis-information and so little time............

Try THIS exercise (this is how i teach my students)

Go to the camera store and buy a Standard Kodak Grey Card for 5 bux

now hold it so it is evenly illuminated by any light source be it outside or inside but start outside to make the exercise simpler

Put your camera in MANUAL
Set the meter to SPOT
Zero the meter on the card

Now WITHOUT changing settings for aperture or shutter speed look thru the viewfinder and Observe your environment

See the grass lit by the sun WHAT does the METER read? MAKE A MEntal Note

What does the concrete Read? Make a mental note

Now point at the northernmost sky 45degrees above the horizon. WHAT does it read? Make a mental note

What does the PALM of your hand read?

What you have learned and should forever lock away in your mind is :

HOW THESE THINGS RELATED TO A KNOWN STANDARD: THAT BEING A STANDARD KODAK 18% GREY CARD

Whites are 2 stops or there abouts ABOVE middle grey and as you spot meter one then you ADD ~2 stops in spot meter

True Blacks are -2stops BELOW middle grey and if you spot meter them you SUBTRACT 2 stops or more from the middle

Camera meters have to be REFERENCED to something and you the operator have to tell them WHAT is the TONE you are pointing it at and How Does It Relate To Middle Grey

This is the First of my lessons on exposure theory

study hard and the rest is easy


J



Jul 28, 2012 at 01:28 AM
campyone
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Spot metering question, please clarify


Metering off of a sidewalk, grass, etc. sounds like a suggestion someone made for situations when for some reason you can't meter directly on the most important area of the scene (e.g. you're too far away to confine the reading to that spot). It has nothing to do with the zone system. With the zone system, film, and a one degree spot meter the usual method of metering to obtain the desired exposure was to meter on the darkest important shadow area in the scene and then reduce the exposure by one, two, or three stops depending on whether you wanted to place that area on Zone IV (dark gray), Zone III (darker, almost black, gray) or Zone II (black).

But metering with a digital camera is entirely different. With film the concern was to make sure you didn't underexpose and lose important shadow detail. Which is why the exposure was based on the shadows. With digital the concern is the opposite, i.e. to make sure you don't overexpose and blow out important highlights.

While I used a one degree spot meter and the zone system of exposure and development with film for many years, I've never found it necessary or particularly useful to use either one with a digital camera considering that the histogram tells you everything you need to know. But if you want to use one, just remember that the aperture and shutter speeds given by the meter will place the metered area on roughly the equivalent of a middle gray. If you want the area to appear darker than middle gray reduce the exposure by one (darker gray), two (much darker, almost black, gray), or three (black) stops. If you want the area to appear brighter increase the exposure by one (light gray), two (normal white), or three (bright white) stops.

I never found gray cards particularly useful in the field, mainly because you'll get very different readings depending on the angle at which the card is held to the light source. The same is true of your hand.



Jul 28, 2012 at 02:07 AM
Rags Hef
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Spot metering question, please clarify


Yup... Shoot racing...

start shooting into the sun as the racer passes you're shooting out of the sun (might even change shutter speed during a pan).... A gray card?? are you kidding me? Set white balance? huh?

But always check the histogram for guidance

Rags



Jul 28, 2012 at 03:27 AM
jmcfadden
Offline
• • • • • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Spot metering question, please clarify


Rags Hef wrote:
Yup... Shoot racing...

start shooting into the sun as the racer passes you're shooting out of the sun (might even change shutter speed during a pan).... A gray card?? are you kidding me? Set white balance? huh?

But always check the histogram for guidance

Rags



exercises like the use of a grey card give instruction and inform the learner to be able to use just about Anything in a scene in order to determine an exposure calculation based on what they deem most important and be able to take charge of the EV based on various factors

Do they want Motion emphasized? Build the EV around the desired shutter speed

DO they need to Freeze action? again build the EV around That shutter speed

WHat about DOF , the build around that EV

Once the exercises are learned well they are faster then the inanity of cumbersome constructs like Exposure Compensation which is clunky by comparison

Then the student can better understand the histogram and will be even more informed. All these tools have to learned and understood to be mastered


J





Jul 28, 2012 at 04:37 AM
Slug69
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Spot metering question, please clarify


rhyder wrote:
FYI...What you're refering to (on the your D70) is CENTER WEIGHTED metering) NOT spot.
If you want I can recommend some really good books on BASIC photography............


This post and your previous is outrageous for this forum.

The D70 has spot metering just like almost all other Nikon SLR's. Edit: You were right though, the dimensions I spoke about were for Centre weighted - I never use centre weighted only matrix or Spot. Spot evaluates on approx 1 percent or about 2mm in the viewfinder.

Another reason why the Nikon might nail exposure so well on peoples faces when using spot is that it uses a colour meter. Most other makers of cameras haven't been putting colour ev meters in until only recently.

You would still need a grey card if you wanted to nail exposure for the other metering modes thats why I didn't bring it up because everything else is equal between the metering modes except the size of the area being metered

Grow up.



Jul 28, 2012 at 05:51 AM
rhyder
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Spot metering question, please clarify


Slug69 wrote:
.....Well..............DUH..!! Figured that one out didya?

Chapter one...Photo 101
Now do a little research on the Zone System...See what its all about..........



Jul 28, 2012 at 12:25 PM
DaveOls
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Spot metering question, please clarify


When all else fails, buy an incident meter and read the exposure for the light that is falling on the subject, if possible.


Jul 28, 2012 at 12:36 PM
1
       2       end




FM Forums | Nikon Forum | Join Upload & Sell

1
       2       end
    
 

You are not logged in. Login or Register

Username   Password    Reset password