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04-04-2019, 08:53 AM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by BruceBanner Quote
I get all that, I was just curious if for example I was in Av mode, fixed ISO, and I used Matrix mode and I adjusted EV Comp to either +5 or -5 and somehow IT COULD NOT MATCH an exposure given in Centre or Spot (that also was using EV to the same extremes)? Does that make sense?
Define "COULD NOT MATCH".

If you mean the same EV (not the same as EV comp), that is easily done in M mode. If the center of your scene is much brighter or darker than the rest of the screen and you are using exposure automation, you will be limited to the amount of EV comp supported by your camera.

Don't confuse metering with exposure or exposure automation. Metering provides a suggested exposure value (EV) consistent with the meter being used. Exposure is the amount of light permitted to strike the sensor (expressed as EV). Exposure automation allows the camera to follow a meter's suggestion for EV.


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04-04-2019, 09:03 AM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by BruceBanner Quote
I was simply wondering if for any given scene, you can end up at the desired chosen exposure that the user wants to do the shot at with any metering mode (and through the use of EV compensation).
As long as you understand what center weighted (or with separate light meter averaging) is looking at, and you can reasonably estimate with experience how much brighter and darker areas there are (both how much darker and lighter, and what fraction of the scene) you can reach close to the same setting as by using spot meter to measure various parts of the scene. With experience whatever metering method you use gives essentially the same result. That even is true of simply estimating the exposure based on the older "cheat sheets" given with film, and using experience from similar images taken (e.g., I find metering of little use in evening with many far off strong lights, and then use my older experience).

QuoteOriginally posted by BruceBanner Quote
Wow, ok... so heaps of responses here, cool, looks like I'll be reading a lot of these more thoroughly and exploring more over the weekend.

I wasn't really trying to get into matters of 'exposure' per se, or rather 'optimal' etc, because (and perhaps I am being naive here) I was kinda under the impression that there is no such thing as 'the right exposure' for any given shot, that is up to the user to decide how to manage the exposure (decide on a well balanced shot or deliberate high/low key image etc)..
As to there being no right exposure, in some cases that is exactly right (here we differ with some of the comments posted). While with many images you want to capture the entire dynamic range and then can pp to get the look you want, where the DR is too large you pick the slice that you want, letting brights being blown out/featureless or letting darks be featureless. Although even where the entire DR can be captured, if you know you want for example to have a rich darks and blown out very light areas, you could/should purposely overexpose so you will have less noise in the areas you are most interested in.

Last edited by dms; 04-04-2019 at 09:08 AM.
04-04-2019, 12:26 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
???

Metering mode and chosen exposure are mutually exclusive. Assuming a Pentax dSLR; yes, one can bias exposure freely using EC and/or M mode with any of the three supported metering modes.


Steve
Yeh, I know it sounds like a dumb thing to say lol. But like... you 'only' get +/- 5EV with EV compensation, can you get different exposures at the extreme end of those spectrums if you change the metering mode. Like... would Spot metering a specific scene and -5EV give a an exposure that say Matrix metering (and also facing THE SAME SCENE AT THE SAME ANGLE) (ie tripodded) cannot achieve?
04-04-2019, 12:52 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by BruceBanner Quote
But like... you 'only' get +/- 5EV with EV compensation
Ummmm...that is ten stops on a camera that only supports 14.

QuoteOriginally posted by BruceBanner Quote
Like... would Spot metering a specific scene and -5EV give a an exposure that say Matrix metering (and also facing THE SAME SCENE AT THE SAME ANGLE) (ie tripodded) cannot achieve?
We have a disconnect somewhere.


Steve

04-04-2019, 12:53 PM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by TonyW Quote
It is quite true that you can generally point and shoot and let the camera get on with it and produce a nice acceptable result - most of the time. 'Correct or right exposure' may also be debateble as we can make many corrections in post but you may wish to consider the concept of optimal exposure. Broadly this applies equally to digital or analogue acquisition. It is generally considered good practice to aim to expose to utilise all of your sensors dynamic range without clipping important highlights. Depending on the scene DR and your requirements optimal exposure will place your data to the right hand edge of the histogram. Doing this you will have optimised your exposure which means you have kept as much DR as possible and avoided noise characteristics in the shadows allowing greater control in post. This assumes that the scene DR you wish to capture falls within the senors DR capablity. You may have 8 - 12 stops DR depending on your system - underexposure will loose shadow detail by loosing DR and placing values lower than necessary in the 'noise' areas of your capture.

Be aware your raw editor of choice will probably lie to you and in many cases suggest that you are overexposing when in fact you could be up to a couple of stops below sensor capacity. Resulting in loss of camera DR and potential noisy shadows, should you take the initial rendering as gospel

All bets are off however should the scene DR exceed sensor capacity. In these cases you will need to make a choice of either sacrificing some highlight or shadow detail, or adding light to the scene or consider multiple exposures or HDR.

IF you point your camera at a single tone e.g. plain wall in any colour and shade switching to spot, centre or matrix should yield the same exposure figures and if you actually expose and examine the histogram I suspect you will see the same spike in the same position. My guess is that position will be left of centre indicative of a system calibration point of around 12%

Now if you point your camera at a 'normal' subject you will find that the metering modes likely disagree.

Spot reading will only be 'correct' (not necessarily Optimal!) for a subject with a 12% grey value (filling the spot circle) - a Kodak 18% grey card will need exposure increase of around 1/2 stop or positioning 45 degrees from light source.

Matrix will adjust that exposure to what the preset algorithms decide about all the collected data collected and may even make a 'safety' allowance if there are enough bright areas in the frame of underexposing slightly to protect from clipping - but who knows as these things are generally not fully documented by the manufacturer. As an aside I understand that Nikon (sorry!) matrix seems to consistently underexpose by 2/3 stop in an effort to prevent clipping - sorry not sure what Pentax generally does under similar circumstances

Centre Weighted will also adjust exposure based on its particular pattern and what is under the main area of that pattern.

All may need your input for adjustment based on the ROI to achieve optimal exposure. Depending on subject matter all may achieve an 'acceptable' image without input and one that will respond well to post work.

Correct


QuoteOriginally posted by dms Quote
As long as you understand what center weighted (or with separate light meter averaging) is looking at, and you can reasonably estimate with experience how much brighter and darker areas there are (both how much darker and lighter, and what fraction of the scene) you can reach close to the same setting as by using spot meter to measure various parts of the scene. With experience whatever metering method you use gives essentially the same result. That even is true of simply estimating the exposure based on the older "cheat sheets" given with film, and using experience from similar images taken (e.g., I find metering of little use in evening with many far off strong lights, and then use my older experience).



As to there being no right exposure, in some cases that is exactly right (here we differ with some of the comments posted). While with many images you want to capture the entire dynamic range and then can pp to get the look you want, where the DR is too large you pick the slice that you want, letting brights being blown out/featureless or letting darks be featureless. Although even where the entire DR can be captured, if you know you want for example to have a rich darks and blown out very light areas, you could/should purposely overexpose so you will have less noise in the areas you are most interested in.

So this video is supporting the idea that 'optimal exposure' or an image with the most detail might not always be the most interesting photo, which is why in my posts I have stayed away from the idea of achieving a balanced or optimal photo. For sure there are times that is a look you want, a certain landscape where no highlights in the clouds blown and yet details in the shadows etc.

What I'm getting at is whether the decision to use spot, centre or weighted from the outset, and through the use of EV compensation perhaps if in Av mode for example, could say matrix metering not match a certain exposure that spot could 'get to' and vice versa.

From my small amount of playing around I found that not true. Regardless of using spot or matrix on a specific scene, I could always end up at whatever exposure I was aiming for or wanted with either metering system through the +/- 5 EV compensation (being in Av mode for example). It simply feels like the metering choice 'launches you' at a different starting point of exposure, but the means to move around shows that you can reach either starting point and even the extremes fine (+/-5EV). Maybe I got that wrong?

So like I say, I typically use Matrix all the time, and EV Comp quickly for a scene for the desired effect such as the shot below;



Obviously an example of not the 'optimum' exposure achieved. Some might say I could have used spot metering and focused on the brightest part to get me to this kinda exposure quicker, but in the end is it not perhaps better to just stick to a metering system you want (and get to know it) and use EV comp to help manoeuvre the exposure around to the desired result?

Like I say, I've toggled to Spot for those times where perhaps I need greater automation and help with getting the centre of the image more acceptably exposed (and stuff the rest of the frame, such as a concert or public speaking event). I also used Spot metering when experimenting with ETTR landscape shots, but I gave up on that as it was too time consuming and fiddly, I found I got to the same place quicker in Matrix and EV comp and chimping for blinkies etc.


This all got me thinking about my future metering choice, and if I should leave matrix to another metering system because it had a benefit that the other metering systems couldn't attain (exposure wise), regardless of what that might be. Or some other advantage I was not seeing.

I typically use Matrix with a -0.7 EV comp as a starting point for my shots in Av mode, it produces a darker image, however the highlights seem less blown, skies have more details and I can typically always recover shadows more easily etc. I could do the same with centre or spot as well I imagine, it's just the ev comp will be different values to end up at a similar exposed image. But what if being in one of the metering modes actually has an advantage the others don't have, something I'm not seeing here such as an ability to go to an exposure (through the use of +/-5EV comp) that the others cannot attain etc? I think that was my question lol

---------- Post added 04-05-19 at 07:00 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Ummmm...that is ten stops on a camera that only supports 14.



We have a disconnect somewhere.


Steve
This is a Bruce thread, there is bound to be disconnect. It is your job to figure out what I am asking lmao
04-04-2019, 01:22 PM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by BruceBanner Quote
Like... would Spot metering a specific scene and -5EV give a an exposure that say Matrix metering (and also facing THE SAME SCENE AT THE SAME ANGLE) (ie tripodded) cannot achieve?
We have a disconnect somewhere.

OK...perhaps a specific example might help:
  1. One spot meters a homogeneous portion of a scene and determines that they want to place exposure at that part of the frame five stops lower than the metered EV reading. (For zonies, that would be zone 0...black.) Using ether EV comp or M mode, they attain the desired -5 stops from the spot meter reading.
  2. Taking the photo, they are gratified to see that the area they placed exposure to is indeed black.
  3. Remembering the desired EV from photo above and with the camera still on the tripod, untouched, they change to matrix metering and note that the meter indicates two stops less exposure than the spot meter reading. Knowing the desired EV from before, they use EV comp and/or M mode to set the camera to -3 EV from the first exposure.
  4. Taking the photo, they are gratified to see that it is identical to the first.
Doing something similar, but with the matrix reading and exposure done first would be equally possible, but without the option of knowing ahead of time how to get black for the desired portion of the frame.

Note that the initial readings for both meter modes may be deemed quite accurate even though they provided different numbers, though a master photographer looking on might ask why one would use matrix metering if they wanted to place exposure.


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 04-04-2019 at 01:50 PM.
04-04-2019, 01:38 PM   #37
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But wait! There's more!

Taking the example from my previous post...
QuoteQuote:
  1. One spot meters a homogeneous portion of a scene and determines that they want to place exposure at that part of the frame five stops lower than the metered EV reading. (For zonies, that would be zone 0...black.) Using ether EV comp or M mode, they attain the desired -5 stops from the spot meter reading.
  2. Taking the photo, they are gratified to see that the area they placed exposure to is indeed black.
  3. Remembering the desired EV from photo above and with the camera still on the tripod, untouched, they change to matrix metering and note that the meter indicates two stops less exposure than the spot meter reading. Knowing the desired EV from before, they use EV comp and/or M mode to set the camera to -3 EV from the first exposure.
  4. Taking the photo, they are gratified to see that it is identical to the first.
Instead of changing the camera settings in step #3, the photographer accepts the metered EV and sets the camera to it, makes their exposure and applies three stops less "exposure" to the imported DNG in Lightroom. Would one still expect to two photos to be the same?


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 04-04-2019 at 01:46 PM.
04-05-2019, 10:12 AM - 2 Likes   #38
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Bruce,
From what I can see you have been given a lot of information most of it relevant and applicable to the question of exposure and metering. Perhaps too much information to digest in one go or put in a format that you did not like or maybe not explained fully enough?

The video you linked to, I admit that I did not really watch more than the intro. From what I did see the impression is that the chap did not like the notion of using full DR or even HDR due to not always producing the best images – we do not need to always have maximum detail in the shadows or even the highlights. I agree entirely with these sentiments.

However, this has nothing to do with the principals of optimal or even correct exposure. Rather this seems to refer to the final rendering of image data – potentially a very different beast to what you have may have acquired with your camera.

It seems to me that there is some confusion/misunderstanding about certain aspects or even the terminology including Dynamic Range, ‘Correct’ exposure and Optimal exposure (they are not necessarily the same!).

To attempt to clarify:
Dynamic Range: The full DR of the scene (the parts that YOU deem important) may or may not fit into the sensor DR range. If they do fit comfortably then there are potential benefits to exposing to the right as far as possible prior to clipping. The main benefit is that you are moving the whole data set into the area that the sensor captures best with the maximum amount of levels available and the lowest noise characteristic. Should the scene DR fall outside of sensor DR range AND you need to record ALL you see then you will need to re-evaluate your capture and sacrifice the least important areas to being clipped or add light or multi exposure etc.
Truth be told you are not going to get your cameras (or necessarily always want/need) full DR on a sheet of printing paper and neither will you see all on your monitor.

There is only one exposure time and aperture (ISO film only) for film or digital lthat will cause an exact and predictable exposure value to be achieved. Yes of course these values can be and will be changed in editing, with the mid values responding better to larger shifts than either the shadows or highlights

“Correct or Proper” exposure will not be the same as the metered exposure unless the subject under the metered area happens to coincide with the luminance value the meter has been calibrated to (typically around 12.5%). This applies to all metering modes –maybe a surprise but can be proved/disproved by filling your frame with a single tone target, white, grey, black it does not matter! The resulting exposure indicator should be very close with all metering modes.

“Correct exposure”aims to place a single value (there can only be one!) where we require it to be within the capture range, other values will fall where they must. Correct exposure may mean that you photograph ablack cat in a coal cellar or a white rabbit in the snow and adjustthe meters recommended exposure to “place” that value on the sensitometric curve where you want it to be or where you deem it should be. But that only really applies to film capture, think JPEG capture without the ability to edit the data as the digital relative.. Digital capture gives us more flexibility

Optimal exposure will not necessarily be the same as a ‘correct’ exposure and really only fully applies to raw capture. The aim is to utilise the sensors ‘best’ characteristics to provide an image file with the very best data that will offer benefits once we start image processing. That data will definitely need working on in post to bring back to our visualisation as it is likely to appear far too light in our editing software.

Bearing in mind that there is only one exposure to produce 'x' density within your image capture (again ignore post work for now) it must follow that this must apply to Spot, Centre or Matrix equally. The difference will only be in the degree of correction you need to apply as each will be different, but definitely not better or seeing more than the other


Last edited by TonyW; 04-05-2019 at 11:41 AM.
04-05-2019, 03:22 PM - 1 Like   #39
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There may be no "right" exposure setting but there sure are a lot of wrong ones.

With at least 19 stops available in shutter time (1/8000 sec to 30 seconds), at least 7 stops typically available in aperture (f/2.8 to f/22), and least 10 usable stops in ISO (100 to 51200), the total LV range of the K-1 is at least 36 stops. But the DR of the K-1 is only about 14 stops which means the majority of possible exposure settings are grossly over-exposed or under-exposed.

For most evenly-lit scenes, the dynamic range of the scene is much smaller than the 14 stops of the sensor. Maybe a stop of over-exposure and maybe several stops underexposure can be corrected in post with no problems. Metering can be a little sloppy. If the scene has high DR and the photographer isn't willing or able to use multi-shot HDR techniques, then getting the exposure right does matter. And if the goal is a well-exposed SOOC image, then an "accurate" exposure is important.

An "accurate" exposure means finding an exposure that doesn't clip the highlights you want to keep, doesn't lose the shadows you want to reveal, and records each gray level in the scene as the gray level you want in the final image (e.g., the white paper looks white, the black cat looks black, etc.)

Metering is the first step to avoiding wrong exposures or getting toward right exposures. The different metering methods differ in how they get to a "good" exposure. None of the metering modes gets the right exposure 100% of the time. What's interesting is that some metering modes are more predictable than others in how they react to the scene which lets the photographer be more confident that they can depend on the reading. However, predictability brings a curse -- the predictable metering modes are dumb.

Spot metering has both the dumbest and the most predictable behavior. It's easy to meter a spot in the scene, know that the spot is something other than 12.5% gray, and know that some ±EV compensation with get the gray of that metered spot to be the desired gray level in the final image. Spot metering takes more work but it can lead to much more precise exposure settings.

Center-weighted is also pretty dumb but predicting it's behavior on a high-dynamic range scene is a little harder. Is the large dark mass of the foreground going to cause underexposure? Is the big of puffy white cloud or sun at the top of the frame going to cause overexposure? It can be hard to tell and make a good EV compensation choice.

Matrix is the least dumb, usually the most accurate, but also the most unpredictable. It's even less obvious whether a matrix reading has already compensated for unusual darkness or brightness in the scene. For most scenes, matrix is good enough but for some scenes it's not good at all.

Next comes EV compensation to correct for the discrepancy between the metered exposure and a better or more correct exposure. There are three primary reasons for using EV compensation:
1) the scene is fooling the meter or is NOT the 12.5% gray (e.g., the proverbial white cat on a white chair in a snow field)
2) the photographer wants to ensure no detail is lost at one extreme of the light level range (under-exposing to protect highlights or over-exposing to capture deep shadow detail)
3) the photographer does not want the typical "accurate" exposure (e.g., high key and low key)



One mode you haven't mentioned is using manual exposure, spot metering, and the green button. It's a really powerful combination because with the spot meter live in M mode, the exposure bar graph dynamically shows the discrepancy between the current exposure setting and the LV in the current spot location. So you point the spot at some "gray" part of the scene, hit the green button, adjust the exposure manually until it's over- or under-exposed to suit how overly white or over black the spot was. Now, if you move the spot across the scene, you get a dynamic reading can see if some part of the scene will clip or be too dark.
04-05-2019, 04:22 PM - 1 Like   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by BruceBanner Quote
What I'm getting at is whether the decision to use spot, centre or weighted from the outset, and through the use of EV compensation perhaps if in Av mode for example, could say matrix metering not match a certain exposure that spot could 'get to' and vice versa
You are not comparing "like with like".

In an average scene using Av + fixed ISO, matrix metering will give you a shutter speed to give you a metered exposure of 0.

If you instead switch to spot meter you will get very different readings depending where you point the spot meter at. Straight into the sun or onto a black shape in shadow.

Two completely different metering modes so there is no point at all in trying to "match" them. Exposure of an image is created by the shutter/aperture/ISO triangle parameters, not by the meter.

As others have said take a single shade like a large gray card, evenly lit, and fill the frame with matrix metering. Then compare to spot metering. Same result.

Depending on camera and lens the darkest picture your camera can take is at 1/8000 f32 and ISO 100. The lightest is 30s f1.4 ISO 204800. Metering mode cannot expand those boundaries.

Last edited by pschlute; 04-06-2019 at 04:56 AM.
07-06-2019, 07:01 AM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dartmoor Dave Quote
The most sophisticated use of spot metering is the zone system, but that's too in depth to go into in detail here.
I used the Zone system quite awhile back when I was shooting film. At that time I used a Pentax Spotmeter. I'd like to use the Zone system again partly because I often shoot with lenses that require stop down metering. What I'm wondering is if my K1's spot meter is up to the job, or would a dedicated spot meter improve my results?
07-06-2019, 10:24 AM - 2 Likes   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by les3547 Quote
I used the Zone system quite awhile back when I was shooting film. At that time I used a Pentax Spotmeter. I'd like to use the Zone system again partly because I often shoot with lenses that require stop down metering. What I'm wondering is if my K1's spot meter is up to the job, or would a dedicated spot meter improve my results?

I've always assumed that the spot meters in DSLRs will have a wider angle of view than the very precise Pentax Spotmeter, but I don't know the exact figures. For digital I shoot mostly with Takumars and I usually incident meter or follow Sunny 16, but I'll sometimes use a very simplified version of the zone system using the DSLR's built-in spot meter. Since digital cameras blow out to white in a horribly abrupt way, I usually concentrate on what I want to put into zones viii and ix and let everything else fall where it will. I'm usually so concerned about avoiding nasty blown highlights that I don't even bother to meter for anything below zone iv. I just cross my fingers and hope I can recover some detail from the raw file.
07-07-2019, 06:11 AM - 2 Likes   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dartmoor Dave Quote
I've always assumed that the spot meters in DSLRs will have a wider angle of view than the very precise Pentax Spotmeter, but I don't know the exact figures. For digital I shoot mostly with Takumars and I usually incident meter or follow Sunny 16, but I'll sometimes use a very simplified version of the zone system using the DSLR's built-in spot meter. Since digital cameras blow out to white in a horribly abrupt way, I usually concentrate on what I want to put into zones viii and ix and let everything else fall where it will. I'm usually so concerned about avoiding nasty blown highlights that I don't even bother to meter for anything below zone iv. I just cross my fingers and hope I can recover some detail from the raw file.
The K-1 spotmeter is relatively narrow and is defined by the circle in the center of the focusing screen. The K-1's spot has a diameter about 1/6th the height or 1/9th the width of the frame. In angular terms, the K-1's spot depends on the focal length. A K-1 with about a 200 or 250mm lens matches the 1° spot of the Pentax Spotmeter. So you could mount a telephoto lens, use the spot meter & green button in M mode to pick the exposure, then swap to the lens you want to use for the shot. (Note, if the K-1 is set to link the metering spot to the AF spot, the size of the spot depends on the AF zone size and moves with the AF point.)

P.S. You can map the sensitivity pattern of any TTL meter and AE mode by putting on a wide-angle lens, pointing the camera at a bare bulb or bright light source in an otherwise dark scene, and then panning the camera while watching the meter reading slide up and down.
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