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03-24-2011, 06:15 AM   #1
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Metering with the K-7

Since I got my K-7 early last year I've shot in Av mode pretty much exclusively. Lately I've played a bit with manual mode and really appreciate the ability to meter off a particular part of the scene before composing the final shot, notably in very high contrast scenes where auto-exposure modes don't make the same decisions I would.

My solution in Av mode has always just been chimping and adjusting the Ev compensation accordingly for a second shot, but I miss a lot of shots that way when I could have gotten it right the first time around. So now I'm wondering -- is there a way in Av mode to manually meter on a spot, that would work in an 'on demand' fashion? What I'm looking for is a situation where it would normally choose an exposure time automatically, but when I felt I needed a bit more manual control I could press a button to meter without having to spin the mode dial over to Manual.

03-24-2011, 08:08 AM   #2
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Spot metering works with any mode (Av, Tv, Sv, M...)

Regards,

Peter
03-24-2011, 03:54 PM   #3
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If you set metering to spot and use the exposure lock you will achieve what you want. Also I find the K7 is very good on protecting shadow detail and highlight detail if these two functions are enabled in high contrast situations with matrix metering, this assumes you shoot jpegs of course
03-24-2011, 06:27 PM   #4
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Isn't that locked to the autofocus as well? Say if I wanted to meter, lock the exposure; then autofocus on another point; and then finally recompose (this sounds convoluted but I find myself wanting to do it in certain situations, usually when pointed close-ish to the sun).

03-24-2011, 10:20 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by v5planet Quote
Isn't that locked to the autofocus as well? Say if I wanted to meter, lock the exposure; then autofocus on another point; and then finally recompose (this sounds convoluted but I find myself wanting to do it in certain situations, usually when pointed close-ish to the sun).
AF and AE are locked if this is chosen in the Custom Menu, but you can also unlock it. You can then lock AE independently with the AE-L button.

Meter in the center of the frame using Spot, press the AE-L button, then compose, focus and shoot.

Scott
03-24-2011, 10:26 PM   #6
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And remember, if you are using the spot meter, as far as the camera is concerned, everything is either 12% or 18% gray (depending on the camera calibration).
You can't just point the camera at something, spot meter it and expect the exposure to be correct.
03-24-2011, 10:28 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by snostorm Quote
AF and AE are locked if this is chosen in the Custom Menu, but you can also unlock it. You can then lock AE independently with the AE-L button.

Meter in the center of the frame using Spot, press the AE-L button, then compose, focus and shoot.

Scott
Thank you snostorm, this is exactly what I was looking for! Just tried it out and works like a charm. Between this and accidentally discovering the Green Button can set ISO to auto in Av mode I feel like I've learned a whole new way to use my camera more effectively.
03-24-2011, 10:39 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
And remember, if you are using the spot meter, as far as the camera is concerned, everything is either 12% or 18% gray (depending on the camera calibration).
You can't just point the camera at something, spot meter it and expect the exposure to be correct.
I admit I cannot remember something I did not know

Though I am also confused by what you mean, in general. Mostly I am talking about situations where it is impossible to get the full scene to fall within the camera's dynamic range without clipping on both ends. Are you saying that in such situations spot metering will not ensure that the tone I have selected will be properly exposed, rest of the image be damned?

03-25-2011, 05:30 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by v5planet Quote
I admit I cannot remember something I did not know

Though I am also confused by what you mean, in general. Mostly I am talking about situations where it is impossible to get the full scene to fall within the camera's dynamic range without clipping on both ends. Are you saying that in such situations spot metering will not ensure that the tone I have selected will be properly exposed, rest of the image be damned?
Light meters presume everything is a surprisingly dark shade of gray. The 18% gray card is generally accepted as the standard for meter calibration.
So, if you spot meter a very pale skin tone (as an example, a very white skinned redhead), the camera will underexpose the image.
Spot meter a very dark skin tone (a very dark skinned African, for example), the light meter will over expose.
In each case, the meter is trying to bring the subject back to middle gray.

If you want to learn how to use a spot meter, I would suggest studying Ansel Adam's Zone System.
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