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07-09-2012, 05:42 AM   #1
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1/2 or 1/3 EV

Can anyone tell me what the difference is between the 1/2 and 1/3 EV and which is better to shot in for closes up of people?

07-09-2012, 06:13 AM   #2
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The difference is minimal (1/6). You have slightly more adjustment with 1/3 rather than 1/2.
07-09-2012, 06:53 AM   #3
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Half stop increments are easier to memorize/calculate than thirds.

In practical shooting, there is very minimal difference and you would need to be working in extremely critical exposures for it to play a real role. It's up to you and your brain which way is better for you.
07-09-2012, 06:53 AM   #4
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I've switched to 1/3 stops as it lets you do finer EV adjustments.


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07-09-2012, 06:55 AM   #5
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So, basically, 1/3 takes more time for you to scroll through the values (if you are doing it manually), but also allows you to choose some in-between values, which can be helpful with ISO, for example. But if you are using the automated modes, it doesn't matter too much I think. Technically the difference is small
07-09-2012, 07:00 AM   #6
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I've been back and fourth on this over the past few years and I still can't make up my mind. I think I'm in the 1/2 ev camp though as the stops are easier to memorize.
07-09-2012, 07:28 AM   #7
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Thanks everyone I am going to shot test shots in some photos to see what the outcome for me is better. Can anyone have a look at my photos/albums and evaluate?
07-09-2012, 07:34 AM   #8
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I stick with 1/3 because I like the finer adjustments avaialble.

07-09-2012, 07:45 AM   #9
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Do you understand the purpose of this setting? it sounds like perhaps you don't. It's not like you cam just make the setting then expect to see a different result in your pictures. It's mostly just a matter of giving *you* the photographer more control when you choose to apply exposure compensation or switch to M (manual) exposure mode.

So, it's like if you had a stereo with a volume control knob one of which had ten clicks between minimum and maximum volue and the other had 15 clicks, but the actual minimum and maximum were the same on both stereos. One just allows for finer control over the volume thanthe other. You wouldn't be able to tell the difference between the two steroes just by listening to them. It's just that one would give you finer control oer the volume than the other.

Back to cameras, 1/3 EV is like the knob with 15 clicks - it gives you finer control. But that's not always a good thing, if it means you have to think harder in order to take advantage of that control. Only you can make that decision. But you can't even start pn that process until you understand the purpose of the setting.
07-09-2012, 08:24 AM   #10
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I just learn as I go as never been able to take course due to $$ and time to be frank. So I try to google but sometimes it seems like u need to be a pro or advanced. I personally have not found the very basic site and the instruction book I got I read some parts and go "what?" lol
07-09-2012, 12:19 PM   #11
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1/3 EV steps are the camera's default setting.

I prefer using the 1/2 steps for three reasons:
  • they are faster to scroll through
  • they are easier to calculate
  • they land me squarely on the 1/180 x-sync speed


The EV step increment you choose will affect all three exposure controls—aperture, shutter, ISO—and EV compensation. I wish I could have 1/3 EV compensation and 1/2 steps everywhere else!

Last edited by TomTextura; 07-09-2012 at 03:58 PM. Reason: clarify 180 x-sync speed
07-09-2012, 03:16 PM   #12
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I was on 1/3rd stop increments for a long time and all it really did was frustrate me. I'm back on 1/2 stops now and I spend much less time fiddling and micro-managing my exposures and more time making good frames. As always, YMMV.
07-09-2012, 03:19 PM   #13
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I agree with both camps...1/3 EV hurts my brain, but I use it, because I micro adjust almost every shot, and I want the extra control. AFter 3 years of half stop EV I'm now using 1/3.
07-09-2012, 07:46 PM   #14
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I'm in the 1/2EV camp too.
07-10-2012, 06:16 PM   #15
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From the point of view of exposure there is not really differences between and 1/3. If you do any PP there is even less as you make bigger changes most of the time. From DOF even less to see. From the point of ISO it is probably better to stay in whole stops that way you are not mixing analog amplifiers and digital gain. But from the point of shutter speed with certain kinds of object this can make a difference. Having a 1/3 when shooting propeller airplanes or helicopters lets you have more control over how much you want to blur blades. This little bit more control is the only reason I changed from to 1/3 and the bigger headache.


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