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04-03-2009, 04:20 PM   #1
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Spot metering - can I select?

Hi,

I purchased a K200d a few months ago and let me tell you... I love it!

I'm trying out new capabilities and I'm new to the whole photography thing. I just learned about spot metering vs. matrix metering; however, I was wondering what the deal is and how I can use it to my benefit.

I love using the Av feature and I am trying to get more creative shots. I hear that spot metering usually rests on the center of the photo; however, I use the manual focus points ALL THE TIME.

If you switch to spot metering, will the spot be determined by what your focus point is on or just always be the center?

Thanks for helping a noob!

04-03-2009, 05:30 PM   #2
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Unfortunately no. The spot meter is always in the center, no matter which focus point you select.
04-03-2009, 05:55 PM   #3
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as RBellavance said, no.
But using the multi-segment metering, you can set custom function [5] to Link the AF point and the AE metering. It doesn't explain it in great detail, but this I assume will give more weight to the focus point you've selected, which is similar to what you are talking about, with more or less accuracy depending on the situation, as using the center spot meter presents a different set of challenges.
04-03-2009, 06:42 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by khardur Quote
as RBellavance said, no.
But using the multi-segment metering, you can set custom function [5] to Link the AF point and the AE metering. It doesn't explain it in great detail, but this I assume will give more weight to the focus point you've selected, which is similar to what you are talking about, with more or less accuracy depending on the situation, as using the center spot meter presents a different set of challenges.
Yes, this is the setting you may want if you want the metering to give more weigh to the focus-point. However, I usually turn this off because it is very easy to get metering incorrectly when the metering mode is set to multi-segment (for example, if the focus point is either in the dark or bright area).

04-04-2009, 05:50 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by khardur Quote
as RBellavance said, no.
But using the multi-segment metering, you can set custom function [5] to Link the AF point and the AE metering. It doesn't explain it in great detail, but this I assume will give more weight to the focus point you've selected, which is similar to what you are talking about, with more or less accuracy depending on the situation, as using the center spot meter presents a different set of challenges.
I've e-mailed Pentax customer service about this, and their response is that it actually does spot metering at the selected point — not weighted.

I find it annoying that the custom setting doesn't, therefore, change the functionality of the spot meter dial setting — that way, you could use center spot-metering simply by putting the focus spot in the center. As it is, if you're using the center focus sensor, the two settings on the metering dial are exactly the same, which is silly.
04-04-2009, 07:56 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattdm Quote
I've e-mailed Pentax customer service about this, and their response is that it actually does spot metering at the selected point — not weighted.
I'll have to do more controlled testing, but I use that setting enabled (link AE to AF point) with selectable AF points, and it certainly does not feel like the camera is spot-metering on the selected point, but more like it biases matrix metering towards the selected point.
04-04-2009, 10:19 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by RBellavance Quote
I'll have to do more controlled testing, but I use that setting enabled (link AE to AF point) with selectable AF points, and it certainly does not feel like the camera is spot-metering on the selected point, but more like it biases matrix metering towards the selected point.
I'd be interested in seeing your controlled testing. I exchanged several e-mails on this exact point and they were quite certain. (But they've been wrong before.) And I don't have the attention span for controlled testing myself.
04-04-2009, 10:48 AM   #8
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Well, whether it's spot metering or not, it's still the closest to what esman7 is looking for.

Awww now you're all making me think about doing some testing, since it's entirely crappy out today.

-Dan

04-04-2009, 09:10 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by khardur Quote
Well, whether it's spot metering or not, it's still the closest to what esman7 is looking for.
Spot metering with AE-L might be the better option for any of the automated modes. I use spot metering when using high ISO settings to ensure the subject is exposed well and have never found the linking option to work as well for this.
04-04-2009, 09:53 PM   #10
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I just tested this and it seems the meter will bias the exposure in towards the focusing point.
what is 0,5 sec for spot metering is 1/8 s for the linked option.
I personally prefer to spot meter all the time, since I am looking for correct exposure and focus only for the subject.
I am also using a K200d.
04-08-2009, 04:06 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by octavmandru Quote
I just tested this and it seems the meter will bias the exposure in towards the focusing point.
what is 0,5 sec for spot metering is 1/8 s for the linked option.
I personally prefer to spot meter all the time, since I am looking for correct exposure and focus only for the subject.
I am also using a K200d.
So by saying this, you're always have your subject centered in the frame? Sorry, bit confused.

Btw, thanks to everyone for your feedback.
04-08-2009, 09:10 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by esman7 Quote
So by saying this, you're always have your subject centered in the frame? Sorry, bit confused.

Btw, thanks to everyone for your feedback.
I use M mode (with old lenses, and new ones), spot meter once with green button, and keep the same settings till the lighting conditions change.
I don't worry too much, just check in the viewfinder the EV, for each shot, and decide if is necessary to make small corrections.
Center weighted works nice for me in P, and I guess in the other automatic modes too.
In the end, it's you who decide which mode fits better for a certain situation.
04-09-2009, 12:12 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by esman7 Quote
So by saying this, you're always have your subject centered in the frame? Sorry, bit confused.
Not at all. In M mode, you'd center the target, hit the Green button to meter and set an exposure, then reframe. in any other mode, you'd hit AE-L instead of the Green button to lock the exposure before reframing.
04-13-2009, 02:51 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by RBellavance Quote
I'll have to do more controlled testing, but I use that setting enabled (link AE to AF point) with selectable AF points, and it certainly does not feel like the camera is spot-metering on the selected point, but more like it biases matrix metering towards the selected point.
Color me suspicious on this as well. I have also assumed that treats that point like center for weighting purposes but still is using matrix metering. I don't usually use this setting but have imagined that it *might* be a decent idea when using P-TTL as you can't really do exposure lock & re-compose with a flash. Haven't verified how well this does or doesn't work.

I don't think deriving an experiment for this would be too hard.
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