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03-08-2010, 03:15 AM   #1
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In what particular scenario are you going to use each metering?

Ive read through this before but still cant get whats the difference..
In what particular scenario are you going to use them:
1 Multi-segment metering
2 center weighted
3 spot metering

03-08-2010, 07:18 AM   #2
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I tend to mostly use multi segment metering if im just shooting street or candids as it lets me just take the photo without having to spend too much time worrying about metering but in high contrast places then you'll want to use spot metering as it lets you set how to image is going to turn out by picking which part of the photo will be properly exposed. Dont really tend to use center metering but i guess there would be some uses for it which im missing out on
03-08-2010, 08:07 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by rustynail925 Quote
Ive read through this before but still cant get whats the difference..
In what particular scenario are you going to use them:
1 Multi-segment metering
2 center weighted
3 spot metering
I tend to stick to Spot metering and center AF. I think it gives the greatest control over exposure. Works especially well in a higher contrast setting where I want to pick and choose what I want 'centered' on the histogram.

Center weighted works fine until you're shooting indoors and have a bright background in the shot (like a brightly lit window).

I'm sure it works fine for a lot of people but I don't use multi-segment metering enough to really comment on it.

03-08-2010, 08:28 AM   #4
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Sorry guys still cant get it. Can you post some images ?

03-08-2010, 09:18 AM   #5
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I'm not sure what posting an image is going to do for you.

Spot metering: The meter presumes everything is mid gray (18%) presuming it is also colour blind.
Spot metering is generally used to set exposure very precisely by reading specific points within the scene to determine the dynamic range.
Personally, I think this is the least useful metering method with dslrs.

Center weighted: The metering pays more attention to what is in the center of the scene than the edges, on the theory that this is where the subject tends to be.
It can be fooled by very strong backlight, or by a bright light source in the picture.

This is the metering method I use most of the time.

Matrix (or pattern) metering. The meter uses a number of cells (77 in the K7) to determine exposure based on an exposure algorithm that is programmed into the camera. In theory, it can take things into account that center weighted cannot, such as strong light sources within the image area by seeing them and ignoring them.
I tend not to use Matrix metering because in the past I have found it wanting. I suspect that the technology has improved and I'm just not giving it a chance to succeed.

This is a fairly big topic, I suspect that anything that is posted here will be a rehash of stuff that is posted elsewhere.
I expect doing a Google search of metering methods will net you some very good information, probably with example pictures.
03-08-2010, 09:31 AM   #6
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I use mostly center weighted and always use center AF. Matrix works OK for some stuff but I seem to get better results in my everyday shooting with the center weighted setting. The main time I use spot metering is when I'm chasing Herons and other birds down in my kayak. With the woods near and the shadows plus all the reflected light off the water, I find that spot metering off the bird gets me the best shot. Spot metering can produce some strange exposures for every day shooting and should not be used. I have left it in spot mode by accident and had to deal with the results. Last fall, I was shooting at a rowing regatta where my daughters college was competing. I had the camera in burst mode shooting straight down from a bridge as the boats were coming through. The camera changed exposure in the burst, with a few being very underexposed or overexposed, depending on where the spot meter read at that particular shot. It also slowed things down. I corrected my mistake after the first series and luckily was able to adjust the "off" shots in PP but it could have been worse. As for matrix, I just don't use it often. Center weighted is much like the meters on my old manual film cameras that I used for years.
03-08-2010, 10:28 AM   #7
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There's nothing special about specific types of scenes that makes one mode better than another - they are just different tools for getting the job done. You have to understand what each mode does and how to use it. If you understand that, you can use *any* mdoe for *any* scene. if you don't understand what the modes are and how to use them, then you will *NOT* get better results simply by switching modes.

BTW, when I say you need to know "how to use" a given mode, I mean, you need to know where to point the camera when metering, how to lock in the exposure selected if you plan to then recompose, and when and how to apply exposure compensation based on your knowledge of why you choose the particular metering target you did.

If you just plan on pointing and shooting, then multi-segment is all you ever need.
03-08-2010, 10:58 AM   #8
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  • I use matrix when shooting landscape (with sky). If I use spot metering on the landscape, the sky will be over exposed and when I spot meter on the sky the landscape will be to dark.
  • I use spot (or center weight) when shooting e.g. a smallish pink flower on a bed of green leafes. If I use matrix metering, the flower gets over exposed and turns white. If however the flower is 90% of the image (or so), it does not matter.
You can achieve the same using exposure compensation (negative in both cases), but my feel is that this gives me a better starting point so I have less to do in post processing.

WimS

PS Best thing is to see the differences for yourself. Put camera on tripod and take pictures of the same subject in the three different modes.

03-08-2010, 01:51 PM   #9
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Center Weighted Metering



Spot Metering



Matrix Metering



These are 100% crops. No other processing applied. ISO 400, Tv Mode, 1/1250 sec, Center AF point, DA*50-135 with the hood taken from a shaded location. All taken within seconds of each other. Very bright outdoors today. I don't screw around with exposure compensation, I leave the JPG recording at Natural (no contrast, sat, sharp, etc adjustments done in camera). I shoot to get the photo subject I want and make adjustments later. The picture is of the dog. Which would You rather use?

03-08-2010, 02:39 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by rustynail925 Quote
Ive read through this before but still cant get whats the difference..
In what particular scenario are you going to use them:
1 Multi-segment metering
2 center weighted
3 spot metering
My K10d is on multi-segment metering as the default.
  1. Multi-segment meters quite well enough for RAW, where I can move the exposure a stop in either direction in post processing. It is not as good as Nikon's "3-d" metering, which, in my opinion is the best metering out there.
  2. I use centre weighted metering an awful lot, but I do find that I have to pay attention to the meter. My M series lenses have only the choice of Centre weighted or Spot metering. With the switch on multi-segment, the camera automatically uses centre weighted with any lens where the aperture ring is not on the "A" position.
  3. I use spot metering when I need to. As someone mentioned above, a heron surrounded by dark foliage is a typical subject. The trick is to know where the meter is reading and what the reflectance is compared to 18% grey and to adjust the exposure appropriately. If you have replaced your focusing screen with one that includes focusing aids such as split prism, spot metering will not work reliably.
I have just read an article in the March 2010 Outdoor Photographer (page 50) that outlines how to use the spot meter to use the zone system for metering outdoors. I'm going to try it out. It sounds as if it might be very useful in certain situations - mostly scenics when one can take the time to use it.
03-08-2010, 08:44 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by JeffJS Quote
These are 100% crops. No other processing applied. ISO 400, Tv Mode, 1/1250 sec, Center AF point, DA*50-135 with the hood taken from a shaded location. All taken within seconds of each other. Very bright outdoors today. I don't screw around with exposure compensation, I leave the JPG recording at Natural (no contrast, sat, sharp, etc adjustments done in camera). I shoot to get the photo subject I want and make adjustments later. The picture is of the dog. Which would You rather use?

Basing from that i would choose multi segment.
On the center weighted which area did you meter?
03-08-2010, 08:46 PM   #12
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Thank you all for the help! What i use to do before was multi segment and then take a look at the picture and use the EV compensation
03-08-2010, 09:12 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by rustynail925 Quote
Basing from that i would choose multi segment.
On the center weighted which area did you meter?
Ok, whatever works for you. The camera is pointed at the same spot on all 3. The dog's face. The only variables are the Aperture due to Av mode and metering type and the specific metering type. I can get good images from all 3 but I prefer to start with a good exposure of the actual subject.

03-08-2010, 09:30 PM   #14
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This might help:

Understanding Camera Metering and Exposure
03-08-2010, 09:36 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by JeffJS Quote
Ok, whatever works for you. The camera is pointed at the same spot on all 3. The dog's face. The only variables are the Aperture due to Av mode and metering type and the specific metering type. I can get good images from all 3 but I prefer to start with a good exposure of the actual subject.

To be fair, Jeff, the pictures of the dog happens to be one of the rare occasions when spot metering without input from the photographer will work and the other two exposure methods would fall down. The dog is somewhat darker than mid gray, causing the meter to call for more exposure.
If you had a fawn coloured Golden Retriever, your results would not have been so fortuitous.
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