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11-12-2010, 07:32 PM   #1
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what metering mode do you use and why?

i read to on here to use spot metering mode.

i talked to several professional photographers that make serious money and they have all said they use matrix metering.

should I switch to matrix (from spot) or not, and why?

11-12-2010, 08:33 PM   #2
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Use what works for you. The important thing is to know when to trust the meter, and when to override it.

I use center weighted, and it works in most situations for me.
11-12-2010, 08:35 PM   #3
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Generally, my default is multi-segment but I change this depending on the subject and conditions. If I'm doing portrait work or want to be sure that my subject is properly metered, I'll switch to spot metering, I use center-weighted less often but I will use it when I want to give ore preference to the subject but not as much as spot.
11-12-2010, 09:10 PM   #4
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I use multi-segment which seems to work a little better than center-weighted for me after testing each for a week some time ago. I guess my subject matter tends to even out in tone :-)

Because it is easy to mess up exposure using spot-metering, I think it should only be used by photographers who have experience with the zone system. And if they do, then they should be good enough judges of the view to know when to use a little EV compensation :-)

I did use spot-metering, accidentally, for 2 days while on vacation. Luckily, in the desert, most things are middle-toned, and the exposures were fine.

11-12-2010, 09:20 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by hockmasm Quote
i read to on here to use spot metering mode.

i talked to several professional photographers that make serious money and they have all said they use matrix metering.

should I switch to matrix (from spot) or not, and why?
Spot metering is for exceptional circumstances, not for every day work. With my DA's I use matrix, which switches to center weighted when I put one of my M lenses on the camera. A spot meter can be useful, but takes some getting used to. You must make absolutely certain that what you are metering is exactly what you want to be 18% grey. I have taken to using spot metering for zone metering, such as when taking a photo of a bright waterfall, and I do not want to lose the highlights. Meter the white water and add 2 stops or there abouts so that it comes out white, but with detail - that sort of thing.
11-12-2010, 10:05 PM   #6
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I use center weighted most of the time as I like its greater emphasis on the subject. However, for expansive scenes or whenever there is more than one subject, I use Multi-segment if I'm using a DA lens .
11-13-2010, 09:44 AM   #7
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Mostly centre-weighted: merely a habit carried over from the MXs that I used for many years. No perceptible advantage seen in multi-segment mode with Pentax DSLRs: mine (K200D and GX20) continue to underexpose. Spot metering only in uncommon high contrast situations or when a bird fills the frame with a 400mm (almost never).
11-13-2010, 02:44 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by hockmasm Quote
i read to on here to use spot metering mode.

i talked to several professional photographers that make serious money and they have all said they use matrix metering.

should I switch to matrix (from spot) or not, and why?
You sound like you need to read, Farzad's "Simplified Zone System" book. For a beginning you can read translated version of my lecture notes, goggle translates it a bit understandable, note the title "Assessment of the measurement of light exposure meter." figures to understand what really metering modes do.

Google Translate

After you read the Farzad's book you will understand better, it might not mean anything to you right now but "Zone V" is your calibration zone, most people can use their palm as a "Zone V".

Best of luck.

11-13-2010, 05:24 PM   #9
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Each mode has it application.
No one metering mode is suitable for all situations, just like with shooting modes and exposure settings.

So I use each depending on what I'm shooting.
Spot for correctly exposing a small area within the frame, centre weighted particularly for head shots and other subjects that fill much of the centre of the frame, and matrix metering for exposing landscapes and reasonably evenly lit scenes.

And even with those settings, I may still need to adjust EC according to the predominant colour/tone.

So there isn't a decent answer for your question - it depends on a few variables and desired effects.

Last edited by Ash; 11-13-2010 at 09:03 PM. Reason: spelling
11-13-2010, 05:25 PM   #10
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I use centre-weighted average most of the time, that combined with AEL and/or ħEV compensation means that evaluative metering is never used for me. There are occasional times that I do switch to spot metering, when the situation calls for it.
11-14-2010, 10:10 AM   #11
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I like center weighted, because it is often easiest in that mode to balance the sky with the land to get an even exposure. If I'm shooting someone backlit etc, center weighted helps me make sure the matrix isn't confused by some background image.

It seems to be a happy medium, but center weighted requires you to play with the +/- EV comp for it to really work.

Plus, I don't get any nasty surprises when I change from a M to an A lens - sometimes I forget that the metering logic changes. If you set it to center weighted, every lens you have will act the same.

Last edited by paperbag846; 11-14-2010 at 10:54 AM.
11-14-2010, 11:42 AM   #12
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I use spot if I'm in "M" mode usually and CWA if in "A" or matrix. I'm prone to having the wrong setting when I pull the camera out though.
11-14-2010, 02:55 PM   #13
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In my opinion, I think two types of metering modes are useful. Just depends on the situation. I generally set mine to spot metering and when I'm out doing outdoor shots I use multi-segment metering. But that's just me.
11-14-2010, 03:14 PM   #14
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I only use centre weighted. By doing that I've finally come to understand how the camera will behave depending on what I point it at, so I've (through much trial and error) developed an undersanding of how much + or - EV to dial in depending on that scene. By switching to different modes I don't think it would be as easy to know instinctively what EV compensation to dial in.
11-14-2010, 05:40 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Each mode has it application.
No one metering mode is suitable for all situations, just like with shooting modes and exposure settings.

So I use each depending on what I'm shooting.
Spot for correctly exposing a small area within the frame, centre weighted particularly for head shots and other subjects that fill much of the centre of the frame, and matrix metering for exposing landscapes and reasonably evenly lit scenes.

And even with those settings, I may still need to adjust EC according to the predominant colour/tone.

So there isn't a decent answer for your question - it depends on a few variables and desired effects.


+1

Nothing really that I could add or take away from what Ash has said here.
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