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View Poll Results: Do you use 1/3 EV steps or 1/2?
1/3 (most of the time or usually) 4074.07%
1/2 (most of the time or usually) 1222.22%
I choose between the two depending on my needs 11.85%
My camera doesn't give me the option   00%
I don't care / whatever the default is 11.85%
Voters: 54. You may not vote on this poll

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02-17-2011, 05:20 PM   #1
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EV Steps: 1/3 or 1/2?

Hi Everyone

Just wondering what EV steps you set your camera to, and what rationale you have for doing so.

There is an old thread here: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/general-photography/35645-1-2-1-3-exposure-value-stops.html but it is so old that I am no longer allowed to post on it.

Personally I use 1/3 steps, and for what I think is a very good reason. I live in a country where our AC power is 50Hz (Australia). Therefore, if I am shooting in fluorescent light I want to have the shutter speed at a multiple of 50. With 1/2 EV steps you can't do this, as the steps go 1/60", 1/90", 1/125", 1/180". This would be ok in other countries which have 60Hz mains power (e.g. USA) but here it's no good. 1/3 steps gives me at least some of the right shutter speeds: 1/50", 1/100", 1/200".

02-17-2011, 05:24 PM - 2 Likes   #2
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The only problem I have with 1/3 steps is that I can't dial in sync speed, so I'm shooting at 1/160 instead of 1/180.

Actually I lied, the other problem is because of a lack of cable release capability for my K-x, I have to do manual bracketting for HDRs, and 1/3 steps meaning lots of e-dial spinning.
02-17-2011, 05:26 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
The only problem I have with 1/3 steps is that I can't dial in sync speed, so I'm shooting at 1/160 instead of 1/180.
That is a very good point. One I hadn't thought of. Thanks for that.
02-17-2011, 08:21 PM   #4
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Shoot a scene with a high dynamic range like a sunset with strong shadows and you'll quickly discover that half stops just can't zero in on the right exposure as well as a third stop increments can.

02-17-2011, 10:41 PM   #5
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Usually half stops.

I have the feel that that 1/6 of a stop does not make a world of a difference; my exposures are usually off by more than that

QuoteQuote:
There is an old thread here: 1/2 or 1/3 EV stops? but it is so old that I am no longer allowed to post on it.
You can post in old threads; I've don't think I've ever tried it so I don't know if it actually works, but you're supposed to tick the checkbox next to the warning
02-17-2011, 10:46 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by sterretje Quote
You can post in old threads; I've don't think I've ever tried it so I don't know if it actually works, but you're supposed to tick the checkbox next to the warning
Oh, whoops. Didn't see that. Oh well, the old thread was lamenting not having a poll, so now this one does!
02-18-2011, 06:06 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by secateurs Quote
That is a very good point. One I hadn't thought of. Thanks for that.
Actually I always have the camera set to 1/3 EV. Iīve done this on the supposition that it gives me greater control. However, given that so much of my shooting is manual & requires fiddling anyway, I doubt I would see much difference with 1/2.

It hadnīt occurred to me that the reason the camera seems to sync at 1/160 instead of the stated 1/180 was because of the EV steps. 1/160 does work perfectly well with flash though.
02-18-2011, 06:12 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jonathan Mac Quote
Actually I always have the camera set to 1/3 EV. Iīve done this on the supposition that it gives me greater control.
+1 (and since I rarely use flash--and don't know what I'm doing when I do--, the sync thing is not an issue for me.)


Last edited by dadipentak; 02-18-2011 at 06:21 AM.
02-18-2011, 06:23 AM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
The only problem I have with 1/3 steps is that I can't dial in sync speed, so I'm shooting at 1/160 instead of 1/180.
If you need a shutter speed of 1/180 your problem would be quickly solved by turning the mode dial to X.

I use 1/3 EV for additional f-stops, not shutter speeds.
02-18-2011, 10:27 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by sterretje Quote
Usually half stops.

I have the feel that that 1/6 of a stop does not make a world of a difference; my exposures are usually off by more than that

You can post in old threads; I've don't think I've ever tried it so I don't know if it actually works, but you're supposed to tick the checkbox next to the warning
Same here, and yes, you can post in old threads (I resurrected the 12-14 Praise thread...).
02-19-2011, 09:29 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
The only problem I have with 1/3 steps is that I can't dial in sync speed, so I'm shooting at 1/160 instead of 1/180..
On the K-5 if you dial in more than 1/180th and the wireless flash is active it will drop it back to 1/180th automatically. You can actually see it say 1/200th for a second before it drops it back. I dunno what would happen with a pocket wiz on there though.
02-19-2011, 12:45 PM   #12
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On my K-x there is no sync-speed mode (X) and with a wireless trigger like pocket wizard or my MK-RC7, it doesn't drop down to 1/180. It just lets me select 200 and doesn't fire.

I've always used 1/3 for greater control, but because of this thread I'm really going to try out 1/2 for a while. I think I've spent too much time fine tuning the DoF or ETTR instead of just shooting and thinking about more important things.

Last edited by Eruditass; 02-19-2011 at 01:29 PM.
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