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12-21-2006, 11:42 AM   #1
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Metering...

How do you use 'spot metering'.

Thanks,
John


Last edited by jfdavis58; 12-21-2006 at 12:58 PM. Reason: Emphasis
12-21-2006, 11:58 AM   #2
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Might want to tell us what model camera you have for this one - the settings will vary between models slightly.
12-21-2006, 12:00 PM   #3
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See here:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/1267-getting-know-....html#post8785
12-21-2006, 12:01 PM   #4
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Is this a trick question? You seem pretty knowledgable on most aspects of photography...

Or is the question "How do you use 'spot metering'?"

If the latter, then the answer is rarely (center-weighted seems reliable enough) but when I do, it's usually to meter several parts of the scene separately so I can decide how to expose it. I only do so when the lighting's really strange.

Julie

12-21-2006, 12:57 PM   #5
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How do you...

Yes. Thanks for the compliment.

Yes, my err; corrected.

Hmmm, Always informative; thanks!
12-21-2006, 01:06 PM   #6
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Camera model...

Spotmatic, K1000, M, ME Super, Super Program, ZX-M, ZX-10, ZX60, PZ1-p, *ist-D, *ist-DL, K100D, K10D. Also a Yashica Mat124G and a Holga.
12-21-2006, 01:08 PM   #7
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Referral...

Zone System Practitioner?
12-21-2006, 01:22 PM   #8
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OK, first you'll need a large blender - we're going to make one camera from all that stuff.

12-21-2006, 01:40 PM   #9
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This is an honest (and serious) question! On forums such as this, I'm all about several things, one such focus is: getting people to the proficiency level they want to be at, as quickly as possible. Talking about how you use a particular function reveals your knowledge level and re-enforces the good aspects of your abilities and knowledge.

Spot metering is an important tool when correctly applied. And you need not stand on your head or learn a mystical chant to master the technique.

If those that have it down and understood, would reveal their method in their own words, then quickly we get many good approaches to the same technique; one or another of these will be right for just about any novice.

For a long time I followed the Adams/White Zone System Philosophy. Then I found Davis (no relation) and Beyond the Zone System became a central technique. But I'm also lazy and matrix metering is incredibly powerful. With digital there is the histogram and 'leaning/shooting to the right' is quite effective. Same with the 'clipping' warning feature.

But when I get in lighting trouble it's almost always a tight spot meter technique (or ambient on the nose or chin); subject brightness range and subject zone placement that saves my bacon.

So for grins and chuckles, let's sort through all the spot metering techniques (taught, told or inferred) and find those that work. Best.
12-21-2006, 01:44 PM   #10
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Me, I'm of the shoot then shoot again system. I haven't really touched spot metering since I've gone digital. If the lighting is really weird, I'll typically bracket rather than hit the spot meter...
12-21-2006, 05:04 PM   #11
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I use it in several ways. Sometimes I just point to the face of my poor subject and read the light, right on. Sometimes I carefully read the light from several places of my whole motif to get a feeling of how light the highlights really are. Then I go for something mainly by experience and end up with something reasonable (wherever that may end up in the histogram).
In general I try not to blow away highlights but if they are very small there is most often no reason not to blow them and give the main and important things of the picture a proper exposure.
I never use the matrix or center weighted options.
I'm not sure this will help anyone... Reading a good book on exposure, that's what i would recommend, along with practise and bracketing until you *know* what you are doing.
I like being tedious and learning stuff. It means that i know what I do when I'm short of time.
12-21-2006, 05:43 PM   #12
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I strongly suspect that this method is the common MO of most digital shooters. Take the camera exposure suggestions, regardless of metering, pop the shot, read the histogram and spin the wheels to move the graph to the right as much as possible. 'Previsualization' replaced with 'gimme what I want'. Not a slam, just an observation.

Along these neo-method lines, have you used the SV or Tav modes? In theory they completely free the photographer from any 'numbers' settings. I'm mostly coming at photography from the technical side, these modes seem to support an artistic/non-technical methodology.
12-21-2006, 05:48 PM   #13
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Seems like spot gambling to me; along with hedging by bracketting. A semi-technical approach with a healthy measure of chance---hey, if it works for you...

One thing we do agree about: practise! And through practise a feeling for what will work. Certainly a key element in anything successful. My age is listed in the profile, I've been shooting since the mid 70s, can you give me some idea of your age/experience?
12-21-2006, 06:07 PM   #14
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As a real novice, this is a subject that has bothered me a great deal. My initial reading indicated that exposing as far to the right as you can is the correct answer. It slowly dawned on me that the subject of the shot was what needed the best exposure. If getting that right meant blowing some highlights or shadows so be it. I have been using spot metering since I had this epiphany. This is probably wrong but will keep doing it until I learn more.

Regards,
12-21-2006, 06:15 PM   #15
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Better get the blender with titanium blades, those old bodies are all metal!
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