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07-19-2007, 08:09 AM   #1
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Question about EV compensation

Ok, I have been shooting with my K100D for a little while now, and I'm starting to get the hang of manual exposure (I rarely use the auto anymore). I do have a question about the EV compensation though. Do most people get it as close to zero as possible? I understand there are artistic reasons not to, but on the whole, is it a good idea to gauge by this to get the right exposure? I usually find that I prefer shots taken at -.5 to -1. Are these underexposed pictures? I guess it could be an opinion thing, but just looking to see how other people judge exposure.

07-19-2007, 09:08 AM   #2
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-.5 to -1 stop might not be underexposed. It depends on what you're shooting as the light meter isn't 100% all the time. The meter will only give you a good rough estimate.

If you are center weight metering a white dress for example and it's filling up the frame. If you leave get the meter perfectly center, that dress won't look very bright or white. In these situations, you should try to over expose a little so it thinks that white dress is indeed brighter than the typical grey.

Same with dark situations but reversed. If you are shooting a black backpack, you might want to slightly underexpose so that the blacks look more black.

If you are taking pictures of a fairly neutral color scene, the meter should be about correct at the middle. A -.5 to -1 stop would probably mean you're underexposing in this situations.

You can check your histogram for exposure after you've taken the picture. If the histogram shows a strong bias towards the left side (dark side), you probably underexposed. How the picture looks on the back of the camera should not be used as a judge of your exposure.
07-19-2007, 09:49 AM   #3
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I dislike having to use more than +1.x or -1.x during shooting, and if I have time, I try different metering modes instead, if that may possibly help. But it's just quicker and simpler to try to crank EV up or down. I'm not too nervous about having 0.5 EV off to the wrong side, since that small amount I can recover from RAW later on. But the perfectionist in me would like to see ideally 0 at time of taking the shot

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