Luminous Landscape Forum

Equipment & Techniques => Cameras, Lenses and Shooting gear => Topic started by: jdemott on September 10, 2005, 12:44:39 pm

Title: I need help with metering
Post by: jdemott on September 10, 2005, 12:44:39 pm
If you have been using spot metering extensively, you likely already have a very good sense of how to read the light in a scene--you know how to spot extremes of light and shadow and you have a good sense of what sort of dynamic range your film will handle.  That experience should help you in identifying which shots will be troublesome for your center weighted meter.  

Since a center weighted meter takes an average reading of the light reflected from the center of the scene, it is based on the assumption that most scenes that you want to photograph will average out to be medium gray.  Since that isn't always true, a decent gray card can be a big help--you should definitely take one and use it.  Since the gray card presents the meter with exactly the sort of gray scene it is best designed to handle, it allows your meter to measure the light falling on the scene independently of the reflectance of the particular subject -- the camera's meter in effect becomes an incident light meter (assuming the gray card is properly positioned).

There is always a learning curve with any new equipment, so the more time you can take to practice, the better your results will be.  I'd suggest making careful notes of your exposures, particularly for the first few rolls, bracket liberally, and process your film promptly so you get immediate feedback.
Title: I need help with metering
Post by: eitanwaks on September 10, 2005, 10:26:27 am
Up until now I have been shooting with Nikon gear.  Recently I purchased a contax g2 camera.  I have gotten used to shooting with either matrix metering or Spot metering.  I have never really shot with center weighted metering.  I consistently get excellent results when using Spot metering as well as matrix metering however, my favorite method is Spot metering.  Can someone please give me advice on shooting with a center weighted meter?  

I have an upcoming trip to London in a few days so I would appreciate the advice as I intend to take my new camera.
Title: I need help with metering
Post by: jdemott on September 10, 2005, 12:59:48 pm
I also meant to say in my earlier post that, if spot metering is your preferred method, then you might buy an inexpensive hand-held spot meter.  If you take spot readings and compare them with the camera's suggested exposure, you will quickly gain confidence in your ability to use and interpret the camera's meter.