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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EOS Digital Cameras 
Thread started 30 Jul 2013 (Tuesday) 06:49
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Settings poll....

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Jul 30, 2013 06:49 |  #1

When you guys go out for a day or an afternoon. How often are you changing settings like shutter aperture etc. For instance if you went to a location would you lock in shutter speed and aperture, or change settings for each picture (given you have the same light and exposure) or do you creatively change settings a lot? I know you need to fiddle to get correct exposure, I'm saying, how often are you changing your settings? Every pic? Every scene change? Etc ad nauseum.

“It's kind of fun to do the impossible.” - Walt Disney.
Equipment: Tokina 12-24mm, Canon 40mm 2.8, Tamron 17-50 2.8 XR Di, Canon 18-55mm, Canon 50mm 1.8, Tamron 70-300VC / T3I and 60D

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Jul 30, 2013 06:58 |  #2
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First of all I shoot 100% manual.

I tend to creatively change setting on the fly, mainly the aperture obviously depending on the dof and effect I desire and adjust shutter speed and/or ISO accordingly.

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Jul 30, 2013 07:11 |  #3

Such a wide subject. I would say I change settings when it's needed or desired and I also use manual mode exclusively, what usually means, all of my photos taken on the same day out shooting (may it be hundreds), will be done on different, manually adjusted settings.

Cream of the Crop
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Jul 30, 2013 07:12 |  #4

I usually leave it on AV, and set aperture according to my desired DOF. If I go somewhere where the light stays the same, then I switch to M and adjust for creativity. I also switch to M when shooting subjects that would mess with metering e.g. against a bright light.

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Jul 30, 2013 07:15 |  #5

With strobes i'm always on manual, whereas for continuous or ambient light I generally use AV and tweak exposure compensation as required while shooting.

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"I'm the original idiot"
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Jul 30, 2013 07:23 |  #6

I don't change every shot, but reasonably often. I tend to view the shot I've just taken and alter settings to improve upon what I see.


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Jul 30, 2013 07:39 |  #7

Not a pro, but my go-to default is AV mode, centre point only one-shot AF, ISO as low as I think is safe. That gets probably 80% of shots I need. Most common change is usually putting ISO to auto. I used to use M whenever I shot with a flash, now that I understand ETTL more I use TV mostly. If I'm trying something fancy or a specific effect, then full M.

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Jul 30, 2013 07:42 |  #8

Rai33 wrote in post #16166005 (external link)
With strobes i'm always on manual, whereas for continuous or ambient light I generally use AV and tweak exposure compensation as required while shooting.

+1 same here

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Jul 30, 2013 08:02 |  #9

Depends what I'm shooting and how often the subject and technical and artistic needs change (as well as the light). e.g.....

- If I'm shooting motorsport then I'm going to want slower shutter speeds for panning and faster ones for approaching vehicles.

- If I'm shooting aircraft I'll want very slow shutter speeds for helicopters, slow shutter speeds for prop planes and faster shutter speeds for jets. Aperture won't be much of a concern in these scenarios other than as a tool to get me the shutter speed I want at the most favourable ISO value for the conditions.

- If I'm shooting wildlife then birds in flight will have different settings than birds sitting on a perch.

- If I'm shooting in town on a general walkabout then I could have all kinds of needs, mostly driven by aperture requirements, but not always.

Mostly I will set exposure manually, but when conditions could change quickly and my time to respond is next to zero then I'll let one of the autoexposure modes take the strain. Often this will be aperture priority with a minimum shutter speed specified which is appropriate for the lens I'm using and the expected range of subject matter I plan to shoot.

In other words - I do whatever is required at the time.

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Jul 30, 2013 08:09 as a reply to  @ tdodd's post |  #10

where's the poll? :p

The only time I don't change or tweak is in a studio with lighting that doesn't change.

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Jul 30, 2013 08:29 |  #11

My camera is new to me so I am learning the tool, but getting back into things after a long hiatus. My past with a manual camera meant manual learning and that is what I am used to so most of my shots in the past few weeks since I picked up the new camera have been in manual mode. I usually pick aperture to suit depth of field and then shutter speed for proper exposure.

I'm trying to figure out the sharpest settings for zoom and aperture on the kit lenses I have to maximize them before worrying about picking up better glass. At this point, the camera is better than I am so no point in worrying about upgrading anything as I am its weakest link.

For me, manual is the choice. I like to see the settings and having learned on an old Canon with a broken meter, I try to get as close as I can with my assessment and then confirm that with the camera's opinion.

Cream of the Crop
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Jul 30, 2013 10:21 |  #12

What mode I use completely depends upon the situation... That's what dictates which mode is best to use.

If I'm out shooting sports, I might be more inclined to use Tv, though even then I still use Av a lot and just keep an eye on my shutter speeds.

If lighting is very stable, I'll use Manual. It also can be useful at times with strong backlighting and some other special situations. (I consider Bulb to just be an extension of Manual mode, for exposures longer than 30 seconds... Tho I rarely have call for those.)

Occasionally I'll use Program when I need to take a shot quickly and just don't have time to figure out the correct exposure settings, such as when I've been shooting inside and then step outside for a quick shot, but will be going back inside and don't want to lose my initial settings.

I guess if I have a bias toward one mode or the other, it would be whichever gives me adequate control over the aperture in a given situation (not necessarily Av, sometimes M is better). I use longer lenses a lot, so have to take care with depth of field.

I don't use Auto ISO. I just don't see much need for it and there's no way to apply Exposure Compensation when using it.

I use Exposure Compensation quite a bit with Tv, Av and P, changing it "on the fly" when a subject's tonality calls for it or I'm going for some special lighting effect.

I never use any of the Scene Mode "presets" or the Green Box (they override too many of my other settings). I also have never set up the C1, C2 etc. user definable modes on my cameras. There's just too much variability from one situation to the next, for those to be useful to me.

I turn off Auto Lighting Optimizer and any other setting that might override my exposure choices.

Though I use the camera's meter a lot, I also carry a separate, incidence meter and use it when lighting is tricky. It's also a flash meter, so can be used to balance multiple manual flash, to set exposure within 1/10 of a stop.

I use the histogram periodically during shooting to check my settings. It's a great tool for immediate feedback. I ignore the image review itself, as far as exposure is concerned. It's not accurate enough to be useful and is subject to changes in ambient lighting.

Over time, I've gotten to know each of my lenses' optimal settings such as what apertures are the sharpest and what apertures not to exceed in order to minimize loss to diffraction. To a lesser degree, I've learned similar about my cameras. For example, the 18MP APS-C cameras seem to be more susceptible to camera shake blur, so I usually use a slightly higher ISO with my 7Ds in order to keep shutter speeds a bit higher than I would normally. (I don't know if newer models with even higher resolution will need the same care, but suspect they will.) And, with the full frame models you have to be a little more careful about "mirror slap" blur, due to the larger mirror. I also know from experience that my 7Ds need +1/3 Exposure Compensation most of the time when shooting in any of the auto exposure modes (Tv, Av, P), but sometimes need 0 o +2/3. Most Canon SLRs I've used need seem to need +1/3 pretty consistently.

It would be better if I took a more planned approach to a new lens or camera, did a series of test shots initially and made some careful comparisons. That would be a lot better way to learn the strengths and weaknesses of my gear (and is particularly easy today with digital)... but I usually don't. I have no excuse for not doing so, just don't have the patience and am usually too anxious to get out an shoot with a new piece of gear even tho that's a more hit and miss way to learn about a piece of gear.

I would never restrict myself to using just a single mode. There are too many different situations where the other modes can and will give better results. That's why we have all those modes to choose among, and it pays to know how to use all four of the primary modes (Tv, Av, P and M/B). There are times when M is appropriate, locking in your settings to avoid some of the inherent errors that occur with a camera's TTL metering system. But there other times when M will be too slow to use or will not make allowances for rapidly changing lighting conditions, and one of the AE modes is necessary to get the most images properly exposed.

It seems silly to me not to use any of the tools at hand when appropriate. Back in the 1960s and 70s when the first cameras with auto exposure were coming available, there was a lot of resistance to them among pro photographers who thought nothing could ever take the place of their mental calculations (which sometimes weren't all that complex, such as the classic "f8 and be there"). They felt cameras with AE were just for snapshooting amateurs. But even the most stubborn soon learned the value of the various auto modes and few pros I know today don't take advantage of whatever tool is going to do the job most effectively and efficiently in any given situation.

If you haven't already done so, get and read "Understanding Exposure" by Bryan Peterson.

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Jul 30, 2013 10:26 |  #13

The C1, C2, C3 settings can be useful as a quick method to change a number of settings. I use mine for video when I want a fixed shutter speed and aperture, change the Picture profile to one more suited to video, makes it a simple task.

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Matt ­ M.
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Jul 30, 2013 11:17 |  #14

If I can go manual and use the same settings all day, I will. If I adjust anything for the sake of creativity in those cases, it usually means switching to Av for specific DOF shots. If the lighting isn't uniform, I'll go with Av or Tv, depending on the speed of the subject, and only re-adjust for the sake of exposure.

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Jul 30, 2013 12:33 |  #15

Great replies. How often do you make adjustments? If you went out and took 200 pictures in a park, would you be adjusting aperture, shutter etc in every shot? Every 10th shot? Or do you get a setting you like for the light and leave it be for the most part?

“It's kind of fun to do the impossible.” - Walt Disney.
Equipment: Tokina 12-24mm, Canon 40mm 2.8, Tamron 17-50 2.8 XR Di, Canon 18-55mm, Canon 50mm 1.8, Tamron 70-300VC / T3I and 60D

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Settings poll....
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