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Thread started 02 Sep 2013 (Monday) 21:34
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Purchased 6D, encountering metering issues?

 
Comerfjc
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Sep 02, 2013 21:34 |  #1

Howdy folks!

Wedding photographer here. Just purchased the 6D after years of using only the old 5D bodies for wedding photography. Pretty happy with my purchase, but been noticing the weirdest thing since I got it.

Taken it to a couple of weddings and noticed the it has a tendency to meter *way* dark on AV when there's any kind of bright back light. For example, while shooting some 'first look' photos in a grove of trees, the photos shot on AV (at a 0 exposure, no +1, -1, etc) were WAY too dark. Maybe about 90% of the photo was underexposed, while tiny little bits of bright light peaking through leaves and branches were properly exposed. It's like the 6D took that tiny bit of brightness in the frame and decided to expose for that, instead of the 90% that was all shade.

It was infuriating. I started shooting somewhere between +1 and +2 while in AV. I had one of my 5D bodies at my side as well. Didn't experience those issues at all.

Funny thing? I borrowed a 6D from CPS before making the purchase decision. I could be wrong, but I Don't remember this problem *at all*.

I've used the 6D I purchased at 3 weddings now, still the same issue. But no problem with the old 5D bodies.

Anyone else have a similar experience with their 6D?


Jason
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freitz
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Sep 02, 2013 21:37 |  #2

I hope someone provides you with an answer. I am thinking about picking up the 6D myself and would be interested on what you found the cause of the problem to be.


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Sep 02, 2013 22:19 as a reply to  @ freitz's post |  #3

Please post an example pic with EXIF attached.


Mark

  
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captainkanji
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Sep 02, 2013 23:13 |  #4

I had issues with weird WB and exposure sometimes in low lighting situations, like car shows and conventions. For me, shooting in Manual helped out a lot. I chimp a few shots until I get it about right and then let RAW handle to rest. I've still got a long way to go though :p


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captainkanji
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Sep 02, 2013 23:21 |  #5

Strange WB sometimes in lower light.

ISO 6400, SOOC no corrections.

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White Balance dropper on table cloth.
IMAGE: http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5524/9662014866_bd00476253_c.jpg

Canon 6D, EF 135f/2L USM, EF 200mm f/2.8 II USM, EF 50mm f\1.4 USM, EF 40mm f\2.8 STM, 430exII speedlite, Flashbender.

  
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oldvultureface
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Sep 03, 2013 06:49 as a reply to  @ captainkanji's post |  #6

Set your mode to Av, EC centered, and moderate aperture (to limit vignetting). Take a picture of an evenly lit blank wall. If the histogram spikes at a little over 40%, your meter is good.

Why the added weight to bright areas, I don't know. It is a different metering system from the 5D.




  
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amfoto1
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Sep 03, 2013 12:00 |  #7

Any time you change cameras it's going to take a while to learn its nuances, such as how it meters and what it does with the metered values when using any of the auto exposure modes.

If memory serves, your old 5D had a 35 zone metering system (same as 5DII) and the 6D has a 63 zones. So there are bound to be some differences. If using Evaluative metering, it will emphasize the areas right around the active AF point, but if the subject is relatively distant (not occupying too much of the image area), surrounding light levels can still throw it off. If using Center Weighted, the camera will use more of the overall scene. Most camera's Center Weighted metering is slightly biased toward the bottom of the image area, mostly to account for overly bright skies in many scenic shots. Partial or Spot metering might work better for you in a situation such as this. Hard to say without actually seeing the scene. But I'd most likely use a completely different approach, that elminates all of the metering errors inherent to cameras' built in meters. I don't have a 6D, but I use 7D that have similar 63 zone iFCL metering system. That seems to work pretty well in strong backlighting (better than earlier metering systems), but only when the subject fills much of the image area. If the subject is smaller portion of the overall image area, the system can still can be badly fooled by strong backlighting.

All cameras use reflective meters that measure light bouncing off the subject(s) and there are a lot of situations where this type meter can be fooled.

In a situation such as you described I'd most likely just use a handheld, incidence meter and then simply lock in my exposure in the camea with M mode. This way I only have myself to blame if it's incorrect. But there's less risk of error because using a meter that measures the light falling onto the subject, rather than the light being reflected off of it, eliminates the errors of reflective metering completely and there's no longer any need to use Exposure Compensation.

There are various models of incidence meters. I use three... One is a Sekonic L-398 (external link) that's about 30 years old and still dead accurate, but cannot measure flash.... The other two are also capable of metering flash and studio strobes: a Sekonic L-358  (external link)and a Minolta V that's now being made as a kenko KFM1100 (external link). These latter two give digital readout to within 1/10 of a stop. All these are incidence type meters, measuring light falling onto the subject rather than what's reflected and might be skewed by subject tonality or backlighting, so there is typically no need for any Exposure Compensation (which isn't available, per se, in M mode anyway).

If you don't want to use a separate meter, it is possible to do similar using a calibrated target and spot metering it with your camera. Below I mention using one type of target for Custom White balance, as well. So it actually can serve two purposes.

White Balance is a completely different issue.

Most Canon cameras render indoor lighting overly warm. It's always been that way. Fluorescent lighting is tricky, since it cycles on and off at something 60 times per second, too fast for the eye to see but with cameras it's able to mess with both metering and color balance. Some large halls use sodium vapor or mercury vapor lamps, both of which make for particularly ugly images.

The worst possible situatioin is mixed light sources. Some places I shoot have daylight sidelight, mercury vapor lamps and skylights that lend a tint all of their own. I always ask that the mercury vapor lamps be turned off, when it's bright enough without them (all but heavy overcast days). Otherwise I can get a green tint on one side of the subject and a magenta tint on the other side.... nearly impossible to correct.

Canon cameras handle daylight pretty well with AWB... Typically get just a little cool in shadows and under heavier clouds. But indoors with artificial lighting it's always best to use a good target and set a Custom White Balance. Use a standard gray card or something like Lastolite EZ Balance target (external link)(the gray side, which also can be spot metered to determine an accurate exposure setting at the same time). The Lastolite target folds to about 1/3 it's open size, for easy storage in a camera bag.

If it's large enough, you also can set one of these targets in the scene and take a reference shot, for use later in Photoshop (or whatever) with the eyedropper to set an accurate balance. A neutral gray target gives better results than sampling a white or black subject (see above examples... the "corrected" version is better, but still pretty far off... tho it might also be a problem with fluorescent lights).


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Bakewell
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Sep 03, 2013 14:00 as a reply to  @ amfoto1's post |  #8
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I have noticed the 6D tends to underexpose, hence I set exposure compensation to +2/3. Even more intriguing is the fact that color saturation is way too strong forcing me to reduce saturation to -40 in LR in order to achieve accurate colors, IMO.


Dave

  
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mariusx1
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Sep 03, 2013 15:01 |  #9

I've had my 6D for a couple months and have noticed the underexposure problem occasionally. Over the past two days, however, I've been taking a ton of pictures and have been noticing extreme underexposure in a lot of shots. Now, I certainly recognize that in difficult situations, the metering won't always be accurate, but even in situations where my old 40D would've nailed the exposure, I'm noticing some serious issues.

Some examples:

I was shooting a bass player in Av, evaluative mode. His shirt is close to the right exposure, but it's still not what I would expect from evaluative mode. Shouldn't evaluative take the whole scene into account?

IMAGE: http://atmospheric.s3.amazonaws.com/forums/potn_0913_3.png

When I saw that evaluative was giving me dark results, I switched to spot and tried to meter off his bass. It was worse. And this was not a dark scene (hence 1/1000s) with light streaming in from the sides and from an overhead skylight.

IMAGE: http://atmospheric.s3.amazonaws.com/forums/potn_0913.png

Here's another fairly even scene that is at least 2/3 stop underexposed. And there's nothing overly bright in the image to throw the reading off.

IMAGE: http://atmospheric.s3.amazonaws.com/forums/potn_0913_2.png

I'm at a bit of a loss and can definitely relate to the frustration felt by the OP. I expected the 6D's metering to be more accurate than my 40D, but that has certainly not been the case so far. I'm curious whether the Auto Lighting Optimizer and/or the Highlight Tone Priority settings would have an effect. I have both set to OFF (based on limited research when I first got the camera).

Any thoughts on these settings (ALO and HTP)? Are there other settings I should adjust?

Luckily, the issues are mostly fixable in Lightroom, but that's a lot of extra time that I'd rather not spend. Hoping there's some sort of solution...



  
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mariusx1
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Sep 03, 2013 15:24 |  #10

One more example. Again, this is in Av, evaluative mode. This was a low light scene and the background is obviously dark, but it's like the 6D exposed only for the computer in the center and ignored the rest of the scene. If I had wanted the center to be weighted this heavily, I would've chosen center-weighted or spot metering...

IMAGE: http://atmospheric.s3.amazonaws.com/forums/potn_0913_4.png

Boosted +1EV in Lightroom. Still no highlights blown. This is how I expected the shot to turn out. Still some PP work to do to pull out the shadows, but nothing major.

IMAGE: http://atmospheric.s3.amazonaws.com/forums/potn_0913_5.png

Other than this, I absolutely love every part of the 6D. It's a great camera and a huge upgrade from the 40D. If I can get this metering issue figured out, I know it will serve me well for many years!



  
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Nigi
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Sep 03, 2013 16:29 |  #11

By watching how my auto iso jumps up and down when I am moving active focus point over scene it seems that camera tries to expose towards active focus point in evaluative mode. If there is something brighter I need to set some exposure compensation. 1 stop max.




  
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Charlie
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Sep 03, 2013 16:39 |  #12

probably has to do with the evaluative metering. Sometimes it does get off for me as well, and white balance is really wonky, but an easy correction.

do you happen to do center point only? I started center only with the 6D and that's when exposure issues started for me. Might have something to do with priority AF on the point location, not sure.

btw, a solution would be to use spot metering + center point focus/recompose. You can also use AE lock and hold (I kind of like this feature almost like going full manual).


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Dmitriy
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Sep 03, 2013 17:07 |  #13

I have a 6D. Often times I have to compensate +1-2 with AV/evaluative mode and even lighting, when 5D or Rebels set, what I consider, the correct exposure.


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mariusx1
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Sep 03, 2013 17:35 |  #14

Yes, I have been primarily using center point focus. It does seem that evaluative prioritizes the area of focus and that might be part of the issue.

I was playing around with other metering modes this afternoon. None of them really gave me the results I was looking for, but I did notice that when I stopped down a bit, the results were better (maybe just underexposed by 1/3 - 2/3 of a stop rather than 1 - 2 stops). But still underexposed.

I'm planning to do some more testing and I'll post what I find, but it's somewhat comforting to know that others are experiencing the same issue. Maybe all of this was somehow by design.




  
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tat3406
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Sep 03, 2013 19:57 |  #15

mariusx1 wrote in post #16264912 (external link)
Any thoughts on these settings (ALO and HTP)? Are there other settings I should adjust?

Luckily, the issues are mostly fixable in Lightroom, but that's a lot of extra time that I'd rather not spend. Hoping there's some sort of solution...

ALO & HTP have only significant effect for some situation. ALO quite good when you need huge DR, if you shooting RAW, you can add on the ALO in DPP to see the effect. From your example for underexpose, I noticed the scene have a lot of white object (the white shirt and white apple), in my experience the camera metering tend towards the underexpose when the major objects is white color.


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