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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 24 Dec 2013 (Tuesday) 15:17
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Metering Modes not Working?

 
chriso777
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Dec 24, 2013 15:17 |  #1

I have a Canon 60d and shoot in manual with just the center focus point and recompose after gaining focus. I generally leave the ISO on auto and compensate if it gets to high by changing the shutter or aperture myself. I ran into metering issues when I was taking pictures of my dogs (they're black). I would point the center focus point at them, half press the shutter release, and the ISO would jump into the stratosphere. I'd then move the point away from them to something lighter while still holding the shutter half way and the ISO would drop down again. So I did research into metering modes. It seems my camera's don't work though. Even though my camera is on evaluative metering, it's always adjusting the ISO only to what's in that center focus point! I've taken pictures changing between spot metering and evaluative, the two extremes, and nothing changes. Is it because I've disabled the other focus points? Thank you!

-Chris




  
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lar55
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Dec 24, 2013 21:40 |  #2

I am pretty sure disabling focus points has nothing to do with it, and I disagree that Spot and Evaluative metering are the two extremes. Spot, Partial, and Center-weighted metering modes use the areas indicated (center spot, around 6.5% of the viewfinder area around the center, and center-weighted respectively.) See page 119 of the manual for pictures. But Evaluative is an odd thing - it tries to be a "smart" mode, meaning the camera is going to guess what you are trying to do. "The camera sets the exposure automatically to suit the scene" is all Canon says. If you are seeing the same results with Spot and Evaluative, it is because the camera thinks that is what you want in Evaluative.

Hopefully other folks here can provide useful advice on photographing black dogs against light background - I always have trouble with this sort of thing too.




  
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uOpt
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Dec 24, 2013 21:45 |  #3

In the 60D metering is always in the center, it does not follow focus point.

If the black dog fills a good chunk of the frame electronic metering will be useless anyway.


My imagine composition sucks. I need a heavier lens.

  
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Dec 24, 2013 21:58 |  #4

Agree with above, it's not your focus points, i only shoot center point. Your issue is simply your metering seeing "dark" and acting accordingly, spot metering will only amplify this effect while shooting dark animals since it's only using the center to meter. I would suggest sticking to evaluative metering and locking your ISO to an acceptable level depending on your environment.

Maybe try shooting in Av mode, depending on distance to subject, start wide open and work from there. Lock in a reasonable ISO, say 400? and see where that puts your shutter speed.

Again...this is all subjective to your shooting situation. When in doubt, snap the shot anyway and make adjustments as necessary.

Hope this helps some :)

JD


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Wilt
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Dec 25, 2013 00:33 |  #5

First of all, understand that the meter has no idea what you are pointing it at...it simply assumes "target area is middle grey in tonality".

  • So if you point it at a dark subject, the meter concludes wrongly, "target is middle grey in very very low light" and jumps Auto ISO to suit the 'dark shooting circumstances'.
  • Or if you point it at a bright subject (e.g. Caucasion bride in white wedding gown in a snow scene), the meter concludes wrongly, "target is middle grey in very very bright light" and drops Auto ISO to suit the 'very bright shooting circumstances'.
Canon's implementation of Auto ISO is often valueless because there is no way to tell the meter 'the subject is brighter/darker than middle grey by X amount'...no Exposure Compensation.

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tzalman
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Dec 25, 2013 04:56 |  #6

uOpt wrote in post #16552349 (external link)
In the 60D metering is always in the center, it does not follow focus point.

Not having a 60D, I have no firsthand knowledge of whether the above statement is true, but if it is it would be a significant change from the previous models that I have owned (350D, 40D and 5D2). In all of them Evaluate metering weighted the exposure calculation to the area around the active focusing point, no matter which one it is. This is from the Canon White Paper for the 5D2/50D:

• Evaluative Metering (linked to active AF points)
• Center-weighted Metering
• Partial Metering (Center, approx. 9% of viewfinder)
• Spot Metering (Center, approx. 3.8% of viewfinder area

If Canon has stopped tying Evaluative to the focusing, even if only for the 60D, I would be very surprised.

If only the center focus point is allowed to activate, it seems reasonable to suppose that Evaluative will be very similar to Center-weighted. Similar but not necessarily identical, depending on the sizes of the central areas used in the two methods. And if the black dog occupied a large percentage of the frame, it is likely that all four metering modes would give very nearly the same results.

I remember seeing a blog several years ago, long enough ago that the camera used was a 30D, in which it was demonstrated that different results were obtained with Evaluative when the center focus point was selected manually and when auto point selection was used and the center point automatically selected. (The subject was a white house closely surrounded by dark trees.) The second exposure was better and the conclusion was that when all the focus points were enabled the meter was gathering more data from outside the central area.


Elie / אלי

  
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yogestee
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Dec 25, 2013 05:08 as a reply to  @ tzalman's post |  #7

Shooting in manual while having your camera set to auto ISO you are not really shooting in 'manual'. You are still relying on your camera making the metering decisions for you. Thought I'd throw that one in.

Getting back on topic, your camera is working like it should irrespective on what metering mode you set. Your camera's meter is seeing your black dogs as midtone grey.


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uOpt
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Dec 25, 2013 11:50 |  #8

tzalman wrote in post #16552686 (external link)
Not having a 60D, I have no firsthand knowledge of whether the above statement is true, but if it is it would be a significant change from the previous models that I have owned (350D, 40D and 5D2). In all of them Evaluate metering weighted the exposure calculation to the area around the active focusing point, no matter which one it is. This is from the Canon White Paper for the 5D2/50D:

If Canon has stopped tying Evaluative to the focusing, even if only for the 60D, I would be very surprised.

If only the center focus point is allowed to activate, it seems reasonable to suppose that Evaluative will be very similar to Center-weighted. Similar but not necessarily identical, depending on the sizes of the central areas used in the two methods. And if the black dog occupied a large percentage of the frame, it is likely that all four metering modes would give very nearly the same results.

I remember seeing a blog several years ago, long enough ago that the camera used was a 30D, in which it was demonstrated that different results were obtained with Evaluative when the center focus point was selected manually and when auto point selection was used and the center point automatically selected. (The subject was a white house closely surrounded by dark trees.) The second exposure was better and the conclusion was that when all the focus points were enabled the meter was gathering more data from outside the central area.

The real metering modes don't follow unless on the 1Dx and maybe some other new bodies. Evaluative metering doesn't count.


My imagine composition sucks. I need a heavier lens.

  
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tzalman
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Dec 25, 2013 13:57 as a reply to  @ uOpt's post |  #9

uOpt wrote:
Evaluative metering doesn't count.

Oh, O.K.
STOP USING EVALUATIVE, EVERYBODY!


Elie / אלי

  
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lar55
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Dec 25, 2013 21:47 |  #10

After reading your posts, and watching this: http://www.learn.usa.c​anon.com …evaluative_mete​ring.shtml (external link) and this: http://www.learn.usa.c​anon.com …cll/eos101_mete​ring.shtml (external link) and finally playing with it some more on my 60D, I was wrong, yes Evaluative Metering does take into account the active AF point on the 60D. It isn't like "spot metering offset to the focus point" - much more complex and "smart", but the process is centered around the "main subject" (as worded in the 2nd video), and I'm pretty sure this is based on the focus point. The first video is much clearer on that, but doesn't say what camera models it applies to.




  
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Wilt
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Dec 25, 2013 22:21 |  #11

lar55 wrote in post #16554022 (external link)
After reading your posts, and watching this: http://www.learn.usa.c​anon.com …evaluative_mete​ring.shtml (external link) and this: http://www.learn.usa.c​anon.com …cll/eos101_mete​ring.shtml (external link) and finally playing with it some more on my 60D, I was wrong, yes Evaluative Metering does take into account the active AF point on the 60D. It isn't like "spot metering offset to the focus point" - much more complex and "smart", but the process is centered around the "main subject" (as worded in the 2nd video), and I'm pretty sure this is based on the focus point. The first video is much clearer on that, but doesn't say what camera models it applies to.

Evaluative is so 'smart' that if you point it at an 18% grey card surrounded by very bright areas in the surrounding zones, it will UNDEREXPOSE the 18% grey card and make it too dark!

IMAGE: http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i63/wiltonw/Evalcard.jpg
it is merely working as designed, to give PRIORITY to metering the AF zone but nevertheless considering the brightnesses of the surrounding zones.

Only the 1D series bodies can spotmeter using the AF zone only.

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chriso777
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Dec 26, 2013 21:13 as a reply to  @ Wilt's post |  #12

Ah. Yeah this explains a lot. I guess the moral of the story is never ever trust the camera to make a decision for you. lol. Guess I either need to go full manual or try using different AF points. Thanks!




  
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Wilt
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Dec 27, 2013 02:17 |  #13

chriso777 wrote in post #16556174 (external link)
Ah. Yeah this explains a lot. I guess the moral of the story is never ever trust the camera to make a decision for you. lol. Guess I either need to go full manual or try using different AF points. Thanks!

One CAN learn to recognize 18% brightness vs. 9% or 36%...one can easily learn to predict pretty well how much deviation from 'mid tone' (Zone V)there is for a given target, to reliably set EC values.

IMAGE: http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i63/wiltonw/zonescale.jpg

But when the camera factors in surrounding areas and you have Zero idea about how they bias (since Canon reveals no such 'secrets' about Evaluative), EC in Evaluative is pretty much 'learned guessing'.

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tzalman
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Dec 27, 2013 05:15 |  #14

Wilt wrote in post #16556591 (external link)
One CAN learn to recognize 18% brightness vs. 9% or 36%...one can easily learn to predict pretty well how much deviation from 'mid tone' (Zone V)there is for a given target, to reliably set EC values.
QUOTED IMAGE

But when the camera factors in surrounding areas and you have Zero idea about how they bias (since Canon reveals no such 'secrets' about Evaluative), EC in Evaluative is pretty much 'learned guessing'.

I like this chart which relates zone values to common environmental elements, on one hand, and 8 bit gamma corrected photo tones on the other.


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Wilt
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Dec 27, 2013 08:12 |  #15

tzalman wrote in post #16556715 (external link)
I like this chart which relates zone values to common environmental elements, on one hand, and 8 bit gamma corrected photo tones on the other.

Nice, elie!

For those unaccustomed to seeing similar charts, if you look at an area of the target items and see it looks like Zone VI brightness, you dial in EC +1. The typical palm of the hand has often been said to be about Zone VI, so you can meter your palm in lieu of an 18% grey card, and simply dial EC +1 and end up with results similar to pointing your meter at an 18% grey card.


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