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Thread started 11 Sep 2017 (Monday) 17:59
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Metering mode for portraits

 
James ­ Crockett
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Sep 11, 2017 17:59 |  #1

Which metering mode do you use for portrait photography? thanks!




  
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PhotosGuy
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Sep 11, 2017 22:39 |  #2

It's not so much what mode you use as it is how you learn to interpret what the camera is telling you. This is what I use: Need an exposure crutch?


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digital ­ paradise
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Sep 12, 2017 09:38 |  #3

I'm assuming you are using flash?


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James ­ Crockett
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Sep 12, 2017 10:14 |  #4

PhotosGuy wrote in post #18449865 (external link)
It's not so much what mode you use as it is how you learn to interpret what the camera is telling you. This is what I use: Need an exposure crutch?


digital paradise wrote in post #18450206 (external link)
I'm assuming you are using flash?

no flash, thanks for the replies!




  
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Post edited 10 months ago by Alveric.
     
Sep 12, 2017 11:26 |  #5

Spot, in those rare cases I don't have my lightmeter with me.


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Sep 12, 2017 13:46 |  #6

I use Evaluative for EVERYTHING. Somewhere, way in the back of shriveled up, pea-sized brain, I think it is easier to completely understand how one metering mode works, than to mostly use one, and be confused when the others don't behave as expected. I got by just fine for 40 years with film cameras that only did Center-Weighted Average.


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James ­ Crockett
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Sep 12, 2017 14:59 |  #7

Bassat wrote in post #18450427 (external link)
I use Evaluative for EVERYTHING. Somewhere, way in the back of shriveled up, pea-sized brain, I think it is easier to completely understand how one metering mode works, than to mostly use one, and be confused when the others don't behave as expected. I got by just fine for 40 years with film cameras that only did Center-Weighted Average.

thanks Bassat!




  
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Sep 12, 2017 16:04 |  #8

Bassat wrote in post #18450427 (external link)
I use Evaluative for EVERYTHING. Somewhere, way in the back of shriveled up, pea-sized brain, I think it is easier to completely understand how one metering mode works, than to mostly use one, and be confused when the others don't behave as expected. I got by just fine for 40 years with film cameras that only did Center-Weighted Average.


^^^ this is the same reason I use Spot metering- pick one, read up on it, learn it's behavior and have fun.


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Wilt
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Post edited 10 months ago by PhotosGuy. (3 edits in all)
     
Sep 12, 2017 19:58 |  #9

Without any offense intended, Evaluative is the 'non-thinking mode'...if is what generally 'works most of the time' to provide usable (but not necessarily 'correct') exposures.

For a given skin brightness, sometimes Evaluative will result in a 'correct exposure', but there will be other times it will result in a 'somewhat underexposed' exposure, and yet other times it will result in a 'somewhat overexposed' exposure. A photographer, who needs to record with accuracy a shot so that the colors and tonality are recorded with precision might find Evaluative to be sufficiently wrong much of the time so that a client who demands ACCURACY of color (for example, someone in the textile industry) would be grossly unsatisfied.

Understand that ALL meters try it interpret the metering sample point to RENDER that point as 'midtone, 18% tonality'.


  1. Evaluative prioritizes the AF focus zone(S) to have greater importance, but Evaluative includes the surrounding zones as well, to derive some composite brightness of all the zones and render that composite to average 18% tonality!
  2. Center-weighted prioritizes the central zones but includes the surrounding zones as well, to derive some composite brightness of all the zones and render that composite to average 18% tonality!
  3. Only Partial and Spot ignore all but the central area of the viewfinder


To rely upon #1 or #2 is to be subjected to inherent error introduced by other metering zones!
And to rely upon #3 is to be subject to inherent error introduced by having the metering zone which is NOT 'midtone'!...because both Partial and Spot will try to make Caucasian skin to be TOO DARK, because untanned Caucasian skin is typically about +1EV brighter than 18% midtone!

So 'the best' camera metering mode for portraiture is to simply fill the frame with an 18% gray card, and use that reading on a manually-set camera.
And 'the best metering mode (in general) for portraiture is to use a handheld incident light meter to read the amount of light falling upon the SCENE and use that reading on a manually-set camera.

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Sep 12, 2017 19:59 |  #10

Bassat wrote in post #18450427 (external link)
I use Evaluative for EVERYTHING. Somewhere, way in the back of shriveled up, pea-sized brain, I think it is easier to completely understand how one metering mode works, than to mostly use one, and be confused when the others don't behave as expected. I got by just fine for 40 years with film cameras that only did Center-Weighted Average.


And this is the reason that mostly I have mine set for CWA to this day. With CWA I do know what the camera is going to do in pretty much any situation, since it is essentially the same as my Pentax ME Super did back in 1980 when I first had a camera with built in metering.

The problem with Evaluative is that the camera will assess a whole load of different sections of the frame, and then use some unknown algorithm to try to make a guess at what it is looking at. As the scene gets more complicated you run a higher chance of the camera taking an unexpected decision. My all time favorite metering mode though is still an external incident lightmeter, preferably with circular analogue readout, which is what I started out with back around 1974 or so.

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Sep 15, 2017 23:38 |  #11

Wilt wrote in post #18450749 (external link)
both Partial and Spot will try to make Caucasian skin to be TOO BRIGHT, because untanned Caucasian skin is typically about +1EV brighter than 18% midtone!


You mean too DARK don't you?



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Sep 20, 2017 14:40 |  #12

FTb wrote in post #18453331 (external link)
You mean too DARK don't you?

Yes, you are correct. Over the past week this is the second time my brain has made my hands type the wrong thing! :cry:


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Sep 20, 2017 15:22 |  #13

Wilt wrote in post #18456666 (external link)
Yes, you are correct. Over the past week this is the second time my brain has made my hands type the wrong thing! :cry:

I don't think you can edit a post that old, so I fixed it for you.


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Sep 20, 2017 15:42 |  #14

PhotosGuy wrote in post #18456685 (external link)
I don't think you can edit a post that old, so I fixed it for you.

Never had a problem editing even older posts before!


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Sep 20, 2017 15:54 |  #15

Wilt wrote in post #18456699 (external link)
Never had a problem editing even older posts before!

Frank is being nice. Doesn't want you to screw it up. ;-)a


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Metering mode for portraits
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