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Thread started 09 Jun 2011 (Thursday) 17:06
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When to use center-weighted average and partial metering?

 
LudwigVB
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Jun 09, 2011 17:06 |  #1

On my 30D and more modern models, you can select evaluative, center-weighted average, partial or spot metering. However, I'm a bit confused by the choices available and would appreciate some guidance on when to use center-weighted average and partial meteryng. Are these two modes merely left-overs from the past that are provided as a comfort factor for those who feel more comfortable with them, or do they offer genuinely useful alternatives to evalative and spot? TIA for any advice on when it might be appropiate to use these options.




  
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yourdoinitwrong
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Jun 09, 2011 17:25 |  #2

This won't be a technical explanation but I use those modes typically when I have a dark subject against a bright background (i.e. something sitting on the inside of a window sill during the day). Usually it will blow out the background but the intended subject will be properly exposed. The mode I use depends on the size of the subject relative to the entire frame. Most of the time evaluative metering does a pretty good job so I don't use the other modes often but there have been a few times when it has been useful.


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WayneCornish
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Jun 09, 2011 18:36 as a reply to  @ yourdoinitwrong's post |  #3

A relatively quick explanation:

IMAGE: http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/T2I/ZMETERPATTERNS-LG.GIF

From left to right in above image.


  1. Evaluative Metering - Your camera will use however many metering zones it has across the image to try and determine the best overall exposure for the picture. Generally will work for most images with some exceptions listed below.
  2. Center-Weighted Average - This is really the earliest form of metering and in some respects is now redundant. The camera meters the overall picture with a strong bias towards the center of the frame to calculate the exposure.
  3. Partial Metering - The camera will meter a fixed central area to calculate the correct exposure, this can be useful with objects/people on very light or dark backgrounds where if evaluative metering were used it would under/over expose the picture. You would need to meter/half press the shutter button when pointing at the object/person and use the AE (Automatic Exposure) lock button and recompose the shot if you don't want the object/person in the center of the frame.
  4. Spot Metering - Similar to above but with a smaller metering area, most accurate method for metering the mid-tone area of a shot (think in black and white and what area would be the middle grey of a shot), then AE lock and recompose. Gives you the most control over your exposure. Can be used for example to meter the sky and throw a skyline into silhouette.


Short explanation but hope it helped, there are whole books on this subject.

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Higgs ­ Boson
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Jun 09, 2011 18:47 |  #4

I only use Eval and Spot


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bohdank
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Jun 09, 2011 19:58 |  #5

Pick one and learn it well so you know how/when to compensate (+- EV). You'll be much better off in the long run. I use Evaluative and never switch.


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peabody2468
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Jun 09, 2011 22:10 |  #6

In my T2i, the exposure set by evaluative metering is heavily based on the focus point(s) which you, or the camera, choose. Every official description I've seen of evaluative metering suggests that it takes in the whole frame, but it really doesn't do that. It meters primarily on the area where the focus is. So if you have all of the focus points enabled, and all are in focus, then you would get whole-frame metering. But under any other circumstance, metering will be selective. So it's a lot like partial or spot, except that there's more flexibility in which point is chosen to meter on - it's not limited to just the center point.




  
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anthony11
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Jun 10, 2011 03:04 |  #7

There are times when I use evaluative but +/- 2 EC isn't enough. Really wish the 5D2 did 3 stops each way. YMMV


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melcat
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Jun 10, 2011 03:15 |  #8

I don't use evaluative at all, but as I understand it evaluative fundamentally differs from all the others in that it does not target an 18% weighted average (where the weight can be represented by Wayne Cornish's diagrams above) but tries to deduce what is being photographed and chooses a final brightness from there. Canon aren't saying.

What the Canon cameras are missing is a true average over the whole frame.




  
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LeeRatters
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Jun 10, 2011 04:43 as a reply to  @ melcat's post |  #9

i tend to use partial pretty much 99% of the time.


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LudwigVB
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Jun 10, 2011 04:49 |  #10

LeeRatters wrote in post #12568664 (external link)
i tend to use partial pretty much 99% of the time.

Do you have the option of spot metering with your camera?
If so, why do you use partial all the time?




  
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Rigby470
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Jun 10, 2011 06:42 |  #11

tagged


5D Mark II

  
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LeeRatters
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Jun 10, 2011 07:17 |  #12

LudwigVB wrote in post #12568683 (external link)
Do you have the option of spot metering with your camera?
If so, why do you use partial all the time?

because i get on with it & it pretty much gets me the photos/exposures that i want. i know what 'object' i want in exposure & even if i don't want it centre frame i use shutter exp lock anyway.

i do have spot metering yes.


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zarray
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Jun 10, 2011 08:06 as a reply to  @ LeeRatters's post |  #13

Myself i stick to evaluative and partial metering only.

Evaluative when I want to lock the exposure upon half-press of the shutter release button.
Partial when i want the camera to meter only when i fully depress the shutter release button


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Charliephoto
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Jun 10, 2011 08:53 |  #14

Rigby470 wrote in post #12568880 (external link)
tagged

X2 , i`m all ears or is it eyes:)


  
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reprazent
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Jun 10, 2011 09:39 |  #15

I use evaluative and spot metering, the other metering modes aren't that useful (to me)


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When to use center-weighted average and partial metering?
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