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Thread: Thoughts on metering.

  1. #1
    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Thoughts on metering.

    In the past I have mostly used spot metering in many situations.

    Matrix has been used occasionally and centre weighted has been pretty much only used for shots involving either on or off camera speedlight work.

    Having used the D800 for a while now it is dawning on me that not only is matrix metering a lot more accurate ( in my opinion anyway ) to previous models but also that centre weighted seems to be extraordinarily capable under natural light conditions.

    Down the beach the other day I was having inconsistent results with spot metering on a fast moving person in the surf ( all pretty much taken at the same subject distance and 200mm ) so i switched to centre weighted with an 8mm circle and the inconsistency went away. I think I counted 2 frames from about 100 that were slightly off exposure wise with centre weighted and around 15 out of 50 frames that were way out with spot metering before I switched.

    Apart from the fact that this wasn't a jpeg from the camera, it may have well been along with a heap of others that were simply spot on and needed no tweaking at all.



    Thoughts on the accuracy of the D800 metering modes?
    Andrew
    Nikon, Fuji, Nikkor, Sigma, Tamron, Tokina and too many other bits and pieces to list.



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    Way Down Yonder in the Paw Paw Patch jim's Avatar
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    The only time I tried a direct comparison between the D800 and D300 (same lens fixed to a tripod, same camera settings and D800 in DX mode) the D300 nailed the exposure while the D800 overexposed very slightly. Matrix metering.

    I wouldn't read anything into it though. In my experience all recent Nikons are uncannily accurate in their metering. I do like the option to use spot under some circumstances; don't believe I've even tried centre-weighted in a digital camera.

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    Account Closed Wayne's Avatar
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    Since the D700 the metering has been quite smart. My D3/D3s and now D4 are hard to fool, the D800 equally so. I only use spot metering when it is essential that the subject is metered and exposed correctly with no regard for the surroundings, and that is pretty rare given the DR of the bodies I have.

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    From my experience, the D4 and the D800 matrix system is by far the best (accuracy and reliability) compared to the previous generations.
    The D800 metering is even slightly better than the D4 !

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    Thanks for your thoughts, I don't know what they built into the latest metering system but it certainly works as advertised.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Until I find more info as I use the camera more, I'm still not entirely convinced on the D800's matrix metering mode ability.

    In a simple black and white test, I found that the matrix metered exposure was about 1/3 to 2/3rds brighter than my preference and how I set the spot meter test exposure.

    Another aspect of the metering systems ability that needs to be factored into the mix is when using filters. Did you use a polarizer in the shot Andrew?
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
    {Nikon} -> 50/1.2 : 500/8(CPU'd) : 105/2.8VR Micro : 180/2.8ais : 105mm f/1.8ais : 24mm/2ais
    {Sigma}; ->10-20/4-5.6 : 50/1.4 : 12-24/4.5-5.6II : 150-600mm|S
    {Tamron}; -> 17-50/2.8 : 28-75/2.8 : 70-200/2.8 : 300/2.8 SP MF : 24-70/2.8VC


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    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    Did you use a polarizer in the shot Andrew?
    No.

    Matrix is very good Arthur, this was more about the centeweighted ability though. Having the focus point in use that I did, centre upper, spot metering was not getting the results as the difference between her face and the "white" of the waves that was intruding into the metering / focus area caused under exposure as one would expect.
    Swapping to centreweighted which was using predominantly darker colours to meter seemed to balance everything perfectly while still leaving the focus point on her face.
    Obviously one metering mode cannot be relied on for all situations ( I guess that is why we have a variety of choices ) but from my observations both matrix and centreweighted can be relied on a lot more than they used to was.

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    Account Closed Wayne's Avatar
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    AK, if you have issues with the D800 metering in any mode, send it back to Nikon, there must be something wrong. It is an excellent meter.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    No issues per se ... but just something I've observed over the years. I'm not a big fan of matrix mode, and prefer spot for 99% of the shots I do take(which hasn't been all that much recently).

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