# Any tricks to thinking in meters than feet

Discussion in 'Exposure Discussion' started by zsas, Aug 1, 2012.

1. ### zsasMember

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I'm buying a camera where all distance is done in meters. Well, schooling here standardized on feet. Any tricks any of you used to retrain you mind to evaluate in meters? I am aware of the conversion 3 feet = .91 meter, just currious if there are any "tricks" or things that help get the mind to convert faster?

2. ### Sirius GlassSubscriber

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Estimate in feet and divide by 3 as an approximation.

Or if the camera has a range finder, multiply the distance by 3. That will be close enough.

3. ### Bob-D659Member

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3m is so close to 10ft it's a good conversion.

4. ### Worker 11811Member

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1 meter = 39.37 inches or just .005 shy of 39 3/8.

Either call it 39 inches and add 3/8 per meter or call it 40 in and subtract 5/8 per meter.

e.g. If you have 7 meters, that is 7 * 40 (or 280 inches) less 35/8 (or 4 inches) so the estimate would be 280 - 4 or 276 inches. Divide by 12 to get feet. (23 feet.)

You can also say that a meter is equal to a yard plus 3 3/8 in.

e.g. 12 meters is the same as 12 meters or (36 feet) plus another 36 inches (or 1 yard.)

It's a lot easier to do in your head than to explain it in words. Just think about it for a minute then you'll be able to "see" meters as yards and feet or vice versa.

5. ### summicron1Subscriber

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for purposes of accuracy with a non-rangefindered guestimation distance camera you may safely assume that you are about two meters tall. Think your body length on the ground and set accordingly.

6. ### ZewrakMember

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Funny. Thats exactly what I do.

Skickat från min GT-I9300 via Tapatalk 2

7. ### lxdudeMember

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Yeah, but it's harder to take the picture lying on the ground.

8. ### AronMember

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You can think of one meter (very close to twice the short side of a 20x24 inch print) as the approximate equivalent of one yard. Find something common, that's around one meter long, then think about it always when it comes to meters. When I have trouble with feet, I think of the roughly one foot ruler (30 cm long or 12 inches).

9. ### Steve SmithMember

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Your nose to the end of your outstretched arm is about a metre. Or fingertip to fingertip of two outstretched arms (both on the same person!) will be about two metres.

Steve.

10. ### RalphLambrechtSubscriber

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maybe it's easier for you to think in yards rather thanmeters,a yard is about the sameas a meter,and a meter is about equal to a big step.

11. ### clivehSubscriber

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If the camera has a flash shoe, why not buy a little rangefinder calibrated in meters to fit on the top. Voigtlander made some nice ones.

12. ### E. von HoeghMember

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Don't bother converting. Just learn to think in meters. Or seconds pendula.

13. ### E. von HoeghMember

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A seconds pendulum is very close to one meter long from point of suspension to center of oscillation.

15. ### zsasMember

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EvH - True but don't they say when learning a language we always think in our native language then translate? I natively speak English but when I speak to someone in Spanish my mind still thinks in Enlish then gets the word...sí?

My camera will measure in meters (Contax G2) but I'm just looking for pointers to think metric.

I've some great pointers above too!

16. ### E. von HoeghMember

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When you are using a camera that gives both meters and feet, say an slr, pay attention to the meters scale and some object you are familiar with, so you know what that object looks like at that distance. You'll make the shift easier than you might think. Did you know that the metric system has been legal for trade in the U.S. since 1866?

17. ### Steve SmithMember

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I think that you can only really consider yourself fluent in a second language when you can speak it without translating it to your first language in your head. In that case, I'm not quite fluent at French yet!

But has it ever been used?

Steve.

18. ### CoffeehoundSubscriber

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Did you know that Benjamin Franklin wanted the US to adopt the metric system back in the 1780s... Would have made life better for many of us...

19. ### kbredeMember

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That holds true during the learning stage, but then at some point you become fluent, and there is no longer a need for the translation. Of course, that is, until you stumble on a word you don't know in the second language.

20. ### E. von HoeghMember

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That was Jefferson, in 1790.

21. ### E. von HoeghMember

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Yes. Among other applications, General Motors used it on some fasteners in their engines, in the late 1980s. Other fasteners in the same engines were still SAE inch standard; this is true but I will not be surprised if you don't believe it.

22. ### zsasMember

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I like that one! I've a SLR that has both. I don't have the G2 yet (which only demarcates what it measures in meters), this is a great hands on way. Why is the most simple sometimes the least obvious...

Thanks all for the pointers! Fun discussion!

If only [edit Jefferson] got his wish, but then again we wouldn't be having this conversation. What I like some much about this conversation is it's the ultimate analog discussion. Seeing the world in numbers, algorithms, etc. neat'o in my book!

23. ### E. von HoeghMember

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What's particularly fascinating is that this thread is in the "exposure" forum.

And, it wasn't Franklin. It was Jefferson. Some will have you believe that the universe was constructed from blueprints drawn up by Benjamin Franklin; this cheapens his considerable real accomplishments.

24. ### zsasMember

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I thought long and hard where to post this thread, it relates to zone, hyper focal distance, thought it nice in exposure section. I thought RF originally but wanted a broader discussion. Where wd you propose it?

25. ### E. von HoeghMember

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In the (non-existant) "Focus" forum, of course.

Actually, from some questions I've read and more than a few photos I've looked at, a "Focus" forum would be utterly appropriate.

26. ### Chan TranMember

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I wasn't born in the US and thus I was familar with the metric system rather than feet and inches. But to get used to feet I would think about sizes of things in term of feet. Eventually you will get used to it.