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  1. #11

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    g'day bh, it don't gotta be roket sience

    think 18% grey, meter for a mid tone, then think about what the meter reading actually means in that particular case

    is your subject darker than mid tone?

    is it lighter than a mid tone?

    how do you want to record it?

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Heath
    think 18% grey, meter for a mid tone, then think about what the meter reading actually means in that particular case
    Sorry, Ray, disagree almost completely. NO film speed system is based on grey cards; a grey card is a Munsell mid-tone, not an subject average reflectivity; and spotting an 'equivalent mid tone' in the real world is difficult to the point of impossible. Also, it gives you no idea of your overall brightness range: how much brighter are your highlights, and how much darker are your shadows? A grey card can't tell you.

    What is much easier to to use incident light metering or limited area (preferably spot) metering of the highlights for slides and digital (where exposure is keyed to the highlights, which you don't want to 'blow' to a featureless white), and limited-area (ideally spot) metering of the shadows for negatives, colour or mono, to ensure you have enough shadow detail. This also ties your metering to the ISO film speed criteria.

    There's a free module in the Photo School at www.rogerandfrances.com which explains all this in much greater detail.

    Cheers,

    Roger

  3. #13
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    Hi Johannes

    Not sure what film type you are using - techniques differ, as detailed in Roger's book and in his post above. I bought this book when first starting to use a manual camera and found it very helpful indeed.

    There have been quite a few discussions here on APUG and thus the archives have some very informed content. The metering discussions are allied with the use of Neutral Density Graduated filters (especially for transparency film) and so you might want to search for this too.

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Hicks
    Sorry, Ray, disagree almost completely. NO film speed system is based on grey cards; a grey card is a Munsell mid-tone, not an subject average reflectivity; and spotting an 'equivalent mid tone' in the real world is difficult to the point of impossible. Also, it gives you no idea of your overall brightness range: how much brighter are your highlights, and how much darker are your shadows? A grey card can't tell you.

    What is much easier to to use incident light metering or limited area (preferably spot) metering of the highlights for slides and digital (where exposure is keyed to the highlights, which you don't want to 'blow' to a featureless white), and limited-area (ideally spot) metering of the shadows for negatives, colour or mono, to ensure you have enough shadow detail. This also ties your metering to the ISO film speed criteria.

    There's a free module in the Photo School at www.rogerandfrances.com which explains all this in much greater detail.

    Cheers,

    Roger
    i don't actually disagree with you Roger but i did write 'think about it'

    and when you write metering of the shadows, then what, use that sugested exposure, or more, or less?

    i know mid grey/18% whatever is not 'real' but use the suggested exposure from any reflected reading and the camera will more or less convert that amount of light to a middish tone

    yes it is much easier to meter the light falling on the subject, but we have 'good' meters in our cameras, why not learn to use them

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Heath
    yes it is much easier to meter the light falling on the subject, but we have 'good' meters in our cameras, why not learn to use them
    Dear Ray,

    Sorry, I may have come across as more aggressive than I intended. A common problem in cyberspace.

    Your point about 'more or less, to a middish tone' is very well taken. Many people seek more precision in metering and exposure than exists or can exist.

    The trouble is, the cleverer a meter becomes, the harder it is to correct when it does go wrong. A broad-area reflected light meter is a very blunt instrument and gives optimum results 50 to 90 per cent of the time (depending on your subjects) but you soon learn what corrections to make. A simple through-lens meter, as on a Leica M-series, is cleverer and easier but still easy to correct for. A multi-sector meter will use a really clever algorithm and you never quite know when it will let you down, or how, or why.

    They could get around this incredibly easily with a 'B+W' metering mode (maximum weighting to the darkest metered point). But they don't. Odd.

    Cheers,

    Roger

  6. #16
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    Clyde Butcher once explained his exposure system to me - he looks over a scene, determines what object he wants to render as Zone V, then meters that object and sets his exposure accordingly.

    I don't like his traditional prints so much as prints - I think he too frequently gets blown out highlights and empty shadows from his method. But then shooting in the swamp in Florida is hard. There are lots of areas with very high SBRs and lots with very low SBRs and few with anything in between. I've chosen to try to learn to tame the SBRs - Clyde has chosen another path - and has certainly sold a hell of a lot more prints than me.
    juan

  7. #17

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    hey Roger, not taken as aggresive, it is far to easy, and not intended, to upset on the net when expressing a strong opinion

    i sometimes think people on forums don't actually want strong opinions, they want to hear what they already believe

    so Juan, do i understand correctly that zone 5 is mid tone?

    if so, this is much like my method of determining exposure

    what are SBRs?

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Heath
    i sometimes think people on forums don't actually want strong opinions, they want to hear what they already believe.
    To borrow the perceived antipodean vernacular, too bloody right, sport.

    My guess on SBR: Subject Brightness Range (or Ratio)

    Cheers,

    R.

  9. #19

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    yep

  10. #20
    Baxter Bradford's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by juan
    Clyde Butcher once explained his exposure system to me - he looks over a scene, determines what object he wants to render as Zone V, then meters that object and sets his exposure accordingly.
    ....
    juan
    Juan

    This method may be fine with experience, but doesn't really help Johannes or others new to the process of manual metering get started.

    All
    This subject is so vast and flexible that despite best intentions, I feel that each chipping in here will not ultimately be helpful. I believe that use of a number of well chosen and varied example images with notification about SBR, metered values etc is necessary - the sort of thing one would find in a well written book! Agree that the Ansel Adams book is quite heavy going, but not the heaviest. The danger of making it too lightweight is that you will incorrectly meter and thus miss that once in a lifetime image!

    When helping lead Photographic workshops, this subject causes the biggest headaches - but sound metering technique is integral to powerful image making. It is not just controlling the SBR (brightness range) through ND filters or double capture for those using Digital cameras, but making an informed choice about where to place the mid-tone......

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