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  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Smith View Post
    The F601 also has five zones but getting an F80 sounds like a good idea. Especially, as I mentioned earlier, as I now have a legitimate reason!

    Steve.
    The F80 is an excellent camera. I have both the F80 and F100. You might want to consider spending a little more for an F100. The advantages over the F80 are:

    1) It's a much tougher camera - heavier too.
    2) Better viewfinder - brighter and shows nearly 100% of the frame
    3) You can use MF lenses on it and still have metering
    4) It can record exposure information that you can then download to a computer
    5) It uses standard AA batteries
    6) The MB-15 grip that you can get for it has a vertical shutter release and command dial - very useful for portrait mode shots.

    Whichever one you get, you'll be happy.

    Dan
    Last edited by dslater; 01-23-2007 at 03:07 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  2. #22
    Karl K's Avatar
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    I shoot with the Nikon F100 and it doesn't like snow exposures with matrix metering. In my limited experience it tends to underexpose by about one stop. I would forget the slide film and shoot Reala. Why worry your wife about these things on such a once-in-a-lifetime trip?

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Karl K View Post
    I shoot with the Nikon F100 and it doesn't like snow exposures with matrix metering. In my limited experience it tends to underexpose by about one stop. I would forget the slide film and shoot Reala. Why worry your wife about these things on such a once-in-a-lifetime trip?
    Well that was definitely not my experience. I have a whole roll of Ektachrome 100GX shot of snow scenes with matrix that is very well exposed - nice bright white snow and detailed shadows. Indeed, while I was shooting, I briefly switched to spot metering, metered some snow, placed it on zone 7 and came up with the same exposure as the matrix metering.
    On the other hand, when shooting sunsets, I have had many exposures that seemed to be a stop underexposed. However, I suspect the real problem was that the subject brightness range was too large for a high-contrast film like Velvia. The reason for this is that if I used exposure compensation to bring up the shadows, then the sky was washed out.
    Unless your dead set on slides for projection, I would second the idea to use Color negative film - it has much greater latitude than slide film. If you are set on slide film, then pick a low contrast film.

    Dan

  4. #24
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    Another thought I have had against using matrix metering is the use of a polariser. From what I have read, it seems that the camera knows what aperture it is working at and works out the actual light level of a scene. Therefore, if the majority of zones give a bright reading i.e. snow about two stops above mid grey, it knows that it should compensate. If you now put a polariser on, these bright zones are now two stops darker - or mid grey! Therefore, I don't think it will compensate as it thinks that it is a fairly normal mid toned scene.

    I think I will send her off with a mixture of slide and negative films!


    Steve.
    "People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Smith View Post
    Another thought I have had against using matrix metering is the use of a polariser. From what I have read, it seems that the camera knows what aperture it is working at and works out the actual light level of a scene. Therefore, if the majority of zones give a bright reading i.e. snow about two stops above mid grey, it knows that it should compensate. If you now put a polariser on, these bright zones are now two stops darker - or mid grey! Therefore, I don't think it will compensate as it thinks that it is a fairly normal mid toned scene.

    I think I will send her off with a mixture of slide and negative films!


    Steve.
    That's a very interesting thought. You could very well be correct there, although it is possible that the scene matching algorithm in the camera could save you there. It would be a very interesting experiment to take 2 pictures of the same difficult snow scene - one with the filter and one without and see how the results compare.

    On the other hand, even with proper exposure, I wonder if the polarizer would kill so many reflections that the snow would lose it's sparkle?

  6. #26
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    I think I will do some experimenting tonight using a lightbox and a polariser and see what the metering differences (if any) are with matrix and centre weighted metering.

    Steve.
    "People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.

  7. #27
    Lee L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dslater View Post
    That is not the entire story. While it is true that part of the matrix metering process involves matching against a pre-programmed set of scenes, the other part of matrix metering is that Nikon lenses with a CPU chip tell the meter what the aperture of the lens is. With this information, the meter now knows what the actual luminance of the scene is. Since the luminance is known, thing like snow and bright sand can be detected and the meter can place them on zone 6 or 7.
    If the metering system is making this kind of comparison, how does it detect snow (or a mostly high key scene like light sand, etc.) under varying conditions like sun, shade, or on an overcast day? In other words, how would it know snow in shade from a gray card in sun? Or does that adjustment only happen in full sun? Seems that a TTL reflectance meter would need something like a comparison from a non-TTL incident meter (comparing illuminance to reflectance) to make the judgement that a scene is mainly white in anything other than full sun. Is that the case with Nikon matrix metering, or have I just given away a patentable idea?

    I'm not a Nikon user, but since the system was introduced, I've wondered how you make intentional adjustments (other than the usual bracketing) to a computer adjusted reading that isn't "explained". I guess users get an instictive feel for this after a while. How many stops will matrix metering shift the exposure from medium gray in it's most extreme deviation? Are adjustments geared for the dynamic range of transparency film, or for negatives? Yeah, I'm overthinking this, but the promise of computer matching to one of a few kabillion standard scenes begs the question. These are just a few questions that have come to mind. No need for a long explanatory reply unless you know how the matrix metering is programmed.

    Lee

  8. #28
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee L View Post
    No need for a long explanatory reply unless you know how the matrix metering is programmed.

    No. But I will post my findings after some experimentation.


    Steve.
    "People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee L View Post
    If the metering system is making this kind of comparison, how does it detect snow (or a mostly high key scene like light sand, etc.) under varying conditions like sun, shade, or on an overcast day? In other words, how would it know snow in shade from a gray card in sun? Or does that adjustment only happen in full sun? Seems that a TTL reflectance meter would need something like a comparison from a non-TTL incident meter (comparing illuminance to reflectance) to make the judgement that a scene is mainly white in anything other than full sun. Is that the case with Nikon matrix metering, or have I just given away a patentable idea?

    I'm not a Nikon user, but since the system was introduced, I've wondered how you make intentional adjustments (other than the usual bracketing) to a computer adjusted reading that isn't "explained". I guess users get an instictive feel for this after a while. How many stops will matrix metering shift the exposure from medium gray in it's most extreme deviation? Are adjustments geared for the dynamic range of transparency film, or for negatives? Yeah, I'm overthinking this, but the promise of computer matching to one of a few kabillion standard scenes begs the question. These are just a few questions that have come to mind. No need for a long explanatory reply unless you know how the matrix metering is programmed.

    Lee
    Hi Lee,
    I think it is the combination of knowing the actual luminance and doing a pattern match against some 30K internal stored scenes that allow the matrix metering to handle these varying situations. In the case of snow on an overcast day, I would not be surprised to see the snow come out darker than on a sunny day as it is indeed darker - however, I don't think it will come out as dark as it would using a traditional averaging meter.
    I haven't read anything that would indicate the meter takes dynamic range into account. With only 5 metering zones, that would pretty tough to do reliably.
    As to making an intentional adjustment, you are absolutely correct. People who use matrix metering most of the time develop a feel for the amount of correction a scene will need. I generally only use matrix metering when the lighting is not too difficult and I am shooting quick snapshots of my family. When the lighting is difficult and the shooting slow enough, I will switch to the spot meter and take separate readings of shadows and highlights to determine exposure. If things are moving too fast for that, then I will take a reading of a scene with the matrix metering, then use the spot meter to read the same scene, note the difference in exposure I get, and use that to determine an appropriate exposure compensation for matrix metering. I will also tend to do a fair amount of bracketing as my F80 and F100 have some nice auto-bracketing features.

  10. #30
    Lee L's Avatar
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    Dan,

    Thanks for the reply. I still can't see how matrix metering could distinguish between say a dark asphalt road in full sun and a white adobe wall in shade, i.e. place fairly low contrast scenes at their "correct" places on the scale, or how it could infer incident light levels correctly from its reflectance readings in similar circumstances. But this is all hypothetical for me anyway. My mom's remarried and her husband shoots Nikon (don't know which body), so maybe on my next visit I'll ask if I can try out his camera.

    I do much the same with TTL metering as you in difficult lighting, but with center weighted averaging (rather than matrix) and spot, which in my case reads the central split image and rough microprism ring. I also carry along a Gossen Digiflash, especially with rangefinders, over the last couple of years for fast and accurate incident readings or a "reality check".

    I'll be interested to see what Steve finds.

    Lee

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