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  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anupam Basu View Post
    I never use the Matrix meter but I would say it would be sufficient for general snapshooting, if not quite precise placement of tonal values etc. But the meters "intelligence" at guessing scene type is dependant on the number of pre-programmed scenes in the chip and so it might be useful to pick up an used N80 if you have AF lenses of even an F100 if you have MF. These might be at a slight advantage to the F601 at the guessing game. The N80 is very light as well and just enough camera not to limit you too much if you want to take charge, but also happy enough on auto everything. I believe they are very cheap on Ebay now. Remember that you won't have any metering with manual lenses, short of the F100 of course (which is also cheap for the camera it is.)

    -A

    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.
    Having said this, I agree that you might want to pick up an N80. The F601 is a previous generation camera, so it's meter may not be as sophisticated. The N80 and F100 both have 5 segment matrix metering - I'm not sure what the F601 has.
    Just last week I was photographing my son's first skiing lesson using an F100 and Ektachrome 100 GX. I shot all my exposures with no exposure compensation and got perfectly fine results.

  2. #22
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    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.
    "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.

  3. #23

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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 04:07 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  4. #24
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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?

  5. #25

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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

  6. #26
    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.

  7. #27

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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?

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by dslater View Post
    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?
    The light meter measures through the polarizer => this is not at problem. I have taken many snow scene photos this way. HOWEVER dislater is right, while the polarizer cuts out glare, it also cuts down the sparkle.

    I would recommend shooting with and without the polarizer.

  9. #29
    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.

  10. #30
    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

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