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  1. #51

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    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
    It is never the camera, or the meter, or the fancy computer in them, that screws up.
    Well, it depends on what you mean by "screws up". An averaging meter will correctly average a backlit exposure, a working autoexposure system will set the aperture and shutter speed to match that averaged result, and in the end the subject will be less exposed than the photographer intended.[1] It didn't screw up, in the sense that all the parts worked as they were supposed to work, but the automatic system failed to get the desired result.

    That's fine if you know what happened and why; you look at the settings and compensate for the backlighting. But the knowledge to do that isn't something you're born with; it's easy to grasp IF you understand how exposure works in the first place...and I think LyleB is right, above, that most people who take casual snapshots never actually learn that fundamental aspect. They don't have to know about gear ratios to drive a car with an automatic transmission[2], they don't have to know about Turing machines to use an iPad, why would they expect to have to know about exposure to use a camera?

    -NT


    [1] Yeah, yeah, I know there are exceptions where the averaged reading and the dark profiled subject against a normally exposed background would be exactly what you want. I'm talking about the normal case that bites casual photographers, and sometimes forgetful serious photographers, when they shoot someone standing with their back to the sun.

    [2] Double clutching---who remembers double clutching? I'm pretty sure most people under---I don't know, somewhere in middle age---don't know what it is or that it was once necessary.
    Nathan Tenny
    San Diego, CA, USA

    The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
    -The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_

  2. #52
    blansky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ntenny View Post





    [2] Double clutching---who remembers double clutching? I'm pretty sure most people under---I don't know, somewhere in middle age---don't know what it is or that it was once necessary.
    I DO, I DO.....I remember it well.

    It's when you sneak up on a girl from behind, reach around her with both hands, locate her soft inviting perky targets .........and whammo, you double clutch.

    And it was seriously necessary. And still is, I might add.
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

  3. #53

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    Quote Originally Posted by blansky View Post
    I DO, I DO.....I remember it well.

    It's when you sneak up on a girl from behind, reach around her with both hands, locate her soft inviting perky targets .........and whammo, you double clutch.
    Yeah, and *then* what happens?? I don't know, maybe you've been hanging around with girls more tolerant, or at least slower to strike back, than those of my youth.

    Actually, it sounds safer than trying to shift a vintage Maserati.

    -NT
    Nathan Tenny
    San Diego, CA, USA

    The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
    -The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_

  4. #54

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    double de-clutching surely?
    or perhaps it was called differently in the US

  5. #55
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    What I'm saying Nathan is that these automated tools can be used very reliably. It doesn't matter if it's an averaging meter, a spot meter, a matrix meter, or matrix with balanced iTTL fill flash.

    We are the wild cards in the system, not the automation built into the camera.
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  6. #56

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    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
    What I'm saying Nathan is that these automated tools can be used very reliably. It doesn't matter if it's an averaging meter, a spot meter, a matrix meter, or matrix with balanced iTTL fill flash.

    We are the wild cards in the system, not the automation built into the camera.
    Sure, but I think that perspective assumes a *knowledgeable* user behind the camera. With a manual camera, you pretty much have to have that or nothing works at all; in the automated world, there's an understandable tendency for people to skip the "knowledgeable" part and go straight to the "user" part.

    And for those of us who grew up in manual-camera-land, "knowledgeable" goes without saying, and then we wonder why elementary language like "stop down" makes people's eyes glaze over. Well, they've never had to learn what that means, as long as they were willing to take the failure modes of automatic operation as a kind of cost of doing business; and the better the automation gets, the less important that cost looks, and the less motivated a casual user is to learn anything at all about how the magic box works.

    From an engineering perspective, that's a roaring success; from a curmudgeonly one, it's another "kids these days" moment.

    -NT
    Nathan Tenny
    San Diego, CA, USA

    The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
    -The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by ntenny View Post
    Sure, but I think that perspective assumes a *knowledgeable* user behind the camera. With a manual camera, you pretty much have to have that or nothing works at all; in the automated world, there's an understandable tendency for people to skip the "knowledgeable" part and go straight to the "user" part.

    And for those of us who grew up in manual-camera-land, "knowledgeable" goes without saying, and then we wonder why elementary language like "stop down" makes people's eyes glaze over. Well, they've never had to learn what that means, as long as they were willing to take the failure modes of automatic operation as a kind of cost of doing business; and the better the automation gets, the less important that cost looks, and the less motivated a casual user is to learn anything at all about how the magic box works.

    From an engineering perspective, that's a roaring success; from a curmudgeonly one, it's another "kids these days" moment.

    -NT
    Or it brings us back to Ralph, a guy that wrote extensively to support and train curmudgeons.

    Quote Originally Posted by RalphLambrecht View Post
    I,for one, are very happy with auto-ecerythingand my camera is set to it.now, I can finally concentrate in the image-making process and forget about the image-taking process.
    It brings us back to my presbyopia. For myself and others it is medically becoming harder and harder to use manual cameras.

    There is no shame in wanting sharp, well exposed photos of our grand kids and friends and the places we go. That is just as true for new parents.
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  8. #58

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    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
    It brings us back to my presbyopia. For myself and others it is medically becoming harder and harder to use manual cameras.
    I've got a bit of that although it hasn't become a huge difficulty in practice yet. Someday I'll need to get further than arm's reach from the ground glass, I suppose, and I'm not sure what happens next; they don't make a lot of autofocus 8x10s. But anyway.

    There is no shame in wanting sharp, well exposed photos of our grand kids and friends and the places we go. That is just as true for new parents.
    Oh, of course, and I hope I don't sound like I'm arguing against automation full stop. I think *learning* photography in a fully automated context presents a difficulty, in that it can produce people who haven't had to learn the things they need to use an automated tool to best advantage.

    -NT
    Nathan Tenny
    San Diego, CA, USA

    The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
    -The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_

  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
    Metering is no different.
    Every form of metering and setting exposure takes practice to master, we need to figure out what the exceptions and limitations are and how to deal with them. The tools/features built into our cameras are very reliable and very predictable. Again there is no extra point of error, we either understand the tool we are using or we don't.
    When a Canon DSLR fails to focus on the point assigned by the photographer to be focused on because there is an electronic or mechanical failure of the contrast information as relayed to the focus drive, then this is computer error. It happens quite a bit in any kind of autofocus system.

  10. #60
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    Nikanon, that failure is just a characteristic, a limitation of auto focus systems not an electronic or mechanical failure.

    When we know where and why this happens we can work around it, same thing happens with Nikons and ... It is really tough for humans to focus on low contrast/low texture/very dark/very bright surfaces too. Try focussing a 4x5 camera on the side of a sand dune on an overcast day.

    I believe that situations such as these are one reason why many small format lenses have focus distance marks.
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin



 

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