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gk23
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Metering mode for plane spotting

Thu Apr 25, 2019 4:49 pm

I am looking for advice on what metering mode to use for plane spotting photography. I have a good understanding of the basics of shutter, aperture, and ISO, but metering has always confused me. The reason I'm thinking about metering now is that I want to start using the auto-ISO feature on my Nikon D850 and when reading up about that feature I came across the impact of metering on the exposure, but those articles were wildlife photography related and I was still not completely sure about what to use, so I thought I would ask here specifically in context of aviation photography.

Thank you.
 
dutchspotter1
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Re: Metering mode for plane spotting

Thu Apr 25, 2019 5:33 pm

I use center-weighted metering in most cases, this gives the best results IMO.
 
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clickhappy
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Re: Metering mode for plane spotting

Thu Apr 25, 2019 7:34 pm

I'd learn how to do it manually and take control of the metering and the "film speed" (aka ISO). Always try to expose for the highlights because once they're gone they're gone*

*not as true as it used to be if you shoot in RAW formats, but the goal still applies.
 
gk23
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Re: Metering mode for plane spotting

Thu Apr 25, 2019 9:46 pm

Thank you for the replies.

Clickhappy could you please explain what you mean by trying to expose for highlights?
 
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clickhappy
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Re: Metering mode for plane spotting

Thu Apr 25, 2019 10:04 pm

Easy - don't overexpose. It is easier to lift the shadows vs restoring clipped highlights. In film we called it push vs pull. Once you shoot for a while you can meter pretty quickly from general knowledge - there are also stand alone handheld meters you can use. There are also some phone apps but the few I've tried have been pretty far off.

I have two D850's, I keep the exposure compensation knob at -1/3 of a stop. This is simply to give me a little extra protection from clipping the highlights.
 
gk23
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Re: Metering mode for plane spotting

Fri Apr 26, 2019 3:05 am

clickhappy wrote:
Easy - don't overexpose. It is easier to lift the shadows vs restoring clipped highlights. In film we called it push vs pull. Once you shoot for a while you can meter pretty quickly from general knowledge - there are also stand alone handheld meters you can use. There are also some phone apps but the few I've tried have been pretty far off.

I have two D850's, I keep the exposure compensation knob at -1/3 of a stop. This is simply to give me a little extra protection from clipping the highlights.

Thanks, I'll keep this info in mind!

Time to go out and shoot.
 
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seahawk
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Re: Metering mode for plane spotting

Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:43 am

dutchspotter1 wrote:
I use center-weighted metering in most cases, this gives the best results IMO.


Same here.
 
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airkas1
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Re: Metering mode for plane spotting

Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:56 am

dutchspotter1 wrote:
I use center-weighted metering in most cases, this gives the best results IMO.

clickhappy wrote:
don't overexpose. It is easier to lift the shadows vs restoring clipped highlights.

I tend to do this as well, although I don't go as far as always underexposing by 1/3 (unless I misunderstood royal's post).
 
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seahawk
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Re: Metering mode for plane spotting

Fri Apr 26, 2019 7:59 am

clickhappy wrote:
Easy - don't overexpose. It is easier to lift the shadows vs restoring clipped highlights. In film we called it push vs pull. Once you shoot for a while you can meter pretty quickly from general knowledge - there are also stand alone handheld meters you can use. There are also some phone apps but the few I've tried have been pretty far off.

I have two D850's, I keep the exposure compensation knob at -1/3 of a stop. This is simply to give me a little extra protection from clipping the highlights.


That surprises me. Using centre weighted metering (12mm) I never had to underexpose with my Nikons (D850/D800). Exposure compensation is usually 0,0 on a sunny day and +0,3 on a day with light clouds. Even in jpg I never had problems with blown highlights with this setting.

The more consumer orientated lines are bit more aggressive in metering though.
 
310815
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Re: Metering mode for plane spotting

Fri Apr 26, 2019 1:21 pm

With the Canon's I used lately (700D, 80D and 5D MKIV) I also never had to underexpose. Especially on the first two mentioned bodies that would only produce unnecessary noise (even at low ISO settings) and because of that I would be careful with underexposure on consumer oriented bodies. Sure full frame models are more forgiving.
But I've never had problems with clipped highlights when using center-weighted metering.
But again that is with Canon cams, I've no experience with Nikon.

On cloudy days (which I don't shoot airplanes but I am also doing sports photography) I would typically add exposure correction from 0,3 till 0,6 depending on how much "light" there is.
At least for me that works fine.
 
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clickhappy
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Re: Metering mode for plane spotting

Fri Apr 26, 2019 3:47 pm

If you shoot center-weight on a white plane, with a dark background, the background will be underexposed.

My use of -1/3 of a stop has nothing to do with my cameras metering, if you reread what I typed above I shoot in manual 100% of the time.

But, whatever works for you, great.
 
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Moose135
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Re: Metering mode for plane spotting

Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:53 pm

clickhappy wrote:
My use of -1/3 of a stop has nothing to do with my cameras metering, if you reread what I typed above I shoot in manual 100% of the time.

So how do you "dial in" -1/3 of a stop of exposure comp? If you are setting things manually, isn't the exposure whatever it is based on your settings, without the camera applying any automatic compensation from the dial. And personally, I like to shoot a little overexposed as long as I'm not clipping the highlights, usually 1/3 of a stop, because I'd rather reduce exposure a little in post rather than try to raise the shadows, which can lead to noise.
 
vikkyvik
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Re: Metering mode for plane spotting

Fri Apr 26, 2019 6:08 pm

Moose135 wrote:
So how do you "dial in" -1/3 of a stop of exposure comp?


My question as well. On Canon, exposure comp doesn't affect manual shooting at all.
 
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clickhappy
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Re: Metering mode for plane spotting

Fri Apr 26, 2019 6:37 pm

Good point - it’s something I learned 20+ years ago and have stuck with it.

I think most people would rather have a slightly underexposed shot to work with, vs overexposed. With the ISO capability of OP’s camera noise won’t be an issue.

But again, to each their own.
 
Silver1SWA
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Re: Metering mode for plane spotting

Fri Apr 26, 2019 7:27 pm

Moose135 wrote:
clickhappy wrote:
My use of -1/3 of a stop has nothing to do with my cameras metering, if you reread what I typed above I shoot in manual 100% of the time.

So how do you "dial in" -1/3 of a stop of exposure comp? If you are setting things manually, isn't the exposure whatever it is based on your settings, without the camera applying any automatic compensation from the dial. And personally, I like to shoot a little overexposed as long as I'm not clipping the highlights, usually 1/3 of a stop, because I'd rather reduce exposure a little in post rather than try to raise the shadows, which can lead to noise.


I shoot Manual but I do glance at the meter in the viewfinder for confirmation that I’m in the right ballpark, especially when adjusting on the fly. Exposure comp sets the base for that meter reading. On my D750 I prefer +1/3 exposure comp so a perfect exposure reading at “0” is actually +1/3 of a stop.
 
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seahawk
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Re: Metering mode for plane spotting

Tue Apr 30, 2019 6:49 am

For a Nikon using exposure compensation in manual mode does only affect the exposure indicator.

https://onlinemanual.nikonimglib.com/d8 ... re_06.html
 
Silver1SWA
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Re: Metering mode for plane spotting

Tue Apr 30, 2019 11:11 am

vikkyvik wrote:
Moose135 wrote:
So how do you "dial in" -1/3 of a stop of exposure comp?


My question as well. On Canon, exposure comp doesn't affect manual shooting at all.


It does if you’re using the internal meter as a point of reference.

seahawk wrote:
For a Nikon using exposure compensation in manual mode does only affect the exposure indicator.

https://onlinemanual.nikonimglib.com/d8 ... re_06.html


It isn’t just Nikon.

Whether it’s you or the camera using the internal meter as a reference, the end result is the same. Exposure compensation is only irrelevant if you’re are completely ignoring the camera’s metering. I shoot Manual 100% of the time but I still use the internal meter as a reference to know when I’m under or overexposing and by how much based on my selected metering mode and exposure compensation.
 
vikkyvik
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Re: Metering mode for plane spotting

Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:51 pm

Silver1SWA wrote:
It does if you’re using the internal meter as a point of reference.


I'm aware, but he wasn't clear in what he was stating.

I just meant you still have full control over the exposure.

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