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Old Dec 18, 2006, 8:06 PM   #1
K J
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How do you use Manual Exposure on SLR without live preview?
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Old Dec 18, 2006, 8:55 PM   #2
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You have a meter scale built into the viewfinder that shows you how your settings are impacting exposure. When the pointer is in the middle, your settings match up to what the camera's metering thinks is needed for a given shot, and the scale will show you how much your settings vary from the metering (usually from -2 EV to the left and +2 EV to the right of the middle of the scale).

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Old Dec 18, 2006, 9:53 PM   #3
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But isn't it pretty pointless to use manual this way? You set initial shutter speed, etc. 'out of head' then you find out you are eg. -1 EV - so you know the difference between those 2 exposures but still you can't conclude which one is desired one for you.
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Old Dec 18, 2006, 10:31 PM   #4
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You spin a control wheel (or wheels) when watching the pointer on the scale (and you watch the aperture and shutter speed values changing in the viewfinder at the same time). It's a fast and simple process.

Most users wouldn't use manual exposure very often anyway. They'd be more likely to use Aperture Priority or Shutter Priority. You pick the aperture, the camera selects the shutter speed. Or, you pick the shutter speed and let the camera pick the aperture.

That way, you control the variable that's most important to you for what you're shooting and let the camera worry about exposure (and you could use Exposure Compensation if the conditions warrant it, using the same meter in the viewfinder to show you the difference your settings are making).

An EVF is not necessarily representive of the exposure you're going to get anyway, especially in low light (since most EVF equipped cameras slow down their refresh rate and gain up the display in low light).

A live feed to an EVF is not the same thing as capturing the image at a specific shutter speed, aperture and ISO speed. With some models, it helps and can be somewhat representive depending on the lighting (since some manufacturers have made an effort to feed the EVF a simulation of what you're going to get with the exposure, to a point).

But, not in all conditions and not with all EVFs. With an SLR, you use the scale in the viewfinder to see what impact your settings are having versus the camera's metering.

Low light or when using a flash is about the only time I'd use manual exposure versus Aperture Priority or Shutter Priority modes anyway.


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Old Dec 18, 2006, 11:09 PM   #5
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I almost always use manual mode (it keeps me on my toes & helps me remember how & why things work). However, I do have 2 of my 7D's custom modes set to different values.....one is in AV mode for shooting models outside, under varying lighting. The other is in a Program Adjust mode for shooting fast moving objects...I have it set to do auto focus, burst-shooting, auto ISO for example.
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Old Dec 19, 2006, 12:37 AM   #6
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I use an old Sekonic L398 Studio Deluxe handled meter outdoors (It is so old it does not need batteries :-) and a newer version of it is still being made), and a Sekonic L358 Flash meter.

I tend to prefer to use manual exposure when possible, results seem more consistent.



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Old Dec 19, 2006, 7:51 AM   #7
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Kalypso wrote:
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I almost always use manual mode
I've also gravitated towards using manual mode more often in my sports shooting. Why? Simple - very often you have one team wearing white and the opposing team wearing dark - when you shoot tight on a subject the difference in shirt colors can really swing the exposure - sometimes more than a stop - but the proper exposure for faces remains fairly constant. And, it's the faces I care about.

The only time now where I go back to using AV is if light conditions are changing too much (sun moving in and out of clouds for instance).

Besides the meter mentioned already, a few test shots and a look at the histogram tells me if I've got my exposure where I want it.
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Old Dec 19, 2006, 10:29 AM   #8
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A light meter (and there is one built into all DSLR cameras) can tell you how much light is in a scene or part of a scene as seen through the viewfinder.


This light meter approach is how people have calculated exposure before taking a picture with film for quite some time now.


As it happens with a DSLR it is now possible to take a test shot and see how the exposure came out by viewing the histogram. In the past film photographers would use polaroids for the same purpose.

It is unusual for light conditions to change rapidly in any event. Once you calculate the correct exposure you don't generally need to change it very frequently.
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Old Dec 19, 2006, 11:02 AM   #9
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Peripatetic is of course correct, if you take the time to learn to intrepret what the histogram is telling you for a given scene it is a great way to work out exposure. :idea:

Indoors the light does not usually change much, outdoors you are at the mercy of the sky gods. :G
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Old Dec 19, 2006, 11:21 AM   #10
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I agree. Light meters were a necessary tool when shooting with film (wrong exposures cost a lot of film). Since I've gone digital, I've yet to use one. My camera has one built in & ususally one look at the histogram & I know how my settings should be.
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