Always Matrix Metering?

Started May 15, 2012 | Discussions thread
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,559
Re: Always Matrix Metering?
In reply to benjaminblack, May 17, 2012

I'm returning to using matrix metering now that I use the D700, after using manual for a couple of years almost exclusively.

Matrix metering is very good, and even better when you set your camera on Auto ISO with a fast shutter as minimum speed (I use 1/160 sec.), and Auto Active D-Lighting (readers: don't hate me for saying this!).

With the matrix metering you generally want to read the light with your eyes as you see it, and dial in exposure compensation trims somewhere between -0.3 EV and +1.0 EV to the matrix calculated value, depending on the situation, as you perceive it, then just keep your camera in the "P" mode and go. Practice a lot to figure out your desired exposure compensation trims.

I also use the AE-Lock button frequently, especially on cloudy days while metering off of green grass.

I find this the easiest and quickest solution to taking well exposed photos quickly. Nothing wrong with using manual mode, but it's not fast enough in some situations.

I noticed that you ask about wireless flash in another forum. I use my flashes almost exclusively in the TTL mode, however I use the on-camera body flash value compensation to dial down the flash power of the entire wireless flash system to about -0.7 EV.

The matrix balanced TTL flash system will start to degrade in quality of exposure if your subjects are small parts of your frame, i.e. not sufficiently large part of the Matrix covers your subject in those situations. The D800/D4 should remedy this with their all new denser Matrix meter.

Also notice, that the camera exposure compensation, automatically will affect your flash exposure compensation, unlike Canon where they are independent. I.e. if your flash exposure is dialed down to -0.7 EV and your main exposure compensation is at +0.7 EV, then your effective flash power is at 0.0 straight matrix reading. I find this a little annoying. Nikon says they have removed this "feature" starting with the D4.

Another tip with flash I could offer, if you have multiple off-camera flashes, like 3 of them coming from different angles, set each in different group, and have the TTL system calculate the power of each independently of the other flashes.

Take Care.

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