D300 metring problems....some investigation...and tips

Started Dec 19, 2007 | Discussions thread
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RomanJohnston
RomanJohnston Forum Pro • Posts: 18,806
D300 metring problems....some investigation...and tips

Ok...for all you guys and gals experiencing metering problems...here is a post...part is from many others here through posts I have read...and other parts are directly from playing with my camera today with different settings...

Potential issues that might affect you’re metering:

1. Metering and AutoFocus Area Mode...

In single area AF, where the focus point is.....will effect your exposure....I think the attempt is to read where the focus point is and bias the meter to that area so your subject is not under or over exposed. Good logic...but frustrating if you don’t know what is going on.

I toggled between modes and found that the exposure would change between each one.....I was in my bedroom with one light on in the corner.

1. Single area = point of focus will change exposure

2. Dynamic area = seems to level it out more (haven’t played with CSMa3 to test 9, 21, and 51 point modes yet)

3. Auto Area actually zoomed in on the light and chose that....and substantially changed the meter reading to match.

Point is...learn how focus points (especially your favorite ones) will effect your meter reading....these were all in matrix meter mode.

Throw in spot and center weighted....and you can begin to see you have a plethora of problems....(or potential).....get to know your camera.

Other things that can effect you’re metering:

1. Direction you are to direct light or strong reflected light. Challenging lighting positions will always result in some catty whampus readings.

2. Bracketing.....sounds simple..but man..if you have it dialed in for 2 or 4 exposures...and tuned in a weird way (you can change the sequence in how they are shot too....dark..light..middle....middle...dark...light...etc) you can get some WEIRD results if you didn’t know you inadvertently turned it on.

3. Exposure Compensation...don’t forget there are 2 areas for this...the first one is the button on the right side near the shutter....the other is a more permanent option buried in a menu and is much less obvious....

4. Custom settings...(contrast....etc) This can effect the outcome as well...killing the dark areas OR the whites...and making it look over or under exposed.

If you throw ALL of these potentials..(and probably some I have over looked) into a hat...and mix them all up....you have a LOT of stuff to check before you figure out that your meter might be truly off....

Add to that that NO in camera metering is perfect...and the possibilities are endless.

if you are experiencing problems....Best test of a baseline is to put your camera on a tripod...and put a grey card on a wall...(so both don’t move)...keep the light even and run yur camera through spot, center weighted....and matrix meter tests...filling the frame with the grey card. If your metering is not fairly consistent....then you might have troubles....check all above…especially bracketing....and retry if you find settings messed up.

For all of you frustrated...you have a fairly complex camera in your hands....5 years ago...this level of control and complexity would have been seen as imposable....be patient....read that nasty big imposing manual...and play with your new camera....you might be surprised. : )

Roman

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'Miles to go before I sleep.'
--Robert Frost
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