How to shoot in full manual mode

Started Dec 22, 2010 | Discussions thread
Dennis Forum Pro • Posts: 17,456
Re: (I meant _Don't_)

Thanks James !

The OP said that A mode is insufficient and he thinks M mode is needed to optimize his results.

These are just two ways of setting parameters.

You're either metering as needed or you're not. And if you're not, that's a separate issue from how you're setting the parameters.

There are loads of ways to come up with the exposure you want to use, from zone system to rules of thumb, external meter to built in, spot, matrix, etc. And I'm not arguing that one is better than another. (I rely heavily on matrix metering, but make heavy use of EV + - and AEL ... that's just the way I enjoy shooting and I can get good exposures quickly). You may choose ETTR when time allows and the DR in the scene makes it sensible. But if you're basing your exposure on the cameras built in meter - spot, center-weighted, matrix, compensated, locked or otherwise - M mode is just a waste of time (unless you want to lock shutter & aperture and vary the ISO). You're going to choose an aperture or shutter speed then adjust the other to be in line, so why not let the camera do it ?

I use M mode with studio lights, for lightning, for fireworks. Also sometimes shooting hockey when I want the lens wide open and a minimum shutter speed. Unfortunately, my camera doesn't have auto ISO, so then I set a "threshhold" ISO and increase exposures as necessary in LR.

The OP doesn't need to be told "you're right, you need to shoot M mode always because other modes give inferior results". He needs to be educated on when M mode is needed. And when it's not.

  • Dennis

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