Evaluative Meter = TERRIBLE for 'Focus & Recompose'

Started Apr 25, 2012 | Discussions thread
Horshack Veteran Member • Posts: 7,235
Potential solution

After reading your OP I though it over and a potential solution occurred to me. I wondered what evaluative metering would do if you set the AF selection mode to automatic (mode where all the AF points light up) but don't actually acquire focus after setting it to automatic. In that state there is no active AF point until you attempt AF for the first time. I did some quick metering experiments and it appears the camera is not applying any AF-point weighting when it's in automatic AF selection mode and no AF point has been acquired yet. I'm assuming it's still performing an evaluative meter but without an AF-point weighting. Switching between automatic and center point is rather easy on both bodies so one could switch back and forth during the shooting process when needing to alternate between focusing and metering. Here's the workflow:

  • I have my shutter/AF-on button configured for option 3, where a half-press of the shutter locks the meter and AF-ON starts AF

  • With the center AF active, do you focusing by pressing AF-ON. Release AF-ON when focus is acquired

  • Before/during recomposing, press the AF point selection button to activate the AF point selection and then turn the top dial one click left to select automatic AF selection mode

  • When you've finalized your composition, the evaluative meter reading will reflect your composition without any AF weighting. You can either take the photo then by full-pressing the shutter or you can lock the exposure with a shutter half-press if you still want to perform any changes to the composition but with the exposure locked.

  • Before focusing for the next shot, switch back to center AF by the pressing AF point selection button and turning the top dial one click to the right.

You can also use the quick-control dial to more quickly switch between automatic and center AF points. On the 5DM2 configure C.Fn III.3 "AF point selection method" to "Quick Control Dial direct". On the 5D its Custom Function 13. With that configured you can switch between auto/center with one turn of the quick control dial.

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