Experiments with Nikon D600 exposure - seems too aggressive

Started Sep 21, 2012 | Discussions thread
theNeverKings Regular Member • Posts: 195
Re: 2nd set of experiments with D600 exposure


creaDVty wrote:

Hi Peter. Congrats on your baby. Is s/he walking now? The fun starts there... hehehe

Thank you. Yes, she started walking about a week ago...so many photo ops;) She's child number four for me.

As for your suggestions on finding a zone v subject, they are helpful, and yes I get how a camera can't really know whether a subject is white or black or gray. I'm not saying that the D600 can't get an exposure right. Of course, with spot metering, any camera with a functional light meter should get the job done. All I'm hoping is that with the D600's technology, it's a little better about making an educated guess based on the relationship of tones in the scene. And I guess it does a fine job for the subject but to my dismay doesn't seem to try to fit the scene on the sensor's range.

As for center-weighted metering, I had no problem about the subject being correctly exposed - the D600's matrix exposure does a fine job there. My problem was that the rest of the scene - background, etc. included many blown highlights. If I used center-weighted metering I would think that the problem would be aggravated. (In fact, my s5 has the opposite tendency from the D600 - its meter is extremely conservative and when there's a highlight anywhere in the scene it will underexpose a lot which is not good for the S5 because its range is in the highlights. So what I do to overcome that is use center-weighted metering.)

Nonetheless, I'll give center-weighted a shot with the D600. Haven't tried it on the D600.

I view the varied exposure methods present in modern cameras as a "tool box". Different tools for different jobs, and I have a suspicion that camera manufacturers gives us these options knowing that no single metering method is going to be ideal for every application. The trick for me was to identify, as early as possible, which metering method worked best for a given situation. The only time I came to rely on Matrix Metering was when photographing bride/groom exiting gloomy church interiors into brighter outdoor conditions. I would usually be using fill flash as well as some negative exposure compensation to protect the detail in the Bride's dress.

As mentioned previously, Matrix Metering is generally effective, however, I noticed as camera models progressed, the decision to "weight" the metering in favour of focus point had a detrimental effect on the metering. It was then that I made a decision to use a different "tool" i.e. Center Weighted Averaging. Some rudimentary appreciation of the Zone system is beneficial (which you obviously have!). I believe the most useful concept of the Zone system is being able to previsualise the tones in a scene and thus place them where I want them to go, and not the camera:).

At the risk of labouring a point, CWA metering is a kind of primitive Matrix in that it does take into account other areas of the frame other than the central area.

As I mentioned, I currently have the X Pro 1, but I am keeping a close eye on the D600 since I sold my D700 a while ago due to it being too large, heavy and, in particular, loud!



P.S. you would be forgiven for thinking I am a bit of a CWA "fanboi";)

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