Exposure basics, lesson two point one (& ISO)

Started Mar 19, 2013 | Discussions thread
Anders W Forum Pro • Posts: 21,468
Re: It's about fair comparisons - not which is better

I realize that. But my point is that you have in some important ways misunderstood what you refer to as an inconsistency in ISO labeling and therefore also misunderstood in some important ways what it takes to make a comparison fair. My response addressed one of these misunderstandings.

I've never been very big on 'fair' when it comes to cameras. They are inanimate objects, and don't have rights of fairness and equality. What I think is more important is what makes a comparison useful.

I think of "fair" in reference to the requirements imposed by the audience rather than in reference to the cameras themselves, in which case I think "fair" becomes more or less synonymous to "useful".

Those of my persuasion are often told on these forums that we have no idea how photographers really work, and it's fair enough, not that we don't know, but that we don't work the way the majority do. So the question of a comparison is that it would need to be different for us and the majority. For us, who take control of exposure, we're really interested in equal exposure comparisons (or cross format, equal total light) because that is how we will knowingly set up our shots. For the majority, what they will do is set an ISO, meter the scene, shoot and look at the result - therefore for them they are interested in meter-in-the loop comparisons. Two things they are probably interested in is what do the results look like, and for the more advanced, what exposure actually got set.

I think we are of the same persuasion and share your opinion that equal-exposure comparisons is what we are interested in.

However, is the majority really much different in this regard? If, for the moment, we bypass the more complex forms of metering, the meters of different cameras give pretty much the same reading at the same camera ISO in my experience. The manufacturers tend to follow the SOS ISO norm in this regard, just as they do with regard to the brightness of the OOC jpegs for an 18-percent gray target, wouldn't you say?

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