Idiot question alert - 52 focus points

Started Jan 2, 2014 | Questions thread
TacticDesigns Veteran Member • Posts: 3,825
Re: Idiot question alert - 52 focus points

olyflyer wrote:

TacticDesigns wrote:

By going manual . . . if you don't nail it . . . the camera is not there to save you . . . the image doesn't turn out. It's kinda like getting your hands slapped! LOL. Hurts . . . but you might remember more from the failure than the camera saving you IMHO . . .

By going manual... if you are using a meter, you might as well use some of the auto modes. Many times people mean the wrong thing when they claim they are shooting in Manual mode. Most of those people don't use any external light meter and just rely on the meter in the camera and set the shutter speed and aperture by centering the meter, which is actually the same as letting the camera do the same work, just slower. Few people are using external meters, and even that is pretty pointless unless the incident light is measured with it. Guessing the light is pretty pointless because you WILL fail far too often to be a meaningful exercise so you learn NOTHING without a meter. Even in the old film days (at least the last 60-80 years) people used some kind of external meters if the exposure was critical or if the light was difficult. Yes, a lot could be corrected in the lab, but that was done only out of necessity or because one wanted to get some special effects.

Yes and no.

Even if you shoot manual by using the built-in meter to guide you, you can still quickly override what the camera is telling you so that you can force the exposure to be over or under exposed. Exposure compensation so to speak.That's how I used to use my sister's Pentax K1000. Such a nice simple direct way to control the camera. Really fun!

Another way to use manual is to set the iso, aperture and shutter and just lock them in. In other words, set it and forget it.

I use that method when I shoot gymnastics. When I go to my daughter's gymnastics gym, I set my camera to iso3200, f2.8, 1/250sec. That way the camera doesn't shift it around and under expose half the shots and over expose the other half. LOL.

This is especially useful since there is a window that . . . when I shoot a gymnast with that window in the background, it would cause a back lighting situation, but when they run across the floor then I am shooting away from the window. No time to sit there dialing in exposure compensation or do spot metering. But luckily the light from above is fairly consistent so I just dial in the exposure manually and . . . for get it.

A couple years back, I'd take my Gossen Lunasix F to the gym and take readings. But the lighting doesn't change so I just go to the gym and dial in the settings and start shooting. I could have easily gotten to those settings by firing off some test shots on the camera and looking at the results / curves. Doesn't really matter how you get to the settings. The thing is IMHO the more you know exposure, the more you can do with it.

Same with the WB. When you have used color film you set the "WB" by using the right film if that was possible, or adjusted the color temperature using color correction filters. If everything went wrong you tried to save the image in the lab during the enlarging process. Now, you can change the WB in every image if you like, you can do a manual WB setting using grey card and the WB is right directly out of the camera. There is no need for extra work. Of course, shooting in raw gives the opportunity to work with it during PP, and the results will still be better than in the old days. Very few had any color temperature analyzer, so color accuracy was not that great during the film days.

But if you understand white balance then when you start using flash around tungsten lighting then you are more aware of why you've got different light temperatures and what to do to correct it.

Or, for that matter, if you are shooting in the evening and you want that warm feeling, you might override the camera and trick it into thinking its shooting in daylight and force the camera to record a really warm image. (Useful for cameras that don't shoot RAW.)

If you figure out the exposure triangle inside and out . . . understanding all the metering modes become a breeze.

You don't need to loads of missed images to figure that out, in fact you don't need to shoot in manual at all to understand how shutter speed, ISO and aperture is connected to the light intensity.

You don't need to drive a stick shift to understand the principles of driving a stick shift car either. But just understanding it doesn't mean you will be proficient at driving a stick shift.  

That's what I had to go through on my dad's Pentax SV.

Well, that's OK, but there is no reason why one can not learn without using primitive methods. I have also used primitive cameras, Zenit, Minolta, Asahi Pentax, Olympus and others but would not start learning the same way today if I had a choice.

Modern tools are invented to be used, and by using modern tools one can learn even more, or one can just ignore most and concentrate on the composition and the art part of photography.

I agree.

Actually when someone says they are planning to get a dSLR and then take lessons, I tell them . . . why wait for lessons before you start learning. If you learn some rules of composition, it can immediately be applied to any pictures they take now. And if you learn about exposure . . . then you can hit the ground running when they do get their dSLR.

RE: "Modern tools" . . . as someone pointed out above, the actual physics of the camera really hasn't changed since it was created. Besides the lens . . . there is an aperture, a shutter (which may or may not be separate than the aperture) and the recording medium. That's pretty much it.

All the "modern" things that have been added to the camera, such as a light meter, programming to adjust the aperture and shutter settings to get a "proper exposure" is nothing more than a way to get that old camera to a particular exposure setting.

So IMHO if you understand the fundamentals of how the camera physically works (aperture, shutter, iso [recording medium]) then all this "modern" features will make that much more sense and you can control them knowing how they are affecting the internal workings of the camera.

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