How to Meter for Long Seascape Exposures?

Started 11 months ago | Questions thread
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Rod McD Veteran Member • Posts: 6,153
How to Meter for Long Seascape Exposures?


I'd like to try something new to me - using strong ND filters to give images of the sea with that calm milky look to the water and the rocks pin sharp.  My question is how to meter.  I have an XT1, a CPL and Hoya Pro ND 6 and 10 stop ND filters. I could just experiment, but it's hours of driving to the sea and I'd prefer to consult on best practice first.

My recollection of other members' images is that the exposure times range from perhaps 30 seconds to several minutes.  The XT1 can set AE to 30 secs and manual exposures to 30 secs using the T setting.  Using B extends exposure to 60 minutes max but the duration is entirely in the hands of the user.  What's the best way of getting accurate exposures with the ND filters for :

a)  up to 30 secs?  (Eg, use AE with filter in place?  Or meter manually without the filter and then set the T speed by adjusting the shutter speed by the number of stops reduction given by the filter?  Or something else?    And.....

b) exposures longer than 30 secs, where Bulb is the only control option.  Is it a case of metering without the filter, then adding the filter, adjusting the number of shutter speed stops given by the filter, and if it goes over 30 secs, set to B and use your watch or phone  to count the seconds?

Plus -  I assume it's best to have long exposure NR set to "On".  Correct?  (I'm principally a jpeg shooter.)

Anyone here developed well-honed techniques?

Many thanks,


 Rod McD's gear list:Rod McD's gear list
Canon PowerShot G1 X Olympus Tough TG-4 Fujifilm X-T1 Voigtlander 90mm F3.5 APO-Lanthar SL II Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4 R +10 more
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Fujifilm X-T1
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