Spot metering workflow in manual mode

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Mohan Apte
Mohan Apte Junior Member • Posts: 46
Spot metering workflow in manual mode

Hello everyone!

Due to some of the fantastic advices received from you fine folks on this forum over the years, I have learnt a lot of techniques that have helped my photography. I now need to take the ultimate control, which is to use manual mode and spot metering.

Here's my kit

Body: 80D

24 STM 2.8, filter size 52mm
40 STM 2.8, filter size 52mm
85 USM 1.8, filter size 58mm

Having read up about the subject on the internet, I understand the workflow is something like this:

1) Meter for the subject using spot metering and center focus point (at the moment its immaterial that I will recompose and shoot using one of the off-center focus points, but more on that later). In Canon 80D, spot metering happens from the 3% of the frame right at the center focus point.

2) Dial in the exposure settings. Starting with the aperture, then the ISO and then adjust the light meter reading to zero (or plus, minus 1/3, 1/2 or 1 stop or even more depending on how one wants the photo to look) on the scale using the shutter speed. Shutter speed is the last variable adjusted since if its too slow, one can increase the ISO or open up the aperture (assuming its not already at its widest).

3) Once you have the exposure you desire, compose the image the way you want, and shoot. Since the camera always continues to meter, ignore the light meter reading since you have already dialed in the exposure you want for that particular subject.

4) Adjust the exposure on seeing how the photo turns out.

What I am trying to say here is that exposure lock (AE lock) is not needed in manual mode since one *locks exposure* (in a sense) by dialing in the exposure settings when metering using the center point and spot metering.

I would like people to help confirm that my understanding is correct. Especially step 3 when I mention ignore the light meter. Am I correct?

Thanks in advance to everyone.

Best regards


 Mohan Apte's gear list:Mohan Apte's gear list
Canon EOS Rebel SL1 Canon EOS 80D Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM Canon EF-S 24mm F2.8 STM +1 more
Canon EOS 80D
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