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Author Topic: Setting exposure  (Read 11417 times)
howiesmith
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« on: November 06, 2006, 03:33:02 PM »
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A response to a recent post of mine said my post "shows how inexperienced [I am] with modern technology."  It had to do with automatic focus and exposure setting.  I am inexperienced and need to know so I can get a new camera if I ever need or want one.  Heck, I may need one now and not even know it.

It has been more than 20 years since I bought a serious camera for my own use.  It was a 4x5 view camera with auto nothing.  What has changed in exposure settings?  I know the hand held light meter is now inside the camera, and a "computer" juggles various inputs.  I apparently don't know what they are.

I learned that exposure had three factors - f/stop, shutter speed and ASA.  (I made the jump from ASA to ISO.)  I also learned that the photographer fixed any two of the three, and the third was then fixed.  The fixed result could be adjusted by the photographr to suit his needs.  (When I was a kid, it was called "Kentucky windage."  Then I went to college and learned "SWAG."  Then I went to photography school and learned what was "really happening."  But, alas, time has passed me by.)

Do cameras using modern technology have more than f/stop, shutter speed and ISO to deal with?

Auto focus.  I thought I understood how a lens is focused.  What has changed from "turning the focus ring" besides who yurns it?
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cescx
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« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2006, 04:12:04 PM »
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Really nothing has changed, a camera is a camera, the iso continues being the asa, the focus is the same, and the photometer continues giving the same service.  

but, the technology, aids, thorically, the phtograph to obtaining better results, but autside the thechnology, It can continue focusing by hand, to put  the velocity and the F, so all.
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Francesc Costa
howiesmith
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« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2006, 04:26:54 PM »
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Really nothing has changed, a camera is a camera, the iso continues being the asa, the focus is the same, and the photometer continues giving the same service. 

but, the technology, aids, thorically, the phtograph to obtaining better results, but autside the thechnology, It can continue focusing by hand, to put  the velocity and the F, so all.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=83876\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Thanks.  I was afraid I had slept through a couple of generations.  So nothing has really changed, just some photographers are willing to let Canon, for instance, think for them.  For the sake of speed of course.
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2006, 04:30:21 PM »
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Thanks.  I was afraid I had slept through a couple of generations.  So nothing has really changed, just some photographers are willing to let Canon, for instance, think for them.  For the sake of speed of course.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=83878\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Woo!  Nailed it!  Exactly the line I thought you were setting yourself up for!

I'm Kreskin baby!
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howiesmith
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« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2006, 04:57:25 PM »
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Woo!  Nailed it!  Exactly the line I thought you were setting yourself up for!

I'm Kreskin baby!
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=83879\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

It was a serious inquiery.  I thought I knew the aswer, but just wanted to make sure
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dbell
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« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2006, 06:31:12 PM »
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Thanks.  I was afraid I had slept through a couple of generations.  So nothing has really changed, just some photographers are willing to let Canon, for instance, think for them.  For the sake of speed of course.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=83878\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

You nailed it . Just like there were some people who were convinced that a shiny new EOS 1 or F4 would improve their photography, there are plenty of folks now who think their cameras matter a lot more than they actually do.


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Daniel Bell
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howiesmith
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« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2006, 06:49:39 PM »
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Just like there were some people who were convinced that a shiny new EOS 1 or F4 would improve their photography, there are plenty of folks now who think their cameras matter a lot more than they actually do.

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=83900\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

If I had a nickel for evey time I watched a photographer sell a bag of Canon stuff to buy a Nikon stuff (and vice versa), I would buy a new digital back for my old MF so I could take really good and clear shots.

My camera is 25 years old, as obsolete as this afternoon, but it still works just like it did then.  I have a friend who is an excellant photographer, had more money than she can spend in a life time (and then she married even better) who still buys used Nikon Fs simply because she likes them.  The way they feel, the way they sound, and I guess they even smell good and talk to her.  Please, nobody tell her she is stuck in the 60s.

I was trout fishing near Bishop one day when a guy with a thousand dollar fly rod asked me what I was using for bait.  I said "worms."  While he was explaining how n one can catch trout on worms, I had to ask him to move over while I landed dinner.
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wolfnowl
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« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2006, 11:13:15 PM »
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Do cameras using modern technology have more than f/stop, shutter speed and ISO to deal with?

If you're shooting digitally, add white balance to your list.

Mike.
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larsrc
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« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2006, 11:35:05 PM »
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A response to a recent post of mine said my post "shows how inexperienced [I am] with modern technology."  It had to do with automatic focus and exposure setting.  I am inexperienced and need to know so I can get a new camera if I ever need or want one.  Heck, I may need one now and not even know it.

It has been more than 20 years since I bought a serious camera for my own use.  It was a 4x5 view camera with auto nothing.  What has changed in exposure settings?  I know the hand held light meter is now inside the camera, and a "computer" juggles various inputs.  I apparently don't know what they are.

I learned that exposure had three factors - f/stop, shutter speed and ASA.  (I made the jump from ASA to ISO.)  I also learned that the photographer fixed any two of the three, and the third was then fixed.  The fixed result could be adjusted by the photographr to suit his needs.  (When I was a kid, it was called "Kentucky windage."  Then I went to college and learned "SWAG."  Then I went to photography school and learned what was "really happening."  But, alas, time has passed me by.)

Do cameras using modern technology have more than f/stop, shutter speed and ISO to deal with?

No.  There is one difference between film and digital that should be learned, namely "Expose to the right" (for which see MRs excellent tutorials, esp. on histograms which is decidedly a new aid in correct exposure), also the fact that ISO can now be changed as easily (in theory) as f/stop and shutter speed may cause some rethinking of shooting modes, and then there's all manner of quirks in auto exposure that varies from camera to camera and setting to setting which is probably more different between cameras than between film and digital as a whole.  Without seeing the post I cannot tell if the other poster was just being all modern on you.

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Auto focus.  I thought I understood how a lens is focused.  What has changed from "turning the focus ring" besides who yurns it?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=83869\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Well, autofocus isn't just autofocus -- when *you* turn the ring, *you* know what you're focusing on, with AF you have to tell the AF some way or another what to focus on.  Thus the proliferation of different AF systems.  But these are mostly not new to digital either, though they have been evolving somewhat over tiime.  Your understanding of how the lens focuses is still valid; understanding how the AF system picks *where* to place the focus is tricky.  Again, MR has some tutorials in this area, which, if you've only used MF you may want to read.

-Lars
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Paulo Bizarro
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« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2006, 12:40:42 AM »
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This is a very funny topic. Cameras are tools, as you know. Some tools are more sophisticated than others, and help you to get the job done in an easier and more convenient way.

Different photographers use different tools, according to their needs. It seems that for your photography, you don't need the modern stuff. Good for you. But thousands others do need the modern stuff.

I like the modern stuff. I like it very much that I can trust my EOS 1V in-camera evaluative meter 95% of the time (the other 5% I use spotmeter). I could get by with an external meter, but I value convenience.

I could probably be riding a cartwheel too, but cars are ore convenient. To each its own, no need to make fun of the rest of us, poor lazy photographers, who, lo and behold!, use the automatisms provided by the cameras.
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marcmccalmont
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« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2006, 03:04:14 AM »
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I bought a DSLR about a year ago and found the journey an interesting and challenging one. Once the roll of film was in the camera I no longer thought about ASA and color balance, it was fixed. I thought about the 2 variables that I had aperture and shutter speed. Now I think about the 4 variables, aperture, shutter speed, ISO and color temperature, a more complex equation, but I'm finding it very rewarding. I also found the transition to digital was like the transition from analog audio to digital audio, they are the same in some ways but different in others, and I enjoyed mastering the technical differences. I have also found the feed back is quicker so improvement and learning are accelerated, a display of the image, histogram etc. And I have learned there are some differences like exposing to the right to maximize the captured data (a round about answer to your question!)
Marc
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Marc McCalmont
howiesmith
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« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2006, 03:47:50 AM »
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Now I think about the 4 variables, aperture, shutter speed, ISO and color temperature,

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=83948\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I have never thought of white balance as part of "exposure."  

That will require some thouht.  

Thanks
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howiesmith
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« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2006, 04:25:06 AM »
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I have never thought of white balance as part of "exposure." 

That will require some thouht. 

Thanks
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=83950\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

After a little thought (and this may seem arbitary), I think exposure is a light quantity problem and white balance is a light quality problem.  They seem unrelated.
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larsrc
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« Reply #13 on: November 07, 2006, 09:14:13 AM »
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After a little thought (and this may seem arbitary), I think exposure is a light quantity problem and white balance is a light quality problem.  They seem unrelated.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=83952\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

If you shoot in RAW, white balance is not an issue when taking the picture.
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2006, 10:19:48 AM »
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If you shoot in RAW, white balance is not an issue when taking the picture.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=83965\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I thought it had an impact on the histogram.  And if you follow John Shaw's advice of "take a photo, look at the histogram, adjust and take another photo" you probably want that histogram to be as accurate as possible.  If you don't chimp (read: get it right in the first place) then it isn't an issue.
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marcmccalmont
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« Reply #15 on: November 07, 2006, 11:21:29 AM »
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I think about white balance as a 4th variable. If I take a picture indoors do I want the skin tones pleasing or the wall color accurate? If shooting a sunset from my lanai do I let the camera miscalculate the color balance for more pleasing oranges? Whether I correct it later when processing the RAW I still think about it, where I gave it little thought with film (after the roll was in the camera). I now set my camera to a RGB histogram not brightness as often one channel clips and the brightness histogram doesn't show the clipping ( the red channel in sunsets or the blue channel from the cockpit) So they are a bit inter-related although I agree one is quantity and the other is quality, still things to to think about and correct while taking the picture.
Just food for thought
Marc
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Marc McCalmont
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« Reply #16 on: November 07, 2006, 04:29:06 PM »
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I thought it had an impact on the histogram.  And if you follow John Shaw's advice of "take a photo, look at the histogram, adjust and take another photo" you probably want that histogram to be as accurate as possible.  If you don't chimp (read: get it right in the first place) then it isn't an issue.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=83981\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

AFAIK the histogram is based on whatever jpeg the camera would produce. If you shoot RAW the histogram is not accurate, merely a reflection of the 'potential' jpeg result.

However, if you set the WB in RAW on the camera, at least you do get a representation of the colour change on the screen, which is a useful guide.
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Nick Rains
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« Reply #17 on: November 07, 2006, 04:51:35 PM »
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AFAIK the histogram is based on whatever jpeg the camera would produce. If you shoot RAW the histogram is not accurate, merely a reflection of the 'potential' jpeg result.
Yes, but since that histogram and the flashing highlight warning is all the information we have about how the exposure is across the image as a whole, white balance does count, since it can trick you into thinking that your exposure is correct when it isn't, or that it's wrong when it's correct.

Of course, if you know how to expose correctly without checking the histogram, then this variable can be ignored, as can the JPEG preview.

For those who still need to learn, it's rather important, though.
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Jan
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« Reply #18 on: November 07, 2006, 05:22:22 PM »
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It has been more than 20 years since I bought a serious camera for my own use.  It was a 4x5 view camera with auto nothing.  What has changed in exposure settings?  I know the hand held light meter is now inside the camera, and a "computer" juggles various inputs.  I apparently don't know what they are.

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=83869\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

IMHO the basics of exposure have not changed from your 4 x 5 days, and the principles outlined by Ansel Adams in The Negative still apply. However, digital is more like transparency film where you expose for the highlights rather than for the shadows as with negative film.

I agree with a previous post that you should look at Michael's expose to the right essay. With ETTR, it is often best to take a reading from a highlight rather than a mid-tone so that you can place the highlight to the right, just short of clipping. This placement usually about 2 1/3 stops over the metered highlight value.

For most situations, the histogram gives a good indication of the exposure, and a highlight reading may not be necessary. You can simply adjust the exposure until the histogram looks good. The B/W histogram on most digital cameras represents luminosity, which is heavily weighted toward the green channel. Clipping of the red and blue channels may not show up in the luminosity histogram, and many newer cameras have histograms for all three RGB channels.

Bill
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howiesmith
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« Reply #19 on: November 07, 2006, 06:27:46 PM »
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IMHO the basics of exposure have not changed from your 4 x 5 days, and the principles outlined by Ansel Adams in The Negative still apply. However, digital is more like transparency film where you expose for the highlights rather than for the shadows as with negative film.

I agree with a previous post that you should look at Michael's expose to the right essay.

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=84041\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Thank you Bill for your thoughtful reply.  I thought exposure was still exposure.  And 'expose to the right" is not a new idea.  It worked very well (and still does) with slide film.  Expose to the right merely shifts the exposure up so the highlights are to the right as far as the photographer wishes.  Quite analogous to variable developing time for b&w negs so the highlights fall where the photographer wishes.  Only difference between film and digital is the time it takes to "see" the results.

But exposure is still just f/stop, shutter speed and ISO.  Nothing really new.
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