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Hi all,

 

I'm a new user of M9 and I'm just getting familiar with a new camera.

I also have Nikon D3S and D7000 with bunch of G lens.

Back to M9 though. I noticed the metering of M9 is kinda strange.

(In aperture priority mode) If the shooting scene consists of half of blue sky and half of say houses or trees, the exposure goes for the sky and the other half of the image is completely dark.

It's definitely diferent than Nikon's matrix metering system.

So to make the exposure right I have to half-press the shutter and rotate the wheel to compensate EV.

Is this only way to get the exposure right? Or I miss something?

 

Thanks

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There's a lot of commentary on this forum about good technique for setting exposure properly on the M9. In brief, the M9's only metering method is center-weighted. If the dynamic range of the scene is within the sensor's limits, you can meter off anything of a middle value in the scene (lock the exposure by holding the shutter button down half way), or often just rely on the native metering choice of the camera.

 

When I have a high dynamic range scene like the one you describe, with a lot of highlights (sky) and shadows (darker areas of buildings below the horizon), I look for a middle value approaching neutral gray in the scene and meter off of that. Often a sidewalk or other pavement in the same light as your most important subject will work. If I can't find one, then I use one of the typical proxy methods to find good exposure:

 

1. Sunny 16 rule

 

2. Meter off your hand and add a stop

 

3. Modified zone system: meter off the darkest part of the scene in which you want to retain detail, and subtract two stops, or the lightest and add two stops.

 

Enjoy your new baby.

 

Jeff

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You're most welcome. I should add that given the challenges of setting the right exposure in high contrast situations, I usually don't use aperture priority. Instead, I find the right exposure and shoot manually, changing the setting only when the light on my subject changes. That way I get consistent shots and can concentrate on composition and focus. And on a bright day, if you've got a small enough aperture or wide enough lens, you don't even have to worry unduly about focus. The M9 can make one helluva great point and shoot.

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then the moment i want to shoot gone forever. how ?

only practice to make myself fast enough ?

 

If I undertand what you're saying, by the time you've set the exposure on the pavement (and then focused) you have missed the photograph.

 

If lighting is fairly constant where you are shooting set the shutter speed and f-stop as per the advice above, and you can then make small adjustments on the run if the lighting changes a bit. That leaves you time to focus (or pre-focus/hyperfocal to save more time) and you can then concentrate on framing.

 

Mark

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Remove the lens from the camera and look at the shutter. The central blade is white, the two adjacent blades are grey. When you aim the camera at the subject, an image of it is projected by the lens on the closed shutter. The area of the subject that's metered is what falls on the white and grey shutter blades, and the average is taken.

 

That average can be all wrong if there's a very bright area included in it. This is what happened to you.

 

The A mode is remarkably often correct. But you should be aware of what happens. The metering system just averages – if does not know what you want. So you should understand the situations in which this simple system will not work. I do never bother with exposure compensation, even less with exposure locking. I just switch over to manual metering – tip of my right index finger, and off we go. Then I aim the camera so that it will meter what I consider important, set the shutter speed dial so that the round red center dot lights up, and fire. The advantage is that this is a robust setting that works for a quick follow-up shot too.

 

Your Nikon tries to think for you. Your Leica assumes that you do the thinking. It just helps you with doing what man's visual system is bad at – measuring absolute levels of light.

 

The old man from the Age of the Selenium Meter

Edited by lars_bergquist
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And consider that the light sensor looking at the shutter has a lens limiting its angle of view, so the end result is more or lesss a circle of maximum sensitivity that tapers away at the edge. So it is easy to measure various parts of the scenen and decide your exposure - provided you are on manual.

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While the M9 meter is right 90% of the time, when the light is really tricky, I pull out my Sekonic meter and take an incident reading (the white dome). If the clouds are moving fast, I'll meter full sun and the passing cloud. Then it will be something like F8 for sun and F4.5 for cloud and I'll click back and forth as the lighting changes (on manual, of course).

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I have begun to experiment using a lightmeter downloaded to my iphone. works great. set the m9 accordingly and off i go. in some ways, better than the in camera meter and quicker too -- as i can ignore the superfluous information from the lightmeter in the camera and just shoot.

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I tend to agree with Sean Reid that the histogram is the ultimate light meter, the only snag being that few cameras calculate the histogram directly from raw (my understanding is that S2 does but not M8/9):

 

http://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-forum/leica-m8-forum/83671-case-exposure-control.html#post877312

 

http://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-forum/leica-m8-forum/59141-exposure.html#post612192

 

By all means, read the whole threads

 

Regards

Per

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Maybe it's just me, but I actually find the centre weighted metering a refreshing change to the overly complex metering in my DSLRs. The boring centre weighted system is dead consistent. I instinctively know when to over and under expose. It's like getting to know an old friend.

 

Gordon

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I have begun to experiment using a lightmeter downloaded to my iphone. works great. set the m9 accordingly and off i go. in some ways, better than the in camera meter and quicker too -- as i can ignore the superfluous information from the lightmeter in the camera and just shoot.

 

So what is the name of the iPhone light meter download, please?

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I have tried a few and they all give the same answer. Thankfully. I have settled on the Fotometer Pro because it can do reflected or incident light. To be clear I have no commercial or moral connection with any of these apps. My intention is only to share my experience. Which has been fun. After all I always have my phone with me

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It takes a while to get used to the metering- the first few months and a lot of blown highlights, black subjects, etc. However after a while- metering just seem to happen naturally. It is a good idea to set the shutter speed manually too... if you are shooting fast and don't have time to meter, recompose, etc.

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One handy widget is the ExpoDisc. It changes your TTL-metering camera from a reflected light into an incident light meter, it fits in your pocket or in any nook of the camera bag, and it's not battery dependent. This in addition to its function when doing a light balancing.

 

The old man from the Age of the Selenium Meter

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