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Exposure technique info please

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Yes, I too would like to see the the selected exposure in manual mode. Then adjusting for over or under exposure could be an intelligent decision rather than a guess full of hope.

 

And we would use the A setting much less frequently - and get the exposure we want.

 

Needless to say, it was this feature, the ability to see the exact exposure in the finder, that kept me with the M5 for so long. Once we get this, which is probably just a firmware change, then all we need is a larger exposure setting dial and we are approaching the technical refinement of an M5.

 

Yes, please consider this as a request for a future version!!!

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Yes, I too would like to see the the selected exposure in manual mode. Then adjusting for over or under exposure could be an intelligent decision rather than a guess full of hope.

 

And we would use the A setting much less frequently - and get the exposure we want.

 

Needless to say, it was this feature, the ability to see the exact exposure in the finder, that kept me with the M5 for so long. Once we get this, which is probably just a firmware change, then all we need is a larger exposure setting dial and we are approaching the technical refinement of an M5.

 

Yes, please consider this as a request for a future version!!!

 

It would be practical,I agree, but see it this way: when you switch from AE to manual, you know the AE exposure. It should be identical to the red dot in your VF, after that,it is just a matter of keeping track of the clicks.....

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Interesting discussion even though its now way off track from the OP.

 

my comment to the OP would be that yes, you can certainly improve your results by understanding the basics of exposure and the books that are available on this subject are numerous.

The M8 like the M6 and M7 does use a very center weighted metering, which depending on which lens you use is close to spot metering or center weighted like some of the F Nikons.

Without knowing middle grey and how to expose for that in varying subjects, with different lenses you will get inconsistency in exposures as you are having.

 

So you really have two options, learn those exposure techniques and how the M8 meters or select another camera with a wider choice of metering options.This decision will largely depend on what subjects you usually will be shooting.

 

IMO the M cameras do require more knowledge to achieve consistent and accurate exposure across a wide range of subjects than all DSLR's do.

 

Finally I think that if the M8 has too many bells and whistles on it then it's attraction and uniqueness will begin to melt down, I certainly don't buy an M8 for features, I buy it for simplicity and quality, I buy other cameras for features and comfort.

The metering is perfect for what it was designed for , the AE used correctly will deliver perfect results..leave it as it is.

In regard to Histograms, I unlike most people here never use them (maybe my exposures would improve if I did) and am satisfied with the results in print.I always thought that Histograms was simply a graphic representation of the distribution of light and dark tones across the exposed image.If I am checking the exposure then I prefer to look at the image rather than a histogram of the image...just my preferred method.

 

 

best regards

 

Andy

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......I always thought that Histograms was simply a graphic representation of the distribution of light and dark tones across the exposed image.If I am checking the exposure then I prefer to look at the image rather than a histogram of the image...just my preferred method.

 

Andy - The histogram gives us the means to assess the file's integrity, it's role is not to give a graph display as an alternative to an image. Inspecting the image on-camera will not reveal the exposure faults [clipping] many of us are concerned with. I could, with reluctance, forsake the image review but a digital camera without a histogram would be unusable.

 

................Chris

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I could, with reluctance, forsake the image review but a digital camera without a histogram would be unusable.

 

Less convenient perhaps but hardly unusable. Once you understand the characteristics of the camera's meter and the way that a particular CCD handles highlights and shadows, shooting digital is no different from shooting film. Maybe it's because I always used to shoot slide film rather than negative but I've always been happy to rely on the meter to get the exposure right. Digital hasn't changed anything for me other than I now have the option of looking at the histogram as a kind of insurance policy in tricky lighting conditions.

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This is one of the things that the APUG lads hold against digital photography - and justly so- it enables sloppy technique without obvious negative effects on the result. (as does colour negative film btw) I personally am glad that the M8 differs from the run of the mill digital camera in that respect.

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Jaap, you wrote "...when you switch from AE to manual, you know the AE exposure. It should be identical to the red dot in your VF, after that,it is just a matter of keeping track of the clicks....."

 

Are you suggesting that I keep the setting on auto and

 

1. Push the button to get a reading

2. remember that reading and calculate the number of clicks it will take

3. count at least 8 clicks for a popular 1/500 exposure; or more for a longer one

4. Apply the desired correction ?

 

I agree that this is quite feasible for landscapes that do not change fast like a setting or rising sun. But you might agree that for other purposes our suggestion might be more practical.

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No.

I suggest you premeasure ambient light, say 2.8/500 either manually or AE

Set the camera to that value and start shooting. Without moving the camera from your eye you can use the little triangles to control your exposure. Pick a middle gray, one click right or left..., underexpose half a stop? one triangle half-on, etc. If you keep track of your clicks, be it either shutterspeed or aperture ring, you know exactly all the time where you are with your settings, whilst working lightning-fast.

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Andy - The histogram gives us the means to assess the file's integrity, it's role is not to give a graph display as an alternative to an image. Inspecting the image on-camera will not reveal the exposure faults [clipping] many of us are concerned with. I could, with reluctance, forsake the image review but a digital camera without a histogram would be unusable.

 

................Chris

 

Chris thanks for your comment, but now you've stopped me in my tracks!

Let me explain.

 

I shoot with M8 exactly as I did with M6, the only difference being that I use AE sometimes as it is pretty close to the exposure I wnat most of the time.

So if I shoot and review the image on the screen I see if I have clipping right.If I do have it then its my choice as to whether that is good or bad, I may not care less about some specular stuff or indeed any highlight.Assuming however that I want to avoid blowing out the highs then I can easily see this on the screen without checking histogram.

I am not saying that using the histogram is wrong at all, but I do struggle with the thought that a digital camera cannot be used to produce outstanding results without consulting the histogram.

Agreed the DR is lower than some neg film but basically are the practices of shooting slides not similar to those in shooting digital, isn't it 'just' a case of accurate metering?

 

thanks for your comments

 

Andy

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This is one of the things that the APUG lads hold against digital photography - and justly so- it enables sloppy technique without obvious negative effects on the result. (as does colour negative film btw)....

 

Jaap - What is an APUG?

 

I hope you are not forwarding the hoary old viewpoint that shooting transparency film took good technique which negative shooters don't have because otherwise they would have chosen transparency.

 

My excellent 6x9 transparency exposure skills [and I frequently did not bracket even though the transparency always had intended commercial use] were the same skills I used for my chosen film medium for personal work; negative. Sloppy technique is not medium dependent. I have expressed critical views in a number of threads regarding the M8's metering functionality and histogram display because they fail my technique; not the other way around.

 

Digital hasn't changed anything for me other than I now have the option of looking at the histogram as a kind of insurance policy in tricky lighting conditions.

 

Ian - Our approach to photographing is different, inasmuch that I approach all light as having some trickiness to resolve; that's why I'm a histogram hog. I'm happy for you to be otherwise though.

 

................Chris

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The last stronghold Analogue Photography Users Group. A nice bunch by the way. No - I am not saying that. Any film works best when exposed correctly (whatever that may be) It is just that slide-film can be more demanding.

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.. if I shoot and review the image on the screen I see if I have clipping right.If I do have it then its my choice as to whether that is good or bad.....

 

Andy thank you for declaring these parameters. My needs are different, and I reject files whose highlights clip; so perhaps I caused unnecessary confusion for you.

 

.............Chris

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Andy thank you for declaring these parameters. My needs are different, and I reject files whose highlights clip; so perhaps I caused unnecessary confusion for you.

 

But the point worth making is that just because the screen shows 'clipped' highlights in red, it doesn't actually mean that those highlights will be clipped when you open the image. The red highlighting only indicates that those highlights are at, or above, a certain predetermined level, and that doesn't necessarily mean they are clipped.

 

It's quite surprising what can be recovered, especially if shooting RAW.

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No.

I suggest you premeasure ambient light, say 2.8/500 either manually or AE

Set the camera to that value and start shooting. Without moving the camera from your eye you can use the little triangles to control your exposure. Pick a middle gray, one click right or left..., underexpose half a stop? one triangle half-on, etc. If you keep track of your clicks, be it either shutterspeed or aperture ring, you know exactly all the time where you are with your settings, whilst working lightning-fast.

 

Jaap--

 

I meant to mention this before. I understand how to work the meter, and the shutter, but (and this is a big but...)

 

Keeping track of the clicks is simply not good enough in very rapidly changing lighting conditions, not when the shutter goes all the way to 1/8000 and round again. On the M6, I find it pretty easy; but with the M8 going from, say, a dark church to full-on sunlight is just more difficult than it needs to be with an M8, IMO.

 

Just give us the shutter read out, please

And ISO-shift!!

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But the point worth making is that just because the screen shows 'clipped' highlights in red, it doesn't actually mean that those highlights will be clipped when you open the image. The red highlighting only indicates that those highlights are at, or above, a certain predetermined level, and that doesn't necessarily mean they are clipped.

 

It's quite surprising what can be recovered, especially if shooting RAW.

 

@ Steve--exactly right. That's why I'd like some indication from the RAW file if the data is truly clipped.

 

@ Howard, as for checking focus from the DNG and the article in LFI, I find the exact opposite to be the case, and I think the article is in error. If you shoot JPEG as well as RAW with at least 2MP, you can much more accurately gauge focus than just the DNG. Just zoom in and try it

 

This has absolutely nothing to do with IR--I've never seen a focus issue to date that does--but it has everything to do with the size of the JPEG thumbnail in DNG alone

I can't say for absolute certain, but I'm almost positive the DNG contains a thumbnail that would get used for previews anyway with the M8 set on RAW only. So it's much better to use the larger JPEG for previewing, since you just can't zoom in on what isn't there to begin with!

 

(BTW--if what the article said was true, it would imply that only RAW files get some weird kind of IR focus compensation, which is rubbish, since any camera JPEG gets generated, by the camera, from the RAW data anyway!)

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I can't say for absolute certain, but I'm almost positive the DNG contains a thumbnail that would get used for previews anyway with the M8 set on RAW only. So it's much better to use the larger JPEG for previewing, since you just can't zoom in on what isn't there to begin with!

 

In my experience it doesn't make any difference as far as previews and zooming go. You get the same level of zooming whether you shoot DNG only or DNG + JPEG (I don't know about JPEG only because I don't use that option).

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Andy thank you for declaring these parameters. My needs are different, and I reject files whose highlights clip; so perhaps I caused unnecessary confusion for you.

 

.............Chris

 

Chris,

no worries..I sense I have a thing or two to learn about Histograms:o

 

regards

andy

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In my experience it doesn't make any difference as far as previews and zooming go. You get the same level of zooming whether you shoot DNG only or DNG + JPEG (I don't know about JPEG only because I don't use that option).

 

I just tried this, and while you do get the same level of zooming, the quality of the preview images is quite different. In DNG only the previews are always soft (at least in my camera) while in DNG+jpeg fine mode, the previews are sharper and show more detail. I'm glad to know this because until now I have not been able to rely on the LCD to judge sharpness. Now maybe I can.

 

Bill

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Jamie--

I'm not sure where the M8 gets its preview images from, but the author of the article in LFI 5/2007 on shooting with IR-pass filter in Andalusia recommends using DNG mode for determining IR focus adjustment. "In DNG + JPG mode, the camera shows the JPG in the display, making determination of plane of sharpness much less exact." (p 47, my rough translation from the German edition)

 

In other words, Bültert suggests setting the camera to DNG-only to avoid viewing the JPG image.

 

Perhaps the M8 shows a DNG-contained JPG in DNG-only review, but if so, Bültert feels that it's a 'better' JPG than the one generated by setting the camera to generate JPGs.

 

To me it sounds as if the M8 may be generating DNG review images on the fly, and only when there isn't a JPG to use instead.

 

So I'm confused and would be delighted by any clarification on the matter.

 

--HC

 

Bultert's observation is at least "strange" or maybe simply erroneus : the impression that the image on the LCD is "better" when set to DNG, I think has no technical reality : for what I know, the LCD image is always a jpg indipendently on camera setting.

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I just tried this, and while you do get the same level of zooming, the quality of the preview images is quite different. In DNG only the previews are always soft (at least in my camera) while in DNG+jpeg fine mode, the previews are sharper and show more detail.

 

Hmm, I just tested this as well (I'm obviously bored) and didn't find any meaningful difference in sharpness. However, the DNG-only preview was much noisier (ISO was at 640) than the DNG+JPEG preview which I suggest confirms that the previews are indeed different (I guess DNG+JPEG is showing the final JPEG with in-camera noise reduction applied). I suspect a lot of the perceived differences can be attributed to the in camera JPEG sharpening and contrast settings.

 

In practical terms I find the DNG-only previews to be perfectly adequate for assessing sharpness as for me it's a relative judgement and the preview screen has sufficient zoom to be able to see the difference between what's in and what's not in focus.

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