Metering Modes

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159
Name
Liam
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#1
Hey,
I’m just looking for a bit of advice on what metering mode would be best to use for Aviation Photography ?
When the summer finally arrives I’ll be out most weeks,
I’ve always shot on my D3200 at Matrix metering for aircraft and generally it’s been ok,
Since upgrading to a D7500 and a Tamron 150-600 G2
I was wondering should I be shooting on Spot Metering for aircraft or will Matrix be fine ?
Would I benefit by using spot over matrix,
Suppose I’d have to get some test shots before committing and shooting what I want and ruining the pics,
Thanks in advance
 
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6,713
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#2
Centre weighted and between +1 to +2 EC when shooting against the bright skies.

With spot IMO and especially with fast jets if the AF point 'slips' off of the aircraft the metering will expose for the sky not the subject!
 
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Liam_89
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159
Name
Liam
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#4
Doesn't really matter IMO... If the lighting is rather constant I would be inclined to go with manual exposure. Does the D7500 have highlight weighted metering? I've been having very good luck using that.
Yeah the D7500 has 4 metering modes and highlight weighted is one of them
 
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815
Name
Tony
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#5
I think there is no easy answer to this question,conditions vary enormously between the sky and your subject............

In this shot spot or centre weighted metering would probably give a decent exposure as the subject is very nearly a medium(18%) grey, there's a good chance matrix could be affected by the very light sky and under expose the plane.



In this example spot or centre weighted could be way off as the glider and a large portion of the sky are very light thereby potentially causing under exposure of main subject, again if the spot meter took a reading off the very dark canopy it would probably blow most of the glider and the sky!





for these and many other reasons I tend to use matrix with manual exposure and positive or negative exposure compensation based on the colour/brightness of the subject. I apply the same techniques to birds in flight, especially if I'm shooting up towards the sky or if there is a large amount of sky in the image.
There isn't a camera yet devised which can get these things right all the time, therefore the photographers input is nearly always needed.
cheers
tony
 
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815
Name
Tony
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#7
Thanks Tony,
I’m guessing Spot was used on the A400 ?
Honestly Liam, I can't remember these were just a couple of examples I pulled from my archive. In practice it's not too tricky just bear in mind if you are shooting either very light or dark planes this needs to be taken into account.
I do love airshows unfortunately I rarely get the chance to shoot them, maybe this year I'll make an extra effort.
Enjoy your shooting and please remember to share some images!
cheers
tony
 

Nod

Krispy and Kremey
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31,300
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Nod (NOT Ethel!!!)
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#8
Like Steven, I tend to use manual mode when shooting air stuff. As long as I don't move and the lighting isn't changing, I'll blast away at anything in the air, using a spot meter reading as a baseline the set the appropriate exposure settings. I'll have a quick chimp at the results after each pass to check that the exposure's close enough and adjust to suit if needed.
If "caught short" and getting a grab shot, I'll go for a tight spot meter reading in P mode and dial in any EC needed (my EVF is set to WYSIWYG).
 

Nod

Krispy and Kremey
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Nod (NOT Ethel!!!)
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#10
WYSIWYG = What You See Is What You Get. EVF = Electronic View Finder. I can see how well the shot will be exposed when I look at it through the 'finder.
 
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22,422
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Phil
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#11
Frankly it doesn’t matter what mode you use, it’s easy to get needlessly tied up in metering modes.
What is important is learning what your meter is looking at and why it’s showing that result.

Because no metering mode is ‘right’ for every situation, they’ll need overriding, and getting the hang of that is what you need to do.

You can find 10 successful images shot with different modes, the key to their success isn’t the mode, it’s the operator.
 
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22,858
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Richard
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#12
A metering technique used by professional sports photographers is to reference a constant mid-tone and set that in manual.

If you see a motorsports photographer aiming their big lens at the grass for no apparent reason, that's what they're doing. Just pick a nearby area of mid-tone that you can easily point the lens at quickly, and is not in shade. Grass is good, or maybe concrete, a wall etc. Set your exposure in manual, make sure it's correct and make a note of any adjustment necessary.

Now you can reference that mid-tone at any time if the light changes, apply whatever adjustment was needed, and you're good to go.

edit: spot metering is favourite for this
 
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