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I'm finally using the Exposure Compensation button

Discussion in 'General Technical Discussion' started by lisantica, Jun 22, 2007.

  1. lisantica


    Jul 4, 2006
    So. Calif.
    Who knew that button was so handy!
    I have been post-processing the exposure for about a year or two now.
    Geesh! I should have paid more attention to those pages in the manual, but I didn't quite get it then.
    I've been doing +0.7 etc., and getting MUCH better results. It took getting a manual focus lens to get me to have a better understanding of exposure/aperture, etc.

    My vote for the most handy button, next to the ISO button is the +/- button!

    Any other votes for this button? :biggrin:
  2. paradiddle


    Jun 1, 2007
    Lisa - I still don't get it. But still learning. Congrats.
  3. lisantica


    Jul 4, 2006
    So. Calif.
    Not to worry, I've been using digital SLR since August 2004 and finally used that button just today! :biggrin:

  4. billg71


    May 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA

    Congratulations! The EC button is a great one, saves a lot of time.

    My favorite is the BKT button combined with Continuous shutter mode. Hold the shutter release down and you get however many bracketed exposures you set up.

    Try it, you might like it, too.

  5. lisantica


    Jul 4, 2006
    So. Calif.
    I'll give it a whirl tomorrow!

  6. I shoot mostly manual now so no need to use it. But the times I shoot Aperture Priority, it is really handy to fine tune exposure based on the histogram.
  7. Only really used it in the winter with the white snow.
    A few times, used it in other seasons as well.
    Overall, it is not used that much but it does come in handy at times.
    Of course, still trying to really fully understand when to use it.
  8. it is an indespensable tool in aperture or shutter priority. It takes a bit of experimenting and use of the histogram as Douglas indicated but if you master it, it will be worth the effort.
  9. I agree totally with Dave here. It's a great tool, if you take the time to learn how to use it.
  10. In my view, especially after attending the Ron Reznick workshop, the EC button, when used with the histogram, is an essential tool. Our cameras are smart, but they miss the correct exposure a great deal of the time.

    And if you have RGB histograms you should be looking at those regularly too.

    Good luck and keep shooting.
  11. billg71


    May 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    I came to digital late and I have to admit I don't use the histogram nearly as much as I should, but I manage to do EC and bracketing by eye. Kind of a judgment thing, mostly only on shots with lots of dynamic range and I decide if I care more about highlight or shadow detail. I guess I wasted so much film with an old F and a Nikkormat I finally picked up a feeling for when I wanted to go over/under the meter.

    The D200 makes it so easy, the camera on color matrix metering is right so often most of the time I throw out the under/over bracketed shots. Just occasionally, the camera wants to do one thing and I want something else, then I'll do an EC or set up a bracket sequence if I'm going to be shooting a lot in that particular lighting situation. Here's an example of the D200's metering:

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    I shot about 6 shots of this scene, figuring the camera would drop the shadows and overexpose. The print I chose was the 0EV version, right out of the camera.

    In these two, I wound up with a +2/3EV compensation:

    View attachment 102199

    View attachment 102200

    I shot these starting at 0 and going up to +2, knowing the sun would totally blank the shadows. The final picks weren't nearly as far off as I would have thought, a tribute to the D200 metering. Shooting an F or F2, I would have estimated 1-1/2 to 2 stops overexposure to get a decent slide. As it was, I threw out a bunch of overexposed files, but it didn't cost me anything! :biggrin:

    I guess my point is that you should get very familiar with your camera's metering system, especially under difficult lighting conditions. Crank off 6 or 8 different exposures of a single shot under these conditions, evaluate the results and decide which you like. Then you have a basis for knowing what to do next time you come up on a similar situation.

    For me, looking at histograms didn't even enter into my decision as to which file to keep and which to discard. I made my decisions on what I liked best and trashed the others. Going back and looking, all the histograms for these images show the black level just a little off the left side, so I guess I did something right somewhere. :wink:

    But the final judge of your images is you. Shoot a lot of exposures, judge them critically for your taste, see if you can print them and then look at the histogram and see how it relates to what you like.

    Just my humble $.02 worth


    P.S. These were all full-frame shots, no PP, resized to 1024 largest dimension, converted to sRGB, and saved as .jpgs in NX. The originals look a lot better.
  12. Larlec


    Jun 18, 2007
    northern Colorado
    After being in the same workshop with Jim T (Hi Jim and thanks a ton for organizing the Reznick workshop) I totally agree. Bill's point is valid for final selection but if you get the shot well exposed then all sorts of options are available for final selection.
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