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Frequent Contributor
Posts: 88
Registered: ‎07-21-2013

Metering on Spot meter mode - only center focus point? alternatives??

Hello,

 

I have a Canon 6D.  For the most part I love it! But the one thing that is causing me headaches is that when set to Spot Meter (which is what i primarily use), from what i read, it and most if not all Canon cameras only use the center focus point to meter even if it is not the active focus point.

 

1) I want to shoot heavily backlit images so the subject has their back to the light and is in most cases only about 1/4 or less of the frame .... is there a way to ensure their face is exposed well without a) looking at the lcd over and over again and taking multiple shots or b) using a hand held incident meter?

 

2) Are there any Canon cameras now that use the active focus point to meter vs only the center one?

 

Thanks!!

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Body: Canon 6D, Canon T1i, Canon Elan II,
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Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 4,024
Registered: ‎02-17-2016

Re: Metering on Spot meter mode - only center focus point? alternatives??

It is not the focus point, spot focus is simply done in the center. There *might* be a custom function to change it, but your best bet is exposure lock.

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VIP
Posts: 9,924
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: Metering on Spot meter mode - only center focus point? alternatives??

[ Edited ]

@Maria wrote:

Hello,

 

I have a Canon 6D.  For the most part I love it! But the one thing that is causing me headaches is that when set to Spot Meter (which is what i primarily use), from what i read, it and most if not all Canon cameras only use the center focus point to meter even if it is not the active focus point.

 

1) I want to shoot heavily backlit images so the subject has their back to the light and is in most cases only about 1/4 or less of the frame .... is there a way to ensure their face is exposed well without a) looking at the lcd over and over again and taking multiple shots or b) using a hand held incident meter?

 

2) Are there any Canon cameras now that use the active focus point to meter vs only the center one?

 

Thanks!!


Unless exposure has been previously locked, exposure is set at the time when the shutter is fired.  The exposure is set at the selected AF point, or the point that acquired focus when, and if, no single point has been pre-selected for focusing..

 

[EDIT]  You should try evaluative metering.  Use the center focus point to lock focus on your subject, which will also lock exposure until you release the button, or fully depress the shutter button to take a shot.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Doctor told me to get out and walk, so I bought a Canon."
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Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,971
Registered: ‎02-26-2015

Re: Metering on Spot meter mode - only center focus point? alternatives??


@Maria wrote:

Hello,

 

I have a Canon 6D.  For the most part I love it! But the one thing that is causing me headaches is that when set to Spot Meter (which is what i primarily use), from what i read, it and most if not all Canon cameras only use the center focus point to meter even if it is not the active focus point.

 

1) I want to shoot heavily backlit images so the subject has their back to the light and is in most cases only about 1/4 or less of the frame .... is there a way to ensure their face is exposed well without a) looking at the lcd over and over again and taking multiple shots or b) using a hand held incident meter?

 

2) Are there any Canon cameras now that use the active focus point to meter vs only the center one?

 

Thanks!!


The only time I use spot metering, is when I'm shooting fully manual, manual aperture, manual shutter speed, and manual ISO. Then I put the center focus point where I want to meter, and set my settings.

 

Most of the time, I use Evaluative Metering. Evaluative Metering is weighted to the active focus point. 

 

Evaluative Metering on modern dSLRs is very good. There is a lot of stale information out there about not using it, and using spot metering, etc. that comes from a time when Evaluative Metering wasn't as good. Ignore that and give Evaluative Metering a try.

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Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,119
Registered: ‎02-06-2013

Re: Metering on Spot meter mode - only center focus point? alternatives??


@Maria wrote:

Hello,

 

 

1) I want to shoot heavily backlit images so the subject has their back to the light and is in most cases only about 1/4 or less of the frame .... is there a way to ensure their face is exposed well without a) looking at the lcd over and over again and taking multiple shots or b) using a hand held incident meter?

 

 

Maria, I like shooting backlit also.  There are several ways you can accomplish what you need to do...
1. You can use center spot metering and point at the face and take a reading and do the exposure lock. Recompose and take the shot.
2. While in Av or Tv Mode (no Auto ISO) or M mode, turn on Live View (with exposure simulation enabled), you can adjust the exposure triad so the LCD looks correct (say properly exposed).  Turn off live view and shoot.  This is my favorite way of shooting...with practice it takes a second or two for each location.
3. You can use exposure compensation in Av and Tv mode (my 7D2 can do exp comp in M mode also) to brighten it by a stop or so (use live view to check).
4. Use evaluative metering and pop up the flash to fill

 

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VIP
Posts: 9,924
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: Metering on Spot meter mode - only center focus point? alternatives??

[ Edited ]

"4. Use evaluative metering and pop up the flash to fill." 

 

Good idea, but there is no pop-up flash on a 6D. 

 

High contrast shots are difficult to capture faithfully with just one exposure.  The OP will have to experiment with the exact conditions to see just how close to a balanced exposure is possible.  Odds are more likely that something is going to have to give.  Something is going to either be overexposed, or something is likely to be underexposed, in the single image.

 

-----------------------------------------

"1. You can use center spot metering and point at the face and take a reading and do the exposure lock. Recompose and take the shot." 

 

Evaluative metering locks exposure automatically using the AF point that locked focus.  No need to push more than the shutter button to lock the exposre.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Doctor told me to get out and walk, so I bought a Canon."
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Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,119
Registered: ‎02-06-2013

Re: Metering on Spot meter mode - only center focus point? alternatives??


@Waddizzle wrote:

"4. Use evaluative metering and pop up the flash to fill." 

 

Good idea, but there is no pop-up flash on a 6D. 

 

 


Oops, my bad Smiley Happy

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Diverhank's photos on Flickr
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Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,971
Registered: ‎02-26-2015

Re: Metering on Spot meter mode - only center focus point? alternatives??


@diverhank wrote:

@Waddizzle wrote:

"4. Use evaluative metering and pop up the flash to fill." 

 

Good idea, but there is no pop-up flash on a 6D. 

 

 


Oops, my bad Smiley Happy


Alternatives to the built-in flash: EOS 6D

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