On-camera Spot / Partial Metering
Why Spot Metering About The Author The Back Cover A Sample Page Reviews Appendix How to Order Gallery Camera Cheat Sheets Which book?

Spot Metering with Your Camera's Spot Meter
enables

Correct Exposures
by
Choice not Chance!
(Based on Farzad's 5-stop Film / Digital Zone System ©1987-2008)


Please DOUBLE-CLICK this link for viewing the Lotus Flower Gallery by Bahman Farzad at flickr.com

Almost all of these images were taken using an on-camera or off-camera spot meter

All the above images were exposed using the spot metering technique and jpg


If you consider yourself non-technical and you do NOT want to be bothered with a lot
of technical and sometimes confusing terms (spot metering itself is NOT technical)
please bypass the rest of this page by clicking this link) 
(
The text in the box was repeated so that it can be easily translated for non-English speaking readers)

Believe it or not, exposure skills 
DO NOT COME with it!


When you buy an expensive GUITAR, you KNOW that playing skills 
DO NOT COME with it!
When you buy an expensive CAR, you KNOW that driving skills 
DO NOT COME with it!
When you buy an expensive CAMERA, why, then, 
do you NOT KNOW that exposure skills 
DO NOT COME
with it?

More MegaPixels give you a bigger picture!
More Exposure Skills give you a better picture!

Light: 
You can see it, 
you can feel it,
now you can learn to capture its soul!
 


Image of Calla Lily and the leaf in the late afternoon (weak) sunlight

What is a Spot Meter? 

In simple terms, a spot meter (spotmeter) is a narrow angled meter (the narrower, the better) with the help of which a skilled photographer can determine the normal exposure of a simple (one toned) subject.        
The Pentax off-camera spot meter was introduced into the market in 1961. On-camera spot meters started appearing in 35mm cameras in the 1980s.                                                                        
To use a spot meter, the skilled photographer picks out an IMPORTANT single-toned surface (like a       forehead in portrait photography) and determines its NORMAL exposure (what the camera thinks that it is the correct exposure for that surface but actually creating an 18% Gray image tone from that surface). This exposure then is interpreted by the skilled photographer and is often overridden to determine the correct exposure for that surface. Once this is done,  then he or she can use that exposure to correctly expose the entire subject.  The idea behind this method is that "once an important tone of a subject is correctly exposed, the rest of the tones that matter will follow and be correctly exposed".
In other words, as what is called "Matrix Metering" is a cookie-cutter approach to exposure (does not necessarily captures what your eye sees and wants to capture), Spot Metering is a "Tailored" or "Custom" approach that captures what the skilled photographer sees and wants to capture.

Diagram illustrating a Pentax 1° Digital spot meter as well as its viewfinder. Please note a distinct spot frame which is essential for accurate spot metering of small areas. To learn how to operate this spot meter please click on the image.


Diagram showing the angle of sensitivity  / measure / acceptance for a 1° ( degree) off-camera / External Digital Pentax spot meter.

The narrowness of the angle on a Pentax Digital Spotmeter as can be seen from the diagram is fixed. Unfortunately narrowness of this angle in cameras having this feature depends on the telephoto power of the lens. The higher the mm the narrower the angle. Traditionally there have been two methods to compare  the Spot Metering powers of different cameras:

1) Originally, the spot metering angle for 35mm cameras, was based on the 50mm lens that is often referred to as the "normal" lens. For example, the spot metering angle for a Nikon N90 (35mm) with a normal lens is 3.44° (degrees) where it would be 5.90° for Canon EOS 3 and 6.30° for Minolta Maxxum 7.
As can be observed, this kind of comparison mainly depended on the power of a 50mm lens.
After a few years, this type of comparison became less popular and was replaced by the a different (lens independent) method of calculating the spot metering area as a percentage of the viewfinder area as is explained below.

2) Another method of measuring the accuracy of the on-camera spot meter for the 35mm cameras is to measure the area of  the viewfinder that the spot-circle (or the spot frame) occupies. It usually consists of a circle 3mm to 6mm (approx) in diameter for many of 35mm cameras. For example the area occupied by the spot circle for a Nikon N90 was .82% (3mm Dia.) of the viewfinder area, Canon EOS 3 was 2.4% (5.1mm Dia.), Olympus OM4 was 2% (4.7mm Dia.), and Canon 5D (A full frame D-Slr) is 3.5% (6mm Dia.). This was all fine until the Partial-Frame/Half-Frame (compared to 35mm frame) D-Slrs hit the market. As you may know, the film/sensor size in most of the D-Slrs are about 16mmX24mm (approx). They are no longer full frame (24mmX36mm) and things fell apart again. 

3) To make the comparison easy and between say 35mm, D-Slrs and medium format, I suggested a telephoto mm power that enables the camera to see a 1° angle very much the  Pentax Digital Spot Meter to my students. A partial table is provided later on under the heading of "How can Partial metering cameras become as accurate as Spot Metering Cameras?"  or click here. For the lack of any other terms, I called it Farzad's Universal 1° Spot Metering comparison test. This combines # 1 and #2 and is independent of the film/sensor size (depends on the diameter of the spot frame) and gives us a base that we can compare apples and apples rather than apples and oranges. Cameras with a distinct spot frame that top the spotmetering list are Nikon D70, Olympus E-1, Pentax *ist-D, Nikon N90/N70, Minolta  7D, and Sony Alpha 100.  As can be seen, this method favors the smallest spot frame in mm. If you do not care for this, please ignore it. You can use other methods that you are more comfortable with.

World's greatest Spot Metering Cameras ever manufactured 
based on their accuracy / spot angle
Note: If this table confuses you please skip it!
for the full listing, criteria, and legend please click this link

Accuracy
rating for non-auto
(manual)
spot
metering
Max 10
stars

Camera's make and model The mm of the lens that would reduce the spot metering angle of the camera to 1° degree
(Sorted low-to-high)
S
P
O
T
 

F
R
A
M
E
Film / Sensor size
in
mm
Radius (mm)/
Normal lens power (mm)
Spot Diameter in mm Spot frame as a % of the VF area Spot Angle with a normal lens: 30mm- HF 50mm- FF 80mm- MF
(
Approx.)

**********

Nikon N90/s 1° With 172mm Lens S Y 24.0X36.0 1.50/43.25 03.00mm 0.82% 03.97°FF

**********

Nikon N70* 1° With 172mm Lens S Y 24.0X36.0 1.50/43.25 03.00mm 0.82% 03.97°FF

**********

Pentax 645N 1° With 344mm Lens S Y 45.0X60.0 3.00/75.00 06.00mm 1.00% 04.58°MF

**********

Nikon N6006 1° With 200mm Lens S Y 24.0X36.0 1.75/43.25 03.50mm 1.11% 04.63°FF

**********

Nikon 8008s 1° With 200mm Lens S Y 24.0X36.0 1.75/43.25 03.50mm 1.11% 04.63°FF

**********

Nikon D70 1° With 132mm Lens S Y 23.7x15.5 1.15/28.30 02.30mm 1.06% 04.65°HF

*********

Pentax *ist-D 1° With 148mm Lens S Y 23.7x15.5 1.30/28.30 02.60mm 1.50% 05.26°HF

Note:
Some manufacturers like Canon only offer spot metering with their high-end and more expensive models. Please also note that different manufacturers can deviate from the classic definition of spot metering and define their own. For example on Nikon D200, the spot metering areas are simply hidden and one can never be sure of the exact boundaries of the spot frame (s). Please see the Partial/Spot Metering Comparison further down on this page.

Spot Metering example / 35mm
(
24mmX36mm frame)
Aspect Ratio: 24/36 = 2/3

The accuracy of the spotmeter has traditionally been determined by the size of the angle that measures the exposure of a one-toned surface (the smaller the more accurate). It is usually about 3.5° to 6° with a 50mm lens in 35mm cameras. 
Diagram illustrating the spot frame for Nikon N90 / Nikon N70 (35mm) viewfinders. The angle of sensitivity (acceptance) for this camera with a 50mm (approx) normal lens is about 3.44° (degrees).
The percentage occupied by this spot frame with a diameter of 3 mm is about 0.8%.

Spot Metering Example
D-Slr (Digital Slr)
Aspect Ratio: 15.7/23.5 = 2/3

Diagram illustrating the spot frame for Pentax *ist-D (Digital Slr) viewfinder. The angle of sensitivity (acceptance) for this camera with a 31mm (approx) normal lens is about 5° (degrees).
The percentage area occupied by this spot frame with a diameter of 3mm is about 1.5%.

Actual Dimensions: 15.7 x 23.5


NIKON: 
The best and most accurate spot metering cameras with a distinct frame were produced by Nikon during the mid 80s to the late 90s. These include Nikon N6006, N8008s, F-4, N70, and N90(s). The same spot metering philosophy was also followed with their CoolPix series. All CoolPix cameras had spot metering with a distinct spot frame. The only new Nikon D-Slr that comes to mind and has a distinct frame (it is actually the center focusing frame that almost coincides with the spot frame) is the D70. Since most of the new Nikons lack a visible spot circle (spot frame), it is fair to categorize the design as a Partial Matrix Meter rather than a Spot Meter. Unlike the older models that had one spot meter, new Nikons have multiple spot meters that are built around the focusing frames of the viewfinder. With this design more emphasis seem to be placed on focusing and automation rather than manual spot metering. 
Nikon (very much like Canon) has traditionally provided the user with the diameter of their spot frames in mm. Some manufacturers simply refuse to provide the information to the user! 

On my dream list! As a Nikon user for most of my life (I shot mostly Nikon and Pentax), I wished they add at least one distinct center spot frame to the center of the viewfinder (very much like the Canon 30D) in their future models for people like me! Or at least provide the option of an interchangeable focusing screen with one distinct/outlined spot frame in the middle of the viewfinder. 

CANON: 
Canon has a mixed history of introducing the spot metering / Partial metering feature in their low-to-medium priced cameras. Some of their film cameras such as T90,  EOS 650, and A2/A2e have Partial Metering with a distinct Spot/Partial frame. Many of the Rebel and Elan models lacked a distinct Partial frame (I get many e-mails from the users of such cameras complaining and looking for the frame!). Traditionally, Canon's high-end cameras come with a spot meter with a center spot frame. These include EOS 1n, EOS 3, 5D as well as their new 30D (one of their best Spot Metering cameras). With the exception of Digital Rebels that like most of the film Rebels lack a distinct Partial frame, the 10D and 20D have a centered Partial frame that can be easily converted to an accurate spot frame using a telephoto lens. For example a 115mm lens can reduce the Spot/Partial metering angle for these two cameras to about 6 degrees and with a 334mm lens it can narrow it down to about 1 degree! Like Nikon, the size and the approximate area of the spot/partial metering frame is readily available as a percentage of the viewfinder area in the user manual for many of the Canon models.

PENTAX:
To the best of my knowledge, Pentax Corporation was the first to introduce a popular off-camera spot meter to the world of photography (1961).  Many of their cameras started incorporating this feature in their mid-to-high-priced film and digital camera models in the late 80s. Pentax cameras with a distinct spot frame include ZX-5N, Pz1P, *ist, and *ist-D models. The Pentax Medium Format 645N with a 1% spot frame, has the best spot metering features on any medium format camera that I have seen. 

MINOLTA (Konica, Sony):
Much like Pentax, Minolta incorporated spot metering with a distinct spot frame in many of their newer medium-to-high priced film and Digital cameras. These include 500si, 700si, Maxxum 5, Maxxum 7, Maxxum 9, and Sony Alpha 100, and many others.
Traditionally Minolta 35mm cameras have a distinct spot circle of 5.50mm in diameter occupying 2.8% of the viewfinder with a spot angle (acceptance) of about  6.3° (Degrees).
Lately, Konica Minolta and Sony made an announcement that they were to jointly develop Digital SLR cameras. I am assuming that the Minolta's tradition of incorporating accurate spot meters with a distinct spot frame will go on.

OTHER SPOTMETERING CAMERAS:
Please note that there are many other camera manufacturers that produce cameras with spotmetering features. These include Olympus, Sony, Fuji, and many more. The ones mentioned before are those that are more popular and most in use and that I could get my hands on in order to evaluate them. 
There are many great cameras out there on the market that I have not seen or have been able to evaluate. If you own one of these, I apologize. 


When choosing a camera for its Spot Metering feature, 
please take these factors into consideration:

1) A low percentage of the spot frame that occupies the film/CCD frame. This should be about 1% to 3.5% for 35mm cameras (about 0.7% to 2.3% for D-Slrs).
Another method  is to look for the sensitivity angle (acceptance) of 1° to 6° (approx) for a normal lens. The normal lens for a 35mm camera is about 50mm and for a D-Slr is about 30-31mm. Of course this angle very much depends on the telephoto power of the lens (usually zoom) used on the camera. The higher the mm of the zoom lens the narrower/smaller (the better) is the sensitivity angle (acceptance).

2) A distinct / outlined spot frame (spot circle) which is a must for accurate manual spot metering used by the skilled photographer. Cameras that have this feature (as far as the angle of acceptance goes) but lack a distinct spot frame in the viewfinder can be said to have Partial or Selective Matrix Metering feature.
Best Digital Spot Metering cameras at this writing include Pentax *ist-D, Nikon D70, Canon 30D, and Olympus E-1.

3) 100% of the light that passes through the spot frame (spot circle) must determine the normal exposure. Some manufacturers are hesitant to disclose this information.  Please refer to your camera's manual. If you can not find it in your manual, e-mail the manufacturer for this information. 

What is a Partial Meter? 
As we discussed, an on-camera spot meter by definition and tradition, has a sensitivity angle (acceptance) of 1° to 6.9° (degrees) with a normal lens. By the same tradition, a Partial Meter has a larger sensitivity/Partial angle  that is in the order of about 7° to 13° (had to draw the line somewhere!) with a normal lens. It picks up the angle where the spot meter left off. 
The angle of some cameras with a partial metering feature (like Canon A2/E, Digital 10D, and 20D that 100% of the light that is measured passes through the partial circle), with a use of a telephoto/zoom lens can be reduced to fall within the spot metering angles of  1° to 6.9°. In this case a partial meter that measures 100% of the light going through the partial circle/frame) can function as accurate and powerful as a camera with an accurate built-in spot meter with a distinct spot frame.

Partial Metering Example for 
Canon 20D
D-SLR (Digital SLR)
Aspect Ratio: 15/22.5 = 2/3

Diagram illustrating the spot frame for Canon EOS 20D (Digital SLR) viewfinder. The spot angle (acceptance) for this camera with a 27mm (approx) normal lens is about 12.66° (degrees). The percentage area occupied by this 30 sq. mm Partial Metering frame is about 9%.

Some other Partial Meters (like low-to-medium-end Canon SLRs/D-SLRs such as Rebels, and Elan models) lack a distinct frame and are difficult to use their Partial Metering function easily and accurately. Others with a frame (like low-end Nikons such as N50, N55, N60, and N65) that do not measure 100% of the light going through them (it is close to 75-80%) cannot act as an accurate spot meters even with a long telephoto lens.

When does a Partial Meter becomes a Spot Meter?
As was mentioned, when a Partial Meter (such as Canon 20D's)  used with a telephoto lens, can become as accurate (and as powerful) as a narrow-angled Spot Meter.
For example, when a Canon 10D or 20D camera is used with an 86mm lens, then, the
spot angle  (acceptance) is decreased from 11° (degrees) with a 31mm lens to about 4° (degrees) matching Nikon D70's spot angle with the same lens.
Please note that only 100% partial meters with a distinct spot frame where 100% of the light passing through the partial/spot circle is measured can become a true and accurate spot meters when used with a longer than normal (telephoto) lens.

How can Partial metering cameras become as 
accurate as Spot Metering Cameras?
A Comparison table for old and new Spot Metering / Partial Metering cameras 
based on 1° (degree) angle of sensitivity / measure / acceptance to match the spot metering power of  Pentax Digital / Analog (Standard) Spot meter as our base.
(Approximate)
Please click here for a comprehensive list for most cameras

Farzad's Universal 1° (degree) Spot Meter comparison test
Camera Model

Distinct Spot / Partial Frame*

Telephoto Lens to make a 1° Spot
Nikon D70 YES** (center Focus Frame) 1° (degree) with a 132mm lens
Olympus E-1 (3/4) YES 1° (degree) with a 141mm lens
Pentax *ist-D YES 1° (degree) with a 148mm lens
Nikon D200 NO-Partial/Selective Matrix 1° (degree) with a 172mm lens
Nikon N90/N90s/N70 YES 1° (degree) with a 172mm lens
Nikon D80 NO-Partial/Selective Matrix 1° (degree) with a 172mm lens
Sony Alpha 100 YES 1° (degree) with a 183mm lens
Nikon 8008s YES 1° (degree) with a 200mm lens
Canon EOS 30D YES 1° (degree) with a 222mm lens
Olympus OM4, OM3 YES 1° (degree) with a 269mm lens
Nikon F4 YES 1° (degree) with a 286mm lens
Pentax ZX-5N YES 1° (degree) with a 286mm lens
Canon EOS 1n YES 1° (degree) with a 286mm lens
Nikon F4 YES 1° (degree) with a 286mm lens
Canon T90 YES 1° (degree) with a 312mm lens
Minolta Max5, Max7, Max9 YES 1° (degree) with a 315mm lens
Minolta Stsi, 700si, 800si YES 1° (degree) with a 315mm lens
Pentax PZ-1P YES 1° (degree) with a 317mm lens
Pentax 645n (Spot) YES 1° (degree) with a 336mm lens
Canon EOS 5D (Spot) YES 1° (degree) with a 344mm lens
Canon EOS 10D (Partial) YES 1° (degree) with a 344mm lens
Canon EOS 20D (Partial) YES 1° (degree) with a 344mm lens
Canon EOS A2/E YES 1° (degree) with a 355mm lens
Canon EOS 650 YES 1° (degree) with a 487mm lens

*While measuring small areas, cameras with a distinct spot frame, will produce more accurate readings
**Nikon D70 is the only new Nikon that the focusing frame closely follows the spot frame.
Please bring any errors on this site or this table to my attention. I will be thankful. 

What is Spot Metering in Photography/Correct Exposure Determination? When to use Spot Metering? When to use a Spot Meter? 
Spot metering is the skilled photographer's method of determining the distant subject's correct exposure (or the desired exposure). Other subjects that lend themselves to spot metering are subjects with a Long Tonal Range (Subject Brightness Range (SBR) of say 7 or 8 stops: please see example below) or when a photographer is not under the same light as the subject (inside shooting out).
In cases like these, the  photographer chooses a simple tone (preferably an important or the most important tone) from a complex subject, determines its normal exposure, then she or he interprets the reading and if necessary modifies the aperture opening / shutter speed readings in order to obtain the correct exposure for the entire subject. 
Please note that the "normal exposure" (what the camera thinks is the correct exposure) and the "correct exposure" (what the skilled photographer decides to use) usually differ and in many instances they not the same. 
Spot metering is the most powerful exposure technique available to today's photographer and is the ONLY metering system that can allow the skilled photographer to previsualize the tone as well as the detail in the final image before taking the picture. 
In other words: spot metering puts the skilled photographer in total control of the final image. If anyone tells you otherwise, be polite, look them in the eye, give them a nice smile, nod your head, and simply change the conversation topic!

Spot Metering Examples?:
To see spot metering examples or when to use spot metering, please click this link "Why Spotmetering

What kind of situation does not lend itself to Spot Metering?
Due to its nature, spot metering is slow and in situations where one does not have the time to think, when one's life is in danger, or when the image content is more important than of the image quality (war photography), other metering modes that lend themselves to point-and-shoot must to be utilized. 
The other types of subjects that lend themselves to say matrix/point-and-shoot metering, are those with a short tonal range that overall do not look too bright or too dark.
There are also times that one does not want to think because the subject is not worth the effort (a snapshot). In cases like these set your metering to matrix, take a chance, and enjoy what the camera can offer you!

As the First World War was thought to be the war to end all wars, the matrix metering was thought to be the ultimate exposure system.
Well, not according to the images below. The left image was taken using an expensive digital camera with a 256-element Matrix Metering on program mode (Automatic Exposure).  The same camera's spot meter  in Manual exposure mode was used by a skilled photographer to capture the image on the right.  With the exception of reducing their image size to fit this illustration, both of these images are exactly as they were produced by the camera (no photo-editing or manipulation).

Meter Over Mind Scenario Mind Over Meter Scenario

A PRODUCT OF
POINT-AND-SHOOT
(skillless/effortless) PHOTOGRAPHY
1278-matrix-600.jpg (18440 bytes)
MATRIX + Point-and-shoot
Matrix metering is in total control and
the Correct Exposure (?) decision is
left entirely to the camera's meter that cannot
differentiate between exposing a white surface
and a black surface (true!)
---Matrix + Point-and-Shoot---

A PRODUCT OF
SPOT-COMPENSATE- AND-SHOOT
(skilled) PHOTOGRAPHY
1279-spot-600.jpg (18676 bytes)
SPOT + SKILL
Spotmeter provides the needed information
to the photographer so that she or he can make the "Correct Exposure"
or the
"desired exposure" decision.
---Spot + Skill---

Bottom: An example of a subject with a Long Tonal Range : High Subject Brightness Range (SBR)

If you do not expect yourself to correctly expose your images, then do not throw money at your camera  and expect the meter to be able to see what you see and to capture what you want it to capture. Correctly exposing an image is an art and needs one's exposure skills and does not need one's money!   The normal exposure for the image on the right was determined by the on-camera spot meter (narrow-angled metering) from the whitest part of the petal then interpreted by a skilled photographer before it was shot.  This means the "normal exposure" indicated by the spot meter was increased by two stops to obtain the "correct exposure."  The opening of the aperture by two stops is to brighten the 18% gray image tone created by the camera's meter (gray scale density of 128 on your digital image) by two stops in order to create a 72% white image tone (gray scale density of 228 on your digital image) for the petal.  With this simplified single-tone metering technique, once the most important tone of a subject is correctly exposed, the rest of the tones in the subject will follow and will be correctly exposed.

The unskilled photographer always expects a miracle!
The skilled one doesn't!


Thanks Canada!

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For making the Spotmetering book to
outsell 820 other books and become the
#1 best-selling
Photographic Reference book
on
amazon.ca on October 9, 2002

kuzegar-600.jpg (70543 bytes)

Did you ever wonder why many photographers spend hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars on their camera equipment, but refuse to spend a few dollars and a few hours of their time to learn the application of its most powerful exposure feature effectively?

Correctly exposing an image is a skill that 
canNOT be purchased with any camera at any price!

"Using simplified text, drawings, and examples, Farzad makes this difficult subject [Exposure] comprehensible.  His charts of lens aperture, shutter speeds and film speeds are some of the best that have been published."
Nature Photographer Magazine


"Farzad offers simple solutions to the sometimes complicated light metering issues of the modern equipment."

Outdoor Photographer Magazine

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"Farzad's wealth of creative analogies should certainly alleviate the confusion all beginning photographers have in understanding (and remembering) how to expose their subjects correctly"
Elinor Stecker-Orel -
Popular photography book review

The Spot Metering book at a glance

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Camera basics, exposure basics, on-camera spotmeter, simple and complex subjects, equivalent exposures, normal exposure, correct exposure, desired exposure, and so on. The spot metering book is 100% self-contained. Assumes the photographer knows nothing about a camera operated in the Manual exposure mode and has no exposure skills.

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Exposure without a meter. How to expose images that do not lend themselves to metering (tracing stars, moonlit landscapes, lightning at night, fireworks, etc.). This also includes Sunny-16, Hazy-11, cloudy-8, and overcast-5.6. These techniques become useful when your meter stops functioning or you want to have an idea what your interpreted exposure should be or when you are trying to calibrate  your camera's meter using an 18% Gray Card.

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Easy-to-follow camera cheat Sheets for many electronic cameras with spotmetering feature including: Canon EOS 10D Digital SLR, Canon EOS 20D Digital SLR, Canon EOS 3, Canon EOS A2/A2E, Canon EOS Elan 2E, Canon EOS Elan 7E, Canon EOS Rebel 2000, Canon EOS Rebel Ti/300V, Canon PowerShot G3 Digital, Canon PowerShot G5 Digital, Minolta Maxxum 5, Minolta Maxxum 7, Minolta Maxxum 9, Minolta Maxxum StSi, Nikon CoolPix 990 Digital, Nikon CoolPix 995 Digital, Nikon CoolPix 4500 Digital, Nikon CoolPix 5700 Digital, Nikon Coolpix 5000 Digital, Nikon Coolpix 8700 Digital, Nikon D70 Digital SLR, Nikon F4, Nikon F5, Nikon F100, Nikon N50, Nikon N55, Nikon N60, Nikon N6006, Nikon N65, Nikon N70, Nikon N75, Nikon N80, Nikon N8008s, Nikon N90/N90s, Pentax *ist, Pentax *ist-D Digital SLR, Pentax 645N Medium Format, Pentax MZ-S, Pentax PZ-1P, Pentax ZX-5N, and Sony DSC-F717 Digital. 

Off-camera (External) flash/Strobe Photography
Using Nikon CoolPix 990/ 995 / 4500 for serious Digital Studio Photography

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White Tulip over the Light Box

A digital image with Nikon CoolPix 990 (CP 990) and Novatron studio strobe (flash) units
____________________________

Link to an interesting website!
Use of the spot meter in Star Trek
® Creation and 
behind the scenes restoration



Confused about 35mm, Medium Format, Large Format (4X5, 5X7, 8X10, and 11X14 Film) Digital Equivalents?
The Negative
The Lens (coming shortly)


Camera-Specific Zone System / Spot Metering

 
Cheat Sheets / Techniques

Please note: If you do not see your camera here, chances are that either the camera does not have a spot metering / partial metering feature or I was unable to get the camera locally or my efforts to secure a loaner from different camera manufacturers was unsuccessful.  If you wish for me to create you one, please e-mail me and I will do it as soon as I get a camera to evaluate.  If you are a manufacturer, please e-mail me and let me know what I need to do to borrow a camera so that I can include it on this list as well as the on-camera Spot metering book.  
Please E-mail:

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New Spot Metering Cheat Sheets added on December 4, 2006:

30D Spot Metering (Canon EOS Digital)
D80 Spot Metering (Nikon Digital)
D200 Spot Metering (Nikon Digital)

Rebel XTi Partial Metering (Canon EOS Digital)

____________

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Partial metering with Canon Elan II E
Partial Metering with Canon EOS Rebel G
Digital Partial Metering with Canon Rebel XT
Digital Partial Metering with Canon Rebel XTi

Partial Metering with Canon Rebel 2000
Partial Metering with Canon Elan 7 E
Spot Metering with Canon EOS 3
Digital Spot Metering with Canon EOS 5D
Digital Partial Metering with Canon EOS 10D
Digital Partial Metering with Canon EOS 20D
Digital Spot Metering with Canon EOS 30D

Spot Metering with Canon A2E
Digital Spot Metering with Canon PowerShot G3
Digital Spot Metering with Canon PowerShot G5

Partial Metering with Canon EOS Ti (300V)
Spot Metering with Minolta 500si
Spot Metering with Minolta 700si
Spot Metering with Minolta Maxxum 5
Spot Metering with Minolta Maxxum 7
Spot Metering with Minolta Maxxum 9
Spot Metering with Minolta STsi

 

 

 

 

Digital Spot Metering with Nikon CoolPix 990
Digital Spot Metering with Nikon CoolPix 995
Digital Spot Metering with Nikon CoolPix 4500
Digital Spot Metering with Nikon CoolPix 5000
Digital Spot Metering with Nikon CoolPix 5700
Digital Spot Metering with Nikon CoolPix 8700
Digital Spot Metering with Nikon D50
Digital Spot Metering with Nikon D70

Digital Spot Metering with Nikon D80
Digital Spot Metering with Nikon D200

Spot Metering with Nikon F4
Spot Metering with Nikon F5
Spot Metering with Nikon F100
Partial Metering with Nikon N50
Partial Metering with Nikon N55
Partial Metering with Nikon N60
Partial Metering with Nikon N65
Spot Metering with Nikon N70
Spot Metering with Nikon N75
Spot Metering with Nikon N80
Spot Metering with Nikon N90
Spot Metering with Nikon N6006
Spot Metering with Nikon N8008s

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Spot Metering with Pentax ZX-5N
Spot Metering with Pentax PZ-1p
Spot Metering with Pentax MZ-S
Spot Metering with Pentax 645N (Medium)
Spot Metering with Pentax Digital Spotmeter

Spot Metering with Pentax Analog Spotmeter
Digital Spot Metering with Pentax *ist D
Digital Spot Metering: Sony DSC-F717
Digital Spot Metering: FujiFilm FinePix S7000

Please Click if you have an older camera or your camera is not listed above


Why Spot Metering About The Author The Back Cover A Sample Page Reviews Appendix How to Order Gallery Camera Cheat Sheets Which book?
|Why spotmetering|About the Author|The Back Cover|A sample Page |
|Reviews|Appendix|How to Order|Gallery|Cheat Sheets|

The world's first book written on the most powerful exposure technique using an on-camera spot meter.  This book is ideal for the young, beginner, non-technical, unsophisticated, or the experienced photographer  who is willing to learn the art and the science of photographic exposure using a standard (Digital / 35mm / Medium Format) camera that is equipped with an on-camera Spot Meter or Partial Meter.
(9th grade level)
Happy Spot Metering!


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Online ordering from amazon.com
and reader's reviews
(good and bad) from all over the world

e-mail:
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Click here for the latest comprehensive book review
from May/June 2000 of Nature Photographer Magazine

For those who are interested in the
easiest-to-understand book ever written on the subject of photographic 
exposure and the Zone System for Film and Digital Photography

Remember:
Your camera cannot read your mind but a skilled photographer

can read the mind of the camera's spot meter!
This is called "mind over meter" scenario!

Learn the art of correctly exposing your images!


Film / Digital Equivalents
What Film Negative Size/Format Camera Equals How Many MegaPixels in a Digital Camera?

Films and their approximate Digital MegaPixel equivalents
  Calculated @ 107 lines/mm film resolution for the interested photographer!
 

 35mm -                 24  X 36  X 11574 =    10,000,000 =   10 MegaPixels
 645    medium format - 60  X 45  X 11574 =    31,249,999 =   31 MegaPixels
 6X7    medium format - 60  X 70  X 11574 =    48,611,111 =   48 MegaPixels
 6x9    medium format - 60  X 90  X 11574 =    62,499,999 =   62 MegaPixels
 4X5" (Inch) Film  -    102 X 127 X 11574 =   149,930,555 =  149 MegaPixels
 8X10" (Inch) Film   -  203 X 254 X 11574 =   596,782,407 =  597 MegaPixels
 11X14" (Inch) Film  -  279 X 356 X 11574 = 1,149,583,333 = 1.15 GigaPixels

Where 11574 is pixels/sq. mm.
PS: This has nothing to do with spot metering! Thought someone may be interested

Panning hints and examples for fun! Please click the image.


We are @ the Birmingham School of Photography

©1978-2008 Bahman Farzad: The 5-stop© Spot Metering technique is based upon Farzad's 5-stop© film/Digital zone system
Minimum educational level to follow the book: 9th grade. 70+ full-page illustrations. Black and White, Size: 8-1/2X11", 192 pages. (Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Sony, and Minolta are trademarks of their respective companies)

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