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  1. #51
    Be serious Franglais's Avatar
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    Explanation

    Quote Originally Posted by Speed
    Now that is interesting. I would never have guessed you wouldn't have full control with the D70. Have you asked if others have this sort of skewing of their settings?

    Thanks for posting. I'm finding this very interesting.
    I'm going to have to explain some of the cases that made me choose full automatic with the D70. BTW in the studio I use full manual with my strobes.

    1. Landscapes on a dull day

    I've tried to set the white balance myself so that it looks right but I've realised that the camera gets it closer than I do. I've now gone over to shooting RAW for landscapes.

    2. SB800 Flash with off-center subject:

    With a film camera I set the camera on manual to underexpose the room by about 1/2 stop, use the center focussing zone to prefocus on the subject at left and let the OTF metering in the body and the film's overexposure latitude give me a scene where the subject is correctly lit and the background fades away.

    I tried this with the D70 and it would overexpose the flash because it thinks the subject is in the center. I tried using the flash memory function but it wasn't very consistent. I figured I had to set the ISO so that the room is correctly exposed and make sure that the camera knew where the subject was so I tried using the touchpad to set the focussing zone but finally I let the camera find the subject itself and it works fine.

    Charles
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  2. #52
    Too square to be hip. almo's Avatar
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    Re: How Do You Shoot?

    Quote Originally Posted by Speed
    Specifically, what mode do you use the most?

    I do the majority of my shooting in Apeture Priority. Probably 95% of the time.
    I occasionally shoot in Manual Mode, maybe 4% of the time.
    It's rare, but I sometimes shoot in Shutter Priority for flash syncronization purposes, maybe 1% of the time.
    I do not use Program mode anymore.

    So, how do you shoot?
    Manual everything. The mode dial on my D30 never spins. Unless of course I am bored and using it to keep the rhythm in my head.

    Manual exposure, manual flash compensation, coustom white balence. The only time I would even begin to consider another mode is when I am shooting action, but I don't do that very much, it's not really my thing, but when I do I usaully think about throwing it into Tv, or Av. I always end up staying in manual anyway though...

    I started shooting in manual when my father gave me his Pentax ME Super. It wasn't a strictly DIY camera, but the other modes were just to difficult to use and they only worked with certain lenses. Before then I used a Rebel G first in P and after the pentax I started playing with it in manual, but it had a doofy control setup that made it a pain in the ass to get anything done in a resasonable amount of time, so I switched to Av. I used that setting 85% of the time after that with all my AF SLR's until I got my Maxxum 7. I started out with it in Av, but I never got the results I was looking for like I had before with my EOS cameras, so I just went all manual, sans MF.

    The bottom line is this, I have tried the other modes, and I just don't get what I want when I use them. Now I don't even always get what I want in manual, but I get it a hell of a lot more than not.
    Last edited by almo; 04-07-2005 at 02:18 PM.
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  3. #53
    Sleep is optional Sebastian's Avatar
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    Re: Manual, 95% of the time

    Quote Originally Posted by Speed
    Interesting. Very interesting. You've got a modern, digital camera, and shoot primararly manual. I would not have thought that.

    Do you shoot that way for the total control, or do you not trust the camera to get it right? Just curious.
    I use manual because it's the only way to get reliable, consistent metering. One thing that people don't seem to realize is that Full Program is no different from shutter or aperture priority, it's still the computer doing the thinking, it's just that you're locking down one of the variables. If I set the aperture in aperture priority, the exposure might still be just as wrong as it would be in program, and the shot might be just as useless. A handheld meter gives me a great reading, and when I move and the lighting changes I just adjust the exposure from experience. If suddenly clouds roll in, I just take another reading and adjust accordingly. This way I can frame however I want, no matter if I'm really close to a bright object or if there's a lot of dark in the background, my exposure stays the same for the subject I choose. So is it control? I don't think so, I think it's my need for consistency. Yes, control has something to do with it, but it's much more about getting great results and being able to depend on that.

    Unless the scene is neutral grey, the in-camera meter, no matter how good, will never expose the way I can or choose to using a handheld. Unless of course I use the built-in "spot" and manually meter. Granted, the 10% version that Canon calls a spot is less useful than a true spot, but it's still very effective.

    The shot below was not metered. The light was coming in from her right, slightly behind. I metered for the light further away, looking to her left, for some other protesters. The sun was behind me. I shot those protesters and I moved further down the street, and I saw her holding up the sign. I knew that the light is no longer behind me, so I dropped the shutter by a stop and the exposure is perfect. Almost no highlight is blown, with the exception of some specular highlights on her knuckles and glasses. Neither is any shadow blocked up. I didn't have to do any levels adjustment on this image, it was as-is right out of the camera, just cropped to be a composition that I like better.

    A modern, digital camera is just as stupid as anything else. Nothing out there is smarter than experience and knowing what you want to achieve, no matter how much it cost or how many "zones" it meters.

    -Seb

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  4. #54
    News & Rum-or-ator opus's Avatar
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    Re: Manual, 95% of the time

    Sebastian, I just LOVE this shot!!!!!! What a story!
    Drink Coffee. Do stupid things faster with more energy.


  5. #55
    Hardcore...Nikon Speed's Avatar
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    Cool I think it's my need for consistency

    Quote Originally Posted by Sebastian
    I use manual because it's the only way to get reliable, consistent metering. One thing that people don't seem to realize is that Full Program is no different from shutter or aperture priority, it's still the computer doing the thinking, it's just that you're locking down one of the variables. If I set the aperture in aperture priority, the exposure might still be just as wrong as it would be in program, and the shot might be just as useless. A handheld meter gives me a great reading, and when I move and the lighting changes I just adjust the exposure from experience. If suddenly clouds roll in, I just take another reading and adjust accordingly. This way I can frame however I want, no matter if I'm really close to a bright object or if there's a lot of dark in the background, my exposure stays the same for the subject I choose. So is it control? I don't think so, I think it's my need for consistency. Yes, control has something to do with it, but it's much more about getting great results and being able to depend on that.

    Unless the scene is neutral grey, the in-camera meter, no matter how good, will never expose the way I can or choose to using a handheld. Unless of course I use the built-in "spot" and manually meter. Granted, the 10% version that Canon calls a spot is less useful than a true spot, but it's still very effective.

    The shot below was not metered. The light was coming in from her right, slightly behind. I metered for the light further away, looking to her left, for some other protesters. The sun was behind me. I shot those protesters and I moved further down the street, and I saw her holding up the sign. I knew that the light is no longer behind me, so I dropped the shutter by a stop and the exposure is perfect. Almost no highlight is blown, with the exception of some specular highlights on her knuckles and glasses. Neither is any shadow blocked up. I didn't have to do any levels adjustment on this image, it was as-is right out of the camera, just cropped to be a composition that I like better.

    A modern, digital camera is just as stupid as anything else. Nothing out there is smarter than experience and knowing what you want to achieve, no matter how much it cost or how many "zones" it meters.
    Awesome answer my friend!

    "A modern, digital camera is just as stupid as anything else."

    Right on again. A camera doesn't take a picture - the photographer does. The camera is merely the lightbox holding the recording medium.

    OK, Sebastian is hereby, and forever after, known as Yoda. He's short, wise, and shares what he knows for the forces of good! ;-)
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  6. #56
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    Re: I think it's my need for consistency

    Now here's a product I've never seen on the market, a 100% manual DSLR. How much money could you knock out of a 20D if you dumped ALL the automatic features and metering hardware/software programing time. Or, if you kept the price the same but put all the resources into increasing both build construction and image quality.

    It's like buying a car, all the options come in packages. You want the CD player, you need the power windows, doors, cruise control, etc....

  7. #57
    MJS
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    Re: How Do You Shoot?

    In the studio, all manual. Shooting sports, Shutter Priority. Everything else, whatever comes to my head but mostly all manual.
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  8. #58
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    Re: How Do You Shoot?

    My D2h is on Manual 100% of the time. After using it for a while I found I was able to memorise most exposures for most exposure situations. Whenever I leave a room, go outside, go inside I set my cameras meter for the scene I am entering, and this way I can always grab a shot within a seconds notice, and not have to worry about a backlite window or something throwing it off.
    Actually I lied, I shoot sports on Aperature priority at 2.8 on cloudy days when the exposure is constantly changing.

    cheers,
    Trevor

  9. #59
    Hardcore...Nikon Speed's Avatar
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    Talking I stalk my images...

    Quote Originally Posted by Flight
    I shoot mostly in automatic but almost as much I use manual either focusing, WB, shutter speed, appeture, or whatever I think I need.

    As for shooting. I'm always looking at things from a differnt perspective, I stalk my images..

    I love it!

    What an apt description of photography - done deliberatly!
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  10. #60
    Hardcore...Nikon Speed's Avatar
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    Talking In the studio, all manual.

    Quote Originally Posted by MJS
    In the studio, all manual. Shooting sports, Shutter Priority. Everything else, whatever comes to my head but mostly all manual.

    I see a trend here....

    ;-)

    "Everything else, whatever comes to my head..."

    Hehehe.

    To each his own. Something to be said for being spontaneous. Helps to get the creative juices flowing.

    Thanks for participating in the discussion.
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  11. #61
    Hardcore...Nikon Speed's Avatar
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    Talking I use whatever mode is appropriate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Outdoorsman
    Well, this has gone on long enough without me piping up. I know, I know, "Shut up already, Outdoorsman."
    I use whatever mode is appropriate. There's no right mode for all situations. Because I do a lot of hand-held photography I tend to use TV, just to be sure the shutter is overcoming camera shake. On the tripod, it's whatever mode works best. Manual, AV, and TV are all I use, however. I have not once used the Program modes in the year I've been shooting this camera (Canon Elan 7N). Those modes would drive me crazy, with the flash popping up half the time and all kinds of settings coming up that I want to change but can't. I need more control! All those modes do is what we the photographers would know to do anyway. I wonder what they could have given the camera instead of pointless auto modes...

    I do regular checks on manual versus AV or TV and the settings are identical in controlled lighting. There's really no reason to primarily use one or the other, I say, unless you need a specific shutter speed or aperture setting. And for metering... I don't spot meter much because this camera's spot meter is like 10% of the frame-- waaay too much for a good reading. But I also have had more ruined shots by using center-weighted metering than with matrix. Matrix metering has done well for me in almost all situations. Any times it didn't were my fault for not recognizing a tricky scene and adjusting appropriately....
    Touche'!

    I think as photographers, we should all use whatever mode is appropriate. I suppose the real question is, which mode do you prefer, or even if you have a preference?

    I also agree that matrix metering is the best all-around metering. And like you, when it gets fooled, I blame myself for not recognizing the lighting circumstances that I know will fool the meter, and then making the appropriate adjustments.

    Thanks for playing along!
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  12. #62
    Hardcore...Nikon Speed's Avatar
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    Cool I like the learning and the control of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by ACArmstrong
    I haven't had my Canon 10D off on anything else but Manual (unless by accident - which will freak you the F out sometimes) since 3 weeks after I bought it last Spring. I like the learning and the control of it.
    Nothing wrong with that!

    One could make the arguement that we'd all be better photographers if we shot manual all the time.
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  13. #63
    Hardcore...Nikon Speed's Avatar
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    Smile full manual 100% i have no other choice

    Quote Originally Posted by 92135011
    full manual 100% i have no other choice.
    guesstimate exposure or handheld meter
    one 35mm f2 prime lens
    Guesstimate exposure - I think that's called learning the light. ;-)

    Handheld meter's are great. I recently got one, and while I normally don't use it much, it's nice to have around. I see using it with my K1000 a lot in the future.

    One 35mm f2 prime lens. Now all you need is a 50mm f1.4 prime lens and you're set! OK, a 200mm f2.8 would be nice...

    Thanks for your input. I've really enjoyed reading about how folks shoot.
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  14. #64
    Hardcore...Nikon Speed's Avatar
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    Talking DownByFive....

    Quote Originally Posted by DownByFive
    I use AP if I don't have a lot of time to get a shot off. But I'm trying to get in the habit of using manual, along with using MF as well...

    Nikon Samurai and an aperture priority shooter as well. I'm liking you more everyday! ;-)

    Using manual is a very useful skill to develop. I get out the K1000 every now and then just because. I figure it can only help my photographic skills.
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  15. #65
    Hardcore...Nikon Speed's Avatar
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    Wink EOSThree....

    Quote Originally Posted by EOSThree
    Aperture Priority...
    unless I am trying to stop motion, then
    Shutter Priority...
    unless I am using my flash, then
    Manual...
    unless I am in a hurry, then
    Program...
    unless I am trying to control DOF, then
    Aperture Priority...
    unless...

    I like your answer. Kind of a verbose way of saying "it depends".

    ;-)

    OK, maybe I've got a warped sense of humor, but I still like it!
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  16. #66
    Hardcore...Nikon Speed's Avatar
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    Cool Depends entirely on the camera systeem and subject

    Quote Originally Posted by drg
    The way I shoot depends entirely on the camera systeem and subject. However instead of launching off on some overzealous diatribe:

    When I shoot with the DSLR's or a system 35mm I almost always shoot Program and employ the Shift or Flexible options. There's always an EV +/- function handy for minor changes in lighting when required or tricky composition like predominantly dark or white background/subject in image. It gets me in the ballpark a lot quicker when using available light. The cameras that have the DOF mode are interesting to use but only with mono/tripod support.

    So far I've not been a fan of IS/VS type lenses as for some reason I don't like what I see in the viewfinder, but then again I don't shoot much action or even much of any thing moving very fast that I cannot track or let predictive focus deal with and fix.

    For studio/flash etc. I meter, I meter, and then I compare notes with someone else and their measurements! Of course this is usually MF stuff so there's more involved.

    I generally avoid any other programmed modes as they never do exactly what I want/think they should. Other than tripod or macro work I always use AF as it is faster than my fingers (usually!) and I can support the camera better.

    -CDP
    I can accept that. ;-)

    I'm surprised to see that you don't care much for IS/VR type lenses. I've never used one, but everyone I know that's used one loved it. Curious.

    "I generally avoid any other programmed modes as they never do exactly what I want/think they should." That's all the reason you need not to use them!

    Thanks for responding to the post!
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  17. #67
    Hardcore...Nikon Speed's Avatar
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    Talking I'm hooked on AP auto

    Quote Originally Posted by nighteye
    Hi Speed, I'm hooked on AP auto. I thought I'd like a fully manual system so I bought a Bessa R, L and a couple of lenses (21/4, 35/2.5). It wasn't only to try fully manual. I was wondering what the rage was about rangefinders. I've concluded that they aren't as versitle as an SLR but they are compact and light and do work well at slower shutter speeds. However I was never quite ready with the camera for the shot. Just setting the aperture and focusing are enough steps for me to deal with. A few years ago I decided I needed an upgrade in my equipment. I was using my ancient Nikon FE. I was lured in by the temptations of auto focus, matrix metering and the like. So I bought an F4. I think my photography actually suffered because of it. I'm not slamming the camera. It's a great tool. I just think it offers too many options for my simple needs. The simplicity of AP Auto is the only mode I use.
    I understand entirely! Aperture Priority meets my needs, and is quick to use. I'm a firm believer in Keeping It Simple!

    Thanks for playing along!
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  18. #68
    Ex-Modster Old Timer's Avatar
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    Re: I'm hooked on AP auto

    Quote Originally Posted by Speed
    I understand entirely! Aperture Priority meets my needs, and is quick to use. I'm a firm believer in Keeping It Simple!

    Thanks for playing along!

    Speed, this has been a great thread!! Thanks for getting it started and keeping up the matienance on it. I had not responded until now mainly because I don't use just one method. I use all the controls that Nikon put on the camera and use what ever I think is appropriate for the situation I am shooting under. I will say that on the cameras that have them I have never used the pre programed situation settings (what ever they are called). Other than that they are all used when I feel they are appropriate. See, that's why I hadn't posted pretty boring answer.
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  19. #69
    Hardcore...Nikon Speed's Avatar
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    Talking Hey Old Timer...

    Quote Originally Posted by Old Timer
    Speed, this has been a great thread!! Thanks for getting it started and keeping up the matienance on it. I had not responded until now mainly because I don't use just one method. I use all the controls that Nikon put on the camera and use what ever I think is appropriate for the situation I am shooting under. I will say that on the cameras that have them I have never used the pre programed situation settings (what ever they are called). Other than that they are all used when I feel they are appropriate. See, that's why I hadn't posted pretty boring answer.

    I'm glad you've enjoyed the thread. I've found it quite interesting.

    You answer is similar to a couple of others - whatever the situation calls for. Some folks shoot like that. Some prefer shutter priority, some like aperture priority, and some prefer program mode, though they tend to modify it and not shoot the straight settings.

    Obviously, there is no right or wrong answer. Everyone shoots how they are comfortable shooting. For me, aperture priority takes care of the bulk of my needs. I'm comfortable with it, and I trust my camera's meters to give me the correct exposure. And in situations where I know the light/scene/etc is going to "trick" the meter, then I dial in exposure compensation. Works for me.

    Thanks for participating, and I'm really glad that you have enjoyed this as well.
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  20. #70
    Hardcore...Nikon Speed's Avatar
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    Talking Full manual if I have time to set up

    Quote Originally Posted by SmartWombat
    For motorsport, shutter priority, or full manual if I have time to set up a static shot.
    For nature, aprture priority, or full manual if I have time to set up a static shot..
    For grrab shots wandering about, P with centre weighting using the centre AF spot.
    If I ever get time to put it on a tripod, full manual.

    I like it! It embodies what a lot of us seem to feel is true photography.

    Use whatever mode works best for the given situation. And if you have the luxury of time, then do it manually. A camera should work for you. Use it to it's maximum capabilities. OK, maybe I got carried away, but that's how I read your answer. :-)
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  21. #71
    Hardcore...Nikon Speed's Avatar
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    Talking I ALWAYS shoot in the RAW!!! :p

    Quote Originally Posted by prbowhay
    Hi Speed:

    I use my handheld meter, manual settings on the camera, and manual focus, but I do use one of the in camera sharpening settings because I just like the way it works. I've tried shooting in AP and SP and both work, but -- (you don't know how I hate to admit this) I'm an old dog that's not much for new tricks.

    And, although you told me not to say it, I'm going to say it anyway because its the truth -- I ALWAYS shoot in the RAW!!! I post process using Adobe Photoshop CS on either a Mac or PC and I print out using the Epson 2200 or R800 printers.

    Another secret -- my favorite subject is NOT landscapes (GASP!!) its Gene! ;)

    My Very Best to You,
    Penny

    Now Penny, you know what it does to me when you talk like that! ;-)

    Old Dog my foot!!!! Shooting fully manual is a perfectly legitimate method. Re-read this post - lots of guys and gals are shooting fully manual. Even some of those with modern digital cameras prefer to shoot fully manual. So enough old dog talk.

    "Another secret -- my favorite subject is NOT landscapes (GASP!!) its Gene! ;) "

    I'm guessing most of those are not suitable for general audiences? ;-)

    I've said all along that Dawn is My Favorite Subject. I've even got a folder in my computer with that name for photo's of her! So I'm with you girl. :-D
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  22. #72
    Hardcore...Nikon Speed's Avatar
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    Talking Aperture priority 95% of the time

    Quote Originally Posted by Lionheart
    Aperture priority 95% of the time (but with my thumb on the back wheel for manual override and exposure compensation-I don't trust my camera's meter that much in any mode), metered manual or shutter priority the other 5% of the time. In the studio, 100% manual.

    Hey Lionheart,

    Great to see another Aperture Priority guy! And I usually have my finger near the exposure comp dial as well! I trust my meter, and I usually know when I need to add or subtract some exposure. If I get an exposure that's off, I blame myself for not reading the light or scene properly.

    100% manual in the studio seems to be the norm. Don't blame you a bit.

    Thanks for commenting and letting us know how you shoot!
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  23. #73
    Hardcore...Nikon Speed's Avatar
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    Cool "Now I don't even always get what I want in manual,"

    Quote Originally Posted by almo
    Manual everything. The mode dial on my D30 never spins. Unless of course I am bored and using it to keep the rhythm in my head.

    Manual exposure, manual flash compensation, coustom white balence. The only time I would even begin to consider another mode is when I am shooting action, but I don't do that very much, it's not really my thing, but when I do I usaully think about throwing it into Tv, or Av. I always end up staying in manual anyway though...

    I started shooting in manual when my father gave me his Pentax ME Super. It wasn't a strictly DIY camera, but the other modes were just to difficult to use and they only worked with certain lenses. Before then I used a Rebel G first in P and after the pentax I started playing with it in manual, but it had a doofy control setup that made it a pain in the ass to get anything done in a resasonable amount of time, so I switched to Av. I used that setting 85% of the time after that with all my AF SLR's until I got my Maxxum 7. I started out with it in Av, but I never got the results I was looking for like I had before with my EOS cameras, so I just went all manual, sans MF.

    The bottom line is this, I have tried the other modes, and I just don't get what I want when I use them. Now I don't even always get what I want in manual, but I get it a hell of a lot more than not.
    "...but I get it a hell of a lot more than not."

    That's what photography is all about - to me. Getting the results you want. How you get them is as varied as the camera models available, but as long as you get what you're after, that's what matters.

    This has been a very interesting, and eye opening post. I'm surprised that practically everyone shoots 100% manual in the studio. That floored me. I expect it out of the old heads that still use their FE's or AE-1's. I was NOT expecting it out of digital shooters.

    I've also been taken aback by how many folks with full auto everything, more modes than you will use, latest technology digital camera shooters, shoot in mostly or fully manual mode. Maybe those photog's have gotten to the point in their photography where they know what they want and how to get it. But it strikes me as curious that it's mostly digital shooters doing that. Makes me wonder if there's something about digital that just doesn't give the photographer what he or she really wants. OK, I'm rambling now, so I'll shut up.

    Thanks for playing along, and thanks for the insight into how you shoot. I've gotten more than I expected out of this post, and it's been very gratifying and educational.
    Nikon Samurai # 1


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  24. #74
    Hardcore...Nikon Speed's Avatar
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    Talking My D2h is on Manual 100% of the time

    Quote Originally Posted by Trevor Little
    My D2h is on Manual 100% of the time. After using it for a while I found I was able to memorise most exposures for most exposure situations. Whenever I leave a room, go outside, go inside I set my cameras meter for the scene I am entering, and this way I can always grab a shot within a seconds notice, and not have to worry about a backlite window or something throwing it off.
    Actually I lied, I shoot sports on Aperature priority at 2.8 on cloudy days when the exposure is constantly changing.

    cheers,
    Trevor

    Yee haa!

    I like your reasoning. Very logical choice.

    "I shoot sports on Aperature priority at 2.8 on cloudy days when the exposure is constantly changing."

    Again, logical choice, and one of the reasons I shoot on Aperture Priority most of the time. Except I usually shoot on f4. I don't have a f2.8 telephoto zoom - yet!

    Thanks for your comments. I do appreciate all the input!
    Nikon Samurai # 1


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  25. #75
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    Re: How Do You Shoot?

    It totally depends on what camera I am using:

    Pentax *istDS - Manual 75%, aperture priority 20%, with liberal use of bracketing and the EV compensation (both ways) when using aperture priority. Spot metering or Matrix, depending on what I'm looking for. Occationally shutters priority. I've tried out Program and the presets, but no thanks.

    Pentax K-1000 - yeah, I think this one's a given. I do not use a hand held meter. If I were going to spend money on an upgraded meter, I would by a Pentax LX.

    Bentley - It has 4 apertures (between 6 and 16, all represented with pictures of weather phases) and a set shutter speed, which I estimate to be between 1/60 and 1/100. What's amazing is that with a good, large latitude B&W the photos turn out amazingly well exposed and that little, plastic lens gives me some really sharp stuff.

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