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spot/matrix metering: B&W Exposure-grey card/zone system

Thu 02-Nov-00 12:05 AM

I love this site so much I wanted to ask a newbie question about proper exposure techniques. I just bought an N80 (gave up my N60 - nice camera, great pictures) to get deeper into SLR photography. The N60 lacked some basic features, like a shutter cable connector). My second roll of film (B&W taken with the N80) finally shows some promise for me as a photograher. I wasn't too confident in my camera or me after viewing the first roll (B&W)from my N80. Some of the pictures looked like crap, although some looked pretty good.
I have been reading about the Zone System and grey cards to improve my exposure settings. A couple of questions come to mind?
- sounds like I have a chance to use the spot metering. Books always show a reflective meter and spot meter together.
Is the N80 spot metering as good as those hand held specialized spot meters you see in photography books? I assume so, why wouldn't it be. Are those hand held meters necessary anymore?
- I'm a bit confused about the grey card thing. I understand that a snow filled scene will cause an underexposed picture because the camera doesn't know it's snow and thinks the scene is brighter. I'm supposed to increase the exposure. I'm having difficulty applying this to ordinary scenes. Does matrix metering help here? I realize practice, experience and knowledge will help me understand... but for now, I'm looking for some short-term guidance and/or examples to help me understand.