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An interesting and alternative method of spotmetering

benherrmann

Fuquay Varina, US
563 posts

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benherrmann Registered since 17th Aug 2002
Thu 19-Sep-02 12:55 AM

To all Nikonians:

I am an avid Nikon equipment user period. I use the F5, F100 - have used the N90, N8008 - and now have the D100. I can't get enough of that gear.

It's nice to have alot of options in metering, but folks I gotta tell you about an alternative system of metering using the spot meter of your camera, that perhaps, many of you have not been privy to. It basically involves you taking a step back in automation, meaning that you must use your spot meter, set your camera to manual exposure, and for many shots, elect to use your manual focus! Many of you might be aghast by now, but please read on.

If you've never heard about an accomplished outdoor photographer by the name of Charles Campbell, you should point your browser to his web site at:

http://www.photonaturalist.com/chromozone/

Chromazine takes the practice of spotmetering to an entirely new level. After much research and empirical evidence, Charles has devised a system of metering - using only the spot meter and the manual functions of a camera - and assigned exposure values and compensation for specific colors. The aim is to allow for perfect -or as near perfect as can be given the medium - photography. For the most part, it takes the guess and "hope" out of photography - particularly in outdoor nature, scenic, and wildlife photography.

And no, it's not a rip off of the zone system for black and white photography first devised by Ansel Adams. On Charle's website he goes on to make the comparisons, and then discusses the limitations of the black and white zone system. He is not trying to "rip off" an already established system - which was confined to black and white photography. I believe he addresses it on his web site. If not, I know he does in his material that is sent to you. What Charles has done is to study the effects of various colors on exposure, and assigns exposure compensation values to them. He has done much research on the subject and has lots of empirical evidence to support that work.

Charles conducts a series of field seminars in various western States year round, but he also sells his Chromazone method of metering through the mail. I believe it's $69.95 or something close. Anyway, after 35 years of outdoor and nature photography, I have embraced this system of metering and have found it be almost foolproof because it involves you making the decisions...not your camera.

I now use the chromazone method of metering exclusively and only use Matrix in scenarios where speed is of the essence. The system is primarily designed for nature and outdoor photography.

I've since turned on many other serious local photo enthusiasts to his methods and they've become believers also.

So if you like using Spot Metering, check out his web site. Read what he has to say and you will be intrigued. The big thing is having a camera that gives you a manual capability option - which all Nikon AF cameras do for the most part, the ability to turn off auto-focus, and a spot meter - which is the biggest key of them all.

I know, I know...I was kind of verbose here. But that just goes to show you how enthusiastic I am about Charles Campbell's Chromazone methods. And noooo, I am not pushing his products, nor am I affiliated with his operation. I just know a good thing when I see it, have tried it, and eventually use it almost exclusively. And hey, all of us Nikonians are constantly trying to upgrade our methods and knowledge, aren't we!!

Good shooting...

Ben Herrmann
Fuquay Varina

Good Shooting...

Ben

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