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Why use manual mode as the preferred mode on a D300?

_udo_

Rockwood, CA
200 posts

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_udo_ Registered since 18th Oct 2007
Wed 09-Feb-11 02:50 AM

I suspect this might be a controversial post.

When I started in photography I always worked in manual mode, because that was the only choice cameras of the time offered. Initially I used rule of thumb to come up with the aperture and exposure settings.

Then I got a light meter*. I measured the light coming from the scene, set the shutter speed (or aperture) according to the type of picture I took, and then I set the aperture (or shutter speed) based on the light meter reading.

Next I used cameras with build-in light meters. Same as before, I set the shutter speed (or aperture) according to the type of picture I took. Except that now I let the camera set the aperture (or shutter speed) automatically based on the build-in light meter.

I still use the D300 the same way, with the addition that I look at the histogramme, and based on its position I might dial in exposure compensation. If a series of pictures require identical exposures, I will use the EV lock button.

Except for special situations, I never use manual mode. I don’t see why anyone would use manual mode as their preferred all-around mode.

I appreciate that some photographers just may prefer to use manual mode for non-technical reasons, but I like to hear technical reasons from those who think manual mode should be used as the preferred mode of taking pictures.

* I still have that Gossen light meter. Amazingly, not only does it work 60 years after I bought it., but its readings are close to those of my D300, and it does so without needing batteries)

Udo
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