I was just thinking today - I never use CW metering. My first Nikon an F 501 only had CW, but these days I use Matrix as a default, and the function button switches to Spot. I'm not even sure what I'd use CW for these days. So, what about the rest of you?
Sun 22-Apr-12 04:22 PM | edited Sun 22-Apr-12 04:23 PM by grizzly200
About like you--matrix usually, and spot for high contrast situations where I need a certain something in the frame in perfect exposure. Never center weighted--I have used center weighted metering in cameras for 40 years--because it was all I had--what there was in most SLR's I owned.
The 60/40 center weighting in my FM was OK in most situations, but I used a hand-held spot meter much of the time, or took an overall reading on the subject and compensated mentally for what I actually wanted exposed perfectly. Then I had to hope that when Costco or somebody developed my negatives, they would come out the way I wanted them.
I use center-weighted metering with aperture priority or manual exposure most of the time, and spot metering when the occasion demands. I was somewhat unhappy with the fact that at times matrix metering recommend very different exposure when I changed the composition only slightly. I guess I have grown so used to center-weighted metering that I am more confident that I can better predict the resulting outcome. I find that I make fewer exposure adjustments with center-weighted metering than with matrix.
I do use matrix metering for certain situations - such as when I want to use the camera in the full-auto Program mode while chasing my grandchildren around in the park where lighting can vary significantly (and the kids move pretty fast). Under these circumstances I don't want to take the time to think about each shot. But I still capture in raw + JPEG so that if I happen to get a really good image but I don't care for the exposure chosen by the camera I have the raw file to give me a little better chance of rescuing the image.
Matrix Metering is not the "end all". And it can produce some crazy results. I think by default,on the D300 at least, that it shoots quite hot, prone to overexposure. Lately, I have had some nice results with center weighted metering, picking the exposure I want, locking it is, recomposing, and shooting. For portraiture, this works quite nicely.
I mostly use spot metering when I do bird photography (most of what I do with my D300s...). I find that this is what gives me the best result, but I do need to adjust my exposures to each bird. I mostly do some bracketing around the "perfect" exposure according to the camera.
I did not feel yet the need to adjust the metering system (b6); I will eventually resolve myself do that, as I find that the "perfect" exposure often leads to some under-exposition.
I mostly use center weighted with an occasional spot metering for the difficult subjects. My experience with Matrix has been disappointing to say the least. Every time that I have shot important, as in once in a lifetime subjects, the Matrix metering exposes for the highlights and everything important is nearly black. this is the case on both my F100 and my D200, bummer.
Papa Smurf says that life is uncertain, eat dessert first!
Sun 29-Apr-12 09:27 PM | edited Mon 30-Apr-12 09:26 PM by RWCooper
Although I probably use matrix metering the most I have the function button set to spot meter, which I use in difficult lighting conditions. I don't think I've ever used centre weighted except to try it out.
In the past, almost always center weighted. To me it is more predictable. Recently I have used matrix more often. I go back and forth. I tend to use center weighted in high contrast situations (as I have a better feel for the +/- EV adjustments) and matrix for most other times.
Really I use whatever setting is selected as I often forget to check.