Problem with D7000 spot metering and SB700
When using my SB700 with my D7000 at night indoors I have been having trouble getting ambient light in the background of my shots to be as bright as I would like it to be. For example, natural light such as candles, chandeliers and twinkle lights end up looking dimmer than I would like them to. To solve this problem and be able to preserve the ambient light better I would like to use spot metering instead of matrix metering to meter for the ambient light and then use fill flash to fill in my subjects. I have used spot metering without my SB700 and achieved great results and have been able to make ambient light appear as dim or as bright as I would like it to be. However, when using spot metering with my SB700 I don't see the same results. No matter what part of the room (the brightest spot or darkest corner) I meter for, the brightness of the ambient light doesn't change at all. Am I missing something? I'm using aperture mode with the slowest shutter speed and highest ISO that I'm comfortable with to still stop motion and get high quality images. I have my SB700 on TTL mode. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
#1. "RE: Problem with D7000 spot metering and SB700" | In response to Reply # 0aolander Nikonian since 15th Sep 2006Sun 29-Dec-13 01:00 AM | edited Sun 29-Dec-13 01:22 AM by aolander
What apertures, shutter speeds and ISO are you typically using?
I don't think spot metering is what you should be using with or without flash. Where ever the "spot" is, the camera will want to expose that area to appear as a mid-toned. If that "spot" is particularly bright or dark, the general exposure will be too dark or light respectively.
#3. "RE: Problem with D7000 spot metering and SB700" | In response to Reply # 1Sun 29-Dec-13 03:17 AM
Thank you for responding so quickly. Spot metering can actually be very helpful when trying to increase the brightness of ambient light in the background, especially after keeping as much ambient light as possible through aperture, ISO and shutter speed and still not having as much ambient light as you would like. It has always been a good strategy for me without a flash and should work the same with flash I would think, but I can't figure out why it's not changing the exposure at all. Because I can choose a darker spot in the room to be the mid-tone, it forces the background exposure to be brighter than it normally would be while the flash would still create the correct exposure on the subject.
#4. "RE: Problem with D7000 spot metering and SB700" | In response to Reply # 3Nick2013 Registered since 21st Nov 2013Sun 29-Dec-13 03:36 AM
What mode is the flash in?
If you're letting the camera control the flash then the camera is seeing a long shutter time for the metered lights and assuming you need no/or very little flash.
If the flash has a manual or auto mode then what you want should be easy.
If you're letting the camera control flash output then metering the lights won't get the background lit.
#5. "RE: Problem with D7000 spot metering and SB700" | In response to Reply # 4Sun 29-Dec-13 03:51 AM
I think I must be confused then. So my flash is on TTL mode (automatic). As you said, "If you're letting the camera control the flash then the camera is seeing a long shutter time for the metered lights and assuming you need no/or very little flash." That is exactly what I want it to do. I want my camera to have a slow shutter speed for the metered lights, making them brighter, and assume that I only need very little flash to fill in the subject. So shouldn't that work then? The ambient light would be bright enough and the flash would be just bright enough to expose the subject correctly.
After reading the article that was recommended to me I think you're right that spot metering isn't the easiest way to achieve what I want to do. Using the camera in manual instead of aperture mode would allow me to adjust the ambient light exposure better. But I still wonder why spot metering doesn't seem to even work when I'm using a flash...
#2. "RE: Problem with D7000 spot metering and SB700" | In response to Reply # 0
This speedlight article from this summer might be just what you are looking for:
Seattle, WA, USA
D700, D200, D70S, 24-70mm f/2.8, VR 70-200mm f/2.8 II, TC20e3,
50mm f/1.4 D, 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR, 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 DX
#6. "RE: Problem with D7000 spot metering and SB700" | In response to Reply # 2Sun 29-Dec-13 03:59 AM
Thank you so much! The article was really helpful. I guess I am going about it wrong. The section titled "Why use Camera Manual when Using Flash Indoors?" makes perfect sense and is actually an easier solution to my problem then using spot metering. I always assume that manual mode will just make things more difficult, but as the article explains the flash will correctly expose the subject as long as it's in TTL mode. That leaves me with the ability to adjust the ambient light by changing my shutter speed instead of having aperture mode decide my shutter speed for me. I still wonder why spot metering doesn't work at all when I use flash, but it doesn't matter now since I have a better solution. Thanks again!