Nikon F5

Discussion in 'Exposure Discussion' started by Markok765, Feb 24, 2009.

  1. Markok765

    Markok765 Member

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    I know that the color meter in my F5 is very accurate, and handles all different situations. I just don't know 'what' it exposes for. For example, if I shoot a window, or a photo that includes a window, will it expose for the window or for indoors? Should I just use the spotmeter for these situations?
     
  2. eddym

    eddym Member

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    Always assume you are smarter than your meter. It still has no idea what you are taking a picture of.
     
  3. Peter Black

    Peter Black Subscriber

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    Markok765

    Markok765 Member

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    It kind of does, for example if the color meter detects blue on top and green on bottom it will assume its a landscape and expose for that type of photo.
    Peter, I kind of got some information from this, but I think I'll do some test photos first to find out.
     
  5. eddym

    eddym Member

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    Or you may be taking a portrait of a guy in a blue shirt and green pants. As they used to say at IBM:
    THINK!
     
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    Markok765

    Markok765 Member

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    Yeah, but I assume it would also take into account distance information and stuff. For tricky situations I'll use the spot meter.
     
  7. archphoto

    archphoto Member

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    The only thing they did not put into the F5 is an automatic WB........ that had to wait for the digi-area.

    Impressive camera, Congrads !

    Peter

    PS: forget what you learned about auto WB, this setting is an advanced full frame light metering.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 24, 2009
  8. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    Experiment. Find a scene. Mount your camera on a tripod. See how the meter reads differently in different modes.

    I've learned that I can trust my matrix meters in my various Nikon bodies almost all the time. One major exception is snowy scenes. I haven't shot the F5 in the snow enough to know if it's better, but my other cameras shoot best at +1 2/3 stops in the snow, unless the subject dominates the frame.
     
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    Markok765

    Markok765 Member

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    I think the F5 handles snow very well. It is always the correct shade. I'll try out the different meter settings.
     
  10. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    When I got back into photography in 2002, I was thinking between a new F3HP which I had before in the early 80's and was very happy with it or the F5 which has a lots of things I have not used before. My curiousity won and I bought the F5. I wanted to know how the color matrix meter works. With slide films the exposures are good. Sometimes wasn't what I had in mind but the image had a different kind of look and did look good. With negative films it generally underexpose them. I was not happy with it at all. I sent the thing back to Nikon twice for them to recalibrate it. It still does the same thing.
    After a few years of studying its behavior I found out that it's quite smart but it doesn't do what I want. In your case of shooting out the window, it will expose the window (the brightess part of the scene) at about 1 to 2 stops over a let the room goes dark. If the windows is at the point of AF, then it would overexposes less, if not it overexposes more. It keeps the bright part bright but not too bright as losing all details.
     
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    Markok765

    Markok765 Member

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    That sounds like a awesome meter! Keeping all the details in the photo. I have noticed that there are never any blacks with no detail showing from photos with this camera.
     
  12. BobNewYork

    BobNewYork Member

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    As I understand it the 3D matrix metering assesses (?) the different brightnesses, and the relative distance of those brightnesses, in the scene. In addition, it measures the varying colors to identify the type of scene. That done, it apparently compares what it finds to 250,000 or so on-board programmed "images" and picks the most appropriate exposure. I've had no problems with the Nikon metering in general, with some exceptions - like the bright window. It' very cool but you do have to discover and remember what it's not good at.
    Enjoy the camera - forever and ever.................
     
  13. AutumnJazz

    AutumnJazz Member

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    It doesn't actually have onboard images. Nikon just uses a ton of pictures of scenes or whatever to program the logic.
     
  14. tiberiustibz

    tiberiustibz Member

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    All a matrix meter does is sample various areas of the frame for their Light Value and decide where to place them in the final exposure using the Zone System. I believe modern cameras have the advantage of knowing the exposure latitude of the film from the DX coding. For snow, there is a certain light value that only occurs with bright whites in direct sunlight (the brightest naturally occurring value.) The camera then knows to show those as white on the film. Some smart scientists came up with different algorithms that produce good exposures most of the time. The meters can still be fooled.

    If you're shooting average situations, it will meter well. Only if you venture into weird lighting conditions will the meter provide incorrect values. Many times it doesn't know whether you want the light or dark spots of the image chosen. Using the spot meter and a zone system wheel (nifty little things) can help to confirm readings. Most of the time just leave it in program mode and use exposure compensation where you learn it is needed.

    3D metering helps mostly with flash exposure I believe.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 1, 2009
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    Markok765

    Markok765 Member

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    About flash exposure: On my prints from the photo lab, my flash exposures [Nikon F5, 50mm f1.8D, SB 600] always come out slightly overexposed when i am doing portraits. is this the cameras fault or labs fault?
     
  16. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    Through application of TZS you can meter your window, meter your dark room interior and then find out your SBR and make an informed decision. Take your time, Marko. By my estimation you've got another three and a half weeks with this camera before moving on. ;p
     
  17. tiberiustibz

    tiberiustibz Member

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    I think that's hard to tell. I bet if you shot a grey card and processed the film and measured it with a densitrometer it would come back "correctly" exposed. That doesn't mean that yields the correct exposure for some fair skinned subjects. I typically pull back flash exposure. It's inherently a strong flat light in the first place and I don't think potential overexposure helps. Of course if you're shooting negative film it might just as well be the minilab's fault and changing the exposure may not change much.
     
  18. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    your flash exposure is most likely the lab fault. The F5 tends to underexpose flash rather than overexpose
     
  19. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Most likely the photographers fault for not understanding the way automation and flash work.
    If the subject is a small part of the scene, the flash& camera will give exposure for the entire field. If the back ground is dark, it will overexpose the foreground.
     
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    Markok765

    Markok765 Member

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    It was a head and shoulders portrait though
     
  21. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Subscriber

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    The meter in the Nikon F5, like all before and after it, along with those systems employed by Canon, are programmed along the Zone scale and snow should not pose a problem with the F5; it doesn't with the EOS bodies. The meter names are just fancy monikers for dividing the image up into individual luminances then averaging against a predetermined scale or database of several thousand algorithms. If you take the example you have cited, you should aim the camera at an object to either side of the window, lock the reading, then recompose as a test. Then aim the camera straight at the window and observe the result This way you are referring the meter away from the prime illumination of the window to take into account the periphery, where you may want detail. Incident reading of several parts of the scene (shielding the invercone from direct fall-on of light) show the difference. Remember that light coming in through a window will be several stops greater than the ambient light inside and that will be a challenge for most cameras but moreso the limited dynamic range of, for example, reversal film.

    I would lean cautiously to a "second opinion" with the experienced used of a separate meter in scenes where you may have doubts what the camera is going to come up with.
     
  22. f1.4

    f1.4 Member

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    (This may be heresy in an analog film forum, but) one of the quickest ways to learn how the F5 exposure system works under different lightning conditions is to do "dry run" training with one of the better Nikon digital cameras like D2x or D3 that use the same system. The immediate feedback that you get will tell you when to trust the matrix meter for analog exposures, and when the lightning is so complex that you must measure in the shadows (or in a few cases in the highlights) and then make your own decisions. A few digital hours should be enough to understand the F5.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 13, 2009
  23. nicefor88

    nicefor88 Member

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    Actually, the color-sensitive metering of the F5 gives the camera one of the many data and the electronics makes a decision based on that. Other data include distance, lens mounted on the body, light metering of course, mode, speed selected if any, aperture selected if any, etc.
    Nikon "sold" this innovation as a big plus over competition (marketing :wink:). I can tell you from experience that my Leica M 6 is as good in metering as my F5!!
    :rolleyes: