Center Weigted vs. 12% spot metering

Discussion in 'Canon FD' started by danac, Jul 20, 2021.

  1. Suppose you have a FTBn and an A1 camera as I have. When are the most advantageous times to use either given the difference in metering? I acquired my FTBn recently and haven't had a chance to experiment with it much.
  2. I own a F-1N so can change metering patterns by changing screens. I use the averaging screen whenever the camera is in automatic mode (either aperture or shutter-speed preferred automation). Usually this is when I'm photographing action and don't want to worry about exposure. I use the 12% screen when I don't need automation and want to be more in control of the situation (contrasty lighting conditions). Either system works, once you're used to it, but overall, I prefer the 12% metering pattern to averaging.
  3. I'd use the 12° for concert photography, metering performers faces with stage lights in my frame.
    TBH: I don't care anymore, even with digital aside. The majority of my film beaters is meterless and I rather bring at least 3 than waste time during first 3 songs only, to change lenses. Relying on a handheld meter I know makes premium & bottom SLR + RF in between a wash and switching to bigger cameras easier.
    I guess with them12° you could shootma bride like a groom, metering onntheir faces?
  4. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    IMO the trick with Spot metering, and I use it a lot still, is to wring the result you want out of it by selecting the right place to put the spot. After a while you train yourself. It isn't foolproof, but a learnable part of the photographic skill set.
    laurencecochrane likes this.
  5. My next experiment will involve a landscape photo session using both cameras. I'll make the same image with each, using the A1 as a control and later compare the image pairs. That should give me some indication of how to adjust my technique with the FTBn.
  6. 12% is not exactly what I'd call spot metering. 3% is more like it which is one of the screens for the New F1
  7. I have come to the conclusion that the FTb 12% metering mode is far less effective for landscapes than the meters in my A-1 and AE-1. The landscape practice photos I took were simply terrible. Once again, my only photographic interest is black & white film landscapes. Nature photography and portraits where the subject is backlit seems to be the province of 12% metering but I very seldom ever make those images. I really want to use that darned camera though.
  8. I don't take many landscapes photos anymore, but did so back in my FTb days. I recall treating the 12% rectangle as a spot meter, placing it on a dark area of the picture, and on a highlight, and using a value someplace in-between. Maybe shoot a few more test rolls?
  9. Spot metering can be helpful when you're using the famous "ozone" system. Depending on what you're doing, you can expose for the highlights or for the darkest areas. If the image is to be digitized this can be used in post-processing.

    They all, including incident metering, have their uses
  10. The FTB and the A1 are both great cameras BUT they are vastly different and should not be compared to each other. I used both from the mid-70's to the early 90's. Each had it's own learning curve. Once I learned the particulars of each model I was able to switch between them with little problem. I would advise you to shoot with only one for 20 rolls so as to learn how best to use its features and limits. Then use only the other one for 20 rolls to learn its features and limits. If you try learning both at the same time you likely will become very confused. Each model has its own mindset.
  11. As little use as the cameras get I may not live long enough to expose forty roles of film;). There is a British Car Conclave in Denver this weekend. Over 500 Brit cars and motorcycles will be exhibited. It will be a perfect venue for the FTb. We are taking a trip to Utah next month. The A-1 and AE-1 will go. The FTb stays home. Whenever one of the above gets used careful notes will be taken. I've had the AE-1 for forty-one years now. The A-1 for three. The FTb for a few months only.
  12. Perhaps the best way to learn the 12% metering of an FTb is to shoot a roll of transparency film, like Ektachrome. Transparency film has very little exposure latitude, just a stop or so, and if your exposure is off, you will quickly know it. And as importantly, you'll know how to correct the exposure mistake. Slide film isn't cheap, but a roll or so, may be worth it.

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