D800 Illogical behavior in manual exposure mode.

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by blumesan, Jun 12, 2013.

  1. Suppose I am using a hand held meter to set exposure. I would ordinarily set the camera to Manual exposure mode, and set aperture and shutter speed according to my meter. Now, after doing so, I wish to have the freedom to alter either the shutter speed or the aperture while retaining the same exposure. I am using a (chipped) Nikkor AF lens, not one without "cpu"
    Easy, right? Just use the AE-AF Lock button (set to lock only exposure) and Bob's your uncle.
    Not so fast. In the wisdom of the Nikon programmers setting AE Lock does not lock exposure in Manual mode. If there is a logic to this behavior it escapes me.
     
  2. You've confused me, Mike. Which isn't, admittedly, very difficult.

    Just to clarify: you have auto-ISO on, or off?

    With auto-ISO on, I'd expect AE lock to work based on what the camera's meter is reading, irrespective of what your external meter did.

    With auto-ISO off, I'd expect AE lock... well, I'd expect it to remember whatever the exposure value the meter was pointing at when you pressed the AE lock button, and tell you where your currently selected exposure was relative to that value. I'm not sure what this has to do with setting aperture and shutter from an external meter.

    I always considered AE lock to be a "remember the value you're currently metering" button. But I'm not currently within reach of my camera. Does it do something else? Were you expecting it to remember the exposure value that you told it to use in some way, irrespective of what the meter said? (It's an auto-exposure lock, not just an exposure lock.)

    Dare I suggest that it sounds as though you want program mode, using the exposure compensation to get the camera to pick some values that match your meter reading and using program shift to pick different values? You'd still have to AE lock, since there's no way to give the camera an absolute EV value and tell it to adjust from that starting point, so I appreciate that it's inconvenient.

    I'm not sure I've understood what you're trying to do, though.
     
  3. In the wisdom of the Nikon programmers setting AE Lock does not lock exposure in Manual mode.​
    Why on earth would you expect the camera to lock exposure when you are in manual mode - i.e. have chosen to ignore or at least modify the exposure metering the camera is doing? Exposure lock is not an "lock EV and let me chose equivalent shutter speed/aperture combinations".
     
  4. I do detect some illogical behavior here, but it's not by any Nikon employees.
     
  5. pge

    pge

    I always though of Manual as exposure lock in and of itself.
     
  6. It sounds like you really want to be in A or S mode. M in for Manual - you have to set both yourself, else it wouldn't be M.
     
  7. Is it really confusing to open the aperture and then raise the shutter speed or vice versa??
     
  8. I'm guessing your after an EV lock...where in Manual, if you lock EV and twiddle the front (or rear) dial and the shutter will change and the aperture will change to keep EV the same...Equally twiddle the other dial and the aperture will change and the shutter will change to maintain EV. I can see what you mean, I've just never wanted to!
    There was a thread recently about exposure compensation in Manual Mode, but I can't seem to track it down without some more go-juice!
     
  9. I'm quite sure my D300 and D700 behave the same, so it's got nothing to do with the D800. And yes, the lack of logic here is not with the Nikon engineers. A and S mode exist to do what is wanted. Or you enable Auto ISO, and then you can shoot in M, change the shutter or aperture and the ISO will be changed automatically to keep the same exposure value.
     
  10. Let me clarify what I think Mike is wanting to do (Mike, perhaps you can confirm or correct?):

    1) Take an external meter reading, ignoring the camera's internal meter, and use it to set the absolute exposure by using manual mode.
    2) Dynamically adjust aperture or shutter and have the camera adjust the other to maintain the selected exposure.

    As t'other Mike says, it's an EV lock rather than an AE lock. What's built into the camera will only do automatic adjustments based on the meter reading, not on the EV that you tell it.

    Nikons don't have an obvious way to do this. The trick is to get the internal meter to agree with the external reading that you've got, probably by pointing it at something and applying exposure compensation. I don't think I've ever checked to see whether AE lock persists across a mode change, but if it works, I'd set the shutter and aperture that your meter specify in manual mode, AE lock, apply exposure compensation until you match the settings you want (it would help if what you pointed the meter at was within the ball park of your external meter), then switch to program mode and use program shift as desired. Without trying it, I couldn't say whether it would stay that way across multiple exposures or whether you'd have to repeat the process for every image, though.
     
  11. Before the AE cameras nobody would know what to do with AE lock.
     
  12. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    AE lock stands for auto exposure lock, auto exposure. When you choose manual exposure, why should it be surprising that the auto exposure lock doesn't apply?
     
  13. Mike, have we scared you off? Have we misunderstood? (I can see the merit of what I think you're trying to do, for what it's worth.)
     
  14. As has been said many times now, there's no automatic way of doing this. The D800 isn't a Hasselblad, Retina IIIc, Werra 3 or any other of those cameras with an EV shutter/aperture link. However, it's very simple to implement manually on a D800. All you need to do is listen to, or feel for and count the clicks on the finger and thumbwheel controls. A click on the front finger wheel will change the aperture, and a click in the same direction on the back thumbwheel will apply a compensatory adjustment to the shutter.
    For example, if you have the menu option set to 1/3rd stop exposure intervals with control wheels un-reversed, then 3 clicks clockwise on the front finger-wheel and 3 clicks clockwise on the rear thumbwheel will have adjusted the aperture smaller by one stop and made the shutter speed longer by one stop - easy! With a bit of practise you can probably roll both finger and thumb together quite quickly to keep the adjustment steps in sync. In any case it ain't rocket surgery to memorise that 1/250th @ f/8 gives the same exposure as 1/500th @ f/5.6 and 1/125th @ f/11, etc. Or you can just read the combinations off the handheld meter.
    FWIW, if you've ever used a camera with a mechanical linkage between shutter and aperture they can be most frustrating. When you do want to alter the exposure you have to deliberately decouple the controls, which in most cases is fiddly and wastes precious time that could be better spent getting the picture you want.
     
  15. RJ: I'm now intrigued that cameras with this functionality exist (and that Mike wasn't making up the need)! I'm off to read a 'Blad manual.
     
  16. Andrew, its not only in film cameras. Some Pentax DSLRs have a "Hyper Manual" mode which does exactly what Mike described.
     
  17. They could implement another mode in which the front wheel will set an EV number whatever your hand held meter indicate or you want to. The rear wheel will shift the shutter speed and aperture.
     
  18. I own both a digital Hasselblad and a D800 and also a hand held meter. The Hasselblad can have its exposure locked on manual mode. The button it uses is labeled AE-L. What is annoying about the D800 is that when you press its AE-L button, the lock signal is displayed in the viewfinder but nothing is locked. The idea of locking a manual setting is a very reasonable and useful mechanism when using a hand held meter. Nikon, please explain in detail why the lock signal is displayed when in fact the D800 is not locked.
    Allyn
     
  19. Oddly enough with the latest state o the art 36Mpxl Nikon D800 you are seeking to teach it a very old manual camera trick that the film era Hasselbald V-series excelled at.
    1.Take external meter reading to get an EV value at some shutter and aperture combination, whatever you want.
    2 Dial that EV value into the (Hasselblad) lens.
    3. Lock in that EV and with both the shutter ring and aperture rings (Hsselbald) in synch so that same EV value is obtained by cycling thru the various shutter/aperture combinations that achieve the desired EV value.
    4. Buy a Hasselblad V-series camera and your wishes will come true.
     
  20. It seems that the confusion goes on, besides Shun already said what the AE-L button is supposed to do.
    If you set your camera to Manual Mode it means you have to set both the Aperture and Speed and those stay fit until you change them manually, therefore it makes no sense to push a button to lock a value for the Aperture, as this is already "locked".
    As much as I know, with Nikon cameras the only way we have to do what the OP wants is in Program Mode, that allows you to change either the value of the Aperture or the Speed and keep the Exposure Value (EV) as when you change one of them the camera's software adjusts the other.
    When we use an external meter (and providing we have the camera calibrated in a way to match its readings) we cannot set the Exposure Value directly on the camera and we have to adjust both the Aperture and the Speed in a way to get the equivalent value.
    The only way to set the external reading directly is to use the meter with a fixed value for one of the variables and have the same value on the camera, thus adjusting the other after getting the meter's reading.
    Someone referred the Hasselblad. I don't know how the digital models work but in the old Hassy lens we had to set the EV and this would give paired values of Aperture/Speed that allowed you to change, either to a particular Aperture or a Speed within the limits fixed by the hardware or the film sensitivity. (I noticed that John has posted a detailed explanation for this procedure)
    I'm afraid we cannot demand the AE-L button to perform this function or blame "the wisdom of the Nikon programmers" because they didn't provide a facility that would change the idea behind Manual Mode.
     
  21. Well first of all I am heartened by the number of responses; and many thanks to all for your replies.
     
    To understand where I am "coming from" you need to consider that I am old (in years, if not in spirit) and a bit of a Luddite. I have been squeezing the shutter, on one kind of camera or another, for the past 70 years. In my lexicon photographic exposure is determined by the combination of aperture and shutter speed, which is often expressed as a numerical value (EV). When I speak of locking exposure, I mean setting the camera such that the EV remains unchanged while still having the option to alter one or both of the determinants. For many years now there have been cameras smart enough to make reciprocal changes in one determinant automatically in response to the user manually altering the other.
     
    My first SLR was (and still is) a Contax RTS II. That camera is capable of implementing "autoexposure" in aperture priority mode. It also has what is described as an AE Lock which, as some of you have suggested, should more properly be termed an EV Lock; that is indeed how it functions.
     
    Let me bore you with a scenario where, using this camera, I find this function most useful. I wish to photograph a scene where the background is quite bright relative to a rather dark foreground. I know that just framing the scene as I wish it to appear will result in the camera's exposure meter selecting an EV that will seriously underexpose the foreground (where there is detail I wish to capture). My simple solution to this problem is to point the camera downward such that the dark foreground occupies most of the frame. Now I "lock exposure" to that EV, and when I reframe to include the bright background, the camera does not re-meter the scene; the foreground remains properly exposed. But wait, there's more: If, just before pressing the shutter release, I realize that my aperture was too large to provide the desired DOF, I can simply change the aperture. Since the "exposure" is locked, the camera will automatically alter the shutter speed such that the exposure remains unchanged. Neat! huh?
     
    So when I was dragged, kicking and screaming, into the world of digital photography, imagine my delight at finding my DSLRs would function in the same way (well, most of the time). With a D700 or D800 set to Aperture Priority mode I can exactly duplicate the scenario described above. When I hit the AE Lock button it does indeed lock the exposure. By so doing I am instructing the camera to cease its autoexposure function (Auto-exposure lock). At the same time the camera does store the current EV (as determined by the camera's exposure meter) in memory; thus EV Lock. Using this stored value, the camera will automatically adjust the shutter speed to preserve this EV in response to any change I make to the aperture. Although I haven't tried it myself, I assume an analogous behavior would obtain when shooting in Shutter Priority mode (which is a function that was implemented only in later generations of film cameras).
     
    It is perfectly clear to me that, by selecting Manual (exposure) mode, I am effectively telling the camera "do not autoexpose"; I will set the exposure parameters myself. Does it require a great stretch of the imagination to understand why I find it illogical that the function of AE Lock should be completely preempted by the selection of manual mode. Judging by the behavior in Aperture and Shutter priority modes, is it not a reasonable extension to expect that, also in Manual mode, the camera will commit the (manually set) EV to memory and thus allow automatic reciprocal adjustment of the shutter speed when one changes aperture; and vice-versa.
     
    I am well aware of the various work-arounds, which many responders have kindly suggested, to accomplish the same result. While I am certain I have not been prevented from capturing a potentially prize-winning photo because of this limitation, as the software is now configured AE Lock has no function whatever in Manual exposure mode. (Like tits on a boarhog, as my uncle used to say.) So I am not reluctant to suggest the software engineers overlooked an oportunity to improve the flexibility of the camera. And, as some of you may know, I am still pissed at these same engineers for removing trap focus on the D800.
     
  22. Ok, Mike, Manual exposure mode makes the camera work, just like an old F2 etc. Exposure is only controlled by adjusting your aperture and your shutter. There are also ev +- adjustments you can make, but leave those aside. AE lock IS completely pre-empted by manual control. Think it through. When in manual mode only you can change the shutter speed and the aperture. The camera no longer does that. You have to go into a mode where the camera, controls either the shutter or aperture or both such as Aperture Priority, or Shutter Priority or Program, etc. That's where the "auto" in the AE button comes in. So then when the camera meters the scene, ie you point the camera down at the foreground in your example, and press the AE lock (also, sometimes you have to make sure its been assigned that function in the controls settings menu, but I think that its the usual default setting) it will lock your exposure for you. You HAVE to be in one of the automatic modes for that to happen. So in your scenario, if you meter on the foreground where its much darker then the background and set your camera in manual. You've locked the exposure. Your camera is going to expose the same way no matter where you point it. it may be the wrong exposure, but it will be locked. Hope this helps.
     
  23. Barry, and others-
    Perhaps my OP was a bit misleading. I was not asking a question; I know how this camera works in all its modes. If anything I was engaging in a sort of "rant" because the engineers, in their wisdom, elected to completely disable AE lock in Manual mode. I thought, and still think that this was both unnecessary and illogical. They could easily have programmed it so that AE lock functioned as an EV lock in Manual mode, just as it does in Aperture and Shutter modes.
    Anyhow, thanks to all for your responses.
     
  24. Why on earth would you ignore the colour matrix metering that's in the camera and go for a manual light meter. Nikons meter is state of the art. If you want to jack around, set ISO to an agreed value...say 800, and then set your aperture and shutter speed accordingly. But even better, choose P mode and let the camera suggest a range of EV combinations.
    If you want to shoot manually and use a hand held light meter (not a flash meter), you are wasting the technology in your $3k+ investment.
     
  25. If you want to shoot manually and use a hand held light meter (not a flash meter), you are wasting the technology in your $3k+ investment.​
    Not necessarily.
    I disagreed when Mike questions Nikon programmers' wisdom because what he is asking for is a new facility that no other brand in the DSLR market seems to offer, and when it comes to this kind of stuff the decisions start at the strategic and marketing levels of the companies.
    Matrix has a huge database to evaluate a lot of different lighting situations offering the best guessed exposure for a particular shot, this can solve the problems of most users but what Mike seems to want is to expose his (or some of his) shots according to his own rules to get a specific result and he considers it better to use an external meter than the spot reading performed by the camera (I suppose that people using the camera's spot metering are not technology wasters and there is a reason why pro models keep that mode).
    What Mike would like to have could be solved via the AE-L or any other programmable button allowing the direct input of EV values to the camera when in Manual Mode, and it would be a nice feature providing it could be easily switched on and off. However, I doubt that at present time and market situation the decision makers find it as a selling argument strong enough to justify the development and implementation costs.
     
  26. Dear Francisco! When I use a film camera I would never use matrix metering because it's wrong most of the time for color negative film. With digital it's good but with digital I prefer not to use any meter at all. But then again that's me I have my own way and there is no wrong or right way. You can not criticzie Mike for not using the camera built in meter and YES the cost of the metering system in the camera is minimal.
     
  27. Hi There,
    Just a comment on what the AE lock button does, a number of people have said that it does nothing in manual mode. Of course it does in the words of a TV add 'exactly what it says it does'. It locks the exposure reading, the meter still operates in manual mode as you know and if you press AE lock the reading is locked even if you point the camera at a different scene.
    Also AE is of course short for Auto Exposure so you wouldn't really expect it to do much when the camera is set to manual rather than an auto mode.
    If you are using an external meter lots of those do have EV lock, I have both Minolta and Gossen meters that do so why not play with the setting on that and then transfer them to the camera.
    Of course for those of us who remember the minolta 9000 you could meter with a Minolta meter and then transfer it directly to the camera without having to adjust anything on the camera!!
    Simon
     
  28. For what it's worth, AE lock does (at least, I believe - my camera isn't in front of me) "do something" in manual mode. It locks the metered value relative to which the camera is telling you about your exposure (i.e. whether it thinks you're under- or over-exposed). This is useful if you're using the internal meter: you can lock, relocate, and adjust aperture and shutter while looking at the in-finder meter. It is, of course, even more useful in auto-ISO manual mode, which is how I usually shoot.

    I can understand the separate need for an EV lock, and the merits of external meters. (II was recently looking for one, in fact, but ones with a one-degree spot still seem to be expensive; if I had one, I may have found this problem.) It is kind of interesting that Nikon can't do that (except by "priming" the internal meter). I'll add it to the list of if-I-ever-get-to-tweak-a-BIOS things to do.

    I've not had the chance to read a manual yet, but if Hasselblad really called an EV lock an AE lock (and from what I can find, the H system AE-Lock does the same as the Nikon one and locks the internally metered value), that's confusing. Different functionality, should have a different name. I'll go and read a Pentax manual. (The only Pentax I own is an original 645, and I probably never used its lock.)

    Simon: I am confused as to why a meter would have EV lock. Locking the meter reading, yes. Manually telling an external meter what EV to work with seems a bit redundant. But maybe I've misunderstood. The Minolta 9000 trick sounds cool! (I wonder if there's enough functionality on the Nikon 10-pin socket to allow the same thing to work with an external meter. Maybe there already is one.)
     
  29. Andrew I don't think Hasselblad would call it AE lock because the EV feature was available back when all Hasselblads were manual cameras.
     
  30. I've learnt something from here and here. It would appear to be labelled AE lock because, in automatic aperture modes, the currently set EV value will be what the meter has selected (because it will be adjusting either shutter or aperture to compensate for what you're doing to the other setting). It actually locks EV, since you can also set the exposure manually (in manual mode).

    It's definitely not trying to do the same thing as the Nikon approach. I believe it's useful, but I'd make the reverse argument that you can't lock a meter reading in manual mode and still adjust relative to it, as you can with Nikon.

    I had no idea that Hasselblad C lenses have the aperture and shutter speed rings mechanically coupled (peering at p.39 of a 500cm manual online). That's kind of a cool solution to implementing program mode mechanically; kudos to them (though I'm not sure how automatic exposure works with them). It helps if you have a leaf shutter, of course. Now I want to play with one. :)
     
  31. Andrew, Yes, the Hassy 500, 501 503 and probably other models have that feature built on to the lenses. Its quite cool but also a somewhat slow system in that its all manual. Whether you get your EV reading from a add on metered viewer or from your hand held meter, you then set the ev on the lens ring and that sets up your equivalent exposures on the other rings. You can turn the shutter speed and aperture rings at the same time, you can even "lock" them physically, but the lens rings are such that there's a spot you grab them and they turn together. So there's 3 rings on the C lenses. But its all physically built manipulation of the lens, as you know, no auto functions on the all manual babies. You should pick up a used one. 80CF lenses are the normal and also usually least expensive yet amazing lens. The 50 is also legendary.
    After Mike's last explanation of what he wants. It seems a valid request He doesn't want to rely on the camera's metering but just wants to lock in the equivalent exposure so if he holds the lock, when he turns either shutter speed or aperture, they will maintain their equivalent exposure to each other. Of course for it to control both, you have to use modern lenses, don't think it could work on AI or AI/S where the camera can't control the aperture.
     
  32. Barry: I'm tempted, although sadly they still seem to cost a lot. Probably slightly less than a Rolleiflex, though, and that would be the my alternative for "leaf shutter silent" 6x6 shooting. Though I don't know how soon after the almost-silent shutter release the mirror comes crashing down (my Pentax 645 scares wildlife, though the motor drive doesn't help). I'd really like a 617 or a Mamiya 7, but alas I have to finish paying off my D800E first! (I'm also thinking 5x4 at some point.)
    Of course for it to control both, you have to use modern lenses, don't think it could work on AI or AI/S where the camera can't control the aperture.​
    Mutter. (See recent thread.) Oh, my D800 will be so much (more) wonderful if I get to hack in all the BIOS features I'd like...
     
  33. Page from Contax RTS II manual:
     
  34. Page from Contax RTS II Manual:
    More later.
    00bjzK-540794484.jpg
     
  35. @ Andrew: Hassy is loud, at least to me. Mirror and the internal baffles opening and closing. Now the Mamiya 7 is another wonderful camera and it is very quiet and light and the lenses (mostly) are great. I want the 43mm but it is more expensive than my whole kit. Most of us have to pace our acquisitions. I use the Mamiya much more than the Hassy, but I wouldn't get rid of it.
    @Mike: Yep.
     
  36. For what it's worth, AE lock does (at least, I believe - my camera isn't in front of me) "do something" in manual mode. It locks the metered value relative to which the camera is telling you about your exposure (i.e. whether it thinks you're under- or over-exposed). This is useful if you're using the internal meter: you can lock, relocate, and adjust aperture and shutter while looking at the in-finder meter.​
    Andrew,
    You are correct (almost). I concede that the AE Lock does function in Manual mode. As you say, it locks the currently metered value (as shown by the VF exposure meter). If one then reframes the shot, the VF exposure meter will not change with any change in lighting. Any changes one then makes to shutter or aperture will be displayed by the VF exposure meter BUT expressed as a relative change from the exposure established when the AF lock was first pressed. I am not sure under what circumstances this would be useful. In any case this observed behavior certainly shows that, in Manual mode, the locked EV value is stored in order to bias the exposure meter.
    Yesterday I wrote a long post. Regrettably it was long enough to deter many from actually reading it. The important point of that post was to establish that, in Aperture and Shutter Priority mode, the AE-Lock functions as both an Auto-exposure lock and as an EV lock. Thus it is not a great stretch to expect it to function the same in Manual exposure.
    For a moment consider why I might wish the camera to function in this manner. Some of us at times prefer to use Manual exposure mode, for whatever reason. One then sets the aperture and shutter speed by whatever criteria one wishes (hand held meter; sunny 16, finger in the wind). One could then lock the exposure/EV and thereafter be free to readjust either aperture or shutter to suit the demands of a particular shot, knowing that the exposure/EV would not change.
     
  37. The old Hassy has the features but according to Andrew findings the new Hassy doesn't have it because it only work on aperture priority mode. Also your Contax RTSII the AE lock only works in aperture priority mode also and not in manual. And as the AE lock is concerned it only lock a EV that it's pointed to that is you have to point the camera at a light level suited not arbitrarily enter any value (like that of the old Hassy). I understand the value of such a system that's why it's included in very old camera before the advent of auto exposure system. For what it's worth, (I don't know if the D800 works like this) but with my F5 when in P mode and you hold the AE-lock button you can then change the combination of shutter/aperture with the wheel with the same EV value as when you push the button.
     
  38. I am amazed at the number of people who firmly believe that (1) Matrix metering is all you ever need and (2) that new Hasselblads cannot do what the old ones did. I am attaching (I hope) a screen dump from my H4D-60 manual to cover number 2. As for number 1, I feel sorry for you.
     
  39. Now, if I'd noticed Allyn's post before I'd downloaded an H5D and an H2 manual... As his screenshot shows, AE lock does (apparently) work on the current 'blads in manual mode.
    Yesterday I wrote a long post.​
    Pshaw. Not by my standards it wasn't. I promise I read it!
    The important point of that post was to establish that, in Aperture and Shutter Priority mode, the AE-Lock functions as both an Auto-exposure lock and as an EV lock. Thus it is not a great stretch to expect it to function the same in Manual exposure.​
    Indeed: Because in aperture and shutter priority (and program mode) the camera will be matching what its meter says, there is no difference between "locking the selected EV" and "locking the meter reading" in these cases. However, they are different concepts. Hasselblad (who could do this before they had automatic exposure) went one way; Nikon (who had a lockable meter before they could do aperture priority) went the other.

    I think a distinction is that the Contax and the older 'blads didn't have a program mode. The Nikons do.
    Does it require a great stretch of the imagination to understand why I find it illogical that the function of AE Lock should be completely preempted by the selection of manual mode.​
    No, but I hope you realise that some of us might find it illogical that the function of manual mode should be completely preempted by the selection of AE lock. :) Just to clarify:
    Let me bore you with a scenario where, using this camera, I find this function most useful. I wish to photograph a scene where the background is quite bright relative to a rather dark foreground. I know that just framing the scene as I wish it to appear will result in the camera's exposure meter selecting an EV that will seriously underexpose the foreground (where there is detail I wish to capture). My simple solution to this problem is to point the camera downward such that the dark foreground occupies most of the frame. Now I "lock exposure" to that EV, and when I reframe to include the bright background, the camera does not re-meter the scene; the foreground remains properly exposed. But wait, there's more: If, just before pressing the shutter release, I realize that my aperture was too large to provide the desired DOF, I can simply change the aperture. Since the "exposure" is locked, the camera will automatically alter the shutter speed such that the exposure remains unchanged. Neat! huh?​
    As BeBu says, program mode achieves exactly this for you, with AE lock. Shifting the program lets you make the change you want. The difference between the 'blad functionality and what Nikon offers is only that you can't feed in an external EV value and shift it automatically without tuning the meter to match the desired value.
    If one then reframes the shot, the VF exposure meter will not change with any change in lighting. Any changes one then makes to shutter or aperture will be displayed by the VF exposure meter BUT expressed as a relative change from the exposure established when the AF lock was first pressed. I am not sure under what circumstances this would be useful.​
    Imagine putting the Nikon meter in spot mode. Select the area you want to meter (either by waving the camera around or nudging the AF point selector). Lock it. Then move the camera or AF point to where you want to focus, which could be completely different (or moving). You can then fine-tune the exposure while the focus is tracking.

    You could do the same with exposure compensation and auto exposure, but you might be in circumstances where the lighting while you compose is unreliable - perhaps you're trying to balance with a modelling light, or you're trying to catch someone lit by a lighthouse, or you have strobing lighting that's confusing the meter. There are more reasons to do this with auto-ISO (if you think in terms of shutter and aperture settings), and I use this mode all the time, but one can argue whether manual + auto-ISO is really "manual", so I don't want to over-state that argument - though, due to the genius location of the ISO button, I can change mode more easily than I can turn the auto-ISO on and off.

    But even without auto-ISO, maybe you know you're going to run into the limits of the lens aperture range or the shutter speed range that you find acceptable, and want to know how much you'll over- or under-expose the important bit of the scene (which you can try to recover in post). Being able to feed in an external EV reading (to program mode) is useful as well, especially when you don't trust the internal meter, but the functionality that we've got is useful. I don't want Nikon to see the request for "'blad mode" and remove it. Like trap focus. Sigh.

    Getting a match for the 'blad manual behaviour would require a BIOS change, but I just had a quick look at the 10-pin protocol (as of the F90X and the Wayback machine - thank you Mr Hancock) and it appears to be possible to set aperture and shutter via it. So it seems like it ought to be possible to hook an Adreno up to a decent LDR and use it as an incident light meter that sets manual mode for you directly (over a long cable). Theoretically, I just need a better cable - I already have an Adreno and an LDR hooked up to a 10-pin connector (without the data lines connected) as a home-made lightning trigger. Not that I've actually had a storm since I made it... But maybe someone makes one commercially?
     
  40. @ Andrew: Hassy is loud, at least to me. Mirror and the internal baffles opening and closing. Now the Mamiya 7 is another wonderful camera and it is very quiet and light and the lenses (mostly) are great.​
    I belatedly remembered that a quiet shutter doesn't help much with a mirror and baffles the size of a 6x6 - my 645 is bad enough. An advantage of a Rolleiflex (I've borrowed one) is that the WLF and the almost silent shutter mean I can stand next to a table where people are playing tiddlywinks (don't ask) and take a shot without putting them off. The problem is the parallax in framing. A 'blad with a WLF would fix the framing and the pre-release would make the exposure quiet... but not if the mirror crashes down immediately afterwards. I've briefly played with a Mamiya 7 too - a very different style of camera, but also with its uses (and much quieter than the supposedly-quiet M3, let alone my metal-shutter Bessa R). Oh well. The search for a tiddlywinks camera continues... for now, I'm mostly trying to release the shutter after the shot has been played (timing is tricky) and stand well out of sight and noise with a 200 f/2.
     
  41. As you say, it locks the currently metered value (as shown by the VF exposure meter). If one then reframes the shot, the VF exposure meter will not change with any change in lighting. Any changes one then makes to shutter or aperture will be displayed by the VF exposure meter BUT expressed as a relative change from the exposure established when the AF lock was first pressed. I am not sure under what circumstances this would be useful.​
    Well it lets you change exposure value by changing aperture or shutter like you said. I suppose its just another way to change your EV relative to your metered scene. I can think of times when you want to take your basic exposure and add a stop or take off a stop quickly and see how much you are changing it relative to the initial exposure. This is one way to do it manually controlling it by either speed or aperture as you wish.
    But I have to get my D700 out and see what actually happens. Its actually a very useful discussion to me, and I thank you for bringing it up. Outdoors, I generally work in Aperture priority, but do expose and lock sometimes, but I usually set for the DOF or speed I want before I meter than lock it.
     
  42. Andrew & Barry-
    Many thanks for your detailed responses and for understanding, if not exactly concurring with my beef.
    Regarding the suggestions about Program mode; I have an instinctive (and likely unfounded) prejudice against the very notion of giving that much control to the machine.
    Make no mistake, I am thrilled with the performance of both the D700 and D800. Whatever quirks I may find have certainly not hampered my photography (with the possible exception of the absence of trap focus on the D800 :)
    So I will soldier on.
     
  43. Actually, once I understood it, I think your idea is a good one!
     
  44. I do like the feature but I would not call it AE lock.
     
  45. "Why on earth would you ignore the colour matrix metering that's in the camera and go for a manual light meter."​
    Because it will overexpose at the first opportunity it gets! 3DCMM is flaky, unreliable and unfathomable in its operation. My understanding of its working is that it tries to compare patterns of light to a 'memory bank' of similar patterns and find a near match. Sheesh! What a slow and ridiculous way to try and determine exposure. When all that's really needed is an automated system of ETTR with manual adjustment for the photographer's preference.
     
  46. This thread is a bit old, but to the OP’s need or want for this feature, this is something that I have thought about for years. I loathe matrix metering, but in situations where I quickly need to increase the DOF, I have no choice but to use Aperture priority with Exposure Compensation. It gets me in the ballpark, but sometimes the Matrix Metering may put too much emphasis on a highlight that crosses my AF point and it throws of my EXP. Comp. I would much rather have the EV Lock in M Mode.
    See how Pentax implements this Hyper-Manual function about 1 minute into this video.
    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=RjHY5uYHofA&desktop_uri=/watch?v=RjHY5uYHofA
     

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