how much is the best amount of AEB

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by lamoine_einspahr, Jul 3, 2008.

  1. I have tried several different setting on AEB.
    Pure question for YOU. What is YOUR opinion of the amount of offset of F stop that seems to work best for YOU? I
    shoot raw with the REBEL, but when using the XTI I use JPG because of excessive noise with the XTI. So the
    question then becomes which works best with BOTH modes RAW and JPG? I don't use AEB generally, but when shooting
    images I may not be able to repeat at least soon, I do use AEB. Give me your best results, maybe different rates
    for shadows and backlighting etc.
  2. My 20D and 40D both seem to like about +1/3 or +2/3 for "normal" scenes to get a good ETTR histogram. I generally leave both cameras at +1/3 by default.

    I use other amounts depending on the subject and lighting. In unusual cases I'll shoot a couple of tests to get the best value for the situation (actually, that's pretty much what I do all the time).
  3. Opps, forgot to say I only shoot raw.
  4. I'm no expert. But, I think you said it best: What is YOUR opinion of the amount of offset of F stop that seems to work best for YOU?. I usually start out small: +/- 1/2 stop (5D). Then increase/decrease it until the image is to my liking.
  5. "but when using the XTI I use JPG because of excessive noise with the XTI"

    I'm not sure I follow your logic on that
  6. I leave my metering at minus 1/3 stop most of the time. It depends on what you're shooting, Especially for dark interior or near-dusk shots, a little underexposure makes the scene closer to my perception. I find if left centered the scenes tend to come out brighter than expected. Also, using Photoshop's ACR I find raising levels easier than recovering blown highlights.
  7. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    I am confused by some of the answers.

    I understand the question to be about AEB (Auto Exposure Bracketing).

    When I use AEB, I set the AEB to: minus 1/3 and plus 1/3 stop.

    I set the Drive Mode: Continuous

    I then shoot a manual bracket of plus 1 stop / minus 1 stop.

    The result is a total bracket of nine exposures, in thirds.

  8. I think it entirely depends on your purpose and the nature of the subject. For example, I was taught to make a 5 shot bracket at 1 stop intervals from 1 stop over downward when shooting sunsets with the idea that one of the images may be most pleasing (shooting slide film). If you are shooting an interior scene with an exterior view through an open door you may need an even wider range to cover the different lighting levels, blending exposures using HDR techniques. Spot metering (or partial metering with a longer focal length) can help determine the range you need. Digital allows extra shots for next to nothing, so if you are trying to pick a perfect exposure without using RAW or HDR techniques, you can use a blunderbuss approach as suggested by William. Of course, it will hasten the day you have to replace your shutter, so the shots aren't entirely free.
  9. I'm a bit mystified about the question, I've never used AEB, don't think I ever will. If I have any doubts I take a shot, look at the image, look at the historgram, check to see that what I want is exposed correctly, if not use EC. I generally have the EC set on +1/3 on my 400D, On the 7e it was - 1/3. I try to visualise what effect I'm after before I take the shot so I often manipulate EC but never use the shotgun approach. For important shots I use raw and find this gives a lot of space for manipulation later if it's needed. Shooting jpgs if I need to conserve card space I find the technique I use above keeps the image well within the range of what can be satisfactorily manipulated. FWIW train photographers (my hobby) get censured for using continuous shooting, the purists would surely have apolexy if someone suggested AEB. The purists say you should pop the shutter once just at the correct moment, pretty hard if the trains doing 70mph.
  10. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Blunderbuss approach. . . that made me laugh, I assume it was meant to be funny?

    Yes subject matter matters, agreed.

    I should have been more articulate . . . taking the sunsets, for example, I do not use AEB and yes my sets would most likely be one stop apart . . .

    What I was meaning was that, AEB, (for me), is a more useful tool for fine bracketing, and a very quick method of getting a wide, one third spread, quickly.

    I do not use AEB often . . . for a later selection of correct rendition of many artworks (production line shooting) and latter choice of subject movement / blur when time (light changes) are quick and thus restricting the shooting time: a brook at sunset, in failing light.

    These are two examples that come to mind when I have used AEB: at other times manual exposure bracketing works for me, and, for me it is usually quicker.

  11. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    I wrote: `at other times manual exposure bracketing works for me, and, for me it is usually quicker.

    That should read:

    at other times, WHEN EXPOSURE BRACKETING IS REQUIRED, manual exposure bracketing works for me, and, for me it is usually quicker.

    And, so the record correct: I am not encouraging continuous shooting as a `solve all`, either . . . Correct Exposure, One Shot execution, is fine by me.

  12. >>I shoot raw with the REBEL, but when using the XTI I use JPG because of excessive noise<<

    What do you mean? I didn't notice any excessive noise on the XTi.

    Here's the deal: if you shoot RAW there is a certain amount of levels adj. that can be done WITHOUT increasing
    noise (unless your metering is really off).

    I have never used AEB because I have found my way of metering works for whatever I do. If I really need spot on,
    'no-post-needed' metering I use a hand held meter and use my camera in M mode. At that point, I can safely shoot
    JPGs (if needed) without fear of any problems. Most of the pictures in my folders are taken with the camera in M
    mode using a Sekonic flash/ambient meter.

    If you must/want to use the in-camera meter you can get very, very close to perfect exposures, if you know what
    you are doing, certainly close enough to where any level adjustment during raw conversion and/or post will be

    So, for me, I have never used AEB nor do I plan to ever use it...

    I would suggest that if you set AEB in full stops your metering must be totally off. If, OTOH, you set it to
    1/3 stops that would be well within the adj. you could do in post. So, again...personally, I don't see much use
    for it, especially for digital.
  13. Thanks guys. I believe the consensus to be 1/3 under standard and 1/3 over as the most used AEB. That is what I
    have been using and thought it was not enough, yet 2/3 bracket seemed excessive. A secondary thought comes to
    mind. In the Menu mode, does setting the camera to 1/2 stop instead of 1/3 set the metering to only 1/2 stops as
    well? I actually have three digitals now. the Rebel, XTi and a new 40D. I plan on giving the Rebel to my youngest
    son. He has been using my old A1. I find my copy of the XTi a noisy image camera. As to Bob's question about
    noise, this is my best explanation. While the XTi's JPG algorithm is very good, it produces exceptionally noisy
    RAW files. I decode them with Photoshop CS2 and using the latest Canon DDP does no better. Using the CS2
    luminance smoothing and color noise reduction features softens the image too much for my taste. I must use Noise
    Ninja for all XTi RAW files at 400 and above. 1600 ISO produces very poor images. I had thought about asking
    Canon to look at it, but it works all right in JPG so I leave it alone. The 40D is everything my copy of the XTi
    is not. The images are super fine textured and the metering is the best I have known, and that does not even
    mention the other fine features. For instance, focusing is instant and the IS on both lenses snap into lock
    almost instantly, far faster than either the Rebel or Xti. I will continue to use the XTi on the shorter lenses
    and in the JPG mode where it is a super camera.
    Thanks for the responses! I appreciated it.

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