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NIKON Z SERIES – 2 MINUTE TIPS #16 = metering options on the nikon z6 & z7

#16 & and a liberal interpretation of ‘2 mins’ but it covers an important area of functionality – here we look at the different metering modes to help us get well exposed images.


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  1. Spot metering by pressing and holding the function 1 re-assigned key and re-composing the frame has been my trusty method. But i'm exploring the other modes as this takes a second to do and you don't always have enough time to do that.

  2. Hi Adrian,

    Great tips. Are you using ETTR (expose to the right) for any of your landscape shots? I'm wondering if the Z6/7 highlight meter would have a part in ETTR.

  3. I use Matrix for majority of the pics and when my subject is strongly backlit, I use Spot on the subject and let the highlights blow out. Yes, I lose some part of the picture, but if I have to make a choice in a highly contrast scene, I prefer to have the subject properly exposed rather than trying to pull it from the shadows later.

  4. Coming home to find my package from B&H had been delivered, all the way from the US. Less than 72 hours. Wow. A couple things momentarily unavailable nearby, on the EU continent. Mounting the Sunwayphoto L-plate PNL-Z6 that is not in the way of the FTZ and other things, I now can mount my new Z7 in style: Swiss Arca style. Distracted by the Christmas unpacking feeling, I switched the camera on. Chips, that viewfinder is dark. Oh no, it is on "Manual", at 64 ISO, with 1/200s & f/8 studio flash setting – in a dimly lit studio, hence underexposed. Put camera on "A" and [silence – bam in my mind] it was all fine. In the meantime I am installing new firmware to my Sekonic L-758DR from the software newly installed on the new laptop. The latter with Lightroom (or C1) will be on a tether table with a USB 3.0 cable connection to the camera. Long story short: do I still need these metering modes in all of this context? If there would be one I expect to be using a lot for landscapes, panoramas, it would be the "Highlight" metering one. In camera "Spot" is a bit of pain in the anatomy. The Sekonic meter is profiled for my Z 7 and it "knows" my camera's ~dynamic range (no clipping range). The meter will display metering values separately after these are stored in the metering process. This is sort of an alternative to the histogram, just with the difference, the meter distinguishes the points where clipping starts from formal dynamic range. The "no clipping" range is narrower than the "dynamic range". With "Matrix" (I do not expect Kiefer Sutherland jumping through the EVF) there is a bit of added latency for the computational analysis. My general approach is to switch all "automatic" functions except AF off and meter once – camera or lightmeter – with a couple reference shots of my ColourChecker passport so as to shoot a sequence of shots with identical exposure and white balance setting. Ad hoc light-location-lens profiles, if you like. Saves a lot of work correcting individual raw shots to neutral. BTW pure neutral is not my absolute goal in life (Nikon is extremely good at that, BTW) but it is my ideal starting point for artistic deviation from it.
    Metering has become much better and the Z camera adds to that. I'll have to see in future use how the Z will change my routine. It very well may.

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