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Thread: AEL/AFL in Manual Mode? Spot Meter size?

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    Default AEL/AFL in Manual Mode? Spot Meter size?

    I have realized that I haven't been using my camera to its fullest potential, specifically in terms of the options available for AEL and ISO. I decided to test the AEL function today and although it works as expected in aperture priority mode and shutter priority mode, it doesn't seem to work in manual mode. I had the auto-ISO feature turned on and tried to use the AEL button to lock the exposure on a specific area of the scene, but it did not lock. Does this feature even work with manual mode?

    Basically what I want to do is this:

    1) meter a specific area of the scene for the correct exposure value using the spot meter and with auto-ISO turned on in Manual mode.
    2) recompose and use the same exposure settings (locked) to take the photo

    Another question I have is, how large of an area is the spot meter measuring? I've read the spot meter in the E3 is 2%. And the manual says that it is defined by the spot metering area mark in the viewfinder, which I assume is the larger circle in the middle. That circle seems a bit large for a spot meter.

    Any ideas?

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    Default Re: AEL/AFL in Manual Mode? Spot Meter size?

    Quote Originally Posted by aberrantphoto View Post
    ...
    Basically what I want to do is this:

    1) meter a specific area of the scene for the correct exposure value using the spot meter and with auto-ISO turned on in Manual mode.
    2) recompose and use the same exposure settings (locked) to take the photo
    ...Any ideas?
    If you're shooting in Manual Exposure mode there is no need to lock exposure. Where ever you set exposure at it is going to stay.

    I've never tried using Auto ISO with manual mode, or at all for that matter. The camera could potentially set ISO very high for a scene where you'd rather adjust f-stop or shutter speed.

    I set ISO at 200 and leave it there until the scene & exposure dictates a higher ISO setting. I shoot manual mode and select exposure based on the DOF or ss I want. I use spot metering and point the spot at my primary area I want exposed correctly, or an area that's mid-tone. I aim around several areas to see what the range of contrast is, as shown by the meter scale. If the variation is too great I may reframe the shot or change my point of view to reduce one extreme area. I may decide that I want a low key or high key shot, exposing for just one range of light in the scene and letting the rest go white or nearly black. Check the histogram in review to see if you've got any peaks off the graph. Peaks to the left indicate blacks and on the right it is showing there are blown highlights.

    Do a search for Luminous Landscape. They have a good tutorial or article on histograms and exposing to the right.

    I believe the spot meter uses the center SQUARE in spot metering. There's also a normal and fine setting for spot metering. I use normal. You can aim the meter spot at a contrasty scene and see when the meter changes. That will give you an idea of the area being metered.
    Dave in So Cal

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    Default Re: AEL/AFL in Manual Mode? Spot Meter size?

    Dave,

    Thanks for the reply. I understand that in full manual mode there would be no need to lock the exposure, as it's not changing when recomposing, but since I have auto-ISO set, the exposure is changing. I was wondering if there was a way to use the AEL button to lock exposure in this mode with auto-ISO turned on, but I guess there is no way.

    I've read the luminous landscape articles on histograms and dynamic range. They are certainly helpful.

    As for the spot meter measuring area, I would suspect as well that it is the center square only, but the manual seems to show otherwise (the whole center circle is greyed out). Regardless, I'll try measuring a contrasty scene and see what I come up with. On your note about the normal versus fine point, do you mean the AF point? I know there is a setting to use normal or small for that, but I haven't seen an option for normal or fine relating to the spot meter itself. Can you expand on this?

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    Default Re: AEL/AFL in Manual Mode? Spot Meter size?

    Auto-ISO in Manual exposure mode is not well thought out by Olympus in my opinion.
    It disables the exposure compensation function and, apparently also the AEL function. That makes its usefulness pretty much equal to Zero.

    I have never understood why Olympus didn't take it all the way to an ISO-mode, working in exactly the same manner as the A and S modes. After all, aperture, shutter speed, and ISO are the three different ways we can use to set the exposure and with steadily decreasing high-ISO noise of tghe sensors, an Automatic ISO mode becomes more and more an interesting option in some situations.

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    Default Re: AEL/AFL in Manual Mode? Spot Meter size?

    Auto iso is not Selectable on my cameras when in manual. It would be great if it did because once when s set dfor running child and a open all the way the camera would decide at an instant what to choose for changing situations in order to get proper exposure. When panning and running around you just have no time to fiddle with iso settings.

    And in auto iso mode you have to know whats your allowable maximum.
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    Default Re: AEL/AFL in Manual Mode? Spot Meter size?

    Quote Originally Posted by jebir View Post
    Auto-ISO in Manual exposure mode is not well thought out by Olympus in my opinion.
    It disables the exposure compensation function and, apparently also the AEL function. That makes its usefulness pretty much equal to Zero.

    I have never understood why Olympus didn't take it all the way to an ISO-mode, working in exactly the same manner as the A and S modes. After all, aperture, shutter speed, and ISO are the three different ways we can use to set the exposure and with steadily decreasing high-ISO noise of tghe sensors, an Automatic ISO mode becomes more and more an interesting option in some situations.

    Cheers, Jens.
    Jens,

    I've been trying to figure out why it wasn't working, so it's good to get some confirmation.

    I've been trying to wrap my brain around all these custom functions/settings and it's driving me a little nuts. I've always been a strictly manual mode shooter and trying to work with some of these auto features the way I want them to has been frustrating.

    Another thing I noticed is that AEL metering does not work in manual mode either. I think that setting the AELMetering function to Spot Metering Hi and having this available in manual mode would be nice, as you could measure a specific highlight area with the press of the AEL button, lock down that exposure, recompose, and then shoot. But alas this does not work. I suppose I will have to settle for using AEL only in aperture priority or shutter priority modes.

    As far as auto-ISO goes, I could see how this could be useful in any mode if the lighting is constantly changing and the camera is being handheld. I mainly shoot sports, outdoors where the light is constantly changing, so I don't have a lot of time to mess around with exposure settings. I usually have to dial them in quickly and get to shooting.

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    Cool Re: AEL/AFL in Manual Mode? Spot Meter size?

    Quote Originally Posted by aberrantphoto View Post
    As far as auto-ISO goes, I could see how this could be useful in any mode if the lighting is constantly changing and the camera is being handheld. I mainly shoot sports, outdoors where the light is constantly changing, so I don't have a lot of time to mess around with exposure settings. I usually have to dial them in quickly and get to shooting.
    Another place where auto ISO on manual mode is useful is for flash photography. You set the aperture and shutter speed for the flash, and allow the camera to change the ISO and flash light to adapt to lighting situations.

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    Default Re: AEL/AFL in Manual Mode? Spot Meter size?

    It would but Only in ttl mode. I really dont get an option for auto iso in manual mode. Thats why in this scenario i use shutter prioriry at around 30 and flash on 2nd sync. It drives my nuts first preflash because it impacts exposure.

    I think i know whybael is not working in manual - simply because camera is not changing parameters so it cant lock anything it doesnt have any control over. It gives you blinkies for proper exposure ad thats it.
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    Default Re: AEL/AFL in Manual Mode? Spot Meter size?

    Quote Originally Posted by darkesha View Post
    Auto iso is not Selectable on my cameras when in manual. It would be great if it did because once when s set dfor running child and a open all the way the camera would decide at an instant what to choose for changing situations in order to get proper exposure. When panning and running around you just have no time to fiddle with iso settings.

    And in auto iso mode you have to know whats your allowable maximum.
    I'm sorry, that' just nutty. The whole point of manual mode is that you set the exposure parameters which do not change after that. If you want to have the camera adapt to changing conditions, that's what A or S is for.
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    Default Re: AEL/AFL in Manual Mode? Spot Meter size?

    Quote Originally Posted by aberrantphoto View Post
    Jens,

    I've been trying to figure out why it wasn't working, so it's good to get some confirmation.

    I've been trying to wrap my brain around all these custom functions/settings and it's driving me a little nuts. I've always been a strictly manual mode shooter and trying to work with some of these auto features the way I want them to has been frustrating.

    Another thing I noticed is that AEL metering does not work in manual mode either. I think that setting the AELMetering function to Spot Metering Hi and having this available in manual mode would be nice, as you could measure a specific highlight area with the press of the AEL button, lock down that exposure, recompose, and then shoot. But alas this does not work. I suppose I will have to settle for using AEL only in aperture priority or shutter priority modes.

    As far as auto-ISO goes, I could see how this could be useful in any mode if the lighting is constantly changing and the camera is being handheld. I mainly shoot sports, outdoors where the light is constantly changing, so I don't have a lot of time to mess around with exposure settings. I usually have to dial them in quickly and get to shooting.

    Why would you want AEL in manual mode in the first place? The whole point of manual is that you meter the way you want and set the exposure parameters the way you want. You don't need to hold the exposure when you recompose because you already set set it manually.
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    Default Re: AEL/AFL in Manual Mode? Spot Meter size?

    I work on the assumption that manual means manual everything, otherwise its not manual, its semi-automatic. So when I work in manual mode, I set the ISO manually, just like the shutter and aperture.

    As for Jen's comment about the need for "an ISO-mode, working in exactly the same manner as the A and S modes", how would that be different from leaving the camera in auto shutter and aperture and manually setting the ISO to a given value. That would be the same as setting the f-stop in A mode and letting the ISO and shutter float. Or am I missing something?

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    Default Re: AEL/AFL in Manual Mode? Spot Meter size?

    Quote Originally Posted by darkesha View Post
    Auto iso is not Selectable on my cameras when in manual.
    By default this is disabled, but you can enable it. Get into the menu (wrench 1 I think), get to the EXP/ISO setting, and then ISO Auto. By default it's set to P/A/S; switch it to "All" and you will be able to use auto ISO in manual mode.

    However, as jebir remarked, it doesn't seem to work as well as you would expect.
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