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The lounge Relax, take a break from photo and camera talk - have a chat about something else for a change. Just keep it clean and polite!

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Old 1st June 2012
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Multi-spot metering

The old classic film camera Olympus OM4 Ti had a multi-spot metering facility (as did the Canon T90). I don't think that I have seen any other camera - film or digital - with that capability since then to this day. Owners of those old cameras used to swear by MSM and so I wondered if it is so useful, why none of the modern digital cameras have it. Is it because multi-spot metering is obsolete or simply not necessary?
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Old 1st June 2012
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Lightbulb Re: Multi-spot metering

My Olympus C8080WZ has the same 8 measurement system as my OM4Ti.

I used it regularly on the OM4Ti for balancing the ratio of highlight and shaddow areas of the composition. Most of the time I'd only use a 2:1 or 3:1ratio so the 8 point capability was a bit excessive.

I'd love to see this very simple system re-introduced onto the latest cameras, and I'm sure that Olympus could get one of their super geeks to get the code from the C8080 and re-jig it for the E-Systems...

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Re: Multi-spot metering

I may be wrong but I think I recall Patrick Lichfield in a TV progamme back in the 1980s when he was speaking about the virtues of the Olympus OM4 Ti and its metering and flash sync capabilities were specially mentioned.
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Re: Multi-spot metering

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Originally Posted by Loup Garou View Post
I may be wrong but I think I recall Patrick Lichfield in a TV progamme back in the 1980s when he was speaking about the virtues of the Olympus OM4 Ti and its metering and flash sync capabilities were specially mentioned.
Indeed; the OM3/4 was, and still is, an excellent camera, from which the OM-D takes some of its style. The Off The Film metering extended to realtime control of the exposure and flash. This is something that digital cameras have yet to re-discover and it would be of significant value to photographers, to have a system that can adjust the exposure "on-the-fly".

With cameras able to take 10 fps and video at significantly higher frame rates, it does not seem unreasonable that the system should be able to adjust the shutter duration, aperture to provide for variations in lighting that can occure in long, mixed and multiple flash exposures.

While it would not be used by the majority of photographers, it would probably get as much use as many of the other "Extended Features" that are added to the latest models.
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Re: Multi-spot metering

I always found multi spot less than useful with slide film. Exposure latitude was so tight that I found it better to identify which mid tone I wanted to expose correctly using single spot, use an ND grad to balance the sky if needed and let the shadows look after themselves. A nice touch with the OM4Ti was the facility to lock a spot exposure reading into the memory when using aperture priority - very useful for landscapes in changeable light when you need to react quickly when that all important burst of light comes. The big advantage of using this rather than manual exposure was that it allowed bracketing of the shutter speed in thirds of a stop rather than whole stops. Eventually I found that a hand held Pentax digital spot meter was even more accurate and convenient - to take a fresh spot reading you didn't need to disturb the camera from its precise framing on the tripod.

These days with the E and Pen systems I find matrix metering so accurate that I rarely bother with spot readings unless using ND grads. This is aided by the facility to chimp with the histogram selected, making it quick and easy to dial in the appropriate amount of exposure compensation if needed.
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Re: Multi-spot metering

Interesting comment about the matrix metering John. I've always shied away from using matix myself probably wrongly from what you say. It stems back to my old Panasonic FZ20 where I almost always used central spot metering. It was brilliant on that camera and I just got used to using the spot to get the metering at a particular place in an image and then I'd recompose for the whole shot. When I moved to the E510 I found that the technique just didn't work as well and I was blowing highlights and getting very contrasty and often dark images. Maybe the spot was smaller and more precise metering? I don't know, however, I then moved to the central area metering on the E510 and found it generally does the job. Again using the same technique of metering on a specific area and then recomposing. Maybe I shouldn't work like this but I guess bad habits get fixed after a while.
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Thumbs up Re: Multi-spot metering

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zuiko View Post
I always found multi spot less than useful with slide film. Exposure latitude was so tight that I found it better to identify which mid tone I wanted to expose correctly using single spot, use an ND grad to balance the sky if needed and let the shadows look after themselves. A nice touch with the OM4Ti was the facility to lock a spot exposure reading into the memory when using aperture priority - very useful for landscapes in changeable light when you need to react quickly when that all important burst of light comes. The big advantage of using this rather than manual exposure was that it allowed bracketing of the shutter speed in thirds of a stop rather than whole stops. Eventually I found that a hand held Pentax digital spot meter was even more accurate and convenient - to take a fresh spot reading you didn't need to disturb the camera from its precise framing on the tripod.

These days with the E and Pen systems I find matrix metering so accurate that I rarely bother with spot readings unless using ND grads. This is aided by the facility to chimp with the histogram selected, making it quick and easy to dial in the appropriate amount of exposure compensation if needed.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phill D View Post
Interesting comment about the matrix metering John. I've always shied away from using matix myself probably wrongly from what you say. It stems back to my old Panasonic FZ20 where I almost always used central spot metering. It was brilliant on that camera and I just got used to using the spot to get the metering at a particular place in an image and then I'd recompose for the whole shot. When I moved to the E510 I found that the technique just didn't work as well and I was blowing highlights and getting very contrasty and often dark images. Maybe the spot was smaller and more precise metering? I don't know, however, I then moved to the central area metering on the E510 and found it generally does the job. Again using the same technique of metering on a specific area and then recomposing. Maybe I shouldn't work like this but I guess bad habits get fixed after a while.
Once again we see the advantages of this forum and threads like this. There are so many ways to achieve our desired productions and when people describe their techniques, they provide ideas to experiment with and take on those that work for us.

It also shows how different cameras need to be "learned" in order to work for us the way we want...

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