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View Full Version : SLR exposure compensation in manual mode



RUTch
14th April 2004, 18:49
Question
I used exposure compensation for several shots in the manual mode but they all look exactly alike. What's wrong?

Answer
If exposure compensation is set when using the D1X, N80, F5, D100, and other automatic SLRs in the manual exposure mode, the actual aperture and shutter speed settings do not change as they do if one of the automatic exposure modes is selected. Instead, the metering scale in the camera's LCD readouts will be shifted by the amount of compensation set, and the photographer must then readjust the aperture and/or shutter speed setting to bring the meter back to the "0" indication to actually achieve the compensated exposure.

To illustrate this, assume you have set f/11 and 1/125 second and the meter scale indicates 0 for correct exposure. If you then set +1 EV compensation, the scale will move 1 EV to the negative side (because the current aperture and shutter settings are now one stop below your desired exposure). Therefore, to achieve the compensation in the actual exposure, you will need to open the aperture to f/8 or reduce the shutter speed to 1/60 second to bring the meter scale back to 0.

Although it is possible to use the exposure compensation feature in the manual mode, it is more practical to use it with the P, S, or A modes because the camera will make the exposure adjustment automatically. In the manual mode, it is much easier to simply shift the aperture or shutter speed by the desired amount directly if you wish to deviate from the metered exposure.