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What does the focus area have to do with exposure metering?

One way ahead, I have been taking pictures only with Nikon systems for years, which means I can only relate my statements to Nikons. If you have any other experiences with other camera manufacturers in this respect, please complete this in the comments.

After stumbling over Paddy’s article on the right focus and a bit of confusion on the subject in the comments, I decided to work this up in a short own article.

What should be known to most photographers is the fact that the camera uses only a small defined image section for the exposure measurement during spot metering . Some older cameras could only do this with the middle focus field.
That is, if a subject to be photographed is not in the center of the picture, you should either move the focus area over the subject or, if possible, enable the metering memory before swiveling the camera. So far so plausible.

How does the camera’s metering work in other modes?

In the measurement mode mentioned by Nikon 3D Color Matrix Metering II , one should also pay attention to the correct focus metering field, since this is used with more weight for the final exposure metering. Prerequisite, however, is an activated autofocus, this is off, the focus field is not significant.
special feature of this exposure mode is the combination with continuous (AF-C) autofocus and 3D tracking. This process automatically tracks the focus field when wasting the camera or a moving subject, but has no influence on the exposure metering!

In the “center- weighted  type of measurement , the focus field does not have any effect.

For an optimal working of the automatic exposure systems, the following applies:

  • Spot Metering: Tracking the focus area
  • Center-weighted: The focus area does not affect the exposure metering.
  • 3D color matrix measurement II: Tracking the focus area

Special feature of matrix measurement: In combination with AF-C and 3D tracking no weighting on the displayed focus area!

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