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37 Comments on "Semi-Autobracketing for HDR – How to Extend Your Exposure Bracketing Series"


Guest
Harry Pherson
2 years 4 months ago

That is exactly what I did a couple of years ago with my Canon 5D MK II which has 3 custom user positions. I was using a Promote device but just couldn’t get around all the wires dangling everywhere. The device worked great for a multiple of reasons but I knew there had to be a better way. Thats when I did my custom function presets for C1 and C2. Now all I have to do is fire off three shots, turn the dial and fire off three more.
Great tutorial as usual…

Author
farbspiel
2 years 4 months ago

Hi Harry,

you’re welcome. Good to hear that this already works for you.

Regards
Klaus

Guest
Leroy Wiley
2 years 4 months ago

It’s only my opinion but it doesn’t need to be that complicated.

– Set the camera to manual and dial in the aperture you want.
– Measure your exposure however you’re comfortable (spot, matrix, etc.) and set your shutter accordingly.
– Lower your shutter by 2 stops (or 1).
– Take your AEB series of 3 shots.
– Raise your shutter by 3 stops.
– Take your AEB series of 3 shots.

Done.

Author
farbspiel
2 years 4 months ago

Hi Leroy,

of course, you can do this in manual mode by turning the wheel for the shutter speed 9 clicks for a 3 stop shift. But that is really prone to error, it takes much longer, and you will move the camera more.

Those are the reasons why I perfer this method over manuel adjustment of the shutter speed.

Guest
Leroy Wiley
2 years 4 months ago

Thank you Klaus. I guess I see it differently, though.

– With your method (YM), you’re touching the camera in between the two AEB series the same as the short method I described (SM). So both methods have committed the cardinal sin. Granted, SM moves the dial nine notches instead of the one or two notches with YM but that’s picking nits.
– I think setting up the camera for YM is prone to the same error you speak of for SM. It’s a similar exposure adjustment. So with either method you must pay attention.
– SM takes longer? Yes and no. There is no setup for SM like there is for YM, so you’ve saved that time. But I think you meant to take the pictures. And SM would take longer to take the pictures. But we’re talking 1 second to move the mode dial for YM versus 3 or 4 seconds to dial exposure for SM. Not a big deal, to me.
– What is a big deal is the simplicity and straightforwardness of the SM method.

To each his own, of course.

Frankly, I do it altogether differently. My camera can do a 9 shot bracket, so that’s different. But I spot meter the brightest part of the image and the darkest. Then set my exposure in between and take the series (3, 5, 7, or 9 shots).

The YM is definitely a valid way to go. And once you got used to it, it would be second nature and kinda slick. I just wanted to offer what I thought was a more straightforward way to accomplish the same goal.

Author
farbspiel
2 years 4 months ago

Thanks for your input, Leroy! It’s always interesting to see how other people work.

Guest
Adrian Evans
2 years 4 months ago

Thank you :)

Author
farbspiel
2 years 4 months ago

You’re welcome, Adrian!

Guest
Chris Button
2 years 4 months ago

I’ve wanted to do more than the standard 3 shot HDR. Your method sounds very interesting. Thanks. I just returned from a trip where I didn’t want to lug a tripod so I hand held my sequences of 3 shots. However, I think for a 6 shot, instead of changing my mode dial, I would be more inclined to leave my mode in “A” and dial up my exposure (1st set) then dial down my exposure (2nd set) because that would mean only my right hand (actually only my thumb) needs to move. With AEB on (full stops), I would set shutter speed to +1EV (thus getting 0EV, +1EV and +2EV), then change shutter speed to underexpose by -2EV (thus getting -3EV, -2EV and -1EV). In total 6 shots covering -3EV to +2EV. I could easily adjust to my composition’s needs +/- to balance out the exposures around 0EV. Thank you for getting me to think like this. Now if I want to go to more exposures I bet I’d want to change that mode dial (and lug around a tripod). :)

Author
farbspiel
2 years 4 months ago

Hi Chris,

you’re right: you can always change the shutter speed fully manual. But as I explained to Leroy in a comment above, fiddling with the dial to increase the shutter speed 3 or even more stops really has its disadvantages.

Regards
Klaus

Guest
Adrian Evans
2 years 4 months ago

have you tried magic lantern software?

Guest
Bob Mulholland
2 years 4 months ago

I use Magic Lantern on my Canon T2i. It makes quick work of bracketing above three photos. Of course the downside is the potential to brick your camera.

http://www.magiclantern.fm/

Author
farbspiel
2 years 4 months ago

I am a Nikon guy and Magic Lantern is only for Canons AFAIK.

As Bob says, when you load that onto your camera, you may damage it such that it won’t start anymore. I guess Canon would not be too happy when you send it in. ;)

Guest
skip knox
2 years 4 months ago

Your right it is only for Canon but it doesn’t actually load onto your camera. It is saved on your cf card and only loads when you use that card. If your camera should freeze up for any reason then you just restart it with a blank cf card and everything is just as it was to start. Just like rebooting a computer. I had mine lock up once because I didn’t remove the cf card like magiclantern instructed me to. I simply restarte4d the camera and good as new. This really is some fantastic software (think of it as an app for your camera) that does many more things than just extend your autobracket capabilities!