Light Meter Breakthrough

99.999% of my fellow Nikon D90 users are going to want to punch me in the throat for being so clueless, but I’m a little tickled by today’s lunchtime discovery.

Dad’s camera has a light meter built into it. It’s a 100% manual device and the only electronic do-dad is the light meter. If it reads too high or low, you monkey with the aperture and the shutter speed until the little needle points to the middle of the meter. Without that little sucker in the viewfinder I don’t think I would have been able to do anything with the camera. I have been messing with a light meter app to suggest what settings I should start with, but once I have something setup I can tweak it as I look through the lens.

On my Nikon, I have never had a need for a light meter. I used an Auto function in almost every case. Sometimes I use shutter priority, so I set it to a certain time and then the camera calculates the aperture I need. I never had to figure out the settings for myself. The camera is smarter than I am anyway, so why question it?

Now that Dad’s Pentax is forcing me to actually do things for myself, I was wondering if the D90 could do the same thing when it’s in Manual mode? Turns out it can! There’s a button to set it up right on the top panel. It’s been there the whole time and I’ve never given it a thought. There is also a little digital meter display in the viewfinder. Again, I had never even noticed it. In fact, I want to go switch back to one of the auto settings and see if it goes away (I’ll do that another time). In manual mode though, there it is. Monkey with the aperture or the shutter speed and sure enough it moves around.

Right then, the next time I take the Nikon out for a stroll I am going full manual mode. Well… not for long exposures. I’ll stick to shutter priority for that, but everything else is manual mode!

Jump on this wagon with me, people! We’re rolling to a blurry, under/over exposed future!