I am use to using my Z1U until it stopped working and now with my EX3 I am wondering why the zebra patterns work differently.
I have my zebra set to 80 but when I twist my iris the zebra jumps from one area to the other instead of increasing or decreasing as a whole. In other words, I have they sky and some distant mountains in the shot. There is zebra in the sky and then as I twist the iris the sky zebra disappears and the zebra appears only on the mountains.
What am I to key in at? The sky or the mountains to get the right exposure...
[Roger Bansemer]"What am I to key in at? The sky or the mountains to get the right exposure..."
The sky, because it's still blown out, now more so than the mountains. Since you have zebra bars set to only display one of two, the 80% you have it set at will only show what's at that level. The sky, which initially showed you it was 80% at that iris position now disappears from there and appears on the mountains, which is now exposed at 80% because you've opened up the iris even more. My old Sony PD170 also did this and for the novice this way of displaying the zebras was dangerous if one didn't understand how the darned thing worked.
With the EX3 you have access to two zebra settings. Go to the viewfinder menu (VR SET) and choose to show 2 sets of zebras. Below that set your percentage to 80 and exit the menu. Now the blown out bits will have zebras showing all the time and the other set will appear (diagonally in the opposite direction) when the exposure for that part of the image reaches 80%.
Wow! That's great information. The manual was not clear at all.
I've set the zebras to "both" like you said.
So now if I'm clear on this:
The one set of zebras show it totally blown out and the other set shows me the 80%. Is that correct in my understanding?
And if you'd be kind enough to explain a bit more, why would I need an 80% at all? Why not just see what is blown out and then drop just below that?
Thanks so much for your time.
I've always set my ONE zebra setting to 100, so I know what's about to go into clip (which is usually 105 or 109).
Some folks prefer to use 70 as that's always been considered the proper exposure for skin tone in a key light.
For me the dual setting is too confusing to be effective in the heat of battle.
Do a little experimenting and decide what's best for you.
The only potential issue with all of this is if someone else uses your camera and set's the Zebra elsewhere. Not sure about your EX1/3 but some cameras allow a VF indication of where the Zebra is set too. This is a helpful feature.
[Roger Bansemer]"The one set of zebras show it totally blown out and the other set shows me the 80%. Is that correct in my understanding?"
Correct. You have successfully grasped the concept :-) Use the double zebra bars the way you feel most comfortable doing it but you should also heed John's sage advice. The lower percentage zebras are usually set for exposure of faces but what you set those at depends on the darkness or lightness of the skin. Very fair skin would suggest a setting of 70% but it can also be set up to 90% or so with very dark skin otherwise in those cases (dark skin) you risk losing detail. It all boils down to the exposure latitude of the camera which is how many F stops the camera can successfully retain detail in the highlights and the shadows at the same time. I think the EX cameras with their 1/2" CMOS imagers has 7.5 to 8 stops of latitude whereas the newer 35mm sensor cameras like the Sony F3, F5 etc. can resolve about 12 or 13 stops. As an interesting aside, the human eye can resolve 20 stops.