In last week’s tutorial we looked at all the controls in 645 Pro. But in this tutorial, I want to take an in-depth look at how to use some 645 Pro’s key functions because by understanding these you’ll be able to take better photos.
The features that I consider to be the most important are the Shutter Release Button, White Balance, Meter Selection, Auto Focus Lock and Auto Exposure Lock. So here we’re going to look at a suggested workflow for using these settings when taking a photo.
The first steps I take are to select the film type and back. Although I prefer to shoot in 6×6, so this rarely changes, but I do switch between the different film types. I also like to work with the Live Preview on, so that I can see how my image will turn out.
First up, I set the White Balance for the scene. By default, 645 Pro uses an Auto White Balance setting. This automatically takes into consideration the different light temperatures in the scene that you’re shooting, such as different light sources when indoors, and evens them out so that you have images that don’t feature any weird colour casts.
However, sometimes you want to capture a certain colour temperature, particularly if you have two contrasting light sources, such as the sun and a fluorescent light. So using the White Button Lock icon in the Control Panel, you can lock the camera to favour just one of these light temperatures.
To do this make sure that the light that you want to expose your image for fills most, if not all, of the viewfinder. When you’re happy, a single tap of the AW-L button will lock that light temperature into the camera settings. In the LCD Display at the bottom of the screen you’ll see the AWD now has a small padlock next to it. To unlock it, simply tap the AW-L button again.
Meter Selection and Auto Exposure Lock
Next, I lock the exposure using a combination of two buttons – the Meter Selection and Auto Exposure Lock. I first switch between Multi-Zone and Centred metering depending upon the scene using the Meter Selection button in the Control Panel.
If there is a dark area that I want to lighten then I use the Centre meter and point the camera at it. The camera adjusts its settings and lightens the image. Then to lock this exposure setting, I tap the AE-L button in the Shutter Panel. A red LED lights up next to the button to show that it is now locked.
If I want a reading for the overall exposure of the scene then I stick with Mutl-Zone metering. Again the technique is the same; fill the scene with the exposure that you want then tap the AE-L button to lock those settings. To unlock the exposure, simply tap the AE-L button again.
Auto Focus Lock
645 Pro uses the centre of the viewfinder to take its focus reading. To use, make sure the centre of the viewfinder is over the area of the scene that you want to shoot. Wait a moment, while the camera focuses the lens, then tap the AF-L button in the Shutter Panel to lock the focus on that area. You can then recompose your image.
However, there is another trick up 645 Pro’s sleeve, in that you can set the focus Point-of-Interest away from the centre of the viewfinder. Simply tap the area on the viewfinder that you want to focus on; a green box appears and the camera focuses on the area its contains. Next tap the AF-L button to lock the focus on that area. Double tapping the viewfinder removes it, while a single tap of the AF-L button unlocks it.
Shutter Release Button
When you’ve done that you’re ready to take a photo by simply tapping the Shutter Release button. However, if you’re in a situation where you don’t have time to go through this workflow then you can set the exposure and focus by tapping and holding on the Shutter Release button.
Point the camera at the area of the scene that you want to set the exposure and focus for. Press and hold the Shutter Release button to lock one or both of these setting (exposure is locked first, followed by focus). Then release the Shutter button and tap it to take an image.
It might seem a lot of steps to go through to get an image, but with a little practice yo can get through them reasonably quickly.
Do you use 645 Pro? What is your preferred method of using the app? Let me know in the comments below.