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07-23-2014, 10:36 PM   #1
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How to use the light meter from SLR on DSLR camera?

Hi,
Do anyone know how to use the light meter from SLR era to DSLR camera? Do this got any benefit to our DSLR camera? I'm not familiar with SLR camera either... anyone here mind to give me a lesson? thanks for any comment provided.

Regards
David



The light meter i said is something like this:



07-23-2014, 10:40 PM   #2
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The short answer is yes, old spot meters can be used, since the way images are exposed hasn't changed one bit (except for the fact that the ISO can be adjusted while shooting).

Light meters are simple: you point them at something and they tell you the Exposure Value (EV) number. You can then look at a chart telling you what shutter speed/aperture combinations will give you the correct exposure for your current ISO & EV. Many light meters also include the shutter speed an aperture info on the unit itself.

Edit: after seeing the pictures (they must have been down earlier), you're not going to benefit much from using that with a DSLR. The in-camera meter is more accurate, robust, and convenient.

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07-24-2014, 03:52 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
The short answer is yes, old spot meters can be used, since the way images are exposed hasn't changed one bit (except for the fact that the ISO can be adjusted while shooting).

Light meters are simple: you point them at something and they tell you the Exposure Value (EV) number. You can then look at a chart telling you what shutter speed/aperture combinations will give you the correct exposure for your current ISO & EV. Many light meters also include the shutter speed an aperture info on the unit itself.

Edit: after seeing the pictures (they must have been down earlier), you're not going to benefit much from using that with a DSLR. The in-camera meter is more accurate, robust, and convenient.
That means, it's useless item for our DSLR? Actually I plan to find something that can measure the EV, as I do use the Manual lens which i need to press green button before snap the picture and slow down the process of snaping.
07-24-2014, 04:34 AM   #4
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The pictured items are designed to sit on the mirror boxes and interact with the dials on a specific range of pre-spotmatic cameras. Once the spotmatic came out the cameras all had meters installed.

If you are wanting a vintage model look around for sekonic or Weston lightmeters or for the original Pentax models. They will offer the functional processes you require.



07-24-2014, 04:36 AM   #5
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I think using a separate light meter actually slows you down, you'll have to take a reading then transfer those settings to your camera before shooting. Using your camera, you can eliminate that extra step, as well as having one less piece of equipment to carry. As long as your lighting stays the same, you only have to meter once. If it's changing, what can be faster than hit the green button, hit the shutter button.


Of course, that's just my opinion, I could be wrong!
07-24-2014, 05:11 AM   #6
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I use manual lenses often. I press the green button to meter, it takes literally 1/4 of a second. If I don't like the shutter speed, I change aperture or ISO and meter again. Once I've metered for a subject, I will take multiple pictures without re-metering (you do not have to press the green button every time). My usual workflow is to pick my aperture, guess an ISO, and press the green button. I do this before bothering to properly frame my shot or focus. Now the camera is set, and I focus, compose, shoot, and repeat.

When I get home, in lightroom I almost always notice that many of my shots are off by 1/2 to a whole stop. No problem, I just click the "Auto" button in the develop module, adjust the sliders a bit, and it's great.

If you don't want to use the green button, buy a Takumar lens, put the camera in Av mode, and it will meter constantly..

One more comment, it seems that you are quite new to SLR. There is a book called "Understanding Exposure" by Peterson. It will teach you how to shoot in manual mode using an SLR's light meter. His method assumes there is communication between the lens and camera, so in Pentax world, that means an A series lens. In any case, it is a book with very useful information for learning exposure no matter what mode you want to shoot in.

Last edited by Kozlok; 07-24-2014 at 05:17 AM.
07-24-2014, 05:22 AM   #7
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Possibly using an external meter may give a more accurate reading than the internal meter with Takumar lenses, depending on the camera bodies being used.

07-24-2014, 01:30 PM   #8
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Itís true that the type of meter shown in your photos would be pointless with a DSLR. It can only measure the light reflected from the subject, which is a job that your camera can do much better on its own.

What you need is an incident meteróa meter that measures the light actually falling on the subject, which is something that no DSLR can do by itself.

Hereís an example: letís say youíre shooting a portrait. If you use your DSLRís built-in meter it will read the light reflected from the subject and attempt to set an appropriate exposure, and it will base that exposure on the assumption that youíre taking a photo of someone with grey skin in front of a grey background. But what if youíre taking a shot of someone with very light skin in front of a black background? Or someone with very dark skin in front of a white background? Itís up to you to know that a reflected light meter will probably guess the exposure wrong, and to apply the correct compensation.

With an incident meter, you simply hold the meter in front of the subjectís face, pointing back towards the camera, and measure the light falling on the scene. The exposure will be correct, even if itís a portrait of the proverbial white cat in a snowstorm.

Learning to use an incident meter was the single biggest step forward I ever took in the quality of my own photographyómore important than any camera or lens I ever bought.. As a beginner, youíre in the perfect position to use incident metering from the very start, and save yourself years of guesswork and badly exposed photographs.

Classic film-era meters by Gossen and Sekonic and Weston can be picked up very cheaply these days, and will give you a taste of that way of working. For real-world use with a DSLR, a modern digital meter like a Sekonic L-308 is a better bet. I use the L-308S and recommend it without hesitation.

Last edited by Dartmoor Dave; 07-24-2014 at 01:39 PM.
07-24-2014, 06:15 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dartmoor Dave Quote
Itís true that the type of meter shown in your photos would be pointless with a DSLR. It can only measure the light reflected from the subject, which is a job that your camera can do much better on its own.

What you need is an incident meteróa meter that measures the light actually falling on the subject, which is something that no DSLR can do by itself.

Hereís an example: letís say youíre shooting a portrait. If you use your DSLRís built-in meter it will read the light reflected from the subject and attempt to set an appropriate exposure, and it will base that exposure on the assumption that youíre taking a photo of someone with grey skin in front of a grey background. But what if youíre taking a shot of someone with very light skin in front of a black background? Or someone with very dark skin in front of a white background? Itís up to you to know that a reflected light meter will probably guess the exposure wrong, and to apply the correct compensation.

With an incident meter, you simply hold the meter in front of the subjectís face, pointing back towards the camera, and measure the light falling on the scene. The exposure will be correct, even if itís a portrait of the proverbial white cat in a snowstorm.

Learning to use an incident meter was the single biggest step forward I ever took in the quality of my own photographyómore important than any camera or lens I ever bought.. As a beginner, youíre in the perfect position to use incident metering from the very start, and save yourself years of guesswork and badly exposed photographs.

Classic film-era meters by Gossen and Sekonic and Weston can be picked up very cheaply these days, and will give you a taste of that way of working. For real-world use with a DSLR, a modern digital meter like a Sekonic L-308 is a better bet. I use the L-308S and recommend it without hesitation.
well speak~! You speak out my problems... As i personally not 100% trust the light reading measure when just press only green button, due to always will have 1/2 stop or 1 stop lightning issue. Even focus on bright white object, the thing always went wrong. Before this I'm thinking of using secondary lightning meter , but now just realize the incident meter would able solve my problem.

---------- Post added 07-25-14 at 09:16 AM ----------

@Kozlok you having same issue as me, on 1/2 stop or even 1 stop issue.
07-24-2014, 07:27 PM   #10
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I don't think exposing off by 2/3 of a stop is a big deal. Lightroom fixes it with one click.
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