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10-24-2020, 04:47 AM   #1
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Recommended Light Meter???

Hi,

I am sure this question has been asked a million times over. So forgive me for asking it again.

What Light Meter should I be getting? Do you recommend?

Regards

10-24-2020, 05:25 AM   #2
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I would suggest you are using a film camera? You may get a better response if you expand on this post to include the camera information!
Just my suggestion, Cheers
10-24-2020, 06:03 AM - 1 Like   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by SharkyCA Quote
I would suggest you are using a film camera? You may get a better response if you expand on this post to include the camera information!
Just my suggestion, Cheers
Maybe he want to use it for a studio flash?
I use a sekonic flashmate 308 and can say that the measurement is rather trustful!
10-24-2020, 06:33 AM - 2 Likes   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by bratzmahn Quote
I use a sekonic flashmate 308 and can say that the measurement is rather trustful!
I second that. I use it for everything.

10-24-2020, 06:47 AM   #5
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Don't see the point of a meter these days with the accuracy of camera meters, along with bracketing and post options.

Nor flash meters. Set lights up in manual. Tether and build lighting up.

Maybe I'm missing something?
10-24-2020, 07:27 AM   #6
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If your keen for a light meter the Sekonic 308 is a good place to start.
10-24-2020, 07:32 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by SharkyCA Quote
You may get a better response if you expand on this post to include the camera information!
Just my suggestion, Cheers
+1 If you could please give us a bit more information. Such as: what camera do you have; if it has a built-in meter what about it is not working for you; what subjects you are shooting (makes a difference -- landscape, studio, street, flash); are you shooting at night (i.e. need low light ability); what's your budget; is size and portability important?

Details please!
10-24-2020, 08:27 AM   #8
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Luna Pro S or a Starlite 2 for spot +. Sekonics are great, but I was a Gossen Guy---and I loved my Luna Pro S with the Zone scale.

10-24-2020, 08:39 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by BarryE Quote
Don't see the point of a meter these days with the accuracy of camera meters, along with bracketing and post options.

Nor flash meters. Set lights up in manual. Tether and build lighting up.

Maybe I'm missing something?
I use a Sekonic 308x for metering initial Godox strobe setups and ratios indoor/in-studio fairly often. Bracketing shots at a fast-paced shoot isn't realistic IMO and I already spend too much time in post after a session. I wouldn't consider one useless at all.

You're right about outside ambient lighting where there's probably only few extreme lighting cases for which a handheld meter would be helpful, but still not necessary. Snow always causes problems from what I read and sun glancing off water at a beach shoot gives me fits sometimes. I suppose after another couple of years (or more) of regular indoor portraiture I could reliably guess at the setup and not bother much with the Sekonic but I'm not there yet.
10-24-2020, 09:22 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Harbaror Quote
What Light Meter should I be getting? Do you recommend?
I'm not sure you need a light meter unless you know you need a light meter if that makes sense. There are applications where they are useful but even though I have one (someplace) I don't remember the last time I used it. I find for most situations taking a few test shots with the camera is enough to adjust the strobes as needed. If you have a complicated lighting situation and know how to use a meter I am sure it would be beneficial.
10-24-2020, 10:30 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by gatorguy Quote
I use a Sekonic 308x for metering initial Godox strobe setups and ratios indoor/in-studio fairly often. Bracketing shots at a fast-paced shoot isn't realistic IMO and I already spend too much time in post after a session. I wouldn't consider one useless at all.

You're right about outside ambient lighting where there's probably only few extreme lighting cases for which a handheld meter would be helpful, but still not necessary. Snow always causes problems from what I read and sun glancing off water at a beach shoot gives me fits sometimes. I suppose after another couple of years (or more) of regular indoor portraiture I could reliably guess at the setup and not bother much with the Sekonic but I'm not there yet.
Speed is probably the difference between approaches.

My bracketing and post comment, was for outside shots. Tethering and building the lights up comment was for studio. I wasn't very clear. Sorry.

Thinking studio, my experience for portrait is limited and my models have not been jumping around. Therefore setting the lights and then myself and model assessing the shots on my laptop has, so far, proved a effective way of working. It's maybe too slow an approach for some. When we're over this Covid crisis, I'll be able to pick up my portrait shooting and continue developing my techniques, maybe then I will think about a meter ...

For product/still life shots, there's absolutely no need for me to use a meter as, again, the process is to slowly build up the shot, checking all the time on the laptop. I rarely use more than 4 lights, but with flags, mirrors, reflectors, modifiers etc, the process is naturally slow and methodical.

So maybe speed, and possible complicated portrait lighting, is the difference.
10-24-2020, 10:42 AM   #12
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First decide what kind of measurement you want. Many meters do at least two of them, but often they are really good at one of them, and do you want a meter that requires battery or not. The methods are basically:

-- incident light (aka studio light meter)
-- averaging (broad angle view) reflected light
-- spot (1 degree angle view) reflected light
-- ability to measure flash

The one that does it different from your camera, and is often most reliable if you only want one reading, is the incident meter. I like the Sekonic L398,** which does not use a battery, but it does not work in very low light levels.
_____
** Generally reliable, and a used one for about $60 should be fine.
10-24-2020, 11:56 AM   #13
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If you are shooting available light only, I strongly recommend a meter supporting both reflected and incident measurement. If supplementing with flash, a flash meter may be very helpful. The option to make spot measurements may be useful, but not if you don't know why it would be worth paying more for.

I own two meters, a Sekonic Twinmate L-208 and a Gossen Luna Lux. The Sekonic is always in the bag, even for digital. The Gossen is bulky, but the more capable of the two (excellent low light capabilities).

Out of curiosity, @Harbaror, is there a problem with your K-1000's built in meter? For reflected light, it is as accurate and as sensitive for general shooting as my Sekonic and is also TTL.


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 10-24-2020 at 12:25 PM.
10-24-2020, 12:21 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by BarryE Quote
Maybe I'm missing something?
You might be, particularly in regards to measuring incident as opposed to reflected light. The photo below was taken with my meterless Pentax SV. Note the full detail in the brightly sunlit snow with no highlight blocking. Amazingly, I was able to use my hand-held meter's suggested settings without doing figuring out how to estimate what might work. The magic was measuring the incident light striking the scene rather than the reflected light from a full range scene (potential for both blocked highlight and blacked out shadows). I knew the film was up to the challenge without me having to actively place exposure, not that I had time to. I took the meter reading and set the camera 15 minutes earlier and only had time to turn and bring camera to eye and take the shot when I saw the snow boarder out of the corner of my eye, moving about 30 mph.



...and his buddy following him a few seconds later, taken with the same camera settings...



The same would have worked just as well with my K-3. FWIW, bracketing would not have been an option, even at 8 fps.

As for flash metering...taking time to "build up" the lighting and and exposure settingsis a reasonable option over using a meter, assuming one has time to burn.


Steve

(...does not own a flash meter and burns lots of time as a result...)

Last edited by stevebrot; 10-24-2020 at 12:32 PM.
10-24-2020, 12:24 PM - 2 Likes   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by BarryE Quote
Don't see the point of a meter these days with the accuracy of camera meters, along with bracketing and post options.

Nor flash meters. Set lights up in manual. Tether and build lighting up.

Maybe I'm missing something?
With regards to flash I suggest you are missing the following....

1. Using a flash meter to measure Key and Fill lights means you can set up things before you bring the subject into the studio environment. I do a lot of amateur dog portraits, and can assure you I do not want to be taking a number of test shots and checking the histogram before I get the lighting right. My subjects get bored quickly.

2.If I am using an illuminated background such as a Lastolite Hilite, and I want to be setting that to a specific number of stops difference to the subjects lighting, I need a meter to tell me if i have the intensity correct. Eyeballing the image on the screen is not good enough.
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