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02-04-2012, 11:11 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Yamanobori Quote
If you are going to get a light meter, I would not start with a spot meter--it is really a specialized tool. I would pick up a meter that does incident and reflected light. I would recommend something by Gossen or Sekonic. Minolta made very good meters as well. I use a Gossen Luna Pro SBC with can take attachment like a spot attachment--I believe some Minolta ad Sekonic meters also have attachments.

Incident meter is usually the easiest as it measures light falling on the object and so is not influenced by subject reflectance.
Thanks! I actually received a Sekonic Micro Leader L-98 light meter along with the Autocord. Not sure if it is still working. Is this something you know about? It appears like a spot meter since it has to point to something directly. Is this thing any good?

02-04-2012, 11:43 AM   #17
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Android smart phone light meter apps are available Exposure meter Apps - Android
IPhone apps must exist too.

Or buy an old lightmeter on ebay - weston, sekonic are selenium cell based so need no batteries.
Vintage WESTON MASTER MODEL 715 UNIVERSAL EXPOSURE METER | eBay
Sekonic Auto Leader Light Meter9Selenium) #11156 | eBay
02-04-2012, 12:38 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Yamanobori Quote
If you are going to get a light meter, I would not start with a spot meter--it is really a specialized tool.
I highly recommend one-degree spot meters. You know your exposure before you take the shot. Next time you use one of those other meters, ask yourself how many stops is the brightest highlight above my selected exposure or how dark is the lowest value? It's your histogram in the analog world.

Sure, many people don't care knowing that and the DR range of film can handle a lot of situations well. But once you get use to knowing that information, it is hard to switch back - at least for me anyway.

Last edited by tuco; 02-04-2012 at 01:06 PM.
02-04-2012, 12:53 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by LFLee Quote
Thanks! I actually received a Sekonic Micro Leader L-98 light meter along with the Autocord. Not sure if it is still working. Is this something you know about? It appears like a spot meter since it has to point to something directly. Is this thing any good?
Google is our friend: here's a free user manual google discovered for the Sekonic L-98. Sekonic Micro-Leader L98 Lightmeter Instruction Manual

Perhaps you could read a little bit about light meters so you know a little more about what you seek.

PS I read enough of the manual to know the L-98 needs mercury batteries you'll have trouble finding.


Last edited by newarts; 02-04-2012 at 03:12 PM.
02-04-2012, 04:41 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
I highly recommend one-degree spot meters. You know your exposure before you take the shot. Next time you use one of those other meters, ask yourself how many stops is the brightest highlight above my selected exposure or how dark is the lowest value? It's your histogram in the analog world.

Sure, many people don't care knowing that and the DR range of film can handle a lot of situations well. But once you get use to knowing that information, it is hard to switch back - at least for me anyway.
It is great if you really want to control exposure and development, but I can get just as accurate meter readings with less effort from an incident meter--I have and use both. I think an incident meter would be a much better match for the OP. There are incident meters that can take a spot attachment later on. And if you are doing street/people type of work, a spot meter is really not that desirable.

There is a real art to using meters consistently and the learning curve with a spot meter is steeper.

JMHO
02-04-2012, 04:44 PM   #21
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Another way to meter: Carry a not-too-dumb P&S, one that displays readings.
02-04-2012, 05:25 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by newarts Quote
Android smart phone light meter apps are available...
I have tried most of the Android light meter apps on my Infuse 4G and have not been impressed. They either did not work at all, were wildly erratic, or just plain inaccurate. It might be the phone or the Android version, but I finally gave up and went back to my Sekonic L208.


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02-04-2012, 05:35 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by newarts Quote
PS I read enough of the manual to know the L-98 needs mercury batteries you'll have trouble finding.
Modern silver cells may well work. It all depends on the meter circuitry. Worst case is that you would need an adapter from C.R.I.S. or elsewhere or pay a technician to calibrate the meter against a silver cell.

Here is a link to a pdf version of the L-98 manual:
Sekonic L-98 instruction manual, user manual, PDF manual, free instruction manuals

Steve

02-04-2012, 07:02 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Yamanobori Quote
It is great if you really want to control exposure and development, but I can get just as accurate meter readings with less effort from an incident meter--I have and use both. I think an incident meter would be a much better match for the OP. There are incident meters that can take a spot attachment later on. And if you are doing street/people type of work, a spot meter is really not that desirable.

There is a real art to using meters consistently and the learning curve with a spot meter is steeper.

JMHO
I agree your recommendation would be better for the OP too. And mine is for when you want more info or control. I'd note, however, that a one-degree can be time consuming to use at first. But after a while it can be really fast. Take people pictures for instance. From the camera's position, I can take one reading off a person's skin and you're done if that is the most import thing in the scene.

Similarly for other scenes. I often can walk up to a scene and know right away what is the most important value to capture, take one reading (from a distance!), place it and shoot. But other times I take many readings and ponder. Those scenes would most likely be the scenes average meters have a hard time with anyway and take human intervention.

Last edited by tuco; 02-04-2012 at 07:12 PM.
02-09-2012, 08:21 AM   #25
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Sunny f/16 takes some practice, but it's doable. I usually use f/11 for all but the brightest sun. f/16 is for shooting on a sunny beach, in reflective snow, or peak midday sun in an open area with no shade. f/8 is for bright shadows or mixed sun/shade, f/5.6 is closed/normal shadows, f/4 for really deep shadow.
02-09-2012, 11:45 AM   #26
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Here's a hard trick: Practice practice practice. I learned this with my first 'serious' camera, a 1934 German Kodak (Nagel) Retina with Schneider 50/3.5, the first 135 film camera. It had only basic manual controls: shutter, aperture, marked focus; no RF, no metering, no help. So I used a handheld light meter -- and after a few months, operation became automatic and I mostly skipped metering. I could look at a scene, judge the distance and exposure unconsciously, let my fingers take control, and SNAP! Just as we usually don't need to mentally compute spherical trig math when judging how to catch a thrown ball, so we don't really need to crunch numbers to figure exposures. All it takes is... practice practice practice.

Last edited by RioRico; 02-09-2012 at 11:52 AM.
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