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08-03-2012, 06:36 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by fuent104 Quote
I was actually using the term "spot meter" to refer to all reflective meters.

Basically, to simplify this discussion, I'll bring up something cinematography teacher taught us. The reflected (spot) meter is determines contrast, and the incident meter can be used to determine exposure. Using that very, very simplified statement, I was able to light this project on 35mm film with no color video playback. I have posted it in another thread or two.

Guitar 1080 Music.mov - YouTube
Sounds like a good way to think about the two different approaches to metering. Thanks!

08-03-2012, 07:46 PM   #17
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As a former owner of an L-398 and a couple of other external meters, my opinion is that an external meter wouldn't be useful for a typical dslr application. The L-398 has a very limited EV range, and the collector mounting isn't exactly robust. Besides having superior in-camera meters today, we have histograms to insure correct exposure, which - despite the best metering technology back in the day - many people still did with either bracketing or with polaroids.

Paul
08-11-2012, 01:15 PM   #18
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To finish the story off I bought a 'Leningrad' lightmeter from Ebay which cost me 5. I don't use it to take photos but playing around it taught me more about the relationship between light, aperture and shutter speed in ten minutes that looking at the figures in my camera's viewfinder for a week. A great investment!
08-14-2012, 12:45 PM   #19
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That is interesting. Have you tried using it to take photos at all? It would be interesting to hear about the results from doing it that way versus the method you usually use.

08-16-2012, 11:49 AM   #20
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I haven't used it to take any photos yet but it's been very illuminating :-) walking round seeing how much light is available according to the meter compared to my brain's estimation of the same thing. You'll have to excuse me if this stuff is obvious to you but it's all new to me. My previous camera was a Lumix P&S so I'm a bit overwhelmed with all the new stuff I'm learning.
08-16-2012, 01:32 PM   #21
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As long as I've been into photography and have understood exposure concepts, I've never actually used a Light Meter. What type of output to you get from a light meter? Is it actually giving suggested camera settings? or is it just giving the exposure value leaving you to determine the exposure settings? I'm guessing that there are those that do both those things and those that don't.

I guess I've been spoiled by relying on relatively decent light-meters built into my camera and a decent ability to calculate and adjust exposure in my head. My father gave me his old Minolta SLR when I was 8 and I quickly learned how to use it. It was a fully manual camera but it had a built in light meter that gave feedback based on the exposure settings. I was also a physics geek and thrived on learning the exposure equations but never took up photography seriously enough to even realize what a light meter was until I was much older (i.e. until I got my first dSLR). I'm a bit ignorant in that regard, but I'm not a professional either and haven't felt the need to buy a light meter at this point.
08-16-2012, 04:44 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by gofour3 Quote
+1 on the Gossen. I just picked up a Luna-Pro myself, uses a 9 volt battery so no issues there.

Phil.
I have more Gossen meters than I could count; but by far my favorite is the Starmeter. But a majority of the Gossen meters have one major fault - much like the Pentax K1000 a majority of the Gossen meters have no off switch; and run their batteries all of the time.

Also wishing that some professional level camera had accurate color meters
08-16-2012, 05:15 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by emalvick Quote
As long as I've been into photography and have understood exposure concepts, I've never actually used a Light Meter. What type of output to you get from a light meter? Is it actually giving suggested camera settings? or is it just giving the exposure value leaving you to determine the exposure settings? I'm guessing that there are those that do both those things and those that don't.
I have a flash meter on my Paul Buff Cyber Commandoer that I have to set the ISO on first, then I trigger the flashes, and then get an output of what f stop to use. As you probably know, shutter speed doesn't affect flash exposure, only ambient light. That flash meter is the only meter other than the TTL ones in the camera that I have experience with.

08-17-2012, 10:37 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by emalvick Quote
As long as I've been into photography and have understood exposure concepts, I've never actually used a Light Meter. What type of output to you get from a light meter? Is it actually giving suggested camera settings? or is it just giving the exposure value leaving you to determine the exposure settings? I'm guessing that there are those that do both those things and those that don't.
The meter I had was a Pentax Spotmeter V, an analog meter. You looked through it like a viewfinder on a camera at a scene. It measured the light from the spot directly in the center of the frame. A needle pointed to a scale which gave you an exposure value number.

On the side were some dials to convert the EV to camera settings. But it was important to remember that the spotmeter by design ignored everything except the spot, so to get a decent exposure, you had to explore a scene, looking at light areas, dark areas, and important areas, then choose an EV that was right for that scene. Then you went to the dials on the side, chose an ISO and maybe an aperture, and the dials gave you a shutter speed for that EV.

That's a long way around for one shot, so I used it as a learning tool for shots I had trouble with. One example, a black and white dog sleeping in the sun. The camera would never meter this quite right. When I looked at the dog with the spot meter, I found out why: the black fur was six stops darker than the white fur. (I think a JPG file only has eight stops of dynamic range.) So metering this scene with the multi-segment or center-weighted meter on the camera was mostly about what part of the dog the meter decided was important. Rarely was that the same decision I would have made.
08-17-2012, 01:18 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
The meter I had was a Pentax Spotmeter V, an analog meter. You looked through it like a viewfinder on a camera at a scene. It measured the light from the spot directly in the center of the frame. A needle pointed to a scale which gave you an exposure value number.

On the side were some dials to convert the EV to camera settings. But it was important to remember that the spotmeter by design ignored everything except the spot, so to get a decent exposure, you had to explore a scene, looking at light areas, dark areas, and important areas, then choose an EV that was right for that scene. Then you went to the dials on the side, chose an ISO and maybe an aperture, and the dials gave you a shutter speed for that EV.

That's a long way around for one shot, so I used it as a learning tool for shots I had trouble with. One example, a black and white dog sleeping in the sun. The camera would never meter this quite right. When I looked at the dog with the spot meter, I found out why: the black fur was six stops darker than the white fur. (I think a JPG file only has eight stops of dynamic range.) So metering this scene with the multi-segment or center-weighted meter on the camera was mostly about what part of the dog the meter decided was important. Rarely was that the same decision I would have made.
That sounds useful... On my camera, I've mostly resorted to spot metering when other metering isn't working and try to do something similar (at least my dSLR's). I could see it being a bit easier with a light meter. What you stated about your light meter is basically what I had imagined, but my curiosity showed me that the technology is quite advanced on some of the modern ones... I wouldn't know where to start if I ever got one, but I don't think I need one either. It's good to get myself out from under a rock though on some accessories.
08-18-2012, 12:00 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by emalvick Quote
That sounds useful... On my camera, I've mostly resorted to spot metering when other metering isn't working and try to do something similar (at least my dSLR's). I could see it being a bit easier with a light meter. What you stated about your light meter is basically what I had imagined, but my curiosity showed me that the technology is quite advanced on some of the modern ones... I wouldn't know where to start if I ever got one, but I don't think I need one either. It's good to get myself out from under a rock though on some accessories.
Can I suggest you go to the Seconic meter website and have a look at the huge number of videos on why you should use a light meter rather than the camera meter? It is obviously very sales orientated to-wards selling Seconic products but the light meter vs camera meter makes interesting viewing and they are kind of in interest segments like landscape, portrait ,fill flash etc.

I am lucky in that I have a old Pentax spot meter which is only occasionaly required and a small basic L308s which IMHO is all you need, the features on the big brothers you mostly won't use.
08-18-2012, 09:38 AM   #27
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in digital era, your eye and the lcd screen/laptop/desktop screen is the best light meter.
you are the visual artist that direct what the look you want.
08-20-2012, 03:45 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by adwb Quote
Can I suggest you go to the Seconic meter website and have a look at the huge number of videos on why you should use a light meter rather than the camera meter? It is obviously very sales orientated to-wards selling Seconic products but the light meter vs camera meter makes interesting viewing and they are kind of in interest segments like landscape, portrait ,fill flash etc.

I am lucky in that I have a old Pentax spot meter which is only occasionaly required and a small basic L308s which IMHO is all you need, the features on the big brothers you mostly won't use.
I can look... and if photography was a business, I might buy. It is interesting to see the information, and I am impressed by Seconinc's marketing, but actually getting a light meter is just not justifiable (not that LBA or other items are, but I pick and choose my battles).
08-21-2012, 01:03 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Medium FormatPro Quote
I have more Gossen meters than I could count; but by far my favorite is the Starmeter. But a majority of the Gossen meters have one major fault - much like the Pentax K1000 a majority of the Gossen meters have no off switch; and run their batteries all of the time.

Also wishing that some professional level camera had accurate color meters
Yes that's one reason why I picked the Luna Pro, it does have an on/off switch. It will do constant metering, or turn itself off after 1 minute.

Phil.
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