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05-23-2015, 03:16 PM   #1
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Light meter vs DSLR

I have Pentax 67 but TTL light meter is broken without any reasons. So I brought Sekonic 758DR light meter but I have Canon 5d mark 2 also. Since I'm going to carry both cameras for long trip by walking around the city, I;m not sure to have that light meter or not.

05-23-2015, 03:28 PM   #2
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If you have two cameras, you can use one of the camera for light metering. If you shot in open field, the ambient light is not changing fast, so that once you have metered with one camera you can set in other camera in manual mode to replicate the aperture/iso/shutter speed combo.
05-23-2015, 03:56 PM   #3
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I will give you my completely "I'm not qualified to say so" opinion

I think for walking around shooting you don't need a light meter. People used to walk around shooting all the time and they didn't have light meters. It will require a whole lot more skill on your part to realize the light/aperture/shutter speed/ISO etc etc settings but it's possible to do quite effectively.

I think a light meter would come in very handy for certain types of flash photography. I saw one on a video once that the guy would meter right at the subject's face but then set the camera up for the background lighting....and it would tell him which flash setting to use.

I wanted one of those meters ever since... then I looked at how much they cost and now I don't want one anymore.
05-23-2015, 04:05 PM   #4
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If you're going to be carrying both cameras, you can definitely use the Canon as your light meter. Back in the film days, I used to use my LX as my meter for my 6X7. I had a Luna Pro light meter, but the LX usually gave me better results. However, I was shooting slides so being off by a half-stop or so made a lot of difference.

05-23-2015, 05:42 PM   #5
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I use a digital camera as a light meter all the time. With a histogram you just can't beat it,
05-23-2015, 06:23 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by sunshine7913 Quote
I have Pentax 67 but TTL light meter is broken without any reasons. So I brought Sekonic 758DR light meter but I have Canon 5d mark 2 also. Since I'm going to carry both cameras for long trip by walking around the city, I;m not sure to have that light meter or not.
Spend some time here Ultimate Exposure Computer
05-23-2015, 07:58 PM   #7
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The advantage of a light meter is consistency. Whether or not any camera can be a substitute for a dedicated light meter is a big fuzzy "maybe". It depends on what you need to know..

The 758 spot meter is an exact and constant 1 degree. The exact coverage of the spot meter in the SLR viewfinder is different depending on the focal length of the lens in use. You only get close to 1 degree with a really long lens (~300mm).

A camera cannot directly provide incident metering unless you use an expodisc (which I highly recommend).

No camera can provide flash metering. Period. Only way to measure strobe power is with a dedicated meter like the 758. So if you need to directly evaluate flash output a meter is the only way.
05-23-2015, 08:05 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by JeffB Quote
Whether or not any camera can be a substitute for a dedicated light meter is a big fuzzy "maybe".
Oh, that's not true! If someone knows how to use the meter in another camera, those readings will directly relate to another camera!

QuoteQuote:
A camera cannot directly provide incident metering unless you use an expodisc.
This is true and maybe this is what you meant in your previous post. An in-camera reflective meter is not the same as an incident meter, but in-camera reflective meters have been proven through history to be able to provide very good results. It's not a matter of which is better. They're different. But a person still has to understand what each type is metering if they want to get good results.

05-23-2015, 08:22 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by JeffB Quote
The advantage of a light meter is consistency. Whether or not any camera can be a substitute for a dedicated light meter is a big fuzzy "maybe". It depends on what you need to know..

The 758 spot meter is an exact and constant 1 degree. The exact coverage of the spot meter in the SLR viewfinder is different depending on the focal length of the lens in use. You only get close to 1 degree with a really long lens (~300mm).

A camera cannot directly provide incident metering unless you use an expodisc (which I highly recommend).

No camera can provide flash metering. Period. Only way to measure strobe power is with a dedicated meter like the 758. So if you need to directly evaluate flash output a meter is the only way.
Yeah I'm not going to use incident light meter but the spot meter. But I guess I should use canon 5d mark 2 as a light meter.
05-23-2015, 10:29 PM - 1 Like   #10
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It may be a bit old fashioned nowadays, but just go back to basics learn the 'Sunny 16' rule - that should suffice, especially if you shoot in RAW which will give you more latitude when processing the image.

Just start with:
Sunny Day, Distinct Shadows: Camera settings: F16, ISO 100, Shutter Speed 1/100th (or nearest reciprocal).
Slight overcast, Soft Shadows: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F11, ISO 100, Shutter Speed 1/100th
Overcast, barely visible shadows: . . . . . . . . . . . . F8, ISO 100, Shutter Speed 1/100th
and so on

After that just adjust the various settings up and down a stop to maintain the right exposure (eg if you want a shutter speed of 1/200th then alter the ISO to 200 or change the F stop by one stop).

A bit of googling will come up with some tables to show various settings

http://easy-exposure.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/light-metering-012.jpg

Sunny 16 rule - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Last edited by percy; 05-23-2015 at 10:54 PM.
05-23-2015, 11:07 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by percy Quote
It may be a bit old fashioned nowadays, but just go back to basics learn the 'Sunny 16' rule - that should suffice, especially if you shoot in RAW which will give you more latitude when processing the image. Just start with: Sunny Day, Distinct Shadows: Camera settings: F16, ISO 100, Shutter Speed 1/100th (or nearest reciprocal). Slight overcast, Soft Shadows: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F11, ISO 100, Shutter Speed 1/100th Overcast, barely visible shadows: . . . . . . . . . . . . F8, ISO 100, Shutter Speed 1/100th and so on After that just adjust the various settings up and down a stop to maintain the right exposure (eg if you want a shutter speed of 1/200th then alter the ISO to 200 or change the F stop by one stop). A bit of googling will come up with some tables to show various settings http://easy-exposure.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/light-metering-012.jpg Sunny 16 rule - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Eyes do not always give the right exposure depending if you are tired , or how many beers you've had last night.
This is where the light meter is valuable. Before I start shooting, I plug in the Sekonic and run a eye calibration routine ;-), and then I don't need to carry the Sekonic, I use my eyes.
05-24-2015, 01:03 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by percy Quote
It may be a bit old fashioned nowadays, but just go back to basics learn the 'Sunny 16' rule - that should suffice, especially if you shoot in RAW which will give you more latitude when processing the image.

Just start with:
Sunny Day, Distinct Shadows: Camera settings: F16, ISO 100, Shutter Speed 1/100th (or nearest reciprocal).
Slight overcast, Soft Shadows: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F11, ISO 100, Shutter Speed 1/100th
Overcast, barely visible shadows: . . . . . . . . . . . . F8, ISO 100, Shutter Speed 1/100th
and so on

After that just adjust the various settings up and down a stop to maintain the right exposure (eg if you want a shutter speed of 1/200th then alter the ISO to 200 or change the F stop by one stop).

A bit of googling will come up with some tables to show various settings

http://easy-exposure.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/light-metering-012.jpg

Sunny 16 rule - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Right on. As true as it ever was and even better-shooting raw in digital really is a whole lot more forgiving than when we used the above guidelines shooting slide film with all-manual cameras (no built-in meter) and got great results because we had to stop and think a lot more. It`s still great advice that a photographer should learn more about exposure than the camera knows!
05-24-2015, 03:17 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by From1980 Quote
Right on. As true as it ever was and even better-shooting raw in digital really is a whole lot more forgiving than when we used the above guidelines shooting slide film with all-manual cameras (no built-in meter) and got great results because we had to stop and think a lot more. It`s still great advice that a photographer should learn more about exposure than the camera knows!
Agreed, but even back then there were reflective and incident meters being used. Heck even today there are apps that can utilize one's smart phone as a reflective light meter.

Last edited by Oldbayrunner; 05-24-2015 at 03:34 AM.
05-24-2015, 09:59 AM   #14
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Perhaps not clear. Yes, meters were in use then but my point was that a photographer that fully understood exposure and learned to read the quality of light could still obtain good results without one for most circumstances.
05-24-2015, 08:59 PM   #15
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I vaguely remember a pro photog asked how he got such beautifully exposed images all the time. I cannot remember his name, but I remember his answer: "The little slip of paper in the film box." That is "Sunny 16" and its variants.
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