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11-24-2014, 09:26 PM   #1
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external light meter?

Does anyone out there still use an external light meter? Or do you all just wing it and see? Take test shots in auto, then switch setting depending on the situation? What is your technique for getting the best exposure for the situation? I feel my Kx is a little on the underexposed(dark) side, so I have gone back to using the trusty old sekonic.

11-24-2014, 09:53 PM   #2
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I use a Sekonic with manual flash.


Remember to use your EC liberally when you have bright or dark scene elements. You don't want white details to look grey.
11-24-2014, 10:25 PM   #3
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I use a Sekonic L308S with my Pentax 6x7 all the time and 645n and other 35mm cameras for studio work.
11-24-2014, 10:35 PM   #4
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I have a Sekenic Flashmeter and a Gossen LunaSix that I still occasionally use for incident metering. There's situations such as sporting events where establishing a generic incident exposure value that covers a large area can produce more consistent results than reflective TTL metering while tracking an isolated subject. (Using an out of focus medium zoom in TTL matrix mode with reflective metering seems to work as well as incident metering when combined with on the spot histogram reviews.)

A Pentax Spot Meter is convenient when metering for long tele lenses on a fixed base/tripod and also for tele-macro shots -- especially with older lenses. It can also be used to explore a simplified Zone System for landscape shoots.

Metering a clear north sky with an independent meter can can establish a standard of comparison with which to calibrate and document various body and lens combinations.

I have been asked what sort of camera or cell phone I'm holding while using 'em though.

11-24-2014, 11:03 PM   #5
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Yes I often use my Gossen Sixtomat Digital out and about. Also the Polaris Flash Meter 2 for studio work.

Last edited by beachgardener; 11-24-2014 at 11:08 PM. Reason: add inf.
11-24-2014, 11:44 PM   #6
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Ideally I much prefer incident meter under (most) challenging situations--except for theatre/stage photography where I spot meter.
With digital I am usually lazy and use the camera meter and choose spot or center weighted (and sometimes matrix), and my estimate of the required e.v. adjustment, and then look at the results and adjust/reshoot if needed.
With film (100 iso color negative) I estimate by eye (I can usually get within 1/2 stop in daylight outdoors) and also use an incident Sekonic (selenium cell) light meter.
11-25-2014, 01:10 AM   #7
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Seconic and a old pentax spot meter
11-25-2014, 02:20 AM   #8
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I use my Sekonic L308S for nine out ten shots with both digital and film. For the other one in ten shots I spot meter and apply a simplified form of the zone system.

I find incident metering much quicker and easier than any form of in-camera metering, and it allows me complete control over exposure to guarantee exactly the result I want. I also find that incident metering makes me much more aware of the light: you develop a habit of noticing immediately if the light changes enough to need to meter again. And when the light doesn't change, I can shoot for hours with exactly the same settings.

I often see people out on Dartmoor chimping and then playing with their little exposure compensation dials and then chimping again, and I can't see any kind of pleasure in that. Why do people struggle with in-camera auto-exposure modes when it's so much easier to just take an incident reading?

11-25-2014, 04:17 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dartmoor Dave Quote

I often see people out on Dartmoor chimping and then playing with their little exposure compensation dials and then chimping again,
You'd hope some of them were being guided by the histogram, Dave!
11-25-2014, 05:01 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dartmoor Dave Quote
I find incident metering much quicker and easier than any form of in-camera metering, and it allows me complete control over exposure to guarantee exactly the result I want. I also find that incident metering makes me much more aware of the light: you develop a habit of noticing immediately if the light changes enough to need to meter again. And when the light doesn't change, I can shoot for hours with exactly the same settings. I often see people out on Dartmoor chimping and then playing with their little exposure compensation dials and then chimping again, and I can't see any kind of pleasure in that. Why do people struggle with in-camera auto-exposure modes when it's so much easier to just take an incident reading?
I totally agree, I don't leave home with-out one of my trusty Gossen meters (Lunasix F & Sixtomat flash digital ) and for flash I always use a meter and manual flashes and it eliminates the inconsistentsies of TTL flash.
Also when I use my film cameras you simply can't chimp even if you wanted to.
Glenn
11-25-2014, 09:32 AM   #11
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Oh, yes, totally forgot, I also have a Pentax Analog (version IV) as I recall, spot meter. Got to use it this fall quite a bit and actually learned more about the zone system.
11-25-2014, 10:10 AM - 1 Like   #12
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Seems there's something about the southern hemisphere that really favors incident metering -- or is it just the Reverse Coriolis Effect on light wave theory down there?
11-25-2014, 09:32 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by pacerr Quote
Seems there's something about the southern hemisphere that really favors incident metering -- or is it just the Reverse Coriolis Effect on light wave theory down there?
Yeah, metering is tricky, Pacerr, because the photons are swirling the other way ...
11-25-2014, 09:59 PM   #14
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How dare you guys to refer "Down There" and "Other Way" !!

The Wombats have it correctly:
south is up, north is down, east is left and west is right

And here is a great Pentax 3/21 Exposure Meter
https://app.box.com/s/esmm6jilqnw92i5aj8z3
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