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Light Meters

 
 
Stephen Manaton
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      07-30-2005
Could someone please tell me if there is any advantage to using a light
meter like a Gossen Digi Pro F. And would it help in selecting the correct
settings as opposed to what the camera would select,any body that uses a
light meter can you let me know what the advantages are as i don,t want to
buy a meter if it is not really needed many thanks for any help.


 
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Charles Schuler
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      07-30-2005

"Stephen Manaton" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:dcgmkg$j92$(E-Mail Removed)...
> Could someone please tell me if there is any advantage to using a light
> meter like a Gossen Digi Pro F. And would it help in selecting the correct
> settings as opposed to what the camera would select,any body that uses a
> light meter can you let me know what the advantages are as i don,t want to
> buy a meter if it is not really needed many thanks for any help.


I think one would be worthwhile for studio photography.


 
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John A. Stovall
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      07-30-2005
On Sat, 30 Jul 2005 16:17:49 -0400, "Charles Schuler"
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>
>"Stephen Manaton" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
>news:dcgmkg$j92$(E-Mail Removed)...
>> Could someone please tell me if there is any advantage to using a light
>> meter like a Gossen Digi Pro F. And would it help in selecting the correct
>> settings as opposed to what the camera would select,any body that uses a
>> light meter can you let me know what the advantages are as i don,t want to
>> buy a meter if it is not really needed many thanks for any help.

>
>I think one would be worthwhile for studio photography.
>


A light meter us worthwhile under all conditions. A light meter can
do far more than a camera meter can when it comes to using a zone
system for exposures.

http://photography.cicada.com/zs/quicktour/



 
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ftran999
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      07-30-2005

"Stephen Manaton" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:dcgmkg$j92$(E-Mail Removed)...
> Could someone please tell me if there is any advantage to using a light
> meter like a Gossen Digi Pro F. And would it help in selecting the correct
> settings as opposed to what the camera would select,any body that uses a
> light meter can you let me know what the advantages are as i don,t want to
> buy a meter if it is not really needed many thanks for any help.
>
>


I believe the advantage of an incident (i.e. measures light FALLING on the
subject) meter is that it is not biased by very bright or dark subjects like
a reflective (measures light Bouncing off subject) such as those found in
cameras. However, in camera meters today are so advanced you may not need a
handheld meter in most cases.


 
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wavelength
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      07-30-2005
In amatuer cases, most cameras have spot selection metering that would
suffice instead of dynamic or zone system.

Most cameras now are very advance on this, and you need to be taking
some extreme condition lighting shots to really worry about this.

You'd use a light meter to take EXACT readings at the point of your
main subject, and it would tell you what you should set your camera up
to properly expose it.

Given the advent of digital, you can just take a few different shots of
the same subject for free anyways. So just move the f/ and exposure up
a down a little until you get what you want, then delete the rest.

I'd say that light meters are most important when you're using
expensive film, like medium or large format. They're still useful for
smaller, but not REALLY neccessary.

 
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Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark)
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      07-30-2005
wavelength wrote:
> In amatuer cases, most cameras have spot selection metering that would
> suffice instead of dynamic or zone system.
>
> Most cameras now are very advance on this, and you need to be taking
> some extreme condition lighting shots to really worry about this.
>
> You'd use a light meter to take EXACT readings at the point of your
> main subject, and it would tell you what you should set your camera up
> to properly expose it.
>
> Given the advent of digital, you can just take a few different shots of
> the same subject for free anyways. So just move the f/ and exposure up
> a down a little until you get what you want, then delete the rest.
>
> I'd say that light meters are most important when you're using
> expensive film, like medium or large format. They're still useful for
> smaller, but not REALLY neccessary.
>

Here is an example of a situation where you could not
use an incident light meter (the bear would have you for lunch if
you didn't drown first, and even then he might have you for lunch).
It is also an example of when you don't get a second chance or you
miss the action:

http://www.clarkvision.com/galleries...862.b-700.html
(click next and previous to see other examples).

There are many many situations where an incident light meter will
not work, including grand scenics where the scene is too far away,
to action where you can't get into the action (from wildlife, to
birds in flight to sports, etc).

A digital camera with its histogram is a great light meter and better
than a spot meter (effectively thousands of spot meters). I have used
a digital camera as my lightmeter for my large format (4x5) camera
for years. I get fewer wrong exposures than I ever did with
a light meter.

Roger
 
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stefan patric
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      07-31-2005
On Sat, 30 Jul 2005 21:06:47 +0100, Stephen Manaton wrote:

> Could someone please tell me if there is any advantage to using a light
> meter like a Gossen Digi Pro F. And would it help in selecting the correct
> settings as opposed to what the camera would select,any body that uses a
> light meter can you let me know what the advantages are as i don,t want to
> buy a meter if it is not really needed many thanks for any help.


It really depends on you. If all your metering experience has been with
only in-camera meters, whether a digital camera or film, and you have
never learned and have no experience with the basics of metering or the
theory of how light meters work, then a hand-held meter will be of little
use or advantage at this time. More than likely, it will be a disaster.
And you will have wasted you money.

That said, the in-camera meter of digital cameras, even though a
reflective type with its inheirent caveats, has hundreds of years of
metering experience contained in its metering interpolation code to
determine the optimum exposure 95% of time.

Film camera meters are a lot less accurate. They're only "correct" about
65% of the time. This is because they don't have a computer brain
analyzing the readings, and "recognizing" and correcting difficult
metering situations.

Now, if you need to read flash, you're going to need a hand-held and
training.

And FWIW, the DigiPro F is a nice little meter. I have a Luna-Star F
(not the F2) myself and love it, but rarely use it for any of my digital
"available light" work. A quick check of the LCD will tell me if I have a
good exposure.

Stefan

 
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David Dyer-Bennet
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      07-31-2005
"Stephen Manaton" <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:

> Could someone please tell me if there is any advantage to using a light
> meter like a Gossen Digi Pro F. And would it help in selecting the correct
> settings as opposed to what the camera would select,any body that uses a
> light meter can you let me know what the advantages are as i don,t want to
> buy a meter if it is not really needed many thanks for any help.


They're much less important these days when working in digital.
Shooting some test shots and seeing how they work, and examining the
histogram display, gives you much more detailed and accurate
information than a light meter. I wouldn't be particularly looking to
buy a light meter at this point myself.
--
David Dyer-Bennet, <(E-Mail Removed)>, <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/>
RKBA: <http://noguns-nomoney.com/> <http://www.dd-b.net/carry/>
Pics: <http://dd-b.lighthunters.net/> <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/SnapshotAlbum/>
Dragaera/Steven Brust: <http://dragaera.info/> Much of which is still down
 
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David Dyer-Bennet
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      07-31-2005
"Charles Schuler" <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:

> "Stephen Manaton" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:dcgmkg$j92$(E-Mail Removed)...
> > Could someone please tell me if there is any advantage to using a light
> > meter like a Gossen Digi Pro F. And would it help in selecting the correct
> > settings as opposed to what the camera would select,any body that uses a
> > light meter can you let me know what the advantages are as i don,t want to
> > buy a meter if it is not really needed many thanks for any help.

>
> I think one would be worthwhile for studio photography.


I used to use a flash meter with my studio strobes, but I haven't
since I started shooting digitally. I get much more detailed and
accurate information out of my camera than I did out of my meter.
--
David Dyer-Bennet, <(E-Mail Removed)>, <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/>
RKBA: <http://noguns-nomoney.com/> <http://www.dd-b.net/carry/>
Pics: <http://dd-b.lighthunters.net/> <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/SnapshotAlbum/>
Dragaera/Steven Brust: <http://dragaera.info/> Much of which is still down
 
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Chris Brown
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      07-31-2005
In article <(E-Mail Removed)>,
ftran999 <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
>I believe the advantage of an incident (i.e. measures light FALLING on the
>subject) meter is that it is not biased by very bright or dark subjects like
>a reflective (measures light Bouncing off subject) such as those found in
>cameras.


Here's a useful tip, although how well it works depends on your skin colour,
so YMMV. Stand at the camera and face the subject. Hold your hand out in
front of you, with your palm facing you, and point your light meter at it.

If the illumination at the camera is the same as the illumination at the
subject, this pretty much gives the same exposure value that an incident
meter would give. If the illumination is different, it won't work, but it
has proven a very useful technique for me on occasion. YMMV.
 
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