Light Meter for Digital Photography

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by sjh, Jul 11, 2003.

  1. sjh

    sjh Guest

    Are some light meters better for digital than others? Or, will a good light
    meter work as well with digital as it will with film?

    I'm looking at a Sekonic 358 and want to be sure I'm buying something that
    will meet my digital needs. Don't shoot film anymore.

    Thanks.

    sjh
     
    sjh, Jul 11, 2003
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. sjh <> wrote in news:BB3458AF.1EBC6%
    :

    > Are some light meters better for digital than others? Or, will a good light
    > meter work as well with digital as it will with film?
    >
    > I'm looking at a Sekonic 358 and want to be sure I'm buying something that
    > will meet my digital needs. Don't shoot film anymore.


    Yes - it would I assume.

    The only reason why not to buy any flash/light meter at all would be that
    a digital camera is its own polaroid preview tool. But, I do not
    know enough about professional flash photography. But, if you don't
    use it for flash photography - I cannot see why you need any meter
    at all. Except maybe a color meter.



    Roland
     
    Roland Karlsson, Jul 11, 2003
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. sjh

    Patrick L. Guest

    sjh <> wrote in message
    news:BB3458AF.1EBC6%...
    > Are some light meters better for digital than others? Or, will a good

    light
    > meter work as well with digital as it will with film?



    Digital or film, it is no difference, really. Cameras of either type might
    agree with the light meter, or they might be off a third of a stop, you
    just make adjustments for the camera, and for film, both your camera and
    your lab.

    >
    > I'm looking at a Sekonic 358 and want to be sure I'm buying something that
    > will meet my digital needs. Don't shoot film anymore.



    That's too bad. Personally, I love film, and will never throw my film
    cameras away.

    Before you plop down $300 or so for a meter, what kind of shooting do you
    do?

    For the snapshot shooter, I just don't see the point, spend the money on a
    better lens, etc., but if you are a pro are a serious amateur or student,
    then its usefulness is more apparent. If all you are concerned about is an
    incident reading, you can do quite well by metering off a gray card.


    Patrick
     
    Patrick L., Jul 11, 2003
    #3
  4. I've put my ancient Luna Pro against the one in the 10D and they always
    read the same.
     
    Randall Ainsworth, Jul 11, 2003
    #4
  5. sjh

    friend Guest

    it will help you, if you make some more difficult compositions. there
    is no difference digital or film. Light meters do the same job.
    Some cameras (digital) can display histogram.consider cost, a decent
    light meter is more expensive than some digital cameras. Since, all
    the digital cameras have a reply feature, you can live without a light
    meter.


    On Fri, 11 Jul 2003 17:10:20 GMT, sjh <>
    wrote:

    >Are some light meters better for digital than others? Or, will a good light
    >meter work as well with digital as it will with film?
    >
    >I'm looking at a Sekonic 358 and want to be sure I'm buying something that
    >will meet my digital needs. Don't shoot film anymore.
    >
    >Thanks.
    >
    >sjh
     
    friend, Jul 12, 2003
    #5
  6. sjh

    Patrick L. Guest

    sjh <> wrote in message
    news:BB347F8F.1F017%...
    > On 7/11/03 1:33 PM, in article
    > NpDPa.41908$, "Patrick L."
    > <> wrote:
    >
    > >
    > > sjh <> wrote in message
    > > news:BB3458AF.1EBC6%...
    > >> Are some light meters better for digital than others? Or, will a good

    > > light
    > >> meter work as well with digital as it will with film?

    > >
    > >
    > > Digital or film, it is no difference, really. Cameras of either type

    might
    > > agree with the light meter, or they might be off a third of a stop, you
    > > just make adjustments for the camera, and for film, both your camera and
    > > your lab.
    > >
    > >>
    > >> I'm looking at a Sekonic 358 and want to be sure I'm buying something

    that
    > >> will meet my digital needs. Don't shoot film anymore.

    > >
    > >
    > > That's too bad. Personally, I love film, and will never throw my film
    > > cameras away.
    > >
    > > Before you plop down $300 or so for a meter, what kind of shooting do

    you
    > > do?
    > >
    > > For the snapshot shooter, I just don't see the point, spend the money on

    a
    > > better lens, etc., but if you are a pro are a serious amateur or

    student,
    > > then its usefulness is more apparent. If all you are concerned about is

    an
    > > incident reading, you can do quite well by metering off a gray card.
    > >
    > >
    > > Patrick
    > >
    > >
    > >

    > Thanks for the help.
    >
    > I'm a serious amateur using a Fuji S1.
    >
    > I'm learning studio lighting. Want to use the external meter to measure

    and
    > set strobes.
    >
    > sjh



    I use the Sekonic Flashmate, L-308B, it will do the basics, has a digital
    readout, and is much cheaper.

    Patrick
     
    Patrick L., Jul 12, 2003
    #6
  7. sjh

    friend Guest

    Gary,
    just read relevant ISO standards regarding calibration of light
    meters, sensitivity of films and digitals cameras. Calibration of ligh
    merters is not variable if you follow the standard.
    If using an internal meter in a digital camera works for you (as it
    should)then stick to it. In particular, if your camera can display a
    histogram. It's fine. If you meter and the camera reading are not the
    same, maybe it is digital camera "varied"not a light meter? I have
    serious doubts about digital cameras "speed" settings. I mean, I am
    not convinced Iso 100 film is the same as "ISO100" digital camera.
    Just an observation.

    On Sat, 12 Jul 2003 23:51:31 GMT, "Gary Eickmeier"
    <> wrote:

    >
    >"friend" <> wrote in message
    >news:...
    >> it will help you, if you make some more difficult compositions. there
    >> is no difference digital or film. Light meters do the same job.

    >
    >OK, here's the deal: Yes, meters are meters, but their calibration is
    >sometimes variable. In the film days, it wasn't quite so critical, because
    >of the great latitude of film. But digital is kind of fussy, and needs an
    >exact exposure to be right and printable. I have done some tests between a
    >light meter and my camera's meter, and the camera's meter won every time.
    >
    >Just use the meter built into your digital camera, and learn how to use it
    >correctly.
    >
    >Gary Eickmeier
    >
     
    friend, Jul 13, 2003
    #7
  8. sjh

    Tom Thackrey Guest

    On 12-Jul-2003, "Gary Eickmeier" <> wrote:

    > Maybe I need to re-state what I said. The calibration of light meters
    > varies. This means you can get different readings from different meters. I
    > have done some brief experiments comparing my hand-held meter to my
    > camera's
    > meter, and my camera was more correct every time. This may be because the
    > camera's meter reads TTL and has been carefully calibrated to this camera.
    > It may also be that my hand-held meter is from the film era, and may not
    > be
    > as accurate. This variability of meters was less important in film,
    > because
    > of the great latitude of film, compared to digital.


    It is true that one advantage of a TTL meter is that any lens error or other
    lens related exposure factors will be automatically included in the exposure
    measurement.

    I don't know how you compare two meters and determine that one is more
    "correct" than another without some calibrated standard. I have 2 handheld
    meters (one new and one 22 years old) and 5 SLR bodies (one digital, one MF,
    and three 35mm) with TTL meters, comparing them by shooting an artificially
    lit gray card they all read within 1/2 stop.

    I disagree with your assertion that digital metering is more demanding than
    film. Slide film and digital are pretty close in latitude, but digital has
    the advantage of post-production where many exposure problems can be fixed.


    > Also note that with film photography, we used to be able to take an
    > incident
    > reading at the subject and pretty much rely on that. But that won't fly
    > with
    > digital.


    I disagree. The same situations that made incident readings work for film
    still exist for digital. Virtually all studio flash photography is measured
    with incident meters. I photograph a lot of flat art, the in camera meter is
    always wrong. A gray card or incident reading is the only accurate
    measurement. (I usually photograph the gray card, it makes digital white
    balance or film color correction easy.)

    As someone else said in this thread, if in-camera metering works for you
    great. For some of us, its limitations prompt the use of hand held meters in
    some situations.

    --
    Tom Thackrey
    www.creative-light.com
     
    Tom Thackrey, Jul 13, 2003
    #8
  9. "Roger Halstead" <> wrote in message
    news:...

    > Now, tis true that slower films and lower ASA equivalents do mean less
    > latitude. Using a digital camera with a CCD that has an equivalent ASA
    > of 80 is certainly going to have a narrower latitude than one at ASA
    > 360.


    This is a curious statement - that the lower the ISO, the less the latitude.
    I have not heard or thought about that before. Anyone else?

    > In slow films there is very little latitude in going from washed out
    > whites to saturated blacks. The same is true with a low ASA in
    > digital. However it has been my experience that there is little
    > difference in latitude between a digital ASA of 80 and slide film with
    > an ASA of close to 80. If anything I find the digital to be a bit more
    > forgiving, but that depends on how the photo is processed in the
    > camera and on the computer.

    ....

    > I do not find digital to be any more demanding with exposure than any
    > of those films.


    I think it is relatively well known that if you blow out the highlights in
    digital, you can't get them back, whereas with negative film, you can
    recover in the printing of the negative. If you underexpose in digital,
    there is a lot more room for recovery in post.

    > I use an Oly E-20 N which is not a super high level camera. I do find
    > that the *configuration* settings on the camera can make a big
    > difference. Most of the time I have the thing set at ASA 180, or 360
    > with 360 being the predominant choice.


    I think you mean ISO of 160 or 320. I wouldn't make a habit of using 320,
    because of noise issues.

    > What I do find picky is the meter settings and what type of meter
    > settings I use. I have shifted away from matrix metering to center
    > weighted spot, take a reading on a selected spot and then set those
    > figures in manual. Those having a bit of trouble with the exposure
    > latitude of their digital equipment might want to try the zone
    > approach as an experiment.


    You can use center weighted averaging or spot. There is no center weighted
    spot. I am not a zone approach kind of guy - it seems really intense to me,
    for what is required to get a good exposure. If you are confronted with a
    situation so important or so difficult to figure out, you just bracket or
    refer to the histograms until you get it right. With my camera (E20) I can
    bracket automatically, just like that.

    Gary Eickmeier
     
    Gary Eickmeier, Jul 13, 2003
    #9
    1. Advertising

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

It takes just 2 minutes to sign up (and it's free!). Just click the sign up button to choose a username and then you can ask your own questions on the forum.
Similar Threads
  1. Dr. Slick
    Replies:
    20
    Views:
    1,237
    Andrew D
    Sep 9, 2003
  2. Matthew

    El Cheapo digital camera as a light meter

    Matthew, Dec 10, 2003, in forum: Digital Photography
    Replies:
    10
    Views:
    672
    Alan Browne
    Dec 13, 2003
  3. Replies:
    5
    Views:
    455
    Helge Olsen
    Jun 18, 2004
  4. Alan

    Light meter suggestions

    Alan, Jun 27, 2004, in forum: Digital Photography
    Replies:
    5
    Views:
    503
    Jonathan Wilson
    Jun 29, 2004
  5. Giuen
    Replies:
    0
    Views:
    1,003
    Giuen
    Sep 12, 2008
Loading...

Share This Page