Light meter suggestions

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Alan, Jun 27, 2004.

  1. Alan

    Alan Guest

    I'm hoping to buy a separate light meter for use with my digital SLR but
    I'm unsure what I should be looking for when choosing one. Could members
    suggest the features I should have in a meter and perhaps recommend a make
    and model worth looking at. I wish to use this both indoors and out.

    AL
     
    Alan, Jun 27, 2004
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. Alan

    Bert Hyman Guest

    In news:cbnifr$dfm$ "Alan"
    <> wrote:

    > I'm hoping to buy a separate light meter for use with my digital SLR
    > but I'm unsure what I should be looking for when choosing one. Could
    > members suggest the features I should have in a meter and perhaps
    > recommend a make and model worth looking at. I wish to use this both
    > indoors and out.


    Some years ago when batteries for my OM-1s became illegal to sell in the
    US, I picked up a Pentax Digital Spotmeter, and it's worked out very well
    for me.

    http://www.pentaxusa.com/
    products/accessories/accessories.cfm?accessoryType=spot

    --
    Bert Hyman St. Paul, MN
     
    Bert Hyman, Jun 28, 2004
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. "Alan" <> asks:

    > I'm hoping to buy a separate light meter for use with my digital SLR


    Why? If you have time to use a light meter, you have time to check the
    histogram and modify the exposure to optimize the histogram (as far right as
    possible without clipping*).

    If you insist, I like simple meters, and am pleased with both the Sekonic
    L-208 (small, light, cheap (but the incident dome is too small, so you need
    to point at the light source to get a good reading)) and the Pentax digital
    spotmeter (large, heavy, expensive, requires knowing what you are doing, may
    be discontinued).

    *: Well, actually, there's a problem: most current dSLRs don't give you
    separate RBG histograms, so you may blow one channel without knowing it.
    Oops. So you need to bracket starting with the luminance histogram as far
    right as possible without clipping and then bracketing down.

    David J. Littleboy
    Tokyo, Japan
     
    David J. Littleboy, Jun 28, 2004
    #3
  4. On Mon, 28 Jun 2004 09:39:08 +0900, "David J. Littleboy"
    <> wrote:

    >
    >"Alan" <> asks:
    >
    >> I'm hoping to buy a separate light meter for use with my digital SLR

    >
    >Why? If you have time to use a light meter, you have time to check the
    >histogram and modify the exposure to optimize the histogram (as far right as
    >possible without clipping*).
    >
    >If you insist, I like simple meters, and am pleased with both the Sekonic
    >L-208 (small, light, cheap (but the incident dome is too small, so you need
    >to point at the light source to get a good reading)) and the Pentax digital
    >spotmeter (large, heavy, expensive, requires knowing what you are doing, may
    >be discontinued).
    >
    >*: Well, actually, there's a problem: most current dSLRs don't give you
    >separate RBG histograms, so you may blow one channel without knowing it.
    >Oops. So you need to bracket starting with the luminance histogram as far
    >right as possible without clipping and then bracketing down.


    would you not get the same problem using a seperate light meter?

    Does digital suffer more from one chanel blown than film? Just
    curious... Using the histogram in the raw converter (EOS version) the
    combined chanel view does tend to show a graph that is away from the
    right, where as when you change to the RGB view usualy the red is
    close or has seemed to pile up to the top on the right side when
    pushing the exposure stops. I dont know about photoshop CS, but (and I
    stand to be corrected) pushing the levels to push the histo to the
    right doesnt have a RGB version... One thing I did like about corels
    photoshop was the histo changed on the fly, does the CS version do
    this? Does v7 photoshop do this, but I've not found out how?

    >
    >David J. Littleboy
    >Tokyo, Japan
    >
    >


    --
    Jonathan Wilson.
    www.somethingerotic.com
     
    Jonathan Wilson, Jun 29, 2004
    #4
  5. "Jonathan Wilson" <> wrote:
    > "David J. Littleboy" <> wrote:
    > >*: Well, actually, there's a problem: most current dSLRs don't give you
    > >separate RBG histograms, so you may blow one channel without knowing it.
    > >Oops. So you need to bracket starting with the luminance histogram as far
    > >right as possible without clipping and then bracketing down.

    >
    > would you not get the same problem using a seperate light meter?


    Yes, of course.

    > Does digital suffer more from one chanel blown than film? Just
    > curious...


    Probably not in principle, but film types either use negative film (which
    has much wider latitude than digital), or film balanced for the ambient
    lighting, and/or color correction filters. But I have seen Velvia 50 shots
    with the reds blown all to hell<g>.

    IMHO, digital types ought to use color correction filters, since you have to
    expose for the brightest channel, and that leaves the other two channels
    underexposed. (There are lots of combinations here, but the most common case
    is incandescent lighting that has a lot too much red.)

    > Using the histogram in the raw converter (EOS version) the
    > combined chanel view does tend to show a graph that is away from the
    > right, where as when you change to the RGB view usualy the red is
    > close or has seemed to pile up to the top on the right side when
    > pushing the exposure stops.


    You are probably looking at a shot taken under incandescent lighting.

    > I dont know about photoshop CS, but (and I
    > stand to be corrected) pushing the levels to push the histo to the
    > right doesnt have a RGB version... One thing I did like about corels
    > photoshop was the histo changed on the fly, does the CS version do
    > this? Does v7 photoshop do this, but I've not found out how?


    Minor heads up here: Pushing the histogram out to the right is important at
    _exposure_ time, because it maximizes the shadow detail you capture. This
    doesn't apply after capture. (It may be the right thing to do, but the reaso
    ning would be different.)

    FWIW, in Photoshop, in the Levels dialog, Auto stretches the RGB levels
    automagically. IMHO, it overdoes it a bit (as a quick-and-dirty first
    approximation, you can hit Auto and then adjust the individual RGB levels to
    be less aggressively stretched). Even worse, stretching the levels doesn't
    necessarily give the right color balance.

    David J. Littleboy
    Tokyo, Japan
     
    David J. Littleboy, Jun 29, 2004
    #5
  6. On Tue, 29 Jun 2004 10:57:34 +0900, "David J. Littleboy"
    <> wrote:

    >
    >"Jonathan Wilson" <> wrote:
    >> "David J. Littleboy" <> wrote:
    >> >*: Well, actually, there's a problem: most current dSLRs don't give you
    >> >separate RBG histograms, so you may blow one channel without knowing it.
    >> >Oops. So you need to bracket starting with the luminance histogram as far
    >> >right as possible without clipping and then bracketing down.

    >>
    >> would you not get the same problem using a seperate light meter?

    >
    >Yes, of course.
    >
    >> Does digital suffer more from one chanel blown than film? Just
    >> curious...

    >
    >Probably not in principle, but film types either use negative film (which
    >has much wider latitude than digital), or film balanced for the ambient
    >lighting, and/or color correction filters. But I have seen Velvia 50 shots
    >with the reds blown all to hell<g>.
    >
    >IMHO, digital types ought to use color correction filters, since you have to
    >expose for the brightest channel, and that leaves the other two channels
    >underexposed. (There are lots of combinations here, but the most common case
    >is incandescent lighting that has a lot too much red.)
    >
    >> Using the histogram in the raw converter (EOS version) the
    >> combined chanel view does tend to show a graph that is away from the
    >> right, where as when you change to the RGB view usualy the red is
    >> close or has seemed to pile up to the top on the right side when
    >> pushing the exposure stops.

    >
    >You are probably looking at a shot taken under incandescent lighting.


    The shoot was set in a bath room with darkish rusty coloured walls
    (actually it looks a lot better than it sounds, lol), and I used 2
    strobes, one with a gold brolly, and the other a silver refelctor,
    then flash white balanced... gave everything a look as tho the sun was
    streaming in through the window, lovely and warm, but obviously pushed
    the reds up.

    >
    >> I dont know about photoshop CS, but (and I
    >> stand to be corrected) pushing the levels to push the histo to the
    >> right doesnt have a RGB version... One thing I did like about corels
    >> photoshop was the histo changed on the fly, does the CS version do
    >> this? Does v7 photoshop do this, but I've not found out how?

    >
    >Minor heads up here: Pushing the histogram out to the right is important at
    >_exposure_ time, because it maximizes the shadow detail you capture. This
    >doesn't apply after capture. (It may be the right thing to do, but the reaso
    >ning would be different.)


    True, I'm still running shy of any ISO above 100 so tend to find I
    have to push between 0 and .5 of a stop depending.... I need to set
    some time aside to take some standardised shots using higher ISO's and
    then print them at A3 to see if/when the noise becomes visable in the
    print.... I have this compulsion that the lowest ISO number I can get
    away with is best, but obviously this may be negated when/if I have to
    push.

    >
    >FWIW, in Photoshop, in the Levels dialog, Auto stretches the RGB levels
    >automagically. IMHO, it overdoes it a bit (as a quick-and-dirty first
    >approximation, you can hit Auto and then adjust the individual RGB levels to
    >be less aggressively stretched). Even worse, stretching the levels doesn't
    >necessarily give the right color balance.


    I find the auto (might be my perception) tends to produce a more stark
    result, the colours may be technically correct but it does tend to
    remove any colour wash that may be present, say reflected wall paper
    colour... which isnt always what I want.

    I agree that stretching the individual levels can totaly change the
    "real" colours, mind you pushing the red chanel is a quick and dirty
    way to warm a photo :)

    >
    >David J. Littleboy
    >Tokyo, Japan
    >


    --
    Jonathan Wilson.
    www.somethingerotic.com
     
    Jonathan Wilson, Jun 29, 2004
    #6
    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. sjh

    Light Meter for Digital Photography

    sjh, Jul 11, 2003, in forum: Digital Photography
    Replies:
    8
    Views:
    9,042
    Gary Eickmeier
    Jul 13, 2003
  2. Dr. Slick
    Replies:
    20
    Views:
    1,256
    Andrew D
    Sep 9, 2003
  3. Matthew

    El Cheapo digital camera as a light meter

    Matthew, Dec 10, 2003, in forum: Digital Photography
    Replies:
    10
    Views:
    706
    Alan Browne
    Dec 13, 2003
  4. Replies:
    5
    Views:
    470
    Helge Olsen
    Jun 18, 2004
  5. W Chan

    Light Meter: Sekonic vs Minolta

    W Chan, Mar 9, 2005, in forum: Digital Photography
    Replies:
    20
    Views:
    2,125
    Christoph Breitkopf
    Mar 14, 2005
Loading...

Share This Page