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.


    sjh, Jul 11, 2003
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  2. 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 Karlsson, Jul 11, 2003
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  3. sjh

    Patrick L. Guest

    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.

    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

    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 L., Jul 11, 2003
  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
  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
    friend, Jul 12, 2003
  6. sjh

    Patrick L. Guest

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

    Patrick L., Jul 12, 2003
  7. sjh

    friend Guest

    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.
    friend, Jul 13, 2003
  8. sjh

    Tom Thackrey Guest

    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

    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.

    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, Jul 13, 2003
  9. 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?
    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 think you mean ISO of 160 or 320. I wouldn't make a habit of using 320,
    because of noise issues.
    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
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