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Thread: Using DSLR as light meter

  1. #1

    Default Using DSLR as light meter

    hello sempai and sensei
    cats humans and other species .

    I have a very newbie question to ask.
    if I have acquired a film SLR with faulty light meter

    can I use my DSLR to take reading at the equivalent ISO sensitivity eg match iso 400 to iso 400-film and use the metered exposure values on DSLR to work on the film camera? will I get the same exposure?

    thanks in advance
    宁愿遇见丢失幼崽的母熊,也不愿碰上做蠢事的愚人

  2. #2
    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using DSLR as light meter

    Same.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Using DSLR as light meter

    If the light meter on the SLR is working but readings are off, you may want to adjust the ISO to compensate the exposure while using the DSLR as a gauge.

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    Moderator Octarine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using DSLR as light meter

    Use it, but do check the metering modes. Older cameras don't have so many metering areas for Evaluative / Matrix metering.
    If in doubt, take a test shot with DSLR and check the histogram. Then adjust accordingly on SLR.
    EOS

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    Default Re: Using DSLR as light meter

    Quote Originally Posted by Octarine View Post
    Use it, but do check the metering modes. Older cameras don't have so many metering areas for Evaluative / Matrix metering.
    If in doubt, take a test shot with DSLR and check the histogram. Then adjust accordingly on SLR.
    More like a polaroid test shot of old.
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  6. #6

    Default Re: Using DSLR as light meter

    Might be helpful to take notes so that you can 'calibrate' your settings for that particular DSLR/film combination after you get your prints back, as DSLRs tend to underexpose? No experience with this, just a thought.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Using DSLR as light meter

    Quote Originally Posted by Shizuma View Post
    hello sempai and sensei
    cats humans and other species .

    I have a very newbie question to ask.
    if I have acquired a film SLR with faulty light meter

    can I use my DSLR to take reading at the equivalent ISO sensitivity eg match iso 400 to iso 400-film and use the metered exposure values on DSLR to work on the film camera? will I get the same exposure?

    thanks in advance

    In theory yes but in practice it's different. You are better off using a film exposure table
    because black and white, colour film and colour slides ( reversal film) have chemical emulsions
    that behave differently to light.

    Remember the light meter will try to render a scene in neutral/middle grey. You can always bracket your shots if it's critical. Print out table. Good luck.

    Cross reference to check if the numbers are similar in the tables.

    http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Basic_P...xposure_tables

    For existing/available lighting:

    http://www.kodak.com/cluster/global/...techInfo/ac61/

    For accurate rendering of tone like textures in nature, use the zone method:

    http://www.cabbagetownphoto.com/zone.html
    Last edited by one eye jack; 4th February 2014 at 02:17 AM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Using DSLR as light meter

    film bracketing is expensive...
    宁愿遇见丢失幼崽的母熊,也不愿碰上做蠢事的愚人

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Using DSLR as light meter

    Get a hand held light meter. Learning to shoot films can be a very fulfilling learning experience. It forces you to think before you trip the shutter, very much unlike digital.

  10. #10
    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using DSLR as light meter

    Quote Originally Posted by kandinsky View Post
    as DSLRs tend to underexpose?
    Depends on the DSLR actually. If you do side by side comparisons, at the same exposure settings, for eg. Nikon D800 exposes brighter than the 5Dm3.

    You can see the comparisons here: http://petapixel.com/2012/04/24/low-...nd-nikon-d800/
    Last edited by daredevil123; 4th February 2014 at 12:35 PM.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Using DSLR as light meter

    Quote Originally Posted by Shizuma View Post
    film bracketing is expensive...
    All the more to learn and understand the theory. Shoot with confidence,the exposure tables
    are based on practical experience.

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    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using DSLR as light meter

    Quote Originally Posted by Shizuma View Post
    film bracketing is expensive...
    most likely you will shoot in negative film, the good news is negative have greater exposure latitude, and you can overexposed the negative by one stop to get better saturated colours, and still able to retain highlight details, not worry about the the details in shadows areas blocked up.

    anyway, it is good to have a working meter, be it in camera or handheld, but you can depend on the Basic Daylight Exposure Chart to get very decent result.

    btw, many years back somebody was complaining Sunny f16 rule is not accurate in Singapore, turns out to be this person can't differentiate between a Sunny day and a Cloudy day.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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  13. #13

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    It's good to read up on incident, reflective and spot metering. I remember there's an article in Sekonic's site on those. I can't find it now. That's how I started when I realize my DSLR gives a different reading from a match and needle meter on a old camera and a old handheld light meter which gave me the same readings.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Using DSLR as light meter

    Quote Originally Posted by kandinsky View Post
    Might be helpful to take notes so that you can 'calibrate' your settings for that particular DSLR/film combination after you get your prints back, as DSLRs tend to underexpose? No experience with this, just a thought.
    Yup, if you're gonna do this properly, some calibration is necessary. If you want accuracy, use slide film, not negative (too much latitude, and even gross errors will be corrected by the printer).
    Take a shot with your DSLR, then the same shot on slide film in your SLR (and bracket, at least for this calibration stage). Note all your exposure settings for the SLR shots. Try a range of situations - bright contrasty light, cloudy days, etc. Check your preferred slide exposure against your DSLR images, and you can 'set' your exposure bias.

    Yeah, it's a pain. I ended up using Sunny 16, and trusting (with some adjustments)the old match needle meter on my Yashica Mat

    Oh, if you're doing long exposure shots, you need to be aware of reciprocity failure (look it up). It affects each film differently.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Using DSLR as light meter

    As a newbie, I would recommend the free Light Meter apps on iPhone and Android. Been getting rather accurate results just needing a bit of overexposure with my iPod touch 5 and Polaroid 110 convert using Fp-3000B!

  16. #16

    Default Re: Using DSLR as light meter

    Quote Originally Posted by AlmightyTallest View Post
    As a newbie, I would recommend the free Light Meter apps on iPhone and Android. Been getting rather accurate results just needing a bit of overexposure with my iPod touch 5 and Polaroid 110 convert using Fp-3000B!
    I'm not surprised,do take note that tiny wide angle lenses used in mobile devices take in
    more light so does the polaroid camera.Don't just rely on metering but understand the theory
    of photographic light meters.In bright situation meter tend to underexpose and vice versa.It's
    only an average reading.

  17. #17
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using DSLR as light meter

    Quote Originally Posted by AlmightyTallest View Post
    As a newbie, I would recommend the free Light Meter apps on iPhone and Android. Been getting rather accurate results just needing a bit of overexposure with my iPod touch 5 and Polaroid 110 convert using Fp-3000B!
    I'm sure you are aware the film speed of Fuji FP-3000B is ISO 3000 right?
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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  18. #18

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    Do bear in mind you are using TTL metering when you read exposure with your DSLR. So the type of lens (at max aperture) between your DSLR & film cam will impact your resulting exposure measurement. For example your DSLR using a F3.5 constant zoom vs your film cam using a 50mm F1.4 so you need to make the necessary compensations (if not use the same lens for your film camera, if possible, on the DSLR and take the reading and explore the results in your negatives so as to have a guide for future exposure estimation) That said, yes films are forgiving. No offense but don't waste money on a light meter for now imo

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent1551 View Post
    Do bear in mind you are using TTL metering when you read exposure with your DSLR. So the type of lens (at max aperture) between your DSLR & film cam will impact your resulting exposure measurement. For example your DSLR using a F3.5 constant zoom vs your film cam using a 50mm F1.4 so you need to make the necessary compensations (if not use the same lens for your film camera, if possible, on the DSLR and take the reading and explore the results in your negatives so as to have a guide for future exposure estimation) That said, yes films are forgiving. No offense but don't waste money on a light meter for now imo
    I'm assuming ISO is fixed and the same for both cams :-)

  20. #20
    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using DSLR as light meter

    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent1551 View Post
    Do bear in mind you are using TTL metering when you read exposure with your DSLR. So the type of lens (at max aperture) between your DSLR & film cam will impact your resulting exposure measurement. For example your DSLR using a F3.5 constant zoom vs your film cam using a 50mm F1.4 so you need to make the necessary compensations (if not use the same lens for your film camera, if possible, on the DSLR and take the reading and explore the results in your negatives so as to have a guide for future exposure estimation) That said, yes films are forgiving. No offense but don't waste money on a light meter for now imo
    I really don't get what you are trying to explain.

    Lenses with different max aperture do not matter, as long as the set aperture are the same and the focal length is the same. The metering outcome should be around the same.

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