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Thread: Lightmeter obsolete?

  1. #1

    Default Lightmeter obsolete?

    Is lightmeter relevant in today's digital environment?
    How reliable and consistent are the metering systems in today's dslr?
    I was told nothing beat the lightmeter in consistency and accuracy.
    Any comments and if i want to buy, any recomendation, not too ex.

  2. #2
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    If u shoot in studio, then most probably u will need a lightmeter. It makes yr work easier.

  3. #3
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    digital or not has no impact on the importance of a light meter.
    Today's (D)SLR have very good metering ability but you can only pack so much hardware in a confined space.

    There is no way to work efficiently in a studio environment without a light meter. Even for outdoor, this pices of equipment is very important if you shoot portraits or anything near - and using reversals.

    Anyway, this is a good-to-have pices of eqip for most ppl but a MUST-HAVE for some ---depending on the type of photogy you do. ANd don;t think about going budget with one, a decent light meter cost as much as a good 3rd-party lens. Trying to save money one one is just not practical as you will be better off using your on-board metering.

    DT

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    Good spotmeters can help you average multiple spot readings so you don't lose shadow or highlight details if you use them properly.. Few DSLR's have such capabilities these days..

    Of course, if you're mathematically inclined or simply are extremely experienced, then I don't think you'd even bother with seperate spotmeters.. =)

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    OT a little..... I was just wondering if there is any kind of light meter that give the WB in kelvins.... taht would be real nice.. light and WB meter all in 1

  6. #6

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    Thanks for all the input.
    Exposure with my 10D always a hit and miss situation, sometimes swee swee, at times burnt out highlights etc. I used partial metering mostly but not all shots comes out well exposed. Any brand or model of lightmeter to recommend?

  7. #7

    Lightbulb

    essentially, two meters are needed. lightmeter and colour temp meter.

    i do not know if the two meters exist in one.


    Quote Originally Posted by idor
    OT a little..... I was just wondering if there is any kind of light meter that give the WB in kelvins.... taht would be real nice.. light and WB meter all in 1

  8. #8

    Lightbulb

    i would not jump into a seperate lightmeter first. unless one is using your camera's in-built meter correctly, you should not consider a seperate meter. i am not a canon user, so, cannot comment on the specific model.

    master your camera's capabilities and understand its shortcomings first. use a separate equipment eg. a meter to overcome its shortcomings.



    Quote Originally Posted by E1g3
    Thanks for all the input.
    Exposure with my 10D always a hit and miss situation, sometimes swee swee, at times burnt out highlights etc. I used partial metering mostly but not all shots comes out well exposed. Any brand or model of lightmeter to recommend?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by E1g3
    Thanks for all the input.
    Exposure with my 10D always a hit and miss situation, sometimes swee swee, at times burnt out highlights etc. I used partial metering mostly but not all shots comes out well exposed. Any brand or model of lightmeter to recommend?
    Well, the partial meterin on 10D, 30, 300 all are ~10% of viewfinder. It actuall covers 5 photo cells in a cross pattern. This is quite a big area. In fact , the evaluativre metering is very reliable---even for serverly backlit subjects. Use it with the different AF point (not lock and re-compose). Trust your evaluative, the programming on this one is good.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Firefox
    Good spotmeters can help you average multiple spot readings so you don't lose shadow or highlight details if you use them properly
    This is incorrect. let me explain.

    Assuming your scene have a contrast range of 10 stops. In a print this will amount to details-less shadows and blown out high values.

    When you "spot-meter" in various areaas in the scene, and arrived at an average and use that "settings", you are using a median value. Unfortunately the contrast cannot change. and you will still get the same image.

  11. #11

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    Any good recommendation for lightmeter? if not too ex would consider getting one.

  12. #12
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    Minolta IV or V....




    got a 2nd hand mint conditioned IV with 5 degree spot attachment for around 80USD$

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    Quote Originally Posted by E1g3
    Is lightmeter relevant in today's digital environment?
    How reliable and consistent are the metering systems in today's dslr?
    I was told nothing beat the lightmeter in consistency and accuracy.
    Any comments and if i want to buy, any recomendation, not too ex.
    Actually, back here, within the fashion/design and archi industry, many clients demand blow ups of sizes which only film can deliver. Hence, a meter is critically ESSENTIAL at all times during shooting as it gives u the accuracy required for chrome exposures.

    I lugged around an old gossen and then a pistoled gossen spot for over 20 years till i found the beauty and accuracy of the F5's RGB sensitive meter.

  14. #14

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    For most photogs here in clubsnap (generalization), they do not NEED one. However, knowing the profile of crowd here, most would like to BUY one. And eventually, most will OWN one. Especially, if ONE of them claims that having one made his photo better.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Caspere
    And eventually, most will OWN one. Especially, if ONE of them claims that having one made his photo better.
    Another GAS!

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    I will not get it at all...come on guys...now it is DSLR u can tried a few setting before live firing...u can use raw or PS to compensate/help... not like film cam if off exposure too much the pic quality will be off too...of course u must know well how to control your cam...don't let the cam control u...

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Tan
    I will not get it at all...come on guys...now it is DSLR u can tried a few setting before live firing...u can use raw or PS to compensate/help... not like film cam if off exposure too much the pic quality will be off too...of course u must know well how to control your cam...don't let the cam control u...
    Actually, some of my colleagues though fully reliant on digital tech for their work, still rely totally on their handheld spot meters for their studio shoots.

    I asked him why when i was out with him for lunch, and well, he replied that he'd rather trust the sensor on the meter, rather than the sensor of his camera which normally leads to tons of PS adjustments.. The metered readings for various angles, are normally saved within the camera, and utitlized during the shoot hence saving time.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by F5user
    Actually, some of my colleagues though fully reliant on digital tech for their work, still rely totally on their handheld spot meters for their studio shoots.

    I asked him why when i was out with him for lunch, and well, he replied that he'd rather trust the sensor on the meter, rather than the sensor of his camera which normally leads to tons of PS adjustments.. The metered readings for various angles, are normally saved within the camera, and utitlized during the shoot hence saving time.
    I was going to reply to John Tan. Somehow I felt that some more knowledgeable persons like you would be explain better. Thank you!

    Just to add. Photography is about light. That is all the sensor sees. A light meter, particularly one like a spotmeter, helps one to be able to see and understand light better. It is true that a modern cameras with their marvellous computer chips can do well most of the time. But this is in fact surrendering the thinking and understanding process to the chips.

    When faced with a difficult situation, knowledge gained from understanding light and how meters work will save the day.

  19. #19

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    wont be surprise, many cant shoot w/o preview and post processing...

  20. #20
    Phildate
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    I remember Sarah Silver saying that she never uses a lightmeter at all now - instead she relies purely on the histogram (and her vast experience of course!).

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