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Thread: Lightmeter obsolete?

  1. #21

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    What about Kodak 18% grey card? I thought that would help too, particularly if one is interested to take landscape, where the front covers with grass, backgroud with nice mountain, and peak with snow...we can't possibly runs couple of km away to take the meter reading in front of the mountain, then run back to adjust the camera to take at the right exposure right?

    Some people ever told me about bracketing, however, by using bracketing, you will need to post process, and each shot we take, it will store 3 times....

    Not sure if anyone here can help to enlighten?

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by JimDavis
    What about Kodak 18% grey card? I thought that would help too, particularly if one is interested to take landscape, where the front covers with grass, backgroud with nice mountain, and peak with snow...we can't possibly runs couple of km away to take the meter reading in front of the mountain, then run back to adjust the camera to take at the right exposure right?

    Some people ever told me about bracketing, however, by using bracketing, you will need to post process, and each shot we take, it will store 3 times....

    Not sure if anyone here can help to enlighten?
    I know little about studio but I should think light meters are good mainly for studio work.

    For digital outdoor shots, forget about the grey card or light meters. It doesn't take long to shoot, preview and delete especially if you are experienced. If you need to do this process many times, then skills need polishing! Or you're just being paranoid. :P

    Moreover, grey cards are useless under bright lights like on a sunny day. The grey of the card becomes lighter in shade and in the end, the camera will underexpose the shot.

    I think experience is the best... only way is to keep shooting.

  3. #23
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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 think it still relate to personal habit...as he might get used to handheld spot meters or his cam is so basic don't even have spot meter at all during the "film period"...partial metering might not good enough though. Using handheld metering on fashion/wedding/sport events shooting are totally out.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by student

    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.
    I have master this basic knowledge eversince I've start shooting for wedding event 11 years ago.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by whoelse
    wont be surprise, many cant shoot w/o preview and post processing...
    Quite agree....eversince 300D & D70 came out it do affect some of my final profit...

  6. #26
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    Default meter

    meter is essential
    but if scene is normal, can get away with guessing. sunny f16
    film shooters more careful as there is no post processing of the neg or slide
    if scene has wide range of exposure, you have to choose the range within which you want to expose.
    highlight or shadow.
    if your film can take a wide range, then good.

  7. #27
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    Just remember that films only have a tolerance of plus & minus of 2 & a half stop from medium grey. So it's advisable to get your pictures within that range. Or am I talking no brainer things again?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spectrum
    Just remember that films only have a tolerance of plus & minus of 2 & a half stop from medium grey. So it's advisable to get your pictures within that range. Or am I talking no brainer things again?

    you're quite right.. and the margin or error is decreased further with the use of chrome.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Tan
    I think it still relate to personal habit...as he might get used to handheld spot meters or his cam is so basic don't even have spot meter at all during the "film period"...partial metering might not good enough though. Using handheld metering on fashion/wedding/sport events shooting are totally out.
    Well.. true in a way, where most of it relies on your personal preference in metering. But well, i have to say that it gives a more "hands on" approach to setting up your scene the way you want it to be... and well... as for his equipment, i do remember he was using an RTS III and a RZ Pro II with total metering independancy.

    True on the part of handholding a meter for the above events... if u can do it you're

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by whoelse
    wont be surprise, many cant shoot w/o preview and post processing...
    That is true... though i'm sure some of you are still traditional, it is indeed getting harder to find photogs who do NOT look at their camera backs during shoots, and even harder to find those with the confidence to utilize chromes with manual "white balancing" (filters) for major events.

    Just my observation within the increasing number of photogs in singapore.

  11. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Tan
    I have master this basic knowledge eversince I've start shooting for wedding event 11 years ago.
    Good for you!

    many like to quote so-and-so who does not need this or that.

    Forgetting so-and-so had actually previously paid his dues in hard work. Too often newbies think they can emulate the works of the "oldies".

  12. #32

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    IMO, the shoot, view, delete, and shoot again practice is taking the fun out of photography. Going to look at the Minolta as recommended. Is it very difficult to use a lightmeter as I never used one before? Is spot metering feature a MUST?

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    a spot meter allows u to zoom in the snow mountains and take a reflective reading instead of running there ..not a must..but very useful.

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    Quote Originally Posted by E1g3
    IMO, the shoot, view, delete, and shoot again practice is taking the fun out of photography. Going to look at the Minolta as recommended. Is it very difficult to use a lightmeter as I never used one before? Is spot metering feature a MUST?
    spot meter not a MUST.

    which ever meter you use.... LEARN IT's limitations. IT TAKES TIME and EFFORT.

    Be it the lightmeter or CAMERA being difficult to use is very subjective. Some still like the 'feel' of shooting with a rangefinder compare to using DSLR.

    I enjoy the learning process. slow at times but the discoveries you get sticks longer than the equipment I use

    Happy exploring your camera metering.... as well as a lightmeter if you choose to get one.

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    If you can see the colour world in black, white & greys you are somewhere there. Or? Hmmmmm........

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    something like dat la
    Sound like B+W photographer are color hahaha..

    meter just give u a grey reading aka Zone 5 u decide what u want it to be grey.
    if u meter a white wall and then a black wall, take a shot according to the meter reading and print without correction, u will get a grey wall..

    So it's up to u to decide if u want the wall to be white,add at least 2 stops to the meter reading since zone 7 is very white liao..

  17. #37
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    Default mountain run

    Quote Originally Posted by kex
    a spot meter allows u to zoom in the snow mountains and take a reflective reading instead of running there ..not a must..but very useful.
    if the sunlight falling on mountain 20 kilometers away is about the same as the sunlight falling on you, then can simply use "incident" metering. no need to run. whew! otherwise siong. The white globe is used for this. Just lay the white globe to the direction of sunlight falling on you.

    this is also done for in-studio flash metering but photog will walk to the model and test fire the flash. he will also take various readings around the model to check the flash power on both sides. sometimes he wants a certain ratio; i.e. one side weaker than the other, for certain effects.

    "hollywood" stars pics lighting
    "butterfly" lighting (named from shape of shadow under nose)

    if the mountain is snow capped pure white reflecting the sunlight (mount fuji or matterhorn) then spot reading it will require you to understand "highlight"
    if not your shot may be under exposed.

  18. #38
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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.
    Lightmeter is very much still relevant today. We are still getting exposure value for a recording media, just the media have change that all. During the past in studio you can not do without a studio flash light meter. In a studio flash light meter make it easier for us to get the right exposure in a studio woking enviroment. What I had experience with the new digital media, in outdoor situation we need the lightmeter even more. If you want to have good exposure to ensure you have best informention on your picture as the digital media latitude or tolerance is very small (1 and half stop compare to 3 stop on film). Some of us like to trust our LCD when looking for exposure confirmation on our camera's LCD. It is a sure way, only if you calibrated the LCD well. Otherwise how many of us go back after a photography session only to find to our pictures are not right after we download our stuff.

    It's the type of different metering devices and methods out there, is what you have to decide which is more accurate. They are mainly two type of meters, the incident or the reflected one. The common point in any meter s' design is to meter one standard which is the 18% grey or zone V in the zone system.

    The ones on our DLSR or film cameras are reflected one. But in order to get the best out of a reflected meter need a photographer who are good in metering. Mainly he or she need to need how to meter the subject right to get his or her desired end result. As there are many different shades of exposure or zones as in the zone system that can trick a reflected meter. A method is commonly use is to meter things that are zone V or 18% grey. Herence the Kodak 18% grey card a cheap but effective metering assiting
    tool. Then there are expert who know how use a spot meter. A spot meter is very much like a sniper rifle and the camera meter no matter how smart a camera maker like you to think their meter are it is a shot gun. If you are not a markmen use the shot gun first untill you learn euongh to shoot well, then snipe rilfe?

    Then there are incident ones, they are the ones with the white hemisphere on them. These need you to go up close and personal to the subject to meter them. But they are the most accurate one when use correctly. It will meter 18% grey or zone V on the subject without even need of using a kodak 18% grey card.

    Now a day of two in one and three in one stuff. So are the design of hand held meters. Now you can get a incident and reflected meter in one. It not how big it is but how you use it. I hope this helpful to you

  19. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by singscott
    Lightmeter is very much still relevant today. We are still getting exposure value for a recording media, just the media have change that all. During the past in studio you can not do without a studio flash light meter. In a studio flash light meter make it easier for us to get the right exposure in a studio woking enviroment. What I had experience with the new digital media, in outdoor situation we need the lightmeter even more. If you want to have good exposure to ensure you have best informention on your picture as the digital media latitude or tolerance is very small (1 and half stop compare to 3 stop on film). Some of us like to trust our LCD when looking for exposure confirmation on our camera's LCD. It is a sure way, only if you calibrated the LCD well. Otherwise how many of us go back after a photography session only to find to our pictures are not right after we download our stuff.

    It's the type of different metering devices and methods out there, is what you have to decide which is more accurate. They are mainly two type of meters, the incident or the reflected one. The common point in any meter s' design is to meter one standard which is the 18% grey or zone V in the zone system.

    The ones on our DLSR or film cameras are reflected one. But in order to get the best out of a reflected meter need a photographer who are good in metering. Mainly he or she need to need how to meter the subject right to get his or her desired end result. As there are many different shades of exposure or zones as in the zone system that can trick a reflected meter. A method is commonly use is to meter things that are zone V or 18% grey. Herence the Kodak 18% grey card a cheap but effective metering assiting
    tool. Then there are expert who know how use a spot meter. A spot meter is very much like a sniper rifle and the camera meter no matter how smart a camera maker like you to think their meter are it is a shot gun. If you are not a markmen use the shot gun first untill you learn euongh to shoot well, then snipe rilfe?

    Then there are incident ones, they are the ones with the white hemisphere on them. These need you to go up close and personal to the subject to meter them. But they are the most accurate one when use correctly. It will meter 18% grey or zone V on the subject without even need of using a kodak 18% grey card.

    Now a day of two in one and three in one stuff. So are the design of hand held meters. Now you can get a incident and reflected meter in one. It not how big it is but how you use it. I hope this helpful to you
    Bravo!

    That really opens up the spectrum and paradigm....Thanks for sharing, that IMHO, really beneficial...at least for me.

  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by student
    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.

    Yes, I understand that. What I meant to say was that it'd help to find the median point for you. Takes the calculation away..
    Of course, in a high contrast situation, you can then work from the median value given to see which way you want to shift and what to sacrifice..

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