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Thread: Light meter a must for Studio?

  1. #21
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: light meter a must for Studio?

    Quote Originally Posted by lsisaxon
    Yeah. I agree with this that is provided that your flash head comes with click stops for the power setting (not all flash heads do) or you do not adjust the power at all. Then again, I am someone who is quite bad at estimating distances. At 1m, 40cm more will be 1 stop under and 30cm less will be 1 stop over.


    Whether the power setting is click stops or clickless still work on the same principle.

    Hope this help

  2. #22

    Default Re: light meter a must for Studio?

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights


    Whether the power setting is click stops or clickless still work on the same principle.

    Hope this help
    For the distances yeah, but you won't know your initial meter reading unless you measure it or you never touch those dials and you base it on a previous reading you have made.

    I know inverse square law otherwise I won't have been able to tell you 40cm more is 1 stop under and 30cm less is 1 stop over if your distance was initially 1m.

    You can only use this if you know your initial flash power and the meter reading it gives, which would also mean that somehow, you've got to have a light meter first. The reason I mentioned click and clickless is because if there are clicks, you could always set it back to the same click and assuming the tube is still giving the same light power, you would be able to base on your 'experience' to set the aperture. If it were clickless, either you do not touch the dial or you will not be able to get the same power for the flash head.

    Also if you're using more than one head, you will need to know how much light there is on the overlapped areas, but it's usually less than a stop difference. Also if you have respositioned reflectors etc, that's going to be different again. No matter what, I still think that you will need a meter to get the initial reading.
    Last edited by lsisaxon; 16th February 2006 at 10:32 AM.

  3. #23
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: light meter a must for Studio?

    Quote Originally Posted by lsisaxon
    For the distances yeah, but you won't know your initial meter reading unless you measure it or you never touch those dials and you base it on a previous reading you have made.
    I didn't say anyone can start shooting without a meter, well is possible also, I'm saying will be using meter less when become more and more experience and familiar with your studio lighting equipments.

    Even the power setting is clickless, still have a marking on the unit itself.

    Light meter(flash meter) is just a tool for photographer to measure the light, the photographer should know how the lights work and how to set them accordingly.

  4. #24

    Default Re: light meter a must for Studio?

    Quote Originally Posted by hondasleeper
    A light meter is an essential tool in photography, especially when using strobes. Don't rely on your LCD.

    To answer you question, in my opinion, is YES, it is a must.
    i used a light meter in the beginning....and it helped alot...

    but now...i dun trust my camera LCD...i shoot tethered and trust my laptop's LCD.... i tink in time to come...experience will take over and the flashmeter wun be used so often... i juz takes up too much of my time...

    cheers

  5. #25

    Smile Re: light meter a must for Studio?

    this group may be the minority, the vast majority would have a lightmeter as part of their essential equipment.

    Quote Originally Posted by student
    I know professional studio photographers who do not use lightmeters.

    In that sense, light meters are not essential. If it were so, then these photographers would not be able to make their images.

  6. #26

    Default Re: light meter a must for Studio?

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights
    I didn't say anyone can start shooting without a meter, well is possible also, I'm saying will be using meter less when become more and more experience and familiar with your studio lighting equipments.

    Even the power setting is clickless, still have a marking on the unit itself.

    Light meter(flash meter) is just a tool for photographer to measure the light, the photographer should know how the lights work and how to set them accordingly.
    Yeah.. Most of the time the meter will be used during set up. During the shoot, unless you do a major change to the setup, or if the metering accuracy is important to achieve the dynamic range you require (usually for product shots), it is not quite necessary to meter again.

    For those heads without clicks, I don't quite trust the markings, parallex error can easily put you off by up to +/- half stop.

    So, from your statement, doesn't mean that a light meter (flash meter) is still necessary although you will find yourself less reliant on it?
    Last edited by lsisaxon; 16th February 2006 at 01:46 PM.

  7. #27

    Default Re: light meter a must for Studio?

    Quote Originally Posted by reachme2003
    this group may be the minority, the vast majority would have a lightmeter as part of their essential equipment.
    The word "essential" means that you cannot do without it.

    As you can read from this thread, there are photographers who can do without lightmeters.

    Therefore lightmeters are not "essential", even though they are highly desirable and very useful.

  8. #28
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    Default Re: light meter a must for Studio?

    Quote Originally Posted by sentlon
    just wondering is a light meter is assential for studio lighting?
    i personal using the 300D and i believe it has built in light meter and meter spot(correct me if i am wrong).
    should i buy a light meter?
    Ok, my official answer to the original starter:
    1. Lightmeter is not essential for studio lighting, u can still take studio photos but u would need the trial-and-error method to get the correct exposure.
    2. 300D has a built in lightmeter with spot but u cannot measure studio flash light with it.
    3. Yes u should buy a lightmeter if u can afford it, buy a cheapo 1 to start with, when u find it becomes essential then upgrade to a more expensive one.

  9. #29
    Moderator ortega's Avatar
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    Default Re: light meter a must for Studio?

    Quote Originally Posted by Astin
    Ok, my official answer to the original starter:
    1. Lightmeter is not essential for studio lighting, u can still take studio photos but u would need the trial-and-error method to get the correct exposure.
    2. 300D has a built in lightmeter with spot but u cannot measure studio flash light with it.
    3. Yes u should buy a lightmeter if u can afford it, buy a cheapo 1 to start with, when u find it becomes essential then upgrade to a more expensive one.
    I 2nd Astin's views

  10. #30

    Default Re: light meter a must for Studio?

    Quote Originally Posted by Astin
    Ok, my official answer to the original starter:
    1. Lightmeter is not essential for studio lighting, u can still take studio photos but u would need the trial-and-error method to get the correct exposure.
    2. 300D has a built in lightmeter with spot but u cannot measure studio flash light with it.
    3. Yes u should buy a lightmeter if u can afford it, buy a cheapo 1 to start with, when u find it becomes essential then upgrade to a more expensive one.
    Amen! And I will go a little further.

    Although a lightmeter is not absolutely essential, I will recommend it highly. I suggest you go get one. Your life and learning curve will be a lot easier.
    Last edited by student; 16th February 2006 at 03:01 PM.

  11. #31

    Default Re: light meter a must for Studio?

    Quote Originally Posted by Astin
    Ok, my official answer to the original starter:
    1. Lightmeter is not essential for studio lighting, u can still take studio photos but u would need the trial-and-error method to get the correct exposure.
    2. 300D has a built in lightmeter with spot but u cannot measure studio flash light with it.
    3. Yes u should buy a lightmeter if u can afford it, buy a cheapo 1 to start with, when u find it becomes essential then upgrade to a more expensive one.
    I second that too!

  12. #32

    Default Re: light meter a must for Studio?

    Quote Originally Posted by Astin
    3. Yes u should buy a lightmeter if u can afford it, buy a cheapo 1 to start with, when u find it becomes essential then upgrade to a more expensive one.
    Don't just buy a "cheapo 1". Buy a meter with a reputable brand as such Minolta, Sekonic or Polaris.

  13. #33

    Default Re: Light meter a must for Studio?

    You can start off without a flash meter by trial & error and reviewing the digital capture. But to learn to light properly you will need a flash meter.

  14. #34
    Senior Member Cheesecake's Avatar
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    Default Re: Light meter a must for Studio?

    Quote Originally Posted by beachbum
    But to learn to light properly you will need a flash meter.
    that is so wrong.

    u might need a lightmeter when u start off, esp. using films/slides.
    but as u progress and u really understand ur strobes and ur flashguns as well as exposures using artificial light-source, u do not need a lightmeter anymore.
    You'll Never Walk Alone! - i have the best job in the world!

  15. #35

    Default Re: Light meter a must for Studio?

    Regardless of whether you shoot digital or film. YOU DO NEED A LIGHT METER. It is an essential part of a photographer's equipment.

    No decent photographer would be without one.

  16. #36

    Default Re: Light meter a must for Studio?

    Quote Originally Posted by sentlon
    just wondering is a light meter is assential for studio lighting?
    i personal using the 300D and i believe it has built in light meter and meter spot(correct me if i am wrong).
    should i buy a light meter?
    Nope. It's pretty much useless. Until you realise you need it.

  17. #37

    Default Re: Light meter a must for Studio?

    Quote Originally Posted by hondasleeper
    Regardless of whether you shoot digital or film. YOU DO NEED A LIGHT METER. It is an essential part of a photographer's equipment.

    No decent photographer would be without one.

    Oh dear, now I know why people say I am not a decent photographer! And I produce indecent pictures! Sigh!
    Last edited by student; 18th February 2006 at 09:38 PM.

  18. #38

    Default Re: Light meter a must for Studio?

    In my work (which earns me $$ and puts me under a roof and puts bread and butter on my table), I almost never used a light meter in the studio.

    The reason is that my customers are the average Beng and Lian who aren't too bothered to look at an image and comment on the number of stops difference between this part and that part of the image. All they really care is their faces look good, quite evenly lit from cheek to cheek, forehead to chin, and that's all.

    However, if I was going to do silhouettes or "arty" lighting, then a light meter would be nice to have around, even though if shooting with digital. With film, I'm sure most would say it's essential, and not "nice to have around".

    The playback on the LCD on your digital camera should not be used to assess/analyse simply because it's brightness can be adjusted. I have been told to use the histogram to do that but I'm still not totally comfy with the histogram. Each and every scene captured is different, and the histogram would also be different.

    For example, if you shoot the same person in the same clothes and in the same composition against a black backdrop and white backdrop, you would see that the histogram is different. Only a light meter would be able to tell you had the lights set up to have the "correct" or desired exposure level for your subject.

    In my work place, I don't use a light meter because my customers are only face-conscious and aren't gonna put a drill up my behind for the lack of precision. Besides, I have gotten used to the feedback I see on the DSLR's LCD. I know if the image is under or over.

    In my own private play, I'm a bit more thorough, and use a light meter to measure left, right, up, down and all over.

    Is it a must? It's up to you.

    Besides, a light meter is not only useable in the studio. It's useable outdoors as well.
    Last edited by Jemapela; 18th February 2006 at 09:50 PM.

  19. #39

    Default Re: Light meter a must for Studio?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jemapela
    In my work (which earns me $$ and puts me under a roof and puts bread and butter on my table), I almost never used a light meter in the studio.

    The reason is that my customers are the average Beng and Lian who aren't too bothered to look at an image and comment on the number of stops difference between this part and that part of the image. All they really care is their faces look good, quite evenly lit from cheek to cheek, forehead to chin, and that's all.

    However, if I was going to do silhouettes or "arty" lighting, then a light meter would be nice to have around, even though if shooting with digital. With film, I'm sure most would say it's essential, and not "nice to have around".

    The playback on the LCD on your digital camera should not be used to assess/analyse simply because it's brightness can be adjusted. I have been told to use the histogram to do that but I'm still not totally comfy with the histogram. Each and every scene captured is different, and the histogram would also be different.

    For example, if you shoot the same person in the same clothes and in the same composition against a black backdrop and white backdrop, you would see that the histogram is different. Only a light meter would be able to tell you had the lights set up to have the "correct" or desired exposure level for your subject.

    In my work place, I don't use a light meter because my customers are only face-conscious and aren't gonna put a drill up my behind for the lack of precision. Besides, I have gotten used to the feedback I see on the DSLR's LCD. I know if the image is under or over.

    In my own private play, I'm a bit more thorough, and use a light meter to measure left, right, up, down and all over.

    Is it a must? It's up to you.

    Besides, a light meter is not only useable in the studio. It's useable outdoors as well.

    So, is it "ESSENTIAL" or not?

    Meaning, can one function without one? Like "water is essential". I think champagne is "nice". But somehow I think one do not die if there is no champagne.

    Or perhaps you also belong to the pack of "Not decent photographers"?

    Oh dear, I am so confused!

  20. #40
    Senior Member Cheesecake's Avatar
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    Default Re: Light meter a must for Studio?

    Quote Originally Posted by hondasleeper
    Regardless of whether you shoot digital or film. YOU DO NEED A LIGHT METER. It is an essential part of a photographer's equipment.

    No decent photographer would be without one.
    nope. incorrect. i disagree.

    it is good to have, but not essential for studio photography.
    You'll Never Walk Alone! - i have the best job in the world!

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