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Thread: Lightmeter

  1. #21
    Join Date
    May 2002

    Default Re: Lightmeter

    Quote Originally Posted by rafiano
    thanks i wll be doing a lot of studio shoots and using strobes..guess will go for a lightmeter....any model recommendations? i heard the only place u can get one is from Ruby??
    Ruby has the Polaris series starting with the SPD100 which is one of the best value available today.

    Specs: Large analog scale even shows fractions. Film speed range from ISO 3 to ISO 8000. Shutter speeds up to 1/8000 sec. A total of nine flash sync/shutter speed selections match up to almost any camera. Aperture range from f2.0 to f 90.9. Accurate to 1/10th f stop. Four exposure modes to choose from: Ambient f/stop, Ambient EV value, Flash cord activated, Flash cordless activated. PC sync automatically adjusts for flash polarity.

    Includes neck strap and fitted case. Requires on AA battery.

    Another one is the Polaris Dual 5 meter with a 5 degree spot meter.

    Built-in back light illuminates display.
    At less than 1 inch thick and weighing less than an ounce. Custom program level function lets user program meter for under-or-over exposure preferences. 5 degree spot meter for both ambient and flash light.

  2. #22

    Default Re: Lightmeter

    I used my light meter all the time, it's a Gossen Sixtomat Flash. I have a Leica M3 and M4, both of which are without meters, of course.

    The point is that, even in the past, pros took polaroids even after doing all the light metering. Why? Did they not trust their meters? No, it was because they needed to see it visually, despite all the metering. Knowing that you've adjusted the lights to an exact 3:1 ratio is not enough, how does it look for that particular subject, in the context of the background and composition, is all important.

    You can't meter every point in the frame. And further, who is to say 3:1 is the most pleasing all the time, perhaps 3.5 to 1 or 3.75 to 1 would work best for that particular subject. You never know until you see the polaroid.

    Fast forward to the 90's, DSLRs have replaced polaroid backs, light meters are useful as a starting point, but they are not really necessary. See for an explanation of how you can use a DSLR for metering purposes.

    I agree that a DSLR is not a perfect substitute for a meter, but with 70-200 mm L lenses (equiv to 300 mm if you put in a crop factor), spot metering with a camera body is easier than ever. The histogram really helps, esp if your DSLR has histograms for different colours.

    With tethered digital cameras connecting to PCs, you get live RAW pictures, and you or your assistant can tell you instantly if a pix has got blown highlights or if the shadows are lacking in detail.

    You have far more power in your hands than your predecessors even 10 years ago.

    Most times nowadays I see a meter being used to establish the base exposure, ie to set the lighting to standard levels at the start of the shoot. The photog then transfers the readings to the DSLR and shoots some test shots to see if the lighting works, and adjusts either the lights or the aperture accordingly until the desired effect is achieved, after which the shoot basically proceeds without further changes until the lights are changed. And so it goes on and on.

    Anyway the questions asked was is a light meter really necessary. The answer is of course, it depends. It's necessary for me, especially when I shoot slides, esp. since my bodies don't have meters. It's not necessary for most DSLR users, esp. if they learn how to use the spot metering function and have some knowledge of the zone system. It can be helpful, but I don't think it's necessary. You may find that it's necessary for your method of shooting, of course, but light meter sales have never been worse than they have been in the last 50 years. The availability of digital, and esp. DSLR's with sophisticated histograms, has really killed the market for meters.

    Quote Originally Posted by blurblock
    If you are a real pro .... .you would probably want to avoid chimping as much as possible. By the way waileong, when was the last time you had used a light meter, just out of curiously.

  3. #23

    Default Re: Lightmeter

    hmm...thats good feedback waileong...i think it all depends on ur kind of many people with lots of experience here...u guys are great..thanks a lot..

  4. #24

    Default Re: Lightmeter

    hmm..just went to Ruby a few days ago...they selling a polaris lightmeter at $270 as stated in the display....someone told me it cost about $1** i being ripped off?

  5. #25

    Default Re: Lightmeter

    Ruby prices a little high, but they offer good customer service and are always helpful with advice.

    However, for light meters there's only two major brands to consider: Gossen and Sekonic. Of course, some people will point out the Minolta is a big player, but the company is withdrawing from the market, as you know.

    Other brands are minor players, so keep that in mind if you want to buy.

    A good light meter can cost under $100 (reflected) to $200+ (incident + reflected + flash) to $500+ (incident + reflected + flash + 1 deg spot).

    Wai Leong

    Quote Originally Posted by rafiano
    hmm..just went to Ruby a few days ago...they selling a polaris lightmeter at $270 as stated in the display....someone told me it cost about $1** i being ripped off?

  6. #26

    Default Re: Lightmeter

    hmmm..ic...then its better to gofor the sekonici guess...the one at tcw is selling for about $340...same as the polaris in terms of function..

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Singapore, Singapore, Singapor

    Default Re: Lightmeter

    I normally use curves to compensate and adjust the darker parts
    "Photography is an austere and blazing poetry of the real" -Ansel Adams

  8. #28
    Member smtan24's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005

    Default Re: Lightmeter

    They deal with Gossen

    Schmidt Electronic (S E A) Pte Ltd
    1, Jln Kilang Timor
    #07-01, Pacific Tech Centre
    Singapore 159303
    Phone : (65-) 62727233 Fax : (65-) 62734750

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