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Thread: Must I buy light meter?

  1. #1

    Default Must I buy light meter?

    Hi. Still a Newbie. I was introduced to buy light meter. But I thought with spot metering I could get the same exposure reading as indicated by the light meter. I like portraiture and will try to experiment with manual focus. So is light meter a must to buy to solve metering problem? Please advise.

    Joe

  2. #2

    Default Re: Must I buy light meter?

    somehow i doubt that.
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    Senior Member geraldkhoo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Must I buy light meter?

    Quote Originally Posted by joekohys View Post
    Hi. Still a Newbie. I was introduced to buy light meter. But I thought with spot metering I could get the same exposure reading as indicated by the light meter. I like portraiture and will try to experiment with manual focus. So is light meter a must to buy to solve metering problem? Please advise.

    Joe
    It really depends on how you like to shoot...

    For me, I don't need a light meter... but use my camera's metering to measure the light. If I want to use manual mode, I go first to program mode, do a half press to meter, then go to manual mode and use the reading I previously took and work from there.
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    Default Re: Must I buy light meter?

    Quote Originally Posted by geraldkhoo View Post
    ...If I want to use manual mode, I go first to program mode, do a half press to meter, then go to manual mode and use the reading I previously took and work from there.
    Isn't that really slow? Your camera meter works the same in manual and program modes, so just learn to meter in manual mode, and you really save yourself a lot of time.

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    Default Re: Must I buy light meter?

    If you're still a newbie, don't bother with light meters for now.

  6. #6
    Senior Member geraldkhoo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Must I buy light meter?

    Quote Originally Posted by calebk View Post
    Isn't that really slow? Your camera meter works the same in manual and program modes, so just learn to meter in manual mode, and you really save yourself a lot of time.
    Mmmm... when you are in manual mode, the camera does not do any metering. I just tried it to verify. If you set, let's say, 1/200s + f/5.6 @ ISO200 in manual mode, when I half-press the shutter release button, I do not get a reading from the camera. When I change to program mode, the reading I get is 1/15s + f/2 @ ISO200.

    Anyway... I'm still learning to meter a situation manually, i.e. if I step into a place, I would know what ISO + shutter speed + aperture to use to get correct exposure that I want
    Last edited by geraldkhoo; 12th March 2009 at 12:53 AM.
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    Default Re: Must I buy light meter?

    Quote Originally Posted by geraldkhoo View Post
    Mmmm... when you are in manual mode, the camera does not do any metering. I just tried it to verify. If you set, let's say, 1/200s + f/5.6 @ ISO200 in manual mode, when I half-press the shutter release button, I do not get a reading from the camera. When I change to program mode, the reading I get is 1/15s + f/2 @ ISO200.
    Wrong. When you are in manual mode, the camera does not adjust exposure settings for you, but it meters. You have confused the camera performing auto exposure adjustments as metering. They are different things.

    Check your metering bar in the viewfinder, and you should see that the metering indicator is all the way underexposed if you set your shutter speed too fast or aperture opening too small. As you bring your exposure values closer to 1/15s + f/2, you will notice that your metering indicator moves towards the 0 point of the metering bar.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Must I buy light meter?

    you will know when you need to buy once you know what your equipment can or cannot do.
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  9. #9

    Default Re: Must I buy light meter?

    Quote Originally Posted by geraldkhoo View Post
    Mmmm... when you are in manual mode, the camera does not do any metering. I just tried it to verify. If you set, let's say, 1/200s + f/5.6 @ ISO200 in manual mode, when I half-press the shutter release button, I do not get a reading from the camera. When I change to program mode, the reading I get is 1/15s + f/2 @ ISO200.

    Anyway... I'm still learning to meter a situation manually, i.e. if I step into a place, I would know what ISO + shutter speed + aperture to use to get correct exposure that I want
    Those aren't "readings" for your reference. They're the settings the camera automatically chose based on what the metering systems sees. The camera still meters in full manual mode, it just doesn't change any settings for you. The info display shows you whether the camera thinks your photo will be underexposed/overexposed/correct. On a Nikon it's underexposure to the right, overexposure to the left. Then you change settings according to the whatever effect you're after while still keeping the meter reading in the center for proper exposure (that is, if you trust your camera's meter).

    What you're doing is not manual mode...it's a much slower version of P mode.
    Last edited by kaikibbler; 12th March 2009 at 01:14 AM.
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  10. #10

    Default Re: Must I buy light meter?

    A hand-held light meter can be a very useful tool, in the right hands, and especially if you work in very very challenging light conditions often, or require specific and perhaps more technical measuring options. In a studio or when working with flash, it's invaluable. Of course, with a good foundational knowledge and experience in understanding light for photography, you could optimise or maximise the use of your camera's in-built meters and histograms as well.

    Other than that, it looks waaaay cool to shove a light-meter around and pless pless!

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    Senior Member denniskee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Must I buy light meter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dream Merchant View Post
    Other than that, it looks waaaay cool to shove a light-meter around and pless pless!
    dm, dont bluff people lar, i use light meter, people laugh at me so a so old fashion. buy new camera than no need light meter.
    photography makes one sees things from all angles.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Must I buy light meter?

    That's becuase you don't have 5 XMMs hanging off your arms when you do that!

    Or show people more videos of hard-core fashion shoots!

    The ULTIMATE is to do a nude shoot in public using a view-camera, one-shot flash bulbs and a hand-held llight-meter. As long as the girl is seksi, people will say you damned PRO!

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    Senior Member denniskee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Must I buy light meter?



    there was once, a uncle of a camera shop in chinatown asked me what camera is that.
    photography makes one sees things from all angles.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Must I buy light meter?

    Quote Originally Posted by denniskee View Post


    there was once, a uncle of a camera shop in chinatown asked me what camera is that.
    You never tell him it's the improved day + night IR X-Ray dis cam ah? That white dome emits special IR rays so that the cam can take see-thru clothes shots anytime night or day!

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    Senior Member giantcanopy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Must I buy light meter?

    Hi joekohys, for a start I would propose to simply use the camera's in built light meter instead.

    Ryan

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    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Must I buy light meter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dream Merchant View Post
    A hand-held light meter can be a very useful tool, in the right hands, and especially if you work in very very challenging light conditions often, or require specific and perhaps more technical measuring options. In a studio or when working with flash, it's invaluable. Of course, with a good foundational knowledge and experience in understanding light for photography, you could optimise or maximise the use of your camera's in-built meters and histograms as well.

    Other than that, it looks waaaay cool to shove a light-meter around and pless pless!
    yea yea, use the handheld meter to take reading from left right center of the model face, than go back to the camera switch to P mode......


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  17. #17
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Must I buy light meter?

    basically a handheld meter is use to take incident metering reading, (google incident metering reading for more info). if you don't really understand what is exposure and what is meter reading, using a handheld meter will not really solve your problem, and manual focus has noting to do with meter reading or exposure control.

    if you are referring to using a flash meter (handheld meter able to meter flash light), yes it is useful, since camera exposure meter can't read flash. A cheaper alternative is using gray card plus the camera histogram.

    hope this help.
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  18. #18

    Default Re: Must I buy light meter?

    Quote Originally Posted by joekohys View Post
    Hi. Still a Newbie. I was introduced to buy light meter. But I thought with spot metering I could get the same exposure reading as indicated by the light meter. I like portraiture and will try to experiment with manual focus. So is light meter a must to buy to solve metering problem? Please advise.

    Joe

    portraiture in studio or outdoors?
    if using natural light, you dont need a lightmeter.
    even in manual focus, it has nothing to do with metering.
    only in manual MODE, then you use the combi of apert and shutter spd to control exposure.
    and you look at the meter indicated by your camera.

    light meters are more for studio work when you need to take readings of your strobes.
    and the ratio between the lights.
    for a start, i suggest using your build in camera metering first.

  19. #19
    Senior Member phoakm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Must I buy light meter?

    Share some exprience on using lightmeter. My early thinking was similar to some of the views here. Use camera metering to obtain exposures and using manual mode to set the camera settings. However by doing these you need to trial and error unless you are extremely experience.

    Few weeks ago, I bought a sekonic lightmeter. It opens a new world for me on metering subjects. Actually, I love it. .... Like what the pros say, enjoying the siok of triggering and they are very accurate. I even can profile the settings similar to my cameras.
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  20. #20
    Moderator ortega's Avatar
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    Default Re: Must I buy light meter?

    a handheld light meter and the meter in your camera takes reading differently
    i'd say master your camera first before buying new things to master

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