Lightmeter


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DarkForce

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#1
Hi guys,

Since beginning , I have being shooting depending solely on my 10D in-build metering system. It's time I want to go into incident-light metering and spot metering (adopt Zone system).

Had compare between Minota Auto Meter VI and Sekonic L-608 Super Zoom Master and likely to get the Sekonic L-608.

For those who have own one :

- Where do you get it from ?
- Any complaint about this model ?
- How much did you pay for it (I think should be over thousand dollar in Singapore) ?

Thank you
 

catchlights

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#2
If you still shooting with your 10D, don't understand why you still want to get a lightmeter?
a flashmeter maybe better if you need to setup lighting.
 

student

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#3
catchlights said:
If you still shooting with your 10D, don't understand why you still want to get a lightmeter?
a flashmeter maybe better if you need to setup lighting.

A lightmeter is one of the most useful accessories a photographer can have. It will help you understand light in ways that your in-camera light meter cannot.

I shoot "studio" often. I don't have a flashmeter (which is a light meter anyway). But I cannot do without my spotmeter. Just had a "studio" shoot this morning. Another photographer was around with with his 10D. I hope he understood the extremely useful thing the spotmeter could do that he would have a lot of difficulty with his 10D camera meter.
 

catchlights

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#4
student said:
A lightmeter is one of the most useful accessories a photographer can have. It will help you understand light in ways that your in-camera light meter cannot.

I shoot "studio" often. I don't have a flashmeter (which is a light meter anyway). But I cannot do without my spotmeter. Just had a "studio" shoot this morning. Another photographer was around with with his 10D. I hope he understood the extremely useful thing the spotmeter could do that he would have a lot of difficulty with his 10D camera meter.
I use Minota flash meter III when I'm together with my late brother, he taught me how to metering reading mentally, to take a meter reading is just to confirm our reading is correct, anyway, I shoot 120 or 4x5 at that time, need to shoot a piece of Polaroid to show to our client/ CD, some our new clients so surprise that we don’t have to take meter reading after the lighting setup. A natural light set up is even easier, just a look will know what’s the f-stop and speed.

I have a Sekonic 328, so long never use, and need to take out the battery later.

I must admit, shooting digital now make me very lazy, always look at the histogram for correct exposure.
 

student

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#5
A meter is not an absolute must. A gret photographer that comes into mind is the late Edward Weston and his son Brett.

Another great photog is Cartier Bresson.

So if one can read light intuitively or with accumulated experience, one can do without a meter.

But for accurate metering and development of the negative (I am talking about B&W photography here), there is no good substitute for a spotmeter..
 

catchlights

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#6
student said:
But for accurate metering and development of the negative (I am talking about B&W photography here), there is no good substitute for a spotmeter..
Yes, I understand, for those who interested in Zone System in B/W, you may find all you need to know with these 3 books in our National Library, The Camera, The Negative, and The Prints, by Ansel Adam.

Btw,
Metering reading mentally is not that difficult, understand the Exposure Value Chart from this website THE ULTIMATE EXPOSURE COMPUTER sure help a lot.
 

DarkForce

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#7
catchlights said:
If you still shooting with your 10D, don't understand why you still want to get a lightmeter?
a flashmeter maybe better if you need to setup lighting.
Thanks catchlights,

The model I mention (Sekonic L-608 Super Zoom Master ) is a Incident-Light , Reflected-Light (also spot) and a flash meter. Please correct me if I am wrong.

http://www.photographic.com/news/10055/

The purpose for getting one is to learn more about light and I intend not to use the 10D bulid-in metering once I got a lightmeter

By the way, 10D does not have a spot meter.

:)
 

DarkForce

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#8
catchlights said:
Yes, I understand, for those who interested in Zone System in B/W, you may find all you need to know with these 3 books in our National Library, The Camera, The Negative, and The Prints, by Ansel Adam.

Btw,
Metering reading mentally is not that difficult, understand the Exposure Value Chart from this website THE ULTIMATE EXPOSURE COMPUTER sure help a lot.
Well,

I came across that website u mentioned before. I am just a newbie and wanted to practise more of these area which 10D metering can't do

- Incident-light metering of model
- spot metering in Zone system (eg. get light reading of white and black spot then divide it to get an avg reading)
- get ratio / percentage reading of flash against amb light
 

student

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#9
catchlights said:
Yes, I understand, for those who interested in Zone System in B/W, you may find all you need to know with these 3 books in our National Library, The Camera, The Negative, and The Prints, by Ansel Adam.

Btw,
Metering reading mentally is not that difficult, understand the Exposure Value Chart from this website THE ULTIMATE EXPOSURE COMPUTER sure help a lot.
Thanks for a useful link.

Using the guides as suggested in the link gives a good approximation of the average light. For general shooting purposes the guides are adequate.

But for accurate readings of light and development of negatives to give the best possible negative quality, it is not ideal, and a good spotmeter is highy recommended.

A few words for Darkforce.

1 Do not ignore/discount the in-camera metering. But once you understand how meters (in camera and handheld) works, you will still find the camera meters to be useful. Although I use spotmeter VERY often, I still rely on my cameras' inbuilt meters for general purposes.

2 The way to use spotmeter is not for the purpose of measuring the highlights and shadows and then get an "average" reading as provided for in my Sekonic 508 and I suppose the 608. If you want an "average" metering, the evaluative metering in the Canon might be better!

Spot metering's greatest use for "roll" film, and I suppose DSLR (my ignorance here!) is to put the "right exposure" on the most important area of your image, usually the shadows area.

For sheet film development, its use is to allow contraction/expansion of contrast of negatives. This can be applied to "roll film" if you are prepared to treat the entire roll of film as a sheet!
 

DarkForce

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#10
student said:
Thanks for a useful link.

Using the guides as suggested in the link gives a good approximation of the average light. For general shooting purposes the guides are adequate.

But for accurate readings of light and development of negatives to give the best possible negative quality, it is not ideal, and a good spotmeter is highy recommended.

A few words for Darkforce.

1 Do not ignore/discount the in-camera metering. But once you understand how meters (in camera and handheld) works, you will still find the camera meters to be useful. Although I use spotmeter VERY often, I still rely on my cameras' inbuilt meters for general purposes.

2 The way to use spotmeter is not for the purpose of measuring the highlights and shadows and then get an "average" reading as provided for in my Sekonic 508 and I suppose the 608. If you want an "average" metering, the evaluative metering in the Canon might be better!

Spot metering's greatest use for "roll" film, and I suppose DSLR (my ignorance here!) is to put the "right exposure" on the most important area of your image, usually the shadows area.

For sheet film development, its use is to allow contraction/expansion of contrast of negatives. This can be applied to "roll film" if you are prepared to treat the entire roll of film as a sheet!
Thanks students,

You are one of the Cser with great knowkedge in terms of photography who I can learn from.

Regards the point u mention on the use of spot metering. I revisit the website I read

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/accessories/l-608.shtml

Under "The Advantages of 1 Degree Spotmetering" section

You are right that that method are use on film. Does that mean as a digital user, I don't have to concern and just let the built-in meter do the trick ?

Thank you :)
 

student

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#11
DarkForce said:
You are right that that method are use on film. Does that mean as a digital user, I don't have to concern and just let the built-in meter do the trick ?
Digital users might be in a better position to advise you. But here are some thots.

I still think that proper placement of light values are very important even for digital users. While PS can deal with many "sins" of less than proper exposure etc, I think that there is probably a trade off in quality when one tries to correct over/underexposure.
 

hongsien

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#12
Digital cameras have a similar contrast latitude as slide film (about 5 stops), and maybe the newer cameras have a greater latitude. So, for slide and digital the use of a spotmeter is very useful (not only for rollfilm as was suggested), cause the film/CCD has less room for depicting the whole contrast area you are seeing. Negative film has about 7 stops of room. Also, as a guideline one measures for highlights when using slides or digital cameras and meter for shadow areas when using negatives.

You can purchase a book on metering from Sekonic, or find a good book on metering in the library, good luck!

HS
 

student

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#13
hongsien said:
Digital cameras have a similar contrast latitude as slide film (about 5 stops), and maybe the newer cameras have a greater latitude. So, for slide and digital the use of a spotmeter is very useful (not only for rollfilm as was suggested), cause the film/CCD has less room for depicting the whole contrast area you are seeing. Negative film has about 7 stops of room. Also, as a guideline one measures for highlights when using slides or digital cameras and meter for shadow areas when using negatives.

You can purchase a book on metering from Sekonic, or find a good book on metering in the library, good luck!

HS
Thanks HS. Learn something tonight!

See you this coming Sunday.
 

DarkForce

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#14
student said:
Digital users might be in a better position to advise you. But here are some thots.

I still think that proper placement of light values are very important even for digital users. While PS can deal with many "sins" of less than proper exposure etc, I think that there is probably a trade off in quality when one tries to correct over/underexposure.
As a digital user , I always shoot in RAW mode which enable me to correct mistake make within +-2 to +-3 stop.

It's time I need to do something about it. Thus getting a light meter is a starting point and hopefully I can gain confident in getting a better light exposure as time goes by. Maybe I might be confident to shoot in slide or B& W by then.

Thanks
 

DarkForce

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#15
hongsien said:
Digital cameras have a similar contrast latitude as slide film (about 5 stops), and maybe the newer cameras have a greater latitude. So, for slide and digital the use of a spotmeter is very useful (not only for rollfilm as was suggested), cause the film/CCD has less room for depicting the whole contrast area you are seeing. Negative film has about 7 stops of room. Also, as a guideline one measures for highlights when using slides or digital cameras and meter for shadow areas when using negatives.

You can purchase a book on metering from Sekonic, or find a good book on metering in the library, good luck!

HS
Thanks hongsien for the information. :)
 

catchlights

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#16
DarkForce said:
Well,

I came across that website u mentioned before. I am just a newbie and wanted to practise more of these area which 10D metering can't do

- Incident-light metering of model
- spot metering in Zone system (eg. get light reading of white and black spot then divide it to get an avg reading)
- get ratio / percentage reading of flash against amb light
I'm not good in writing, but try my best to reply you:

Yes, taking incident light reading is more accurate, but not just for model only, if you know camera metering system well and can use it properly, it should be fine.

It not just as simple as average reading, it has to do with exposure latitude of the record medium (transparency, negative or CCD).

Yes, flash meter will help you set the lighting ratio, whether is 2 or 3 flash heads or flash and ambience, but when experience grow, you will use meter lesser.

If you really interested about practice zone system in b/w photography, please read the 3 books by Ansel Adam first. But if you just want a simple advice about b/w photography, here it goes: expose for the highlights detail, develop for shadow details.

I love photography, am also making a living with photography, trying to learn anything I can about photography, but prefer to enjoy it in the simplest form.

Hope this help.
 

DarkForce

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#17
catchlights said:
I'm not good in writing, but try my best to reply you:

Yes, taking incident light reading is more accurate, but not just for model only, if you know camera metering system well and can use it properly, it should be fine.

It not just as simple as average reading, it has to do with exposure latitude of the record medium (transparency, negative or CCD).

Yes, flash meter will help you set the lighting ratio, whether is 2 or 3 flash heads or flash and ambience, but when experience grow, you will use meter lesser.

If you really interested about practice zone system in b/w photography, please read the 3 books by Ansel Adam first. But if you just want a simple advice about b/w photography, here it goes: expose for the highlights detail, develop for shadow details.

I love photography, am also making a living with photography, trying to learn anything I can about photography, but prefer to enjoy it in the simplest form.

Hope this help.
Hi catchlights,

Thanks for your advise.

Thank you :)
 

StreetShooter

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#18
Not sure why you would want an external light meter. The 10D has partial metering, which meters off the central 9% of the frame. While not exactly spot metering, it's sufficient for you to meter for highlights or shadows, and practise the zone system (which I don't profess to fully understand, so don't flame me).

I would go so far as to question if you need the zone system at all with digital, since it is a simple matter of exposure bracketing and combining the shots digitally to capture shadow details AND highlight details, without having to sacrifice quality when you adjust curves. No, not another digital-film debate, we all know Ansel would have gone digital if it had been available in his time.
 

DarkForce

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#19
StreetShooter said:
Not sure why you would want an external light meter. The 10D has partial metering, which meters off the central 9% of the frame. While not exactly spot metering, it's sufficient for you to meter for highlights or shadows, and practise the zone system (which I don't profess to fully understand, so don't flame me).

I would go so far as to question if you need the zone system at all with digital, since it is a simple matter of exposure bracketing and combining the shots digitally to capture shadow details AND highlight details, without having to sacrifice quality when you adjust curves. No, not another digital-film debate, we all know Ansel would have gone digital if it had been available in his time.
Well,

1) The main reason for getting a lightmeter is the abilities to use Incident Metering which bulit-in camera can't do and I find it very useful

http://www.photomigrations.com/articles/0401100.htm

2) Lightmeter (the model I mention) can have a spot meter of 1 degree

I agree with you on the digital darkroom concept like combine shots, adjust curves etc ... to resolve some difficult lighting condition. Most of the time the build-in meter should be able to get quite a good exposure reading.

Well, let's put it this way, I am keen to learn more about lights and an external lightmeter could help me.

Thanks :)
 

student

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#20
catchlights said:
But if you just want a simple advice about b/w photography, here it goes: expose for the highlights detail, develop for shadow details.
I think you have a typo there.

It should be: EXPOSE FOR THE SHADOWS. DEVELOP FOR THE HIGHLIGHTS
 

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