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Lightmeter


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rafiano

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Jul 19, 2004
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#1
hi there...just wanna ask about lightmeters...when is it an essential tool? any recommendations for a lightmeter and how much does it cost? where can i get it?
 

lsisaxon

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#2
rafiano said:
hi there...just wanna ask about lightmeters...when is it an essential tool? any recommendations for a lightmeter and how much does it cost? where can i get it?
When you need accurate tonal gradients, usually in studio or product photography. Incident light meters measure the amount of light falling on a subject, so it doesn't care about what the subject looks like. If it reflects more light, the camera will see a lighter colour, if it reflects less light, it will appear darker in the camera. Also, when you use studio flash, you may need one to check for metering.

Apart from that, most cameras already have a built in reflected light meter. The drawback of this is that it is dependent on the amount of light being reflected, which means that if the subject has a light colour, the camera will think that it is too bright and the exposure reading given may give you underexposure and the opposite is true if the object is darker.

http://www.sekonic.com/Products/prodinfo.html

Price varies around $500 to $1000 for an incident light meter for both flash and ambient light.
 

waileong

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#4
With histograms these days, it's not really necessary...

However, it does allow you to achieve consistent exposures if you use it, rather than rely on "matrix" metering or such.


rafiano said:
hi there...just wanna ask about lightmeters...when is it an essential tool? any recommendations for a lightmeter and how much does it cost? where can i get it?
 

blurblock

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May 30, 2003
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#5
waileong said:
With histograms these days, it's not really necessary...

However, it does allow you to achieve consistent exposures if you use it, rather than rely on "matrix" metering or such.
When was the last time you had used a light meter?

Last I know histograms tells you the colour distribution and nothing to do with exposure.
 

catchlights

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Sep 27, 2004
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#6
rafiano said:
hi there...just wanna ask about lightmeters...when is it an essential tool? any recommendations for a lightmeter and how much does it cost? where can i get it?
What kind of light meter are you refering?
If you using a camera with a built in light meter, it would be little use of a handheld light meter.

If you are refering to flash meter, it would be good to have, but....... (my reply is still the same as in the other thread.)

The cost of meter depend on what type of meter you want.
 

KNIGHT ONG

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Dec 18, 2003
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#7
waileong said:
With histograms these days, it's not really necessary...

However, it does allow you to achieve consistent exposures if you use it, rather than rely on "matrix" metering or such.
Nope .. histograms cannot be used to tell the accurate light falls on the model or whichever area you want to measure .. :nono:

Example you got a shoot to do, you have to use light meter to measure the accurate lighting before you shoot, dun think that with DSLR you can trial and test your cilent to get the rght exposure .. if that is the way photographer work then good luck to him. :sweatsm:
 

fuwen

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Aug 11, 2004
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#8
blurblock said:
When was the last time you had used a light meter?

Last I know histograms tells you the colour distribution and nothing to do with exposure.
On and off I still use light meters. I use them for a few reasons:

1. To calibrate camera meter
2. For situation where I need a 1 degree spot
3. When I am lazy to do exposure compensation so go for incident light measurement
4. To figure out the exposure biasness of centre averaging mode of cameras
5. When I use 2 flashes in manual mode to determine the partial power output of flash and lens f stop
 

sk.images

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#9
blurblock said:
When was the last time you had used a light meter?
When was the last time you shot in a studio or even outdoors with multiple (non-TTL metering) strobes? You have plenty of time to do trial and error, reading the histogram, etc, but this is pretty unprofessional IMHO. And the histogram will tell you nothing about the ratio of the various lights, unless you take multiple exposures and then calculate manually.


blurblock said:
Last I know histograms tells you the colour distribution and nothing to do with exposure.
The histogram doesn't tell you about the colour distribution it tells you about the total number of pixels at individula levels of luminosity, and in some cases (depending on the camera capability) will break this down by no. of pixels of each colour at each luminosity level. And meters aren't used to measure colour distribution anyway, they're used to determine exposure.
 

forward

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#10
rafiano said:
ask about lightmeters...when is it an essential tool? any recommendations for a lightmeter and how much does it cost? where can i get it?
It is the most essential piece of photo equipment for the serious
photographer who wants to learn more about lighting (available or
artificial light).

In fact students learning basic photography should get one. You
use the meter in getting light ratios both outdoor and in the studio
environment. Get a good set of Gray Card as well. Use them in
combination to see the differences when you are learning to
control light.

The Minolta (Flash Meter VI (latest model) and Sekonic L558R are
reliable and accurate. Invest in a good one that will give you
reliable reading for many years to come.

If on a budget go for the famous Sekonic L398M Studio Deluxe II
which is using Selenium photo cell and does not require a battery.
The Weston Master V Exposure Meter is another option but for outdoor use only.
This meter also uses selenium photo cell.
 

fuwen

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#11
forward said:
If on a budget go for the famous Sekonic L398M Studio Deluxe II
which is using Selenium photo cell and does not require a battery.
The Weston Master V Exposure Meter is another option but for outdoor use only.
This meter also uses selenium photo cell.
My past experiences (very very long ago) with meters without batteries is that they are not good enough for outdoor/indoor low light exposure metering. Not sure about the L398M. Of course studio with flash will not be a problem.
 

lsisaxon

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#12
blurblock said:
When was the last time you had used a light meter?

Last I know histograms tells you the colour distribution and nothing to do with exposure.
I use light meters very often.. in fact for every shot I'm taking, the camera light meter will tell me the exposure. If you're referring to handheld (incident) light meters, I use them as and when I think exposure is critical or when the subject's colour and tone is difficult for a reflected light meter to give a correct reading. Even though my handheld can do reflected light and spot metering, I do not use those function because the camera can do it well enough.
 

lsisaxon

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#13
fuwen said:
On and off I still use light meters. I use them for a few reasons:

1. To calibrate camera meter
2. For situation where I need a 1 degree spot
3. When I am lazy to do exposure compensation so go for incident light measurement
4. To figure out the exposure biasness of centre averaging mode of cameras
5. When I use 2 flashes in manual mode to determine the partial power output of flash and lens f stop
:thumbsup: :)
 

rafiano

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Jul 19, 2004
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#14
thanks guys..as 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??
 

lsisaxon

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Nov 29, 2004
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#15
rafiano said:
thanks guys..as 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??
I'm using a Sekonic digital model which is no longer in production. I find Sekonic pretty accurate and easy to use. You may look for one of the digital ones which fits your budget. I think AP or CP may be able to get for you.
 

lsisaxon

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#17
Tumbleweed said:
The Camera Workshop in Peninsula is selling the Sekonic L-308S for about $330.00. You can find out more about this lightmeter and other models at...

www.sekonic.com
Is that new or 2nd hand?
 

waileong

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#18
If you are a real pro you would have a tethered DSLR and can see the image immediately on your monitor. You should then be able to see much more than on an LCD.

Even if not, you can zoom in to the face and shoot a test shot before you zoom out for your composition, then you can see immediately whether the highlights are blown, even on your LCD if you don't have a tethered DSLR.

But you're right that histograms cannot help you much with lighting ratios.

Wai Leong
===
KNIGHT ONG said:
Nope .. histograms cannot be used to tell the accurate light falls on the model or whichever area you want to measure .. :nono:

Example you got a shoot to do, you have to use light meter to measure the accurate lighting before you shoot, dun think that with DSLR you can trial and test your cilent to get the rght exposure .. if that is the way photographer work then good luck to him. :sweatsm:
 

blurblock

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May 30, 2003
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#19
waileong said:
If you are a real pro you would have a tethered DSLR and can see the image immediately on your monitor. You should then be able to see much more than on an LCD.

Even if not, you can zoom in to the face and shoot a test shot before you zoom out for your composition, then you can see immediately whether the highlights are blown, even on your LCD if you don't have a tethered DSLR.

But you're right that histograms cannot help you much with lighting ratios.

Wai Leong
===
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.
 

Mar 15, 2005
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#20
lsisaxon said:
Is that new or 2nd hand?

Brand New. But I did not see it on the shelf last weekend so it may be sold out. Also remember that TCW sell grey equipment so they probably parallel import the lightmeter. I bought the earlier version, the L-308, a few years ago from them for about $280.00 and it's still working fine. I think it is good enough for the beginner who wants ambient, incident and flash light measurement in a compact form.
 

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