Must I buy light meter?


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joekohys

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Aug 16, 2007
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#1
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
 

geraldkhoo

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Jun 15, 2007
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The Tiny Red Dot
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#3
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.
 

calebk

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Jul 25, 2006
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Clementi
#4
...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.
 

Yoricko

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May 25, 2008
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#5
If you're still a newbie, don't bother with light meters for now.
 

geraldkhoo

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Jun 15, 2007
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#6
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 :)
 

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calebk

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Jul 25, 2006
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#7
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.
 

Reportage

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Nov 24, 2008
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#8
you will know when you need to buy once you know what your equipment can or cannot do.
 

Jan 28, 2009
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#9
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.
 

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Dream Merchant

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Jan 11, 2007
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#10
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!
 

Dream Merchant

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Jan 11, 2007
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#12
That's becuase you don't have 5 XMMs hanging off your arms when you do that! :bsmilie: :bsmilie:

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

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! :devil:
 

denniskee

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Oct 26, 2003
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bukit batok
Visit site
#13
:bsmilie::bsmilie:

there was once, a uncle of a camera shop in chinatown asked me what camera is that.:sweatsm::sweat:
 

Dream Merchant

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Jan 11, 2007
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#14
:bsmilie::bsmilie:

there was once, a uncle of a camera shop in chinatown asked me what camera is that.:sweatsm::sweat:
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! :bsmilie:
 

giantcanopy

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Feb 11, 2007
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#15
Hi joekohys, for a start I would propose to simply use the camera's in built light meter instead.

Ryan
 

catchlights

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Sep 27, 2004
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#16
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......;)


:bsmilie: :bsmilie: :bsmilie:
 

catchlights

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#17
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.
 

jeanie

Senior Member
May 19, 2005
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#18
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.
 

phoakm

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Dec 15, 2003
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#19
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. :lovegrin:.... 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.
 

ortega

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Nov 2, 2004
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#20
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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