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Author Topic: Light Meter Help  (Read 2535 times)

Wildeye

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Light Meter Help
« on: August 05, 2013, 12:08:38 AM »
I am new to the form and have read little on light meters.  I have a Minolta 4F and am wanting to know what everyone else uses.  I am in the market for a new one.  My local shop sells Polaris and Sekonic.  I do not know much about them.  Is there anything that compares to the older Minolta 4F?  I am not really wanting to spend more than $250 on a new light meter.  I am into outdoor photography if that helps, nature and landscapes.  Thanks for your help.

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Light Meter Help
« on: August 05, 2013, 12:08:38 AM »

jondave

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Re: Light Meter Help
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2013, 12:44:27 AM »
It's purely a matter of preference. I'm using a Sekonic 758D, it has a 1-degree spot meter function which allows you to meter far away objects with its viewfinder, though this model would  be out of your budget. Best to read reviews, see which features match up well with your Minolta.

Halfrack

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Re: Light Meter Help
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2013, 01:06:34 AM »
I guess I don't understand why you're moving away from the one you have.  Where or when does the 4F lead you astray or is it just dead and you need to move on?

The L-358 Sekonic is a standard issue one in lots of rental shops, and easy to use.
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Viggo

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Re: Light Meter Help
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2013, 04:14:12 AM »
If you're using it with flash outside, I find the Sekonic to meter 1 to 1,5 stops too low, always. VERY annoying and kind of make the point of it go away. I have learned to just set my camera a stop faster to compensate. But I would have preferred it to just work. Haven't tried any other types, but I have tried two of the Sekonic (308) and they did the same thing.
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Wildeye

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Re: Light Meter Help
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2013, 09:26:38 AM »
I guess I don't understand why you're moving away from the one you have.  Where or when does the 4F lead you astray or is it just dead and you need to move on?

The L-358 Sekonic is a standard issue one in lots of rental shops, and easy to use.

Yes, it just doesn't work any more.  So, my other question would be...get another 4F or have advancements been made and I need to go with a better one?  Plus the 4F is no longer being made, from what I can find.

jonathan7007

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Re: Light Meter Help
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2013, 04:06:18 AM »
I needed a strobe meter and bid on several Sekonic L558 on eBay until one stayed at or below a figure I had chosen, about $180-200. I discovered that I liked having the ambient capabilities, too, although I like so many use a meter so much less now than film days.

If you do need flash metering, especially metering that report the mix of flash and ambient (even through the spot meter field of view) then pick your budget and bid on all the good L558 eBay units until one stays in your range. The 758 seems like more than we need these days (unless really careful in the studio product work?) I don't know much about the Sekonic L3xx units.

I love having this even if only using it in the most difficult setups.

Atonegro

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Re: Light Meter Help
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2013, 06:45:08 AM »
It's purely a matter of preference. I'm using a Sekonic 758D, it has a 1-degree spot meter function which allows you to meter far away objects with its viewfinder, though this model would  be out of your budget. Best to read reviews, see which features match up well with your Minolta.

+1

I really love the spotmeter, great for landscapes, but it is an expensive one....
And I don't know if the cheaper models have that option.

But if you don't have one with a spotmeter, the spotmeter in your camera will do the trick.
Lichtmeters are mostly used in studio, and modelling work where you can get at the subject.
If you don't do that sort of things and only make landscapes, ask yourself, do I really need a lightmeter ?
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Re: Light Meter Help
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2013, 06:45:08 AM »

Atonegro

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Re: Light Meter Help
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2013, 06:50:09 AM »
If you're using it with flash outside, I find the Sekonic to meter 1 to 1,5 stops too low, always. VERY annoying and kind of make the point of it go away. I have learned to just set my camera a stop faster to compensate. But I would have preferred it to just work. Haven't tried any other types, but I have tried two of the Sekonic (308) and they did the same thing.

Did you calibrate it with your camera ?
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agierke

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Re: Light Meter Help
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2013, 07:29:34 AM »
Quote
Did you calibrate it with your camera ?

+1

Meters need to be calibrated before you use them. If you had a meter that was calibrated for film at one point it needs to be recalibrated for digital. My sekonic showed over a stop difference between what my film calibration was and what my digital needed to be.
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Viggo

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Re: Light Meter Help
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2013, 02:10:38 PM »
If you're using it with flash outside, I find the Sekonic to meter 1 to 1,5 stops too low, always. VERY annoying and kind of make the point of it go away. I have learned to just set my camera a stop faster to compensate. But I would have preferred it to just work. Haven't tried any other types, but I have tried two of the Sekonic (308) and they did the same thing.

Did you calibrate it with your camera ?

No, I haven't, how do I do that??

It seems to work a tad better indoors, but seems around a stop
Off there also.
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agierke

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Re: Light Meter Help
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2013, 12:45:45 PM »
calibration depends on the model of the meter.

i have the sekonic L508 and to calibrate it i have to hit both ISO buttons at the same time (it has two to keep track of different film stocks or to quickly figure out polaroid vs film exposure). once both buttons are depressed the screen shows the exposure compensation scale and i can dial in the exposure by 1/10th of a stop.

i used to have it calibrated using polaroids to figure out what a decent exposure was. you could use your camera to spot meter a grey card and use that for calibration or you could just shoot a picture in good light, adjust camera settings until you like the exposure, and then adjust your meter based on how far off its readings are.

you will have to refer to your manual on how to do it on your meter though.
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Viggo

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Re: Light Meter Help
« Reply #11 on: August 12, 2013, 01:47:23 PM »
calibration depends on the model of the meter.

i have the sekonic L508 and to calibrate it i have to hit both ISO buttons at the same time (it has two to keep track of different film stocks or to quickly figure out polaroid vs film exposure). once both buttons are depressed the screen shows the exposure compensation scale and i can dial in the exposure by 1/10th of a stop.

i used to have it calibrated using polaroids to figure out what a decent exposure was. you could use your camera to spot meter a grey card and use that for calibration or you could just shoot a picture in good light, adjust camera settings until you like the exposure, and then adjust your meter based on how far off its readings are.

you will have to refer to your manual on how to do it on your meter though.

Thanks! I found a great explanation on the internets, seems legit :D
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Re: Light Meter Help
« Reply #11 on: August 12, 2013, 01:47:23 PM »