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Author Topic: Light Meters?  (Read 2097 times)

mws

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Light Meters?
« on: April 13, 2012, 08:31:36 AM »
How many of you use a light meter? If so, what are you usually shooting with them? I was looking into them on the interwebs the other day, I’m really surprised how expensive they are. Even used older ones on ebay still command a hefty sum.

I’m guessing the majority of people who use them are doing studio/portrait work. Do you still find yourself using one as much as you used to, as in camera metering has improved over the last several years?

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Light Meters?
« on: April 13, 2012, 08:31:36 AM »

Jamesy

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Re: Light Meters?
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2012, 08:52:01 AM »
I picked up a Sekonic L-358 years ago and it really helps when you are shooting in a studio setting. Cameras typically have reflective meters and a light meter can meter do incident metering explained here: http://www.sekonic.com/Classroom/MeteringTechniques/IncidentvsReflected.aspx

I use the flash mode so it will tell me what the exposure should be with the flash in the exposure, very  helpful indeed.

When I do event style shooting or Aperture priority/eTTL shooting I don't use a meter. I bought one to have it for a workshop by Don Giannatti (Wizwow) years ago (BTW, he was on CreativeLive last week) and thought I would sell it afterwards but have found it is an invaluable tool for any portrait/studio photographer.

xROELOFx

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Re: Light Meters?
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2012, 09:41:56 AM »
i have a Sekonic L-358 too. i use it to set up my flashes when doing portraits, so i get the right exposure. the camera's meter is not as accurate. with the sekonic i know the exposures are correct.
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Jamesy

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Re: Light Meters?
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2012, 09:55:35 AM »
i have a Sekonic L-358 too. i use it to set up my flashes when doing portraits, so i get the right exposure. the camera's meter is not as accurate. with the sekonic i know the exposures are correct.
Plus the added bonus of the Sekonic being able to meter the flash exposure too. When you do a reflective reading from a camera to the subject, it is only metering the ambient light reflecting off of the subject.

When you set the a light meter to meter incident combined with flash you get the entire exposure.

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Re: Light Meters?
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2012, 10:05:39 AM »
i have a Sekonic L-358 too. i use it to set up my flashes when doing portraits, so i get the right exposure. the camera's meter is not as accurate. with the sekonic i know the exposures are correct.
Plus the added bonus of the Sekonic being able to meter the flash exposure too. When you do a reflective reading from a camera to the subject, it is only metering the ambient light reflecting off of the subject.

When you set the a light meter to meter incident combined with flash you get the entire exposure.
yes, you are right. that's part what i meant to say :P. i use it to meter each flash individually, to setup each flash's output. and then the whole scene and adjust accordingly.
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PhotoCat

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Re: Light Meters?
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2012, 10:10:45 AM »
If you want consistent results in terms of lighting ratios for studio shots, definitely get the L-358.
Moreover, with one click, u can get the % contribution of flash under mixed flash/ambient exposure.
Vy handy for off-camera flash outdoor.

awinphoto

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Re: Light Meters?
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2012, 11:33:14 AM »
I use the L358 when i'm in controlled situations... In camera meters only measures reflected light which bounces off your subject to the camera...  It does an OK job but gets a lot of flack when it doesn't "nail" exposure.  Most external light meters no matter the brand gives you the option to measure reflective as well as incident light (the actual light that hits your subject... It gives you a good base of A) how each light is affecting your subject, brightness, and gives you good control, and B) allows you to measure each light individually and everything cumulative by aiming the dome back to the camera.  You just really dont get that control in metering with a reflective meter which you dont get with reflective meters...  Reflective meters are good if you know how to read it, know how it relates to the scene and compensate depending on what it gives you (+2 stops if metering white subjects, -2 if measuring dark subjects, etc....) 
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Re: Light Meters?
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2012, 11:33:14 AM »