September 02, 2014, 11:02:56 AM

Author Topic: Who uses a handheld light meter?  (Read 5712 times)

Elbows

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Re: Who uses a handheld light meter?
« Reply #15 on: October 02, 2012, 12:28:35 PM »
 ;D I'm lovin' the 'clients love light meters' comments. But I'm just an amateur, so no clients. Maybe my girlfriend will be impressed when I take readings under her chin!

I have a 1DX so, yeah, it has built-in metering. I just want to make the most of the locations I find myself in.

I've ordered the L-758DR today so I'll be taking it to South Africa next week. Hopefully I'll have time to learn how to use it first!

I'll try to do some camera-metered vs Sekonic-metered comparison images while I'm there.

More comments welcome  :)

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Re: Who uses a handheld light meter?
« Reply #15 on: October 02, 2012, 12:28:35 PM »

Elbows

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Re: Who uses a handheld light meter?
« Reply #16 on: October 02, 2012, 12:34:40 PM »
@ Zv
Yeah, I'm curious too...
From what I've picked up, I would spot meter (using the handheld) the brightest area, e.g. white cloud in sky, which gives the exposure for mid-grey, then shift that exposure to the right, e.g. 2 stops, to make it the brightest object without clipping.
As above, it sounds like this could be done via spot metering with the camera, but I'm going to give it a go anyway!

Studio1930

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Re: Who uses a handheld light meter?
« Reply #17 on: October 02, 2012, 01:40:47 PM »
I have calibrated my L358 meter to expose to the right by 2/3 of a stop so I don't have to make adjustments to the readings.  There is a way to calibrate those meters to zero them in to whatever setting you like.  When I shot slide, I would calibrate my meter to slightly underexpose and now with digital I have it almost 1 stop overexpose.  :P
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Gennadiy

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Re: Who uses a handheld light meter?
« Reply #18 on: October 02, 2012, 02:23:19 PM »
I'm also curious to learn whether light meters can help amateurs with correct exposures. Most of the problems I run into happen when I have a brightly lit background with a subject in front. Will these meters help with that?

Elbows

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Re: Who uses a handheld light meter?
« Reply #19 on: October 02, 2012, 02:32:16 PM »
Gennadiy,
That sounds like you need to add fill flash to get the lighting on your subject to match the bright background. I think the meter could help in that situation. Search for 'fill flash' on you tube :-)

Sashi

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Re: Who uses a handheld light meter?
« Reply #20 on: October 02, 2012, 02:38:36 PM »
Hi, didn't watch the youtube video, but am giving my two cents based on what I believe you could use it for.(I have a sekonic spot meter)......(and a camera)

If you using it for getting an average reading to set exposure, just use your camera on evaluative metering, it will do it better. You always have the histogram and highlight clipping warnings on your camera to tell you otherwise, and the correct exposure is always a quick dial shift and shutter press away. Besides which it really is best to expose to the right to capture more detail in your image then dial it down afterwords in your raw processing.

If your using it to help you decide which grad filter to use, dont. Your better of sticking on the filter that visually suits the image to your liking.

If you got this to help with a safari in South Africa, don't. Them pesky leopards don't stay still enough to get an accurate scene reading.

Gennadiy

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Re: Who uses a handheld light meter?
« Reply #21 on: October 02, 2012, 02:56:25 PM »
So for this type of photos an exposure meter does not offer anything that I cant get with a fill flash? I better spend some time to learn to use my flash...
Thank you for your input

P.s. What if it is really bright out and the sync speed of 1/200 may not be enough?
« Last Edit: October 02, 2012, 02:59:38 PM by Gennadiy »

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Re: Who uses a handheld light meter?
« Reply #21 on: October 02, 2012, 02:56:25 PM »

mws

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Re: Who uses a handheld light meter?
« Reply #22 on: October 02, 2012, 02:59:29 PM »
;D I'm lovin' the 'clients love light meters' comments. But I'm just an amateur, so no clients. Maybe my girlfriend will be impressed when I take readings under her chin!

My wife said, "what are you doing, and what did you buy now"

Goshdern

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Re: Who uses a handheld light meter?
« Reply #23 on: October 02, 2012, 03:13:23 PM »
If we're shooting without lights, we just use the camera's metering system.  if you are mixing ambiant and flash/strobes you will waste a ton of time if you do not use a lightmeter and have your work cut out for ya in post.

I got the L-758DR and after spending some time learning how to use it right I get great results now.  It can be used to ensure that no point in your scene falls outside of your camera's dynamic range as well (after calibrating it to your camera).

For those who are asking why would you use it... If you use your histograms and LCD to wing it (in combination with the camera's metering system and metering mode you have it set in etc) you are most likely bringing your images into editing software to fix the exposure, right?  With a (proper) light meter reading it's just right.

For example, take a pic without flash turned on and balance it so the background/sky looks great.  Using those settings adjust your strobe to match that power and you should get nice blue sky that isn't blown out and you can adjust your background brightness with shutter speed from there.

It can be done without a meter obviously, others have posted they do it without one.  But I don't understand why someone wouldn't take the time to learn to use one if you can afford it.
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Policar

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Re: Who uses a handheld light meter?
« Reply #24 on: October 02, 2012, 03:57:36 PM »
When I shoot film I always use one, when I shoot video I use one sometimes.

For digital stills...nah.

ghstark

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Re: Who uses a handheld light meter?
« Reply #25 on: October 02, 2012, 04:05:28 PM »
I always use a Light Meter at Weddings. It may slow you down a little but it saves me a lot of computer time after the Job.

hammy

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Re: Who uses a handheld light meter?
« Reply #26 on: October 02, 2012, 07:42:35 PM »
i bought one few months back. expensive.... and it doesn't include the profile target. used it once and haven't taken it out since. they have a new one now (L-478) http://www.sekonic.com/

Danielle

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Re: Who uses a handheld light meter?
« Reply #27 on: October 02, 2012, 08:15:56 PM »
I know I can get a metered prism for my RB67, but of course it will only read reflected light. I can meter reflected light on my meter as well. So I never brought one, it wouldn't speed anything up much anyway and would likely make an already heavy bulky camera even more bulky. I'd be better off spending money on another lens.

To those who want to know, I'm talking about an older mechanical medium format film camera, yes I still use it and yes I love it. No electronics what so ever, no batteries, nothing. And probably more reliable because of it.

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Re: Who uses a handheld light meter?
« Reply #27 on: October 02, 2012, 08:15:56 PM »

symmar22

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Re: Who uses a handheld light meter?
« Reply #28 on: October 03, 2012, 02:55:29 PM »
I use a Minolta SpotMeter when I shoot architecture and landscape with my Linhof Technika 2000, and a Sekonic L-508 to adjust the strobe light ratio in the studio. When shooting available light with a digital camera, I rely on the integrated metering, I find the camera's spotmeter works quite well.

Ryan708

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Re: Who uses a handheld light meter?
« Reply #29 on: October 03, 2012, 03:44:16 PM »
So for this type of photos an exposure meter does not offer anything that I cant get with a fill flash? I better spend some time to learn to use my flash...
Thank you for your input

P.s. What if it is really bright out and the sync speed of 1/200 may not be enough?

3 options!

1)lightroom is pretty amazing but not ideal
2)Most higher end flash's have high speed synch, which will allow way over 1/200th. I find this quite useful for outdoors
3)You can use a polarizing and/or ND (neutral density) filter to make the scene appear darker to the camera, then enabling a slower (1/200) shutter speed to be correctly lit
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Re: Who uses a handheld light meter?
« Reply #29 on: October 03, 2012, 03:44:16 PM »