How to meter far away shots?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by tasman, Jun 22, 2006.

  1. tasman

    tasman TPF Noob!

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    How would you meter a far away shot? Meaning like an outdoor landscape type of shot, either in the day or night.
    I have a Bronica 6x4.5 Camera and it does not have a meter in it. I have a hand held meter which will work for up close that I can walk to the subject an meter it.
    Can I use another camera (35MM) with a meter in it, manually set it to the film speed in the Medium format camera, point it and meter it?
     
  2. j_mcquillen

    j_mcquillen TPF Noob!

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    As long as your subject is in the same light as you are in, you can just take a meter reading from where you are stood.

    Alternatively, you could use a spot meter (you don't say whether your meter includes one) to take a reading directly from the subject.

    Or you could use another camera as you suggest, but this will mean lugging extra bodies and lenses around with you
     
  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    You could use a reflective light meter as opposed to your incident meter. Ideally, one with spot metering ability would be best.

    I don't see why a camera with a built-in meter wouldn't work...especially if you are familiar with how the 35mm camera meters.
     
  4. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    the camera with a meter thing will work. I used to do it all the time. The other trick very old school and pretty much hit or miss so you had to bracket was to set up a situation like it that you could reach.

    I had that this morning. I was on one side of a lake, two fishermen were on the other side in the shade. I would have had to walk a very long distance since the shade was a small space. It was one of the easy ones. I just made a shady spot with my hand an read it. Be sure to bracket for sure.
     
  5. ThomThomsk

    ThomThomsk TPF Noob!

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    I used a 35mm camera as a meter with my Bronica, before I bought a spotmeter, and it was fine, although a bit of a pain. If you are serious about landscape then a spotmeter is well worth the investment.
     
  6. Philip Weir

    Philip Weir TPF Noob!

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    I assume when you say "I can walk up to the subject and meter it" you are talking about shooting outside and the subject is a person or similar. Saying that doesn't tell me whether you are using reflective or incident i.e If you were shooting a person in dark clothing, your close up reflective reading would be considerably different to your incident reading. I trust you understand the principle I'm trying to explain. This principle generally doesn't apply when shooting landscapes. As the same light is falling on your landscape as is falling on you [I assume], an incident reading would suffice, and probably be exactly the same as a reflective reading. I'm personally not a fan of spot metering as it can have a tendency to confuse the novice [the needle swinging all over the place] and especially in a landscape situation.

    Your second question re using another camera for metering and transferring the information to your manual camera is fine, no problem.:confused: Philip

    www.philipweirphotography.com
     
  7. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    One more answer -- possibly more than you really need, and only valid for day shots. [Night photography is its own can of worms!]

    You can get a gray card. They're available at a very low price [$US7 for two.] You don't need the 'super-duper overpriced special' version [There seems to be a super-duper overpriced version of everything these days.].

    Then just put the gray card in the same light as that falling on the subject. Meter the gray card and . . . Voila! A good, useable reading.

    Make the time-honored DOF vs. motion blur decision and you're all set to click.
     
  8. tasman

    tasman TPF Noob!

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    Thanks all, you helped alot, I think. I am going to try it soon.

    Tas
     

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