I need a hand-held light meter...

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by japmula, Jul 27, 2004.

  1. japmula

    japmula TPF Noob!

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    Hey Guys......there are like 10 million different types out there... :? any suggestions/referrals?????

    Thanks!!
     
  2. drlynn

    drlynn TPF Noob!

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    Well, you need t odecide what features you want, and what price range you want.

    Incident, reflected or flash meter, or a combination? Do you want it to have spot-meter capability?

    Do you need digital, or will a match-needle be OK?

    Do you need the ability to trigger slave flashes?

    Do you want fries with that? (Sorry, got in the question mode, and that last one just popped out! ;) )
     
  3. StvShoop

    StvShoop TPF Noob!

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    lol.
    i was looking for a lightmeter last year, couldn't find one anywhere :?
    even the internet wasn't forthcoming.
    is it worth it to get one if you can just check the exposure settings suggested by the camera? and do you know of a good website? (the photo shop in town has never heard of em :cry: )
     
  4. voodoocat

    voodoocat ))<>(( Supporting Member

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    The photoshop has never heard of a light meter? That is odd...

    I really learned a lot about exposure from my incident light meter. It really gave me a good understanding of the light falling on the subject and getting the exposure I was after.
     
  5. danalec99

    danalec99 TPF Noob!

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    Is it better than relying on camera's built-in light meter?
     
  6. voodoocat

    voodoocat ))<>(( Supporting Member

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    Yes. Because your meter in the camera measures reflective light. It doesn't take into account how colors reflect light differently. It basically takes everything in the frame and averages out the exposure. An incident reading gives you the amount of light falling on a subject. So if you have access to the subject or the same lighting you can get a very accurate reading on how much light is really hitting the scene. Now with landscape work, a spot meter is going to work even better for you. Just find something you want to expose for middle gray (the shaded portion of a cloud works well) and expose for that.

    Now my D70 has a color matrix meter (same one found in the F5) which does read the colors and gives very accurate exposure if the scene isn't too contrasty. In those situations, I bracket.
     
  7. danalec99

    danalec99 TPF Noob!

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    Say, I want to do an outdoor portrait. In order to get an accurate reading, don't I just have to walk up to the subject, take the reading with the camera? Would that reading give me an accurate feedback?
     
  8. danalec99

    danalec99 TPF Noob!

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    For the landscape works, how accurate would the result be if we use the camera's meter + gray card? Or spot meter is a bare necessity?
     
  9. voodoocat

    voodoocat ))<>(( Supporting Member

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    I find the incident meter works the best for portraits. That way I can check the highlight areas and the shadow details to get a good ratio. With an incident meter you basically walk up to the subject and point it at the camera to get your reading.
     
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  10. StvShoop

    StvShoop TPF Noob!

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    thanks for the info voodoocat, good stuff.

    maybe the photo place has heard of light meters, i dunno. but they don't have any :x

    any suggestions on where to get one? (preferably cheaply?) :)
     
  11. danalec99

    danalec99 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks voodoo!

    For the landscape works, how accurate would the result be if we use the camera's meter + gray card? Or spot meter is a bare necessity?
     
  12. voodoocat

    voodoocat ))<>(( Supporting Member

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    If I had it to do over again I would have gotten a meter that does flash and spot meter. But the one I got is a Capitol and it costed $89 at the camera shop. You can check ebay... or bhphoto.com but don't buy something that is too old. Chances are it's not very accurate.
     

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