Incident/Reflected Meter vs Spot Meter

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by stick35, Jan 4, 2004.

  1. stick35

    stick35 TPF Noob!

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    I have a Nikon N75 and I just bought a lens that only works in the N75 Manual Mode, so it does not use the N75 metering at all.

    I was talking to a guy at my local camera shop and I told him I was thinking of getting a Gossen Digisix meter, but he said that I would need to use a Spot Meter.

    While a Spot Meter might be more precise, would I be able to use a reflected light meter to get by? I can't do the $400-$600 that Spot Meters seem to go for.
     
  2. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    A spot meter is nice, but not at all absolutely necessary. I use a Sekonic 508 which has spot/incident/flash metering. I do use the spot, but I use the incident meter 90% of the time.

    Remember the "sunny 16 rule"; it's free. Shutter speed equals ISO at f/16 on a sunny day, and adjust from there.[/code]
     
  3. seanarmenta

    seanarmenta TPF Noob!

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    well, it depends...

    from what i understand, you can't use your in-camera meter with that lens?

    depending on what you shoot, you will have a tough time with exposure, or rather getting the exposure you want. the sunny 16 is a good guideline, but it should be used to base your starting exposure on, from which you can deviate depending on what part of the scene you want to give more or less exposure to. but then your shots will be hit and miss from there.

    if you shoot people mainly, then you don't need a spot meter. ever. but an incident/flash meter will do wonders for you.

    if you shoot landscapes, and want to get the most out of contrast and tonality, then a spot meter would be your best bet. i would use the in camera meter before i'd use a handheld reflective meter for landscapes.

    if you're happy with just getting snapshots that come out ok, then you can get by with the sunny 16.

    or, you could meter with the lens that does work with your TTL, then change to the lens that doesn't when you've got your desired exposure.


    sean
     
  4. stick35

    stick35 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the replies. I like that Sunny-16 rule. The guy at the store mentioned something about it, but I didn't really understand what he was saying at the time.

    I'll try the Sunny-16 rule with a roll of film and see how it works out, and I'll probably grab a used Reflected Light Meter off of eBay (unless someone here has one they want to sell me).
     
  5. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Doesn't the N75 have spot metering? I thought that somebody might of mentioned that it did? Anyway, like Sean said, you can always read the meter in the camera with a lens that does work, and then switch to the other lens.

    The sunny 16 rule is a very general way of measuring light outdoors, but if you begin using it in conjunction with a light meter (in camera or hand held, you will soon begin to be able to judge light fairly well. Practice trying to use sunny 16 in your mind, and then use the in camera meter to see how accurate you are. With practice and experience you will eventually get pretty accurate. The Sekonic 508 is a great meter, and I use it a lot, but there are times when I need to be quick (look up Ansel Adams' story about shooting "Moonrise Over Hernandez"), and the ability to be able to assess proper exposure on the fly is invaluable.

    There are plenty of sites that'll have a better explaination, but I'll give it my standard convoluted try. The sunny 16 rule is that the proper exposure for a bright sunny day is an aperture of f/16 and a shutter speed of 1/ISO ( so for ISO 400 it would be 1/400, now your camera probably doesn't have 1/400th, so round down (overexposing) to 1/250th. For ISO 100 film the shutter speed would probably be 1/90th or 1/60th depending on you model of camera).

    Now as long as you understand stops and the the reciprocity between shutter speed and aperture you know that f/16 at 1/250 = f/22 at 1/125th = f/11 at 1/500th = f/8 at 1/1000th = f/5.6 at 1/2000th = f/4 at 1/4000th, etc... Reciprocity basically means that as you eliminate a stop of light with either the aperture or the shutter, you must compensate by adding a stop of light with the other, or the other way around.

    Now here are the general adjustments (and you'll need to practice judging this as partly cloudy may be different in the eyes of one photographer to another):
    partly cloudy, add 1 stop of light (so at ISO 400 it would be f/11 at 1/250th = f/16 at 1/125th, etc...)
    fairly overcast, add 2 stops (f/8 at 1/250th = f/16 at 1/60th, etc...)
    very overcast, add 3 stops (f/5.6 at 1/250th = f/16 at 1/30th, etc...)
    dark and stormy, add 4 stops or more....

    Keep practicing.
     
  6. stick35

    stick35 TPF Noob!

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    It does have Spot Metering, but since my new lens has no CPU contacts I have to use Manual Mode and all metering is disabled (I guess because it doesn't know what f/stop the lens is set at).

    Thanks for the detailed expanation of the sunny-16 rule.

    I'll experiment with it until I can find a used light meter.
     

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