Light meters ?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Sirene, Aug 4, 2009.

  1. Sirene

    Sirene TPF Noob!

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    I don't really get it...

    Does it suggest you somewhere which shutter speed and aperture you should use ?
    Is it useful for all the shooting modes except manual ? So that is knows what combination to use...

    Can you make it a little clearer to me.

    I know the 3 types of metering
    http://digital-photography-school.com/introduction-to-metering-modes
    What I don't know is how to use this feature ?

    Thanks guys !!
     
  2. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It's most useful in manual and not so much in others.

    Are you talking about the in camera metering or an external meter?

    It gives you the third part of the triangle (which ever one you're looking for) to get a properly exposed photo.
     
  3. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    The legs of the exposure triangle are Shutter Speed, Aperture, and ISO.

    A good external hand-held meter can measure 3 kinds of light:
    • Reflected (the only kind an in-camera meter can measure)
    • Incident
    • Strobe
    How the meter gets used depends on which of those 3 the photographer wants to measure.

    Using the light meter
     
  4. Sirene

    Sirene TPF Noob!

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    I'm talking about the reflected one.

    I mean does it tell you like somewhere on the screen ok buddy you should choose f8 and 1/25.

    You know what I mean ?
    Can someone really vulgarize what it does for me.
    I google it and don't understand.
    I know where in my camera should I use Evaluative or Center or spot, but I mean, I know it measures the light, but what for ?
    I thought it was for all the modes besides Manual, so that the camera would know which combination of Shutter speed and Aperture it should use.
    But I mean when you're on manual, why would you need it, you just change your settings until you see that it looks right on your viewfinder.. No ??

    lol, sorry for being such a newbie ;)
     
  5. Big

    Big TPF Noob!

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    I agree...
     
  6. inTempus

    inTempus TPF Noob!

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    I don't know all of the possible uses for it, but where I use mine is for strobe/studio lighting. When you setup a moonlight for example, you don't know what your settings should be. Your camera isn't going to help you so you either guess what your settings might be and start firing test shots, make an adjustment, fire another test shot, until you get the proper exposure. With a light meter you set your strobes up how you want them, step in front of them, fire the strobes and your light meter tells you where to set your camera on manual for a properly exposed picture. Yes, it tells you shutter and aperture settings.
     
  7. Sirene

    Sirene TPF Noob!

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    You mean on the LCD screen, it will tell me ok I suggest using for example f8 and 1/60.

    I took a course and it's the only thing I don't understand.
     
  8. Sirene

    Sirene TPF Noob!

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    I mean is it giving us tips in some kind of ways that I don't see or is something that is always on, on the last mode you left it, meaning the mode is telling your camera where you want it to reach the light.
     
  9. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    You have to chose one (aperture or shutter speed), it tells you what the other one should be.

    If you want it to pick both for you, use Auto.
     
  10. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    When you look through the viewfinder, there should be a little scale at the bottom. That's the meter.

    You pick the shutter speed or aperture that you want to use, then adjust the other one until the meter is where you want it. In most cases, that will probably be "zeroed out". Sometimes you'll want to over or under expose though.



    EDIT (You're talking about the in-camera meter, right?)
     
  11. inTempus

    inTempus TPF Noob!

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    I really don't understand your question.

    You have your camera.

    You have your light meter.

    You have a strobe.

    You have a subject.

    You put the light on your subject and set it to say 1/2 power (think Alien Bee moonlight).

    You grab your light meter and press the measurement button. This sets it to take a reading when it detects a flash of light. You hold it in front of your subject and fire your strobe.

    After the strobe fires the light meter will tell you on its LCD screen what your aperture setting should be (f/8) and your shutter speed should be (1/125).

    You put your camera in manual mode. You set the aperture and shutter to the settings displayed on your light meter.

    You shoot your picture and it is properly exposed. From there you can change your settings to get the creative lighting you want. If you slow the shutter down, it will show more light in your background. If you speed it up, it will darken the background. If you bump the aperture to f/11 it will darken the subject, if you set it to f/5.6 it will brighten the subject.

    That's pretty much it.
     
  12. Sirene

    Sirene TPF Noob!

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    Ok so I just understood spot metering with my camera, so I have to press the * button until the rectangle in my camera becomes green and then shoot and the area that was spotted is more exposed... is that correct ?

    Ok so now I understand what this rectangle in my live viewfinder is for
     

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