Please help with light meter questions

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by wgp1987, Aug 20, 2010.

  1. wgp1987

    wgp1987 TPF Noob!

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    Hello again, I have not been on in a long time and honestly .... i miss you guys! :(

    Anyways! Here goes my questions for those who know. I recently discovered the light meter in my 5d is horrible and rarely accurate. I was wondering if someone could recommend what they would consider to be the best way to meter with the 5d although im aware it varies depending on the subject. I find myself always putting on live view to see the exposure and correcting the exposure but this is a time consuming step when trying to capture certain moments.

    So, i thought a great solution would be to have an external meter that most studio photogs use but im not sure how well these work with everyday random shooting in uncontrollable environments. If you agree with using an external meter then what would you recommend?

    What do you think is the best possible solution?
     
  2. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The best solution is to solve your in-camera metering issues. I don't speak Canon, but in general with any modern DSLR, as long as you're on matrix/wide-area metering and you're not trying to meter a black lab running in the snow at high noon, you should be fine. Can you show us some examples of 'bad metering'.
     
  3. wgp1987

    wgp1987 TPF Noob!

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    hmmmm ... not at this moment. I could go out and take some photos and repost. Anything i have saved as jpeg is edited so i dont have any improperly exposed photos.
     
  4. Bitter Jeweler

    Bitter Jeweler Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    The 5D's light meter works just fine.
     
  5. Scatterbrained

    Scatterbrained Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Get a gray card, have someone hold it and set the camera to spot metering. Meter the card and shoot. You should be fine.
    Try metering off of the sky when outside too, that tends to give you a good base. You just need to learn how your meter works and that will allow you to anticipate whether it will under or over expose and adjust accordingly.
     
  6. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Spot meter. That way, it just meters of the middle focus point. Meter for what part of the scene you want and the recompose and shoot.
     
  7. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    +1. It's possible but not likely there is a problem with your camera's meter.

    It sounds more like a situation where you are just begining to learn how the in-camera light meter functions, and are hoping for something more point-and-shoot. The LCD in Live View mode is a very poor tool for evaluating exposure,

    Most dSLR's offer 3 metering modes: Spot, Center-weighted, and what Canon calls Evaluative. All three modes are calibrated to an 18% gray standard.

    From that calibration it's up to the photographer to make the appropriate exposure adjustments to get what they want. An example is, snow will look 18% gray unless the photographer adds a stop or so of exposure to make it render the white that it really is.


    You do have 2 other alternatives:
    1. use a hand held light meter.
    2. get a camera that requires less skill to operate.
     
  8. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    +1 are you using the correct metering, an external meter works the same
     
  9. Idahophoto

    Idahophoto TPF Noob!

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    Sounds like your cameras meter is off, but be that as it may, I am rarely happy with in camera metering. They are way to easily fooled. I would strongly suggest a real meter like Sekonic L358. I use the higher end L-758DR and would not give it up for anything. No camera has come close to it in matching performance. The 758 has a bit more features than the 358, but still will do 90% of what you need and is just as accurate and of course a bit cheaper.
     
  10. wgp1987

    wgp1987 TPF Noob!

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    Well if someone has a good read on metering then i can make sure what i am doing is correct.
     
  11. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    What are you doing, and in what way is it not working out?

    What metering mode are you using, and what are you metering on?


    Knowing where to meter is probably the most important part...
     
  12. Bitter Jeweler

    Bitter Jeweler Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    It's something YOU need to learn through experience.
    Idahophoto, I highly doubt his meter is malfunctioning in any way.
    It's user error.
     

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