Light meter

Discussion in 'Lighting and Hardware' started by mgblunt, Nov 10, 2015.

  1. mgblunt

    mgblunt No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2015
    Messages:
    142
    Likes Received:
    54
    Location:
    Bourbon Mo.
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Can someone explain how to use a light meter correctly and how to transfer that information to camera settings?


     
  2. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    Messages:
    23,565
    Likes Received:
    8,444
    Location:
    Iowa
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    First, we'll need to know which meter you have. And eventually, we'll need to know what camera you have.
     
  3. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2005
    Messages:
    43,710
    Likes Received:
    13,643
    Location:
    Victoria, BC
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    And what/how are you trying to meter? Ambient light? Strobed light? Incident metering or reflected?
     
  4. mgblunt

    mgblunt No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2015
    Messages:
    142
    Likes Received:
    54
    Location:
    Bourbon Mo.
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    OK I don't have a meter yet I am trying to determine whether it would be helpful to have one I just don't understand how the information is used on the camera I have a Nikon D3200 and a couple of flash guns and softboxes I'm trying to get better at portraits indoor and out.
     
  5. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    Messages:
    23,565
    Likes Received:
    8,444
    Location:
    Iowa
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Well, then you need more help choosing a light meter first. THEN worry about how to set the camera.

    Basically, there's two types of light meters, incident and reflecting. Incident measures how much light is falling on the subject. Reflecting measures how much light is being bounced off the subject. Both have their pros and cons.

    You'll also need to figure out if you want a meter that can read speedlights / strobes / monolights etc.
     
  6. Scatterbrained

    Scatterbrained Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    Messages:
    2,184
    Likes Received:
    1,081
    Location:
    Yucca Valley, Ca
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
     
  7. mgblunt

    mgblunt No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2015
    Messages:
    142
    Likes Received:
    54
    Location:
    Bourbon Mo.
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I do want one that can read speed light and strobes I guess what I'm asking is what kind of reading do the meters give you to make the changes in my camera? Do they give you a f/stop number or some other method of calculating exposure?
     
  8. Scatterbrained

    Scatterbrained Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    Messages:
    2,184
    Likes Received:
    1,081
    Location:
    Yucca Valley, Ca
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    The light meter will ask what iso and shutter speed you are using. It will then tell you what f/stop you need to be at.
     
    • Useful Useful x 1
  9. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    Messages:
    23,565
    Likes Received:
    8,444
    Location:
    Iowa
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Many will allow you to set the ISO you're wanting to shoot at. They will then give you a choice of shutter speed/aperture combinations. Others may simply give you an EV (Exposure Value) readout, and it's up to you to do the math after that. Some can be set to do either.

    With my Starlite, I can push the button for a reading, and get, say, 1/125 at f/8. Suppose I don't want to use 1/125, but 1/500 instead. I just roll a dial until 1/500 is displayed, and it will display f/4 along with it.

    When measuring flash /strobes only, it will not measure ambient light. It will merely return the aperture required for the ISO I've set it at.

    Mixing ambient and strobes gets too complicated to discuss at this point.
     
  10. Alexr25

    Alexr25 No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2014
    Messages:
    384
    Likes Received:
    80
    Location:
    Australia, near Melbourne
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Take a look around the Sekonic web site, Fill-Flash Tutorial , they have lots of good tutorial videos about how to use their exposure meters to meter flash and ambient light.
     
  11. mgblunt

    mgblunt No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2015
    Messages:
    142
    Likes Received:
    54
    Location:
    Bourbon Mo.
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Thank you the information can you recommend a meter that works like the Starlite you mentioned but doesn't cost an arm and a leg? I did a quick scan on B&H and most of them are anywhere from $600.00 to $900.00.
     
  12. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    Messages:
    23,565
    Likes Received:
    8,444
    Location:
    Iowa
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit


    Mine is the original Starlite, not the new model. You can save a good chunk of change buying older models and/or used.
     

Share This Page