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09/21/2006 09:17:38 AM · #1
I was debating about buying a Light Meter, as to wether it would improve my photography.
I thought would ask the Question here, "Do you use One" and if so "how good are they"
I own a Canon 5D and I subsequently enjoy Portraiture and Weddings and wondered if it would impove things for me ?

Cheers.

Joe
09/21/2006 09:19:04 AM · #2
I use a Polaris. I fought buying one for ages, but my work has improved SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much since I did. You'll literally never guess at exposure again. Would you like for every shot to be perfectly exposed? Then you NEED a light meter.
09/21/2006 09:24:13 AM · #3
Originally posted by idnic:

I use a Polaris. I fought buying one for ages, but my work has improved SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much since I did. You'll literally never guess at exposure again. Would you like for every shot to be perfectly exposed? Then you NEED a light meter.


Cindy,
How is the spot metering on the 30D different from a hand-held light meter? Do you use the spot metering TTL feature at all?

Thanks - this(spot metering) is one of the reasons I'm saving my pennies for the 30D

Josh
09/21/2006 09:28:53 AM · #4
The difference is the handheld measures light falling on an object and the camera metering system measures light reflecting off the object.
09/21/2006 09:48:44 AM · #5
Originally posted by routerguy666:

The difference is the handheld measures light falling on an object and the camera metering system measures light reflecting off the object.


I guess you are talking about an incident meter which measures the light falling on the subject.

As far as a spot meter I would think they are the same (in camera vs. handheld) unless the spot meter in the camera has more than the average 1 degree reading area that the hand held meters have.
09/21/2006 09:54:54 AM · #6
Originally posted by idnic:

I use a Polaris. I fought buying one for ages, but my work has improved SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much since I did. You'll literally never guess at exposure again. Would you like for every shot to be perfectly exposed? Then you NEED a light meter.


Are you using the SPD100?

09/21/2006 10:06:17 AM · #7
Sorry, I wandered off to the studio - I'm shooting this morning. I use this one SPD100 Polaris Digital Meter

I've played around with the 30D's metering function, but since I learned to use a light meter while I was still shooting the 20D, its just become a natural part of my studio routine. I think the light meter is more sensitive too as it can measure both ambient and flash and also the spot metering function on the 30D only covers about 3.5% of the sensor and center balanced which seems too limited to me. It may be just as good, but for now I'll stick with tried & true.
09/21/2006 10:14:22 AM · #8
By the way - that's a great price for that meter. It was $220 when I bought it.
09/21/2006 10:25:38 AM · #9
I can certainly understand the value of a light meter and this is strictly from a newbie persepctive but so far I have had pretty good luck with the evaluative metering on the 30D. Of course not every shot is dead on exposure wise but shooting raw usually gives me enough leway to adjust exposure in PP.

Then again having not used the PSD100 perhaps I just dont know what I am missing :) I will have to add one to my every increasing wish list :)
09/21/2006 10:31:11 AM · #10
Originally posted by judojoe:

I was debating about buying a Light Meter, as to wether it would improve my photography.
I thought would ask the Question here, "Do you use One" and if so "how good are they"
I own a Canon 5D and I subsequently enjoy Portraiture and Weddings and wondered if it would impove things for me ?

Cheers.

Joe

A light meter will definitely improve your photography, particularly if you do studio work. I use theSekonic L-358, and in my opinion, it's a pretty indespensible tool for studio portraiture. As you know, your in-camera meter isn't going to be able to measure the light emitted by your strobes. As someone has said, a light meter measures light falling on your subject; your camera measures the light bouncing off your subject. With a meter, the reading at the subject is therefore going to be more accurate. With the ability to measure the flash light, your camera settings are right every time. The Sekonic meter also has the ability to measure flash light and ambient light at the same time, for the most accuracy.
09/21/2006 11:23:38 AM · #11
Like any tool, you have to know how and when to use it.

For studio (flash/strobes) you need one - you can't adjust the lights unless ou can measure them, and that's what the light meter does. What is 1 stop brighter on the fill light and if you want the BG 1 1/2 stops less than the key...no meter, no way to do this.

For ambient exposures, a reflected meter (like is in the camera) can be used, but it assumes what you are shooting is 18% gray - so shoot a white wall, a black wall or a gray wall and you'll get gray every time - it's why you have to over expose when shooting outside in the winter and it's snowy -the camera wants to make it all gray.

The meter measure the light falling ON the subject - the expsosure it give you is correct whether you are shooting a white wedding dress or a black tux.

Say your shooting a subject on a porch outdoors. By using a meter you can get teh proper exposure for his face - BUT the BG may be brighter, but how much? 1 stop is no biggie, 3 or more it's blown out. Being able to measure this means you have control over it - set the camera on manual, set the exposure for the BG and let the fill flash do it's thing - and you get a properly exposed image!

like this one
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