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Old Jul 26, 2004, 6:51 AM   #1
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Is there any requrement for a Light/Exposure Meter for use with a Digital Camera
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Old Jul 26, 2004, 9:07 AM   #2
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No there isn't.

However, not many people use them anymore as the built in reflectivelight meters in todays cameras are fairly good.

There are several advantages to using one today though.

- You can do incident metering

- You can do flash metering (which can eliminate exposure problems found in many of todays cameras with flash)

- You can get a 1 degree spot meter which helps with the zone system, etc....

However, it is important to note that to get all these benefits, you will have to get a fairly good hand held meter. Most people today just rely on their built in metering. Only people I know who use light meters today are students learning photography, users of old mechanical cameras, medium format photographers, and studio photographers.

I myself own 4 hand held light meters. They are of the analog needle type as that is what I am most used to. I haven't used 3 of them in years. The only one I still use on occasion is a Gossen Luna Six F because it offers all the benefits above except for the spot metering (haven't seen a need to buy the attachment yet.
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Old Jul 26, 2004, 10:06 AM   #3
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Many thanks for the explanation.

Can you please tell me which exposure meters [Make and Model Number] would be helpful if I were to purchase any - those which you yourself would buy, if you were buying today.
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Old Jul 26, 2004, 11:59 AM   #4
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Hmm....I haven't looked at hand held meters in a long time so I will not recommend a model. I am sort of a traditionalist when it comes to handheld meters, and thus prefere the needle types as they are more intuitive for me. However, the newer digital ones are good as well, if not as easy to use (for me). This is not to say that digital meters are bad...I just stick with what I feel more comfortable with.

I am most happy with the Gossen Luna Six F as I do not need spot metering (although they sell several adapters that will convert it into a spot meter, a light incident meter for a darkroom enlarger, etc...)

The more versatile the meter, the more you will pay. It all depends upon what your planing on using it for. If all your going to do is check your camera meter, then a simple handheld meter will do for you...possibly a reflective model.

However, incident metering is so useful at times, that I personally wouldn't buy a hand held meter without it today.

Likewise, flash metering is useful also.

Are you going to use this with a studio set up? Then I would suggest a spot meter function so that you can compare values from different places in your scene. Likewise, you can also use it to evaluate using the zone method popularized by Ansel Adams (I know what it does, but never used it..hence not sure how this works exactly...there are materials and books to learn this if you are interested in this form of evaluative metering).

There are many companies that make excellent hand meters. Sekonic, Pentax, Minolta, and Gossen to name a few.

Questions you should ask yourself are:

1. How much am I prepared to pay budget wise.

2. What features do I need, or want. Flash check, reflective, incident, memory modes, spot, etc. Some top ends can give you a variable spot meter of lets say 1 to 6 degrees (or something like that). Some models will operate differently.

3. Do I want a digital or analog meter.

4. If I am buying an older used meter, be sure to check what type of batter it uses. Many older ones have mercury batteries that you just can't get anymore..so be for-warned.

Here are a few sites that will give you some of the basics of using a handheld meter. This should help you in deciding what features you want.

http://www.ephotozine.com/techniques....cfm?recid=201

http://www.sunspotphoto.com/ssp/exposure/handheld.php

http://www.sekonic.com/IncidentVsReflect.html



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Old Jul 26, 2004, 12:25 PM   #5
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Thank you very much for your further explanations and site addresses.

I wish to use my Digital Camera in manual mode - I am assuming most if not all Digital Cameras use reflected light to measure and as such I was contemplating the purchase of a light incident meter perhaps with flash metering also.

No nothing for studio - just my hobby-and to experiment with differing settings and results.

Thanks again for your most valuable help
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Old Jul 26, 2004, 9:36 PM   #6
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Chako worte:

Quote:
4. If I am buying an older used meter, be sure to check what type of batter it uses. Many older ones have mercury batteries that you just can't get anymore..so be for-warned.
Duracell makes alkaline equivalents of some once popular mercury batts. I have found that the Duracell equivalent of the PX625 works well in my Luna Pro analog meter.

I've been using the Gossen Luna Pro for 30 some odd years, and can readily attest that it is an excellent instrument--very acurate--and a useful adjunct to almost any digi cam for a serious enthusiast. It has incident as well as reflected modes and with the variable angle attachment gives you 30 degree (normal) to 15 degree and 7.5 degree spot metering capability. Highly recommended (if you can find one today.
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