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Old Nov 29, 2004, 10:53 PM   #1
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Who needs a light meter? I shoot a little bit of everything and I'm struggling with my f-stops and light and I'm wondering if that will help?! Can you use a light meter for landscape shots, too? I'm thinking I could really use it for the portraits, but hoping that it could be used in other scenrios, also.

Please ENLIGHTEN me:G

Thanks!!!
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Old Dec 2, 2004, 12:17 PM   #2
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A light meter is more of a power tool if you will. In tough lit scenes it can be essential to getting an accurate exposure. They come in multiple varieties such as: reflected, incident. In the reflected category there are possibilities such as matchstick(.5% coverage), spot (10% coverage), center weighted, and partial center( occasionally an additional matrix or similar).

With the rebel you have you are missing the incident, matchstick, and spot. Whether or not these are necessary to you is up to you, but like a tripod, when you need a light meter nothing else will do.

Otherwise you can do like i do: meet and greet your camera's internal meter and learn to approximate exposures. This usually works well for me, but sometimes takes time i don't have.

I know i haven't quite gotten to the nub of the matter here, so be really sure to ask whatever else.

Ps. I was in Jefferson Co., WI last week and should post some of the pics in the near future.
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Old Dec 2, 2004, 12:19 PM   #3
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Thanks!
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Old Dec 2, 2004, 3:56 PM   #4
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You can do a fair aproximation to an incdent meter by taking readings from a gray card using your camera's meter. Or meter the palm of your hand and open about one stop. Do some experimenting. At the very least, it is a good "reasonableness" test if you are wondering about your other readings.

Though it is probably better to figure out how to use the histogram.
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Old Dec 2, 2004, 4:07 PM   #5
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Yes, I've been playing around with the histograms and getting in the habit of looking at them after a few shots to see if I'm on target.



Thanks!!!

:-)
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Old Dec 2, 2004, 9:37 PM   #6
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WisconsinGirl wrote:
Quote:
Who needs a light meter? I shoot a little bit of everything and I'm struggling with my f-stops and light
Light meters were important tools when film was expensive, and you couldn't inspect the shot you'd just taken. Nowadays another shot costs nothing at all, and you can view the image you've just taken. Also, many, if not most, digicams offer 'exposure bracketing', so you can take 3 or 5 shots with 0.3-1 stop exposure gaps between them.

Taking many images with different exposures will be much more efficient than measuring with a light meter. Your camera's exposure system, with its various modes, *is* a light meter. Most professionals using film with a light meter (e.g., at weddings) will take bracketed exposures *as well* to make sure they get at least some correctly exposed shots.

Good luck!
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Old Dec 14, 2004, 2:49 PM   #7
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For my two cents, listen to Alan T.

Light meters are for film.

A digital camera, even if you stripped out

its internal metering, is still the ultimate light meter.

---Swampy.
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