Light meters ...

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by Orange, Jan 16, 2013.

  1. Orange

    Orange TalkEmount Veteran

    Jan 4, 2013
    It's not Orange!
    Just curious, does anyone use one?
    Either in their general photography or maybe for specific subject matter/situations?
  2. RalllyFan

    RalllyFan TalkEmount Regular

    Dec 2, 2012
    I've tried a friends incident meter (Sekonic 500 ?) for a few days. It was a touch better at metering that the built in meter of my Nikon dSLR, and it certainly wasn't fooled as easily by a tricky scene (snow, for example), however the differences were nothing that couldn't be fixed in post processing or by dialing in some exposure compensation. Ended up being more work that anything. It would really depend on what you're shooting (i.e., studio work). Unless of course you're talking about a 1 degree spot meter. Then you can have some serious Ansel Adams Zone System fun.

    And I could be wrong here, but I think to get a better meter than your built in one, you'll have to spend a decent amount of money (over $3-400).
  3. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    The advantage of an incident meter over the reflective meter in your camera is when you're shooting against a very reflective surface, say a polished granite wall. Other than that the reason to use one is so people look at you and wonder "what the hell is he doing?" ;) 
  4. Dioptrick

    Dioptrick TalkEmount All-Pro

    Feb 4, 2012
    New Zealand
    The exposures I've been getting from my 5N is so spot on, that there's probably no reason to use one. On the odd occasion, I do get an underexposed shot, but it's not too far away that some slight PP can't fix - so in my case, possibly not worth the hassle. Plus the NEX software has an auto bracketing burst mode anyway if things have to be super accurate.

    Just my 2 cents... :) 
  5. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Yeah, I have an old selenium cell light meter around here somewhere. I don't rememebr the last time I saw it. On the plus side it doesn't need batteries to work. ;) 
  6. dbmiller

    dbmiller TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Mar 2, 2012
    New England
    When I shoot film with the IVSb, I need one. I have my dad's old Ikophot, which seems to work, but I usually use the 5n as my light meter :) 
  7. Jefenator

    Jefenator TalkEmount Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Nov 23, 2012
    Oregon, USA
    I have a spot meter and an old selenium incidental meter (measures the light hitting the subject, not the subject itself).

    I agree, the metering with my N7 is pretty hard to beat. I've become pretty intuitive with it over the months, to the point where adjusting more than 1/3 stop in post is fairly uncommon.

    If I were to roam with an old un-metered film camera again, I might consider one of the light meter apps for my smartphone.
  8. xXx1

    xXx1 TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 15, 2013
    Nex with spot metering and a gray card makes up a very good light meter. Gray card works with flash too, of course you have to inspect the image and not use spot metering.
  9. gio

    gio TalkEmount Veteran

    Sep 12, 2012
    Manchester, uk
    for flash they are invaluable, I done a sample about 3 weeks ago for a friend, he was adamant that it would not make a difference, in every instance out of the 6 samples (12 photos in total) he chose the one with the flashmeter as the best, occasionally I use it outdoors in ambient light when there is a chance of the meter being fooled, but do not carry it with me always,just when I go on a photo day with the tripod etc
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