Dumb Question about Incident Meter

Discussion in 'Exposure Discussion' started by Doc W, Jul 8, 2011.

  1. Doc W

    Doc W Subscriber

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    I just got a Lunasix 3 almost accidentally and thought I would give it a go (I invested in the battery conversion thingy and even the guy at B&H where I bought it thought the price was outrageous).

    The meter is physically different from other meters I have used and I am not sure I am holding it right for incident light. Let's use a portrait example. Normally, I would hold the incident meter in front of the subject so that the dome is facing the camera. If I try to do this with the Gossen, I have to hold it horizontal and backwards. This doesn't seem right. It feels like I should hold the meter vertically with the dome facing upwards. But this doesn't seem right either. Also, there is one stop difference between these two methods.

    I can do tests of course, but thought I would solicit some thoughts first from you folks.
     
  2. CGW

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  3. Sirius Glass

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  4. Doc W

    Doc W Subscriber

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    I have the manual, but I just found that position a little awkward so I thought maybe I was doing something wrong. My previous incident meter was a lot easier to use. I just held it in front of the subject while facing the subject. With the Gossen, I have to turn around and face the camera, or hold the meter horizontal and backwards. I think I may return to the other style of meter (my other one died and the Gossen was handy). I don't really see any advantage to this meter and it is a little awkward, in my opinion.
     
  5. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Sometimes the advice given here is worth what you paid for it.
     
  6. artonpaper

    artonpaper Subscriber

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    My take on incident readings is as follows: The white dome is a stand-in for the subject. The meter should be held close to the subject, or in such a way that the light falling on the dome replicates the light falling on the subject when the dome is pointed towards the camera lens. In other words, if the subject is lit with side light so that it is half in shadow, the dome should likewise be half in shadow. Always point the top of the dome towards the lens of the camera.
     
  7. CGW

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    Incident measures light falling on the subject, not reflected from it. If you were pointing your "incident" meter at the subject, then you were taking a reflected reading. With the Gossen--and any other incident meter I've used--you point the dome at the camera from the subject's position. It's a bit awkward with the old school Gossens since the dome isn't on the front of the meter.
     
  8. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    Pointing the dome toward the camera is correct. And yes it's kind of awkward because the Lunasix3 design favor reflected light reading. Using one of the other meter in reflected light mode you will see it' awkward unless it has 2 sensors or rotating head.
     
  9. Ronald Moravec

    Ronald Moravec Member

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    Artonpaper is correct. Dome faces camera
     
  10. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    The dome points the way with an incident meter. The dome is in a different position on the body than it is on the Sekonic, so of course you must hold the meter horizontal and backwards with the Gossen. Not only that, but the Sekonic lets you get the meter almost right up to the person's face, while in order to get the Gossen's dome as close, the person must move is or her head out of the way. This can make a difference in meter reading if the lights are close enough.

    As for the meters being different, that happens all the time! First of all, different makers assign middle gray to different amounts of light. For example, 18 percent is the common figure we hear, but I think some meter makers use 14 percent.

    There is also the issue of age and calibration. Have both meters been serviced by a person who really knows light meters?

    The domes' yellowing over time can also block light.
     
  11. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    It is very easy to get used to the Lunasix's configuration for incident readings. Remember that you just have to take the reading in that position - you can then bring the meter to a more comfortable position to spin and read the EV, shutter speed and aperture dials.
     
  12. 2F/2F

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    And be sure to have the subject move out of the way, and put the dome where the subject was if the lights are close. A difference of the length of the meter may cause underexposure if the lights are very close. Sometimes when I shoot tight portraits with hot lamps, the lights are within a few feet.