Hand held VS in camera meters.

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by Paul Goutiere, Jun 5, 2012.

  1. Paul Goutiere

    Paul Goutiere Subscriber

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    Please bear with me I've only been doing this photography thing for 52 years now.

    I have a simple question:
    I have a Gossen Digisix which reads smack on, with a friends Minolta (something or other) meter as well as my Gossen luna Pro etc.
    taking a reflected light reading from a 18% grey card or general light reading.

    AS well I have a Nikon F2, F3HP, a Nikon F4 and a Hasselblad with a PME 5 meter. All these cameras read better than 1/3 stop of one another
    from a 18% grey card or general light reading.

    My camera meters read almost exactly 1 stop lower than the handheld light meters from the same scene.

    Now what?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 5, 2012
  2. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    Did you remember to take your filters off your lenses? haha =]

    Many cameras take a center weighted reading that sometimes includes a larger part of the bottom of the frame than the top. Intended to give a bit more emphasis on the immediate foreground than the sky kind idea, this may be the difference between using your hand held meter which just calculates everything all evenly.

    Time to get a spot meter (they are great btw), or just dont worry. =]
     
  3. thegman

    thegman Member

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    For me, that's close enough.

    If you're shooting slide film, maybe you'll want to be as accurate as you can be, and that's likely the Gossen which is the most correct.
     
  4. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Like many things, you have to establish an EI with each meter. Or, just use the Gossen with everything.
    The bottom weighted thing was a Minolta feature.
     
  5. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    when you compare the reading of the camera and the meter how exactly did you do that? What kind of target did you use? Because the cameras have different metering pattern than that of the meters.
     
  6. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    With many of my cameras I adjust the meter to it reads the way I want it. That way I don't have to have tape notes all over indicating which EI for which camera.
     
  7. Paul Goutiere

    Paul Goutiere Subscriber

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    I used a 18% grey card in daylight.

    I read the light from the gray card first with the handheld meter, then with the camera meter.

    Since all my Nikon F3HP and Nikon F4S meters read exactly the same I assumed they were accurate. When I compare these meters with my F2 and FE meters
    as well as the exposure they are close ( with the F2 meter being reading 1/3 stop different.) Exposures with the F3HP and the F4S appear identical.

    When I compare the readings with the Nikons to my Hasselblad PME 5 meter the reading is identical.

    So; Nikon FE=F3HP=F4s=FE=Hassy PME5.

    Take the same reading with my handheld meters I read exactly 1 stop high.

    Could I ask someone else to perform a similar test?

    I must add, this doesn't appear to be a problem, my exposures are satisfactory and I sleep at night. I am merely curious if this is a quirk with my stuff or a general
    issue with all in camera and hand held meters.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 5, 2012
  8. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    One uses and adjusts (calibrates) a handheld meter based on experience and proofing of many, many exposures and many permutations of the meter and the response of the film(s) used. For the record, I set my meter at basal calibration of +0.7 for straight shots using Velvia 50, with additional +1.5 polariser (additive compensation) with readings locked around a stored grey card read off in diffuse light (as Velvia is designed for). Obviously, an in-camera TTL/Evaluative/Partial meter has its place when speed and assurance of correct exposure is critical, but many of us prefer to put our brains to use, not allowing a camera to see things its own way. Not to say, however, that I allow my EOS 1N plenty of rope, though there are times when I do the thinking for it. Evaluative/matrix meters are Zone programmed and therefore can throw up curious mismatches to other styles of reading.
     
  9. wiltw

    wiltw Subscriber

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    Reflected light meters all comply with the ISO standard, using a K value in the ISO equation which has a manufacturer chosen value!

    N^2/t = LS/K, where 10.6< K < 13.4

    Incident light meters all comply with the ISO standard, using a C value in the ISO equation which has a manufacturer chosen value!

    N^2/t = ES/C, where 240 < C < 400



    The fact that any two randomly chosen meters concur on the same reading is pretty much coincidence!
     
  10. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    My experience is that my meters and cameras read the same.
     
  11. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    Sorry I can't visualize which direction you mean when you say 1 stop high.

    Maybe you can give a specific scenario tell us the scene, EI, Shutter and f/stop recommended by Camera, and Light meter.

    If you have a light meter that does Incident/spot/reflected, what are the recommended settings on all modes.

    And how are you positioning/lighting the gray card?
     
  12. Paul Goutiere

    Paul Goutiere Subscriber

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    Hi Bill,
    Thanks for the response.

    -I had positioned my grey card against the back outside wall on our deck in the open shade.

    -I set up my cameras on a tripod one at a time. ( OK not very scientific but the lighting was consistent. )

    -The built in meters in my F4s, F3, Hassy PME5 etc. all read identically to one another when pointed at my 18% grey card. I include only the grey card in the frame.
    (The point I'm trying to impart here will be that my camera meters are likely as accurate as they agree with one another.)

    -Each time I took a reading with a camera I also took a reading with a hand held meter, usually my Gossen Digisix. (I have confirmed the accuracy of this meter with a
    friends meters as well as others I own.)

    -The reading from my handheld meter is consistently higher, by 1 stop, to the readings I get from the meters in my cameras.

    My feeling is the reading from the same grey card should be identical for my handheld or camera meters. But then....I don't know!
     
  13. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    Camera meters are reading through the lens, hand held meters are not.
     
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  15. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    Sorry still can't get the mental grip. You mean the handheld meter indicates there is more light, so instead of f/11 it recommends f/16?
     
  16. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    My in-camera meters, Nikon N75, Nikon F100, Hasselblad 503 CX with the 45º PME, are all spot on and agree with my Gossen Luna-Lux Pro incident and reflected, all the time. What would you classify using my Nikon F100 as a spot meter for my Hasselblads, 4"x5" Pacemaker Speed Graphic, and 4"x5" Graflex Model D, is that hand held or in camera, which it technically is, for large SBR?

    I really suspect that your problem is rather a calibration problem or an Operated Assisted Failure mode, of which the later makes an interesting acronym. :whistling:
     
  17. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    When I do a reading with the camera for comparison, I either use a gray card or a flat object of uniform color and it's evenly illuminated. I made sure that the gray card fills the frame of the camera and the camera doesn't cast shadow on the card. With a meter like the Minolta Flashmeter III in reflected mode it's difficult to make sure that the card fills its entire view but to compare I have to make sure of that. Doing so my Nikon F5, F3HP, FM, Minolta Flashmeter III, Flashmeter VI, Spotmeter M all read within 1/3 stop. The meters are reading closer to each other than that 1/10 stop.
     
  18. Paul Goutiere

    Paul Goutiere Subscriber

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    I actually did this, but I see there is something afoot that I haven't taken into consideration when comparing camera meters to hand held meters.
     
  19. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    If you get consistantly good exposures metering with the Gossen and the various cameras, then there may be a problem somewhere in your technique, although what you describe seems ok.
    With the Gossen, how close are you to the grey card? If I were doing that test I'd be no more than 3 or 4 inches, FWIW.
    What happens if you make a reflected reading with the Gossen, then rotate 180 and make a reading with the incident dome? The two should match.
    Also, with the cameras, are you focusing on the card or working with the lenses set to infinity? Setting them to infinity would be preferable.
    Finally, if you scan around metering various portions of the card, do you get any difference in the readings with any one of the meters? I.E. are you getting any bright areas of light on the card that may not be easily visible?
     
  20. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    I understand what Paul is concerned about. It's not so much of getting bad exposure but why do the cameras meter agree with each other and the hand held agree with each other but cameras and meters are different by 1 stop which is a significant amount. Yes I certainly think there is something wrong with your comparison but I don't know what.
     
  21. Paul Goutiere

    Paul Goutiere Subscriber

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    Yes, about 3 or 4 inches but the reading stays consistent to about 12 inches.

    Spot on.

    Focused on the card, more or less.

    It appears very flat from edge to edge.

    I'm becoming just a little suspicious of my meters, even though my little Gossen Digisix is new, I'll compare it again to a friends Minolta, perhaps send some stuff out for a check up.
     
  22. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    if / when you do sunny 16 does your reading match your camera or hand held ?
    i don't usually use a meter anymore and rely on intuition and experience.
    chromes + negative ... they come out OK ..

    if you are worried about your meters,
    why don't you just calibrate them to match your cameras ?
     
  23. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    It could be a spectral response thing. It might be a calibration issue (you know you can tweak the Digisix). I think meters and cameras should agree.

    I tested in open shade and in dark darkness of a garage and found my Spotmatic F and Sekonic Twin-Mate (reflective mode) could be made to agree.

    I set the Shutter and f/stop from the Pentax onto the dial of the handheld meter. Then aimed and pressed the meter button several times holding it at different distances and angles until the needle matched the match-needle and every time afterwards. So it can vary because of the way you use it too.
     
  24. Paul Goutiere

    Paul Goutiere Subscriber

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    This whole thing started innocently enough.

    I often travel with a Hasselblad w/ PME5 finder, and a Nikon F3HP and/or F4s. The meters always match pretty well for every scene.

    Then I got my old Rolleiflex overhauled and started using it with my Gossen Digisix meter and my Nikons ( instead of the Hassy. )

    My Digisix was reading generally 1 stop more light than my Nikon camera meters.

    Then I compared the Digisix to my other hand held meters and a friend's meter. They all read consistently the same.

    So now I attempt a little more controlled study and find the same thing.

    Either my camera meters are out 1 one stop, or my hand helds are out 1 stop.

    Hopefully I'm really doing something wrong.
     
  25. Paul Goutiere

    Paul Goutiere Subscriber

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    Yes!
     
  26. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    You should be able to adjust your meter to calibrate it easily. The procedures and locations of the buttons all vary. Mine is within the battery compartment. I'd consult the manual. Adjust it, and everything should be the same then.