Incident light meters

Discussion in 'Exposure Discussion' started by Moongypsy, Dec 16, 2009.

  1. Moongypsy

    Moongypsy Member

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    Sorry if this is a rehash. I'm looking to get an incident light meter to better expose my film shots since my Koni-Omega 100 has no metering, and I question my reflective light meter in dim conditions. I shoot film after dark, in dark nightclubs, and before the Sun comes up. I'm going to start looking at Sekonic. Any others? Will the incident light meter work in the described conditions? Thanks.
     
  2. Mike1234

    Mike1234 Inactive

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    Many swear by the Luna Pro SBC but I'm not really a low-light shooter.
     
  3. eddym

    eddym Member

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    It might be hard to find an incident meter that will give reliable readings in such low levels of light. I would suggest you get a spot meter instead.
     
  4. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    I love incident meters and recommend them for almost everything, but this is a case where they just won't work. They are not sensitive enough in low light. If you use a reflected meter, such as a spot meter, you must really know how to use it before doing so, since all they do is tell you how to make what you are pointing it at middle grey. There isn't even a spot meter that will be able to meter in light levels that low, unless you are metering spotlit objects. You are best going with lots of guessing and trial and error in these situations.
     
  5. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    The Luna Pro SBC is a great meter, very accurate, but a touch on the large side, the Luna Pro (Profisix) is smaller and just as good.

    My Pentax Spotmeter V is great in very low light levels and I've used it numerous times for night shots.

    Ian
     
  6. pdebruin

    pdebruin Member

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    Hi,
    The above relies are correct about incident meters generally being less sensitive, due to the dome itself preventing some of the light getting to the sensor. I used to use a Gossen Lunisix 3, which was excellent for low light. It is a wide field reflected light meter with a slide across dome for incident light readings. Even with the dome in place it could meter down to very low light levels, but with the sensor exposed it could meter in light levels that were too low to read the scale. Unfortunately they use a stupid mercury battery which cannot be replaced easily - you can use a different battery that fits, but I wouldn't have confidence in the reading after that, or you can buy an overpriced adapter. I now use a sekonic incident/spot meter, which is really good, if a little complicated for what I need. It is good in low light, but not as good as the gossen. In practice, it meters low enough light levels for practically any situation, and would work fine for incident readings in a dark club.
    Piete
     
  7. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    The Luna Pro (Profisix) & Lunapro SBC have similar incident domes, my SBC is back in the UK, but just trying the Luna Pro it reads down to EV -4, that's a very low light level indeed, 4hrs @f32 with 100 ISO film not allowing for reciprocity failure :D

    IAn
     
  8. Moongypsy

    Moongypsy Member

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    Thanks to everyone. I will start checking out these brands and models. I might also try investing in faster film. I think I need faster than 400asa. Could I get close to a base by experimenting through my digital camera? Just thinking outloud here.

    Dan
     
  9. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

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    You might try Ilford Delta Pro 3200 film. A spot meter off an 18% gray card as well.
     
  10. CPorter

    CPorter Member

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    My Gossen Luna Pro F will read -8 EV but at a film speed of ISO 12!; but probably more practical it will give you -5 EV at ISO 100 and 8hrs at f/32 before the reciprocity adjustment. I don't think you can go wrong with any of the Gossens
     
  11. Brandon D.

    Brandon D. Member

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    I swear by my Sekonic L-358. It's a work horse!
     
  12. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    But if you read the instructions it will tell you that the meter is accurate to EV -1 at ISO 100 [Moderator's note: numbers corrected as per poster's request], the standard ISO for specifying meter sensitivity. IIRC, the LunaPro SBC was a bit more sensitive, you gave up a few stops for the flash metering capability on the F. I can't find a spec for the SBC right now. I'm sure it's been posted to APUG several times before.

    The Sekonic L-358 is spec'd for EV -2 @ ISO 100.

    The Calculite XP was the low light leader when made, EV -7 IIRC.

    Meters don't become more sensitive (i.e. they don't meter in lower light) if you use faster film and set the meter at a higher ISO. Stated meter sensitivity in EV is standardized at ISO 100. If you're comparing readings or sensitivity at other ISO settings, you're not getting an accurate comparison.

    Lee
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 19, 2009
  13. Mike1234

    Mike1234 Inactive

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    SBC cells have no memory to cause errors either. CDS cells do have memory errors but I don't know about the other types.
     
  14. eddym

    eddym Member

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    I've been using a (Soligor) Zone VI spotmeter to shoot ballet and other stage performances in dark theaters since 1985. It works great. Even if it is "too dark", you can meter off brighter areas and place them properly for a good exposure (given the circumstances).
     
  15. CPorter

    CPorter Member

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    I never thought about it until you mentioned it, so I did not know this before looking at the instructions. Gossen states (I assume they make their meters to conform to ISO standards, IDK) the sensitivity of my Luna Pro F at -3 to +15 EV at ISO 25----so at two stops slower film rating, a -3 EV will give an 8hr exposure at f/64.

    I would need two stops more light value (ISO 100) for a reading at -3 EV to accomplish the same exposure of 8hrs at f/64.

    This means, my meter tells me, and if I'm thinking correctly, that my Gossen will effectively read a -5 EV at ISO 100 and not exceed it's sensitivity rating. A lower EV should be able to be accurately read if the ISO is higher than the accurate minimum ISO stated by the manufacturer---------I think.

    Even so, I will probably not ever use this meter in that manner, but either way, it's still a pretty darn low light level for these meters to be able to read and the OP couldn't go wrong with them.
     
  16. Larry.Manuel

    Larry.Manuel Member

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    "I shoot film after dark, in dark nightclubs, and before the Sun comes up."

    Explore Fredparker.com
     
  17. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    My mistake!

    I was trying to read a garbled LunaPro SBC .pdf file and my LunaPro F instructions at the same time and posted wrong info. The LunaPro F is as you stated, rated for -3 EV to 15 EV at ISO 25. The standard for stating EV metering range has been ISO 100, but Gossen stated the LunaPro F based on ISO 25. So if you set your meter for EV -3 at ISO 25, then move the ISO dial to 100, you'll find that the equivalent light level at ISO 100 is EV -1. So the LunaPro F is rated from -1 to +17 EV at the ISO 100 standard, not -5 EV at the low light end. As I mentioned, the SBC version is a few stops more sensitive, but I haven't found that info yet.

    Lee
     
  18. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I've had a Gossen Profisix SBC (Lunapro SBC) for more than twenty years, and although I rarely use it in such low light as it's capable of reading, I find the problem is that you cant see the meter needle or dial to operate it and it requires the user to press the memory button on the meter to remember the reading, then use a torch so you can calculate the exposure, I find my Sekonic L-358 much easier to operate in these conditions because the digital display lights up as the ambient light drops below a certain level.
     
  19. Mike1234

    Mike1234 Inactive

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    I never saw that as a problem with my Luna Pro SBC. Once the button is pushed and released the needle stays in position for a few seconds... more than long enough to use a small flashlight to read it.
     
  20. Galah

    Galah Member

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    A suggestion for reflective metering in low-light conditions that you may like to try is to measure off a white card (reflectivity 90%, meter assumes 18% reflectivity) and increase the exposure time by 5.

    For example: using a reflective reading you get a recommended exposure of f2.8 at 1/60th of a second, you would expose at 5 x 1/60th or 1/15th (nearest available setting) :smile:

    On the other hand, using a (reflective, obviously) spot meter, pick a highlight in your subject that meters well and use exposure compensation so that it is rendered as a corresponding highlight in your print (or transparency) :smile:
     
  21. CPorter

    CPorter Member

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    Just an interesting note. I took my Gossen to work today so that I could see on the way home (my 45 commute this time of year goes from dusk at 4:30pm to just before dark about 5:15 pm) what time it would reach its sensitivity limit of -3EV. With the dome in place (inside my truck) it was 5pm (very overcast and dim) when the dial finally landed on -3EV, a very low light level. With dome slid away for reflective reading, it was even later, about 5:12 standing in my driveway and no outside lights on while taking a reading of my house. I just thought this would be an interesting side note.