Lightmeter problems.

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by SimonSutcliffe, Mar 13, 2012.

  1. SimonSutcliffe

    SimonSutcliffe Member

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    I've been using my Mamiya RB67's prism meter for shooting negative film (It was okay) but after switching over to slide my first two rolls were awfully blown out and my meter had show it dead accurate. Is there a way to either make my meter correct or should I just buy a proper light meter? If I should buy a new one are there any that can be synced in with my flash system under 100$?
    Thanks Simon
     
  2. CGW

    CGW Restricted Access

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    If you shot colour neg, it's huge latitude probably covered up your metered finder's inaccuracy. E6 film has very little latitude relative to C-41 and showed up the metered finder's problems. Frankly, since film and processing aren't getting any cheaper, I'd look into a handheld meter. Older Sekonics like the 328 or the newer(and still current)308 will do incident and flash metering. Older Minolta Autometers like the IV are another option but might be a bit pricier.<$100 is a tall order unless you can find an old Polaris meter.
     
  3. emayoh

    emayoh Member

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    Were you shooting with flash and using the prism meter? I think that might be hard to do and keep everything tight.

    Are the batteries in the meter fresh? You may want to borrow a friend's meter first to make sure. Compare readings on that or you could also try metering the same scene with another known camera to see what that says.

    One other tip with those prism meters, you should make sure to focus first before you meter. The extension of the lens does affect the metering.

    Like CGW, the Sekonic L-308s is a nice little FLASH-capable meter. But it's about $200 new.

    Good luck!
     
  4. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    I suspect there is an error with your Mamiya's onboard meter for their to be blown highlights on reversal film and nothing untoward visible on negative film. As the second response states, latitude of negative film will let you get away with murder, while reversal film must be nailed within 0.3 to 0.6 stop within target light.

    Investing in a spot/incident/reflected meter will gear you up for more advanced camera-independent analysis of a scene which is critical for reversal film. Spot metering on negative film will show up deficiencies in metering technique, but incident metered scenes will not because of the grace of latitude.

    Once you have a separate meter e.g. one of the Sekonics, run tests using both formal methodology for metering (high, low and basal midtone areas then average or shift). Transfer that setting to the camera on E6 film and note conditions for later reference. Repeat the same scene using the camera's meter. Used skillfully, a handheld meter will outperform an in-camera meter. Things can go wrong with meters e.g. you might forget that baseline calibration has been made on the meter (this is very common in both studio and landscape work e.g. a +1.4 or +2.0 stop to either account for filter use or out-of-range ISO, and end up with a grossly blown or under-exposed scene. Eck—! Great tools to use, but always walk-through before an important shoot! :smile:
     
  5. CGW

    CGW Restricted Access

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    Though the OP doesn't mention its vintage, older Mamiya metered prisms aren't altogether trustworthy unless you've checked it against an accurate reflective meter with a similar pattern. Still, I really think you'd get more fun out of your RB67 with a handheld meter.
     
  6. SimonSutcliffe

    SimonSutcliffe Member

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    I checked it and it always does +2 to what my DSLR shoots at, I may just take that into account.
     
  7. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    +2 is too much for reversal film, which explains the blowouts.
    Be it noted that your Digimon probably has a multi-pattern/matrix/evaluative meter, as opposed to the Mamiya's rudimentary averaging. Use care interpreting the results.
     
  8. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    I guess I'm confused here. Since you are shooting slide film, why are you not adjusting your RB's meter to expose the film properly. Why base anything dealing with film on a DSLR?
     
  9. SimonSutcliffe

    SimonSutcliffe Member

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    The meters needle shows that it is two stops brighter than what 0 would be, it i showing +2(1/60th what ideal exposure would be the meter shows 1/15th of a second)
     
  10. CGW

    CGW Restricted Access

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    Know it's tiresome but you should try to get a handheld meter for incident and flash. The in-camera meter approach only really works if you know how to use a spot meter. Using it for centre-weighted reflected readings can be hit or miss and still assume some savvy at reading backlighting or bright areas in a scene. Incident isn't fooled as easily and delivers more consistency--the grail, right? With some snooping around, you should be able to get an incident meter--and possibly a incident/reflected/flash model--for your budget. They make life easier and help save face.
     
  11. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    I've always been a coward when shooting chrome film for clients. I always proofed with Polaroid. They were all studio shots so I was able to gobo hot spots or fill in shadows. Spot meters are great in checking the range of your lighting. For detail in shadows, I make sure it doesn't fall below 2 stops of my F/stop setting and not above 2 stops of the same setting for highlights with detail. Neg film is much easier to shoot and you can get away with an "average" of your exposure.
     
  12. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    That is equivalent to the near-top range over-reading of my Pentax 67 (5 stop range from centre), so I am assuming there is a fault with the meter.

    Most of the Sekonics have a PC sync socket for the light meter to trigger a flash for assessment purposes; I use this on my 67 with a rudimentary flash set up. The tricky part is finding one within your target budget of $100. I would scoot around FleaBay for something of interest.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2012
  13. stillsilver

    stillsilver Member

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    Another vote for the hand held meter. I bought mine when I was shooting 35mm. When I stepped up to med. format I needed no metered prisms. Later I stepped up to LF. Still using the same Minolta auto IIIF.

    Mike
     
  14. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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  15. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    You have three options, (1) uprate the film on the meter and do some test exposures keeping notes until you get acceptable results with slide film,(2) get the meter checked serviced and recalibrated ,(3) buy a hand held meter.