The penalties for modest overexposure (1-2 stops) with negative films are small: reduced sharpness, and (with silver B+W) bigger grain. Neither really matters much, once you're using anything bigger than 35mm, and even with 35mm, they're hardly disastrous.
It really isn't difficult to learn to give more than adequate exposures for negatives, using just guesswork, especially if you err always on the side of over-exposure. But if you have time to take a reading, or if it's a difficult subject, why not use a meter?
There's a distressing tendency towards absolutism among photographers: MY WAY IS THE ONLY WAY. No, it isn't. Use what works, and what you're comfortable with. But don't try to impose it on everyone else, especially if you are shaky on the underlying theory (as most absolutists are).
Well said. The American Indians made canoes out of available materials; if epoxy and fiberglass had been available to them they'd have used it.
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks
Being able to estimate exposure is a good skill to have, for when you've forgotten the meter, broken the meter, or the meter has dead batteries. It is not a substitute for a meter, any more than birchbark is a substitute for fiberglass.
Yeah, I used to find it inconvenient to set the range/function switches on the VTVM, back when I repaired electronics. So for low voltages, I just licked whatever I wanted to measure, high voltages I could guesstimate by measuring how far I was thrown. Never worked well for resistance, though......;)
Originally Posted by cjbecker
You find it convenient to carry a large camera that lacks a built in meter, but inconvenient to carry and use a meter. Interesting.:confused:
I found the web page information useful in the top part of the page. The bottom part of the page involving exposure calculation is available in many other places.
I do own and use the meter and I am able to estimate exposure quite well without the meter. Sometimes I do not carry the meter when I use camera without meter or with bad meter (selenium cell meter, meter that requires mercury battery etc.) then I would estimate exposure. With that said, I do use my meters very often but I rather estimate the exposure without a meter than using a questionable meter.
Learning to measure light without instrument is useful also because creates "expectations" about the reading of the light meter. If the result of the light meter is far from expectation, one might realize that the ISO setting on the camera is wrong or, if the camera only shows the shutter speed in the viewfinder, one might realize that the aperture is not set to the desired value.
Also, in a "high contrast" situation (part of the frame in full sun, part in shade) the "manual correction" which one has to apply to the suggested camera reading is better evaluated if one is "trained" in estimating exposure. It's a "skill" that never goes wasted, even if one always uses a light meter.