Fancy using a digital camera meter to compare a scene with a hand held meter. There is a lot to learn, obviously, with just that...
Thanks all for your suggestions, ideas, etc! It's great to hear, though I don't know if I'm closer to reach a decision or not
I guess a topic like this can have two aspects: one, kind words of advice to one member (me) and two, an aspect of more general utility.
With that said, I wanted to clarify my own personal position a little bit more.
I shoot both digital and film. For digital, I have a 5Dmk2, which I will most likely upgrade to a mk3 (or 6D) probably next year (read: I'm not ditching digital). My "having fun cam" is the newly acquired NEX-6, which replaced my Lumix GF-1 as "it can adapt pretty much any lens that's in existence, and can do a lot of tilt/shift with it, too!" camera. The NEX may or may not accompany me. It is rare that my 5Dmk2 is not thrown in the bag, though, since one of the things I like to do is long exposure photography, and no amount of metering is going to give me good estimates on exposure when it comes to 5 - 10 minute exposures. So I will almost always shoot LE with my 5D before I move onto my film cameras.
For film, I shoot medium format and large format. 903SWC is my go-to MF for landscape, and for portraits, etc., I have my 67II, 203FE, Norita 66, and SL66E. All have a meters (though not spot in most of them). For LF, I shoot a lot of 4x5 with my Speed Graphic and Aero Ektar for portraits, and a SA 75/5.6 for landscape. I'm going to be expanding a lot on the lenses (Nikkor SW90, Symmar 180, and maybe something wider, like a 58XL) and I'm looking to get a proper field cam, currently salivating over the Chamonix 45-2. I did recently acquire a B&J 8x10 monorail, but I won't be jumping into that pond head-on for a while.
Getting back on topic: Size/weight of a handheld over a DSLR is a non-issue, as I will always travel with a digital on me. And no, it's not *just* as an expensive & heavy lightmeter; about 50% of what I do is still digital. Incidence metering, I guess, is something I've never done, and don't quite yet understand the utility of. Yes, the Minolta has a cone. I'm wondering, if I'm to get more into shooting portraits (models, nudes, etc.) incidence could come in handy and/or indispensable (this is the kind of question I want to ask most)?
I'm also interested in speed, accuracy, etc. For example, say I really wanted to travel light. I decide to just take my Moskva-5, without a digital camera. But I'll always have my iPhone 5 on me with the Pocket Light Meter app. So the question here would be, if the point is to travel light, is there an insurmounatble advantage in me, say, bridging along the Minolta meter (adding to the bulk) than just saying "heck if I'm going light, why not just use the iPhone app?".
One more thing to clarify: I'm fairly new to this game. I got serious about photography 4 years ago, and serious about film photography about 3 years ago. So I haven't "ditched" light meters: I've never had the chance to use them in the first place, having come in from the digital side of things and getting into film afterwards. So what I'm wondering about is whether or not there are huge advantages to using them that I just don't know about!
Anyway, sorry about the rambling, but I didn't want to pose the question and appear uninterested in the conversation, because I am!! Thanks!
Here's a simple test. Use the D camera and then the Pentax spotmeter to take an exposure reading and take the shot on film. Then do the same again, taking the shot on digital. Should tell you all you need to know about the meters and film exposure and the meters and digital exposure.
Then the way is clear for a decision on selling or keeping the meters.
This thread seems more about the OP's digital camera than anything Analog.
I use my hand held meters which ironically are the same as his regardless of the type or make of camera and get consistently good exposures.
Sounds like you are already getting the result you want without using dedicated light meters. Also sounds like you don't expect situations your current method won't be adequate.
Then why complicate your process with additional pieces of gear?
The end goal is, to get a photograph that you like - and you already get that.
Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?
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I would use a digital camera, guess at the exposure, take a shot, review and make adjustment and take another shot until I got the result I want chimping. I would have to learn to judge the exposure on the LCD screen, mental compensation for any differences between the particular digital camera and film and then make setting on the film camera and make the shot. This way it works well for me both with ambient light and with flash.
I would never use a digital or another film camera as a meter per se. The reason is that they are not as accurate as a good hand held meter or at least don't have the resolution of the handheld meter. They are cumbersome to use and the readout only in aperture and shutter speed. Sometimes a readout in EV is more convenient. Cameras don't have incident mode and their spots are not well defined. Unless you use a relatively long lens, most cameras spotmeter angle of measurement is larger than 1 degree.
As for the iphone meter apps, I don't have an iphone so I can't say much but I have doubt about its accuracy and I believe it's only reflected light.
yeah please put it on Classified like... "buy 1 2 2 free"
"...We could wax eloquent for pages of posts, but in the end it all comes down to you..."
You carry and shoot with too many pieces of equipment for me. It seems very complicated and confusing to me but it seems to work for you. When I shoot MF film, I take along my Minolta IIIa that allows incidence and reflected measurements. It also measures flash for portraits. I've tried using a digital camera for the meter. It works but just complicates the process and only allows reflectance readings. Also, the MF system is too heavy as it is and carrying and using another camera for readings is too much.
Discussing light meters is valid. Comparing them with a digital camera is not.
I am not interested in the capabilities of a digital camera. It is irrelevant, yet it seems to be the general flavour of this thread.