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  1. #71
    cliveh's Avatar
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    I have had conversations with photographers using a digital camera in a studio who are more interested in the histogram than the image!

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  2. #72
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    If a person is competent with a light meter it becomes quite the simple task to use one effectively in quick time, regardless of how many readings one actually takes.

  3. #73
    AndreasT's Avatar
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    If you have a light meter you can at last get rid of your Iphone.

  4. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by cliveh View Post
    The best form of light meter is a digital camera, as it allows you to see pictures instead of numbers.
    By that logic the best literature is a comic book

  5. #75

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    Quote Originally Posted by JBrunner View Post
    By that logic the best literature is a comic book
    yep , the walking dead is pertty amazing

  6. #76
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cliveh View Post
    Bill, have you thought about getting out of the car to give you more options in terms of distance, angle and composition?
    This made me laugh, thanks for the zinger.

  7. #77
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    One other advantage with some meters ( I use a Minolta Autometer IIIf) over a digital camera is they allow you to quickly average three readings. I don't know if any digital cameras do this.

  8. #78

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Klein View Post
    One other advantage with some meters ( I use a Minolta Autometer IIIf) over a digital camera is they allow you to quickly average three readings. I don't know if any digital cameras do this.
    The Olympus OM3 and OM4 allow one to average (I think) up to 8 readings. Still too much stuff to take into the field though, I do have a '3 which with a 200mm lens makes quite a useful spotmeter.

  9. #79
    Diapositivo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rawhead View Post
    The point of this thread is really about that: if I learn & master the external, dedicated light meter, will I be able to constantly choose the same or better exposures than relying on LiveView/Preview to choose my settings?

    Let's say there is someone skilled in the art, who knows lights, shadows, Evs & film latitudes.

    One day, he's equipped with a lightmeter (or two). The following day, she's equipped with a mid-to-high end DSLR. In both cases, the final products will be what gets shot on 4x5 Reversal film. Which of the two days will produce more consistent, good results?
    Properly using a light meter is always superior to using a DSLR for various reasons.

    First reason: the ISO sensitive characteristics of film are not exactly comparable to the ISO sensitive characteristics of digital sensors. They are the results of a different set of parameters reading. The two are broadly comparable, but not really exactly comparable. Using a DSLR is sensible if you have not alternatives and will bring you quite in the ballpark, but it's not the "real thing".

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Film_speed

    Second reason: when you use a DSLR to measure an exposure the camera will actually probably take the picture. Each camera has a certain "mistake" in aperture and shutter speed (real value somehow different from theoretical one). By using a real camera (as in using a DSLR) you are using the entire "system", including the deviances from theoretical values of all elements of that system. Your film camera will have its own deviances, but they will not be superposable to your digital camera. More specifically, if you are using a zoom lens with variable aperture that will greatly influence the reading, you don't easily know the exact "f/value" of a zoom at a certain focal position. The camera meter compensates.

    Second reason, variant b: your camera might be using some form of "matrix" metering (or "pattern" metering): you don't know exactly which areas the camera based its measurement on. (That applies to using any SLR as a light meter).

    Third reason: the characteristics of the boundaries in shadows and high lights in let's say slide film and digital capture are very different:

    Highlights: gradual less-than-proportional fading into white for slides; abrupt burning in digital;
    Shadows: gradual less-than-proportional fading into black for slides; increasing levels of noise and decreasing levels of detail (increasingly "muddy" appearance) for digital. Not easy to explain, but the visual effect is different. Not easy to choose equivalent "cut points".

    Besides, digital boundaries are not easy to judge even using histograms. Typically histograms are drawn based on in-camera JPEG not on what would be possible with raw files. Moreover, if you have single highlights which are going to be burned (let's say streetlights during a nocturne shots) histograms become useless.

    Histograms are used with digital cameras for the "expose to the right" strategy:

    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tu...se-right.shtml

    That is not applicable to film. The "expose to the right" equivalent with film is reading the highest significant (detail wanted) highlights with a 1° spot meter, and "placing" around 2.33 or 2.5 exposure values above middle grey. (the highest you place it the more you will place it inside the "foot" of the slide film, thus losing detail).

    Histograms will not give you that value mainly because you don't know where, in the histogram, is your "highest significant highlight" and where are all the highlights that can be burned (let's say street lamps at night).

    If you use negative film, supposing you need to really exploit all the huge dynamic range (an architecture shot of an interior with an intelligible scene outside for instance) the DSLR simulation is going to completely deceive you regarding your real possibilities with negative film because the dynamic range of any digital camera is always much narrower than a colour negative film.

    http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/free-digital-camera.htm (check the bathroom image: even with a fill-in flash, the sky with any digital camera in such an image would certainly be burned white).
    Fabrizio Ruggeri fine art photography site: http://fabrizio-ruggeri.artistwebsites.com
    Stock images at Imagebroker: http://www.imagebroker.com/#/search/ib_fbr

  10. #80
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rawhead View Post
    ...One day, he's equipped with a lightmeter (or two). The following day, she's equipped .... Which of the two days will produce more consistent, good results?

    ...

    once I *have* learned what needs to be learned, is the "DSLR-as-light-meter" approach always, necessarily, the inferior choice?
    The day a woman is doing the work is the day that will produce more consistent, good results... (I know you were writing to avoid gender bias, and should be applauded for that, I just couldn't resist adding a witty remark)...

    I would guess once you have learned, you will prefer to use and carry a single light meter. In many cases you will apply the trusted light meter settings to the camera (of any kind). Sometimes you will just let the camera shoot because you are in a hurry. And sometimes you won't need to use the light meter because you will just know.

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