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  1. #1

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    Is my incident meter correct?

    Hi Everyone,
    I've been using a Sekonic L508 for years. I've noticed that it reads 1/2 stop slow when comparing it to "sunny 16" i.e. it will read f16 and 1/2 at 1/125 rather then an even 16 when I use FP4. However, when I take the iso down to 100, it then reads an even f16 at 1/125. The difference between iso 125 and 100 is about 1/3 of a stop correct? So is my meter under exposing? I normally down rate my film at half the box speed anyways but still my negs look a little thin in the shadows. Thanks for replies.
    Regard,
    Marc

  2. #2
    nicholai's Avatar
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    To my best knowledge, sunny 16 applies to ISO 100, so your meter should be good?
    Nicholai Nissen
    Kolding, Denmark
    nicholainissen@gmail.com

  3. #3
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Couple thoughts.

    Your negatives are only thin in the shadows if they don't let you print the shadow detail you want, how does it look on paper?

    Sunny 16 assumes a front lit subject, if the subject is instead cross lit, backlit, or the sun is really high in the sky, like a Lahaina Noon where the sun is directly overhead the meter should indicate differently.
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  4. #4
    Jim Noel's Avatar
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    Sunny 16 applies to films of any speed.
    It is not unusual for a meter whether incident or reflective to disagree with it. Like all other rules in photography, rules are meant to be broken. Clouds, atmospheric haze, smog and other abnormalities in the air will alter the amount of light falling on the subject. If your negatives please you, don't worry about the meter. If the readings are close to the Sunny 16 rule you are OK. If it begins to vary a lot then you need to worry about it.
    [FONT=Comic Sans MS]Films NOT Dead - Just getting fixed![/FONT]

  5. #5
    benjiboy's Avatar
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    The Sekonic L508 light meter is more likely to be accurate than your sunny sixteen.
    Ben

  6. #6

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    My meter would read f/11 and 2/3 @ 1/125 with ISO 100.

  7. #7

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    Thanks for the quick replies. I always side with the meter and my thin negs could just be shutter variances of course. Here in LA where it's mostly bright and sunny throughout the year, sunny 16 I figured would be a starting point to see of my meter might be off.

  8. #8

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    I forgot to add that this meter has been around the block quite a bit and has been dropped once or twice so I have no idea if something has been knocked loose which may affect its reading.

  9. #9

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    Speaking of light meters, living in the LA/Hollywood area, you're lucky.
    Contact the folks at 'Quality Light Metric' for light meter repairs/calibration.
    Word has it, they do a lot of work on photog's meters at the studios.


    Quality Light Metric Co
    7095 Hollywood Blvd # 550
    Los Angeles, California 90028


    Ph# (323) 467-2265

  10. #10
    Peltigera's Avatar
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    If Sunny 16 were both accurate and reliable, no one would use a meter, would they? If the meter was several stops away from Sunny 16 I might worry but not for part of a stop.

    Also, in LA, I would expect Sunny 16 to overexpose somewhat as "sunny" is going to be a lot brighter than in a northern state or in Europe.

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