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  1. #31
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    I've posted these before in various places:

    Average indoor lighting--enough to read by--is remarkably consistent: f:2.0 at 1/30 sec., EI 400. Open up a stop for medium-low light or maybe even three for dark spaces like bars, and stage lighting is something else entirely.

    Most floodlit buildings at night are about f:2.0 at 1/4 sec., EI 400.

    Outdoors on a sunny day, open shade is about two stops darker than direct sunlight--but these are the old rules on the film box--f:22 at 1/ISO for a sunny day at the beach or in the snow, f:16 in a regular scene, and so on.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
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  2. #32
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    I agree David, light is remarkably consistent in given situations.
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

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

  3. #33
    JBrunner's Avatar
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    I evolved to where I can function without a meter. Sort of a walking incident meter. But I have never managed to reach the point where I can evaluate values within a scene as well as my spot meter, and I doubt I ever will.

  4. #34

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    "Is it possible to train oneself to accurately interpret light intensity?"

    No.
    A light meter, used intelligently, is as good as it gets. And that's very good indeed - I don't think a light meter has given me a bad exposure yet this millenium.

  5. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb View Post
    I've posted these before in various places:

    Average indoor lighting--enough to read by--is remarkably consistent: f:2.0 at 1/30 sec., EI 400. Open up a stop for medium-low light or maybe even three for dark spaces like bars, and stage lighting is something else entirely.

    Most floodlit buildings at night are about f:2.0 at 1/4 sec., EI 400.

    Outdoors on a sunny day, open shade is about two stops darker than direct sunlight--but these are the old rules on the film box--f:22 at 1/ISO for a sunny day at the beach or in the snow, f:16 in a regular scene, and so on.
    This works well if you are relying on the exposure latitude of your film/developer combination, I use pretty much the same numbers myself for casual stuff with 35.
    But - when I want to know precisely where tha values will fall on the film's scale, there is no substitute for a meter. I cannot afford to bracket with 8x10 film. Or 4x5.

  6. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by E. von Hoegh (edited as indicated) View Post
    ... there is no substitute for a (accurate) meter. ...
    My bottom line conclusion... but I wish good will to anyone who quests for an alternative.

  7. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianShaw View Post
    My bottom line conclusion... but I wish good will to anyone who quests for an alternative.
    As do I ... just so long as they refrain from claiming that they can guesstimate exposure as accurately as exposure can be measured by an accurate meter, used intelligently.
    It seems to be a macho thing for some, going without a meter - much like some shooters who claim (loudly, so they can hear themselves over the tinnitus) earplugs are for wimps.

  8. #38
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    I think it's good to know the ballpark figures, so you can interpret what the meter says, and to recognize when you're using the meter in such a way as to get an unreasonable reading (pointing the incident dome at the wrong angle, wrong ISO setting, etc.), or when the meter isn't working properly (dead battery, out of calibration, etc.).

    And even then, there are situations where you can be using a meter properly, but you still may want to bracket, and it's good to know those situations as well. The most typical one is a contrasty scene outdoors with color transparency film, where you might have a one-stop range of "correct" exposures that each emphasize a different aspect of the scene, or create a different overall mood.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  9. #39
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    Of course, if anywhere is going to be the repository of knowledge how to estimate light without a meter... it's got to be APUG.

    As I just pointed out in another thread (and as David A. Goldfarb just pointed out too)... A valuable purpose for learning to estimate light... is so you know instinctively that your light meter ASA dial might have slipped.

  10. #40
    NedL's Avatar
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    It depends on what I'm doing. With an old folder loaded with b/w film I almost never miss so badly that the negative is unprintable... and it is fun and liberating in a way to go fully sunny 16. Often with pinhole cameras I go completely sunny 16... it is part of the quirkyness and "expecting the unexpected" fancy free spirit of pinhole photography. For more "serious" exposures I use my meter carefully. I agree that shady scenes, dull-day late afternoon or early morning, sometimes I cannot guess exposure well at all... I am not aware of how much my eyes are dilating to compensate for the dimmer light.



 

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