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  1. #81

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    I always use the same or perfectly matched spotmeters for everything. TTL metering introduces certain extraneous variables, though what is most important is to simply be well accustomed to your specific chosen method. And gray cards? Ha! I've experimentally gone thru stacks of them and measured
    the full visible spectral response on a continuous tone spectrophotometer. Not only were none of them actually 18% gray, but they varied widely with regard to the point on the spectrum where they even approached it. Even cards from the same manufacturer varied significantly - enough to spoil a critical chrome exposure, for example. An unfaded Macbeath Color Checker chart with both color and gray patches is a much better option, with respect to quality control. When we calibrate spectrophotometers, it's always with a special ceramic tile, which won't fade or absorb stains. My color vision is highly trained, and I've gotten good enough at estimating outdoor exposures from sheer experience in analogous situations that on a couple of mtn trips when I accidentally dunked my meter in icy streams, even my 4x5 chromes came out perfectly exposed. But that formula probably wouldn't work very well in unfamiliar circumstances. It's really a function of memory, from thousands of analogous shots, and not of any innate physiological ability to properly judge luminance value. So with regard to the original question - I'd give a strong "NO". Use a light meter for anything critical. And leave that "film latitude" excuse
    to Aunt Maude with Kodak Gold in her Holga.

  2. #82
    benjiboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Burk View Post
    What if the most reasonable answer IS to read the palm of your hand? I'm not a person of color, but I believe human palms are universally Zone VI.

    Same can't be said of the 18% gray card. It's not necessarily Zone V, and if you treat it like that, then you have discrepancies to frustrate you. People who calibrate their Zone System to camera tests with gray card as Zone V rate their EI differently than box speed. Certainly it will not agree with the incident meter at that point.

    These frustrations can interfere with your desire to "accurately interpret light intensity". You'll ask yourself "Why don't I get the same results when incident reading compared to when I meter the gray card?" Haa, I think you did ask that.

    I have a graycard from Sekonic that has several patches of gray. Trying to remember which one of those patches reads same as incident reading in same light has distracted me before. It's somewhere near the 12.7% patch. But remembering to pick the right patch - or using White paper and remembering how many stops that is from gray, is beyond my ability when taking pictures.

    Placing my palm on Zone VI is not that hard. And on top of that... I find it pretty well matches my incident readings.
    No Bill Black palms are Zone 111 or IV depending on the shade of the skin tone.
    Ben

  3. #83
    Stephen Benskin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Burk View Post
    Cameras with built-in meters can rule out a couple variables that a hand-held meter has to estimate. For example, with Through-the-lens metering, a camera can directly measure the flare from the lens, because the meter is looking through the taking lens.
    TTL meters also give a real value for q and not just an average.

  4. #84
    Stephen Benskin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kintatsu View Post
    I remember reading that Canon and Nikon use 12.5 for their K, which means with c=250, they come out at around 15.7%.
    Metering an exterior scene using a disk diffuser requires averaging two measurements. This means using it's value of C is inappropriate to determine a value for average reflectance. You need to use the semihemispheric diffuser. There's a detail explanation in the thread "Is the K factor relevant to me or should I cancel it out?"

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