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Thread: Meter accuracy

  1. #21

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    Seems to me, comparing your meter with a known-accurate meter is the first order of business. Otherwise, you have way too many variables to sort through. Would it be possible for you to do that with a friend or at a friendly local store? Especially with a second-hand equipment, anything is possible.

    By the way, back of MY palm is exactly 18%... wooohooo!
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by benjiboy View Post
    This is just an observation- but I think it has to be said, many people who are getting unacceptable exposed results from their light meters automatically blame their light meter and it's accuracy not their lack of understanding of the basic principals of exposure, and how to use the instrument.
    Exactly.

    You need to get to know your meter. And (!) how you interpret what it says to you.
    Both require getting familiar with idiosyncrasies, the meter's and your own, and is not helped by comparing the meter to other meters.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by tkamiya View Post
    Seems to me, comparing your meter with a known-accurate meter is the first order of business. Otherwise, you have way too many variables to sort through. Would it be possible for you to do that with a friend or at a friendly local store? Especially with a second-hand equipment, anything is possible.

    By the way, back of MY palm is exactly 18%... wooohooo!
    Different meters use different parameters, and acceptance angles for measuring the light, I have five light meters and if I compare the readings of them on a Kodak grey card they vary by up to a full stop but each individual meter give me correct exposure when I use it, it's a case of a man with a watch knows the time, if he has several he's not sure.
    Ben

  4. #24
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    sunny 16 rule

    The sunny 16 rule does work, It is not the zone system. But if you are in the field and your meter or battery dies it will get you a workable negative as opposed to coming home empty handed
    I spent the first week in Navy photo school in the 50í memorizing the sunny 16 rule because as a general rule we didnít have meters available all the time.
    Based on sea level it breaks down as follows using the film speed as the shutter speed Bright sun ( you can not look at it with your naked eye)harsh shadows f/16
    Haze sun you can look at it soft shadows open up one stop (f/11)
    Cloudy Bright you know it is there somewhere but no shadows ,open up 2 stops f/8
    Cloudy dull getting really dark open up three stops f/5.6
    Open shade open up one stop from normal f/11
    Closed shade open up two stops from normal f/8
    Sidelight open up one stop f/11
    Backlight open up two stops f/8
    Kodak use to publish the Master Photoguide with great exposure dials for just about any condition, I still have mine and once in a while check my expensive and sophisticated meters against it when in doubt.

  5. #25
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    You need to get to know your meter. And (!) how you interpret what it says to you.
    Both require getting familiar with idiosyncrasies, the meter's and your own, and is not helped by comparing the meter to other meters.
    If you have to go through all that, why use a meter at all? Why not expend that effort to learn the idiosyncrasies of your meter and how you need to interpret its reading into just learning to do without a meter? That's basically my philosophy. I can never be sure a meter is accurate, and most of the time the reading it gives me needs to be corrected anyway because of my own exposure judgments. So the utility of the meter is only in judging the actual brightness of the light, and I find that that can be judged fairly accurately with experience.
    f/22 and be there.

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by BetterSense View Post
    If you have to go through all that, why use a meter at all? Why not expend that effort to learn the idiosyncrasies of your meter and how you need to interpret its reading into just learning to do without a meter?
    The answer is extremely simple: because we suck at it. Big time.
    That's why we have invented meters, that (though you perhaps can't manage to make them work for you) are infinitely better.
    That's why.

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by benjiboy View Post
    it's a case of a man with a watch knows the time, if he has several he's not sure.
    OP is talking about at least 2 stops of error. While each meter might have differences in calibration and behavior, I doubt they should be THAT far off if calibration hasn't drifted. Besides, OP is talking about a meter he acquired for free and I assume he doesn't know the history of previous usage. Anything is possible here. Since we are talking about a measuring instrument, my first step will be to veify its reading with known good standard. (or at least another meter) Then, I would proceed with becoming familier with the unit.

    By the way, I have more than two dozen watches. While none of them are accurate to seconds to each other, all of them are within few minutes to each other. To me, that's good enough to be usable for daily life.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Q.G. View Post
    The answer is extremely simple: because we suck at it. Big time.
    That's why we have invented meters, that (though you perhaps can't manage to make them work for you) are infinitely better.
    That's why.
    A light meter isn't a pocket calculator you can't just accept the answer given, it's more like a slide rule it requires some skill and interpetation to arrive at the right answer.
    Ben

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by benjiboy View Post
    A light meter isn't a pocket calculator you can't just accept the answer given, it's more like a slide rule it requires some skill and interpetation to arrive at the right answer.
    Yes. You need to get to know it, you, and how the two interact.

    Sound smore difficult than it is, though.
    It's far better than rules of thumb.
    Infinitely better than relying on light guessing 'skills'.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by tkamiya View Post
    OP is talking about at least 2 stops of error. While each meter might have differences in calibration and behavior, I doubt they should be THAT far off if calibration hasn't drifted. Besides, OP is talking about a meter he acquired for free and I assume he doesn't know the history of previous usage. Anything is possible here. Since we are talking about a measuring instrument, my first step will be to veify its reading with known good standard. (or at least another meter) Then, I would proceed with becoming familier with the unit.

    By the way, I have more than two dozen watches. While none of them are accurate to seconds to each other, all of them are within few minutes to each other. To me, that's good enough to be usable for daily life.
    I agree with your point if he has a meter of known accuracy and a grey card it's a pretty fair indication of the meters accuracy, at least if it's in the ball park, what I was trying to say was that comparing meter readings is a very quick way to drive yourself crazy
    Last edited by benjiboy; 12-02-2010 at 05:37 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    Ben

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