The app I believe most people are referring to is just called "light meter" its free.
If you're doing any landscapes, or shooting things at a distance, you will most likely need a spot meter. if you're able to measure the light falling directly on your subject then incident is OK.
I have a Sekonic L-358 incident meter which works great and has served me well as an incident and flash meter but now I'm shooting medium format and my current favourite thing to shoot is landscapes, it's hard to meter accurately.
I've got my eye on a 758DR. I'll sell the 358 on ebay and fork out the difference for the 758.
The 358 is a great meter, I own two.
Originally Posted by andrewf
The only thing that needs to happen to get an accurate reading with an incident meter is to "be in the same light as the subject matter". The easiest reading to take following this rule of thumb is the one where the meter is pointed straight back at the camera, because no offset is required to find the camera setting, you just use the numbers the meter spits out.
That's not the only way to use an incident meter. If you per chance are in the shadow of a hill where you can't see the main light (sun), you can many times still take the reading the same way you just apply an offset, in this case probably about 2 stops.
In practice, in the real world, this idea the equivalent of pointing a spot meter at a specific point in the scene and then deciding how that reading relates to the scene.
With very little practice the relationships/offsets of alternative incident readings are pretty easy to figure out, consistent, and reliable.
Once you understand and practice this concept there are few if any situations that would truly keep you from making a usable and accurate reading with your current meter.
Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR
"We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin
Incident meters are indeed good for landscapes. It may not go wrong if you incident meter the shadows/simulated shadows and hightlights and average them both.
OM-1n: Do I need to own a Leica?
Rolleicord Va: Humble.
Holga 120GFN: Amazingly simple yet it produces outstanding negatives to print.
I own the Sekonic L-508 and find it to do all that I want without any extra fussing about it. I've owned it for about a decade. It takes AA batteries. It has great battery life. And I think that it does all that I want I don't find it wanting in any way.
My own thought is that if you're going to spend hundreds (or more) on a camera system, then spend a bit more for a high-quality light meter. It's a one-time purchase.
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I like the Gossen meters. Good quality silicon blue sensors in something like the Lunasix or the Sixtomat.
You can take the average of the two readings, incident and reflected to bias an incident reading for the reflectivity of the subject. At the end of the day, the camera is only going to take one exposure, the important thing is that its not too short.
Just in case you havent thought about this, before thinking about spot meters vs incident etc, have you thought about testing your processing. Get a simple incident meter if not, take an incident reading and photograph a patch of grass, zones 1 through to 9, (ie 4 stops under to 4 stops over) and add a frame for lens cap on. Process. Look at the negatives. If the step between frames is not correct, the processing time and temp are wrong. If the zone 1 is either too dark or has no detail, the film rating is wrong for the specific meter/lens combination you have used. I think a meter is secondary to this, as suggested above, only one shutter speed and aperture combination is going to be used. You just need to make sure its within 3 stops faster than that required for the shadow detail you want to record. In a normal scene, its likely that an incident reading is going to accomplish this.
Another nice feature of a Sixtomat is that you can take a continuous reading, waving the meter around a bit, and it will record the Subject Brightness Range. This ensures you get shadow detail into the negative.
However, unsuitable processing for the film in question will render all consideration of meter irrelevant.
I think practice is the key here. Thanks for the info!
Originally Posted by markbarendt
Originally Posted by Rtcjr
Pentax or Honeywell Pentax Spotmeter V and predecessors are very easy to use, even in very low light, accurate and not expensive if you shop around and are prepared to use one that is not in mint condition. The other thing to do is read up on the Zone System and its variants. There is a plethora of resources on the Internet... This is but one fine example http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tu...e_system.shtml
I use the iPhone app about half the time for medium format. I have an L-358 I use and the iPhone meter calibrates so well against it that I get annoyed (until it's time to fire a flash). I also have a Soligor Digital Spot Sensor that was very affordable. I'd love the Pentax for aesthetic/ergonomic/shallow reasons someday, but the Soligor has been good so far.
I've got a couple of Luna Pro SBC's with the 7/15 degree attachments and a 1/5/10 degree spot head. The spot head stays on a meter in the large format trunk, for medium format I use whatever is appropriate for the scene I'm shooting. Incident, reflected, or the tighter 7/15 degree "spot" head. I've been tempted to get a newer spot meter just to have a smaller one, then I think of the size of the trunk all the LF gear is lugged about in. If I was a backpacker it would be a different story though.