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  1. #21

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    Make sure you don't get in the way of the meter.

    While this is a no brainer for those of you that have a lot of experiance with incident meters, I know novices like me read these posts and learn from them. So that said, I would like to point out that it is easy to get in the way with an incident meter with your arm or body and cause an affect on the reading. Also, if you are wearing a white shirt, that might bounce a little light into your meter. (Nothing you probably didn't know but thought I'd say it anyway.) Thanks. Ric.

  2. #22
    2F/2F's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stradibarrius View Post
    I am trying once again to copy Keith's "pasta" shot. It is simple but it caught my eye and I felt like trying to duplicate the tone and contrast he captured.

    I set my lights and RB67 and pulled out my meter. The difference between the rel=reflective and incident is about 1-1/3 stops...Is it normal for the two types of reading to be different?
    Which will or should be more accurate?
    Or maybe the question should be when there is a discrepancy which would you choose?
    It is very normal for the readings to be that different.

    However, try comparing two incident meters and see what you get. The only variation you get should come from the fact that different manufacturers use different values for a mid tone.

    Incident meters tell you the "correct normal exposure", based on the light. In-camera reflected meters tell you the exposure that will average everything to a mid tone, based on the composition. Do you ever really want the latter when you have the option of the former?

    Simply put, if you are exposing directly off of your meter, in-camera reflected meters are only "right" in one situation: A situation in which every tone in the composition averages to a mid tone (metering patterns considered). Incident meters, on the other hand, are always "right".

    In-camera reflected metering is a compromise, plain and simple. It is only worth doing when no other method is available, IMHO. Of course there are situations when no other method is available, and the in-camera meter might be better than no meter at all, and certainly better than missing a shot...however, in-camera reflected meters must constantly be adjusted from the recommended exposure based on your experience and judgment, just to get a good exposure at all. IMO, directly-read in-camera meters are the number one hindrance to most people obtaining properly exposed film. To me, it is an utter shame that beginners are taught with in-camera meters, and then taught all sorts of rules of thumb, various erroneous information about film and light meters and exposure, and other dances just to get decently exposed film.

    For a still life, I can't think of a single reason to ever use an in-camera meter.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

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  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ric Trexell View Post
    While this is a no brainer for those of you that have a lot of experiance with incident meters, I know novices like me read these posts and learn from them. So that said, I would like to point out that it is easy to get in the way with an incident meter with your arm or body and cause an affect on the reading. Also, if you are wearing a white shirt, that might bounce a little light into your meter. (Nothing you probably didn't know but thought I'd say it anyway.) Thanks. Ric.
    Good observations.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

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

  4. #24
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    I use my handheld meters in "incident" mode whenever I can. I like measuring the light that falls on the subject, rather than the light bouncing back from the subject, because I know how often the reflectance of a subject can end up being different than what one would expect.

    That being said, I use in camera meters, and reflectance based meters too.

    The most important "accessory" for any meter is an eye attached to a brain.

    You need to be able to evaluate a scene, including the subject and the light falling on it, and then use that evaluation to help determine whether to follow the meter's recommendation without change, or to make an adjustment.

    Obviously, experience is incredibly useful, but a willingness to look carefully at your subject helps just as much.

    In stradibarrius' case, I would hazard a guess that he is intimately familiar with how light and the surface of wooden stringed musical instruments interact. I would suggest he think about photographs he has taken in the past of those instruments - the meter readings he has taken previously, and how previous photographs have come out.

    I'd bet he has an excellent eye for reflectance when it comes to those instruments, even if he doesn't realize it yet. It isn't difficult to make use of that skill for other subjects.

    Matt

  5. #25
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    Because I am doing the photography thing in reverse to many of the folks with lots of experience, starting with digital and moving forward (IMHO) to film I have much more experience with the in camera meter. I am trying to learn to use my hand held more effectively. My old Luna Pro, analogue model, seems to have so much information that I have not taken advantage of yet. Learning to use the incident capability is some of that information. Of all my cameras my RB67 is my favorite and I need to learn to use my hand held effectively with this camera. I shot a roll of film yesterday and exposed each still life scene based on the reflective reading and then the next frame on the incident reading. I am thinking this will teach me something?????
    "Generalizations are made because they are generally true"
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    Barry
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  6. #26
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stradibarrius View Post
    I don't think I have ever seen a camera with an "incidence" meter built in????
    It's not common, especially now, but my Kodak Retina Reflex cameras are fitted with Gossen meters. They came with plastic diffusers to clip on the front to take incident readings.


    Steve.
    "People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by stradibarrius View Post
    Of all my cameras my RB67 is my favorite and I need to learn to use my hand held effectively with this camera. I shot a roll of film yesterday and exposed each still life scene based on the reflective reading and then the next frame on the incident reading. I am thinking this will teach me something?????
    I'm sure it will.

    I know you have asked about personal EI in other threads and your metering technique is an integral part of deciding on a personal EI so I'll make this comment here.

    Given you using lights, my expectation would be that the incident meter would provide consistent results and the reflective meter would ask for changes to the exposure based on the composition, i.e. darker compositions will ask for more exposure and vice-versa.

    You may like some of the incident metered shots better, that's okay but take the next step.

    With the incident meter's consistency you may find the incident metered negatives are generally a-bit-too-thick or a-bit-too-thin to print the way you like.

    If this is true you adjust your personal EI (the ISO setting on the meter) to match your incident metering for that film to your preferences.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

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

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Smith View Post
    It's not common, especially now, but my Kodak Retina Reflex cameras are fitted with Gossen meters. They came with plastic diffusers to clip on the front to take incident readings.


    Steve.
    Point for clarity here.

    When any meter is pointed at the subject from the camera position, even an incident meter, it is being used to measure reflected light.

    To measure incidental light any meter must be in the same light as the subject and be pointed at the camera position.

    On occasion, when using my Nikons, I will walk up to my subject then turn back toward my camera position and meter the scene with the camera or the sky in that direction. In this case I'm using my cameras "reflective meter" as an "incident meter."

    This is far from perfect because of the various patterns a camera's meter uses but if you have practiced and know what to expect it is very workable.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

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

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by CPorter View Post
    But using the incident meter in sun/shade mix situations will overexpose the high values if read in the shade and under expose the shadow values if read in the sunlight.
    These are not real good negative scans but the point is conveyed---some examples of this point about incident metering.

    There is obviously more light than dark in this subject. But when composing the third shot, I made sure the center-weighted meter of the camera was influenced more by the dark shaded area. The meter's outer, less sensitive regions were also a factor in determining the exposure, just not as much, but ultimately gave a more satisfying result.

    Taking an incident reading in the sun and then the shade could have been done and then expose for the average reading. That would probably be the better use of an incident meter IMO, since it does take into account acutal reflective values at both the dark and the light end of the range. It actually attempts an average exposure rather than letting the reflective meter alone try and average the scene, which can lead to some pretty poor exposures if the scene is nowhere near average.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Incident-Meter-Ex001-W2.jpg   Incident-Meter-Ex002-W2.jpg   Incident-Meter-Ex003-W2.jpg  
    Last edited by CPorter; 02-07-2010 at 09:22 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Smith View Post
    It's not common, especially now, but my Kodak Retina Reflex cameras are fitted with Gossen meters. They came with plastic diffusers to clip on the front to take incident readings.
    The very first Nikon F metering prism, the Photomic, also came with an incident attachment.

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