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  1. #71
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    The only thing any meter does is provide a reference point. It's just a tool.

    2F/2F isn't doing or suggesting anything that is wrong, nor were his teachers.

    Off angles are simply a creative/artistic use of that tool to get a specific result. I will admit that I rotate the head too.

    The only reason I stayed away from talking about or suggesting off angles so far is simply that the thread started with a very basic question and off angles seriously complicate that discussion and can confuse anyone who hasn't really figured out what meters really do.

    If we all do it the same way we can all see the same result, that is important.

    Once you "get it" and can do it well the plain old boring way, all bets are off and it's time to experiment and play.

    My photographic goals are artistic, not technical.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

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

  2. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2F/2F View Post
    Why would an averaged reading make the best negative? A shot metered for the main light would be correctly exposed, and a shot metered for the average would be overexposed. Which of the two is best?
    Was going back through the thread, somehow I never saw this post from you.

    Referring back to my post #29 with the photo examples----- as simplistic an example that it is, for the 3rd shot, if I had averaged the exposures from the shadowed reading and the sunlight reading, I would have used 1/250 at f13 on my camera, a +1/2 stop difference from the in-camera reading of 1/250 at f16. In this instance an averaged reading would have provided enough exposure to adequately render the shadowed area and a reduced enough exposure to keep the sunlit wall within a printable density, certainly not overexposed.

    I can't necessarily agree that averaging is going to lead to overexosure---I believe any overexposure solely depends on the reflective values that are present. Some may indeed reflect too much light, thus leading to that surface(s) being overexposed.

    This is why I don't use an incident meter with my LF stuff. The feeling of absolute control with the spot meter allows me to know exactly what important reflective surfaces will need their final negative densities moderated during development. But this is just my way, others can certainly get that feeling of control with intelligent use of an incident meter.

    I use an incident meter with my 35mm negatives. I simply will move through the area where I'm shooting and while holding the button in on my Luna Pro F with the dome toward the direction from which I'm shooting, I will observe the fluctuations of the needle in both sunlight and various shadow areas and then make a determination on the best averaged reading. If I'm concerned about some reflective surfaces being too strong for the averaged reading, I will plan reduced development to the roll.
    Last edited by CPorter; 02-07-2010 at 11:45 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  3. #73

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2F/2F View Post
    I meter the light that is illuminating the back of the person if I want to expose for the light that is illuminating the back of the person.
    Where does that back of the person then end up on the curve?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2F/2F View Post
    That is how simple it is. Meter the light that is illuminating that for which you want to expose; not the camera lens.
    To avoid prolonging the confusion, the lens is aimed such that it projects on film what you want to have exposed on film.

    The dome of an incident meter is made such that all light that could hit what the camera lens sees is measured. If pointed from the subject at the lens (or in similar light, when held parallel to the direction subject-lens).

    You can bias, fine tune, that by allowing light from one direction to weigh in more than that from other directions, by pointing the dome more toward where that light is coming from.

    Just like you can select a part of your subject to meter, instead of metering the entire scene, when using reflected light metering.

    But the basic method, the average metering one, the one in which you point the dome from the subject towards the camera still is correct. Still works.

    You may not always want an average reading.
    But that doesn't mean it is wrong. It isn't.
    So if the aim is to learn how to use a meter, you do have to know that. You do have to know and understand that it indeed is the basis, the point of departure for any 'fine-tuning'.

  4. #74

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1234 View Post
    An incident meter can only tell you how much light is falling on a given area. It cannot tell you the reflectivity of that area. If you can get a standard (wide-view) reflective meter close enough to read a relatively even area then you can adjust your exposure to compensate for the Zone V reading the meter gives you... less exposure for charcoal and more for snow (loose rules of thumb). Nothing is more accurate than taking multiple spot meter readings and the knowledge of where you want to place those values on the final print. Essentially, meter for the darkest shadow area and place the exposure where you want that shadow area to fall on the final print then develop and/or tone or intensify the film to place the brightest values where they'll render the desired brightness and texture on the final print.

    Sorry... but incident light reading can't do this with the same accuracy as spot metering because spot meters read the direct luminance of the object itself which is what the film sees. I have nothing against incident meters. I just choose the accuracy of spot meters.
    That's often said, but never quite true.

    The thing is that you do not learn anything about the reflectivity of any part in a scene when you point a spot meter at it. You just get a reading.

    You, noone else, will have to work out how much of the incident light that particular part of the scene reflected. Your meter will not tell you, unless it is either aimed at a reference surface, or it is able to perform an incident light reading too.

    The "accuracy" you get using a spot meter is in how it is able to tell you how the relative reflective properties of different parts of the scene compare.
    But point a spot meter at anything, and it will always say the same thing: grey, grey, grey, ... What will be white, what black, what middle gray is up to you (and noone or nothing else) to decide.

    And that's the hidden bit in those ubiquitous 'spot metering is more accurate' thingies. You can use that same accurate 'computer' - your judgement - to decide about those thingies in incident light metering as well.

  5. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by CPorter View Post
    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.
    I skimmed this thread and I don't think anyone has mentioned the BTZS method for using an incident meter which is what I use now. I used to use a spot meter for zone system work.

    Basically, you take an EV incident reading in the shadow (or simulated shadow) of the scene; then take an EV incident reading in the bright area of a scene; add 5 to the difference and that equals the scene brightness range. An SBR of 7 is normal. Other values require the usual expansion or contraction process. I find this to be much faster, easier, and intuitive than using a spot meter. It took me awhile to believe it though but my results proved the point. The only potential problem is when you cannot get a highlight reading - for example what is the highlight reading of the distant mountain scene when you are standing in the shade? I have found ways around it most of the time. With a spot meter, there is a lot of room for error with the actual "spot" as well.

    I have a big Sekonic spot meter which I thought was great but I leave it at home and instead use a miniscule Gossen Digisix meter that is about the size of a stop watch and much less expensive than a spot meter.
    Jerold Harter MD

  6. #76

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    Quote Originally Posted by Q.G. View Post
    That's often said, but never quite true.

    The thing is that you do not learn anything about the reflectivity of any part in a scene when you point a spot meter at it. You just get a reading.

    You, noone else, will have to work out how much of the incident light that particular part of the scene reflected. Your meter will not tell you, unless it is either aimed at a reference surface, or it is able to perform an incident light reading too.

    The "accuracy" you get using a spot meter is in how it is able to tell you how the relative reflective properties of different parts of the scene compare.
    But point a spot meter at anything, and it will always say the same thing: grey, grey, grey, ... What will be white, what black, what middle gray is up to you (and noone or nothing else) to decide.

    And that's the hidden bit in those ubiquitous 'spot metering is more accurate' thingies. You can use that same accurate 'computer' - your judgement - to decide about those thingies in incident light metering as well.
    I said precisely that in other words and I never said to use the reading from the spot meter without exposure and development adjustment. Take a reading of the darkest important shadow detail area and adjust exposure to place that tonal value where you want it on the final print. Adjust development and perhaps tone or intensify to attain proper highlight placement/detail. This understanding of tonal value placement and development control with use of a spot meter is the most accurate method of metering. I really can't see how anyone can argue to the contrary. Other metering methods have their place but they're simply not as accurate.

    There are many metering shortcuts such as BTZS but they are not as accurate as direct reading of the object and knowing how to adjust exposure/development to place those values where you want them on the final print. BTZS still doesn't read the actual brightness of the object... just the light falling on it... whether in shadow or sunlight.
    Last edited by Mike1234; 02-08-2010 at 01:46 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  7. #77
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Q.G. View Post
    Where does that back of the person then end up on the curve?
    Cute question.

    Real answer.

    Consider a sunset, put a person between the camera and the sunset.

    Use your incident meter, as you would a reflective meter, by pointing it at the sunset from the camera.

    Shoot.

    The back of the person creates a silhouette so you find the "back" of the person "reflected/illuminated" in the shadows somewhere at the lower end of the curve.

    Before anybody tries to nit-pic this response by saying light can't shine through the person and that the person will be underexposed, I want you to know that you are right, but ONLY in a technical sense.

    This technique is an artistic use.

    As photographers/artists we get to decide what is important in a photo.

    If I wanted a silhouette, and I got great shadow detail instead, the negative sucks, even if technically it might be considered "better".
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

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

  8. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeroldharter View Post
    I skimmed this thread and I don't think anyone has mentioned the BTZS method for using an incident meter which is what I use now.
    Jerold,

    I mentioned it in my post #39, but thanks as I never really knew how the incident meter was ultimately used in BTZS, I only knew it was used. However, even based on what you described, the ZS, to me, appears to be so much more fluid in the thought process. But we are obviously both bias! . Both are excellant tools, we've all seen some beautiful photographs from competent practioners of each system.

  9. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by Q.G. View Post
    And that's the hidden bit in those ubiquitous 'spot metering is more accurate' thingies. You can use that same accurate 'computer' - your judgement - to decide about those thingies in incident light metering as well.
    Are you implying that the use of a spot meter means that the photographer does not have to think as much or rely on his judgment as much about exposure as the user of an incident meter. This would be entirely false if that is what you mean----I'm sure I have read more into it than what you mean, but thought I would ask any way.

  10. #80

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    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
    Cute question.

    Real answer.

    Consider a sunset, put a person between the camera and the sunset.

    Use your incident meter, as you would a reflective meter, by pointing it at the sunset from the camera.

    Shoot.

    The back of the person creates a silhouette so you find the "back" of the person "reflected/illuminated" in the shadows somewhere at the lower end of the curve.

    Before anybody tries to nit-pic this response by saying light can't shine through the person and that the person will be underexposed, I want you to know that you are right, but ONLY in a technical sense.

    This technique is an artistic use.

    As photographers/artists we get to decide what is important in a photo.

    If I wanted a silhouette, and I got great shadow detail instead, the negative sucks, even if technically it might be considered "better".
    Fill reflectors and/or flash. :-)

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