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  1. #1
    haring's Avatar
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    Do you use a lightmeter when shooting wedding in film?

    Do you use a light meter when shooting wedding in film? I mostly shoot with digital (it is easy to check the exposure in digital) and I am just worried that the camera light meter in the film camera won't be accurate. I would use the film cameras for the posed photos so I think I would have time to measure the time with the light meter... what do you think? What do you usually do?
    Or do you think it is possible to meter with the digital camera? Take a digital shoot at the same ISO speed? Then I would adjust aperture, shutter in the film camera according to the results based on the exposure on the digital photos?

    What do you think?

  2. #2
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Yes.

    Most of my wedding work was with cameras that had no meter. I used a hand meter and/or auto flash. Where possible, I used the meter in incident mode. Where that wasn't possible (time exposures during the church ceremony) I used it in reflected mode.

    Light levels don't usually change quickly, and experience is the best metering accessory.

    As for using a digital camera as a separate meter, I would just say that you would need to experiment with that before-hand because like any other meter you need to know how to interpret the results in various circumstances. I find hand meters easier when learning those lessons.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  3. #3
    Rick A's Avatar
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    I carry a hand held meter and trust it. Practice with what you have to make sure the in-camera meter is accurate.
    Rick A
    Argentum aevum

  4. #4
    2F/2F's Avatar
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    Yes, or I use an educated guess.

    The less time you spend like a zombie with your nose in the LCD, the more you will pay attention to what really matters (potential shots), and the better you will shoot. Get out of that habit now, IMHO.
    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."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)

  5. #5
    haring's Avatar
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    Thanks! Which light meter do yo recommend for wedding? I would like to get a good one which is not expensive (I know the good is not cheap most of the time)....I don't mind picking up a used one on ebay...

  6. #6
    2F/2F's Avatar
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    I use a Sekonic incident meter that doesn't read flash, but one does read flash is a good choice.
    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."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)

  7. #7
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    I find the best thing to do is meter the important tones, like the dress and the tux, since they are usually the extreme values, and I memorize the EV's so that I can change my exposure based on whats in the scene, but you can usually keep one setting as long as all the tones you pre-metered are in the scene, just remeter if light changes or the tonal make-up changes.

  8. #8

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    First, why do you think your in camera meter won't be accurate? Is it that it covers too wide an area, that it's inherently inaccurate, or what? I've actually been pretty pleased with my in camera meter once I know it's limitations.

    Second, are you going to need to meter from your camera position or from the subject position?

    Many people use SLRs (digital or otherwise) to meter for another camera. But no meter in and by itself will tell you exactly how the image will be rendered on film (i.e. detail in white gown).
    "Far more critical than what we know or do not know is what we do not want to know." - Eric Hoffer

  9. #9
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    In-camera meters will get you roughly in the ballpark a lot of the time, but IMO, if you have the luxury of using a handheld incident meter, you should always do it, because it will give you better exposures with less fiddling and "thinking." Metering the light as opposed to metering the composition is what makes hand held incident meters inherently "better." In-camera meters were designed as a compromise of convenience and quality. Although they have become the norm, they still compromise quality for convenience.

    An alternative that is just as good in terms of results (though less convenient) is to use the in-camera meter in conjunction with a grey card. Just be sure to open up 1/2 to 2/3 stops from what the meter says when reading the card. Or as an alternative, slow down one full shutter speed and stop down 1/3 to 1/2 stop. Use the former when you can spare some D of F, and the latter when you can spare some shutter speed.
    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."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)

  10. #10
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    I bought a Nikon F100 specifically to do weddings with because I could put it on Program auto and Matrix metering and forget about it. It does a fantastic job. Get the correct flash and put it on TTL program auto as well. In the rare case that you are inspired to make an art image during a wedding just switch it to manual and make your own decision.

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