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  1. #41

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    Depends on what film stock and what subjects you're shooting.

    Color neg, I rarely need anything more sophisticated than an ancient GE selenium meter.

    Incident is great when shooting predominantly dark or light subjects in flat light, it's not fooled by the subject reflectance. It's great for portraiture and table top available light.

    But the one glaring thing incident metering cannot tell you how many stops difference between the lightest and darkest parts of a scene-- e.g. what light intensity is falling over yonder mountain peak included the scene. Spot metering is needed for this.

  2. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pupfish View Post
    But the one glaring thing incident metering cannot tell you how many stops difference between the lightest and darkest parts of a scene-- e.g. what light intensity is falling over yonder mountain peak included the scene. Spot metering is needed for this.
    What's the problem here? I just [incident] meter the dark and then the light parts of the scene to get an idea of the difference. The only problem I see here is the inability to be physically in the same place as the two parts if you are shooting landscapes from a cliff or something like that.

  3. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.Pain-MD View Post
    What's the problem here? I just [incident] meter the dark and then the light parts of the scene to get an idea of the difference. The only problem I see here is the inability to be physically in the same place as the two parts if you are shooting landscapes from a cliff or something like that.
    Like I've already said, people can make metering as complicated or as simple as they want to. Our buddy Ansel used a spot-meter, but I'm pretty sure he could have used a incident meter and got by just fine. Why? Because he clicked enough shutters and developed enough film so that he pretty much knew where the values of the scene would fall and where he wanted to place them. Heck, he could probably have got by without a meter at all for most of his work and did for one of his most famous pictures. A meter only measure light either "falling" on the subject or "reflected" off the subject. Either way it's only an "average" and you have to do the thinking past that point. I have had all kinds of meters(still do) and I can get by with an incident meter for 99% of all my metering. A reflective light meter, spot or average, is a dangerous thing in the hands of a person who is either lazy or uneducated in its use. A incident meter is a blessing in the hands of a person who is either lazy or uneducated in the field of metering. I fall into the lazy category as I get older, but I also have enough experience in metering a scene to know how to put the incident meter to good use 99% of the time. Different strokes for different folks! JohnW

  4. #44

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    Different strokes for different folks; I'd rather this not be taken as an affront anyone's religion. That said, incident metering is out of it's element when you can't physically place the meter where the light is falling, if it's to be included within the frame. For instance, sometimes it's good to know the light intensity on that distant snowcapped peak or where the specular highlight on a distant windowpane or stained-glass window falls.

    And no, one does not have to be lazy or uneducated to use in-camera metering or incident metering for that matter to good effect. It's wonderful for certain things. Hi and low key portraiture under available light. As well, I also know how to get incidence-like readings from a spot meter, and do this all the time with my in-camera metering with subjects like this.

    I've spent the past 30 years making a fair fraction of my income from photography, which places me squarely in the era of transparency films shot for publication. A commercial photographer had to place the exposure not only within the dynamic range of the film, but within the specific final print page requirements, in other words, containing that contrast within that scene, sometimes to as little as three stops tonal range. So, yeah, the subject of metering can get fine and fussy. Being within 1/3 of a stop of where the subject needs to be is only one part of the question.

    But we digress. The OP was looking for a medium format equivalent to his Nikon FE. My short simple answer is that no TLR or simple SLR box sans meter is a close analog to working with a camera having a meter.

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