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  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Sukach View Post
    If that is the case, the amount of light reflected from the scene may easily be different from the light reaching the meter from another source (incident).
    Incident metering is taken AT the subject; reflective metering, AT the camera.

    Reflective metering is affected by the nature of the subject (dark will send less light to the meter than light); incident is not - measuring the amount of light falling on the subject.

    I would use nothing other than "incident" in studio work (give me a 2% 'worm-out' window here). In landscape work, it would be very difficult to take a meter reading AT the subject, and travel to the camera without having the amount of light falling on the subject (scene) change.
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  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by wiltw View Post
    And I disagree about the utility of the histogram...if you had a scene with shadowy area under the trees, some of the scene is the building, and some of the scene is sky, the histogram tells you nothing about the pixels specifically which make up the building! You know the quantity of dark, medium and light pixels, whether too many of them seem to be falling off the histogram, but nothing about the suitability of the pixels that are rendering the main object of interest (whatever that might be!)

    But this is an analog forum, so the debate about histogram is pointless!
    The particular questions you ask of the histogram are irrelevent because you want to transpose the functionality of a meter to the histogram, and it's apples and oranges. You want to know where the leaves or Sally's face are on the histogram, and well, there are far better questions to ask of a histogram, frankly.

    When you look at the histogram, the far left are the darkest part of your composition (for example the patch of dirt your cute wife is posing on), and the highlights on the far right are (for example the patches of over cast skys in your composition). That is really all you need to know because everything in the middle often can safely be shifted up or down via EC. It's the extreme left (shadows) and extreme right (highlights) that could get sacrificed.

    So don't try to use a light meter in the same way you might read a histogram, and once you figure this out, you too will find that the histogram gives better "advice" then a light meter.

    Another way to look at this is that a light meter will tell you a reading based on what you decide is 18% gray, and that is it. The histogram shows the amount of distribution at 18% (middle) and for the entire dynamic range..far more helpful to a digital photographer.

    I've yet to come across a composition that could not be exposed correctly without a hand held meter.

    On the other hand, i readly see the value of a handheld meter for shooting film, and for this reason I use one from time to time but only when I shoot film.
    Last edited by SilverGlow; 11-01-2008 at 01:21 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    Coming back home to my film roots. Canon EOS-3 SLR, Canon EOS 1V SLR, 580ex flash, and 5D DSLR shooter. Prime lens only shooter.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Excalibur2 View Post
    ..If meters weren't fooled then they could read bright white and coal seller black for correct exposure...............in theory you can't trust a meter that is calibrated to appx Kodak grey, unless all of the subject is appx Kodak grey......what happens in practice is the exposure latitude of the film covers objects that are moving to white or black.
    That's like saying that a yardstick fools you because it does not measure in meters. Any tool is only as good as the brain of the user.
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  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by eddym View Post
    That's like saying that a yardstick fools you because it does not measure in meters. Any tool is only as good as the brain of the user.

    erm so your examples would be for most similar things............ "if only" or "just needs a bit of intelligence to adapt" and so on................

    The point is:- a film camera exposure meter cannot give the correct exposure reading for white or black.. so that's that.....whether you think average Joe public should know/known this fact is another argument.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Excalibur2 View Post
    The point is:- a film camera exposure meter cannot give the correct exposure reading for white or black.. so that's that.....whether you think average Joe public should know/known this fact is another argument.
    I thought we were all photographers. Average Joe public takes pictures these days with his cell phone.
    Eddy McDonald
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    Eschew defenestration!

  6. #26
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    I agree with most of what people have said about the subject, but I understand the Canon EOS 30 has a thirty five area pattern meter, surely if these all singing and dancing meters are any good it should have picked up on what is a very common exposure problem.
    I personally if I had to bet my life on getting an exposure right, would want to use my hand held meter,brain and experience.
    Ben

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by eddym View Post
    I thought we were all photographers. Average Joe public takes pictures these days with his cell phone.
    Well I did add "/known" as #1 was about film.......but come on, all of us must have made a mistake with exposure some time in our lives because the camera exposure meter was fooled.....and it didn't mean we weren't intelligent photographers.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilverGlow View Post
    The particular questions you ask of the histogram are irrelevent because you want to transpose the functionality of a meter to the histogram, and it's apples and oranges. You want to know where the leaves or Sally's face are on the histogram, and well, there are far better questions to ask of a histogram, frankly.

    When you look at the histogram, the far left are the darkest part of your composition (for example the patch of dirt your cute wife is posing on), and the highlights on the far right are (for example the patches of over cast skys in your composition). That is really all you need to know because everything in the middle often can safely be shifted up or down via EC. It's the extreme left (shadows) and extreme right (highlights) that could get sacrificed.

    So don't try to use a light meter in the same way you might read a histogram, and once you figure this out, you too will find that the histogram gives better "advice" then a light meter.

    Another way to look at this is that a light meter will tell you a reading based on what you decide is 18% gray, and that is it. The histogram shows the amount of distribution at 18% (middle) and for the entire dynamic range..far more helpful to a digital photographer.

    I've yet to come across a composition that could not be exposed correctly without a hand held meter.

    On the other hand, i readly see the value of a handheld meter for shooting film, and for this reason I use one from time to time but only when I shoot film.

    I understand Zone System exposure, I understand how to take readings and 'place' my shot. One cannot do that with a simple histogram, which only shows the volume (number) of pixels at a given brightness level. Your statement (bolded) applies only to a simple averaging meter, and not the insight provided with a one degree spotmeter, which is far more information. Read Ansel Adams The Exposure for that insight. I spent some time studying with a contemporary of Ansel Adams, who complemented me on placing exposures so well. A histogram will tell you nothing about the inherent light in a scene and what the proper rendition is to capture the range of brightness in that scene.

  9. #29
    2F/2F's Avatar
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    "I understand Zone System exposure, I understand how to take readings and 'place' my shot. One cannot do that with a simple histogram, which only shows the volume (number) of pixels at a given brightness level."

    One must do versions of the same tests one does with film in order to apply the zone system to digital. You shoot grey cards to determine where you place high tones to either retain detail or wipe it out. Anybody doing this with digital is, of course, not using a histogram, but a spot meter.

    "A histogram will tell you nothing about the inherent light in a scene and what the proper rendition is to capture the range of brightness in that scene."

    Yes. It will. One should not need a histogram for such, but that's what it does. A histogram is a great tool, and will show you the placement of tones in your pic and the contrast of the pic. It is unnecessary to have one, of course, but to say that they can't be used to view placement of tones or to view contrast is nuts. That's what they do.

    I don't think anybody with any brains just uses a histogram in lieu of a light meter to make some grand piece of "perfect" art like you must make, and many APUGers seem to think are the only types of pix worth taking. However, I do think that most people want to take a single, hand held shot that simply gives them a usable exposure, and quickly check its printability. You are talking about ideals. Well, nothing is ideal in photography.

    "I spent some time studying with a contemporary of Ansel Adams, who complemented me on placing exposures so well."

    Oh! Congratulations on a job well done! Did you get a gold star? Please.....
    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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  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2F/2F View Post
    "A histogram will tell you nothing about the inherent light in a scene and what the proper rendition is to capture the range of brightness in that scene."

    Yes. It will. One should not need a histogram for such, but that's what it does. A histogram is a great tool, and will show you the placement of tones in your pic and the contrast of the pic. It is unnecessary to have one, of course, but to say that they can't be used to view placement of tones or to view contrast is nuts. That's what they do.

    I don't think anybody with any brains just uses a histogram in lieu of a light meter to make some grand piece of "perfect" art like you must make, and many APUGers seem to think are the only types of pix worth taking. However, I do think that most people want to take a single, hand held shot that simply gives them a usable exposure, and quickly check its printability. You are talking about ideals. Well, nothing is ideal in photography.
    OK, I have a snowy scene and a polar bear. If I 'shoot to the right', my pixels are all up in the upper range of the histogram. If I did not see the scene, how do I known the pixels truly belong in the upper brightness range, vs down at the lower end? I have a black coal mine scene and a black cat. If I 'shoot to the right', my pixels are all up in the upper range of the histogram. If I did not see the scene, how do I know the pixels truly belong in the upper brightness range, vs down at the lower end?

    The point I am making, on this analog forum, is that a well know reason for use of spot meters allows you to deal with scenes in a manner in which no conventional camera meter will permit, even with the digital crutch of a histogram.

    Quote Originally Posted by 2F/2F View Post
    "I spent some time studying with a contemporary of Ansel Adams, who complemented me on placing exposures so well."

    Oh! Congratulations on a job well done! Did you get a gold star? Please..
    I don't care that I didn't impress you, because impressing anyone was not the point I was making. The point was that 'placement' is something consciously chosen in the act of exposure, and the spotmeter permits you to do that well, unlike a histogram. I can choose which brightness level in the scene I want at the mid-point, using the spotmeter.
    Last edited by wiltw; 11-01-2008 at 03:22 PM. Click to view previous post history.

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