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  1. #11
    Paul Sorensen's Avatar
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    You indicate you are a newbie, I think that spot meters can be a little dangerous for those who are not used to them or understand the philosophy of their use. What I see a lot with new photographers is that they think that the spot meter is merely more "accurate" and disregard that it is not an accurate representation of the whole scene unless they take several readings. Of course, the spot meters built into the cameras are more of a problem in this regard, where the beginner just points the camera in the direction and takes the picture, even though the spot may be pointing toward a particularly light or dark area.

    I guess the point I am trying to make is that spot meters are great as long as you also take the time to learn how to use them well. In untrained hands, they can create more problems than they solve. I also don't believe that they are necessary unless you are going to be using the Zone system, and it is not easy to use the zone system with roll film.

  2. #12

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    Never had one, never used one and I seem to do OK, but I do like the wider spot mode in my OM4Ti cameras. I also agree with Paul: if anything, too narrow a spot can lead you astray unless you really know what you're doing with it.

    David.

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Sorensen
    You indicate you are a newbie, I think that spot meters can be a little dangerous for those who are not used to them or understand the philosophy of their use. What I see a lot with new photographers is that they think that the spot meter is merely more "accurate" and disregard that it is not an accurate representation of the whole scene unless they take several readings. Of course, the spot meters built into the cameras are more of a problem in this regard, where the beginner just points the camera in the direction and takes the picture, even though the spot may be pointing toward a particularly light or dark area.

    I guess the point I am trying to make is that spot meters are great as long as you also take the time to learn how to use them well. In untrained hands, they can create more problems than they solve. I also don't believe that they are necessary unless you are going to be using the Zone system, and it is not easy to use the zone system with roll film.
    Paul is right. It is more important to know your meter and use it correctly than the metering pattern. Using your meter in the wrong way will ruin more shots than using a meter not perfect for the job. That goes for all lightmeters
    Regards S°ren

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Huram
    Some newbie questions:

    I shoot BW with my 35 mm Canon EOS-Elan II and my Rolleicord Va. Never done anything bigger than 6x6 negs. My Canon, obviously has a TTL meter. I recently purchased a good all-around reflective/incident light meter for the Rolleicord -- a used Luna Pro F. It measures light a 30 degrees, I think.

    How crucial is it that I have a 1 degree spot meter for my 35mm and MF work?

    The reason I ask is that I am going through Les McLean's "Creative Black and White Photography." In the first chapters, he mentions the importance of film testing which is aided by a 1 degree spot meter. I haven't finished the book, but I assume a 1 degree spot meter is essential for shooting all the time. But, I have heard that it isn't that useful for 35mm and MF photography (esp. if you do not have an interchangeable back on the camera). Is this true?

    If a 1 degree spot meter is an essential tool in making "fine BW prints," what would be a good beginner model. (Hopefully less than 100 bucks on eBay)?

    Also, I do not have the spot attachment for the Luna Pro F, but it would give me the options of measuring 7.5 to 15 degrees. This doesn't seem to really be a true "spot meter" that would give me a 1 degree reading. This 7.5 degree attachment could not substitute for a 1 degree spot meter, or could it?

    Thanks again in advance for the replies!

    Huram
    (David Nelson)

    I doubt that you need a spot meter at all for 35mm work. Today's 35mm cameras have a variety of built-in meters that can vary in acceptance angle. I see no need for the separate meter at all. It will slow you down way too much for 35mm work.

  5. #15
    roteague's Avatar
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    Ornello, welcome to the forum. I didn't see your introduction, but wanted to welcome you anyway.
    Robert M. Teague
    www.visionlandscapes.com
    www.apug.org/forums/portfolios.php?u=2235

    "A man who works with his hands is a laborer; a man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman; a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist" -- Louis Nizer

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by roteague
    Ornello, welcome to the forum. I didn't see your introduction, but wanted to welcome you anyway.
    Grazi!

  7. #17
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    Ornello: I see no replies which I would disagree with. All have merit. I used a reflection/incident meter for years to augment my "practical" (read: the parts which work for me) 35mm and mf zone system work. However when I obtained my one degree spot meter, the work was made much much easier.
    I love the smell of fixer in the morning. It smells like...creativity!
    Truly, dr bob.

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by dr bob
    Ornello: I see no replies which I would disagree with. All have merit. I used a reflection/incident meter for years to augment my "practical" (read: the parts which work for me) 35mm and mf zone system work. However when I obtained my one degree spot meter, the work was made much much easier.
    If you learn to memorize the exposure, you find any meter superfluous. Try living with an M4 for a few years, and you'll never miss a meter.

    It's exceedingly easy to judge exposure (for B&W at least) based on experience.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ornello Pederzoli II
    If you learn to memorize the exposure, you find any meter superfluous. Try living with an M4 for a few years, and you'll never miss a meter.

    It's exceedingly easy to judge exposure (for B&W at least) based on experience.
    I also agree with the above. I can usually "guess" the correct exposure when photographing outdoors in conventional lighting, but unfortunantly many of my pictures are made under unusual lighting conditions where my meter readings have been suprising and very valuable. E. g., see my gallery.

    OBTW, none of my active cameras have meters or batteries.
    I love the smell of fixer in the morning. It smells like...creativity!
    Truly, dr bob.

  10. #20

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    David, the spot meter is a relatively recent invention. People did quite well without before it was invented.

    Do you need one? No.

    Might you find one helpful? I don't know, the question has more to do with you and your practice than me and mine. FWIW, I often use my Luna Pro with its tacky little 7.5 degree finder, prefer it to my Master V which sees everything and then some. But in truth I get as good results metering with the Master as with the Luna Pro.

    Have fun,

    Dan

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