Switch to English Language Passer en langue franÁaise Omschakelen naar Nederlandse Taal Wechseln Sie zu deutschen Sprache Passa alla lingua italiana
Members: 68,659   Posts: 1,481,476   Online: 1112
      
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 29
  1. #1

    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Shooter
    35mm
    Posts
    70

    How necessary is a 1 degree spot meter for 35mm & MF shooting?

    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)

  2. #2
    Canuck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Great White North
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    196
    Depending on your subject, the 1 degree spot is handy, but the spot attachment for the Gossen works really well for most things for medium format. I use the spot attachment for medium format work, and yes, it isn't a 1 degree angle but for most things, it works out really well. I can meter what is important (to me) without guessing at where the meter is actually pointing at . Cheers!

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Sarajevo
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    1,801
    Huram, I don't think that you will need more "precise" meter that 9 degrees partial metering circle of Elan... But, If you constantly work with dificult scenes in which you have lots of vrey contrasted parts, or work with zone system, that 1 degree spot meter will be needed. For 99,99 percent of "normal" lightning conditions, Elan's partial meter circle will be enough...

  4. #4
    chuck94022's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Los Altos, CA
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    602
    Blog Entries
    1
    Images
    10
    Quote Originally Posted by Huram
    Some newbie questions:

    ...

    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?

    ...
    A one degree spot meter is not essential. However, it is very useful for understanding scenes in detail. It is most useful for slow photography: landscapes, still lifes, macro photography, and portraits. It is not useful at all for street scenes, sports, etc. Things move too fast in those worlds.

    The reason it isn't as useful for 35mm or MF photography (without interchangeable backs) is that folks who carefully analyze their images are likely to want to adjust the contrast of the negative in the darkroom by altering development times. You can't alter development on individual images of a roll, obviously, so with roll film you have to designate development times on a roll-by-roll basis. Thus, having interchangeable backs is really useful.

    You can achieve most of what you need to do by general scene metering and bracketing. Meter the scene in camera, then take shots one stop over and one stop under exposed (or two stops, or whatever - film is pretty cheap). Then choose the best negative of the set. Take lots of notes and develop an intuition about scene contrast through your experiences.

    But in the end, if you really want to understand your images, I think you'd appreciate a spot meter. It can be a very useful, but not critical, tool.

    -chuck

  5. #5
    Bruce Osgood's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Brooklyn, N.Y. USA
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    2,404
    Images
    38
    It doesn't matter what format you shoot in. When you measure light I think you want to be as accurate as you can be. To me that means a 1 degree spot meter is better than a 30 degree. Other photographers feel better suited in using an ambient meter, I disagree.
    Bruce Osgood
    Everyone dies, so try and live a little first
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/camclicker/

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Canada
    Shooter
    4x5 Format
    Posts
    468
    While it may be great for film testing as well as metering for some people... It really comes down to what tools and working method YOU find comfortable in the field and in the studio.

    Do what works for you.

    joe

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    5,231
    Images
    9
    I agree with haris, that the incident meter will take care of most of your work. but my spot meter has gotten me out of some binds in BW and color photography. I carry both all of the time.
    Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI

    So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004

  8. #8
    Flotsam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    S.E. New York State
    Posts
    3,221
    Images
    13
    IMHO the 7.5 degree spot meter with it's viewfinder should handle the majority of your spot metering needs (measuring brightness ranges etc.). The 1 degree might be convenient or even neccessary in certain circumstances but at the cost of a lot of extra bulk and expense.
    That is called grain. It is supposed to be there.
    =Neal W.=

  9. #9
    Wally H's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    NW Washington State, USA
    Shooter
    Med. Format RF
    Posts
    160
    Images
    15
    I feel that spot metering can increase oneís accuracy and aid in exposure and developing films but one should be aware of its limitations and how spot meters may be misleading.

    1) I have yet to find a truly accurate small area spot meter in that the ones I have tested have all been affected by the lighter areas around the small area metered (1 degree or whatever degree). This includes the Zone V modified meter which is the one I generally use. The way I test is to put a black card on a white background. Make a reading where the black card completely fills the picture space and then make another reading where the black card only occupies the sport meterís metering area and the entire rest of the image area is the white background (could be any degree at this point). I have yet to find a meter that will read the same. I do the same test with an 18% gray card and the meters still donít measure the same both ways.

    2) I find a most accurate way to measure a small area (using your feet, long lenses, spot meters, and/or a combination of these) is to fill the picture space with the image area one wants to meter. Not very practical for a lot of long landscape scenes, but yet workable in a lot of situations too.
    Last edited by ceratto; 04-04-2005 at 02:51 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    Regards,

    Wally

    Member:
    National Sarcasm Society
    (like we need your support)

  10. #10
    Ole
    Ole is offline
    Ole's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Bergen, Norway
    Shooter
    Large Format
    Posts
    9,280
    Blog Entries
    1
    Images
    31
    Quote Originally Posted by Huram
    How crucial is it that I have a 1 degree spot meter for my 35mm and MF work?
    In my experience, not at all.

    A 1 degree spotmeter is a useful tool for the Zone System, but even that can be done without.

    A narrow reflected meter is useful too, but there is no way a 15 degree meter can replace a 1 degree meter - when "spot" is what you need.

    A simple incident reading gives you good exposure in more than 99% of all situations. Good exposure, not "perfect"; since no two photographers agree on what that is or indeed whether it exists at all.
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast


 

APUG PARTNERS EQUALLY FUNDING OUR COMMUNITY:



Contact Us  |  Support Us!  |  Advertise  |  Site Terms  |  Archive  ó   Search  |  Mobile Device Access  |  RSS  |  Facebook  |  Linkedin