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Thread: Spot Meters

  1. #11
    laz
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    Quote Originally Posted by panchromatic
    New and used both, i'm open to suggestions.
    Used, always used. Even for things I can afford new I'll look for used.

    Same reason I only buy used cars, let someone else pay the "new" premium. With electronic devices the odds of something going wrong are greatest when new. Reconditioned items are also very kewl. I consider them to be "pre-disastered" something has gone wrong, it's been found and fixed. It's better than new now!

    -B

  2. #12

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    I seldom use my spot meter. Color and BW are done with an incident meter and my results have greatly improved.
    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

  3. #13
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    Have to agree with the above post. When I use a handheld meter it is almost always just a simple incident reading or two.

    Do you use the Zone system religiously? Are your subjects mainly "big wide open spaces" landscapes? Do you really need a spot meter?

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by BradS
    Have to agree with the above post. When I use a handheld meter it is almost always just a simple incident reading or two.

    Do you use the Zone system religiously? Are your subjects mainly "big wide open spaces" landscapes? Do you really need a spot meter?
    Brad,

    You pose an interesting question.

    I'll back track a little, I'm 20 years old and I have this crazy addition that i've had for about 5 years now. Some people do drugs, I'm photo crazy. I'm about 90% self taught in photography. I have learnt about photography from many sources including books, magazines, internet sites(such as APUG), and many from my work (i work at a camera store) I am fortunate to have a manager who is extremely knowledge and has given me advice or answered questions I've asked. I've taken 1 photo class in my entire life, and by that time I had just did it to use the darkroom. The zone system is slightly forgein to me and i've yet to learn it inside and out(its on my list of things to do) so its not a religious thing for me. As of yet I have a handheld meter which works great if i'm taking pictures close, but if its a landscape I feel silly taking a reading with it from far away, so I use the spot meter in my nikon f100. I'm sure I don't NEED it right away, but I do plan on using it, especially if I get religious with the zone system.

    Also I'll have some time to think about it, I just spent about 530 bucks on new equipement and things for my darkroom and such, so I'm tapped for a while. And remember 530 bucks for a 20 year old is A LOT of money. Then again I look at all my equipment and just realize the value of it all.

    Anyway, thanks everyone for the suggestions i'll have to do some major looking
    --Ryan

    "The negative is the equivalent of the composer's score, and the print the performance." ~Ansel Adams

  5. #15

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    I have owned a Soliger spotmeter, A minolta spot and a Pentax spot. The Pentax is by far my favorite - in fact, I am probably going to buy another for a backup.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by panchromatic
    Brad,

    You pose an interesting question.

    I'll back track a little, I'm 20 years old and I have this crazy addition that i've had for about 5 years now. Some people do drugs, I'm photo crazy. I'm about 90% self taught in photography. I have learnt about photography from many sources including books, magazines, internet sites(such as APUG), and many from my work (i work at a camera store) I am fortunate to have a manager who is extremely knowledge and has given me advice or answered questions I've asked. I've taken 1 photo class in my entire life, and by that time I had just did it to use the darkroom. The zone system is slightly forgein to me and i've yet to learn it inside and out(its on my list of things to do) so its not a religious thing for me. As of yet I have a handheld meter which works great if i'm taking pictures close, but if its a landscape I feel silly taking a reading with it from far away, so I use the spot meter in my nikon f100. I'm sure I don't NEED it right away, but I do plan on using it, especially if I get religious with the zone system.

    Also I'll have some time to think about it, I just spent about 530 bucks on new equipement and things for my darkroom and such, so I'm tapped for a while. And remember 530 bucks for a 20 year old is A LOT of money. Then again I look at all my equipment and just realize the value of it all.

    Anyway, thanks everyone for the suggestions i'll have to do some major looking
    Have you tried using an incident meter rather than reflected? I have had very good luck with that. In most cases with landscape, you can just turn around from where the camera is pointing and get the same light that is on the lanscape for incident metering. I have found that if you are not using the zone system, a spot meter can actually cause more harm than good. Many people end up pointing it at the wrong place, metering it straight, and end up placing a very dark or very light area in their image as 18% gray. If you know what you want to place there, or how to adjust for the difference between what you are pointing the meter at and 18% gray, you can get good results. Of course, that is about half way to using the zone system anyway.

  7. #17
    edz
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    Quote Originally Posted by panchromatic
    Ok I would like a few opinions please:

    I just recently got my LF camera, and obviously I would like spot meter (currently I am lugging my nikon f100 around and using that to spot meter)
    Forget spot meters. They have their uses but really only as an additional tool when one can't meter correctly in the field. Instead I'd suggest a good incident/refected meter, a gray card and, if possible, a probe to read off your ground-glass. Good choices, if one wants digital and warranty, are the Spectra Pro IV-A, Minolta Autometer, Sekonic L508 and Gossen Starlite.
    Edward C. Zimmermann
    BSn R&D // http://www.nonmonotonic.net

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by edz
    Forget spot meters. They have their uses but really only as an additional tool when one can't meter correctly in the field.
    I would say that both have their uses and different people have different ways of metering which work for them. I have and use both types of meters. Your comment struck as me rude, much as if someone had said that "incident meters are for those who don't understand how to manipulate the tonal scale and just want a computer or chemical reaction to tell them the exposure."

    Both of these views are correct in the case of some photographers who really don't know how to use their equipment, but incident and reflective metering can both be used wonderfully (thinking BTZS and the many forms of the Zone System)--hell, Weston didn't use a meter at all, right?

    --From the owner of a Soligor Spot Sensor II and a Minolta IV Auto Meter (both wonderful meters)
    Let's see what I've got in the magic trash can for Mateo!

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  9. #19
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    For what it's worth, light meters go out of linearity.

    Which means, a pretty used meter might read accurately at a certain level, but be wrong at others. A simple calibration doesn't help this.

    Movie guys, and the species formerly known as professional shooters, are obsessive about this.

    So, if you are buying a nice used meter, be prepared to send it to the light meter shop for a tuneup. New meters tend to not have this problem.

    As for a spot meter, I vote for PocketSpot.

    .
    "One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid,
    and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision"

    -Bertrand Russell

  10. #20

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    Old guys in photo shops can be a wealth of info. When I got my first view camera and went shopping for a lens the guy at the store I got my lens showed me how to use the camera movements, how to correctly focus to get the maximum depth of field, and gave me a list of essential gear and the order I needed to get it. He was right in every respect. We were in the parking lot for a good two hours playing with my camera.

    There are times when I use my spot attachment but it is rare and for some reason only when doing color. Both are useful. SInce you have a guy who is willing to help you out ask him and discuss it with him. Have him show you how to use both and then borrow one of each and see which best fits what you do. I was never able to get the zone system down to where it was instinctual but the incident metering method seems to be right up my alley for what I shoot.
    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

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