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  1. #41

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    I agree with everyone

  2. #42
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    Simple test: my deck is now in full shade, while just outside of it, morning sun. I put a subject at the edge of it and metered with my Gossen Digipro F with dome towards the camera (100ISO): reading @ f8 is 1/8. Point the dome towards and close to the subject, reading @ f8 1/15. One stop. Obviously, pointing at the subject is picking up some of the brighter light behind it, which in this case would result in the subject being underexposed by a stop. Now, changing the subject's position a bit, resulted in identical readings. So, in this case, we want the camera to meter what it sees, but we don't want it to expose for the slightly brighter background, which means the dome should be indeed pointed at the camera. Depending on the situations, it's not a bad idea to take multiple readings anyway, with dome inward and outwards, and verify the tests/differences on the negatives/prints.
    FWIW, shooting landscapes in even lighting, I have taken readings both ways and, in most cases, they have been identical.

  3. #43
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennychoo View Post
    I agree with everyone
    Neither do I.


    Steve.
    "People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.

  4. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mainecoonmaniac View Post
    Incident readings aren't useful for the zone system though.
    Actually, not true.
    When you're able to work close to your subject, (as in portraiture), placing your domed meter at various positions around your subject, w/dome facing camera, (especially in shadow areas), will always give better exposure readings, zone system or not.
    Incident trumps reflective (even one degree spot), every time. Spot meters main usefulness is for distant subjects where incident is impractical or impossible.

  5. #45
    keithwms's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc B. View Post
    Incident trumps reflective (even one degree spot), every time.
    No, not true at all.

    The main issue here is reflectivity of the subject. If you are photographing e.g. a metallic object then incident metering can give completely incorrect exposures.

    And the zone system can be adapted to any metering technique... or no meter at all.
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

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  6. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by keithwms View Post

    The main issue here is reflectivity of the subject.
    Keith, please stay on point.
    The OP is talking about portraiture, and so am I.

  7. #47
    keithwms's Avatar
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    Well I don't buy your generalization for portraiture either. What if your subject has big gold teeth?



    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

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  8. #48
    Poisson Du Jour's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heidia View Post
    Okay, I understand why you would use the spot meter and zone system for bw. Especially with landscapes and architecture, for example. I understand that. But, if I am taking a very close up portrait, do I really need to use spot/zone for the skin tone? Why wouldn't an incident meter work the same in this instance? I mean, you are so close, you are certain to be in the same light, unlike far away landscapes. Thoughts?

    An incident reading measures light falling on the overall scene from one or more light sources. The problem is that it omits the actual reflected light and does not provide the opportunity to evaluate selective areas of the subject. If the subject is in bright light and shadow, incident will not provide any clue as to tonal range or luminance. Even if you average both extremes, what will the result be do you think? So a more critical method is multi-spot and averaging of the subject which analyses the subject's range of luminances (shadow/highlight) — and this is important if shooting transparency; this is where metering skill is critical in balancing competing illumination by selective analyses. Subject and lighting will also suggest what method you employ.

    In studio portraiture, the lighting is often (but not exclusively) very carefully controlled with neither very bright nor very dark areas. Portraits in such conditions can be handled by two ways: incident, by balancing dominant light, and shadow, then averaging; or spot: midtone first (and lock-in), highlight, shadow, average. Either method will require compensation if the subject is very dark or very light (again, you can introduce low- or high-key lighting — the possibilities are endless).

    Advanced metering application does require a lot of practice and practical exposues, but once mastered will become second nature. In a professional studio practice it's essential that you work fast and fluently, visualising the result. Of course many people will have their own tried and tested methodologies to pass on and many again take old methods and rrefine them to their own specifics. I suggest you go through all the methods that you can garner with whatever apparatus you are using (LF would require additional work with bellows) and critically assess the results. Experience is a great teacher.


    Keith: That is quite a striking — if slightly menacing image — reminiscent of the feared James Bond arch-villains!! It's also a very good example of a subject I would spot meter.
    “The photographer must determine how he wants the finished print to look before he exposes the negative.
    Before releasing the shutter, he must seek 'the flame of recognition,' a sense that the picture would reveal
    the greater mystery of things...more clearly than the eyes see."
    ~Edward Weston, 1922.

  9. #49
    Athiril's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diapositivo View Post
    The cases where incident light metering might not give you what you expected is with pure white or pure black objects. Incident light metering abstracts totally from the reflectivity of the subject, but if let's say the subject is very very white, such a reading might place your subject in a zone of the characteristic curve of the film where you don't have much texture.

    So when using incident reading with a "milk white" subject, you would close a bit more than what suggested by your light meter. That's probably more true with small format than with MF or LF where film retains more details in the extremes "zones".

    That said, with skin tones incident light metering is the best thing because you don't have to worry about the skin tone of the subject: any skin tone will be rendered well.

    On the other hand, if it's a model in a wedding dress you are taking pictures of, or with a pure white hat, than, as said above, some caution might be used and some compensation applied.

    Fabrizio

    PS As ever when talking about precise exposure, what above is mainly true with slide film. If using negative, and especially B&W negative, you have ample overexposure room and you dodge/burn as appropriate during the printing stage.
    err incident metering will give the same reading regardless if the object is black or white or grey.

  10. #50
    Athiril's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post
    I have never worked in a studio, but I know from experience that Lee knows what he's talking about.

    And, incident metering works all the time, regardless of what the lighting is. The key is to meter at the object, pointing the dome to the camera lens opening general direction. The idea is that your meter should see the light that your camera lens is photographing.

    It doesn't matter if the object is very bright, very dark, or if it's all mid-tones; the tones will be rendered correctly if you meter this way.
    Towards the light source(s) individually, then decide if you wish to expose for key light or whatever. That'll give lighting ratio/contrast ratio between midtones, rather than spot on a white object in the shade, spot on a black object in sun etc.. or vice versa.

    Towards the camera is an amalgamation and isn't giving midtones for midtones in X light.

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