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Light Meter Help

  1. Justride408
    Hello all. I am fairly new to film photogrpahy. Just wanted some suggestions on a good light meter to get. I will be ordering my Mamiya RB67 Pro-S this weekend! Any help is appriciated. Thanks in advance!
  2. paul ron
    paul ron
    Luna Pro SBC is a nice very sensative meter.. also has an optional spot attachement. These meters sell used for around $80. Keep an eye on classifieds on these photo forums, I see em posted quite frequently.
  3. Justride408
    Hey thanks for the reply. I ended up finding a sekonic L-508 zoom master for $160 on craigslist! Works great!
  4. paul ron
    paul ron
    Nice meter, good luck with it. I'm sure you'll love it. Meters are an addiction although you'll find the more you uise it, the less you will evntually need it. You'll find after a while you just know what the exposure is going to be.
  5. Justride408
    Very true Paul. I've already noticed that my measurements are pretty close to the meter readouts!
  6. dodphotography
    hey all, I'm very new here... actually, just joined about 10 minutes ago.

    I picked up a Gossen digital meter and I either a.) don't know how to use it , b.) am not patient enough. I'm a recently converted film shooter and working with a ProSD that I got a great deal on in very good shape. I wish I had a spot meter, I can't seem to grasp how to accurately meter a scene. Any tips for someone using a non-spot meter? I have attached a scan I made this weekend, shot down in the dunes of provincetown, MA but as you can see the results weren't great despite trying to meter the whole scene and finding an average.

  7. chung
    (I sent you PM.)

    When you have a large portion of sky and/or shooting a backlit object (here the house)
    you should over expose usually 2-3 times.
  8. Ric Trexell
    Ric Trexell
    Just Ride: You didn't say whether you will be needing a light/flash meter or just a light meter. You can get a light meter for $50-60 I think, but a flash meter will cost you a lot more. If you are using black and white film, you can just look at a chart and be pretty close. Ric.
  9. houdel
    Chung is correct if you are using color negative film, but let me elaborate a little bit.

    What you have here is a high contrast scene - a large range of light values between the bright sky (the highlights) and the dark shadows on the side of the building (the shadows). Most color negative film has an exposure latitude of about 7 f stops between the brightest highlights and the darkest shadows, and can tolerate about two stops underexposure of the shadows while still giving decent shadow detail. So when faced with a high contrast scene, a general rule of thumb is to calculate your exposure by taking a meter reading of the shadows and under expose them by two f stops. That will give you good shadow detail without blowing out the highlights.

    There is a way to get a more precise exposure, but it is somewhat complicated. Rather than just pointing your light meter in the general direction of your scene and hope for the best, take two focused readings, one of the sky (highlights) and one of the side of the building (shadows). Lets say you did that and your light meter gave you exposures of f/16 @ 1/250 for the sky and f/2 @ 1/250 for the side of the building. That is a range of 7 f stops which is within the capability of the film. Set your exposure at two f stops underexposed for the shadows, f/4 @ 1/250, and you will capture good detail in both the highlights and the shadows. If the contrast range between the sky and building was only 6 f stops then set your exposure to under expose the shadows by only one stop. If the contrast range was more that 7 f stops then your scene exceeds the contrast latitude of your film. You are going to lose detail in either the highlights or the shadows so you will have to make a decision as to which is more important and choose your exposure accordingly.

    Color slide film is just the opposite in exposure tolerance and also has a smaller exposure latitude of typically three f stops. In a high contrast scene using slide film your best shot is to meter the highlights and over expose them by one f stop.

    Hope this helps. -- Lee
  10. Bronica645
    If your constant theme will be Landscape, I would recommend the Cokin 121M - ND4 2-stop Graduated Neutral Density Filter for starters.
    When you take your exposure reading point in the distance although avoid the sky, the Cokin Filter will balance your exposure more.
    Here is a sample:
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