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How does SRT meter measure light?

  1. Terry Again
    Hi All,
    Perhaps another silly question? But I have been wanting to shoot photos of people/things in light and shadow and I wonder IF the camera's meter measures a general light average? Or does it measure for the bright places and meters that? And I wonder IF there's a way to get around a view finder that's too dark to see the meter well and focus yet see what you want to shoot? Again on the SRT 100 that I have. I await replys with answers please?
    Hope you all are having good days and nights,
    Terry
  2. wayne naughton
    wayne naughton
    terry, somebody else can explain the technicalities, but if you find yourself in a difficult lighting situation, you got to bracket your exposures, the more difficult the lighting, the wider your bracket spread. just use your meter as a guide rather rather than a limiter. you can be a couple of stops out and still get an interesting image....mightn't be what you think you're getting but...you never know.

    gee, if things are that dark, maybe you'll have to wing it, there are plenty of experienced photographers out there who will completely ignore what their camera is telling them and will judge distance/aperture in their heads, it's not that difficult a skill to achieve, just takes a lot of practice.

    oh...and buy a flash
  3. Terry Again
    Terry Again
    Hi Wayne,
    The flash I have and really can't use to take photos of this person. I was interested in how the shadows seemed to be enveloping her and yet parts of her were still well lighted? I'm still learning after a long abscense(?) And even when I was young I never really learned much but to load and unload the film and to switch lenses!! Now I have to really learn so much I will try to bracket and see where on my learning list it goes? Now is there anything that can be done to help out with trying to focus a SRT when situations have to be dim to darker? Besides using a super fast lens?
    Terry
  4. Ralph Javins
    Ralph Javins
    Good morning, Terry;

    There are two light sensors in the SR-T CLC metering system. They are an averaging system, and they have a fairly wide field of view. Think of it as "center weighted" but with some contribution from the rest of the screen. It also did a good job of indicating the exposure to include both highlight and shadow detail. If you can see well enough to focus easily, you can probably hand hold. With at least an f 2.0 lens, you will have enough light to hand hold the exposures you are metering when using fast film. If you want better color rendition or image quality, you might need to include a tripod and slow down. The 85 mm f 1.7 or f 2.0 may be preferred for portrait work, but I have been very happy with my 100 mm f 2.5 for less than half the cost of the 85 mm f 2.0. Yes, I do have the 85's also.

    Enjoy; Ralph Javins
  5. wayne naughton
    wayne naughton
    look, rangefinder shooters make distance/aperture/composition calculations in their head nearly all the time. to get the sort of images that i think you're after, you have to become less dependant on what the camera is telling you. take a meter reading of the bright bits and one of the dark bits and the bracket right the way through..... if it's an extreme situation you may have to bracket a half a dozen frames or more. if you have to shoot wide open at slow speeds, use a tripod, a beanbag, tie the camera to a chair and use its timer....whatever.

    if it's too dark to focus the camera and there's no DOF latitude, well, i'm afraid you might have to bracket your focusing too. mate, there's no easy way to do what you're asking, you're gonna have to burn a lot of film, experiment with different film speeds, different processing (find yer own grain 'tolerance'.....grin)
  6. wayne naughton
    wayne naughton
    i did a quick google on lowlight photography and to be quite honest, terry, there's not much more to add. you can re-equip with rangefinders and/or expensive highend specialist lenses, buy a tripod, experiment with different film speeds/processing....otherwise, practice, practice, practice, improve your h/h techniques....there's no other way, i'm sorry.
  7. Terry Again
    Terry Again
    I shall use the fastest lens I have,a 50 or 58 mm 1.7 I think in a Rokker? And a shrunken no adjusting possible tripod and see IF the light is ever the same again? I have to make due with what I have or can get real cheap!! You get what you pay for 9 times out of 10!! And being poor sticks me with having to be creative and some how I'm going to have to be creative photographically? The shadows will expose themselves it's the lighted areas I have to be concerned with exposure on. Now I understand the camera's meter is pretty much an averaging meter and I need in this case a spot light meter that I can't afford to buy so will have to figure out something? Maybe using the sekonic L 158 I have in a different way? Have to learn to read the scale on it from what I have found on line? This could take awhile? thanks for the info!!

    Terry
  8. wayne naughton
    wayne naughton
    poverty and creativity often walk hand in hand..... grin. just remember to remember what you did when you nail that perfect neg
  9. Ralph Javins
    Ralph Javins
    Good morning, Terry;

    The Sekonic L-158 is a good meter. It will get you into the correct ballpark. You can also bracket your exposures to see if you like the results the meter is recommending. One or perhaps two (2) full stops whould give you a good indication.

    Yeah, not having money is not fun. There were so many years (20 of them) when I was still paying child support and could barely afford food for me and fuel for the car to go to and from work to make all of that money that was being taken from me. I earned a lot of money over the years. I just did not get to spend very much. The last few years when there was only one left were bearable. I never thought that I would be able to say this, but, there is life after child support.

    Keep working with the SR-T 100. It is a good camera, and it is capable of taking good photographs when in your hands.

    Enjoy; Ralph Javins
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