You don't need an expensive spot meter. Years ago I went out shooting w/ a LF photographer w/ a 4x5 camera I was experimenting with. We had our cameras loaded w/ the same color slide film, and that's pretty fussy about exposures. He pulled his super expensive Sinar w/ Nikon lens out and metered w/ an expensive spot meter (after making a lot of complicated readings). I set up my cheapo Crown Graphic w/ Kodak Ektar lens and looked at the scene, metered an appropriate bit of ground nearby w/ my $30 Sekonic reflective hand held meter, and came up w/ exactly the same readings. Ansel Adams once mentioned the same thing. After making all of his fussy zone calculations once while out w/ Edward Weston, Weston stood a while looking at things, turned here and there making a couple of quick readings, and came up w/ the same reading.
What really hacked my friend was when we got the negs back from the lab. He couldn't tell his from mine, even though there was probably a couple of thousand dollars difference in the prices of our gear. I gave up on LF after that outing (just too slow and heavy for me), but those 4x5 transparencies were a sight to behold on a light table.
A few years back I went to a Large Format workshop and at one point we were setting up to take a shot of the leader, Per Volquartz.
Then somebody asked anybody got a meter? Silly question.
A moment or two later there were a great variety of meters at hand, I was the lone guy using an incident meter. There was much discussion and probably 50 or more readings taken over the next few minutes, lots of discussion about how and why and this and that and I don't remember Per saying a word (none of us were newbies).
As I remember, in the end we all came to an essentially equivalent setting choice for the shot.
Any metering method, when well practiced, can get you the info you need to shoot and develop your film. Both methods are fully interchangeable.
Thank you Everyone for your input. I will probably head in the direction of a mid priced spot meter and play around with some cheaper incident meter options. Since I am a somewhat of a newb at this process, i don't like spending a lot until I understand my own process or needs-but still need to start somewhere.
Yesterday, picked up my hasselblad. I researched this move for a long time and was unsure if i was making the right decision to stick with analog. After evaluating the cam and getting it home...it was the correct decision for me. It just feels right to go analog for this purpose. The 500 cm is in primo shape and for little money - seller just wanted it sold. It is a 50th anniversary edition with little time on it, time to get outside and shoot some landscape!
Some of you mentioned the iPhone app, anyone in particular that works well?
Thanks for the help, Rich.
The Hasselblad camera truly offers an experience larger than that of an image recording device.
Just in my own experience I found that I was spending too much time taking (handheld) spot readings here and there and everywhere and trying to average them or bias them to one side or the other such that I sold the meter and made my life easier, and to tell the truth I always been right on since with an averaging meter if it was in good repair. It also helps to know if your meter does in fact meter at 18% as some don't.
Perhaps the best in camera meter I've ever used is the rectangular patch in the FTbn series. Bias it one way or another and you know instantly the best reading for the subject.
Originally Posted by Tom Richard
Yes, the experience, that is what it is about.
Get up early, discover places I have never been before and might not have if I didn't shoot. Then capture incredible sights using a means that is as much art as it is engineering, on a medium that is true and timeless.
When I first started in MF almost 25 y/o I got a Pentax 6x7 with a plane prism and needed a meter. I chose the Gossen Luna Pro and it served me very well for many years. When they first came out, Sekonic was running a deal on their new L-508 Zoom Master meter and I picked one up for about $450. The meter got great reviews and I liked the idea of a spot meter as I had never used one before.
Through the years I have grown to love this meter and frankly wouldn't trade it for any other. It's versatility, spot, incident and flash is unbeatable. I find that I use it about 75% of the time in incident mode, but when I need it the spot is right there. I rarely use the flash capability, but once again it is there when I need it.
I did a search on Fleebay and was surprised that there was only one up for bid. There was about 7hrs. to go and the bid was about $225. I suspect that it will go for between $250 and $275 and it was one that was hardly used ;-)
I like to think that the lack of 508's on the auction site is that the owners hold them dear and are unwilling to let them go.
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Like you I now do a lot of work with the center weighted averaging meters in my various cameras.
Originally Posted by waynecrider
And yes a handheld (incident in my case) can add extra time but having an objective measurement to train myself against and match my tools to provided a huge improvement in my exposure setting skill.
It allowed me to understand how each meter saw things, and more importantly, how they got fooled. The incident meter allowed me to "calibrate" my system across all my camera meters. In essence I learned how I had to use each meter to match the reading given by the incident meter and how to judge many situations without a meter.
Still and yet and probably always, for situations I view as truly important, I whip out the incident meter.
I have used that one with good results as well as another one that looks very vintage. I have also used a fairly expensive pinhole meter (i think its french?) and the thing is that they all give me the same reading. I spent one day walking around, metering and firing off testshot with a Canon 5DmkII, i would say that 99% of the images were accurate according to the Canon meter as well as the exposures.
Originally Posted by L Gebhardt