So it seems like the summary of this goddamned thread is that I should keep all three!!!! LOL
Well, congrats, you've all persuaded me to hold onto these at least for a little while longer and learn a few things and use them a few times before anything else. Thanks a lot, and please, if there's more useful info that can be added here for me and posterity, continue to do so.
One thing to keep in mind is that those meters are high quality professional grade gear, made specifically to give the proper exposure under a very wide range of conditions. The'yre worth having, and well worth learning to use.
Using a DSLR (which isn't calibrated for film) may work under some conditions, but is a makeshift at best. Besides, the meters are smaller and lighter - as well as being better at what they do.
Dslr= large clunky expensive breakable thing best used for what it is intended. I say this for a couple of reasons, the foremost of is that you are unlikely to learn a damn thing about exposure using one.
I understand the size argument, and as I've mentioned several times in the thread, it's a moot point for me, because whether I'm taking one of my MF cameras (today I walked around with a Norita 66 and Rolleiflex SL66E), I'll almost certainly take one of my digital cameras, *usually* the 5Dmk2. It's just the way I shoot. This is an important point of the thread; it's not about choosing between a dedicated light meter OR a DSLR; rather, the question is, would it be worth always carrying around a dedicated meter *on top of* my iPhone and 5Dmk2 (etc.), and in what situations would they be most beneficial, *despite* the fact that with the DSLR (and iPhone), there's the distinct advantage that I can quickly get a "preview" of the exposure via LiveView and actual taking of the shot.
Originally Posted by E. von Hoegh
Incident metering and extreme low light metering are what's really convincing to me so far. The spot meter I'm going to hold onto because of a comment up there somewhere about its utility for shooting LF, and especially exposure critical films, e.g., reversal. I've been shooting a lot of 4x5 reversal film lately and there are cases where I'm cursing myself for failed exposures :-)
Maybe one day you might buy a camera without a meter.
Also, bear in mind that the DSLR is of limited value as a preview tool because the LCD on the back is still rather small and doesn't have the dynamic range or the color accuracy to adequately judge an exposure. What you see is NOT what you get especially if you're comparing it to transparency film. Because of the significant latitude of negative films, you can be off by a bit and still have a workable negative. Bear in mind that transparency films work more like (but not the same as) digital in the sense that if you blow out your highlights, you can't get them back. But the response curves are different, so don't judge your transparency exposure based on chimping. Shoot enough of your chromes and take notes on the exposures so that you develop a sense of what will work with that film.
If you knew a few things about the 5D MkII evaluative meter, its balance and weighting, you'd run quickly to a hand-held meter. It is accurate as an integral camera system, not a comparative one. You would be much better learning metering with something like the Olympus OM4 and its variants, coming to grips with multispot metering, hightlight and shadow bias, additive metering and subtractive metering. The MK III FYI uses additive metering as part of a large algorithm designed to respond to key image criteria (digital lightmeters can often now be calibrated as additive, subtractive or mean in their measurements). In other words, the camera is working as a system against you, not in your favour, only insofar as committing the image to film after accepting what the meter says is gospel. Certainly, they have no capacity to measure critical, individual luminances of a scene that is so much a staple of refined traditional photographic metering technique.
Spot metering can be VERY useful for slides.
Originally Posted by rawhead
Besides browsing the Exposure section of this fine forum, I suggest to pay a visit to:
The final answer doesn't change: keep the three of them ;)
EDIT: the site is not really rich of information. Better browsing the forum.
almost 60 posts, I wander is the OP persuaded yet..........
light meters are just extra bulk to carry around
just get rid of all 3 of them, make some $$ buy some film
and practice reading the light so you don't need a meter.
i have 3 meters and never use any of them, and have them
"just in case" i have a tricky situation. endless meter readings
are a waste of time.