Originally Posted by Klainmeister
I am surprised by your batting average (it should be far higher).
I too often use a spot meter, but I find it very successful.
In my case, I pick on an easily metered patch in the scene, decide what zone (as per Ansel Adams), adjust the exposure to place that patch in the selected zone and blast away. (A single -"key tone"- reading is usually all I need)
This "key tone" method seems to work practically every time, and can be done (if the patch is big enough) even using a normal reflected light meter (even using the TTL metering, in manual mode). It produces great "contra jour" results (my favourite), and even works in heavily shaded situations (under trees, inside buildings).