Quote Originally Posted by polyglot View Post
Definitely a more-sensitive meter is called for, e.g. a Pentax DSM will get you down to EV1 reliably. That's probably about as dark as most people would go when shooting portraits on film (EI1600, f/1.4, 1/15s = EV1).

However if you're shooting at night (well below EV0) then there are basically NO instant-reading meters that will give you an accurate result. You need a meter with extremely high sensitivity, high quality large-aperture optics and the ability to integrate light over a duration of several seconds. It's called a "cheap DSLR" and they can be cheaper than a good spot-meter!

Consider a night exposure I did recently; it called for ISO f/8 30 minutes, which is about EV-5. That's 6 stops less light than even a good spot-meter can reliably take a reading from, which makes it basically impossible to directly meter. However by setting my DSLR to f/1.4 ISO3200 and taking a few handheld test exposures (motion-smeared but who cares?), I discovered that 1.6s gave a decent result. Convert the change in aperture and ISO (multiply by 1024 in my case) and you get the meter reading that you want. Even better, you can look at the histogram on the screen and see that the distribution of tones is what you want to see, etc. Once I added a correction for reciprocity failure, I got a perfect exposure on a chrome. Pity my composition sucked
My sekonic 758DR goes from EV1-EV24 so upgrade your sekonic?

Also I agree sometimes you just have to use a "fancy Polaroid" to check

~Stone | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk