Originally Posted by petefox
An incident meter when used properly should at least give a good starting point for exposure. Remember, with an incident meter, the dome must be incident to the light source and in the same lighting conditions as the subject. If not, your exposure will be incorrect. If the dome and meter position follow the aforementioned conditions, generally B&W film will have enough latitude to cover your error.
The more your experience with the meter and working with incident light the better and more consistent your results. I have an old Minolta Flash Meter III which I use for incident readings on occasion. I shoot primarily transparencies and for me, I prefer the use of a 1 degree spot meter. I then try to find the range of the exposure for the objects and the portions of the scene to be included in the image and determine the proper exposure accordingly.
With enough experience, in most instances however, the incident meter or either an averaging reflected or a reflected spot meter can all be used successfully to at least give a good starting point for exposure.
Good luck with the meter and welcome to APUG.