I use meters in my camera most of the time, and a spot meter with two other cameras. You need to think in Zone System terms.

Look at the subject of interest in your photo and meter the subject. Meter the darkest area where you want detail, then meter the lightest area. Look where your subject falls between the two, and do a mental translation of the entire scene into a grey scale.

Then, decide where you want the subject to be rendered (the same, lighter or darker) than what you metered and you will know what happens to the shadow and highlight areas (will they block up, blow out?).

Some things that are close to 18% grey. Green grass, blue sky at the zenith with the sun to your back, worn asphalt. Learn to see the things that are 18% grey and use them for a check against your calculated exposure.

Provia is almost as hard to shoot as Kodachrome when it comes to exposure accuracy. I have also found that different film sizes (35mm, 120, 4x5) exposures are different with Provia. You can expose nearly 1/2 stop more on 4x5 and still hold texture in the whites. It also blocks up fast and contrast rapidly increases with under exposure.

I would whole heartedly disagree with the statement that spot meters are useless for "chrome work." If used properly, they will provide the most accurate method of film exposure. Exposure of color transparency film is really no different than any other type of film, there's just less latitude for exposure error and the spot meter, when used correctly, helps you reduce the chances of error.

I like the Pentax Digital Spotmeter because of its "TV-IRE" scale. This is a 10 step scale that shows very closely what can be captured on transparency film (although it is for television ligthing evaluation). It seems to be scaled for tube television cameras that do not have the 1:1 gamma response of solid-state cameras, and shows a compression of the top end of the scale equalling highlight compression on film. I find that I can rapidly evaluate a scene by looking at a shadow area (equalling Zone III), and a highlight (equalling Zone VII), and using this scale, find out how they will be rendered on the film.

Once I know the total scene contrast range, I can read my subject of interest and make a judgement as to how I want it placed between the two extremes, and whether I want to push one end of the exposure or the other.

The two cameras I use the most with in-camera metering are a Leica M-6 and a Plaubel Makina. I have learned what the expsosure indicators mean in terms of total exposure range through trial and error and comparisons against the spotmeter. If you do some empirical testing of your equipment on several subjects reading the shadows, highlights, and subject of interest - you should get a "feel" for the metering system's indicators.

Once you learn what the indicators look like and start thinking in "shades of grey" for color exposure, I think you will find you rarely even have to bracket for exposure. I am so sure of the exposures from my cameras, that I only bracket to cover myself in case of processing errors, film scratches, etc. Or, when I want to get a "for sure," and then see if I can push just a little more detail into the highlight or shadows with a very slight (1/4 to 1/3 stop) exposure adjustment.

As always, a little testing and some practice will be rapidly rewarded.