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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Nature & Landscapes Talk 
Thread started 16 Mar 2015 (Monday) 06:28
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Sekonic L-758 DR for Landscape ?

 
bleyland629
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Mar 16, 2015 06:28 |  #1

Hi everyone :)

OK so I am really getting into landscape photography but I am a little confused to whether I should buy a light meter to help with the correct exposures.
I have watched allot webinars by Joe Brady and he has talked about Sekonic L-758 DR to me but I guess my question is:

"Is this a necessary purchase and dose anyone else swear by it in Landscape photography ?"

I also have some Lee filters a 10 ND (BIG STOPPER), 3ND, 6ND and a 9ND Fliter so I will have to correctly adjust for these.
As many of you know its expensive and just like everyone else I could really use the big chunk of money towards car bills ect ha ha :)

Brad




  
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MalVeauX
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Post edited over 3 years ago by MalVeauX.
     
Mar 16, 2015 07:45 |  #2

Heya,

Eh, I don't think it's necessary at all if your camera has live view. You can see the histogram real time. Even with the filters on. I use my Big Stopper on my setup and just throw it in live view and see my exposure histogram and go from there. Once I hit 30 seconds, I can do the simple math in my head if I need to go longer. But I'm often trying to stay at 30 seconds to keep it simple so I have less gear.

When I'm doing as long as 8 minute exposures, I use an intravalometer of course, but I don't need a light meter. I can do basic math in my head and count stop on my fingers like any kid can (not trying to be snarky, but it is that simple). So I go a head and meter my scene with the live view histogram and get it where I know I want it based on that histogram (I tend to gently over-expose a touch, using RAW, but avoid clipping highlights, to make shadow recovery cleaner). Whatever I meter my settings to, I just consider what the shutter will be once I throw on my 10 stop filter, and 3 stop grad filter (sky). 10 is an easy number to do in terms of shutter. Or you can just literally count it out. Double the shutter for each stop and just count out 10 stops. I often go for an easy to calc shutter so I can quickly gauge out 10 stops.

I tried using an app to calc exposure for long exposure with ND, but at the end of the day, I'm faster with counting stops in my head. A stop is a stop no matter how you achieve it. 10 stops is super easy, it's not even something you have to count for shutter, but if you're getting different with your aperture, well, that's one stop each time too, so again not a big deal. You can count it out. So I do everything without a calc and without a light meter. I use the live view histogram and count stops in my head on my fingers. Seems to be working fine for me.

When using a 10 stop filter, it's easy. If you are at 1/30s before the 10 stop filter, you're at 30 seconds after the filter. You don't even need to do math. That's the beauty of using 10 stops.

**********

Example,

Here's my filter-less image (I like to do before / after to see the difference). I went to ISO 100 for obvious reasons. F11 for DOF purposes, no other reason. So the only real setting I'm using is shutter speed. And I moved that around until I saw my histogram roughly rounded in the middle and then pushed it a touch to the right. This gave me a shutter of 1/60s.

IMAGE: https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7626/16182534994_42da6261e4_z.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/qDZH​S3  (external link) IMG_3382 (external link) by Mwise1023 (external link), on Flickr

Then I wanted to throw on my 10 stop filter. So I knew my shutter would go to 15 seconds. But also I can count the stops (1/60s -> 1/30s -> 1/15s -> 1/8s -> 1/4s -> 1/2s -> 1s -> 2s -> 4s -> 8s -> 15s on my fingers). I like to gently expose to the right especially when using the 10 stop filter, because the exposure will not be exactly 10 stops because light will change over that time a little bit often. So I tend to go a bit longer by a stop. So I went to 30 seconds, which is just 1 stop more than the metered 15 seconds.

And here's what I got with the 10 stop. I also had a 3 stop grad ND for the sky (soft edge) which is what I always use. For early morning skies, I find 3 stops is sufficient to even it out. For bright days or sun involvement, I find 6 stops is the starting point. But I don't even bother calculating the sky. I know it's going to be 3 stops or 6 stops for me, from the foreground exposure, or at least close enough to be ok with it.

IMAGE: https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7597/16779008406_7f88b94533_z.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/ryGN​Co  (external link) IMG_3381 (external link) by Mwise1023 (external link), on Flickr

*******

And same process here from the same day. I already knew my settings, so I didn't need to keep redoing the stops. I opened my aperture a little to get more light because I noticed it got a wee darker between some clouds moving. And just kept exposing. You only have about 30 minutes in the morning and evening I find to get that light.

IMAGE: https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8622/16182540604_e89707db5e_z.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/qDZK​wL  (external link) IMG_3377 (external link) by Mwise1023 (external link), on Flickr

Very best,

My Flickr (external link) :: My Astrobin (external link)

  
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bleyland629
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Mar 17, 2015 16:13 as a reply to  @ MalVeauX's post |  #3

Thanks malveaux for the info :)

I have heard that the camera will meter for mid tones and that the histogram is a jpeg reading. Maybe I'm getting tied up in the technical side of stuff and should just go take some pics :). I will have the blinkies on and expose to the right.

Thank you for taking the time to explain the filter has really cleared things up. I have made my self a graph to show timings of the Big Stopper.
I think I will leave the light meter for now.

Cheers

Brad




  
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RMH
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Post edited over 3 years ago by RMH. (2 edits in all)
     
Mar 24, 2015 15:11 |  #4

Well a handheld meter is just a spot meter. Your camera has one of those, so just put your camera on spot meter mode and it'll do exactly what a handheld meter does. Point your spot around the scene and take measurements.

You won't get all the fancy "take two readings and average them" stuff outside of a 1D body or handheld meter, but you can do it in your head if it's just a couple of readings.

As for the histogram being from jpeg or RAW, assuming you don't have some REALLY crazy jpeg settings, it's not going to make much difference.



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Alveric
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Post edited over 3 years ago by Alveric.
     
Mar 24, 2015 15:25 |  #5

Do note that the spot meter on the camera is 3-5°, whereas the spot meter on the Sekonic is 1°: way more accurate, especially when one considers that the camera's 3-5° spot is enlarged when using wide angle lenses.

Histograms, pfft. All those things are good for is letting you know whether you've clipping or not. Chimping? Yes, you're looking at a JPEG, not the actual RAW file, so that's not an optimal wise to determine exposure either.


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RDKirk
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Post edited over 3 years ago by RDKirk.
     
Mar 24, 2015 18:16 |  #6

Alveric wrote in post #17490248 (external link)
Do note that the spot meter on the camera is 3-5°, whereas the spot meter on the Sekonic is 1°: way more accurate, especially when one considers that the camera's 3-5° spot is enlarged when using wide angle lenses.

Histograms, pfft. All those things are good for is letting you know whether you've clipping or not. Chimping? Yes, you're looking at a JPEG, not the actual RAW file, so that's not an optimal wise to determine exposure either.

The spot meter in the camera, moreover, is 3-5 degrees of the camera angle. If you're shooting with a wide-angle lens, that's considerably more than the 1 degree of the spotmeter's telephoto view.

I have a Sekonic L-558 spotmeter that I use to spotmeter flash exposures, and I have an ancient Sekonic silicon diode spotmeter that I've had for thirty years.

But I agree with an earlier poster that Live View is a game-changer that obviates the need for a spotmeter today for any subject that will stand still for it. Learning the difference between the LCD JPEG and the resulting RAW image capability is child's play compared to really learning how to use and apply spotmeter readings. If you see it in the JPEG, it will be in the RAW.

Making amazing photographs with a DSLR is so freaking easy compared to loading sheet film holders, shooting with a view camera, processing sheet film, exposing in the darkroom, processing with poison, toning with poison, archival drying, dust spotting each and every print with a #000 brush, that I laugh out loud every time a digital print rolls off my inkjet.




  
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Nikadian
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Jan 21, 2018 23:19 |  #7

I now this is an older post but this is mor3 for the next person reading through these for info.

I kinda thought buying the L-758DR was a bit of a unnecessary purchase. I have a friend who had one a kept tell me I needed one. So he finally convinced me to let him create a camera profile for my camera and shows me why I needed one. He asked based on my shooting what I thought my exposure range was and I figured around 5 stops. It turned out it’s closer to 81/2He proved me wrong.
1)First off I was losing out on a lot of data that I could have been capturing. My histogram would show me that I was bowing out my highlights which once I viewed the image in photoshop I could see I still could have captured about 11/2 stops more before blowing out. Now when I expose to the right, I’m now really at the right.
2) I was a bracketer. Where I would take between 5-8 different exposures, I can now see on the meter that all I really needed in most cases was 2-3 in extream cases. A lot less photos taking up space on my card and computer. Less to sort through as well.
3) No more guessing if you have the right exposure. The meter shows you if the exposure range is with your cameras ability and if HDR may be necessary.
4) Now in the studio (I do portraits as well) it is so easy now to repeat the light setup, back ground lighting look and or color intensity. Take note of your readings and where they where taken and you can take down you set and reset it up and get 5he same look as before.

Now I will say there is a learning curve with the meter. But there are a ton of info on the net and you tube.
And there’s a great group of people on many forums that are willing to help you out.
It’s like any equipment you get. You need to learn how to use it. I starter out slow with my friend showing new stuff every time we wen5 put shooting.

I had to get one and I’ve never regretted it. I use it almost everyday and love it.

Thanks for listening
Kelly


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ejenner
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Jan 22, 2018 23:22 |  #8

Since I have a 5DIII, I use magic lantern's raw histogram to ETTR. Works very well although it can be a bit disconcerting getting all those blinkies on the jpeg view. But once you learn to trust it and figure out how much room your software might need, it works great. (as Kelly noted you can blow highlights but quite a bit in jpeg - in fact taking snow photos recently I'd say on average 25-40% of the frame is blinking when I ETTR).

For other non-ETTR applications, I don't really understand why you would want to meter 'correctly'. If you are not post-processing, you can see the jpeg directly with histogram. It doesn't get much better than that.


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Jan 22, 2018 23:26 |  #9

ejenner wrote in post #18547005 (external link)
For other non-ETTR applications, I don't really understand why you would want to meter 'correctly'.

Some of us need to achieve tonal accuracy for what we shoot...we want 18% midtone gray tonality to be MIDTONE, and not lighter/darker than reality.


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Jan 23, 2018 09:53 |  #10

Wilt wrote in post #18547007 (external link)
Some of us need to achieve tonal accuracy for what we shoot...we want 18% midtone gray tonality to be MIDTONE, and not lighter/darker than reality.

Of course, however, the meter can't tell you which tone is midtone. You have to designate the tone you want to be midtone and use the meter to give you the setting that makes it midtone.




  
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DaviSto
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Jan 23, 2018 10:05 |  #11

RDKirk wrote in post #18547186 (external link)
Of course, however, the meter can't tell you which tone is midtone. You have to designate the tone you want to be midtone and use the meter to give you the setting that makes it midtone.

Yes ... if you're spot metering. But if you are taking an incident light reading, that's not a decision that you are going to have to make.

Whatever metering approach you choose to use, the most important thing is to have your brain engaged imho and not just unthinkingly adopt to use whatever numbers drop out of the process.


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RDKirk
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Jan 23, 2018 13:55 |  #12

DaviSto wrote in post #18547194 (external link)
Yes ... if you're spot metering. But if you are taking an incident light reading, that's not a decision that you are going to have to make.

Whatever metering approach you choose to use, the most important thing is to have your brain engaged imho and not just unthinkingly adopt to use whatever numbers drop out of the process.

LOL, old-school Zonie here. Spot metering landscapes all the way.




  
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DaviSto
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Jan 23, 2018 14:28 |  #13

RDKirk wrote in post #18547394 (external link)
LOL, old-school Zonie here. Spot metering landscapes all the way.

Either way ... it seems to me a good light meter is going to enhance your ability to to expose an image the way that you intend. Incident light metering isn't an option in-camera (although, I guess you can spend a little extra time metering off a grey card to get pretty much the same information) and spot metering is enormously more precise using a meter.


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Sekonic L-758 DR for Landscape ?
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