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FORUMS Photo Sharing & Visual Enjoyment Weddings & Other Family Events 
Thread started 22 Mar 2007 (Thursday) 02:00
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Light Meters

 
spphoto
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Mar 22, 2007 02:00 |  #1

Hey, I'm mostly a portrait photographer but recently have been branching out into weddings. I've used flash and ambient light meters before, but don't actually own one. I can definatly see the pro's of using one, but I've been just rattling off a few test shots and using the histogram to get my exposures right in studio. On location I usually use either the cameras metering or manual with flash. When I shoot film in studio I get the exposure on the digital first and then dial that into the other camera (that's a pain in the behind and the biggest reason for this thread) and on location it's the same as digital, camera meter combined with flash and manual.

Now that you know my background, my question! How many of you regularily use light meters? Has anyone used one but abandoned it? I'm thinking of getting a Sekonic L-358, which I've used before, but before I drop the $400 I'd like to be sure.http://www.vistek.ca …tails.aspx?WebC​ode=202200 (external link)


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tim
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Mar 22, 2007 02:34 |  #2

L358 isn't that expensive is it? I find the L358 great for strobes, but I tend to use the histogram to work out exposure mostly. There's probably something wrong with my technique, but when I use it to set exposure outside of the studio the results are a bit hit and miss.


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coreypolis
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Mar 22, 2007 02:35 |  #3
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They can help, especially with multiple flashes. Ettl blows IMO, so anything that helps shoot in M is gravy.


Just a side note about shooting in digi for film exposures. The working EI of the film is most likely different than that of the stated iso on the box, and even that is different than the digital equivalent. You can get close, but the photo nerds will tell you that a light meter and knowing your working EI is the better way.

I used a Minolta Flashmeter VI, but apparently they are no longer for sale. I had much better success with them vs the Sekonics.


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Scott_Quier
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Mar 22, 2007 12:46 |  #4

I have the Sekonic 358, love it.

You can find it at B&H (here (external link)) for $259 USD. Something to think about. Abandon it? I don't think so!


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spphoto
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Mar 22, 2007 13:45 |  #5

Ya, the L358 is $379 or so at Vistek (Canada's answer to B&H). There's no point in ordering one from the states for me because we end up paying the price difference in taxes and border fees. I don't mind paying that much for it, I just wanted to be sure that I'd use it.


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picturecrazy
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Mar 22, 2007 13:53 |  #6

I use the 358 for off camera flash metering at times. I find it's pretty accurate for that. But I don't use it for ambient readings. I find my in-camera meter to do quite well in this situation, provided you know what EC a particular scene needs.


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spphoto
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Mar 22, 2007 16:17 |  #7

Ya, I find I'm not great at guessing EC, so I'm thinking it might be smarter to take incident readings than to futz around with EC while people are waiting.


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DocFrankenstein
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Mar 22, 2007 18:04 |  #8

I was very hesitant about dropping 220 bucks on a meter, but it turned out one of the best investments I've made. I use it any time I have an opportunity to actually meter, which is 90% of the type of shooting I do.

It's a really nice, well designed tool with a friendly interface.


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Hassan2285
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Mar 23, 2007 09:49 |  #9

DocFrankenstein wrote in post #2914787 (external link)
I was very hesitant about dropping 220 bucks on a meter, but it turned out one of the best investments I've made. I use it any time I have an opportunity to actually meter, which is 90% of the type of shooting I do.

It's a really nice, well designed tool with a friendly interface.


quick question.

are you talking about the one mentioned above or do you use a different meter? If so which one.

thanks


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DocFrankenstein
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Mar 23, 2007 13:20 |  #10

I went with 358 after using a version of minolta V. Minolta is said to me more stable, but sekonic has a more friendly interface so I went with that one.

Now minolta isn't made and I think L358 has very nice characteristics as compared to other brands.

There's that 600 series multimeter, but it's way too bulky and expensive for me.


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Phil ­ Light
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Mar 23, 2007 19:02 |  #11

DocFrankenstein wrote in post #2914787 (external link)
I was very hesitant about dropping 220 bucks on a meter, but it turned out one of the best investments I've made. I use it any time I have an opportunity to actually meter, which is 90% of the type of shooting I do.

It's a really nice, well designed tool with a friendly interface.

Doc, do you do mostly studio work? It seems like most people don't want to bother with one outside of a studio.


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DocFrankenstein
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Mar 24, 2007 13:30 |  #12

Phil Light wrote in post #2920174 (external link)
Doc, do you do mostly studio work? It seems like most people don't want to bother with one outside of a studio.

I do quite a bit of stuff I do is with a manual flash, but it's nor necessarily studio.

A lot of the times I prefer an ambient reading to a reflected one.

Granted there are some styles of shooting whch favour a reflective reading.


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photosbylisa
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May 16, 2007 19:41 |  #13

Scott_Quier wrote in post #2913140 (external link)
I have the Sekonic 358, love it.

You can find it at B&H (here (external link)) for $259 USD. Something to think about. Abandon it? I don't think so!

I have the L358 and am NOT loving it :evil:

I am truly hoping that it is user error. I shoot with the 30D and every time I meter a subject for an outdoor portrait, it is ALWAYS underexposed. Yes, I'm in the right iso and metering mode.

I was told by a rep at the camera store where I bought both the camera & meter that because the 30D's sensor is so sensitive that if I want to meter correctly this is what I have to do. If I want to shoot iso 100 I have to meter 200, shoot iso 400 meter at 800 and so on.

I tried this tonight as well....didn't work :(

I will try playing around with the exposure compensation tomorrow.

Are you telling me that your meter is pretty much spot on?? Green w/ envy and wanting my meter to at least put me in the ball park!




  
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dave.richards
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May 16, 2007 19:55 |  #14

Outdoors my L358 is pretty damn accurate as long as I am in open shade with consistent light. But like Tim said above, I find myself using the histogram more and more and really only pull out the L358 for studio work.


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Padawan ­ Dad
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May 16, 2007 20:46 as a reply to  @ dave.richards's post |  #15

Contrary to what a lot of people are saying about the 358 with ambient light, mine is very accurate 100% of the time. Accurate with strobes as well. I absolutely love it! Is it possible to get bad copies? Maybe technique is an issue... I don't know; but mines perfect :D


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