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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 20 Jan 2012 (Friday) 05:59
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Light/Flash Meters

 
tripl3distill3d
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Jan 20, 2012 05:59 |  #1

Does anyone still use a flash meter? The last time I used one I was still in college and was shooting with a Mamiya 645. I'm now shooting with a 5D MkII and almost feel like there isn't a need for it...
I'm starting to shoot portraits and was wondering how everyone else handles their metering situations. I suppose I could just use my wits to make an assessment but I don't feel like compromising quality over a few bucks.




  
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Kolor-Pikker
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Jan 20, 2012 06:24 |  #2

I use a meter, and using one still makes sense for a number of purposes.

People will often say that you can just see what the image is like on the LCD, but it doesn't often tell the whole story the more lights you use. Once you get up to using as much as 4 lights, a light meter really starts to help unless you already have "all the numbers" in your head, but by then you probably won't need photography advice from anyone.

It can also be useful for HDR and landscape photography because a flash meter with ambient light measurement can show you the exact dynamic range of a scene. Also, light meters are accurate up to 1/10th of a stop and have a narrower spot meter than the one in cameras.


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Jan 20, 2012 06:27 |  #3

Yes, almost exclusively when shooting flash and a lot when shooting ambient.


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digital ­ paradise
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Jan 20, 2012 08:23 |  #4

Yes I use mine when shooting flash on manual.


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Jan 20, 2012 08:34 |  #5

and almost feel like there isn't a need for it...

One guy here asked in a thread if a meter would make him look more professhionl? Yes, he misspelled it. :D

I have both types of meter & they're just gathering dust. Once I learned how to use the histogram + RAW I didn't feel the need to carry them anymore. My thoughts on the subject: Can someone give me the low down on light meters?


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ssim
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Jan 20, 2012 12:57 as a reply to  @ PhotosGuy's post |  #6

I still use both a flash meter and on for ambient lighting. There is not much value if you are using a single 580 but I use my flash meter when I set up my strobes. It very easy to ensure that you are getting the kind of light on the right spots in a scene or pose. I still enjoy shooting my medium format gear and it gets lots of use there. Cn you get by without one? Sure but I think you have more control with one.


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tonylong
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Jan 20, 2012 13:06 |  #7

tripl3distill3d wrote in post #13736602 (external link)
Does anyone still use a flash meter? The last time I used one I was still in college and was shooting with a Mamiya 645. I'm now shooting with a 5D MkII and almost feel like there isn't a need for it...
I'm starting to shoot portraits and was wondering how everyone else handles their metering situations. I suppose I could just use my wits to make an assessment but I don't feel like compromising quality over a few bucks.

I've never used a hand-held meter, and have never felt the need to. I do use the in-camera meter, and then with flash photography I do quick adjustments of the flash power when getting started.

I'd suggest that you get experienced and comfortable with both approaches. If you still have an handheld meter, use it, sure, but I'd think it would be useful, in fact, very important, also to learn to work effectively without it. Otherwise, when you are out with just your camera without a meter, well, how can you function confidently? If you think that you will be "sacrificing quality" at such times, well, hmm...to me that's not a good mindset!


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JAE ­ Photography
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Jan 20, 2012 13:21 |  #8

I use one with the Pocket Wizard module. Makes setting up strobes super quick.

For natural light I just use the one in the camera.


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Gizmo1137
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Jan 20, 2012 14:29 as a reply to  @ JAE Photography's post |  #9

I too am in the histogram has mostly made my lightmeter a dust collector. Occassionally I use it, probably more because I have it and my connection to the film day's.


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airfrogusmc
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Jan 20, 2012 14:54 as a reply to  @ Gizmo1137's post |  #10

I have 2 old Minolta IV flash meters. Use them all the time. Theres not a better way of getting lighting ratios right before you start shooting than using a flash meter.




  
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Wilt
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Jan 20, 2012 16:38 |  #11

If you have the luxury of time to trial and error hone in on 'correct exposure' with studio flash, you do not need a meter when you can simply chimp and look at a histogram. But if you have paying clients who are too busy or in a hurry for you to set up and eat up their time during your trial and error methods, flash meters nail the exposure in the absolutely most expeditious manner.

Flash meters are absolutely useless with ETTL flash units...the preflash causes them to read the preflash, not the main flash.


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Curtis ­ N
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Jan 20, 2012 17:04 |  #12

For studio work or outdoors mixing ambient with manual flash, I can't imagine doing it without a meter.


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RandyMN
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Jan 20, 2012 17:19 |  #13

For strobes I always pull out the meter, I pull it out for ambient measurements as well. Sometimes I like incident better than reflective readings.




  
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Jan 20, 2012 17:20 |  #14

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flowrider
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Jan 20, 2012 21:34 |  #15

Yes with flash especially if I am trying to achieve a certain light ratio.


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Light/Flash Meters
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