I've made a giant copy stand using an artist easel that slides up and down. It's working great, and after help on here I've decided to shoot my artwork archive project on manual (M) setting while having the light meter balance to a standard gray, that way dark subjects won't end up over exposed and light ones underexposed.
I'm able to use a lot of natural light, but the EOS utility will now show me the meter indicator where to set the exposure. I can only read that from the camera. I'm a bit surprised as it seems to show virtually everything else.
Sometimes though the camera is far above my head, and I'll want to check the setting multiple times. I figured out one way, to reach up, turn the switch to AV, check live view on the eos utility and it gives automated exposure time, then turn back to M, and use the EOS utility to set that same exposure. Even though I won't have to adjust it for every shot I will want to check it pretty often as the weather and light can change. This is all still quite tedious though.
Could I just get a simple light meter, put it on my test gray, and calculate the proper exposure from there? I'm not sure how light meters work but I'm hoping I can put in my same settings, like ISO 100 and Aperture 5.6, and it will then tell me how long to expose the shot the same way the Av setting would...
Also, if I balance to a gray, what gray should it be? Should it be a test pattern of grays, or one particular level of gray? Or will any old gray do as long as I stay with the same one? I'm using the spot meter by the way.
Lastly, I do see the histogram in the eos utility and, after reading some other posts on here, should I use this as my light meter instead?