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A spot meter is handy to be able to read the reflectivity of an object in the scene precisely from a distance. It is like putting a telephoto lens on a meter to isolate one part of the subject. An alternate method is to walk over to the subject and read the reflectivity close-up. Without a spot meter, you would take a reading of the average light ...


4

Those talking about the 'angle' refer to the angle of view of light meters. A standard reflective light meter has a fairly large angle of view, and thus meters for a large area in your scene. Spot meters have a very narrow angle of view. You've likely seen mentions of 1-degree spot meters. This means that such a spot meter meters for 1 degree in your ...


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You basically have the right idea in your first bullet. The simple approach is to meter and set your exposure for the foreground. Then meter the sky (not the sun), and pick a ND grad filter strength that is the difference of the two meter readings (or slightly less, to within a stop if you can). Depending on your scene, you might need to adjust your ...


3

If you use an external light meter, you should set its ISO setting to match the film in your camera. You use the meter to measure the light, and it tells you what aperture and shutter speed to set on your camera. It's as simple as that. You cannot just set any ISO value on the meter. Because that's not the sensitivity of the film in your camera. If you set ...


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"Is it worth it" greatly depends on what you are doing, how you approach your photography, and what other gear you are planning to use. If you have a modern digital camera, then their value is greatly diminished. If you're working with a large format film camera, then they're invaluable if you like to carefully inspect the light of the scene before deciding ...


3

Having started in film photography many years ago, one factor which was both a positive and a negative (no pun intended!) was the expense of the whole process. This meant one spent more time composing, thinking, evaluating a given shot. Unfortunately this caused missed opportunities at times, but also helped one learn the process. For example, as a ...


3

Your question seems to mainly focus on exposure...so let me shed some light on the topic. Disregarding your built in meter, using a hand held meter, and full manual settings is a decent exercise regardless of whether you’re shooting digital or film - knowing more about exposure never hurts. With film, you won’t get a histogram...So it’s best to learn how ...


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Your ideas may be useful for practice, but consider these points on the basis of the particular film camera you will be using: Does it have built-in metering? That is not uncommon. Does it have autofocus? That is less common, but possible. Will you be shooting color, monochrome (B/W)or a combination? Negative or slides? B/W has the greatest exposure ...


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The light meter that's in your camera is an reflective meter. Reflective meters measure the light that is reflected off of the subject, and determine the exposure based on that reading. Standalone incident meters, like the Sekonic models, instead measure the light that falls onto your subject. There are multiple reasons for choosing one over the other: ...


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In addition to timvrhn's answer above (great answer, btw). You also asked "How do we make use of that information?" When shooting a scene (e.g. a landscape) you may be dealing with a potential broad exposure range. Having a narrow "spot" focus feature allows the photographer to more easily isolate the brightest and darkest features in a scene to ...


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This is probably opinion-based. The truth is that I only use a light meter for incident light on a studio. If that is why you are using it, you do not need a spotmeter. If you are taking photos of landscape or architecture for example, and you also want to do a zone metering, you probably need it. This will also depend if you are using digital or not. If ...


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Just like a there are different types of hammers, and a ball-peen hammer isn't always the type you want to use...there are different ways to meter a scene and a spot isn't always the type you want to use. But, it does come in handy to nail down the correct exposure in tough lighting conditions. What you need to look at is the different tools available and ...


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It makes absolutely no difference where an incident reading is taken. The only thing that matters is that the meter sees the same light as the subject does, and with the same orientation relative to the source and camera (angle of incidence). I.e. if the light source is the sun behind you and you want to take a picture of a mountain 3 miles away; then just ...


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I don't have this particular model (I have an L-308S-U), but after a bit of experimentation with a flashlight... That means that the currently recommended f-stop is f/4 plus 2/10 of a stop - towards 5.6, meaning the light is slightly brighter than what would cause it to recommend exactly f/4. You would use that number to determine when to move up to the ...


2

A light meter is a device to indicate the amount of electricity produced by a photocell according to the level of luminance. It correlates light intensity to a numerical index. The resulting numerical index (reading) is then used with a calculator (mechanical or algorithmic) to indicate a combination of intensity and time settings for an exposure by an ...


2

We use the light meter to gauge scene brightness. We set our camera's exposure based on the light meter reading augmented by experience. Our goal might be reduced contrast -- we pull. Our goal might be increased contrast -- we push. One axiom - expose for the shadows and then develop for the highlights -- it still stands! However I like this modification -- ...


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How fine an increment can the camera exposure be adjusted? For more years than I want to remember, I managed a department that made process control materials. We exposed test films and made test prints; the goal was uniform precision day-to-day. The best we could do in the laboratory was an end product controlled to 1/3 f-stop. No easy task; everything that ...


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As Peter mentioned in comments, spot meters DO NOT and CANNOT correctly expose the spot. They only try make the spot come out middle gray level (because subject colors just confuse them). That may be good if your spot is middle gray, but you'll have to know to compensate about +1EV for a Caucasian face (this can vary). Cameras today have the best ...


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If you want to use Ansel Adam's and Fred Archer's Zone System, you must use a spot-meter. The Zone System is a photographic technique for determining optimal film exposure and development, formulated by Ansel Adams and Fred Archer.1 Adams described the Zone System as "[...] not an invention of mine; it is a codification of the principles of ...


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In contradiction to (handheld) spot meters and incident light meters, reflective light meters such as the one in your FM2 are harder to use for precise metering. As explained in this answer, spot meters have a very narrow angle of view, thereby metering only a small part of the entire scene. With such specific metering, you can imagine it is not all too ...


1

In short: No. Not unless you're in a controlled laboratory-like setting and you have robot-like repeatability. (If nothing else, the photographic process can be quite consistent.) A photographic print is a representation of the luminance range of the scene using a density range. I'll avoid "dynamic" for the present. It is the result of processes which are ...


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No, this does not make sense in many cases. I'll provide an answer based on digital, not based on print, as opposed to the other answer. Consider this: you have a scene where the maximum brightness is 1 000 000 times the minimum brightness. No digital camera with commonly used technology can express that much dynamic range. If the whites are properly ...


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My question is if I use a Sekonic light meter and a DSLR with only the viewfinder and manual iso/aperture/shutter controls, would this create the same restraints as with film and be helpful for preparing/yield similar results? This will probably be helpful for preparing, and help you get good results, although since it's a different medium not necessarily ...


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Because... Let us take a look at this light setup. A lateral light, where we can clearly see that side A has more light than side B. So if we want an average see how under he chin is at the middle of the two zones. The chin is actually part of the face. The face is on the bottom half of the head. You could put the light meter on the top of the head, but ...


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I've wrestled with this since I bought my new light meter and it didn't seem to function right. I asked the dealer and he said "under the chin." That worked, but it took me a while to figure out why. Here's my take: since a meter isn't really required for ambient light shots, the main purpose (other than studio) is to determine flash power for fill flash. ...


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