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Hand held meter

This is a discussion on Hand held meter within the Digital photography forums, part of the Photography & Fine art photography category; I tried to quickly scan through to see if my question has been answered previously in the threads - did ...

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    tomorrowstreasures is offline Senior Member
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    Default Hand held meter

    I tried to quickly scan through to see if my question has been answered previously in the threads - did not see it so thought I would pose it.

    I have a new hand meter and am very unsure of where to position the meter
    when -
    -a- i am metering people
    -b- i am using cordless flash units
    -c- i am metering a party scene - using a flash and want the background to be similar to the exposure of the party goers.

    I am sure there are other situations but these serve as a good starting point.

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    Ben H's Avatar
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    Do you have a light meter, or a flash meter? If you're mainly using flash as a primary light, you'll need to use a flash meter (one that measures exactly as the flash triggers) - and generally, though I'm no expert, you place it where you subject is, and fire the flash into it from wherever the flash source is.

    That gives you a reading on the correct settings to set your camera to to get a normal exposure.

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    tomorrowstreasures is offline Senior Member
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    Ben - thanks so much for feed back!

    It is a sekonic zoom master l-508 and has the flash capabilities - but it also has a dome gizmo that can retract - which I understand when to retract but not sure where to position the dome. the instruction manual did not offer that information.

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    Ben H's Avatar
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    Basically, you are always metering where your subject will be, so basically where their faces will typically be.

    But I know very little about light meters other than what I've read or podsorbed - I'm sure someone else around here will chime in...

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    I usually meter in front of the subject below the chin, but I have seen different photographers meter differently.

    If there is no subject I will meter the area that I want well exposed, dome toward the light source.

    These are just VERY general guidelines though.....lucky for you digital gives instant feedback

    Hope that helps
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    tomorrowstreasures is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by marko View Post
    I usually meter in front of the subject below the chin, but I have seen different photographers meter differently.

    If there is no subject I will meter the area that I want well exposed, dome toward the light source.

    Marko
    that answers my question! thank you !

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    mindforge is offline Senior Member
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    You know. Kick me in the face, but I don't use a light meter. I just flip out a grey card with black and white and take a shot and go. I usually do another card for every light change. It lets me quickly see breaks for post processing. It also helps later. I am pretty good at guessing the temperature after an initial custom WB.

    On the other hand, if I could stop buying lenses I would probably stop and buy a meter.

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    Before digital, light meters were a must and I have 2 quality meters from those days. Now many digital shooters are shooting without them and using the in camera meter and/or histogram and/or checking the LCD screen instead of a meter.
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    Quote Originally Posted by marko View Post
    Before digital, light meters were a must and I have 2 quality meters from those days. Now many digital shooters are shooting without them and using the in camera meter and/or histogram and/or checking the LCD screen instead of a meter.
    does seem like a tedious extra step when you can see your results instantly
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    But they are still useful, especially with lighting ratios in studio lighting.
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