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Basic digital camera exposure meter

Discussion in 'Hobbies' started by yottie, 11 Nov 2019.

  1. yottie

    yottie

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    I am looking for a simple (used) meter with a good clear read-out. Advice much appreciated.
     
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  3. ericmark

    ericmark

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    I have some where the old meters, however I have found no point with a digital camera, if I want to capture a picture where there is a problem getting the exposure correct, I bracket it, one 4 stops over, one 2 stops over one correct one 2 stops under and one 4 stops under. I then have two options, either select best, or load them all into Photomatrix and get a HDR version.

    With old film the film cost money, so did not want to bracket it, taking 5 at a time on 36 exposure means 7 pictures only. But with 500 and you can delete in camera not worth the effort to use external exposure meter, and to be frank some scenes you just learn, 1/250 second f16 with 100 ASA for the moon for example, no exposure meter will tell you that.

    I find fluorescent and LED lighting is a problem, as they often flash, so meter reading is wrong. Also I take all in RAW so either 12 bit (Pentax) or 14 bit (Nikon) not 8 bit Jpeg, if using Jpeg then the bracket needs to be 1 stop not 2, in the main I used just 3 exposures +2 normal and -2 that is enough, using old Pentax lens the camera does not measure the stop down light level, so have to manually set camera so many stops over exposed.

    Not set the three variables for years, even when setting aperture and speed, the camera still selects ISO to suit. (ASA = ISO)

    Just seen your other post, your camera about same as my Pentax K10D the problem is old CCD sensor, more modern cameras with CMos are far more sensitive. As with mine your max ISO is 3200, with my Nikon looking at more like 64,000 ISO so taking photos at this time of years with Pentax means tripod.

    Still a very good camera, but it is now rather old. But your lens is far better than my standard lens, OK I can fit a 400 mm (600 mm in 35 mm equ) but to be frank would have been better with your fixed lens.
     
    Last edited: 18 Jan 2020 at 6:27 AM
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  4. Tigercubrider

    Tigercubrider

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    Not tried one but you can get an iPhone app that is a light meter.
    Or look on ebay for an old Weston
     
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  5. ericmark

    ericmark

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    Every light meter I have had you enter the ASA and then it gives you a range of speeds to f stops, as in old days of film you had a fixed ASA (ISO) however you have I think 64 ISO to 3200 ISO so would need to be able to enter either speed, f stop or ISO and then read off the other two. In real terms I found with a CCD sensor 1600 ISO was upper limit too much grain after that point.

    I have tried using studio lights, however since they flash working it all out is near impossible. With a plate camera where the plate will cost £5 you of course want it right first time, so the method used today is take image with digital camera first to verify exposure, even out in the field I have found manual is hard to predict. I was using close up filters to take pictures of plants, mainly lichen, I had a flash on hot shoe, and a slave flash under camera both around same size which would allow a small aperture so good depth of field and tripod, if instead of focusing lens, I left the lens at fixed focus and moved camera closer or further away, in theory each image would be taken at same distance so once f stop and ISO set (speed does not matter with flash) it should be same for all, however that was not the case. I suspect hot shoe flash gun was auto adjusting, but each image I had to take a series of photos until exposure was correct.

    OK that was an extreme case, but have found it near impossible to even with a light meter improve on the cameras own built in meter, one reason is using a polarising filter, unless you also put a polarising filter on the light meter and can zoom the light meter in and out to match camera lens in real terms you are just as good using the guide on side of a film packet, over cast summer day ASA 100, f8 and 1/60th etc, take a picture and correct up or down.
     
  6. yottie

    yottie

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    Professional stuff there e.m. Just out of interest, have you ever used a Hasselblad H1?
     
  7. Tigercubrider

    Tigercubrider

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  8. ericmark

    ericmark

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    Not used Hasseblad, and flash is a real problem as it has a sensor that can't be turned off, built into flash gun, where I can I use LED.
     
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