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Spotmeters (beginner questions) - Photography

First of all, I know very little about "spot-meters"! Having said that, the ones that I've seen that intrigue me, are the ones with a viewfinder; tell me, do the good ones allow you to adjust the size of the spot you're measuring, and how does the film-format and focal length of the lens you're using come into play? Am I making it too complicated? Are they a valuable tool? Any thoughts, recommendations? Thanks! -- Ray www.rayspace.com/gallery.html ------------------------------------------- "I'd rather wake up in the middle of nowhere, than in any city on earth" - Steve McQueen...

  1. #1

    Default Spotmeters (beginner questions)

    First of all, I know very little about "spot-meters"! Having said that, the
    ones that I've seen that intrigue me, are the ones with a viewfinder; tell
    me, do the good ones allow you to adjust the size of the spot you're
    measuring, and how does the film-format and focal length of the lens you're
    using come into play? Am I making it too complicated? Are they a valuable
    tool? Any thoughts, recommendations?

    Thanks!
    --
    Ray
    www.rayspace.com/gallery.html
    -------------------------------------------
    "I'd rather wake up in the middle of nowhere,
    than in any city on earth" - Steve McQueen


    Lunaray Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: Spotmeters (beginner questions)

    spot meters are good tools for the photographer especially in a controlled
    lighting situation like a studio. They work differently to hand held meters
    in they they measure reflected light (light bouncing off the subject) rather
    than incident (light falling on the subject) so whats the difference, you
    ask? objects have different reflectance values so you have to bear in mind
    weather you are using a reflected reading or an incident reading and adjust
    the exposure according to the percieved 'brightness' of the subject.
    Heres an example. all meters give a reading to 18% average. a handheld
    meter will give 18% of the ambient light and not take into account the
    brightness of the subject, so if somehting is very white, you will need to
    close down the aperture, because its not grey, its white.ie, its reflecting
    80% instead of 18%.If you shoot what the meter says, the subject will be way
    to bright.
    Now heres the tricky bit. Spot meters are the opposite. A spotty will tell
    you that that white object is in-fact grey18%, so if you shoot what the
    meter says the white object will come out way to dark.(and probably
    everything else around it will be waaaay to dark) so you need to open up
    your aperture.

    Some spot meters have a zoom and give you from 1degree to 5degrees, exposure
    does not generally have any direct relation to format or lens focal length.
    They are handy if you need to check highlight levels or a distant object
    that is to in ambient light. They are a great tool, but it's quiite easy to
    get burnt by using one if you dont really know what your doing, so
    experimentation is the key.
    hope this helps

    n.t.



    "Lunaray" <com> wrote in message
    news:supernews.com... 
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    nt Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: Spotmeters (beginner questions)

    Spot meters are particularly useful with the Zone System, even when lighting
    can not be controlled. You read the reflected light from critical subjet
    details and determine the exposure and development depending on the zones
    (tonal values) you want those details to have in the print. As a real
    simple example: read the light for a shadow area that needs to hold
    significant detail (Zone 3); determine the exposure - two stops less than
    indicated; read a highlight area that still retains some detail (often Zone
    7); determine the brightness range between the two readings (for average
    contrast in the subject, it will probably be about 5 stops (7-3+1)); adjust
    development time to correct the negative contrast for the brightness range,
    if necessary.

    "nt" <com> wrote in message
    news:mWNOb.7448$pacific.net.au... 
    meters 
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    reflecting 
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    tell 
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    length. 
    to 
    > the [/ref]
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    Norman Guest

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