Author Topic: Light Meter  (Read 1221 times)

Offline PixelHunter

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Light Meter
« on: June 14, 2014, 09:26:44 PM »
(I am not sure whether this is the right place for this, but decided to post here because this will be most helpful for film shooters. If mods think otherwise, feel free to move it to appropriate place)

In case of many old film cameras, the part that gives most trouble is the light meter. Either the light meter is not working or in older cameras, the light meter is simply not there. In case of Medium format cameras like TLRs, in most of the cases, either one has to rely on his experience and the Sunny 16 rule or one has to get an external light meter. External light meters are costly and you have to remember to carry it every time with you. Not very convenient.

To tackle this problem, the various light meter apps for smart phones come handy. Agreed that they are not accurate as a dedicated light meter and most of the apps are crap which give very inaccurate readings. But I have found one app which is very easy to use and gives consistent results even in challenging situations.  The app is named as "Android Light Meter" . Url given below-

It works by taking a picture of the scene that you want to shoot and gives you a reading based on that. So basically it works like a reflective light meter. Now there are some apps which uses the luminosity sensor of Smartphones to give incident light reading as well, but what I have seen is, they are not so good and give inconsistent reading.

This app has done a pretty good job and I have thoroughly tested it. I tested it in almost 10 different types of scenes and used my DSLR to enter the values and clicked. In all the cases, the exposure was pretty accurate. So I can definitely recommend it. At last it seems that I shall be able to actually use my TLR.
"The best camera is the one that's with you" Chase Jarvis

Offline Hankosaurus

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Re: Light Meter
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2014, 05:29:50 AM »
Hello Binoy.

When I was younger (1970s) I recall my boss in the TV studio where I worked saying "A camera is a camera, and a meter is a meter."  In that time, we used hand meters in the studio. If the cameras had meters, we didn't use their meters in the studio. We used incident reading Sekonic Studio Masters and Gossen Luna Pros.  A meter could move about easily to measure lighting ratios, etc.  Using a camera like a meter was a bit unwieldy by comparison.  That fact is what prompted my boss to say that about cameras and meters.

It's amazing that this can be done with a cellphone now.  I will guess that if the cellphone app can do reflective, a gray card would take it to the next level, providing an incident-equivalent capability.  That would allow the shooter to leave the camera on the tripod, studio style, like we did way back when, and make his measurements with a cellphone behaving as a hand meter.

Cool.  TFS.

Happy day.

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Some say that those of us who like to talk about cameras should instead go and take pictures. I say we should go and also take pictures.

Offline theqca

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Re: Light Meter
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2014, 10:34:35 PM »
Hmm..sounds interesting...the light meter on some of my cameras isnt working...guess this could be a good reason for me to use them again...

I think i'll start with the Soviet beast in August :)
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