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Lightmeter and use in studio.Is Necessary?
Old 04-16-2009, 12:37 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Hello
I want buy a lightmeter (sekonic L-308s) for use in studio.Is necessary?Many photographers told me isn't becouse i can look in my lcd back for the result and i wll doing settings about the light.Is correct?I am amateur and i don't have big experience about the light management.What is your point of view about this?

Sorry for my bad english!
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Re: Lightmeter and use in studio.Is Necessary?
Old 04-16-2009, 06:14 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Why do you "want to buy a lightmeter"?

I use a light meter, Sekonic as well, and really like it. I know I can chimp the exposure but I would rather know my exposure before I shart shooting. It might be a hang over from my film days, but that is my workflow. Another nice thing about the meter is to determine the lighting ratios of the scene and the balance between ambient and flash.

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Re: Lightmeter and use in studio.Is Necessary?
Old 04-16-2009, 10:51 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I agree with Mark on all counts.
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Re: Lightmeter and use in studio.Is Necessary?
Old 04-16-2009, 11:06 AM   #4 (permalink)
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If you've set up the same scene and lighting tens of times before, then a meter should be completely optional. Otherwise it's priority should be just below the camera, lens, and memory card. IMHO of course...
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Re: Lightmeter and use in studio.Is Necessary?
Old 04-16-2009, 12:41 PM   #5 (permalink)
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You definitely want a light meter, IF:

1. you want to work quicker and with greater efficiency.
2. you want to be able to use different light set ups and be able to predict and confirm the results.
3. you want to make the most full of information files possible for highest quality.

All of this demands that you actually learn how to use the meter correctly. I have seen many professionals waste time setting, shooting, chimping, and shooting again, rather than apply the tool and discipline required.

You can certainly make pictures without one, but a good light meter in the right hands is worth its weight in gold.

KG
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Re: Lightmeter and use in studio.Is Necessary?
Old 04-16-2009, 01:45 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thank you very much for your answers.Maybe i will buy,first,a better lens than the plastic sony 18-70 or the tamron 70-300!I like Sonnar T*135mm F1.8 ZA sony lens!

Many thanks again.
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Re: Lightmeter and use in studio.Is Necessary?
Old 04-19-2009, 04:55 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I used to use a lightmeter. But now I use a Photovision digital calibration target. I shoot the target prior to the photo session and observe the histogram on the camera. Photovision provides a training DVD with the purchase that explained everything in detail. I won't shoot without the target now.

Here is a link that explains what I am talking about: http://www.photovisionvideo.com/store/CTGY/DCT/
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Re: Lightmeter and use in studio.Is Necessary?
Old 04-20-2009, 10:30 AM   #8 (permalink)
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The Photovision target is a good tool. Just watch out for pockets of shadow that it can't predict and deal with as it is two dimensional.

An example would be a dark haired woman's neck shadowed by her hair. That hole may block up and if you turned her face into that hole, light wouldn't reach into it based on the flat surface of the target.

This is more often a concern when shooting out doors and there are holes in the back ground or when shooting products in a commercial setting. But hey, we are trying to produce the best possible image, aren't we? This is where a spot meter really shines.
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Re: Lightmeter and use in studio.Is Necessary?
Old 04-21-2009, 09:12 PM   #9 (permalink)
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As you may get plenty of use of the meter in studio, you will find you get even more uses in other locations with only available light, it will help you out in so many situations, I cant see you going wrong buying one...
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Re: Lightmeter and use in studio.Is Necessary?
Old 08-21-2009, 01:36 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Using a lightmeter is definitely the right way forward. Actually I have 3 including the Sekonic that you mentioned. I know that some wouldn't agree, but in my view relying on the LCD is rather amateur and really just a lazy man's route to less than ideal exposures.

One tip on the Sekonic. They have a sliding front invercone which can be knocked out of place quite easily leading to an exposure which might be half incident half reflected if you are not careful. To avoid this grab a small piece of black tape and place it along the top to hold the invercone in place. Small precautions like that avoid ruined shoots.
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