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42 minutes ago, Matlock said:

I started taking photos around 1957, I bought my first meter around 1975. The only photos I have had published were taking before I had the meter. However meters do have their uses in many cases.

And they go back to Victorian times. The accurate measurement of light intensity has been a goal for a long time. Today's digital cameras supply an incredibly useful histogram which is an extraordinarily detailed way of assessing exposure parameters. I've used meterless cameras without meters and I never got anywhere near as good results exposurewise, as when I have used some (actually almost any) form of meter.

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This following image that pleases me a lot, the only concert of this beloved Singer.

I think that metering this was not possible or ...very difficult,

so I took a chance to expose "at best" (from experiences mainly ! ),

in the same film, a lot less "pleasing exposures"

seen here ...

 

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This one is SO simple with meterless M4,

With a metered M, I don't know which "exposure by LED" I'd choose 😉.

seen here ...

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1 hour ago, a.noctilux said:

This one is SO simple with meterless M4,

With a metered M, I don't know which "exposure by LED" I'd choose 😉.

seen here ...

Hello Arnaud,

Easy. Meter off the sidewalk to the left of the 2 people & then add 1 stop of exposure . So that if the meter reads f5.6 @ 1/250: Set the camera to f4 @ 1/250.

Best Regards,

Michael

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1 hour ago, Michael Geschlecht said:

Hello Arnaud,

Easy. Meter off the sidewalk to the left of the 2 people & then add 1 stop of exposure . So that if the meter reads f5.6 @ 1/250: Set the camera to f4 @ 1/250.

Best Regards,

Michael

Thanks Michael,

 

Explanations needed...meterless/metered M 😇.

 

If I had M6/MP this day, I would NOT have time/possibility (as you said metering at a place, turn aperture/speed to center the two LED, ...add 1 Stop, 🙂 this would take a couple of seconds), ...bye bye the "planned" picture .

With M4, I always preset every parameters (without this RED led in VF), so just-take-the-pic with 100% confidence at the right moment.

If the pic is not good, I'm the only one to blame.

With M6/MP I can also preset parameters, but those red LED to follow (or not) can be disturbing.

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3 hours ago, a.noctilux said:

This one is SO simple with meterless M4,

With a metered M, I don't know which "exposure by LED" I'd choose 😉.

seen here ...

Watching this scene I would ask myself what I want to show. If I were going for the shadow detail, and seeing the sky and the shadows, knowing I am shooting 400 iso normally, I would have preset my camera at f4 1/250 knowing that I am probably overexposing by 1 stop, probably 1/500 was the right exposure value

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3 hours ago, a.noctilux said:

This following image that pleases me a lot, the only concert of this beloved Singer.

I think that metering this was not possible or ...very difficult,

That's what spot meters are for. Not difficult, you just need the right gear and if you were doing a lot of this type of photography that is what you would have.

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Posted (edited)

Cesc,

It was old style silver rich film, Fuji Neopan SS100, used at 100 ISO, so I had very small margin using speed to stop the walking couple.

Luck was with me, having the right preset.

 

This one is not good example for meterless, but only to explain that metering every frame is not good idea.

Preset (learn how to do that can be long) AND confidence in knowledge (film/process/etc.).

...

Paul,

I'm with you using spotmeter of course (to learn the light as said somebody).

 

For decades, I used meter on "every frame", when I only used Kodachrome.

M5 "spotmeter" was abused by then, like here

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Edited by a.noctilux
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Posted (edited)

Sometimes, spot metering is the only way to obtain the good exposure, when light is tricky.

Kodachrome, M5 (best film M to choose for this kind of light )

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seen here

...and here...

 

Edited by a.noctilux
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6 hours ago, a.noctilux said:

Thanks Michael,

 

Explanations needed...meterless/metered M 😇.

 

If I had M6/MP this day, I would NOT have time/possibility (as you said metering at a place, turn aperture/speed to center the two LED, ...add 1 Stop, 🙂 this would take a couple of seconds), ...bye bye the "planned" picture .

With M4, I always preset every parameters (without this RED led in VF), so just-take-the-pic with 100% confidence at the right moment.

If the pic is not good, I'm the only one to blame.

With M6/MP I can also preset parameters, but those red LED to follow (or not) can be disturbing.

Hello Arnaud,

If I was walking down that street the exposure would be set on the camera before the potential photo appeared. External meters are easier for that. Just the push of a button & the "click" of an aperture wheel or shutter speed dial once in a while. 

Best Regards,

Michael

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, a.noctilux said:

Sometimes, spot metering is the only way to obtain the good exposure, when light is tricky.

Kodachrome, M5 (best film M to choose for this kind of light )

 

seen here

...and here...

 

Hello Arnaud,

Here you could meter the dark ground in between the 2 white buildings & underneath the white fence above. Then set the camera at 1.5 stops less exposure so that if the meter read f5.6 @ 1/250 then you would set the camera to f9.5 @ 1/250.

Or, if the building in the back is most important: You could meter the white wall on the left & add 2.5 stops so that if the meter read f5.6 @ 1/250 you set the camera to f2.4 @ 1/250.

Best Regards,

Michael

 

 

Edited by Michael Geschlecht
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12 minutes ago, Michael Geschlecht said:

Hello Arnaud,

If I was walking down that street the exposure would be set on the camera before the potential photo appeared. External meters are easier for that. Just the push of a button & the "click" of an aperture wheel or shutter speed dial once in a while. 

Best Regards,

Michael

That is one of the best things about a camera without a built in meter. No distractions and most of us have been around long enough to look a a scene, set the camera, then check the meter for confirmation.

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A number of comments in this thread lead me to think that a number of posters operate in a polarized, narrow field of pursuit. The fact that their particular style of metering is 'all one needs to know' supports my observation regarding meterless exposures. In limited circumstances, I agree.

My history had me making contact sheets as the first thing my clients ever saw of my work. A contact sheet with varying exposures is not a good way to impress anyone. There were times when I would even dodge and burn individual frames on the sheet, just to imply uniformity. The work scenarios were frequently quite varied and demanded absolute confidence in my technique, which of necessity included exposure control. 'Sunny 16' and other guestimates were never a viable option. The briefs included things like sporting events (indoors and outdoors), theatrical performances, industrial situations,  ..... etc. My results had to be guaranteed.

Moving on, yesterday I had occasion to use my Leica 111f outdoors in my garden. It was a sunny day. 'Sunny 16' probably would have worked, but I used a Sekonic L398A meter to set the camera. Later, I walked the dog down to the beach on a bush track, taking the 111f with me (to finish the film) but forgot to take the lightmeter. Not to worry, the light was the same at the different location so I remembered the settings, they were still on the camera, although I did change lenses, and I shot with confidence that my exposures were OK. Had I taken the meter with me, I would have used it. An old working habit, check, and check again. Leave no margin for error.

The point of all this? We all have quite different environments, requirements and desires with our photography. Everybody is right. The only time you are wrong is when the result is not what you wanted.

Continue to enjoy what works for you.

P.S. A quick comment on 'flashing' red dots in VF's. It's a discipline. I NEVER look at or notice screen displays unless I need to. Concentration is focused on the image. It's not hard to practice. Just like I ignore people chattering next to me when I am shooting.

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The Reveni has proven to be the perfect meter for when you don’t think you’ll need a meter. I have the wristband for it making it easier to use than a phone app. The L-398 will be fun to use but it’s nice to have options.

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Posted (edited)

I use a Gossen Digisix with incident measuring if possible. Often just put backwards over my shoulder. One Click,

3 Seconds of adjustment, and that´s it. The VC meter looks nice, fits perfectly on an M, but is much slower than this method.

And the incident light measurement is perfect, regardless of the contrast of your image or too much black or white in it.

Black on black, white on white, it doesn´t matter.

Example: Matte black car, almost no highlights. With any other metering method this would be overexposed for sure.

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Both M2 with Summicron 2/50, Tmax 400

 

Edited by Fotoklaus
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I agree with the posters that like using meterless M cameras without a meter for black and white or color negative film. This is certainly freeing, in its way. But I would also say that in my work as a printer and scanning tech for a ton of exhibitions that I wish you would all go get incident meters and use them! There is nothing worse than scanning and printing an exhibition for someone whose metering is all over the place. It is such an easy fix, and leads to so much better results (no work reducing highlights or trying to fix transparent negs). Most artists here are not very technically minded, and I deal with a ton of poorly executed work. I remember the relief I felt when I got a show for an old school photo journalist who did a series of photos on a hasselblad with an incident meter. Every single picture was the same tonal range, more or less, which made it a breeze to produce the show. So please, think of your printers!!

Meanwhile, I am mostly shooting large format these days, and sadly got interested in 8x10 slides. Provia just raised the price again and it is literally 20 dollars a sheet before processing or scanning (which I do myself), so doing it without a meter is reckless, bordering on insanity. The results are amazing when you see them, though the web does not do them any justice. Seeing them on a light table, however is incredible. I have been sticking with my L358 in incident mode, and it has been bang on every time. Of course, with these kinds of slides you don't have the dynamic range for certain compositions, so you just have to be a bit aware of that.

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Posted (edited)

I am usually after candids so I normally take an incident reading from the shadow areas and then adjust as I go along. I just guess the difference between where I took the reading and what I am shooting. Taking another reading when nothing of interest is happening or when the light changed. I am very bad at ‘absolute’ guess but I train(ed) myself to count the number of stops difference from various spots… I do the same indoor and outdoor. If I have time, then I pretty much meter every shot.

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Edited by Aryel
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In terms of when a fast reading or rapidly changing light makes it difficult for using a hand meter, I find the Leica M7, R8 and Hassy 203FE 'in camera' meters to be superbly accurate, requiring very little intuitive input from the photographer. Just frame, focus and shoot! 😇

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The Sekonic 398a just arrived. I’m reminded of the things I’ve missed about using one. I love the little Reveni but when I went to compare the meters, the Reveni needed a new battery. Guess there is a reason this design has been around for seventy years.

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