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In-camera vs on-camera light meters


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4 hours ago, Topsy said:

Before the M5/M6 there were no meters in M cameras but now there are metered cameras I don't understand why anyone would buy a meterless MA then put an external meter on top of it.

I agree, I sent it back.

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The more you used to shooting without viewfinder, the more you might prefer an on-camera light meter. Because you can have the metering info and your current setup on dial and aperture ring at a glance when looking at the top of your camera. 

I tried a TTArtisan meter, which is a reversed engineered, lower priced VCII. Then I bought an MR-4 on Yahoo auctions out of curiosity. Using a coupled meter like MR-4 is very enjoyable: you'll never mess up your shot by forgetting to turn the shutter dial to your prefer readings. And the needle-zone indicator of MR-4 can let you know the exact EV stops differences between your readings and current setups. For VCII like meters, you wouldn't know the difference until the green dot is illuminated.

On 5/3/2023 at 9:53 PM, hepcat said:

The rest of the exposure decisions happen in your head.  Exposure is neither absolute NOR precise, except as you choose to use the information your light meter provides you.

Can't agree more. I keep exercising eye metering on my M10-P for half a year and then begin to shoot more in analog from August. I compare my memories of eye metering and the results given on iPhone apps, built-in meter and external meter, and then gradually work out my way to use the meters properly. The 18% grey is a thing that you should always keep in mind. When you get a reading from an object you point your meter to, you need to determine by yourself whether to let it fall as 18% grey, or overexpose it to let it be brighter, or underexpose it to let it be darker. I would always meter the concrete grounds, or light lit asphalt roads first if I have no idea with eye metering. If harsh sunlight is thrown upon the ground, I will overexpose by one stop. If light on the ground seems even with other subjects, then just take the reading as it is. I find pointing the meter parallel to the ground and at the horizons is usually a bad idea, especially when you are against the light or the surroundings are reflecting light in every direction. The meter would be fooled easily in this situation and let you underexpose your the actual 18% grey seriously. 

And one more thing. I sometimes remove my MR-4 from the top plate and hold it in my hand pointing it freely. Just for my own fashion, lol

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9 hours ago, Topsy said:

Before the M5/M6 there were no meters in M cameras but now there are metered cameras I don't understand why anyone would buy a meterless MA then put an external meter on top of it.

Because and in-camera meter adds electronic complexity to an already complex mechanical device.  If your preference for a meter is a shoe-mount rather than hand-held, what difference does it make to anyone else?  I love my M5, but the meter is the most fragile part of the camera.

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The MA is a Fine camera and one that you can use a Voigtlander VC11 on....and you still get the feel because of the 'dials' that you are shooting an analog camera. You physically turn the dials and see them. Then just adjust the settings on the camera. That adds an element to the analog process not quite obtained by in-camera light meters where most people just view the red lights in the viewfinder and twist the shutter or aperture without really looking. (notice I qualified by 'most people').... 

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On 5/2/2023 at 6:00 AM, hdmesa said:

The best metering is to have a mirrorless EVF camera with you and get the exposure from that; but who want to do that?

sorry for the complete film noob question, but how accurate would the metering on the mirrorless camera be? or to reframe the question in another way, if my mirrorless camera is using say ISO 400 / f2 / 1/500 (and i like the exposure), would that translate to film too?  

 

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2 hours ago, sometimesmaybe said:

sorry for the complete film noob question, but how accurate would the metering on the mirrorless camera be? or to reframe the question in another way, if my mirrorless camera is using say ISO 400 / f2 / 1/500 (and i like the exposure), would that translate to film too?  

 

With light meters (particularly with incident readings), you are measuring incident light as an EV reading.  That is the starting point.  All the meter is doing is calculating what that means in aperture and shutter settings at a defined ISO.  So, however that reading is made, the outcome should be the same.  My SWC has an EV scale on the lens barrel, which I can set, locking the aperture and shutter combination together.

So, theoretically, reading on one camera should be transferable to another.  At least, back in the film days.  In the mirrorless world, it’s not quite so straight forward.

The EV reading from an incident meter should be foolproof, provided you take the reading in the same light as your subject.  Blacks will be black, whites white and all the shades from Anselm Adams’ zone 0-X.

With an in camera reading, you don’t have that problem if taking an incident reading in different ambient light (ie, you’re too far away from the subject).  But, you do need to be confident, in my view, of what the camera is reading.  If you can’t be bothered doing zone calculations, you either spot meter something you think is neutral 18% grey or you do an average reading, with a multifield reading.

It seems with mirrorless (like the distance and depth of field markings on the barrel of your lens), things are a bit different.  

Theoretically, you can get an EV reading on a mirrorless which you can carry over to your M-A or M6 (with a dead meter).  All too often, it doesn’t quite work that way as the reading you get with your mirrorless is only a reading off the sensor.  It seems that what is marked as the aperture on one lens might not be the same as what you might get on another.  While the lens on your mirrorless and on your M-A/M6 may both be 35mm, at the same aperture it seems that the EV value might not be the same.  All the mirrorless camera is doing is setting the ideal shutter speed for the light hitting the sensor at your chosen aperture setting.  That will be right for that camera and lens combination, but it might not be universal (apparently).

I would suggest you try an incident meter if you can.  If not, then perhaps one of the tiny VC II lightmeters that clip into your hotshoe - it gives an average, centre weighted reflective reading, but it is quite good.  Alternatively, the iPhone metering Apps are also quite good.

Edited for typos.

Edited by IkarusJohn
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Sometimes one has to reach to the land of the rising sun for solutions.

Welcome, dear visitor! As registered member you'd see an image here…

Simply register for free here – We are always happy to welcome new members!

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7 hours ago, sometimesmaybe said:

sorry for the complete film noob question, but how accurate would the metering on the mirrorless camera be? or to reframe the question in another way, if my mirrorless camera is using say ISO 400 / f2 / 1/500 (and i like the exposure), would that translate to film too?  

 

In theory yes, all else being equal, except the film results will be underwhelming. Your camera isn't a light meter so it's setting the exposure to give you the "best" picture given your settings, which are usually there to prevent highlight blowout on a digital camera especially since the sensor will capture a lot of the shadow detail. Film can handle the highlights but if there is too little light the shadow detail will be unreclaimable. So, if you're transferring the settings from your mirrorless to your film camera then overexpose by 1 to 2 stops. In your example, if you are working with ISO 400 film, instead of f2 and 1/500 maybe f2 and 1/250 or even 1/125. Cheers.

 

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7 hours ago, IkarusJohn said:

Theoretically, you can get an EV reading on a mirrorless which you can carry over to your M-A or M6 (with a dead meter).  All too often, it doesn’t quite work that way as the reading you get with your mirrorless is only a reading off the sensor.  It seems that what is marked as the aperture on one lens might not be the same as what you might get on another.  While the lens on your mirrorless and on your M-A/M6 may both be 35mm, at the same aperture it seems that the EV value might not be the same.

The difference of EV though the lens with same aperture, should be due to the light transmission efficiency of the glasses used in the lens. Aperture is calculated by the ratio of focal length to the diameter of the opening hole. If this lens absorbs more light than another, then it will show more underexposed at the same settings.

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Reference notes, FYR.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Silicon photodiode base light meter, reliable light meter

1. cosina vc meter ii : 30° reflected / 1-20 ev

2. sekonic l208 : Incident+33° reflected / 3-17 ev

3. gossen digisix 2 / digiflash 2 : Incident+25° reflected / 0-18 ev

4. reveni labs spot meter : 1.5° reflected / 2-20 ev

 

IC sensor integrated light meter, accuracy unknown

5. hedeco lime one : 35° reflected+center wight / -3-20 ev

6. reveni labs light meter : 45° reflected+center wight / 0.5-20 ev

7. keks em01 : 30° reflected / 0-20 ev

8. doomo meter d / s : 45° reflected/ 1-20 ev

 

White brand(manufactory unkonwn)

9. v201x : 30° reflected / 1-20 ev

10. zb-m08 : Incident+45° reflected / -2-19 ev

11. l102 : 32° reflected/ 2-18 ev

 

Others

12. negative supply light meter lm1 : Incident / -5-23 ev

 

1° light meters

Many options in the market such as Gossen, Sekonic, Pentax or so

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6 hours ago, Greenhilltony said:

The difference of EV though the lens with same aperture, should be due to the light transmission efficiency of the glasses used in the lens. Aperture is calculated by the ratio of focal length to the diameter of the opening hole. If this lens absorbs more light than another, then it will show more underexposed at the same settings.

Which we’ve seen discussed elsewhere.

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4 hours ago, Erato said:

Reference notes, FYR.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Silicon photodiode base light meter, reliable light meter

1. cosina vc meter ii : 30° reflected / 1-20 ev

2. sekonic l208 : Incident+33° reflected / 3-17 ev

3. gossen digisix 2 / digiflash 2 : Incident+25° reflected / 0-18 ev

4. reveni labs spot meter : 1.5° reflected / 2-20 ev

 

IC sensor integrated light meter, accuracy unknown

5. hedeco lime one : 35° reflected+center wight weighted/ -3-20 ev

6. reveni labs light meter : 45° reflected+center wight weighted / 0.5-20 ev

7. keks em01 : 30° reflected / 0-20 ev

8. doomo meter d / s : 45° reflected/ 1-20 ev

 

White brand(manufactory unkonwn)

9. v201x : 30° reflected / 1-20 ev

10. zb-m08 : Incident+45° reflected / -2-19 ev

11. l102 : 32° reflected/ 2-18 ev

 

Others

12. negative supply light meter lm1 : Incident / -5-23 ev

 

1° light meters

Many options in the market such as Gossen, Sekonic, Pentax or so

Mistypo revised, please click for details.

Edited by Erato
Mistypo revised inline.
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  • 4 weeks later...
On 9/25/2023 at 12:10 PM, Al Brown said:

Sometimes one has to reach to the land of the rising sun for solutions.

Welcome, dear visitor! As registered member you'd see an image here…

Simply register for free here – We are always happy to welcome new members!

I thought this was manufactured in the land of the bamboos 

I always have my lightmeters handy when needed

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