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Thread: Minolta Spot Meter V In Camera Spot

  1. #1

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    Minolta Spot Meter V In Camera Spot

    Hi, Does anyone still use a spot meter?
    If yes, is it in your opinion worth an investment or should I just stick with the in camera?
    Thanks
    Russ

  2. #2
    Administrator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Minolta Spot Meter V In Camera Spot

    I don't see any advantage of a hand-held spotmeter, versus the built in camera one. The built-in metering modes of a modern camera and the histogram displays work better than any spot meter I have used. Back in the film days, it did make sense, just because there was no instant feedback on results. Today, bracketing the shots is cheap insurance...

    On the other hand, I do use an incident light meter / flash meter Sekonic L-358) when doing object shots or portraits, using ambient or artificial light sources, mainly to nail the lighting ratios. It really speeds along the workflow.

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    Re: Minolta Spot Meter V In Camera Spot

    I use an elderly Soligor spot meter regularly, I shoot mostly landscapes which generally implies a wide angle lens and so the in camera spot can cover an area of several degrees whereas my trusty old Soligor is a 1 degree spot. Handy under changing light conditions when you've composed your shot and you really don't want to move the camera to get another in camera reading of your highlights/shadows. Mine has a zone system scale and so I can meter the subject, make a decision on the relative brightness that I want the subject to have in the image and nail the exposure at the same time seeing what is going to happen to my highlights. Also I find it easier to scan an area with my little spot meter than I do by holding a camera up to my eye. I also use the Sekonic L358 for landscape and flash, often both at the same time. The Sekonic is spot on for landscape incident light measurements and of course bracketing, though less than before since I got the Sekonic.

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    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Minolta Spot Meter V In Camera Spot

    I have an old Sekonic L-718 incident light and flash meter which doesn't have the bells and whistles of the newer models but, if used corectly will give me an accurate recommendation regarding flash exposure.

    I use this in the final balancing of my lights in a portrait setup.

    The initial blancing is done by my eyeball exposure meter. I can usually get pretty well within the ballpark by eyeballing the results of my modeling lights. If I was shooting in Strobist mode with no modeling light to guide me, I would need to rely on my meter to a greater degree.

    The L-718 has a "spot" meter attachment to allow a 3-degree "spot" reflected metering. However, I have never used that capability, preferring to rely on the camera's meter.

  5. #5

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    Re: Minolta Spot Meter V In Camera Spot

    Hi, Thank you for the replies, I should have mentioned that I only really attempt landscapes, as you can see I live in a country where the days can be very very bright and I find that trying to use the manual settings in camera seems to cause IMO my images to lack contrast/flat. That is my reasoning in the spot meter road, would it assist in better exposure in the bright climate?
    Thanks Again
    Russ

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    Re: Minolta Spot Meter V In Camera Spot

    I'd have thought that living in Greece you would have had loads of contrast with those bright days and deep shadows unless your shooting at the beginning/end of the day or against the light. I use my spot meter primarily for shots that are against the light, everything else I use my incident light meter. No definate yes or no answer here, my preference would be for an incident light meter as that is what I use 70 - 80% of the time and always gives good results. No idea why using manual should result in a flat looking image though - check your histogram, try bracketing and/or post some shots that you think are flat that we can look at.

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    Administrator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Minolta Spot Meter V In Camera Spot

    Quote Originally Posted by russellsnr View Post
    Hi, Thank you for the replies, I should have mentioned that I only really attempt landscapes, as you can see I live in a country where the days can be very very bright and I find that trying to use the manual settings in camera seems to cause IMO my images to lack contrast/flat. That is my reasoning in the spot meter road, would it assist in better exposure in the bright climate?
    Thanks Again
    Russ
    Could you perhaps post an image that is not working for you? It sounds like there is another issue. I agree with Paul, check your histogram to see what is happening, and try bracketing to see if that changes the results. There are a number of reasons that the images are looking flat, but we would only be guessing without seeing the shot(s).

  8. #8
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Minolta Spot Meter V In Camera Spot

    Unfortunately, although manual exposure control is a very valid technique the two tachniques which there appear to be more members having problems with are full automatic shooting in JPEG and manual exposure. However, if you might post a few examples of images with which you are unsatisfied, some of the members might be able to provide a few comments.

    Manual should not provide more contrast than say AV or even Programmed exposure. Have you tried both metering manually and using AV for the same exact image.

    Bracketing is another way to tell if your exposure is problematical. If you shoot one or two images a stop on or two either side of your determined exposure, you should be able to tell if your manual exposure is the culprit.

    What camera, lens are you using? Assitionally, how do you have your exposure point or points set up?

    I wonder what post processing workflow that you use and if you are shooting in RAW or JPEG?

    Sometimes, flare will cause image degredation, espeially in bright conditions without using a lens hood...

    Additionally, are you using any filters in front of your lens? Sometimes a filter will reduce contrast if it is not made of quality glass.

    Finally, although I hesitate to mention this, dirt on a lens or filter and or fungus on either can cause lowered contrast in an image...
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 24th May 2012 at 11:17 PM.

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