Forums > Photography Talk > help with metering my lights please

Photographer

BlueWolf Photography

Posts: 68

Phoenix, Arizona, US

hi all, i need some help i have about 3 questions


1. i have the L358 light meter, should i set the meter to thirds as that is what my camera is set too. or set it to halves.

2. to meter my lights do i have the dome out or in.

3. to get the proper expose point my light meter back at the camera, is this correct.

thanks

Apr 25 13 12:56 am Link

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Photographer

-JAY-

Posts: 6689

Las Vegas, Nevada, US

1) I always had my 358 set to FULL, which gives 1/10 increments - I like to nudge things a bit to the right, so tenths let me see where things were a bit more detailed.

2) Dome in. (dome out for ambient light)

3) Pointed to the light, not camera..

Apr 25 13 01:03 am Link

Photographer

RSM-images

Posts: 4226

Jacksonville, Florida, US

.

Go to http://www.sekonic.com/whatisyourspecia … meter.aspx and read "How to use a handheld meter".

At the bottom of that article is a button that reads "Go Back to Articles" where a lot more information si available about photography set-ups with light meter uses.

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For strobe flash exposure measurements, one can read reflected strobe light (from the camera position and pointed toward the subject -- meter assumes an 18% gray subject/scene) with the dome in -- or incident strobe light (at the subject and pointed toward the strobe -- generallly more accurate) with the dome out.

In either case, 60 seconds is allowed (L358 and most other Sekonic meters -- read the meter manual) to fire the strobe(s) for the exposure measurement -- whether reflected or incident -- once the flash reading mode is actuated.

**********

Note that for ambient light incident exposure readings, the dome (out) should be pointed toward the camera lens position from at/near the subject within the same ambient lighting intensity as the subject.

.

Apr 25 13 01:13 am Link

Photographer

Thomas Van Dyke

Posts: 1762

Washington, District of Columbia, US

RSM-images wrote:
Go to http://www.sekonic.com/whatisyourspecia … meter.aspx and read "How to use a handheld meter".

At the bottom of that article is a button that reads "Go Back to Articles" where a lot more information si available about photography set-ups with light meter uses.

+ it doesn't get much better than this...

That said, metering is both science AND art... the complexities of studio illumination are vast... and rarely does everyone agree on how best to go about it... the technique that works for one individual may or may not be highly effective for another...

One thing I will say, for setting illumination ratios in a timely manner an incident light meter is absolutely priceless...

CAUTION!  On a chaotic location assignment my Sekonic started giving me absurd readings... being stressed out I blamed the instrument... well seems it is possible to believe you've moved the dome to cover the sensor when in fact it is still partly open... not enough to be obvious but enough to cause aberrant readings... Always carefully setup your meter's dome position... experience is a brutal teacher...   

hope this helps...

Apr 25 13 06:28 am Link

Photographer

Kevin Russo Photography

Posts: 2257

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US

Different people use different techniques.

I use dome out and point the dome into the lens.

Others point the dome into the light.

Watch the videos by Sekonic, and try both techniques, see what works for you.

Which ever technique you choose, I would stick with it and be consistent. 

It should also be mentioned that different situations may call for different techniques.

Kevin Russo -Photographer
www.KR-Photos.Com

Apr 25 13 06:54 am Link

Photographer

WCR3

Posts: 1072

Houston, Texas, US

BlueWolf Photography wrote:
hi all, i need some help i have about 3 questions


1. i have the L358 light meter, should i set the meter to thirds as that is what my camera is set too. or set it to halves.

2. to meter my lights do i have the dome out or in.

3. to get the proper expose point my light meter back at the camera, is this correct.

thanks

I believe most people set their meter the same way their camera is set. If your camera is set in 1/3 stops, then set the meter in thirds using the DIP switches: Switch 3 up, switch 4 up. That way, if the meter tells you to set your aperture to f/7.1, you can do that on your camera. Otherwise you have to do conversions in your head. You should use your head for other things during the shoot, not math.

Metering lights themselves is something you do (1) when setting ratios, and/or (2) to make sure you're not overcooking the highlights. You do this with the dome in, aimed at the light itself. To get the proper exposure at the camera, put the dome out and aim directly back at the camera. There is an excellent, free Webinar by Joe Brady for Sekonic, featuring the L358, at http://www.sekonic.com/classroom/webina … hting.aspx . Your specific questions re: dome in/out and getting propert exposure are answered. The entire Webinar is almost an hour and a half, and it's all worthwhile, but the part starting about 35 minutes into it answers your questions directly.

Apr 25 13 08:46 am Link

Photographer

ontherocks

Posts: 22603

Salem, Oregon, US

i use dome out and point it wherever i want to know how much light is available. so if i'm checking how much light is coming off my white background i point the meter at the background and go along trying to make sure the amount is correct and even across the background.

i've seen lots of theories about where to point the thing. you kind of have to work out your own approach to that. for me i generally point it at a light source (i'm trying to measure the power on a light).

for me the meter is just a way to get in the right ballpark and then i'll adjust manually from there. i find it especially helpful for checking the background for on-white.

Apr 25 13 08:49 am Link

Photographer

photoimager

Posts: 4906

Stoke-on-Trent, England, United Kingdom

Thomas Van Dyke wrote:
CAUTION!  On a chaotic location assignment my Sekonic started giving me absurd readings... being stressed out I blamed the instrument... well seems it is possible to believe you've moved the dome to cover the sensor when in fact it is still partly open... not enough to be obvious but enough to cause aberrant readings... Always carefully setup your meter's dome position... experience is a brutal teacher...

I have that at times with my L408 ( long discontinued ). If after doing some spot readings I forget to cover up the spot metering window then I'm metering something at 90 degrees to the light source !.

My meter is set to tenths, I'm using it to measure the light, not to approximate it.

Apr 25 13 10:17 am Link

Photographer

Innovative Imagery

Posts: 2815

Los Angeles, California, US

However you choose to use your meter, you need to be consistent about it and you will learn to adjust for your style.

OR

Learn how to use it "correctly" the scientific way, the way it was designed.  I use the dome in and point the meter at the light I am metering.  Once the ratios are set, then I set the dome out and point it at the camera to get my overall exposure.  This approach will get you the most consistent results which you can then deviate from according to your taste.

By design, the dome out mimics the three dimensional shape of a face for portraiture and takes into contribution from main, fill and surrounding bounce.  The dome in, measures just that light coming straight at it from the specific light.

Will Crockett of Shoot Smarter Dot com has many free tutorials and for sale DVD's on this.

Apr 26 13 06:17 pm Link