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Photographer
NothingIsRealButTheGirl
Posts: 31,986
Los Angeles, California, US


I like my Sekonic with the radio trigger built in but I can't find it right now. It's in some moving boxes. So is my other one. And I am definitely not buying a third one.

Lately I've just been chimping myself into the exposure I want, but I do like my cordless flash meter and my pocket wizards. Call me crazy.

So here's the question:

Can I hold a cheap flash meter in one hand and pop the strobes with a pocket wizard in the other hand? Do I have to get a certain kind of flash meter that has some kind of cordless mode? What is the cheapest meter I should buy that is decently accurate and consistent?

Okay, I guess that's 3 questions.
Apr 23 13 03:37 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Leonard Gee Photography
Posts: 16,039
Sacramento, California, US


NothingIsRealButTheGirl wrote:
Can I hold a cheap flash meter in one hand and pop the strobes with a pocket wizard in the other hand? Do I have to get a certain kind of flash meter that has some kind of cordless mode? What is the cheapest meter I should buy that is decently accurate and consistent?

Yes, some meters (Minolta for one) have a cordless mode. When the button is punched, it will sense the flash burst and then take the reading.

Define "cheap" and "decent". Gossen, Calumet are "cheap", not very accurate (1/2-2/3 stop). Minolta flashmeter I & II are accurate (1/10-1/3 stop) if they are within calibration.

Apr 23 13 03:43 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
NothingIsRealButTheGirl
Posts: 31,986
Los Angeles, California, US


Is there a good choice among used, old meters only sold in places like ebay?

---------

Right now I'm leaning towards a new Sekonic L-308S Flashmate
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/control … details&Q=
Apr 23 13 03:51 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Bob Helm Photography
Posts: 18,093
Cherry Hill, New Jersey, US


Yes, most have a cordless mode but you may want to check for accuracy and consistency.

A friend of mine went to a PPA class years ago and half had Minolta meters, half had Gossen. Within the brand all the meters teste + or -  a tenth of a stop but the brands were a consistant difference of a third of a stop.

NothingIsRealButTheGirl wrote:
Right now I'm leaning towards a new Sekonic L-308S Flashmate
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/control … details&Q=

I use one as my back up meter and it does the job. I believe in BU for everything.

Apr 23 13 03:54 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
B R U N E S C I
Posts: 25,319
Bath, England, United Kingdom


If you're shooting digital (and of course RAW) then the only "correct" exposure for studio shots is the one that puts your whites at the very RHS of the histogram.

You can determine that with the on-camera LCD/histogram at a pinch as long as you have the contrast and other settings at neutral. A handheld flash meter will only tell you the "by the book" exposure for shooting 18% grey cards on film, not what's going onto your sensor.




Just my $0.02

Ciao
Stefano
www.stefanobrunesci.com
Apr 23 13 03:57 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
NothingIsRealButTheGirl
Posts: 31,986
Los Angeles, California, US


NothingIsRealButTheGirl wrote:
And I am definitely not buying a third one.
NothingIsRealButTheGirl wrote:
Right now I'm leaning towards a new Sekonic L-308S Flashmate
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/control … details&Q=

I should clarify that I don't want to buy another top of the line flagship sekonic, since I have two somewhere that work fine. I will buy a low end one, though.

Apr 23 13 03:57 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
NothingIsRealButTheGirl
Posts: 31,986
Los Angeles, California, US


-B-R-U-N-E-S-C-I- wrote:
If you're shooting digital then the only "correct" exposure for studio shots is the one that puts your whites at the very RHS of the histogram.

You can determine that with the on-camera LCD/histogram at a pinch as long as you have the contrast and other settings at neutral. A handheld flash meter will only tell you the "by the book" exposure for shooting 18% grey cards on film, not what's going onto your sensor.




Just my $0.02

Ciao
Stefano
www.stefanobrunesci.com

But it gets you off to a quick start and you can compensate for differences.

Apr 23 13 03:59 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
NothingIsRealButTheGirl
Posts: 31,986
Los Angeles, California, US


If I get a Sekonic L-358 Flash Master Light Meter for $350 I'm going to want to add a PW chip which will put it up to $425. Starts to get expensive again. Even $350 is a fair amount more than the $233 for the 308
Apr 23 13 04:01 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AgX
Posts: 1,188
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US


NothingIsRealButTheGirl wrote:
Can I hold a cheap flash meter in one hand and pop the strobes with a pocket wizard in the other hand?

That's how I meter monolights with the same L-308S Flashmate that you mention in a later post, although with Yongnuo triggers instead of PWs. While it doesn't have all of the bells and whistles over more expensive Sekonics or other brands, it is so easily pocketed for the times when I don't want bring a whole bag. Several of my cameras don't have meters, so this small size is indispensable.

I bought mine used, mint off of the auction site for about $140.

Apr 23 13 04:08 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
rfordphotos
Posts: 4,610
Antioch, California, US


maybe take a look at KEH?
Apr 23 13 04:51 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Mark Salo
Posts: 8,015
Olney, Maryland, US


-B-R-U-N-E-S-C-I- wrote:
If you're shooting digital (and of course RAW) then the only "correct" exposure for studio shots is the one that puts your whites at the very RHS of the histogram.

You can determine that with the on-camera LCD/histogram at a pinch as long as you have the contrast and other settings at neutral. A handheld flash meter will only tell you the "by the book" exposure for shooting 18% grey cards on film, not what's going onto your sensor.

Just my $0.02

Ciao
Stefano
www.stefanobrunesci.com

+1

I use a meter to get in the ballpark.  Then I shoot a digital target (three stripes) and check the histogram.

Apr 23 13 05:04 pm  Link  Quote 
guide forum
Photographer
-JAY-
Posts: 6,194
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


NothingIsRealButTheGirl wrote:
If I get a Sekonic L-358 Flash Master Light Meter for $350 I'm going to want to add a PW chip which will put it up to $425. Starts to get expensive again. Even $350 is a fair amount more than the $233 for the 308

Last two L358s i purchased were well under $200 - look around more used.

And do you need the chip? press the test button with one hand, trigger flashes with the other.

Apr 23 13 05:55 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Instinct Images
Posts: 22,464
San Diego, California, US


NothingIsRealButTheGirl wrote:
If I get a Sekonic L-358 Flash Master Light Meter for $350 I'm going to want to add a PW chip which will put it up to $425. Starts to get expensive again. Even $350 is a fair amount more than the $233 for the 308

I use the 308 and simply trigger the lights with a wireless trigger to take the reading. Works great. I can also plug a PC cord into the meter and use it to trigger the strobes.

Apr 23 13 06:31 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
RSM-images
Posts: 4,223
Jacksonville, Florida, US


.

-B-R-U-N-E-S-C-I- wrote:
A handheld flash meter will only tell you the "by the book" exposure for shooting 18% grey cards on film, not what's going onto your sensor.

Digital neutral gray is 12%...!

.

Apr 23 13 07:04 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Marin Photography NYC
Posts: 6,615
New York, New York, US


They have a free cell phone app for Androids and I-phones you can use instead. You can trigger the strobes yourself.  I can't speak on how accurate it is, I haven't tried it myself....
Apr 23 13 07:11 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
GM Photography
Posts: 6,038
Olympia, Washington, US


I do what you described with my L-358 and Cybersyncs.  Hold the button down, pop the flash(es), and take a reading.  I don't need no stinking wireless trigger in my meter.
Apr 23 13 07:51 pm  Link  Quote 
guide forum
Photographer
-JAY-
Posts: 6,194
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


GM Photography wrote:
I do what you described with my L-358 and Cybersyncs.  Hold the button down, pop the flash(es), and take a reading.  I don't need no stinking wireless trigger in my meter.

In flash mode, you don't even need to hold it down. Press once, and it should meter each time it detects a flash.

Apr 23 13 09:32 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Right Poes
Posts: 835
Colorado Springs, Colorado, US


Instinct Images wrote:

I use the 308 and simply trigger the lights with a wireless trigger to take the reading. Works great. I can also plug a PC cord into the meter and use it to trigger the strobes.

I use a Polaris this way and it does just dandy,170 new. I have never seen one used though. I'm fairly certain it'll do anything the 308 will do.

Apr 23 13 11:16 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
WMcK
Posts: 5,229
Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom


I have seen Lunasix Fs on sale at good prices.These were cordless only. You pressed the button to reset the meter, then manually triggered your lights. They are analogue, but accurate and easy to use.
Apr 24 13 12:01 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
WMcK
Posts: 5,229
Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom


-JAY- wrote:

In flash mode, you don't even need to hold it down. Press once, and it should meter each time it detects a flash.

If you do that it will accumulate the readings and give you false results. You have to press the reset button for each reading. Except of course if you are doing a multi pop exposure.

Apr 24 13 12:07 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
B R U N E S C I
Posts: 25,319
Bath, England, United Kingdom


RSM-images wrote:
Digital neutral gray is 12%...!

Thanks - pedantry and use of handheld meters seem to make frequent bedfellows I find.



Ciao
Stefano

www.stefanobrunesci.com

Apr 24 13 05:20 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Camerosity
Posts: 5,023
Saint Louis, Missouri, US


-B-R-U-N-E-S-C-I- wrote:
Thanks - pedantry and use of handheld meters seem to make frequent bedfellows I find.



Ciao
Stefano

www.stefanobrunesci.com

Are you making fun of us guys who hold hands with our meters, Stefano?

Btw, I use a handheld meter for one reason. The histogram can't tell me that the main light is one stop (or 1.5 stops or two stops) brighter than the fill - or that the rim light(s) are 2/3 stop brighter than the main.

Apr 24 13 05:36 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Richard Klein Photo
Posts: 174
Buffalo Grove, Illinois, US


Gossen Mark II for first reading to get in the ballpark and set ratios; Ed Pierce Target to follow for very accurate exposure using histogram; eyeballs on LCD after a shot to see if I nailed it.
Apr 24 13 07:44 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
WMcK
Posts: 5,229
Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom


RSM-images wrote:
.


Digital neutral gray is 12%...!

.

Well, right and wrong. An 18% card will give the correct 12.7% reading when lit from an average angle of 45°, so an 18% card is correct, for film and for digital. Which is why Ansel Adams persuaded Kodak that 18% was the correct figure for an exposure target. Learn the cosine law.

Apr 24 13 08:24 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
NothingIsRealButTheGirl
Posts: 31,986
Los Angeles, California, US


WMcK wrote:
Well, right and wrong. An 18% card will give the correct 12.7% reading when lit from an average angle of 45°, so an 18% card is correct, for film and for digital. Which is why Ansel Adams persuaded Kodak that 18% was the correct figure for an exposure target. Learn the cosine law.

I have never heard the cosine law invoked in a 12% / 18% gray card discussion before. I'd have to look into it more.

Apr 24 13 10:47 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AVD AlphaDuctions
Posts: 10,522
Gatineau, Quebec, Canada


NothingIsRealButTheGirl wrote:

I have never heard the cosine law invoked in a 12% / 18% gray card discussion before. I'd have to look into it more.

cos 45 is .707
.707x 18 gives you 12.72 and some pocket lint.

hidden in this discussion is the fact that its not about a number. its about understanding what the number represents.

Apr 24 13 11:49 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
NothingIsRealButTheGirl
Posts: 31,986
Los Angeles, California, US


AVD AlphaDuctions wrote:

cos 45 is .707
.707x 18 gives you 12.72 and some pocket lint.

hidden in this discussion is the fact that its not about a number. its about understanding what the number represents.

I'll buy it.

Speaking of buying things, I bought the 308

http://www.pmda.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/SekonicL308Sred.jpg

And on a pure impulse I threw in an extra $50 for the limited edition red one.

Yes, I'm that guy.

big_smile

Apr 24 13 12:11 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
WMcK
Posts: 5,229
Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom


AVD AlphaDuctions wrote:

cos 45 is .707
.707x 18 gives you 12.72 and some pocket lint.

hidden in this discussion is the fact that its not about a number. its about understanding what the number represents.

That's very true.

Apr 24 13 01:27 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Camerosity
Posts: 5,023
Saint Louis, Missouri, US


NothingIsRealButTheGirl wrote:
I'll buy it.

Speaking of buying things, I bought the 308

http://www.pmda.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/SekonicL308Sred.jpg

And on a pure impulse I threw in an extra $50 for the limited edition red one.

Yes, I'm that guy.

big_smile

So you're the guy who bought the only red one? It may be worth big bucks to a meter collector someday. Even more than another L-398 without the PW chip. smile

Apr 24 13 03:41 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Smedley Whiplash
Posts: 17,242
Billings, Montana, US


I had one of these back in the olden days...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Wein-WP500-Flas … 3cc70f462b
Apr 24 13 04:04 pm  Link  Quote 
Clothing Designer
GRMACK
Posts: 1,625
Bakersfield, California, US


Minolta merged with Konica, who got bought by Sony, who sold off the meter division to Kenko (Who also markets Tokina lenses.).

Wouldn't mind owning their KCM-3100 Pro Digital Color Temperature Meter for ambient or flash temperature readings.  But $1,049.00 is a bit much as little use as it may get - and it isn't an exposure meter, just a color temp. reading meter.  Too bad they didn't make it do both else I might own one.

Their KFM-1100 meter looks very similar to the Minolta IV-F meter from the past for $329.00 and probably works as well as the old Minolta IV-F too.  The old IV-F show up on eBay a lot for around $80.  Some need the white incidents dome window contacts cleaned in the back of the swivel head else they will be off 4-5 stops (Damhik either!).  Works very well as an ambient light or flashmeter out in the sun.

Adorama has the Kenko's if anyone is interested:  http://www.adorama.com/catalog.tpl?op=i … ure1=Kenko

Paul Buff's CyberCommander has a digital flash meter built into it too that pops the flash wirelessly if you have his remotes too.  Not a bad price if you want a flashmeter and going to wireless both. I will say the color LCD display on it is very hard to read in the sun though.  Menu intensive too.

I think I still have one of those old Wein meters around here.  I think it had issues out in the sun with flash though.  Wasn't that accurate, maybe 1/3-1/2 stop off at times.  Haven't used it since the IV-F replaced it.  The IV-F has a small pot in the battery area where you can fine tune it to maybe +/- 1/2 stop and it reads to 0.1 stop.  Really is a reliable workhorse.
Apr 24 13 04:52 pm  Link  Quote 
guide forum
Photographer
CHAD ALAN
Posts: 3,231
Los Angeles, California, US


NothingIsRealButTheGirl wrote:

I'll buy it.

Speaking of buying things, I bought the 308

http://www.pmda.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/SekonicL308Sred.jpg

And on a pure impulse I threw in an extra $50 for the limited edition red one.

Yes, I'm that guy.

big_smile

I always end up looking in 3 or 4 different places trying to find where I put down my light meter. Red sounds like the way to go!

Apr 24 13 10:10 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Sergei Rodionov
Posts: 865
Dallas, Texas, US


-B-R-U-N-E-S-C-I- wrote:
A handheld flash meter will only tell you the "by the book" exposure for shooting 18% grey cards on film, not what's going onto your sensor.

Not if you using Sekonic 758. Then its more precise than whatever you camera back tells you.

Also histogram is not going to tell you whats going in your sensor, bc its always tied to your "jpeg" settings, and not to real capture. Unless of course you shooting MF and then there is no jpeg smile

Apr 24 13 10:25 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
B R U N E S C I
Posts: 25,319
Bath, England, United Kingdom


Sergei Rodionov wrote:
Also histogram is not going to tell you what's going in your sensor, bc its always tied to your "jpeg" settings

See, that's what happens when you selectively leave out bits of what people wrote.






Ciao
Stefano

www.stefanobrunesci.com

Apr 25 13 06:07 am  Link  Quote 
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