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View Full Version : Good cheap light meter?



JRodriguez315
01-04-2005, 12:43 PM
I'm trying to set up a home-based studio and I have some lights, a background and am in the market for a flash meter. Any recommendations will be appreciated. :)

D70FAN
01-04-2005, 01:48 PM
I'm trying to set up a home-based studio and I have some lights, a background and am in the market for a flash meter. Any recommendations will be appreciated. :)

Gossen and Weston are the only two that come to mind. Check at your local camera store, preferably one that sells used equipment. They are relatively inexpensive these days, and a decent meter should run you about $50.

If your camera is digital, and has manual modes, then you probably don't need (or want) a light meter. Even without manual modes you probably don't need a meter. Just check the white balance, to compensate for your lighting, and go.

If you are using a dSLR, then you really (really) don't need a light meter. When I shoot film (pretty rare these days) I use my digital camera to check settings. :D Kind of an expensive light meter, but it works very well. ;)

Rhys
01-04-2005, 01:53 PM
I'm trying to set up a home-based studio and I have some lights, a background and am in the market for a flash meter. Any recommendations will be appreciated. :)


I have a little hand-held incident-light flash meter that I bought years ago, from Jessops. It was one of their own. Similar to the more expensive meters but calibrated in single stops as opposed to 1/3rd stops. I had to tweak the pot a little because it rendered underexposed photos but it's been fine for years. I can't remember the last time I used it! My other light meter is a Soviet Leningrad 8 ambient light meter with a selenium cell. That's perfect too.

You can probably pick both of those cheaply in camera shops.

glowka98
01-26-2005, 12:00 PM
"If your camera is digital, and has manual modes, then you probably don't need (or want) a light meter. Even without manual modes you probably don't need a meter. Just check the white balance, to compensate for your lighting, and go."

Can you expound on exactly how to use my digital camera as a light meter?

Thanks

D70FAN
01-26-2005, 01:56 PM
"If your camera is digital, and has manual modes, then you probably don't need (or want) a light meter. Even without manual modes you probably don't need a meter. Just check the white balance, to compensate for your lighting, and go."

Can you expound on exactly how to use my digital camera as a light meter?

Thanks

I really can't "expound" on it, but: If you can read the shutter speed and aperture values on your digital camera (at a given ISO) you will have values that can be used on your film camera. You may notice that these values change as you aim the camera at different subjects and lighting just like a digital light meter.

As long as your digital camera can display the primary settings for the current lighting conditions you have a pretty accurate light meter.

alohaphoto
01-26-2005, 08:14 PM
I'm trying to set up a home-based studio and I have some lights, a background and am in the market for a flash meter. Any recommendations will be appreciated. :)

since you're looking for a flash meter, i'm assuming you're using "flash-studio" lights.

if you're constantly moving the lights around and shooting different subjects- i don't have answer for you.

if you have the lights in fixed positions, then shooting subjects/ objects with average reflectivity should be no problem: just bracket exposures and see which one give you a histogram/exposure range that holds highlight and shadow info.

gl,