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PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2010 5:37 pm 
Hi There – After looking at some material online about flash metering I dusted off my old MinoltaIVf meter and ran a few test shots (Bowens Heads, Canon 40D, pocketwiz, settings ISO100, 250th sync) I noted that the meter gave a result that looked (camera dislpay) about a stop or stop and a half under when compared to the histogram, which I would normally use.

Just wondered if anyone has gone back to using their light/flash meter and if so is there an inconsistency when reading for digital rather than film?

P.S. The Minolta was spot on when used for my RB67 (although this was now some time ago) and the pod adjustment is still at the factory preset – Any thoughts?

Thanks.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2010 6:20 pm 
The histogram is a poor tool for judging the correct exposure, as the shape of the histogram is going to be dependent on the scene you are shooting. For example, if your subject is stood in front of a white wall and you want your subject to be correctly exposed, your histogram is going to be skewed heavily to the right. If left to it's own devices, the camera is going to meter the scene as if it was 18% grey and your subject is going to be severely underexposed.

An incident light meter (I'm assuming that's what you're using) will be much more accurate. Barring user error, it'll always guarantee that the spot you are metering is correctly exposed. I would trust the light meter over what the histogram tells you any day of the week.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2010 8:55 pm 
Thanks PG, I'm interested in finding out how the inbuilt metering (histogram) of a DSLR measures up with an old school Flash Meter setting.

I would like to see if a new work-flow (using an incident light / flash meter) will provide better, repeatable results.

I can get good quality images with the in-camera, I'm just interested to see if I can get more consistent. How do other pros operate.

Cheers.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2010 8:59 pm 
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A lot of people I know (and me among them) use "the blinkies". I think it's called highlight warning. It's basically a display mode which lets blown out highlights (255,255,255) blink on-screen.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2010 9:26 pm 
Quote:
I'm interested in finding out how the inbuilt metering (histogram) of a DSLR measures up with an old school Flash Meter setting.


Like I've said, the histogram is a poor tool for determining correct exposure as the shape of the histogram is linked to the type of scene you are shooting. Take a look at my avatar. The histogram for that photo will be skewed to the left. A naive interpretation of that histogram would suggest that the photo is underexposed. However, I've exposed for the face and this has been correctly exposed. Now take a look at Citruspers' avatar and you'll get the opposite problem, the histogram will be skewed to the right indicating that it's over exposed.

A lot of photographers who follow the Strobist's blog (http://www.strobist.com) will likely use the "blinkies" approach mentioned by citruspers. This is also know as chimping, so you'll know what to Google for if you want an elaboration on this technique ;) The main advantage of this approach is that you don't need a light meter. What you do need is a lot of practice so that you don't spend ages chimping to get the correct exposure.

If you want consistency in your photos, there is no avoiding manual. Manual flash and manual exposure. Most of the time, you don't really need such consistency and whatever variations in exposure can be corrected in post processing.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 8:11 am 
Thanks for the advice – 101 of the manual illustrates histograms that are skewed (dark/light, left/right and highlight warning setting etc.) you highlight one of the reasons for looking again at a flash meter - if you like portraits that have a 1:1 ratio then that's cool. I would to be able to mechanically and methodically produce consistent results time and time again. I guess it’s the creative in me that wants to find out the ‘why’ before ‘how’. I work with Apple Mac designers day in day out and watch them spend hours messing about in post when good results captured ‘in-camera’ will make the work flow so much better.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 1:21 am 
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I'm fairly new to DSLRs, so would probably prefer a standard hand held light meter, to try and recognise information from the histogram.

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