Flash meter position

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by steve_parrott, May 25, 2008.

  1. This is not particularily specific to the Mamiya 645, but that is what I am using so hopefully the
    learned folks here can help me out.

    I have just acquired a used, but like new, remote fire flash setup. (Canon 580EX with the ST-E2 hot
    shoe mounted infrered trigger). The flash of course has to be placed in manual mode, but otherwise,
    it all works great. The Mamiya works with the trigger and fires the flash as it should.

    What I am wondering is how to take a reading with my flash meter? I know in most incident / flash
    readings you "aim" the meter back to where the camera is, but what do you do when the flash is
    coming from somewhere other than the camera position?

    Should I aim the meter at the camera? ....or in the direction where the flash is located, regardless of
    the camera position?

    Thanks in advance for any help!

  2. hi steve, i when i use my strobe i aim the meter at my strobe to get the reading and set the camera accordingly, works well for me. good luck
  3. A sophisticated approach would involve taking several measurements to calculate lighting ratios and so on. But a good quick rule of thumb that works most of the time is to aim the meter at the light source when shooting chromes (or digital) and at the camera when shooting negative film. This gives a little less exposure when shooting chromes or digital to avoid blowing out highlights and a little more with negative film to take advantage of its greater latitude for more shadow detail.

  4. The general rule is to determine the lighting ratio with the dome pointing toward that light source, and the overall exposure with the dome at the subject's chin, pointing toward the camera. I usually retract the dome (a Sekonic feature) when setting the lighting ratios. For low key or high key portraits, take each job as it comes.
  5. Incident metering of flash is no different from any other incident metering situation. You stand at the subject position and aim the meter back at the camera.

    To meter the lighting ratio, you really ought to use a flat diffuser, such as that available for the Minolta Autometer series. A domed diffuser always takes in light from all angles. However, since it sounds as if you only have the one flash unit, lighting ratios don't really figure.

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