Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by zain_domingo, Jul 1, 2012.

  1. Hi there
    I have a Mamiya RB 67 Pro s
    I was wondering if it is a good idea to use a Ditigal SLR to get exposure? Would it work and be as effective as a hand held mater?
    Many Thanks
  2. It will work, yes.<br>Whether as good as a handheld meter depends on how good that handheld meter will be used. ;-)
  3. Well, a DSLR makes for an expensive and bulky handheld meter. There's also the big discrepency between the way that film ISO is measured, and the sloppy way that digital ISO speed is suggested to be estimated by a camera manufacturer. Although in fairness most digital cameras seem to actually be more sensitive than the supposedly rigidly regulated film ISO standard. There's also the radically different response curves of film and digital to take into account if you're trying to apply the Zone system or using the camera histogram to gauge exposure.
    The big advantage of a handheld meter IMHO is the ability to take an incident reading, which is something that you can't easily do with a digital SLR. In short, you'd be advised to calibrate your DSLR against the film you wanted to use (costing at least the price of one film and its processing), and be prepared to rely on reflected readings only. And since you can buy a perfectly accurate and versatile (used) handheld meter for around $60; the question is, is it worth the trouble?
  4. I use a handheld meter whenever I'm shooting with film and I'm so used to it that sometimes I prefer to use the handheld in incident mode with the DSLR. It just seems to do a better job with exposure than the DSLR's metering sometimes when there isn't a good balance of light and dark in a composition.
  5. What film are you shooting?
    If you're running B/W or most color negative films, a DSLR's meter will likely be good enough for most scenes.
    If shooting E6, you might be better served by adapting a place-and-fall metering approach. Use the DSLR in spot meter mode to scan the scene's brightness range, and then place an important highlight at +1.5~+2 stops. Let the shadows fall where they will (but measure them to make sure they won't be totally blocked.)

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