metering with a digital camera

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by occhicone, Jul 16, 2007.

  1. i started shooting with a 645j and want to use my digital camera as an
    exposure meter and to preview...does anyone do this or have any thoughts about
    something i might be missing / advice for htis type of set-up?
     
  2. When I first started shooting MF (with a hasselblad 500CM) I was using my 10D as a meter... strictly speaking, it worked, but it was a total pain. I'm not sure about your 645j, but the hasselblad has much fewer increments (in both shutter speed and aperature) than does the canon which made getting the right settings kind of difficult. it didn't help me much with framing as i was shooting square, but with 645 it might be better - if you can use a lens of comparable perspective.

    So, in short, it'll work, but once i tried it for a while i put a pretty high priority on getting a handheld meter - MUCH better exposures, and it's WAY simpler in the field.
     
  3. pje

    pje

    Like Lance wrote, you can do it but it is a pain. I also think its best to get a meter and learn
    how to do it properly. I think using a digital camera can become somewhat of a crutch.
    You can get something as simple as a Sekonic L-208 (reflective/incident). Or get a meter
    that can also to spot metering. I really depends on the kind of shooting you plan to do,
    (studio, landscape, etc). I use a Sekonic L-358 in the studio and an old Sekonic spot meter
    for landscapes. The Sekonic L-758 has everything rolled into one unit.
     
  4. It sounds as though you already have a digital camera of some sort. First the digital camera, whether DSLR or P&S, should have a histogram, and also have manual settings. That way you can see the distribution of light as film might see it.
    If you don't have a P&S, you might want to check out the Pentax 750Z, which has manual settings, histogram and also a digital spotmeter.
     
  5. yea .. it'll work :) .. i do it when i forget my light meter at home. btw.. i try not to do that becuase it is a pain .. as mentioned several times above.

    best way to do it btw.. is to use your DSLR in either Aperture priorty or Time priorty and set it to something your MF camera has.. then get readings.. take a picture if you have the time.. check the look.. .. then set your MF camera to how you like.
     
  6. Most DSLRS, including the 10D, have pretty sophisticated and accurate exposure meters. I find they work pretty good as a meter if the field of view is comparable to the manual camera.

    A better solution is to purchase a multi-purpose meter (incident/flash/spot) such as a Sekonic L-558 and learn to use it. It's hard to second-guess the light-and-magic of DSLR metering when it comes to difficult scenes. On the other hand, city-scapes at night are nearly impossible to read on an hand-held meter, but a piece of cake for my DSLR (D2x). I just transfer the numbers to my Hasselblad, and it works.
     
  7. The histogram on a digital camera will tell you whether you are blowing out the highlights. This is important for digital sensors, and perhaps slide film. But if you are shooting with print film, then its a different story. There is a non-linear compression in the response curve of film, so that highlights are not "blown out" in the same way that it is in a digital sensor. Often, it is better to expose for the shadows, even if some of the highlight information is compressed. It seems to me that when shooting print film, you will be better off with an incident meter, and thinking about whether you want to expose for the shadows, then with using a histogram on a digital camera which is meant for exposing an entirely different type of sensor
     
  8. Why don't you just learn how to really shoot photos without buying all these gadgets?

    I wouldn't respect a photographer if they use a meter. its unprofessional, especially with a hasselblad it speaks amateur but most on here not all require a meter because they weren't taught professionally.
     
  9. "Why don't you just learn how to really shoot photos without buying all these gadgets?"

    "I wouldn't respect a photographer if they use a meter. its
    unprofessional, especially with a hasselblad it speaks amateur but most on here not all require a meter because they weren't taught professionally."

    Pros don't use meters? Thats news to me.

    The slr works as a pretty good spot meter in a pinch with center weighted metering and a telephoto. Just depends on much gear you want to carry around, slrs are much bulkier that a hand held meter. But they work just fine. Unless you are concerned about how "professional" people you will never speak to think you are.
     
  10. A fun subject. If the digital camera can shoot in B&W it can give a good preview of the scene. I did this for a time with a digital point and shoot until I got used to thinking in B&W (and got tired of the annoyance of two cameras). You could even test the effect of filters. For tripod work it might work to devise or buy an arm for mounting two cameras. Or if using a small point and shoot, attach a shoe mount to the bottom of the point and shoot.
     

Share This Page