Vivitar 45 Light Meter

Discussion in 'Lighting Equipment' started by jay_emerson, Mar 6, 2004.

  1. I am very new to photography. I have a Vivitar 45 light meter. From
    what I have read on this site and other information sources, I have
    some understanding. My understanding is that you:

    (a) Set the ASA for the film you are using
    (b) Hold the meter at the subject and point toward the camera
    (c) Pull back on the meter switch
    (d) Rotate the large dial until the two hands are aligned

    After this,I have an EV number, and a list of corresponding shutter
    speeds and f stops. What I don't understand is, if I know the f stop
    and shutter speed, what does the EV number tell and why do I need to
    know what the EV number is? Also, The front of the meter has an
    opening that you can slide a white cover over. Am I correct that you
    use the white cover for metering when not using a flash and if using
    a flash you slide the white cover off of the opening? One last
    thing, is there a site I could go to get a manual for this meter?
  2. Vivitar 45 is a simple LM. If you push instead of pull, it shows the battery strenght.

    The EV number is the amount of light mesured. Since you also have the corresponding table of aperture and speed, you don't need it.

    This model does not mesure flash. You use it near the camera, aiming at the subject to mesure light reflected on it. You may have to correct it if the subject is too or not enough reflective (for example white or black) or use a grey card.

    There is another way called incident reading. For that mode, you slide the dome (the white cover) in the center position. You then mesure light where the subject is, aiming at the camera. That way, the reading won't be affected by the reflectivity of the subject.

    I don't know where to find the specific manual for this model but if you read on a similar one, it will illustrate what i just said. You could also search this site with key words 'incident', 'grey card', etc.
  3. Francois, thanks for the responce. If I understand, I use the clear opening if I am metering from the camera to the object and I use the white dome if I am metering form the subject to the camera. Also, if metering from the camera to the object and using a gray card, if the object is some distance from the camera ( 20 yards ) would you place the gray card nearer to the camera or beside the subject when getting a reading? Thanks again for your help.

    Jay Emerson
  4. That's right. You place the grey card just in front of the subject. If it is far, you could place it near (and facing) the camera but the environnement should be identical (No tree shading, same ground, etc.) to be valid. If very far, check also the clouds.

    The meter reads about 30 degrees, so you must be close to the card but between it and the camera. Beware of making shade yourself.

    Incident reading works best with near subjects with a dark or clear dominance like portrait. Reflective mode with a grey card as the same goal: to avoid the bias of light absorbtion by the subject.

    To help understand exposure, take also a look at 'sunny 16' rule.

    These are the basics. If you feel later to learn advanced stuff, look for 'zone system' and 'spot metering'.

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