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D800 with separate meter??

avisys

Placitas, US
482 posts

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avisys Basic Member
Wed 26-Dec-12 01:23 AM


I absolutely love Nikon's metering, including the D800. IMO, it's almost always right, especially matrix for informal stuff, and spot.

HOWEVER, my past still haunts me. I sometimes pine for a Weston Master IV meter in my hand as I'm setting up a portrait. Maybe it's a control thing. And I have a Sekonic L558, but it's just too big and bulky.

Now there is the svelte Sekonic 478D, much smaller, lighter, with touch screen.

How many people here use a separate meter for portraits, in place of D800 metering? And I don't necessarily mean you folks with 4,000 kilowatts of strobes in a studio. In fact, I'm more interested in ambient light portraits.

AviSys

mikeguil

ELMVALE, CA
453 posts

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#1. "RE: D800 with separate meter??" | In response to Reply # 0

mikeguil Registered since 18th Dec 2005
Sat 29-Dec-12 12:29 PM | edited Sat 29-Dec-12 12:30 PM by mikeguil

I have a Minolta Flash Meter IV that I used when I shot with Hasselblads. I also had a newer Sekonic - can't remember the model number now but ended up selling it after I went digital (Nikon D1). I still have the FM IV, but I find the meter in the Nikons good enough that I don't use it. At times I've been temped to take it out with me, but I can't remember the last time I actually used it on a portrait. I guess I keep it for nostalgic reasons. It sits in it's pouch attached to my studio stand.

The only time I use it is when I'm doing copy work of large paintings, or certain in-studio commercial work where light evenness is critical. I use the flat diffuser on it (haven't got a clue where the dome is now). But of course, this is studio/flash use not ambient light.

So for portraits, no I don't use one anymore.


Mike Guilbault
Elmvale, Ontario, Canada
http://www.PhotographyWorkshops.ca
http://www.MGPhotography.com

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HBB

Phoenix, US
8773 posts

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#2. "RE: D800 with separate meter??" | In response to Reply # 0

HBB Moderator Hal is an expert in several areas, including CLS Awarded for his excellent article contributions to the Resources. Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Charter Member
Sat 29-Dec-12 04:53 PM | edited Sun 30-Dec-12 10:08 PM by HBB

Jerry:

I have been a fan of hand-held meters since my early film days with a Weston Master IV and my first Nikon F, purchased in 1959.

Some time after entering the digital world with a Nikon D100, I renewed my interest in hand-held meters. I now use a Sekonic L758DR exposure meter and a Sekonic C500R color temperature meter.

I agree, Nikon's reflected light exposure metering system is impressive, and constantly improving. However, I find that a simple incident meter reading gets me closer to my ultimate configuration, particularly when dealing with a wide dynamic range within a scene.

Some years ago, I went off on a tangent and got insanely interested in color theory, color temperature in degrees Kelvin, white balance, mired calculations, and assorted other often obscure topics. I use the C500R meter for critical work and usually select one of the custom white balance choices.

Over the last several years, I have learned that pursuit of "Perfect Color" is an asymptotic goal: we can get closer and closer, but never achieve perfection due to the number of opportunities for color shifts to occur in the work flow from pre-camera visualization of the scene to finished print hanging on a wall. I now use the phrase "Most Accurate Color" to describe my goal.

When I acquired my first color temperature meter (Minolta) several years ago, I carried it around with me measuring everything I encountered. That experience really opened my eyes to the many variables associated with illuminants and illumination. I repeated the process when I acquired the C500R as a refresher course, with the same results.

I do occasional portrait and nude work, using available light at times, and my herd of twelve Nikon SB800 speedlights with assorted modifiers (soft boxes, beauty dishes, passive reflectors, etc.) at other times.

I shoot full manual mode almost exclusively, and both of my meters are equipped with the RF transmitter modules so I can trigger my Pocket Wizard Plus II and Mutltimax units.

In fairness to those who don't have the luxury of enough time to do hand-held metering, it does take extra effort. I do not depend on photography for a revenue stream, and can usually take all the time I need.

Thanks for asking the question Jerry.

I hope this helps a bit.

Regards,

HBB in Phoenix, Arizona
Nikonian Team Member

Photography is a journey with no conceivable destination.

Thatguy Steve

Springfield, US
29 posts

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#3. "RE: D800 with separate meter??" | In response to Reply # 2

Thatguy Steve Registered since 13th Dec 2012
Sat 29-Dec-12 05:03 PM

Jerry,

I received the L-758DR meter for Christmas .....

Like HBB, I can take all the time I need to setup and compose .... The D800E meter works but I enjoy using the Sekonic ....

It is worth the investment ..... to me .....











Thatguy Steve
Springfield, VA US
Io porto e sparare: Nikon D800E &amp Springfield TRP

avisys

Placitas, US
482 posts

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#4. "RE: D800 with separate meter??" | In response to Reply # 0

avisys Basic Member
Sat 29-Dec-12 06:55 PM | edited Sat 29-Dec-12 07:05 PM by avisys

"I guess I keep it for nostalgic reasons. It sits in it's pouch attached to my studio stand."

A REAL photographer has a Weston Master IV hanging around his neck!

Interesting responses from all. Thanks,





AviSys

MongolJustin

AU
8 posts

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#5. "RE: D800 with separate meter??" | In response to Reply # 4

MongolJustin Registered since 26th Oct 2012
Sun 30-Dec-12 08:52 PM

Hi.

I bought a Sekonic L758 6 weeks ago to use with my D800, after watching the Joe Brady (Sekonic) videos on YouTube.

It has been a revolution for my photos. I shoot almost exclusively manual and prior to the meter i was frustrated by the number of bad exposures i was getting.

I use the meter everywhere, even when i took my kids to the zoo recently ...

The meter provides both a incident meter and 1 degree spot meter that i have found very accurate (without needing to spend the additional 300 bucks to buy the calibration image that lets you further refine the settings to your cameras lens/body dynamic range).

Shots in even (even midday) light are very easy to determine for a great result. And shots with light and shade or reflective surfaces are made much easier having the ability to both take incident and reflective readings.

Since using the meter the number of clipped shots has dropped dramatically and i am able to concentrate more on focus and composition .... so i am very happy with the investment.

regards

Justin.

Clint S

Chula Vista, US
460 posts

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#6. "RE: D800 with separate meter??" | In response to Reply # 5

Clint S Silver Member Nikonian since 02nd Jan 2011
Mon 31-Dec-12 05:41 AM

I keep a Sekonic L358 in my bag and use it to verify and improve some of my shots, both ambient and flash.

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Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Gromit44

UK
730 posts

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#7. "RE: D800 with separate meter??" | In response to Reply # 2

Gromit44 Registered since 04th Jan 2012
Tue 01-Jan-13 01:33 PM | edited Tue 01-Jan-13 01:34 PM by Gromit44

How does the C500R compare with a grey card (or Colorchecker Passport) and manual WB?

PhotoemWriter

West Lafayette, US
35 posts

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#8. "RE: D800 with separate meter??" | In response to Reply # 0

PhotoemWriter Registered since 06th Mar 2010
Sat 05-Jan-13 12:53 PM

Years ago when I was shooting with an Olympus OM4T I got used to using its spot metering system by which I could spot-meter on on up to 8 points in a scene. Then the camera would store and average the readings for the shot. With this very sophisticated system I learned how to effectively use spot metering to produce some amazing transparency images.

When I switched from Olympus to Nikon, I did so because Nikon had a spot metering system while Canon did not. When I added medium format to my photographic repertoire, I purchased a 1-degree Sekonic light meter so I could do zone system photography. Now I rarely use my Pentax and Rollei MF cameras.

So far I have not used my hand-held spot meter with my D800. But when I am doing more landscape work this spring, I may well get the old Sekonic out of the mothballs and see what I think of using it with the D800. I find that I shoot and think differently when I am using a hand-held meter than when I am not. Which is to say, I think more like a MF photographer than a 35mm photographer, taking far few photos and shooting very deliberately.

I frankly doubt that my exposures will be different between hand-held and in-camera metering. But I know that using a hand-held meter will slow down my shooting process and, hopefully, help me take the care I take when I am shooting medium format.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

odds

Sandnes, NO
76 posts

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#9. "RE: D800 with separate meter??" | In response to Reply # 2

odds Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Feb 2009
Sat 05-Jan-13 08:35 PM

HBB:
...
>When I acquired my first color temperature meter (Minolta)
>several years ago, I carried it around with me measuring
>everything I encountered. That experience really opened my
>eyes to the many variables associated with illuminants and
>illumination. I repeated the process when I acquired the
>C500R as a refresher course, with the same results.

I still use my Minolta Color Meter II. What made you prefer a Sekonic C-500R? (the PW radio trigger would be handy now and then...)

--
Odd S.

HBB

Phoenix, US
8773 posts

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#10. "RE: D800 with separate meter??" | In response to Reply # 9

HBB Moderator Hal is an expert in several areas, including CLS Awarded for his excellent article contributions to the Resources. Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Charter Member
Sat 05-Jan-13 09:46 PM

Odd:

Thanks for dropping in.

I had the Minolta Color Meter III, and used it for several years. When I bought the Sekonic L758DR exposure meter, I wanted to match the RF trigger function in it ... ergo, the Sekonic C500R.

I frequently shoot at night with my herd of twelve Nikon SB800 speedlights in full manual mode, and the RF trigger in both meters is very useful.

The C500R has two red sensors in it: One matched to the film emulsion sensitivities, and the other matched to the human eye and digital camera sensitivities. The Film sensor recognizes three fairly sharp, distinct peaks, one for red, green, and blue, with very little overlap. The human eye/digital camera sensor matches the human eye red. green, and blue, response curves, as do digital cameras, which includes a slight blue sensitivity (about 30 percent) in the red portion of the visible light spectrum, and greater overlap than the film sensor.

I also like the consistency in their design: control layout, display, size, etc.

I hope this answers your question.

Regards,

HBB in Phoenix, Arizona
Nikonian Team Member

Photography is a journey with no conceivable destination.

odds

Sandnes, NO
76 posts

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#11. "RE: D800 with separate meter??" | In response to Reply # 10

odds Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Feb 2009
Sun 06-Jan-13 07:15 PM

HBB:
>The C500R has two red sensors in it: One matched to the film
>emulsion sensitivities, and the other matched to the human eye
>and digital camera sensitivities.

I suspected the C-500R would have features targeting digital cameras. Thank you very much for the answer.


--
Odd S.

G