Sat 29-Dec-12 05:53 PM | edited Sun 30-Dec-12 11:08 PM by HBB
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.
HBB in Phoenix, Arizona Nikonian Team Member
Photography is a journey with no conceivable destination.