I do, sometimes. Mostly for landscape and macro. Macro is easy with a simple incident meter - in this case, it's a Sekonic L-208. For landscape I've been considering buying the Sekonic L-508 that I've rented a few times. It's a full-function meter with spot, flash and incident modes, although I pretty much have used it only as a spot meter. I haven't actually bought it yet as, realistically, I don't do that much landscape photography, and I think I'm equipped for everything else I do.
_____ Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!
I used to think that a spot meter would be useful in landscape photography when I wanted to use graduated neutral density filters, and I was thinking of buying one. But with time and experience I have learned to instinctively know which strength of filter I will need just by evaluating the scene. And since I use these Grad NDs mostly in rapidly changing light I need to get set up fast. Using a meter to record the exposure for the terrain and the sky only cuts into the few minutes I have to get the shot. I can work faster by spot metering an area that I want to make sure I get right then grab the Grad ND I think will be needed (sometimes more than one which will require stacking) then using the histogram on the LCD to guide me.
Ernesto Santos esartprints.comErnesto Santos Photography Get my new e-Book "Churches of Texas"
Back in the days of film, I had several cameras that had no built in meter so I bought a Sekonic L-385(not sure about that number) and a spot meter that looked like a 22nd Century pistol. I was shooting a lot of K-64 then and discovered after a lot of practice, I could look at the light conditions and get within about 1/2 stop of being right on with the exposure and abandoned both meters eventually. I've gotten a bit rusty with that so don't attempt it anymore but, it was necessary then. I see no reason to use a reflective/incident meter myself. An incident meter can fool you if you don't know how to use it properly.
My goal in life is to be the person my dog already thinks I am.
Sat 12-Sep-09 08:46 AM | edited Sat 12-Sep-09 09:11 AM by Beemer2
I have a Gossen Lunalite reflected + incident + spot attachment. It can take low light readings for exposures as long as 8 hours. This would be used for "Nightscape" images. (Not that I indulge in such nocturnal activity!) Another use for it is to use it's Zone System scale (ala Ansel Adams)
Unless someone contradicts me I believe that in theory proper use of an incident light meter although slow will ensure that digital image highlights are never blown.
I do not use this lightmeter or my Weston EuroMaster V very often except when I am working with my Mamiya 330f twin lens reflex camera.
I always have my Gossen Lunasix with me "just in case" but rarely use it. What does astound me is the accuracy of an old-fashioned "exposure calculator" (with rotary dial). The one I have was made by Johnson in England and is calibrated for UK latitudes and seasons. By just dialling in month and time, weather, subject type and ISO setting I get within 1/2 a stop of any meter! All from a bit of plastic!
John Gruffydd Mold, Wales, UK D300, D200, OM1, OM2n, Bronica ETRSi, Lumix LX5
I carry one with me all the time, but hardly ever use it. Mine is a Gossen Luna Pro that I've had for over 25-30 years and it still works like it was new. When I shot film in the studio, I relied on it almost exclusively, except when using flash, then I would use my flash meter. With the advent of digital photography, I seriously doubt if the hand-held exposure meter will be around for very much longer. Digital is spoiling all of us, with all the automatic exposure, focusing, and all. Will it ever stop? Bob
I find my old Luna Pro occasionally useful for incident light readings--in turn useful when reflective metering is fooled by lots of dark or light tones, and spot metering is difficult--or as a check for same, or for my in head calculations of zone placements.