Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2000/09/19

[Author Prev] [Author Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Author Index] [Topic Index] [Home] [Search]

Subject: Re: [Leica] Incident Metering - resources needed
From: Martin Howard <>
Date: Tue, 19 Sep 2000 14:07:15 -0400

William Gower jotted down the following:

> I use method b. But barring all other factors, does it matter how you meter
> in these cases, or does it come down to personal preference? Are there any
> "rules" here ?

People use meters very differently, but arrive at similar results, because
they meter, compensate, and expose consistently.  For example, I meter using
an incident meter which I hold up just above my head.  I hold it so that the
dome is half in sunlight, half in shadow (assuming I'm outdoors).  The meter
is set to the film speed (or perhaps 1/2 - 1 stop slower) and then I set the
metered reading on the camera.  It is a fourth system, different from what
you observed with your three wedding photographers.

But the point is that we (all four of us) have four different systems.
Provided we use those systems consistently, we can arrive at useful results
by balancing out factors between different steps in the system.  On a cloudy
day, I'll use the ASA rating of the film, while on a sunny day, I'll
overexpose a bit.  Why?  Because I know that the half of the dome in the
sunlight (when sunlight is bright) is going to be very different from the
half of the dome in shadow, and I need to compensate a touch to retain the
shadow detail in my negs.

However, this is with B&W film where I do my own processing.  I may find
that it doesn't work well with colour slide film (I use the R7's internal
meter for trannies).

The trick is to just find a way of doing something, tweak your system until
you get a result that looks good to you, and then apply that system
*consistently*.  While in photometric terms there might be a "right" way of
doing things (hence the zone system), for PJ-style, on-the-foot, available
light stuff, there usually isn't the time.  Good enough is often good


- -- 
Martin Howard               | "Why do I think that MacOS is better than
Visiting Scholar, CSEL, OSU | Windows? Well, you can put sideburns and
email:   | shades on a 50-year old guy...but that still
www:  | don't make him Elvis"  -- Unknown