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

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Incident Metering - resources needed
From: Donal Philby <>
Date: Tue, 19 Sep 2000 14:57:44 +0000
References: <>

Mark wrote:

>If you, for instance are metering some very dark fabric your incident reading
might have you underexpose a bit TOO much. While your reflective reading
have you OVERexpose it too much to middle grey/zone V/whatever.
(if you just went with the reading; ((had your camera on A)))
I just made that mistake this week shooting closeups of some dark brown
telephone poles with Kodachrome 200.
(with my 90 Elmirit)
I over exposed some of them. They were dark brown not middle grey. But
that was
the meter in my M6, and my brain on vacation.

that's what the goddess of photography created bracketing for.  Really! 
Read a few things about Jay Maisel, for instance.  Sure it is possible
to get by in life without bracketing, but why?  At least with color.  If
nothing else, shoot, snip and adjust.  But the incident will do almost
anything.  If I want to pull a bit more shadow detail, I turn it
slightly or more and take a reading,  or turn in opposite the camera to
get a full shadow reading and adjust.  But an incident reading exposure
should place black right where it belongs--black zone.  The compression
of flash fill however is another and useful story, especially with
chrome in bright sun.  Of course, I carry a Kodak grey card in one of my
cases.  Then you can lay down an incident meter, get a reading, then
check each camera meter against it.  Some variation normal, of course.  

A reflected meter is really useful, though, for checking exposure on
computer screens.  Check, then open up a half stop or a bit more to
clear the blue in the whites.

Donal Philby
San Diego