Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2001/03/06

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Subject: [Leica] Re: meter's shmeters..step away from the meter!
From: Jim Brick <>
Date: Tue, 06 Mar 2001 09:28:46 -0800

You will NEVER see a professional photographer, someone who makes their
living at "real" photography and has to "deliver the goods" to the
customer, NOT use a meter. The key to the highest quality photographic
image IS, exact exposure followed by exact development, producing a
transparency or negative that will be perfect for the job or produce a
perfect print for the job.

You screw up a job, you won't get a second chance.

Even with a meter, most professional photographers bracket (when possible)
just because there are no second chances.

A meter is of utmost importance. In many many situations, all of the
experience in the world, will not be enough. After doing this photography
thing for 50 years, many as a commercial/illustrative photographer, I still
religiously use a meter AND I cannot tell you how many times I take
readings at/of a scene and think "is my meter broken?" Only to realize that
my eye/brain is seeing differently than what the light value reality is.

Also, learning how to interpret what your meter is telling you is just as
important as having and using a meter.


At 02:27 AM 3/6/01 +0000, Dan States wrote:
>Mark, I am surprised to hear that YOU of all people are one of the poor 
>"meter slaves" of photography!  Cast off your chains man!
>Nikon/Canon etc are making a small fortune on the fallacy that light needs 
>to be 'interpreted'.  That tasty F5 with it's mega processor super light 
>do-jangy still tells me F6.3 at 500 in the sun...F4 at 125 in the shade.  
>Hey, what gives?  With all that great technology I was hoping for some new 
>kind of readings!  F22 at 1000 indoors!  F1.4 at 60 in the sun!
>The fact is that you just don't have THAT many variations in light intensity 
>in the real world (thank you to the film latitude gods).  Unless the sun 
>starts to supernova in our life times I think we can count on it to keep 
>kickin out the rays as before.  Shine on baby!
>Best wishes
>Dan States
>>The effete amateur esthetic!!
>>Out guessing or ignoring a meter!!
>>That's baloney!!!!!
>>We've had a few others on the list who had this attitude.
>>We pummeled them into submission and they slunked off to the dark rocks 
>>crawled out of!!   :)
>>I've used a lot of meters since 1965 and never thought for a second i knew 
>>about how much light was hitting it than it did. With the exception of 
>>meters i add a stop to in low light.
>>I don't think it benefits people to mistrust their meters.
>>I know lots of excellent photographers many of them pros. I cant think of 
>>any of
>>them who would use a meter which was less adequate in measuring light then 
>>they were.
>>Many of them use meters which not only MEASURE the light but interpret it
>>(matrix whatever)
>>But the top people i know know how to use the (acurate) information the 
>>gives them.
>>If they are metering highlights. The then know how much to open up to place
>>thier highlights there.
>>Mark Rabiner
>>Portland, Oregon
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