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Thread: Incident Meters, Old & New, Repair, Purchase, Technique - Questions

  1. #1

    Incident Meters, Old & New, Repair, Purchase, Technique - Questions

    Years ago I purchased a Gossen LunaLux (for supposed low light performance), but I never bothered to use the incident metering. Now that I'm getting into 4x5, I'd really like to learn to shoot from incident metering for practice and expansion of my horizons.

    The issue with the LunaLux is that the ping-pong-ball equivalent on its edge is rather blemished:

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    I'm not sure whether it would give accurate readings. Can I replace that attachment?

    I've looked around online and found that there seem to be a lot of LunaPro's and Luxes around that can be had for sub 50$ (in my interest, as I am rather low budget). However, I'd like to know what you guys think of electronic meters. It seems there is a tremendous selection of electronic meters now, with fancier incident bulb-things. Is it worth it to go up to 100$ or more for a more modern incident meter? If I'm on such a tight budget, what are my options as far as solid incident meters?

    Additionally, I'd like to ask how to use incident metering. I understand it as a principle, but I don't understand how I factor that information into my photography. The only way I've known to take pictures prior has been through a rough approximation of the zone system, facilitated by a spot meter. How do I anticipate where the highlights will be? Does it give a closer depiction to the shades as they appear to the naked eye?

  2. #2

    Join Date
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    Re: Incident Meters, Old & New, Repair, Purchase, Technique - Questions

    Phil Davis wrote a very good approach to its use: http://www.btzs.org/Articles/Sensito...20Part%205.pdf

  3. #3

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    Re: Incident Meters, Old & New, Repair, Purchase, Technique - Questions

    There's a brilliant article on apug by mark barendt about incident metering. Search for "primer incident" and that should turn it up

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    Re: Incident Meters, Old & New, Repair, Purchase, Technique - Questions


  5. #5
    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    Re: Incident Meters, Old & New, Repair, Purchase, Technique - Questions

    Both incident and reflected light metering can work well when used well. Reflected metering is certainly more suited to the zone system, and sometimes more convenient. Incident metering may produce a more uniform series of exposures, which was important in filming movies. Unless a photographer has specific needs for one type over the other, using any familiar and reliable meter is good enough.

  6. #6

    Re: Incident Meters, Old & New, Repair, Purchase, Technique - Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Jones View Post
    Both incident and reflected light metering can work well when used well. Reflected metering is certainly more suited to the zone system, and sometimes more convenient. Incident metering may produce a more uniform series of exposures, which was important in filming movies. Unless a photographer has specific needs for one type over the other, using any familiar and reliable meter is good enough.
    Would the smudges an filth on the mini-dome of my LunaLuxe make a significant difference?

  7. #7
    Big Negs Rock!
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    Re: Incident Meters, Old & New, Repair, Purchase, Technique - Questions

    Using a spot meter is a far more precise way to meter a scene, much like a field densitometer. Incident meters give an absolute reading of the amount of light falling on a subject. A spot meter gives the reflected light values off the scene/subject. The spot meter's values can be used for the zone system. The incident meter's values are based on experience/guesstimations.
    Mark Woods

    Large Format B&W
    Cinematography Mentor at the American Film Institute
    Past President of the Pasadena Society of Artists
    Director of Photography
    Pasadena, CA
    www.markwoods.com

  8. #8

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    Re: Incident Meters, Old & New, Repair, Purchase, Technique - Questions

    You can clean up the dome using a Qtip with a little toothpaste on it, followed with a alcohol wipedown...

    An incident meter will measure the light in space and will tell you where zone V (middle grey) is... The tricky part is if your subject reflects a lot or little light, so you have to compensate using your experience... They are GREAT in the studio!!!!

    Steve K

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Re: Incident Meters, Old & New, Repair, Purchase, Technique - Questions

    I bet you can find a busted one (with a good dome) on ebay for 10 bucks or less incl shipping

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