In the July/August 2005 issue of View Camera magazine, Charlie Cramer has written an article advocating the use of a color meter for landscape photography. He provides examples (primarily of forest or canyon floors illuminated almost exclusively by reflected or overcast light) where a substantial warming correction is required, including one case using an 85 filter (considerably stronger than the 81 series filters carried by most landscape photographers I know) to achieve a reasonably natural look.
Color meters are expensive (around $1,000 U.S.), require a set of warming filters to use fully (Cramer carries an 81A, 81C, 81EF, 85C, 85 and KR12), and apparently can be tricky to use (readings require interpretation if the primary light source is not obvious, e.g. is your reflected light coming primarily from the hazy blue sky or the red canyon walls?). This is a far cry from my basic kit of 81B and Tiffen 812 warming filters (as suggested by Jack Dykinga).
I have encountered situations where my basic attempts at color correction of diffused or reflected lighting did not produce the desired results, and am potentially attracted to the idea of a tool which eliminates the guesswork in responding to such cases. But I wonder how practical such a solution would be for a dedicated but still amateur photographer such as myself who does not shoot every day. I am also concerned about how well differences between film emulsions are handled; the Gossen ColorPro 3F (Cramer's favorite) can be programmed for film type (daylight, tungsten, etc.) and apparently customized within film types (I assume to accommodate differences between, say, "warm" Velvia 50 and "cool" Provia 100F?), but I'm not clear how well this works for the average shooter.
How many of you use color meters for landscape LF photography? What are the trade-offs and pitfalls of using such a meter? What type of learning curve did you encounter and how much does the meter enhance your work? Could you recommend such a meter to an amateur like myself, who goes on shooting trips maybe 4-5 times per year?