"Vocation to Solitude -- To deliver oneself up, to hand oneself over, entrust oneself completely to the silence of a wide landscape of woods and hills, or sea, or desert; to sit still while the sun comes up over the land and fills its silences with light." Thomas Merton
I use the lightmeter app on the iPhone as well, but am I the only one that noticed its more accurate than the one on the 3GS version? I know the camera lens is better but I wonder if it will change with future phones. I just wish there was a case with a lanyard so I could hang it around my neck.
I've used them off and on for years, they are really useful for composing the shot as well, I switch the preview to a B&W mode and you can see tone mergers and other issues that you might miss otherwise. With lights they are essential and so much faster and less expensive than Polaroid. And for many subjects, Matrix metering and a good histogram are enough for me to feel confident about trusting them for exposure, after you get some experience. More often than not they tend to be within half a stop of what I figure with the spot meter - it is the extreme lighting conditions that often fools them, like really bright desert light when you are at 1/250 @ f/22 on the digital but you know the film really needs 1/250th @ f/11 from experience. In most normal light and contrast ranges they work great.
I use my dslr to test lighting (histogram) or to get a subject "warmed up" for the cameras. It's not APUG, we can use digital equipment for anything we want, anytime.
Obviously, contrast, shadows, highlights will differ between digital and film, but that differs between film/developer combinations and films as well. So, as always, there is no substitute for knowing how your film/developer combination works in real life.
I use a Nikon DSLR for my night flash shots. Remember that what I'm doing is lighting up freight trains rolling down the track at 50 mph. I don't get a second chance, and I only get one shot. I'm using up to seven White Lightning X3200 monolights and CyberSync triggers. The Nikon gives me a quick idea of where the light is hitting and of the exposure. That allows me to then fine tune it.
Ket in SD
Gud blessi Island!
I used to use an Olympus EP-1 to take some test shots, but I, like a few others mentioned, have started using my iPhone for metering/visualizing and haven't looked back. It's quick and a great way to log info on your shots pretty much on the fly. Honestly, with the metering app on the phone I don't really ever feel the need to use the actual spotmeter I have.
Any of those iPhone apps ported to the Android devices?
I'll have to search...
I had a look at viewfinder pro for the iPhone, problem I see with it, for me anyway, is the widest it'll go is about 35mm equivalent which unfortunately is no good for me as I mostly shoot wider. Other than that, I'm not 100% sure about the benefits of it as surely you can compose on your ground glass? What does it offer that I'm apparently missing?
I don't have any problem with my Nikon DSLRs providing extremely precise spot meter readings, arguably better than any dedicated spot meter as they're essentially color temperature agnostic and not easily fooled. Matrix is pretty good for not burning out highlights with transparency films, on the Nikon film bodies (F5) I've used. On Pentax film bodies and Nikon DSLRs I've seen the metering biased toward overexposure with evaluative/matrix metering. But Spot metering is always right on.
It's usually only critical for transparency films, with negs I confidently use my c.1948 General Electric DW58 Selenium cell meter as it yet agrees with my spot meters in most lighting conditions. And keep in mind that bracketing you exposures is always extra insurance for tricky lighting or if you have a questionable leaf shutter.