Should I go TTL or Manual w/Lightmeter?

Started May 7, 2013 | Discussions thread
John Deerfield
Senior MemberPosts: 2,116
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Re: Should I go TTL or Manual w/Lightmeter?
In reply to andrewsn00, May 8, 2013

andrewsn00 wrote:

Aye, that's the combo I was looking at for TTL control, and certainly it can do manual too.

The thing is how would it trigger the meter I have? The Sekonic triggers PW's but if it's not triggering the Quantum gear then presumably it's need another one of these in the meter to get that going, which becomes a different set of stuff, hence why I was perceiving this as a TTL device.

I'm lost. First, a light meter is next to impossible to use with a TTL flash. Not that it can't be done, but it certainly can't be done easily. You have to remember, TTL flash is using the camera metering and pre-flash system to determine what the flash output should be. So you would need to have some method of tripping the camera shutter while standing with the light meter where the subject is to get a light meter reading. From there you could dial in flash exposure compensation and repeat but as we have pointed out earlier in the thread, TTL isn't going to be consistent because there is no way of predicting how the subject will interact with the pre-flash and thus changing the flash exposure. This is why manual flash will be more consistent. With manual flash, you stand where your subject is, you trigger the flash (either with something like the PW built in trigger or using whatever you "trigger" you are using to trigger the flashes and having the light meter in "flash" mode). Now there are various ways to use the light meter insomuch as where to point the dome. Masters of Lighting (such as the late great Dean Collins) will tell you to point the dome towards the light source. Others will tell you to point the dome towards the camera. It's a matter of whatever works for you and knowing why you are doing it one way versus another.

The big question is... what are you shooting? Weddings? Portraits? Products? In any reasonably controlled situation, you don't want TTL... for all the reasons we have pointed out. But if you need it, you need it!

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