Meter Calibration

Started Mar 18, 2013 | Questions thread
Sailor Blue
Sailor Blue Forum Pro • Posts: 13,234
Re: Meter Calibration

Camera metering is reflective metering. Reflective light meters read the subject as somewhere between 12% to 18% gray, depending on the meter.

Matrix metering starts out assuming the subject is neutral gray then makes a few adjustments, i.e. guesses at a better exposure.  You can guess better than the meter in most cases.  Using the Expose To The Right technique will give you even better exposure control.

Sailorblue - PhotoCamel - HA-ETTR: An Easier Way To Expose To The Right Using The Camera's Highlight Alert

Your Sekonic can be used as either a reflected light reading or an incident one.  For ambient light reading have dip switch #1 turned off, #2 off, #3 on, and #4 on so that you are reading in 1/3 f stops.

For flash I turn #3 off so that aperture is displayed in 1/10th stops to make adjusting strobe power more accurate.

If you are measuring ambient light then set the meter for Shutter Speed Priority mode. The output at any given aperture and ISO will be a shutter speed.

You should be capable of mentally converting one set of aperture and shutter speeds to another set which will give an equal exposure but you can always change the meter shutter speed reading by adjusting the aperture and ISO values.

For a reflective light measurement retract the dome, measure with the meter at the camera position, and aimed at the subject.  This will give you an 18% neutral gray exposure.  Look carefully at the subject and adjust the exposure if the subject or background are bright or dark enough to cause the meter to read incorrectly.

If you want to measure ambient light in the incident mode then extend the dome and position it at the subject pointing back at the camera.  This is generally the most accurate way to get a reading but you may still have to adjust the exposure slightly.

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