Incident vs Reflected light... : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread


When you're shooting a scene you can't reach because too far...if you're in low light situation can you approximatly measure the light you'd get from the scene with just a incident/reflected light meter ? I use E 100 S and EPR 64 films.

Thanx for your help.



-- Bruce Barelly (, May 12, 2001


If you are using an incident meter you are pointing the meter back at your camera so the distance between you and the subject is meaningless - assuming of course you are in the same light.

I've found that when I've been in the mountains it's very common to be standing in the shadow of one while photographing another. Since the other mountain is is in bright daylight, I use the 1/ISO @ f16 rule and that works as well as a meter and I have the chromes to prove it! Now I don't think that I've ever been in sunlight and WANTED to shoot into the shadow so the reverse siuation has never come up.

The other thing you could do is to use a very cheap spot meter that you already have. That spot meter is the meter inside your 35 mm camera. Yeah it might not be 1 degree but it'll get you close.

-- David Grandy (, May 12, 2001.

I'm not too clear about what exactly you're asking, but here's a suggestion that might help.
The eye is pretty poor at judging absolute brightness, but it's very good at estimating relative brightnesses (provided there's not a big colour difference as well). I suggest you select the part of the out-of-reach subject that you'd like to meter from, and then find some nearby object or surface with the same visual brightness, and meter from that. It's also a good point to remember that, in a given light, a pure white reflecting surface (snow, a chalk cliff, or a whitewashed wall, for example) is only 2.5 stops up from the virtual 18% reference of an incident meter.

-- Pete Andrews (, May 14, 2001.

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