Appendix M Using a handheld meter

Modern small-format cameras have a light meter built into the camera measure the light falling on or reflected by the subject to calculate exposure. But you will not find this feature in older cameras, or in most cameras taking larger formats (Appendix L). You then have to buy a separate, hand-held exposure meter. Used properly this will measure the light and read out the appropriate combination of f-number and shutter speed to set for the film you are using.

A small hand-meter simplifies making local readings of highlight and shadow parts as it is easier to bring near to the subject than moving the whole camera. In fact, you can measure exposure without taking out the camera (an advantage for candid work). However, since the meter does not measure light through the camera lens you must be prepared to adjust the exposure settings it suggests when shooting close-ups (see page 328).

A traditional hand-meter (Figure M.1) has a light-sensitive cell at the front to measure the light reflected from your subject. You first set the ISO rating of your film in a window on a large dial, point the meter, note the number shown under a moving needle, and set this against an arrow on the dial. Suitable combinations of lens aperture and shutter setting, all of which will result in correct exposure, then appear lined up in the upper part of the dial. You choose the one giving the depth of field or movement blur effects you need, and set the camera accordingly.

0 0

Post a comment