1. oblivion

    oblivion

    Messages:
    234
    Name:
    Richard
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Kit: Elinchrom D-Light it 4 x 2
    Camera Canon 5d Mark ii
    24-155mm Lens
    Manual mode
    ISO 100
    F4
    Shutter 1/160

    Set up
    Piano stool with A4 white paper covering it.
    On top of paper was A4 size clear glass
    Lights either side

    Camera on tripod zoomed to middle of glass.

    Aim: to shoot a pin badge

    No issues yesterday and frustrated tonight as each photo kept coming out too bright.
    I was using a light meter with shutter value 1/160 and ISO 100
    Reading kept telling me f4 which is fine but the pin was not viewable as way too bright.

    I doubt my light meter was wrong and I can only conclude that the light reading was from light hitting the glass and not the pin badge as it was so tiny.

    I figured if I removed the pin badge and just lay the light meter down it would read differently but again it gave the reading f4.

    I tried a larger object using a lens cap and again f.4 but again the result way over exposed.

    Fast forward an hour later I gave up and used the modelling lamps instead to achieve my result.

    Any idea as to what I was doing wrong or is it because I was shooting onto a white background larger than the item itself.

    Admittedly I did the same set up the other day but placed the badge onto an iPad which was turned off. Each exposure came out perfect every time using the same method so I figured I’ve lost my touch today
     
  2. HoppyUK

    HoppyUK

    Messages:
    22,705
    Name:
    Richard
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    No
    If the meter said f/4 at ISO100, and that's what you set on the camera, then the meter reading is wrong. The camera cannot be wrong.

    Most likely reason is not the meter, but the way you're using it. Are you up to speed with reflected and incident light reading techniques?

    If it's accurate exposure you're after, the camera is a better guide than any hand meter. Meters are useful for all sorts of things, but for final exposure setting, the histogram and blinkies will tell you what's actually on the sensor, including things that may happen to the image after it enters the lens which the meter knows nothing about (eg T/stop vs f/number, actual diaphragm accuracy, camera's actual ISO). These things would only account for small variables though.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018 at 3:38 AM
    Phil V likes this.
  3. Phil V

    Phil V

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    21,930
    Name:
    Phil
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    As above, if your meter is exactly where your subject is, I’m surprised it’s a long way out. But it’s simple to look at the histogram and tweak the settings.

    Just double check you haven’t accidentally set auto iso.

    But my guess is your reading is wrong for whatever reason, with the lights as close as you’ll be I’m surprised you can get as low as f4, I wouldn’t expect the D lites to have that many stops of adjustment. For shooting macro sized objects, you might need f16 and/or Nd filters.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018 at 6:15 AM
  4. Garry Edwards

    Garry Edwards

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    Garry Edwards
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    No
    Obvious question, but is it a flash meter that you used?
    If not, then the 'ordinary' meter, which can't read flash, will have metered for the ambient light, resulting in gross overexposure.
     
    Graham W likes this.
  5. droj

    droj

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    2,946
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    droj
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    No
    D-lights are adjustable in power.

    Flash meter with incident dome in subject position pointed towards camera.

    Set iso on meter the same as the chosen camera iso.

    Away you go. Camera in manual.
     
  6. oblivion

    oblivion

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    234
    Name:
    Richard
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    Yes
    I was using hand held meter set to flash not ambient. Camera in manual with same shutter speed and ISO settings. I played around with the d lites adjusting the lights but the only thing that eventually resolved was changing the camera f stop to around f18 and above. The meter was being held in front of the pin badge but the meter itself was 8 x larger than the badge so I concluded it was accepting the light hitting the white paper ubderneath the glass and not the badge. I like the idea using he histogram instead as that did produce better results and again I had better results when I used ambient lights instead.
     
  7. HoppyUK

    HoppyUK

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    22,705
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    Richard
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    No
    It's not clear how you're actually using the meter. The usual method for studio working is to take an 'incident light' reading that measures the light falling on the subject* and so isn't affected by the actual tone of the subject or background. Use the little white diffuser on the meter, and position it at exactly the same distance from the camera as the subject, diffuser facing towards the camera. Google incident and reflected light metering techniques, and get to know exactly what the histogram and blinkies (highlight over-exposure warning) are telling you :)

    *as opposed to a 'reflected light' reading that measures light reflected back off the subject and so is affected by the tone of the subject itself. It will only be accurate if the subject is mid-grey tone.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018 at 12:25 PM
  8. riddell

    riddell

    Messages:
    297
    Name:
    Paul
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    No
    You either have a faulty light meter or you are using it wrong.

    Can you give us the model of lightmeter and exactly what method you are using to meter?
     
  9. Phil V

    Phil V

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    21,930
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    Phil
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    A guess - you were holding the meter close to where the badge was but pointing towards the camera*?

    Whilst theres an age old debate about pointing the dome back towards the camera, it could be responsible for this mis-read.
    If your badge is face up, then lay the meter dome up.
    Frankly I’d have expected smaller than F11 so I’m not that surprised by F18.

    *inadvertantly shading most of the light hitting the badge
     
  10. Phil V

    Phil V

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    21,930
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    Phil
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    Only about three and a half stops, which for a 400Ws flash takes it down to the same power on min as a small flashgun on max power or an ordinary speedlight on half power - so f18 from about 3 feet is about right.
     
  11. juggler

    juggler

    Messages:
    4,382
    Name:
    Simon
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    No
    What sort of meter is it?

    My commonest light meter errors result from one of the following:
    • I accidentally nudge it from incident to reflected mode
    • I accidentally nudge it from flash to ambient mode
    • I set the ISO wrongly
    • I stand between the meter and the flash
    • I refuse to believe what it's telling me :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018 at 3:02 PM
  12. sk66

    sk66

    Messages:
    6,389
    Name:
    Steven
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    I doubt it would make a difference with a newer light meter, but did you check/change the batteries? What was different from the previous shoot where there was no issue?

    The only thing I can come up with is that the light meter reads for mid-grey, but it cannot account for the "hardness" of the light source nor the specularity/reflectivity of the subject. I.e. if the pin is polished silver it wouldn't surprise me that it might blow out. (but nowhere near an f/4-f/18 difference).
     
  13. DG Phototraining

    DG Phototraining Woof

    Messages:
    4,435
    Name:
    Dave
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    Yes
    As has been said, either its broke or the OP is using it wrongly

    Blinkies all the way for me, MUCH cheaper too :)

    Dave
     
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  14. HoppyUK

    HoppyUK

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    From that quote from the OP, it's not clear what kind of exposure reading the OP was trying to make, which way the meter was facing, and if anything was being shaded. For the uninitiated, it's easy to get it very wrong, but get it right and that kind of massive error isn't possible.
     
  15. swanseamale47

    swanseamale47

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    8,031
    Name:
    wayne clarke
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    Are you using the dome on the flash?, does the meter need to be set to incident (I don't have that model) are you holding it or placing it at the subject point?
    My thoughts are the light on the meter is blocked in some way by your shadow? or the angle.
    Thats a lot out otherwise
    If you have it in normal mode (not flash) pointed at a blank wall is it near enough the camera own meter reading?
     
  16. cargo

    cargo

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    5,266
    Name:
    Gary
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    Hi Richard.

    What settings did you use the previous night ?

    Assuming everything was set up the same apart from the background.

    Gaz
     
  17. PhilH04

    PhilH04

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    695
    Name:
    Phil
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    This I think indicates that the meter is being used wrongly.... An incident reading should give an average exposure from which to work from, reading this it seems that the OP is not using an incident reading but is attempting a reflected reading, hence the subject is being shielded/partially shielded.

    Any reading is only a guide and the final exposure will depend on where you want the tones to fall...

    It may be useful if the OP could identify the meter and exactly how the reading was taken...
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018 at 7:02 PM
  18. Bobsyeruncle

    Bobsyeruncle

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    7,391
    Name:
    Robert
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    What's a light meter? :p
    Haven't used one for years. No need.
     
    cargo likes this.
  19. oblivion

    oblivion

    Messages:
    234
    Name:
    Richard
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Ok so I’ll answer a few questions

    I’m using a Sekonic meter with the dome covering the lens. I had it set to ISO100 and had set it for f.4 initially as that’s what I wanted to shoot at.

    The only difference I did the previous night was to place the pin badge on the surface of an iPad screen which was turned off. Everything else was set up the same.

    The difference this time was I was placing the badge onto a clear piece of glass with white paper underneath.

    When I used the meter I was holding it pretty much just in front of the badge but like I mentioned the badge itself is so tiny even the Dome is slightly larger than it.

    I have read many debates as to whether the meter should be pointing towards the camera lens vs pointing toward the light source but I figured as it’s a dome I’m using this is almost irrelevant. (Sorry if this starts a new argument).

    I’m giving it another go tonight but use the iPad again. My original shot came out perfect with a lovely clean black background and the badge reflected itself into the glass.

    My aim is to achieve exactly the same look but onto a clean white background. I figured I will just turn the iPad on with it’s own white wallpaper on show

    I have uploaded the first attempt to show you 47BB0182-88B3-48EA-A022-D28D91432B29.jpeg
     
  20. oblivion

    oblivion

    Messages:
    234
    Name:
    Richard
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    This was my other attempt but I’m after the shadow from the badge and don’t want to cheat using photoshop as I’m not brilliant with the application. I’m ok with lightroom but photoshop to me is a nightmare A8DABE9E-F710-43DF-ABB4-F3CA569125FD.jpeg
     
  21. Garry Edwards

    Garry Edwards

    Messages:
    10,469
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    Garry Edwards
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    No
    First things first.
    Under all 'normal' lighting conditions the meter must point at the camera lens, not the light source. The only exception to this is if the lighting angle is extreme, for example the subject is backlit. But, although pointing the meter at the light source will inevitably produce a false reading, it wouldn't be anywhere near that far out.
    It doesn't matter whether the dome of your light meter is bigger, smaller or the same size as your subject. It's only job is to measure the light that reaches your subject.
    I must be thick, but I don't understand what the subect is here. If it's the silver shiny thing then the complex angles would result in a mixture of over and under exposure, because some of the light would be reflected straight back towards the lens and some would bounce pointlessly elsewhere - easily avoided by better positioning of the light and by having a relatively larger light source.

    I still think that the answer is that either your meter doesn't measure flash, or wasn't set to measure flash. That's the only logical explanation for the massive difference between actual and measured light.
     
  22. oblivion

    oblivion

    Messages:
    234
    Name:
    Richard
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Well I’ve set it all up the same as I have been doing. Turns out the light meter works better with a new friggin battery installed! Typical. I’m getting wonderful exposures now but hey ho another learning curve
     
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  23. oblivion

    oblivion

    Messages:
    234
    Name:
    Richard
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    8376D512-34E5-4000-8BEA-A401DAF9C4FB.jpeg Final image completed and I’m happy with it thank god
     
  24. oblivion

    oblivion

    Messages:
    234
    Name:
    Richard
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    95F12B06-2F89-4931-BC3B-DE4059320848.jpeg Also played around with my new vape which I’m pleased with
     
  25. PhilH04

    PhilH04

    Messages:
    695
    Name:
    Phil
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    No
    No it is not irrelevant... the whole point of the dome is to average the light falling on the subject and therefor it SHOULD be facing the camera position..

    Glad you finally got things sorted out... You do know that you can light your black surface so that it is white ;)

    Not sure if he covers that in the e-book that Garry Edwards is so very kindly offering for a donation to his charity, he knows his stuff....
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2018 at 9:04 AM
  26. HoppyUK

    HoppyUK

    Messages:
    22,705
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    Richard
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    No
    (y)

    There's a ton of flare going on there (veiling glare) that has sucked contrast and saturation from the subject in the last on-white image. It happens a lot in all studio work when shooting against a white background. The solution is to cover all areas outside the actual image with black paper/card.
     
    juggler likes this.

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