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Thursday, June 1, 2006

Where The Spot Meets The Pixel

Use a spot meter to achieve the best exposure possible

In settings with very strong contrast, a spot meter can be indispensable, ensuring that the highlight or shadow detail is retained. By taking a meter reading of the highlights and the shadows, you can compare differences in exposure. As most digital cameras can retain an exposure range of up to nine stops, you quickly can determine whether the contrast range of a scene can be captured by the camera's sensor. If not, you can either bias the exposure for the highlights or shadows, allowing for some detail loss in either, or use a light modifier, such as a graduated neutral-density filter or a reflector, to reduce contrast.

Some spot meters, such as the Sekonic DualMaster and the Konica Minolta Flash Meter VI, record and display multiple meter readings and show the difference in exposure in increments as small as 1/3-EV values.

The use of a spot meter elevates your awareness of light and contrast in ways that would be unlikely if you depended on a camera's automatic features. By being conscious of light, especially contrast, you can make sure that the image created in camera will result in an excellent digital file, which will eventually lead to a quality print.


Adorama (800) 223-2500, www.adorama.com
Pentax (800) 877-0155, www.pentaximaging.com
Konica Minolta (800) 285-6422, www.kmpi.konicaminolta.us
Sekonic (914) 347-3300, www.sekonic.com



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