Subject: Re: raw 3.1 professional custom profiles for highend digital cameras
Having studied and used the zone system for black and white film I would argue that an incident meter measuring between 12 - 18% (depends on manufacturer) is an extremely useful way to establish how your CCD or CMOS chip is behaving in relation to holding highlight detail or say over exposing RAW consistently by +1/3 of a stop.
Matrix metering which will be fooled more times than not.
Another benefit of a hand held meter, especially for non static photography is the ability to compare an incident reading with a spot meter in camera on a mid tone noting where the cameras meter on manual rests. By returning the cameras meter to the same position even though the camera is indicating over/under exposure from the hand held meter in quickly changing lighting conditions such as capturing action enables a reliable method of exposure - for example grass in a sporting arena varies shows 1/3 -2/3 of a stop over a meter especially with little time to measure and compensate such as sport.
Matrix metering with semi automatic or automatic modes is doomed for error, unless he user dials in any +/- compensation.
An 18% incident reading will not pin point tones or the tonal range but the critical nature of chips is to expose to the right or in my preference +1/3 over in RAW and I can think of no better way than using an incident meter reading.
With experience, in consistent lighting and same times of the day, an incident meter reading will teach the user the correct exposure - Velvia at 40 ISO for my E6 pro lab was always F2.8 at 1/1250 sec between around 07.30 hrs - 09.30 hrs (or surrounding combinations of aperture/shutter speeds) a far more reliable method than matrix metering under demanding conditions with all manner of clothing or skin tones to throw off reflected measurements.
An incident meter reading IMHO is the perfect partner for digital exposure provided you have tested the meter in conjunction with each camera to arrive at the highlight exposure for your liking at either normal or +1/3.
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