Subject: Re: raw 3.1 professional custom profiles for highend digital cameras
For relaible exposures the best starting point is to set the camera and meter ISO at the same values. Bracket the exposures by 1/3 then carefully examine the RAW histogram in ACR (No Auto) to find the exposure closets to 255 or if confident re software highlight recovery 255 +1/3 noting the ISO, aperture and shutter speeds in comparison to those displayed on the hand held meter.
Both camera and meter may be out of calibration. However from examining the RAW files you will be able to determine if the light meter requires adjustment. Best option is to use the hidden compensation dial normally found on a Minolta in the battery compartment which saves altering the ISO or other +/- settings on the meters LCD display and possible confusion in the heat of the moment.
My meter always underexposes by 1/3 in relation to both of my Canon EOS bodies. At 100 ISO I therefore have to set the hand held meter as if exposing for 80 ISO although the camera remains on 100 ISO - manual mode, shutter and aperture values transferred from hand held meter reading at 80 ISO. If I require +1/3 over 255 then the hand held meter is set to 64 ISO and reading transferred to camera still set to 100 ISO.
Althogh E6 and digital capture cannot be directly compared the principle of holding highlight detail using an incident meter holds true for photon counts.
Bruce is right about +2/1/3 from middle grey for a clean highlight. When ever I used to render briliant white studio backdrops I would spot meter all areas of the background to arrive at 2+1/3, to within 1/10th of a stop corner to corner, for a clean white backdrop, about +2 stops as advocated by many phoptographic articles was simple incorrect advice and provided an off white.
As someone who understands how to use a spot meter and judge tones using +/- compensation values to within a high degree of accuracy IMHO the incident meter, if calibrated correctly to your digital sensor, will provide the best exposure in quick time and without the fuss of interpreting reflected tones.
I can confidently state my digital exposures will be nudged up very close to 255 or approximately +1/3 over 255 by using an incident reading. This accuracy can only be achieved by the simple testing routes as described above to tie in the meter with your sensor.
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