This morning I came across this blog post on Model Mayhem about ditching your light meter because it is a crutch and I had to completely disagree with the post and the thoughts behind it. Then a few hours later, I stumbled across ablog post from "A Photo Assistant" that fell more into line with my thoughts behind it. When at my workshops, I teach from as bare-bones with gear as possible. If you don't have the cash for a meter, we find our exposure by other methods. Some times you just don't have the extra cash for one, so you make due with what you have on hand.
I still use my meter in the studio when I'm dealing with lights in most situations; head shots, creative shooting, etc. Just because my head shot light doesn't move from what it hangs, I meter each and every time I get something in the studio set up. I meter each light to get the ratios down. I use a meter as a starting point for where I want my lights to be. Once I have the proper exposures, then I can decide if I want to vary them in any way. But I use a meter to get me into correct exposure to begin with.
Sometimes photographers don't need them because of the particular shot or lighting setup. For example, I know that for my head shots I do in my studio, I have everything marked on my floor for where the subject needs to stand. My light is in a fixed position hanging from my ceiling. I know that whey they stand on that "X" and I'm at 1/32nd power on my strobe, I'm at f/4 for exposure. But I still meter every time I turn that light on. Every time that light position changes, or every time I change the power on my hair light, I'm going to meter it. It isn't a crutch, it's an assurance. It's an accurate starting point.
I feel meters are absolutely necessary for large jobs. Or jobs where time is a factor. If you only have a short amount of time with a client, break that meter out and get your lighting down fast and quick, which leaves more time for shooting.
How about you? Do you still use a meter? Why? Why not?